Buying a used car is one of the most expensive and difficult purchases anyone can make. But with proper care and attention, you can have a smooth, successful experience. Here are some simple steps to follow when checking a used car for potential purchase.

Start with a test drive

The first step to evaluating used cars in miami is to take it for a drive. A test drive provides you with an opportunity to get up to speed, experience driving the vehicle, and figure out if you like it. As you begin driving, pay attention to how the engine responds and feels under different conditions, such as whether it accelerates smoothly or hesitates at certain speeds. Accelerating hard while making turns will also let you know if the car has an alignment problem or if the transmission is slipping.

Check under the hood

Examine the engine compartment while you’re on a test drive. If you find any fluid leaks, take the car to a repair shop and have it checked out before considering purchase. While you’re under the hood, look for indications of rust or oil leakage, which could mean major engine problems in the near future. Other signs of major engine problems include a cracked or damaged radiator, brake lines with visible leaks, an oil pan that’s sprung a leak or is dented and corroded. Also check for any oil or fluid leaks from the transmission, front or rear differential.

used cars in miami

Check the underside of the car

Spend a little extra time under the car looking for rust and fluid leaks, because this is where you’re most likely to find them. The area around the transmission and rear differential can rust out in as little as one year if driven in bad weather. Look for rust along or underneath the vehicle. Check the spare tires, underbody and engine compartment for any rust. Also be sure to check the underside of the car, including all of the pillars, and any fasteners, bolts or plastic pieces that may be loose.

Check the tires

It’s a good idea to have the car checked by a mechanic so that you can get an idea of how much tread life is left in the tires and how they should be balanced. When inspecting the tires, look for signs of uneven wear, bulging sidewalls or bent rims. If you find any of those signs, it means you should contact the seller and have them inspected before driving out of your driveway.