Buying a high-quality used vehicle is a great way to get a new set of wheels at a lower price, but while there are many advantages to buying a used vehicle, there is one major disadvantage—it can be hard to tell which vehicles are in great shape, and which might end up being a lemon!
When buying a used vehicle, remember these top five warning signs to look out for. If you see any of these issues, think twice before buying.
Heavily Worn or Mismatched Tires
A quick simple inspection of the tires on a used vehicle will give you insight into the overall condition of the vehicle. Generally, you want all the tires to be the same make and model, and they should be in good condition. If the tires are worn unevenly, this could be a sign of a brake or suspension issue with the vehicle or that the tires have not been properly rotated.
Mismatched tires could also be a red flag. It is always a bad idea to replace tires individually or to replace one or two tires with a tire from a different manufacturer. Mismatched tires could be a sign that the vehicle has been through several tire blowouts, or that the seller is trying to cut costs and get rid of the car as soon as possible for maximum profit.
Damaged Body Work or Sloppy Paint Job
Usually, you cannot judge a book by its cover, but used cars are the exception. If a vehicle has been well-maintained, it will not have rust patches or worn paint.
A sloppy paint job could be a sure sign of neglect or that the seller is trying to cover up rust spots or worn paint. The vehicle may also have been quickly repainted after an accident or fender bender.
Either way, if the vehicle that you are looking at has a sloppy paint job or bodywork, you will want to steer clear.
The Seller Will Not Provide the Title
This is a MAJOR red flag. If the seller mentions any issues with the title, walk away. Even if the owner of the vehicle is legitimate and lost the title, this is a sign of carelessness which reflects poorly on the vehicle.
Truthfully, it is very uncommon for an owner of a vehicle to lose their title. If the dealer will not give you a straight answer about the status of the vehicle’s title, the car could have been stolen.
Follow this simple rule: No title? No sale.
The Check Engine Light Does Not Illuminate
If the “check engine” light does not illuminate when the car starts up, this is a bad sign.
On most new vehicles, the “check engine” light illuminates for a few seconds when the car starts up and then fades away if there is nothing wrong with the engine.
If the light does not turn on at all, it could have been intentionally disconnected.
The Seller Will Not Provide Repair Records
The owner or dealer of the vehicle should be able to provide you with some basic information about its overall state of repair. Be skeptical if they cannot provide you with any kind of repair or service records.
If you are still interested in purchasing the vehicle, have the vehicle checked by a certified third-party mechanic. They will be able to give you details about any repairs that might have been performed on the vehicle and its overall state of health.
Be Sure When Buying a Used Vehicle
Many questions can arise when you are looking to purchase a used vehicle. When you purchase a vehicle with a SureSale report, you will know both the vehicle’s history and condition so you can make an informed assessment of its quality.
When shopping for a used car, look for SureSale on used car shopping websites, dealership websites, private seller listings, and automotive dealerships.