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buying a used car

Buying any type of car can be quite intimidating. But buying a used car, in particular, can be quite risky. No one wants to be stuck with a lemon. Below are some tips you can arm yourself with before purchasing a used vehicle from a used car lot, dealer, or from online services.

The Exterior

You can learn a lot about a car from its exterior - especially the paint. There will always be the usual dents and chips on the body, but check to see if the paint job is fresh. If so the owner/dealer could be hiding something like rust or a recent accident. A tip to catch any imperfections is to look down the length of the vehicle. If you see bubbles or wavy paint, it most likely means the car was repainted. Also check to make sure all of the panels are of the same colour. If they aren't then it most likely means that the car was recently repainted or repaired. Do keep in mind that colour differences can occur between the bumper and fender/quarter panels in used and new cars. 

Checking the tires can also reveal many things as well. Inspect the treads and see how much wear they have. If there is uneven wear between tires, it could mean that the vehicle has an alignment issue or suspension damage. The last thing you want to do is increase your cost by buying new tires and replacing the suspension.

For older vehicles, do check underneath the car for rust as well.

The Interior

It is easy to overlook or miss rips, tears, or cracks inside the car. But a thorough inspection is worth it. Look under the seats to see if the metal parts underneath have rusted. If so there could have been a water leak issue with the vehicle. If the car has power locks/windows, ensure that they are all working. Run the heater and A/C fan for 5-10 minutes as well to make sure they work well. As for all electrical components, such as dashboard lights, radio, windshield wipers and so on, do a quick test on all of them to prevent any surprises, repairs, and unexpected costs in the futures. 

The Engine

Last is the engine. Ask a professional mechanic to give the engine a comprehensive once over. An in-depth report can tell you the health of the engine to avoid ending up with the biggest nightmare of your life.

Buying a used car can be a great way to save money, but you must inspect and do your homework first to know you're getting your money’s worth. 

Penney Auto Body & Glass, Vancouver’s Auto Body Collision Repair Shop, is an expert in paint and body repair and cares about the welfare of your car and your personal safety. If you get involved in an automotive accident or you're a victim of a vehicle break-in or theft be sure to contact Penney Auto Body for your auto body, collision repair, and car painting services.


8225 Main St Vancouver BC V5X3L7


(604) 322-6228
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