In recent years, used vehicles have become more reliable and are a better option for buyers who want a good vehicle for less money. Automakers have improved their products lately, making used vehicles good option for a longer time. This information comes from Consumer Reports from Market Watch in a new article published in late February. With every passing year, buying a used car becomes less of a gamble according to a new analysis by Consumer Reports. “The analysis of 2011 survey data revealed an overall improvement in used-car reliability from almost all automakers with Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler showing the most notable gains (a minimum of 10 percentage points) compared to Consumer Reports’ 2002 results.” But even with these notable improvements, there is still a gamble with the possibility of buying a lemon. In this Consumer Report, they offer valuable tips for buyers to avoid buying a lemon. This is important information which could save thousands of dollars in the long run. The last tip just might be the most important for any buyer.
It is recommended that a buyer, or even better – a trusted repair shop, closely inspect the vehicle before buying it. First, choose a model or a reliable brand to reduce your chances of any major problems when you first buy the car. Check the vehicle for signs of collision and major repairs. Look for any body panels or doors which don’t match the rest of the vehicle, and check for signs of painted pieces. Flood damage is something a buyer should also look for. Scents of mold or mildew and discolored carpeting or upholstery are tell-tale signs of bad water damage. Likewise, it could mean electrical issues. Check the fluids for leaks, wet spots, texture, and color. All of these can tell a story.
But that isn’t it. The Consumer Report also recommends looking at the smoke and checking out the color. According to the article, “Blue smoke from the tailpipe indicates that the engine may be burning oil. Billowing white smoke indicates water in the combustion chamber, usually because of a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head or even a cracked block – all expensive repairs.” Likewise, “If the engine revs excessively before the car accelerates, it may indicate a misadjusted or worn-out clutch or damaged automatic transmission.” This is a costly problem if you don’t inspect it first. Check the vehicle’s history. A vehicle history report from CarFax or Experian Automotive can alert a buyer to possible odometer fraud; reveal past fire, flood, and accident damage. Unfortunately, these services don’t catch everything, so it’s no guarantee that a car is problem-free. Finally, get a pre-purchase inspection from a trusted mechanic which will check all of the things mentioned above, and give you more insight into any recalls the car may have had or anything else you should consider. While buying a used vehicle does seem to be a good option for many Americans, it is always important to look towards a trusted repair shop for some guidance. To read more from this article, click here.