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Average Joan’s guide to Kicking The Tires

Published Jan 1st 2007, 7:39pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Girl_loves_car_1 Most people do not know what to look for is a used car.  That’s okay, you don’t have to be an expert to come across as one. With the following tips, you will feel like a regular pro and won’t feel disadvantaged when walking onto a car lot. Take this small checklist with you to remind you what to look for.

Tires - Tire treads wear evenly. If the tread on one of the tires is worse than the others, it indicates that the car is out of alignment in some respect, or in need of adjustments or parts.

- Do the headlights match? By this I mean is one of them yellow or pointing in the wrong direction? This could give you a clue that the car was hit on one side.
Interior – Are there little holes in the cloth upholstery on the door or seat? They are most likely cigarette burns. In a leather interior car, look at the head liner, if the color is faded or stained, it was a smoker’s car.

– When does the inspection expire? If it was just recently inspected, the car passed the states requirements for safety and emissions. A car with an expired inspection means it either failed last inspection or was never put through. It may cost an awful lot of money to make it pass.

Oil – Check the oil level and color. It should be in the full range and the color should be a transparent golden brown..

Power windows and Locks – Check to make sure they work

Car_keys Keys - Make sure master key fits in both the door lock and ignition. If they don’t work in both, it could mean the steering column was replaced.

Windshield – Are there cracks or chips in it? If they are small, they could get bigger and you will need a new windshield.

CarFax – It is an independent company that details the history of the owners, inspection records and accident reports on the car.

Warranties – What does the warranty cover? More importantly, what doesn’t it cover?

Girlsmilingdriving1783225_1Test drive – Do you fit in it? Does the seat adjust to your comfort? Can you see over the hood?

These are a few or the things to look at when you are looking for a used car. Do these things on a used car lot and the dealer will think you know exactly what is going on, even if you don’t. While you are at it, go ahead and kick a tire or two.

by Tom Carey of

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