If you do not have a lot of money but must purchase a reliable car to get you back and forth to work, then these mechanic-approved tips will ensure you avoid the lemons and buy a car that will last for years.
Tip: Chose a Car by a Major Vehicle Manufacturer
While you may love the look and way the neighbor's old European import handles on the road, you need to avoid purchasing a vehicle that wasn't manufactured by a major car manufacturer when your funds are limited. Imports, specialty cars, and high-end vehicles drop in price as they age just like domestic models.
However, they also retain their expensive insurance and repair costs. When you want to purchase an inexpensive car, choose one with lots of inexpensive and used parts available and a vehicle any local mechanic can work on.
Tip: Research the Make and Model's Known Mechanical Issues Online
When you are on a limited budget and are looking at an older used vehicle, you have the opportunity to take advantage of other people's past experiences with the same type of vehicle. By reading online reviews, you will be able to determine if the specific make and model of a vehicle typically has early transmission failures, electrical problems, or other expensive repairs you might wish to avoid by choosing a different vehicle.
Tip: Inspect the Vehicle and Perform a Thorough Test Drive
When you look at cars, take the time to inspect the body, interior, and look under the hood. Even if you don't know anything about a car's mechanics, you should still take the time to pull the oil and transmission dipsticks to check and make sure the fluid is clean and doesn't smell burned.
After you look under the hood, then take the vehicle for a thorough test drive. Make sure you drive in town at slow temperatures and make sure you get onto the highway and heat the engine up. Many problems, such as slipping transmissions, won't show themselves until the car reaches its operating temperature.
Tip: Have the Vehicle Inspected by a Mechanic Before You Purchase It
In conclusion, before you hand over your hard-earned money for a used vehicle, first, take it to a mechanic and have it inspected. If the seller is not okay with this step, then you should assume the vehicle has a mechanical problem they are afraid you will discover and buy something else. All local mechanics will perform this type of inspection, and the small cost is well worth avoiding purchasing a lemon.
For more information on pre-owned Fords for sale, contact your local dealership.