Buyer Tips Used Cars

7 Things Every First Time Used Car Owner Should Know

By Daisy Emah-Emah Posted: 08/25/2021

Owning a car is exciting and thrilling… but a lot of car owners are not so excited anymore when mechanical issues start to pop up. Driving your car is just the first step to good car ownership. Understanding how your car works, maintenance and servicing, etc are some other basic things a car owner should know of. 

 

Vehicle maintenance is most times more expensive than the purchase price if you do not know how to maintain it. So you need to know your maintenance and servicing times and have your mechanic run this. 

 

Owning a Used Car

Used cars are on a whole different level when it comes to maintenance. Buying a used car saves you a couple of dollars especially if your purchase was from a used car auction. The downside – the condition of the vehicle is not guaranteed. The vehicle may come with underlying issues from the previous owner – hence maintenance. 

 

As a first-time buyer, you may be out of your depths when it comes to maintaining and servicing a used vehicle. 

 

We have put together a guide to help you with all you need to know about your used car

 

What You Should Know About Used Car

  1. Initial Maintenance – Fluids, Brakes, etc

Buying a used car means that you may be inheriting underlying issues from the previous owner(s). It is essential to carry out initial maintenance on the vehicle before sitting behind the wheels.  

 

Car Repair Workshop

 

Different fluids help the vehicle to run smoothly so you need to check your fluids regularly… Transmission oil lubricates the gear and helps with the smooth changing of gears. Coolant ensures that your engine runs smoothly without overheating. Brake fluid lubricates the brakes while the power steering fluid helps with the smooth steering of your vehicle. Make sure your fluids are well gauged to avoid damage to the engine or other parts of your vehicle. 

 

Run other necessary initial maintenance on other components of the vehicle. Replace the brake pads with spark plugs if they are worn out. Service the engine, transmission, and more expensive components to avoid major damage to these parts. 

 

 

  1. Set Money Aside for Periodic and Unforeseen Maintenance

Regular maintenance will improve the lifespan and value of your used vehicle, so maintenance can not be overemphasized. When planning to buy a used vehicle you need to set aside money for periodic maintenance and unforeseen damages. As a car owner, this is essential for the well-being of your vehicle. 

 

 

  1. Avoid Driving on Reserve or Empty 

Avoid Driving with an empty or near-empty gas tank. You wear out your fuel pump when there is not enough gas in your tank. If you continuously drive on empty your fuel pump can be damaged by being overstretched or overheated and it will deteriorate over time. 

 

 

Another damage of driving on empty is tank sludge. Since fuel contains remnants that, can settle in the bottom of the tank, over time it turns into sludge. The sludge will then be sucked up the fuel pump and carried to the engine. This clogs the fuel filter and injectors and causes the engine to misfire.

 

 

  1. Don’t Compromise on Life/Time-Saving Accessories

Car accessories are aimed at improving your car’s functionality… though some are purely for entertainment purposes. Accessories help you personalize your vehicle for functionality, performance, beauty, and aesthetics. 

 

 

Some car accessories are lifesavers like the seat belt cutter or hammer escape tool which comes in handy if there is an accident. You also need to have a spare tire, and tire jack in your trunk in case of damaged tires. Jumper cables to jump-start your engine is also a lifesaver if you are stuck in the outskirts and there is no car around. 

 

You need to research the best accessories that are compatible with your car. Buying an incompatible accessory may lead to further damage to your vehicle and other components. 

 

 

  1. A Clean Car Looks Great if You are Doing it Right

Avoid the use of harsh cleaning chemicals, don’t waste money on paint jobs, harsh board cleaners, etc that could disfigure your car’s look. Household chemicals and dish soaps can strip the clear coat and paint job of your vehicle. It also makes the paint look dull, worn out and exposes the metal and rubber surface to moisture, road grime, and debris. 

 

Make use of approved car wash products and eco-friendly products to ensure the health of your vehicle. 

 

 

  1. Maintain Proper Tire Pressure at all Times

Tire pressure is important for your safety and your vehicle’s condition. You need to maintain the correct tire pressure at all times. Having the correct amount of tire pressure helps in improving your car’s fuel efficiency. Having good tire pressure helps you know if your vehicle is aligned correctly and can negate undue damage to your car.

 

 

Do not overinflate your tires as this makes tires stiff and less flexible giving off a rough ride. Overinflated tires cause wear and tear over time and can cause damage to your suspension components in the long run. 

 

Check the manufacturer’s manual for the recommended tire pressure for your specific car make and model. 

 

 

  1. Even Used Cars Come with Manuals! Read Them

Study the manufacturer’s manual to understand your vehicle better. To understand what oil and fluid specifications to use you need to refer back to the manual of your vehicle… To understand manufacturer warnings, to maximize your car, basic repair tips, tire pressure, use the manual. 

 

 

As a car owner, your car’s manual is your first guide to properly maintaining your vehicle. Adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions on scheduled maintenance of your vehicle,  they know what is best for your vehicle – they made it! 

 

Further Reading

  1. How to Choose the Right Used Hyundai for Sale 
  2. Used Ford Car for Sale: How to Choose the Right One 
  3. Everything You Need to Know about Buying Used Cars 
  4. Car Buying Secrets Dealers Don’t Want You to Know  

 

Regular maintenance increases the life span of the vehicle and ensures safety. You should have the different parts of your vehicle inspected and serviced at different times. Have your vehicle service by a professional mechanic. 

 

Before purchasing start to a used vehicle, run a Vehicle History Report for a small fee or request a physical inspection – this costs more but gives a detailed description of the current condition of the vehicle. 

 

 

Where Can You Find The Best Used Car?

You might be wondering where you can land amazing deals for your car… well look no further cause we’ve got you covered. You can find a lot of options with our inventory of over 150k vehicles… all you have to do is sign up for FREE

 

You can have access to our dealer-only auction and bid on any vehicle of your choice – NO license required! Your dream car is not far-fetched with Auto Auction Mall. Our auction specialists are more than happy to assist you with the entire process of finding the car just for you.

 

To get started sign up here

 

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