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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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EXTERIOR: INSPECTING THE TYRES

The tyres tell a lot about a car and how it’s been driven and cared for. Examine the tyres for flat spots or uneven wear, which signals alignment problems.

Thread Depth & Evenness

An old trick is to stick a coin in the tyre tread at various areas to check & compare the tread depth. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.7mm. For a more accurate reading obtain a tread depth gauge, from a car accessory shop. Make sure the tyres have even wear. If a tyre has more wear on one side it could indicate suspension or alignment problems and could also be as a result of accident damage. Watch for cracks, exposed cords, bulges and other signs of damage.

Reputable Tyre Brand

Check that the tyres are manufactured by a reputable brand name (Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear) and make a note of it. An unethical person could swap tires prior to the handover and you would never know it. Make sure the tires match. Mismatched tires can be dangerous.

Wheel trims

Check the wheels trim rings, hubcaps and wheel covers for damage, pitted surfaces or peeling. See if the balance weights are intact or if there appear to be too much weight on a given wheel. Watch carefully for curb damage, especially on expensive aluminium alloy wheels.

Spare wheel

Check that the spare tyre, jack and lug wrench on car and included and fully functional. Also check the spare tyre and compare the brand & tread to the other tires if it is a full spare.

Discrepancies

Check whether the car have low mileage but worn-out tires or even if the car has low mileage yet brand-new tires. A seller is not prohibited to change any or all of the tyres on a car, but you should try and find out what’s behind the reasoning. If it doesn’t make sense to you, you should ask about it – It might reveal something important.
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