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What You Need to Know When Test-Driving a Used Car

Buying a car can be a big decision. Making the most of a test drive is a simple matter of common sense, careful observation, and knowing what to look for. Read on for how to prepare yourself for this all-important experience and what to keep track of when taking a car out for the first time.

·       Does the car drift to the left or right when you take your hands off the steering wheel? Drifting could mean an alignment is needed.

·       Get on the highway and accelerate into traffic. Does the car have enough power to get you into traffic safely? Does the transmission shift smoothly or jerk and whine? Pay attention to the road, engine and wind noise. Do any of these sound wrong or just too loud?

·       How well do the brakes work? Are they firm or spongy? Does the car pull to one side or the other during hard braking? Do they squeak? Brakes are designed to squeak when the pads need to be replaced, and that's a costly repair. Does the vehicle pitch forward dramatically when you brake hard? This, too, could reflect worn suspension components.

·       How's the ride? Find some rough road and see how the car handles it. Does it bounce you around too much? Do you feel that you're still in control of the car? Drive over some bumps and dips. Does the car continue bouncing after the disturbance has passed? If so, new shock absorbers or other suspension work may be in order. Excessive leaning during sharp turns may reflect the same problem.

·       Parallel park. Back out of a driveway. How's the visibility out of all angles?

·       Test the cruise control, if the car is equipped.

·       Before you end your drive, pay attention to the seat. Is it comfortable? Does it seem like it would be for a long trip? Does the seat give you enough support? Does it hold you in place during sharp turns?

·       When you get out of the car, note the headroom. Make sure there's enough room in there for you, and that it's simple to get in and out of the car. Likewise, you don't want to own a car that's too big for you to drive comfortably and safely.

Carousel 2 serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. Since opening our doors, Carousel 2 has maintained a solid commitment to you, our customers. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned Cars, Trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa. 

Used Car Buyers Checklist

Date: Jan. 18, 2018 | Category: Car Shopping

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