All posts in Used Autos & Trucks

5 Things to Check Before Buying a Used Family Car

used autos

New cars have some glamour, but can be extremely expensive. If you can find a used car that’s been well-cared for, you can save a lot and enjoy worry-free travel. However, there are things you need to carefully check out before buying a used car.

Do A Walk Around

Walk around the car and look to make sure it is level. Problems with leveling can be an indicator of bad shocks or struts. These crucial tools can lead to a lot of bouncing, a pull on the steering wheel as you try to drive straight, and can wear out your tires quickly. You need all four tires on the road and for shock absorbers to move freely to avoid the risk of a wreck.

Review the Service Records

The glove box should contain the manual. Review this book for any service records logged in the back. If you’re buying your car from the selection of used cars in Gillette Wyoming or your particular locale, check in with the facility mechanic to determine what they found when they checked out the car.

If the dealership doesn’t have a mechanic, or if you’re buying from a private seller, take it to a mechanic for a thorough assessment. Be ready to pay for this checkup, as it could be the best money you spend on a car you choose not to buy. Finally, if the private seller won’t let you take the car to be checked out, walk away.

Get Under the Hood

When checking the car for level, you might as well get on the ground and look for fluid. Green fluid is a radiator leak, while red fluid is usually engine oil. Open the hood and check the radiator fluid level. Pull the engine dipstick and check to make sure the oil is clean. Take a look at the brake fluid level. Finally, sniff. Cars that have been run too hot due to thermostat problems or just because the oil was allowed to run too dirty for too long can have a burned or smoky odor. It’s not a sign to walk away, but you’ll want to get it checked out.

Check the Tire Tread

Take apenny out of your pocket and put Mr. Lincoln upside down in the tire tread. If you can see the top of his head, the tires are too worn to be safe. Tire tread is critically important. Bald tires can’t clear rainwater, so your risk of a skid can get very dangerous, very quickly. You need tires with some grab to be safe.

Test Drive

When you take the car for a test drive, go easy and let the car warm up. Once it’s running smoothly, hit the brakes hard. If you hear a squeak, whistle or clunk, the brakes will need work. Punch the gas pedal to check acceleration. If there’s delay, the injectors may need attention, or the timing of the engine may be off.

If it’s a standard transmission, work carefully through the gears. Make sure you can easily get into reverse from a stopped position. Slip your shoes off and check the friction point on the clutch. You want the clutch to engage at the top of the pedal, not by the carpet. If the clutch engagement point is low, a novice may have worn it excessively or damaged the transmission. Downshift through the gears to check for slop or misalignment.

Conclusion

A good used car can be a great investment, but you need to do your homework. Visit a lot to get a good sampling of what’s available in your price range and seek the help of a qualified mechanic for a final check.

image credit: envato.com

Looking for a Pre-Owned Vehicle? 4 Steps to Find the Right Car for You

pre-owned vehicle

Buying a car is not something many people do that often. This can leave you feeling a little nervous about the prospect. Here are some steps to help you find the right car.

Determine What’s Important

Decide if there is a model or class of car that is important to you. Determine if there are features that you absolutely have to have in your vehicle. This will help to steer you in the right direction for the car of your choosing. Write down all of these things. Look over your list again, and determine if some features are more important to you than others. Remember that this is your ideal car. Your budget may not support everything that you want. Mark items that you’re willing to compromise on.

Have a Budget in Mind

With any large expenditure, you have to have a budget in mind. Decide if this budget is something that is set in stone, or if you have a little wiggle room. This will determine what types of cars are in your price range. You may be able to search for cars online that meet your budget requirements. This can give you a good idea if your list of desired features is in line with your budget. You may have to rethink your ideal car if they don’t match.

Shop Around

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for and a budget, go shopping. This will let you see what is available on the market. Compare prices at multiple dealerships in order to get the best deal. You might also want to take customer service into account when selecting a dealership. If the sales people are willing to work with you, this can help you to get a better deal. The experience may be just as important as the price on the vehicle.

Compare Your Choices

You may have the good fortune of being able to choose from several different vehicles. Sit down and weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle. You want to be happy with the purchase that you make. Don’t rush to make a decision. Consider sleeping on it. You may have second thoughts the next day. Buying a car is a big deal. It may be years before you’re in the market for another car. Once you have reached a decision, get the process started. You don’t want to miss out on your ideal car.

There are lots of options for pre-owned vehicles. Determine what’s important to you, and set your budget in order to find the right one.

Chevy vs Ford: 4 Things You Need to Know About Old Classics

For anyone that loves cars, buying an old classic Chevy or Ford can be an ultimate personal dream. Buying a classic car cannot only be a great and fun thing to show up and drive around, but it can also be a great investment. Before you purchase any classic Chevy or Ford, it is important that you take several different factors into consideration thank you.

Research the Seller

When you have found a classic car that you love and want to buy, the first thing you should do is do some quick research on the cellar. Most classic cars today are sold by dealers that specialize in the field. Whether you buy the car from a live dealer or online, it is important that you carefully review consumer reports to get an understanding of their experience and overall reputation.

Consider Rarity

If you are looking to buy a classic car as an investment, you also need to consider the rarity of the vehicle. Certain model years of old Chevy and Ford vehicles have more cars on the road than other model years. If you are looking to make money on the car as a long-term investment, you should focus on finding one that is rare.

Access to Parts

Another factor that you need to consider when you are looking for a classic Chevy or Ford is whether you will be able to get access to the parts that you need. Regardless of how well-kept the classic car is, there will come a time when you need to make a repair. The ability for you to make the repair well will depend on whether or not you can find the parts that you need. It would be a good idea to check with local or online parts suppliers to determine whether they have a lot of parts for the type of car you are considering.

Inspection

Finally, when you are looking to buy a classic car, you also need to have it properly inspected. Simply looking at the exterior and taking it for a test drive is not enough. Ideally, you should invest in a full inspection completed by someone that understands these types of cars. This will help to ensure that you are not overlooking a major repair that could be costly and dilute the vehicle value.

Chevy and Ford vehicles built between the late 1950s and late 1970s are often considered some of the most classic and iconic vehicles of all time. Those that are lucky enough to find one that is a good deal to buy, should do so on the spot. When you are looking for a classic car, the above advice should be considered so you can be assured that you made a great decision.

Truck Talk: 4 Tips for Buying a Semi-Truck

A semi-truck can be a great investment, since the payments you make as an owner/operator will go towards financing it instead of simply leasing it. Once it’s paid off, it will be yours to continue using or sell. Semi-trucks are expensive, though, which means it’s crucial that you do your homework as you go through the sales process. Here are four tips that will help you find the right truck at the right price.

Match the Semi-Truck to the Job You Intend to Do

Getting a great price on a semi-truck means nothing if it can’t handle the job you intend to do with it. You need to check the specs to ensure that the engine, transmission, axle capacities and gearings all match what you plan to do with the truck. Pulling over 100,000 pounds requires a much different truck than pulling under 10,000. Flat terrain requires different gearing than hilly areas. Figure out your needs in a truck first before you start shopping.

Be Open to Buying a Used Semi-Truck

Just like with any other type of vehicle, you can get a much lower price buying a semi-truck if you get one used. This does require enough knowledge that you can determine whether the truck is in good shape and if any parts will need replacing or rebuilding soon. Consider only shopping at reputable dealers like Arrow Truck Sales or similar businesses, or with private sellers that you know personally. This can help you feel confident in the truck you get.

Conduct a Thorough Inspection

Whether you’re buying a new or used truck, you should inspect every inch of it to look for any issues, but it’s even more important when you’re buying used. Make sure you ask about maintenance records and requirements during this time. If you’re not confident in your mechanical knowledge, bring a mechanic with you to help.

Keep Control during the Sales Process

You’re making a major purchase, which means you shouldn’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you want. Don’t let the salesperson rush you, either, even if they tell you a deal is good for today only. Be patient and remember that as the buyer, it’s your decision.

It usually takes some time and plenty of shopping around to find the semi-truck that feels right to you. Don’t get discouraged if you have trouble finding one. Keep at it and wait for the right deal to present itself.

Worn Out Car? 5 Ways to Dispose of a Clunker

While it was once your dream car, now it’s a burden. If you’ve moved on to bigger and better cars, your old clunker has likely been sitting in your driveway for too long. Refresh your yard and avoid potential fines with these innovative solutions for hauling off your junky jalopy.

1. Contact Junkyards and Salvage Yards

First, get an idea of the fair value of your car; one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Use a site like Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your car in good condition, then subtract the estimated cost of the repairs that need to be made. When you have a number in mind, call around to a few local junkyards and car salvage yards and ask for an offer on your car.

You should also find out their protocol for delivery of the car; if it’s drivable, you can likely get more money by bringing it to them. However, most salvage yards, such as U Pull & Pay, will also arrange to pick up a vehicle they want to purchase for parts.

2. Consider Online Services

Businesses will often do the work for you; simply upload a description of your car and other information to get instant offers and arrange for delivery or pickup. Also, there are numerous apps through which you can connect with others to sell used belongings, including automobiles. Social media sites like Facebook have features that facilitate this process, too.

3. Donate It to Charity

Many nonprofit organizations accept vehicles as donations, regardless of their condition. To find programs like this in your area, search for certified 501(c)(3) organizations in your town. Many of these businesses will pick your car up if you opt to donate it, and you’ll receive a receipt that can be used for a tax write-off.

4. Dismantle it for Parts

One of the best ways to get money for your old car is by taking it apart and selling the parts separately–especially if you have skill with working on cars or want to learn. Some of the parts that are sought-after by buyers include electronic components such as radios and window motors, engines, transmissions, metal body panels, tires, rims, windows, and windshields.

5. Head to the Dealership

Visit a reputable used car dealership in your area to get a price on your old car. Most will offer you at least a few hundred dollars. And if you’re looking to buy another car, you can offer it as a trade-in.