When driving a vehicle to determine if it’s right for you, it’s important to have a list of test drive tips in mind, if not on paper. You need to know if a vehicle will be comfortable for you and your passengers, especially on long drives, but other factors also help you decide whether to buy a vehicle or not.
For instance, you’ll want to check for issues so you can gauge the additional cost of any repairs. This is helpful in ruling out overly damaged vehicles.
Considering all this, we’ll share four important test drive tips to keep in mind as you get behind the wheel of your soon-to-be new ride.
This especially pertains to the engine. You want to listen for rattling and clicking noises when you turn on and warm up the engine, and listen for grinding and squeaking sounds when you press on the brakes. Generally, any odd sounds that are unexpected for the make, model and brand should be noted.
So, as you start and stop, drive on bumpy or hilly terrain, even the highway, pay attention to any noise the vehicle makes. This also applies when you operate interior equipment and features, such as the windshield wipers and steering wheel.
Ask to look under the hood of the vehicle. You can evaluate things like whether fluid levels have been maintained, which can tell you how well the previous owner or the dealership treated the car. If you’re not sure how to locate these things or properly check them, ask the dealer or owner. Instructions will also be in the owner’s manual. If the engine is cold, get a flashlight and see if any fluids are leaking. Also check for foreign objects, such as rodents.
The quality of a vehicle’s exterior can indicate the quality of its internal systems. So, look for any major rust, dents and cracks. Pay attention to the windows for obvious damage. See the condition of the tires’ tread. If the wear is significant or uneven, it can indicate alignment issues. Make sure the headlights, brake lights and turn signals work well. By determining the physical condition of the vehicle, you can estimate the cost of repairing damage or replacing faulty parts to see if it’s worth the investment.
When it comes to test driving, don’t feel obligated to rush. Purchasing a vehicle is a major investment, and making a mistake can be costly down the road. Make sure that by the time you hand over your money and grab the keys, you have a reliable vehicle that will stick with you for years. Remember, the ultimate goal of test driving is to determine if the vehicle meets your expectations in comfort and quality.
The final thing to add to these test drive tips is what you should do after driving the vehicle. If possible, have a professional mechanic look it over for any hidden issues. This is important if you are not a mechanic yourself.
At Auto Market of Florida, we have a large inventory of quality, reliable vehicles that you can test drive with ease and for as long as you want. In business for over 30 years, we have nearly 3000 satisfied customers.