6 Things You Should Do Before You Buy A Used Car

Buy A Used Car6 Things You Should Do Before You Buy a Used Car

Car shopping is an exciting time, especially when you find one you really like. But before you hand over any money for that vehicle, make sure it’s in good working order. Just as you should never judge a book by its cover, you should never trust the health and history of a car just by how shiny its paint job looks. Instead, take these six very important steps when it comes to deciding whether or not to buy that used car you have your eyes on.

Go For a Test Drive

Before you pay money for any car, new or used, you should take it for a test drive. If the owner of the vehicle insists to go with you, make sure the person doesn’t try to cover up any odd noises or smells. Some owners will talk over the noises while you’re test driving or they’ll temporarily mask engine odors with strong air fresheners. It’s best to focus in on the car while you’re driving. Pay attention to how it feels, how it smells and listen for any clunking or other odd noises that could indicate problems.

Outside of the Car

While you’re circling the car, check the front and rear bumpers by pushing down on them. If the shocks are good, you should feel continuous bounce. But if the car feels squishy, the shocks are probably worn and should be replaced before you pay for the vehicle.

Check the Tires

The tires should have proper tread and proper inflation. Tires are not cheap and you should never assume that the tires are in good working order. To be safe, always check tires as part of the overall package when purchasing a used automobile.

Check Electrical Devices

Does the air conditioner work? What about the radio or CD player? Do all the dials work? What about any of the extra features that came with the model in question? These are important considerations as automotive electric repair isn’t cheap.

Check Carfax

While you’re checking out the car, put the VIN number into Carfax and get an accurate snapshot of that vehicle’s history. You’ll be able to tell if the vehicle has been in an accident, what repairs were done, etc.

Bring It To A Certified Mechanic

The best way to determine whether or not you’re spending your money wisely is to bring the vehicle in question to a certified auto mechanic shop. At our Lowell MA auto repair shop we will take the vehicle through a multi-point systems check. We will give you an accurate report that includes our recommendation and any repairs the vehicle may need. Come into J&R Auto Repair and let us help you find the perfect used car.

John Simone (Owner / Master Mechanic)


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John Says...

Check your oil. Some cars will only take 3.5 quarts, so if you’re down 2, it’s more than half empty!

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From Our Customers

 John at J&R Foreign Car Repair provides excellent service at an incredible price.

John’s ability to diagnose the most difficult problems, provide required repairs, and keep the bill to a reasonable level is amazing. John saved me from purchasing another used car. I have a Nissan Maxima 1995 purchased new it has about 100k miles with a serious starting problem. The starter will turn but it will not start. I had taken it to 5 mechanics before. All were extremely nice and, I thought, very knowledgeable- they have worked on various problems for me earlier and always provided a great service and very reasonable prices. Each has performed various diagnoses and some repair varied from replacing the ignition key, to the starter, various sensors, and spark plugs. The car seems to run better then it reverts to the same old behavior. At the end they all recommended taking it to the dealer. They all indicated to take it to the dealer citing their ability to diagnose the problem is limited to the diagnostic software they had and the dealer had full access to the software they will be able to provide more accurate diagnosis . Based on their recommendations I took the car to IRA Nissan in Tewksbury the bill was unreal very high compared to the 5 mechanics. Same thing the car performed a bit better but nothing tangible the same old problem.

So at this point I am ready to dump the car in the junk yard…..I took the car to John he kept it for few days and was able to diagnose the problem very effectively. John replaced the on board computer and couple of sensors. The car is running like new and the best part at a fraction of the cost of the dealer. John was able to diagnose and fix the problem accurately where 5 gas stations and the dealer where not able to do so. What a great service not to mention the price was more then reasonable. Now I can use the car for another 100k miles.

John saved me at least $5000-$7000. I don’t have to purchase another car for a while. I would strongly recommend John for any repair especially for foreign cars such as Audi, Mercedes……

– Elias