It’s time to buy a car, not new but new to you! If you are inexperienced at car buying this can be very exciting and a little scary. None of us want to be taken advantage of especially in a large purchase such as a car. Getting caught up in the emotion of buying a new car can distract you, causing you to overlook some important red flags. ICC Collision Center cars about our customers and want you all safe. When buying a used vehicle it’s important to look for major red flags. Here are 3 that should be deal breakers when looking to buy a used car.
Check Engine Light– You may think that is a relatively simple thing to be a deal breaker. If it were a simple fix the current owner would have already fixed it. Chances are the fix is actually something major and one of the reasons the owner decided to get rid of it. Always do a lightbulb check? Turn the key on without starting the car, if the check engine light is not on at that point it means it could be burned out or has been removed.
Just remember if it were as simple as the owner will probably say it is, then why haven’t they fixed it?
Salvage Title– A vehicle has been in an accident and the insurance company determines the cost of repairs is more than the value of the car. When the car is sold by the insurance company it will now have a salvaged title. A person can buy the vehicle and repair it exactly to specifications but that is rare. Usually the vehicle has been fixed well enough to pass inspections and to look pretty but not much more. You see a shiny pretty vehicle and you think it is perfect for you. You buy the vehicle only to find a host of other issues and ultimately may have to cut your losses and scrap the vehicle.
Monitors that have not “flipped”– Most cars since 1996 have a set of tests that the vehicles computer runs under certain operating conditions to check for issues that cause high emissions. The vehicle only runs these tests when a certain exact set of conditions are met. Some vehicles have as many as 8 tests that are run. Some of these conditions can be having the gas take between 1/3 and ¾ tank of gas as well as a specific way of driving to get the computer to perform these test. If the one of the test fails the check engine light will be lit. The monitors are reset to “not passed” whenever the check engine light is cleared. Someone can clear the check engine light and try to sell the vehicle as problem free. You drive it for a few weeks and all of a sudden the light comes on. Even though this is harder to check when buying a vehicle if you have your mechanic checks it out. If the monitors haven’t passed, don’t buy the vehicle.
At ICC Collision Centers, we care about our customers, our future customers and the general public. We want you safe and happy with your vehicle. Always make sure you buy a safe vehicle no matter how old or how pretty it is!