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Used Cars

The informed and careful purchase of a used car may serve as a smart alternative to the more expensive option of buying new. In fact, there are many situations in which a used car may prove to be the better option, however a little car research is necessary to find out which used cars make for great buys.

Many people who have chosen to simplify their lives in order to decrease stress and increase happiness, particularly through reducing financial demands and strains, find buying a used car to be a good choice. This is especially true of families in which one parent would like to be at home with the children. A used car is also a good option for a teen learning to drive.

While we’ve all heard of used car nightmares, these types of situations can be avoided. Buying a used car from a reputable dealer in pre-owned or used vehicles is often safer than buying privately. Many used car dealerships offer limited warranties and, in most regions of the country, there are legal protections in place for buyers.

It is a good idea, and especially important if buying from a private individual, to know a little something about cars, or to bring someone with you who does. Another option is to ask your regular mechanic if you can bring the car in for a quick look over while you test drive it.

There are a variety of things that a brief visual inspection and a listen to the engine can tell you, if you know what you are looking for. For example, significantly uneven wear on the front tires can indicate a front end problem of some sort. An excess of oil residue on the engine block or top can indicate that a valve cover or head gasket job is soon to come.

Run the engine, and listen for any ticking, which can indicate a problem with the lifters or that it’s low on oil, which could indicate a leaking problem. Listen for knocking or sounds that are outside of what seems to be the car’s rhythm.

Look underneath car for any stains or wet spots that could indicate leaks. If you see something, dab it with a white paper napkin and check its color. Brown to black is usually oil, but a reddish fluid could be transmission fluid and may indicate a potentially expensive problem.

Buying a used car does not have to be a risky or unpleasant experience. With a little time and effort, you can save money by finding the right used car for you.


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