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How to Do a Background Check on a Used Car

HOW TO DO A BACKGROUND CHECK ON A USED CARNot everyone wants to spend too much money on a brand new car and hence turns to buy an already used car. This can be a great idea since, if you are careful and smart about it, you can find a pretty sweet deal. But that being said, if you don’t do a background check, you could find yourself in a situation where the car you bought wasn’t worth what you’ve paid at all. So, to prevent that from happening, in this article, we are going to explain how to do a thorough background check.

Why Is It Important?

Everyone wants to spend their money on something worth spending - a good quality, reliable used car such as those sold at Used Cars Minnesota. Now, when it comes to background checks on used cars, there are many things that you can find out that say a lot about the history of the car. Depending on how thorough the background check was, you will be able to predict both the expenses, the performance, as well as the problems that the car in question might face in the future.

Who to Consult?

Of course, the reliability of the background check also depends on different factors. The folks at CarHistory.online state that if you don’t do it yourself, and will require assistance from the experts, the probability is high that the background check is going to be more thorough. Whatever you decide to do, just be sure to do your research first.

If you decide to do a background check by yourself, don’t worry - we are going to explain to you how in the following sections.

What Is the Year of Manufacture? 

Even though the year of manufacture isn’t always a clear tell about the state of the car, it is still something that you should know. Some cars perform better than others, even if they are older. This heavily depends on the investment that the previous owner has put into the maintenance of the car in question. It is also worth mentioning that some parts may be harder to find for a replacement if the model of a car is older, so keep that in mind as well.

  • Insist to Hear the Details

Also, if a car is older, it makes more sense for the owner to want to sell it and buy a new one, but if the car isn’t that old, it is very important to ask the seller why he is selling it. The thing is, maybe there is something wrong with the car mechanically speaking. But sometimes, it can happen that the car was even stolen beforehand. So, insist to hear the details, and if something sounds suspicious, back out - you don’t need to invest in something that you don’t have the details of.

Inspect the Car During Daylight!

This one is very important. A lot of things can be missed if you don’t look at the car during daylight. Even though the details are often overlooked, they are crucial when it comes to determining the state of the car. So, don’t accept to inspect the car during such circumstances that you don’t have enough time or a clear and full view of the vehicle.

Compare the Panels

This is, for instance, something that you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t inspect the car during daylight. So, what are you looking for? Sure, nobody wants a car with dents and bumps, but that isn’t the most important thing. You should look for any differences in the coloring between the panels. If you happen to see a difference, the probability is high that there are two explanations. The first one is that the vehicle has been in an accident, and the panel was changed. The second and more problematic explanation is that the panel was rusty, and it needed to be changed or painted. The thing is, if that panel was rusty, the others are probably rusty as well. So, be sure to ask for the reason for discoloration!

Check the tyresCheck the Tires

The tires are very important since if there happens to be something wrong with them, you are probably going to end up spending around $800 to change them. So, what you want to do is to turn the tires all the way outwards, and run your hand against them. What you are looking to find is that they are wearing off evenly. If they are not, so, if they are feathered more on one side, there is probably something wrong with the alignment. It could be that the car might have been in an accident, and if so, you are looking into more expenses after you purchase such a car. So, check the tires!

Open the Hood

Now, the crucial part. Not everyone knows what to look for when they open the hood, so let’s talk about that in more detail. 

  • Check the Transmission Fluid

The way that you will recognize the placement of the compartment for the transmission fluid is by the small, yellow handle. So, pull out that handle first. When it’s out, what you are looking for is clear, red fluid. You also want to smell it, and if it smells like something burnt - there is a problem.

  • Check Engine Oil

Make sure that the handle is in nice shape, and again, as with the transmission fluid, that it looks right, and doesn’t smell burnt. But you should know that engine oil isn’t as good of a tell as transmission fluid because even if there was something wrong with it, the seller could easily just change it beforehand. So, take it with a grain of salt.

  • Brakes Oil Reservoir 

You can actually check how much the brakes are worn off by how much fluid is there in the reservoir. If the brakes are worn off, the probability is high that the pistons are coming out farther, and the reservoir is going to be lower. If it’s full, it’s a good sign that the breaks are in good shape. So, be sure to look out for these signs!

  • Check for Corrosion and Rust

Last but not least - you want to make sure that there's only a little corrosion and rust on the exhaust, as well as all other aluminum parts. Rust and corrosion are never a good sign, so if you open the hood and can barely differentiate the parts from corrosion, trust us, you don’t want to buy that car.

Nobody wants to get scammed, that’s for sure. But even though there are a lot of decent people out there who don’t want to sell you a car in bad shape for an unfair price, there are people that are going to do that as well. So, do your research, ask for details about anything that is not clear, and follow the advice from this article, and everything will go well. Good luck.


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