Buying a preowned car is an affordable solution to get reliable transportation, but you want to make sure you do not get a lemon. The car you choose to buy should be inspected before you hand over cash or sign a contract, but there is also a little maintenance that you will want to do after driving it off the lot. Here is a checklist for used car maintenance after you drive off the lot:
1. Inspecting Your Brakes and Tires First to Ensure a Safe Driving Experience
Brakes and tires are important for good handling and safety while driving. Therefore, inspecting the brake system and your tires is one of the first things that you want to do when you buy a used car. Check the tires for uneven wear and the brakes for leaks in lines and worn pads that need to be replaced soon.
2. Take Your Car into an Alignment Shop to Ensure Good Handling and Reduce Tire Wear
Your car may seem to handle good, but slight problems with the alignment can cause tire wear and other problems. To ensure your car does not have excessive wear or problems due to the suspension being out of alignment, one of the first things you will want to do is to take your car to an alignment shop.
3. Inspect Oil and All Other Fluids for Condition and Change Them if Necessary
The fluids of your car can tell you a lot about maintenance history and its condition. Check the fluids when you get your car home, and look for signs like dirty engine oil that needs to be changed. Also check the levels of the brake, transmission, and power steering fluids. The coolant may also need to be checked, and you may want to flush the radiator and replace the antifreeze to ensure it is protecting your engine from the weather outside.
4. Check Wiring, Fuses, and Electrical System for Signs of Problems That Can Cause Troubles
The electrical wiring in your car can cause serious fire hazards and trouble if it is damaged. Therefore, before you start driving your car regularly, you will want to inspect the entire wiring system. Start with checking all the fuses and changing any that are blown. In addition, open the engine compartment and make sure that all wires have heat shields where needed. If there are any damaged wires, disconnect the battery when you are not driving and repair them as soon as possible.
5. Take the Car on a Short Trip to Let It Get Warm and Identify Potential Problems That Need to Be Addressed
It is difficult to know the actual condition of a car until you drive it for a long enough distance. Taking a short trip in your car to test it will allow the engine and drivetrain to warm up. Doing this will help identify any problems that the dealership may have missed, so you can repair them before they become too serious.
Getting a head start on maintenance will help ensure your used car does not turn into sour lemonade. If you are looking for a new used car, contact a local used auto dealer to find exactly what you need.