Consumer Watch: Tips for buying a used car

Print
Email
|

by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 6, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 6 at 6:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- If you're looking to downsize your ride to a more fuel efficient automobile now could be a good time.

Right now buying used is a better option than ever before for people who don't have the cash to buy new.

There was a time when used cars and used car salesmen didn't have the best reputation, but with each passing year, Consumer Reports said the reliability of used cars is improving. So buying a used car these days is a less risky endeavor.

However, there are still some things buyers need to check out. In addition to asking the usual questions about mileage, condition and the car's history, you should know how to spot collision damage. Look for things like mismatched panels or doors, along with hoods and trunks that don't shut the right way.

Also look for signs of flood damage. Telltale signs may include hints of mold and mildew, discolored carpets or occasional electrical problems.

Step on the gas of the car and listen for things like pings while accelerating. That can be a hint of an engine that could overheat.

And last but not least, it's so important now to get a vehicle's history report. Odometer fraud, past accident damage and other potential problems are all right there. It is also a good idea to have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic you trust.

If you're in the used car market you may want to target a Toyota or a Honda.  They dominate the list of the most reliable used cars according to consumer reports.

If you have a story you’d like Andy to look into send an e-mail to consumerwatch@whas11.com


 

Print
Email
|