write up I did for SN95 forums
Everyday people buy used cars. Some people know what they are looking at and what they want, others simply don't. Internet forums are FULL of threads where someone says "HEY EVERYBODY! I found this cool car. Good price? Or bad?" So here is a How To in which I will go through stuff to look for and things you should do prior to buying a DEPENDABLE Used Car.
There are so many cars out there. Never jump the gun and buy a car yickedy split. Rembember that as nice as this car is, chances are that in a month you will find one just like it but with less miles and a color you perfer at a lesser cost.
Now there are several ways to find a car.
Internet websites such as www.autoshopperonline.com
Theres the famous (or infamous) www.ebay.com
and there is also those free little books at your local quicky mart chock full of local cars and the ones you see on the side of the road with a "for Sale" sign.
Now there are several kinds of cars you should avoid and things you should look at.
1. Does the car have signs of serious modification? (i.e. blowers, nitrous, cams and a/c delete) Now of coarse you are saying, and the seller will too, "The car has $10,000 in upgrades! Its an awesome deal!" It could be... It probably is NOT! Why do people put nitrous on thir cars? So that they will go faster. Now these people take their fast car and drive it hard and put triple the wear and tear on the engine, drivetrain, and suspension. This makes the car more vunrable to breaking or dieing.
2. Look at the guy selling the car. You cannot trust this guy. Does he look like the kind of guy that sells cars all the time? Do you think that the guy selling the car gives a rats *** what happens to it? Does it look like he liked the car and took care of it? What if the guy bought the car 3 years ago, didn't give a **** and a half about it, and never changed the oil? What if the car is gonna die? He won't say, "Welp, this here car will probably only run for another 1,000 miles."
3. Why is the seller selling the car? Did he not take care of it and change the oil? Did he buy a Kenne Bell supercharger and run it into the ground? Did his mother pass away and he needs the funds?
Its VERY VERY VERY important to look at this kind of stuff... If you want a dependable car, then this is what you should look at when buying one.
Once you find a car that you say to yourself, "Reckon I could sleep in that there beautiful automobile." You do TWO things.
1. Look up the value of the car at www.kbb.com
2. check the vehicle's history at www.carfax.com
You look up the value because that is all that the car is worth. Insurance companies use this website to decide what a car is worth. So, God forbid someone moron plows into your car, the insurance company will have to decide if it is worth fixin. If the the damage excedes the cars value, they junk it and write you a check for that ammount... So if you buy a car, drive it home, and it gets hit, after you spent all that money. That money goes down the tubes, bye bye, later for you.
Checking the vehicle's history is equally as important. People do all kinds of crazy stuff to sell a car. They will not tell you that last year it was in an accident and they had to straighten out the frame. And they sure as hell won't say, "hey, I rolled back the odometer to fool your sorry ***"
Its also a good idea to look and see if the vin#s have been tampered with. (located on the dash, engine block, and frame) If they don't match or look funny in a non adam sandler kind of way, the car is probably stolen. But generally this will come up in a carfax report.
So there ya have it... This is what you should look at when buying a dependable car... If you are looking for a race car or something to **** around with, then this makes no difference.
Also, If the seller says, "I replaces the tranny last year as well as this or that." Ask to see Recietes. This could also be a sigh that the car has lots of problems or the guy could be lying to you.
It is also a good idea to look for something with low miles, a well maintaned car with 50,000 miles is more dependable then that same car with 100,000 miles.
Having a father who recently retired the NJ state police police and works for NJ motor vehcle commision, this is what I have learned.
He has locked up hundreds of car selling crooks and they keep selling bad cars even after all the fines and jail time. There are so many people out there trying to make a buck and will do anything they can to do so which is why it is important to remember that they are not your friend and you should not trust them however nice and friendly they are.
I hope this will help all you youngsters and save you guys headaches! Wink