If you’re in Canada, buying a high-quality used car is a fantastic way to get a great set of wheels at a low price – and to minimize the depreciation that’s often incurred by buying a brand-new car from a dealership.
But while there are many advantages to buying used cars, there’s one major, inherent disadvantage – it can be hard to tell which cars are in great shape and will last you for years to come, and which ones might have serious, hidden mechanical issues.
In this article, we’ll take you through the top 5 warning signs to look for when buying a used car. If you know how to recognize these issues, you’ll have a much easier time selecting a high-quality used car – and you’ll be able to avoid vehicles that may be damaged, worn-out, or even stolen.
1. Mismatched Or Heavily Worn Tires
Simply inspecting the tires on a used car can give you valuable insight into the overall condition of the vehicle. Generally, you want all of the tires on a car to be the same make and model, and they should be equally worn.
If the tires on a vehicle are worn unevenly, this could be a sign that there are brake issues or suspension issues with the car, or that the tires have not been properly rotated over their lifespan.
Mismatched tires should also be a big warning sign. It’s always a bad idea to replace tires individually, or to replace just one or two tires with tires from a different manufacturer. Mismatched tires could be a sign that the vehicle has suffered multiple tire blowouts, or that may be, the seller of the car is trying to cut costs and ditch the car ASAP for maximum profit.
2. Sloppy Paint Jobs Or Damaged Bodywork
You can’t judge a book by its cover – most of the time. Used cars are often an exception. If it’s well-maintained, even a 10-15 year old vehicle won’t have any rust patches or worn-out paint – and it will look good as new when you drive it off the lot!
However, a sloppy paint job can be a sign of neglect. Either the seller is trying to cover up rust spots and worn-away paint, or had the vehicle quickly repainted after a major accident.
Either way, a sloppy and unattractive paint job or bodywork that’s been damaged by wear or rust should be a big warning sign – you’ll want to avoid these vehicles.
3. The Seller Won’t Provide A Title
If you’re looking at a car and the seller mentions any issues with the title, walk away immediately.
The reason is simple – even if the owner of the car is legitimate and lost their title, this is a sign that they’re slipshod and careless – which reflects poorly on the vehicle.
And, realistically, it’s very uncommon for the owner of a car to lose their title. If you’re looking at a car and the dealer or owner won’t give you a straight answer about the status of the title, you could be looking at a car that’s been stolen.
No title, no sale. It’s as simple as that.
4. The “Check Engine” Light Doesn’t Come On
This may seem counter-intuitive – after all, why would you want the “check engine” light to be on? – but if the check engine light fails to illuminate when the car starts up, this is a bad sign.
On almost all new cars, the “check engine” light will illuminate for a few seconds when the car starts up – and then it will fade away again if there’s nothing wrong with the engine.
If, however, the light doesn’t turn on at all, that could be a sign that it’s been intentionally disconnected – and that the seller of the car doesn’t want you to know that it’s experiencing engine problems.
5. The Seller Won’t Provide Accurate Repair Records
While it may be unrealistic to expect detailed records of each service and repair that has been performed on a vehicle, the owner or dealer should still be able to provide you with some basic information about a vehicle’s overall state of repair.
If the dealer or seller of the car can’t provide you with any kind of repair or service records at all, you should be somewhat skeptical.
If you’re still interested in the vehicle, it’s best to have the vehicle checked out by a reliable third-party mechanic, who can give you the details about the repairs that have been done to the car, and its overall level of health.
Need A Great Used Car In Canada? Come To Ride Time Now!
With these guidelines in mind, you’re sure to be able to pick out a fantastic used car in Canada. Still don’t know where to look for a high-quality used vehicle? Come to Ride Time now!
We’re located in Winnipeg, and we ship our stock of high-quality used vehicles all around Canada. When you buy a car from us, you can be sure that you’re getting an incredible deal on a high-quality used vehicle.
We clean, maintain, and check the records of each vehicle in stock – so we’re always honest about the condition of our cars, and we sell only the best pre-owned vehicles in Winnipeg!