Toyota of N Charlotte explains how to inspect a used car

used car inspection tipsWhen you’re shopping for a used car in Charlotte, the inspection that you conduct is probably one of the most important components of the process. You probably know the major things to look for – that the odometer is accurate, that there’s no accident damage, and that the interior and paint are in decent shape. But what about the specifics that can save you a lot of time and money in the future? Toyota of N Charlotte has tips to help you thoroughly inspect a used car before you sign the dotted line so you can shop with confidence.

Start by examining the exterior of the used car

The first place to inspect is the exterior – after all, it’s the first thing you’ll see. Be sure to conduct your inspection in daylight on an even surface. Here are some of the things you should look for:

  • Check all glass – all windows and the windshield – for any damage like chips or cracks. It may be covered by the seller’s insurance company and if not, it’s a negotiating point.
  • Take a close look at the tires. Do they have decent tread on them and are they in good physical shape? Be on the lookout for bubbles, punctures, or any other damage.
  • While you’re checking tires, check the suspension. Our favorite trick is to bounce each corner of the car, hard. The car should only bounce once in rebound. If it bounces multiple times, the suspension is in bad shape.
  • You should also check the headlights and taillights to make sure they work and are in good condition, and inspect the body of the car for mismatched paint, misaligned panels, gaps between panels, and other damage. These problems can indicate prior accident damage.

Use our N Charlotte Toyota tips to inspect the interior and under the hood

What about the interior of the preowned vehicle you’re considering? Here are some of the things you should inspect there:

  • Take a close look at the upholstery and carpet – it should be clean, stain-free, damage-free, and odor-free. If you see an air freshener hanging in the car, beware. It could be there to mask other odors.
  • Test all buttons, levers, switches, etc. to ensure everything works (like the air-conditioner, headlights, audio system, etc.).
  • Check the trunk to ensure it’s clean and free of odors or mildew.
  • Make sure that the headliner is still firmly attached to the ceiling of the car and you don’t see any bubbles or sagging spots.

And don’t forget about under the hood. You should be on the lookout for leaks, cracked or brittle hoses, and any odd smells, sights, or sound when you pop it open and get the engine running. Check under the car for leaks, too. If you’re not comfortable examining things under the hood, consider having an independent mechanic inspect the car for you.

Ready to start used car shopping? Call Toyota of N Charlotte today – we’re open seven days a week at (704) 875-9199.

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N Charlotte Toyota tips