A Few Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Used Car

When buying a car, whether it’s a new or a used one, many people overlook plenty of aspects and end up with a bad car.

Especially if you are purchasing your first car, there are many mistakes that you can make. So, why wouldn’t you learn from the mistakes made by others?

In this post I’m going to put into view a few mistakes that anyone can make when buying a used car.

Not establishing a budget before going car-shopping

If you’re not very rich, purchasing a car over your budget can really take you to a tight living budget for the next months. Therefore, avoid impulse buying and have all your finances in order before sealing a deal.

Not having a mechanic as an advisor

Not everyone of us is an expert mechanic, and even if you know a thing or two about cars and engines, there are still many things that you may overlook, things that will surely not escape the trained eye of professional. Therefore, if you can, hire a mechanic to go with you on a car inspection, to help you get a good car, especially if you don’t have so much car technical knowledge.

Not taking the car for a test drive

Even if a car is new, you shouldn’t buy it without a test drive. Also, if you buy a used car, even if it looks in pristine condition, very nice and shiny on the outside, driving it may be difficult, it may not respond properly to commands or the engine may not even start. So, take the car for a spin and see how it runs, and have a mechanic advisor give you their opinion.

Not paying attention to the safety features

Each car has to have a basic amount of safety systems. Seat belts, antilock brake system, electronic stability system, airbags, or city safety sensor are some of the safety systems that you should check. If they’re all operational, you can be sure that the chance of you getting into an accident while driving that car are minimal.

Not having a car background check

If you buy a used car, you have to know certain data about the history of that car, or there’s a chance you’ll get in trouble. There are various HPI car history check service providers and they can usually provide you with a lot of information about the past of a certain car.

For example, you could find out who the previous owners were, how many times the number plates were changed, whether the car was written-off or not, or if the car was involved in accidents.

Based on what you find out on a report like this, you may even renegotiate and get a better price, or not purchase a vehicle at all.

A Few Useful Car Cleaning Tips

Car-CleaningEspecially if you want to sell your car, rendering it spotless clean on the interior and exterior is vital.

So, if a general refreshing of your car is necessary, I’m sure the following tips will help.

1. It’s always best to begin the cleanup of a car with the interior, and to be more specific, with a general de-scrambling. In other words, remove all the waste that has been accumulated, clean up the ashtrays, dispose of the food wrappers, paper coffee cups, empty water bottles etc. Also, remove other objects from the vehicle, like the first aid kit, pens, papers, GPS device, sunglasses, everything that can get in the way of the cleaning process.

2. The second step would be to clean up the small places and compartments inside the car that require minute attention and are usually prone to collect dirt, in other words, dashboard, cup board, steering wheel etc. These spots should be cleaned quite frequently, and there are specific cleaning products for them.

3. Vacuuming would be the next step. Most car owners have a small, hand vacuum cleaner and use it specially for the car, but in case you don’t, you can always use a regular one. Places that can’t be reached with a vacuum cleaner, or the dirt just sticks to them, can always be cleaned with a small brush. Also, here’s a useful tip: since carpets are the ones that collect the most dirt and stains, it’s not a bad idea to use inexpensive ones, to replace them more frequently.

4. In case your car has leather seats, needless to say it would be for the best to use a cleaning agent specific to leather.

5. Next come the car windows on the interior. On the inside, windows don’t usually accumulate a lot of dirt, so don’t use excessive amounts of detergent. In fact, you should spray a bit of detergent on a piece of cloth, rub the window gently, then spray the window with water from another bottle and wipe it dry with another piece of cloth.

6. Dealing with a bad odor in the car may sometimes be problematic, especially if you find air fresheners irritating. An excellent solution to eliminate a bad smell in the car is to place an open bag of charcoal in the car. Charcoal is one of the best natural products that you can use to absorb an unwanted odor, and you can still use it for barbecue afterwards.

7. Once the interior cleaning job is done, you can start with the outside, but a car wash usually does a good job for the price. If you want to, you can give it a gloss afterwards.

8. Lastly, having a complete car check, especially if you want to sell it, it’s a great idea. A specialist in car checks will surely provide you with information about your car that you were not aware of, or you’ve overlooked.

What to Check on Your Car Before a Long Journey

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Have you planned a vacation with your family, far away from your residence, and you plan on driving all the way there? In that case, car breaking down half way, is probably something that you wouldn’t want. To avoid this, there are a few things to put a line through, on your check list.

Plan the route

Although this isn’t strictly related to your car, it has to be top of the list. The shortest route might not be the best solution every time, if you want to put safety first. So, first of all, if you’ve already been to that destination before, following a certain route, that you’re already familiar with, it’s best to take that route. If you haven’t previously been to a certain destination, thinking the route ahead, marking on the map gas stations, inns or motels, and even auto repair shops, is recommendable, even if you have a GPS installed.

Take your car to an authorized service center for a free HPI check

Not all of us have exceptional auto mechanic skills, that’s for sure. Therefore, taking your car to a specialist for a vehicle history check before a long journey, is a good idea. Anyway, if you do this, make sure that for the general car check, you request that your breaks receive special attention. Also, cables, hoses, pipes should be verified and some of them replaced just in case the wear and tear has gotten to them.

Tyres

Needless to say, before a long trip, tyres have to be checked and it’s indicated that they’re in good condition. Also, keep in mind that tyre pressure for a fully loaded vehicle should be a bit higher, so depending on what you’re taking along for the trip, adjusting the tyre pressure may be necessary. On the other hand, on high-speed roads, during extreme heat conditions and for long distances, tyres will surely heat up and may overly inflate, resulting in a burst hazard. Lastly, check your spare tyre, make sure it’s in its place and it’s fully functional.

First aid kit

A first aid kit should not be missing from any car. If you’re going to have one, make sure that it’s outer layout is pretty much comprehensive, that it actually looks like a first aid kit, not like a Chinese musical box. In case, God forbid, an accident happens and everything in the car gets scattered along the road, locating your first aid kit has to be easy for whoever comes to help. In addition, make sure the first aid kit has everything it should have in it.

Car tools

Having a toolbox with the strictly necessary tools for a routine repair, isn’t a bad idea, if there’s room for it. Also, make sure the wheel spanner and the jack are functional and in their place, ready to serve their purpose if needed.