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Home » How to Inspect a Used Car’s Interior & Exterior

How to Inspect a Used Car’s Interior & Exterior

When you’re buying a used car, it’s very important to thoroughly inspect the interior & exterior of the car. The Interior is really important because that’s where you’ll spend most of the time in.

The first thing you see inside a car is the seats. Make sure the seat covers are not damaged. If seats are powered then check whether it goes all directions or not. Because if powered seats are broken, it can be an expensive fix. Check the rear seats also.

In front of the passenger seat heater core exists. You do want to check if there’s any water spilled under that. If there’s water it indicates there’s a heater core leak.

The next thing you want to check is the ground. Most cars have nice floor mats installed but to check the actual condition you need to remove the floor mats. Check for any water on the floor. Give a couple of punches to see whether it’s solid or not. Often time these floors get water trapped and rust forms there. You can inspect from under also to make sure there’s no rust on the floor.

Often time owners reset the odometer and you may be happy seeing only 50k miles on the odometer but in reality, the cars may have been on the road for 250k miles, you can never be too sure.

To check this you can take a look at the brake & gas pedal. If the condition is fairly well then the car has fewer miles traveled, but if the condition is bad then it’s not.

You can pop up the trunk and look for any water leakage. Check the condition of the trunk. Under the trunk mattress, you can find a spare tire section. It’s normally a round section to keep the spare tire. Make sure the structure is okay and not tampered with.

It should be totally round and if it doesn’t then it’s probably a sign that the car had a rear-end collision.

Checking the car keys is also important. Most cars normally have these 4 options, lock, unlock, hood open, and alarm. Press all the buttons and make sure all of them work.

Now put your keys inside the car, turn, and check whether the airbag light, ABS light and check engine light all show or not.

On the steering, you’ll see a lot of buttons. Check all of them.

From the driving seat, one can access all the windows. Make sure all the switches are working.

You can check the radio, and turn the volume up and down. Radio is a very important part of a car.

Just press all the buttons and see everything one by one. Check the air conditioner properly. Make sure it’s cooling the entire car. Also, check the heating condition also.

If the car has a sunroof then open the sunroof fully. Check all the corners to make sure there’s no leakage. Then close the sunroof fully.

Shift all gears, and check the hand brake while doing so.

One thing you can do while checking a used car is place your finger in the panel gaps. Move your finger from start to finish and the panel gap should be equal everywhere. If there’s more panel gap then it indicates an accident history of the car.

You can also check the suspension by bouncing the car with your body weight. If it doesn’t bounce much then it’s a sign that the suspensions are good. If it bounces like a trampoline then it shows the suspension may not be in the best condition. Also, there should not be any squeaky noise while you are trying to bounce the car.

While your car is turned on, move the wheels in one direction and try to have a sneak peek of the struts. Goods struts won’t have any rust on them and won’t have any oil leakage in them also. Also, check the axle.

The next thing you want to inspect is the brake calipers. And do this for all wheels. You never know which wheel can surprise you with a bad strut/axle/brake caliper.

Check the tire alignment to make sure all the tires are facing front and not inwards or outwards.
That’s pretty much it.

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