Used Car Checklist: Test Drive
Now, for the fun part: The test drive. Depending on the vehicle you are shopping for, this may or may not be a thrilling experience, but probably the most fun you will have during the car shopping experience. Keep vigilant, though! While you might be caught up in the acceleration, drive height, interior features and styling—there are important mechanical components you need to observe before purchasing the vehicle. At Steve’s Auto Sales, we specialize in selling used vehicles in Billings, MT, with a great selection of the latest cars, trucks and SUVs. Here are a few things to look out for when going for a test drive.
When you put your foot down on the gas, does the vehicle respond the way you want? You want a vehicle that responds to your daily driving needs, so test it through as many different driving scenarios as possible. Feel free to also test the cruise control to make sure this feature is working as well.
Handling and Suspension
Provided you do so safely, test the steering response, suspension response and body roll by taking the car on some winding roads. Listen for any foreign sounds when pushing the car harder, to ensure there aren’t any hidden issues.
Another vital component to the driving experience, you want to test the brakes in both normal driving scenarios and extreme cases. If the seller gives you permission, try and test the brakes’ performance during hard stopping in an empty parking lot or country back road. While you do not want to do this frequently, it is important to know they will not fail in extreme stopping conditions. Additionally, any wobbling or shimmying in the car could be a result of bad brakes, even if they do stop safely. Make sure to ask the owner the last time the brakes were replaced, and where. It is generally a good rule of thumb to get all service records when transferring the title, so you know of any future repairs you may want to anticipate.
This is a big one. A faulty transmission could easily total a used car. Luckily, spotting a faulty transmission is pretty easy. First, if you notice any fluid leaking from the transmission casing upon your initial undercarriage inspection, bring that up with the owner right away and see if there are any plans to repair the leak before sale. Once in the driver’s seat, listen carefully as the car accelerates. What you want to hear is a smooth shifting of gears, with some cars being nearly silent in operation. If you notice jolting, pausing or unnatural fluctuations in RPM rates, these could all be signs of a faulty transmission that is slipping.
At Steve’s Auto Sales, we specialize in the sale of used vehicles in Billings, MT and beyond. Our vast selection of cars, trucks and SUVs are perfect for nearly any budget and feature list. Knowledgeable and experienced, our staff will help guide you the entire way through the inspection, test drive and buying process. Is it time to upgrade your old car? Call us today at 406-384-5514, or browse our inventory here