How To Give A 2 Year Old Boy A Haircut A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Good, Cheap Used Car (Despite the Sexist Salesmen)

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A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Good, Cheap Used Car (Despite the Sexist Salesmen)

Being married to a car salesman for many years and also having worked extensively in the automotive industry, I can offer you some tips that will be helpful if you are looking to buy a cheap used car that should give you decent value for your money.

Don’t go for a flashy model

Flashy cars that have a cool image are probably gutted by boy racers and other lake folk. Choose a make and model that may be uncomfortable and boring, but will likely be well driven and properly maintained.

How many miles? Think of a number and triple it

Frankly, looking at the number of miles on the clock is an utter waste of time. As illegal as it is and all, there can’t be a used car dealer in the world that hasn’t given the cars a “haircut:” trade lingo for having the mileage readout wound backwards. You are more likely to estimate the age of a car by evaluating a combination of factors. (See below)

Mileage: high is not necessarily the end of the world

If the car you’re looking for is a company car and is driven by, say, members of the sales team, there’s a good chance that most of its miles will have been accumulated on motorways (high-speed motorways) and will have been serviced regularly. Sensibly, such a car may be a better bet than a very low mileage car driven to the mall and back once a week at high revs in low gear and only serviced when the engine was burning blue smoke.

Interior condition

Although the interior may have been “twisted” ie. British lingo for being cleaned up nicely, you’ll still be able to see signs of wear on the dash, center console, steering wheel, and if the seats feel and look like soggy pancakes. That will tell you more about the car’s age than an exterior that may have been resprayed (see below).

Interior condition – pedals

Considering the general appearance of the interior, check the foot pedals. If they’re as worn as the interior, that’s fine, but if they look brand new, they’ve been replaced. Pedals, interior condition and mileage should match each other – if they don’t, be warned.

Bodywork – painting

Be guided by common sense. Too bright and new looking and probably re-oiled, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing if done right. Open the door and see if the color is the same at the ends of the panels and check if the inside of the hood (hood) reveals any discrepancies. You can also see evidence when you look inside the engine(s).

Body – paint here or there

Especially if the car is red or metallic in color, it’s usually very easy to see if a body part (eg fender) has been repainted, indicating repaired accident damage, as colors rarely match exactly. An unusual plate that is slightly different should not be a concern because if hit, one plate indicates a minor collision. More than one panel, though, and you should think twice: the trunk (trunk)/hatch and both rear quarters suggest a hard rear-end kick, and the bonnet (bonnet) plus both front quarters, front panel, etc. suggest the front part of the . See motor (engine), below. Another reason for a partial respray is that the panel(s) in question are heavily rusted – avoid. The rust returns quickly.

Car body – filler

If the paintwork looks like it’s suffering from mild cellulitis, it’s possible that the damage and/or rust has been “bloated” (covered with something a little like the product you use before painting the walls) and painted over. This means that because the metal underneath is damaged, moisture can get into the cracks and rot the panel under the filler. There are two ways to check for filler: 1) Tap the plate with your wrist or a blunt piece of jewelry. The sound will be different in filled areas. 2) Take a small magnet with you to see the car. It will stick to the metal but not to the filler.

Body – gaps, creases and wobbly parts

Here’s where you can really freak out the dealer because unless they have a pretty deep knowledge of accident repair, they won’t know what the hell you’re doing. So laugh. Walk slowly around the car. Stand on one end and look along the roof to the front. Do you see indentations or slight creases? If you can, it may mean that the car has been in a serious crash and the structural integrity may have been compromised. Check the sides of the car for any wavy or wobbly parts that may be caused by the same things. Then look at the gaps between the panels – eg. on both sides of the hood (hood). Are they equal in width? If not, it suggests that the engine cover (hood) has been removed. Why? For painting, or because of an accident? Similarly, check the clearances on both sides of the trunk (trunk) or tailgate. If they are uneven, it indicates a not very good repair. Beware of driver and passenger doors that look loose on the hinges, especially in a 2 or 3 door car. They will eventually fall off and can be expensive to fix.

Drive behind him if you can

This sounds silly, but if you can get the salesman to drive it down the road and you follow in your car. Be sure you or your passenger have a square view of the used car. If it looks like it’s moving crookedly or like a crab, don’t touch it – its chassis could be warped after a bad crash, which could even be dangerous, regardless of light-speed tire wear. Also, while driving behind the car you will see if the oil is burning (blue smoke, indicating a worn engine/motor) or overheating (white fumes) indicating more mechanical problems.

Engine (engine) compartment

Common sense is key here and you don’t need to be a trained technician to see that an engine (engine) compartment (compartment) that is covered in dirty oil and mud has probably been around the block a few times. Get some soft paper, pull out the dipstick and look at the oil level. If it is very short and/or dirty, it indicates neglect. Engines (engines) running on low and/or dirty oil do not last long. While you’re under the hood (bonnet), check the sides and rear for signs of warping or fresh welding – basically, if one part looks different than the others, watch out.

Get a “mechanic” to check it out – is it worth it?

This depends. If you’re only paying a relatively small amount for a used car, one of these all-singing, all-dancing checks from one auto association or another will cost you a lot of money and will only really point out all the little niggles you’d expect from a car of that age anyway. If you’re looking to buy a car and you’re in the UK, it’s worth saying that you’ll fit it on condition that it passes the British MoT test, even if it still has time to work on the previous one. It will pick up any emission defects that can be expensive to fix and will check for brakes and other safety issues.

Make sure it’s not on finance or leasing

If the car appears to have only one set of keys and (in the UK) the logbook/V5 and other documentation is “lost”, it could be because it is either on a finance or unfinished lease. If you buy a car in these circumstances, you could find yourself without a car with no return from the dealer. While it may not be worth spending the money to have the car checked by the mechanics, if you have any doubts about the keys and documentation, don’t touch them without first checking with a company like HPI in the UK, who charge around £20 (USD approx $32.00 ) , and there are even free services. Find the best one for you by googling “how to check if a car is on finance.”

Good luck and happy driving!

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