In the market for a new set of wheels—or something used? Avoid getting stuck with a car that has hidden problems. Consider the following precautions:
- Interior wear and tear is an indication that the vehicle has been around for a while:
- Worn brake pedal pad
- Worn driver’s seat
- Water under the floor mats
- Musty odors point to leaks from the windshield, weather stripping, or heater core.
- A wobbly or uneven ride is an indication that springs or shocks may need changing.
- Frayed tire edges could mean the car is out of alignment.
- Noises—clanking, squeaking, ticking, grinding or knocking point to a damaged transmission, faulty starter, or an engine needing costly repairs.
- An uneven paint job could mean there was work done after an accident. You can check vehicle history by using Carfax.
- The engine may be leaking or burning oil if motor oil is low.
- Internal damage may be the case with dark transmission fluid.
- Fingerprints or scratches inside the odometer could mean tampering.
When in doubt, seek the help of a qualified, trustworthy auto mechanic. Have he/she take the car for a spin and check the car from top to bottom.