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12 Dec 2013
Almost every adult, in this country, is going to buy or sell a used car, or do both, in their lifetime. Learning how to avoid all the used car landmines can be a very valuable skill set to have. Just about every problem, you can imagine when buying a used car, can be turned into a positive outcome for you; if you do your homework. A lot of common sense will make this journey less frightful and even enjoyable.

1) Budget. Set up a realistic budget and stick to it. Don't be tempted to spend more - try to spend less than your budget. Move that money into a bank account where you can quickly convert it into cash since most private used car sales are done in cash. This is a chicken-and-egg problem since you may have to do research first but come up with a number that you must NOT exceed. 

2) Do your homework. There are plenty of places, on the Internet, to quickly and easily get information and prices of used cars. Any public library has free computer terminals to the internet and all kinds of subscriptions that they pay for - use them. Find out the Blue Book price or use a Car Cloud to quickly find makes, models, and years of used cars that fit into your budget. Arm yourself before you go shopping.

3) Shop Smart.Launch X-431 GDS Walking into a used car dealership without doing any kind of research or a budget is asking for trouble. You know the salesrep is going to ask What's it going to take for you to buy today and its downhill from there. Come armed with an idea of the models and years your budget allows. If the car, whether a private sale or through a dealership, does not have a CarFax or AutoCheck report run you MUST run one yourself.
4) Read the CarFax/AutoCheck for the car. You can NOT buy a used car without reading one of these reports - there are way too many scams going on with the title, the odometer, the repair history for you to just wing it . Once a car passes the CarFax/AutoCheck you must inspect the car from hood to trunk and know what you are doing.

5) Inspect the car. Whether the car sits in the used car dealer's lot or in the driveway of a private sale you must do a 100+ point inspection of the car. This check covers the engine, the undercarriage, the trunk, and the interior. Bring a magnet and flashlight which will be put to good use. The magnet sticks to steel body parts and falls off if the car has had repair work. The flashlight is used everywhere to look for all kinds of inspection points which must pass. If the car passes your inspection it's time to take a test drive.

6) Test drive the car. Listen to how the car starts and idles. Check the A/C, the radios, power windows and locks, wipers, rear window defogger and all lights. If everything is in working order take the car for a spin around the block and down the highway. Listen for weird noises, smells, and vibrations.
If you've done the above six items and the car passes your tests then an auto mechanic is your last stop. Expect to pay the mechanic $100+ to hook up computers and run all his diagnostic tests. Launch X431 PAD If the mechanic give the thumbs up you can now proceed and make an offer to buy the car.

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