What to look for when test driving a car
So, you're in the market for a car? Test driving can be fun! We tend to be focused on how fancy the stereo is or where the cup holder is located, but there are some serious considerations when test driving.
Before you flip the engine, give the car a thorough once over, including under the hood. Look for:
- Oil leaks - not a good sign.
- Balding tires is an easy fix, but one that could add to the sticker cost.
- Wear on moving parts can be a concern if it seems extreme. Check belts, too.
- Look under the floor mats for water or rust.
- Do the doors/windows/locks/trunk all operate smoothly? Even check the fob.
Now use your other senses when on the road:
- Don't be distracted with the radio! Turn it off and listen to the engine. Does it idle high? Any pings or tics? Noises from the transmission can be a red flag.
- Any unusual smells? There might be a coolant leak.
- How does the car run? Are the brakes solid? Does the emergency brake hold? If manual, how is shifting? Do the gears stick? How does the car feel on city roads versus freeway?
- Does the car turn tight without squealing and does it pull to one side? Poor alignment or tire pressure can be the cause.
Use your eyes, ears, nose, and sense of touch to evaluate what may be your most valuable purchase. Push every button and, if you want another opinion, bring it in to Sherwood Auto Repair for a pre-purchase inspection. Now, just for kicks, let's test drive something fast…..
Sherwood Auto Repair
9965 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Rd,
Tualatin, OR, 97062