There are a lot of things that can go wrong with the mechanics of a car. This is why, if you’re considering purchasing a used car, you should get a vehicle inspection done first. When doing so, hire a qualified mechanic of your choice who will know what to look for to detect any possible problems or future issues. Paying for a car inspection before you purchase a car can save you a significant amount of money in car repairs down the road.

As mentioned above, make sure you hire a qualified mechanic that you trust. Make sure he/she is a certified ASE master technician. You can also check the local business bureau to investigate their rating and whether they have had any complaints made against them.

The following list contains items to pay attention to when doing a car inspection:

  • Suspension – Push down on the car. It should not bounce more than once. Also, look at the tires and take note of any wear. The wear should be even on all tires. Check the frame and CV joint boots in front-wheel drive vehicles.
  • Exterior – Check the paint. It should be matching and even over the entire car. Also, look for rust. You might find this under car doors, in wheel wells, or in the trunk. Rust can indicate flooding issues. New paint should cause suspicion as well.
  • Engine – Start up the car. If the oil smells like it’s burnt, that’s a red flag. Look for leaks. You might find these around the hoses and/or belts. Check the ground for spots. This can also indicate leaks.
  • Take a test drive – Listen to how the car sounds on startup, as well as the acceleration. Notice how the car drives, brakes and shifts. It’s important to pay attention to how the car sounds.