How To Quickly Check A Used Car For Purchase

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How to check a used car for purchase

Are you thinking of buying a used car? Learn how to quickly check out a used car for purchase with these simple steps.

1. DIAGNOSE THE CAR
If you have the OBD-II reader, you can easily diagnose a car anytime. Simply, plug it into the car (the port is usually located under the dashboard of cars since 1996). Once the the OBD-II reader has been plugged in, turn the key on but don’t start the engine. The next step is to push “read” on the device. You then have to wait a few seconds for results to appear on the auto scanner. Regardless of what model of reader you have, all the trouble codes that might be shown can be looked up from its manual or you can look it up online.

2. DRIVE CYCLE MONITOR
Next important thing that you have to do is to check the car’s monitors. Running through the drive cycle sets the readiness monitors so they can detect any emissions failures. Your vehicle’s specific drive cycle can depend on the vehicle make and model, and which monitor needs to be reset.

3. CHECK FOR OIL LEAKS
Look underneath the car using your flashlight. Check the lower part of the engine and transmission. Everything has to be dry.

4. EXTERIOR
Check carefully the following parts for any damages:
● Paint Condition
● Front Fender
● Door Handles
● Tire rim for damage

5. TIRES
Check the tires to see if they have evenly worn tread or if they are cupped. If the wear is only on one side of the tire, the wheels will probably need an alignment.

6. TEST-DRIVE
Drive car for ten minutes in town and ten miles on the highway. While driving listen carefully for any noise such as buzzing, humming and clicking. Next, check the steering wheel by accelerating to 30 mph on an empty straight road and getting your hands off the wheel. You car should be able continue to drive in a straight line if there isn’t any problem with the steering wheel.

7. BRING IT TO A MECHANIC
Lastly, once you have decided that the car’s engine is satisfactory, given the above criteria, it is recommended to consult a third-party mechanic. Having an inspection performed on the vehicle can be costly but could ultimately save customers money, as the mechanical inspector is able to accurately determine the worth of the vehicle.

TIP: Have the inspection performed by a mechanic with whom you’ve built a trust/relationship.

Video by Scotty Kilmer
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If you were thinking about buying a used car then
stay tuned, because today I’m going
to show you how to quickly check out a used car for purchase.
Now, all modern cars are computerized,
so if you have one of these OBD2 readers, plug it into the car
and you’ll learn a lot.
And realize that these OBD2 scanners will fit any car
from 1996 to the present.
So if you don’t have one, it’s a good idea to get one.
Some are as cheap as 40 bucks.
Now, in this Toyota, you go under the dash.
And here’s the plug that in plugs into right here.
You just plug the code reader right in.
It snaps in, then start the car.
Then the first thing you want to do is see if there’s any codes.
So we’ll choose Read Codes.
Well, there is no code, so that’s good.
Now, if there were any trouble codes,
that means there’s a problem with the car.
There aren’t any, so we know that at least there’s
no solid trouble codes.
Then you also want to check a thing that’s
called drive cycle monitor.
And in this case, you can say it says all monitors are OK.
And that’s really important to check also,
because sometimes the owner will have the computer reset
and it will have problems.
Then it would say some of the monitors weren’t OK yet.
You wouldn’t want to buy the car then.
Now, the next thing to do is to park on a nice, flat surface,
and then look under it to see if there’s any kind of oil leakage
that’s dripping down on the ground.
And in this case, it’s dry as a bone.
But we’re going to jack up the front end
anyways to check things.
You can learn a lot by jacking up a car
and looking at the underside.
You want to look at the CV joints
to make sure they’re not ripped or torn.
And you can check the bottom of the engine and transmission.
And in this case, they’re bone dry,
so they’re not leaking at all.
While you have it jacked up in the air,
you can pull on the tires to see if there’s
any suspension where the tire would wobble back and forth.
Now, this car is pretty new.
It’s only about a year old.
So I know that it runs pretty good.
We’re mainly going to be looking for body damage
to see if the car’s been wrecked or flooded.
So you slam the hood, and then see if it’s aligned correctly
the whole way around.
Look at the seam on one side of the hood
and compare it with the seam on the other side of the hood.
And in this case, the right seam and the left seam
look exactly the same, so the hood hasn’t been crumpled in.
And do the same thing on all the door seams
to make sure they look the same front to back and side to side.
So we’re going to the other side.
And they all match, so it wasn’t whacked one side or the other.
Now we’ll pop the trunk open and look inside
to see if it’s been rear ended.
Well, the seams inside are clean and they’re all
factory-looking.
And now we’ll pick up the rugs and look inside.
And sure, a little cardboard stuff is ripped.
But more importantly, all these factory seams
are still exactly as the car was built.
They haven’t been touched and done over,
so it hasn’t been rear ended.
Then you want to go up and down the car looking at the paint.
And look at the reflections, because that way
you can see if there’s any little dings.
As we walk down the car here, you
can see, hey, this looks strange.
There’s a little ding in the door right here.
You’re only going to see it when you look at the reflections,
though, so look closely.
Now, of course, you don’t buy a car
just because it has a few dings but you knock some money
off the price.
And the last thing you want to do in this quick check
is look at all four tires.
Make sure they’re not [? cupped ?] or have gouges
in them, showing that there’s a problem.
These are flat and evenly worn.
And then, of course, take it for a good road test.
Drive it for a good 10 minutes in town
and 10 miles on the highway.
Listen for buzzing noise, humming noise, clicking noises,
and see how the vehicle tracks at highway speeds,
if the steering wheel goes straight
and whether it shakes or not.
And then if you’re real serious about the car,
do like my customer did, bring a car to a mechanic like me
to do the final check.
Because you’re going to be saving thousands of dollars
buying a used car, so spend 80 or 90 bucks
to have a pro check it out before you buy.
And aside from a little dent on the side of the door
and some cracked cardboard in the trunk,
this Toyota passed with flying colors.
And remember, if you have any car questions, just
visit ScottyKilmer.com.

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