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Monday to Friday: 8.00am – 5.30pm

Ask the mechanic: what should I look for when purchasing a used car?

Purchasing a car can be exciting. However, when purchasing a used car, the experience can be daunting if you don’t know what to look for. There are several things to do to ensure you are purchasing a genuine product at the right price.

  1. Ask the seller questions about the car to get an idea first-hand of the car’s history.
  2. - How long have they had the car?
    - How many previous owners have there been?
    - Why are they selling?
    - Has it ever been in an accident?

  3. Thoroughly check the car yourself and have a trusted mechanic check it on a hoist.
  4. - Paint job, taking note of any rust, dents or scratches.
    - Tyres for balance, alignment, and tread.
    - Signs of oil or brake fluid leaks, fluid levels, and signs of rust.
    - Condition of hoses and belts.
    - Condition of seatbelts and seats.
    - Functionality of air conditioning, computer displays, sensors, and odometer.
    - Functionality of all lights.

  5. Test drive the car.
  6. When testing the car, always start the car with a cold engine to reveal any problems with the ignition, spark plugs, and the choke. While driving the car, listen for engine noises, drive on different types of roads, test the gears and brakes, test the steering, and test the car at different speeds.

  7. Check the car’s history.
  8. Get the car’s VIN number and have it checked against the state’s databases to reveal any claims on insurance or damages. Additionally, check the car’s service history to ensure the car has been maintained properly and regularly.

  9. Price and paperwork.
  10. There is always room to move on the price. Make note of any faults and required replacements, and research current market values to commence negotiations with the seller. Before purchasing the car, ensure all paperwork is in order and that you receive original copies.

Reliance Auto Centre is a trusted mechanic in Sydney with over 30 years of reputable experience, and will assist with any questions.

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