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The Ultimate Used Car Inspection Guide

Inspect a used vehicle like a Pro! Everything you need to know - All in one place.

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FIRST GLANCE

There are many things to look for when purchasing a used car but the most important factor is to give the car a very thorough physical check before making any other pre-mature decisions. Yes, it’s tempting to just hop in the car and take it for a spin, but before that is even considered it is important to first determine its condition and the way it was cared for by its owner. In fact, that’s how most used car appraisers’ work. They usually make their mind up about a car long before a road test.
If the car is not parked on level ground, ask the seller to move the car to level ground before starting your inspection. This is to ensure that you will be able to clearly check the undercarriage of the car and the tires and to see if there is anything sagging on the car.

EXTERIOR: UNDERCARRIAGE

Get on your hands and knees and look under the car. Use your flashlight to inspect the undercarriage and the wheel wells of the car. Look for rust and noticeable differences in the condition of different sections. One newer section in an otherwise reasonably worn car undercarriage is a good indication that part of the vehicle was repaired.
Scratches on the undercarriage could indicate off-road abuse or accident damage.  Also, take note if the car seems to be dripping any fluids on the driveway or the garage floor if you can and look for rust and signs of wear on the muffler and exhaust pipes.
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