Evaluating the Reliability of Used Cars

One of the common concerns about used cars is whether or not they will actually provide reliable transportation.  Even consumers who have purchased previously owned automobiles in the past may still think of a used car as something that is inherently inferior to a new car.  In fact, used cars often do provide very reliable service for a number of years, provided they have been maintained properly.  The trick is to determine before you buy that the car is in excellent condition.

Asking to see maintenance records as well as a car history is very important when looking at used cars.  Documents of this type can provide a great deal of information about how frequently routine maintenance has taken place, what, if any, major components in the engine or transmission have been installed, and even what type of accidents the car has been involved in over the years.  When the documents demonstrate that the car has not been in a serious accident and has been maintained rigorously over the years, that is an indication the vehicle is worth looking at more closely.

Along with historical documentation, focus attention on the present day reality of the used cars under consideration.  Check for signs of wear along the underside of the vehicle, as well as the general condition of the engine.  Check the tailpipe for signs that the engine is burning oil.  Always drive the car to see how the engine sounds and how it responds to usual road conditions.  In fact, try every feature on the car to see how it responds. 

A truly well-maintained used car, even one with slightly higher mileage, is very likely to serve you well for a number of years.  Take some time and find out everything about the car before making a commitment, and chances are you will get your money's worth, plus a little more.

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