Used Car Buyer's Checklist in Gainesville, FL

Buying a used car is a great way to save money on your next vehicle purchase. You should also know that there are a lot of additional factors to keep in mind when searching for the right vehicle, especially when it comes to history and reliability. At Parks Lincoln of Gainesville, we strive to keep our customers informed about what to look for during this time, so keep reading to learn more.

Do Your Research

Before starting your car search, ask yourself if there are certain types of vehicles that suit your needs as a driver. By choosing what type of vehicle to look for, you'll have a more specific list of items to look for during your inspection. When researching the vehicle, find out what the common problems are for the models you're considering.

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Exterior Checks

Always inspect the body condition. Take a walk around the vehicle and make note of any scratches, dents or rust. Plus, the body panels should line up evenly, and the doors, hood and trunk should open and close with no problems. Also, inspect the tires. They should all be the same brand and should be in solid condition, meaning no cracks, bulges, scuffing or bad tread. Lastly, be sure to check the lights. They should all function correctly and have no cracks or damage, and they should show no signs of moisture.

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Interior Checks

When checking out the inside of a vehicle, always note any odors. If the car smells like mold or mildew, that could be a sign of a water leak or flood damage. Additionally, check the seats for any wear or if they have any tears in the upholstery. Ensure the seats work properly and that you can move the driver's seat into a comfortable position for yourself. Always test out the controls and instruments to make sure they are working properly. Finally, look at the roof to check for any stains or water leaking through a sunroof or window.

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Under the Hood

When you look under the hood, check the hoses, belts, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. Everything should be at its proper level, and there shouldn't be any cracks, leaks or water. Also look beneath the vehicle for any leaks.

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The Test Drive

The test drive is probably one of the most critical parts of your inspection. When starting the engine, note how long it takes for the car to start or if there are any odd noises. Take the vehicle on various roads so you can test it at all different speeds. Check to see if the transmission shifts smoothly and if the brakes offer good stopping power without pulling the vehicle to either side.

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Paperwork and Mechanic's Inspection

Before you close the deal on your car, you need to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and run a vehicle history report. Most dealers will provide a report on all of their used vehicles. You can also have a trusted repair shop fully inspect the vehicle before you purchase it.

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If you have any questions about what you need to do before buying a used car or would like to test drive any used cars, please feel free to contact us or stop by Parks Lincoln of Gainesville at 3333 North Main St., Gainesville, FL 32609. We look forward to serving our customers near Alachua, Starke, Ocala and Lake City.