What Should I Check During a Test Drive?

October 8, 2018 4:30 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Are you looking into purchasing a used vehicle? If so, it’s extremely important you take that vehicle for a test drive. You should never, ever purchase a car without getting behind the wheel of it first. This test drive should come after you’ve put plenty of research into the car, including pulling all relevant history reports and comparing that vehicle to other makes and models, as well as other vehicles of the same make and model available in your area.

People buy used cars primarily for the savings, but a used car won’t actually save you money unless you purchase the right one. The right used vehicle is going to be one that not only appeals to you, but also one that has a clean accident report, has been well maintained and doesn’t need any significant upgrades.

It’s not always easy to tell if a vehicle is in great shape, but here are some things you should watch for during your test drive so you don’t end up with a vehicle that’s in need of significant auto repair in Athens County, OH:

  • Poor acceleration: A vehicle that accelerates slowly is going to be one of the first issues you’re likely to notice while out on a test drive. There are several potential causes of this issue, the most common of which is a fuel injector that’s either faulty or clogged. Contaminants can get into your fuel injectors over time, resulting in blockages. This in turn will result in poor acceleration, because not enough fuel is getting through the system. So if you feel like the car isn’t accelerating quickly enough, this is one of the first things you should check.
  • Tire problems: The most common tire problem people report in test drives is a squealing noise. Most of the time these squealing noises are a result of improper wheel alignment. This is a routine maintenance task that should be relatively simple to get done, but if the vehicle is out of alignment for an extended period of time, the tires will wear down even more, resulting in tire tread that has become so worn that you may need to purchase new tires. Obviously, this is an expensive investment that would add quite a bit of money on top of your purchase price.
  • Power surges: If you notice power surges either while idling or driving, there’s a chance the vehicle needs some new spark plugs. Fortunately, this isn’t necessarily a significant issue, but it’s something you should take into account when negotiating a price with the seller.
  • A drifting or pulling feeling: If you notice a drifting or pulling feeling while braking or if you take your hands off the wheel while driving, this is likely caused by poor alignment, but could also be a result of brake issues or uneven tread wear. You should definitely have a professional check this issue out.

Be discriminating in your purchases of used cars, and always have a professional mechanic take a look at a vehicle before you buy it. For more information about car repair in Athens County, OH, contact Dana’s Tire Center today.

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