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Unexpected Things to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Tips for Finding the Best Used Cars in Kansas City



When buying a used car in Kansas City, you have a lot of options available to you: private sales, independent garages, used car dealerships, driveway traders, online sales, auctions, and more. Sometimes used cars get a bad rap simply because their quality can’t always be determined, but if you k

If you’re nervous about buying a used car, a buy here pay here dealership is the simplest choice, as these dealerships perform a multi-point inspection of vehicles before they buy them. You can usually get a limited warranty, too, just like you would from any new car dealership. that’s as good as new is a cinch!now what to look for, getting a great used car

Below, our used car experts at Auto Bank KC share a few things to keep an eye out for when evaluating a used car for sale.

Basic Things to Check on a Used Car:

  • How much tread do the tires have?

  • Are all the electronic components working?

  • Are there any dents or scratches in the bodywork?

  • Does the glass have any chips or cracks?

  • Are there any gaps between the bodywork panels?

  • Is the upholstery in good order?

  • Does the car’s interior have a neutral small? The smell of cigarette smoke is hard to remove.

  • Are the fluid levels all correct? Low levels can indicate poor maintenance.

  • Is the spare wheel included?

  • Is there a white substance under the oil cap? This suggests a head gasket problem.


Model-Specific Vehicle Issues

While a used car checklist is useful, it doesn’t cover all the issues that can come up on a model-by-model basis. Each car model (and every year) is different and has its own quirks. Check online to see whether the model has had any recalls in the past. If there has been a manufacturer recall, demand proof from the seller that the recall repair was performed in a timely fashion.

You can also check enthusiast forums to get an idea of the most common issues that occur for the vehicle model you’ve chosen. This means you can more closely inspect these problems when you view the car in person, and it can ultimately make you a better-informed buyer.


Look for Accident Damage

Be sure to examine the car’s exterior for evidence of accident damage. Check whether there are any ripples on the bodywork or if any of the panels’ color doesn’t match. Has the number plate been replaced? Do any of the panels not quite match up? All of these things could indicate a car that has been in an accident in the past and the seller is trying to hide it. 

A used car history check can usually give some indication of how a vehicle has been treated in the past.


Last-Minute Checks

When you take the car for a test drive, pay attention to whether the car starts normally. If the engine is already warm when you arrive, a private seller may have pre-started the car to try to hide starter issues.

If you’re looking at a car with a manual transmission, check that the clutch has an easy-to-find point and responds correctly when driving up steep hills or when accelerating quickly. Do all the gears select easily? Sloppy gearboxes or crunching noises suggest a major problem. Does the steering feel smooth, or does the wheel feel too light or heavy? 

Turn off the radio and listen to the engine. Does it sound noisy or rough? Does the car accelerate at a pace you’d expect? If the car feels sluggish, there could be a serious issue to address down the line.

And don't forget to test the brakes. Does the car stop cleanly without any unusual noises? Check the emergency brake, too.


Buy Here Pay Here Cars

Purchasing a used car from a buy here pay here car lot virtually guarantees you’ll be getting a solid vehicle that doesn’t have any major issues. Buy here pay here dealerships perform extensive checks on vehicles when they are bought and only sell vehicles they have confidence will stand the test of time.

Plus, since buy here pay here dealerships must sell all the vehicles on the lot within a reasonable timeframe, they typically make sure the cars they purchase are of good quality. Reputation is also important for buy here pay here car lots. A buy here pay here dealership that sells cars with ongoing mechanical issues will go out of business fast, as word gets around, especially in the age of online reviews.

For used cars in Kansas City, you can’t beat Auto Bank. Auto Bank KC offers a full inventory of over 200 vehicles, including certified pre-owned cars that come with a limited guarantee. Auto Bank handles all financing in-house, so you can get competitive interest rates without having to go to a bank. Because our dealerships handle all aspects of the financial transaction, your credit rating is not the most important thing considered when deciding whether financing will be available.

For quality used cars in Kansas City at great prices, get in touch with Auto Bank of Kansas City today. Stop by and see us at one of our two dealerships in KC, or browse our inventory online.