If you are in the market for a used car and want to make sure that you’re getting a good deal, it’s important to know what to look out for. There are some common warning signs that show your car is not as attractive as it could be, like superficial scratches and dents or missing wheels. These are all things that can be easily fixed with an affordable paint job, but they also hint at bigger problems. Don’t let the small problems ruin your big purchase – avoid buying used cars in el cajon with these major warning signs!
Scratched Body Panels
When you take your eyes off the car, it’s easy to miss a big scratch. Have you ever taken a look at the inside of your car and seen how badly the dash is scratched up? Chances are good that there are other signs of damage down below.
Rust-Outs or Poor Paint Job
Rust-outs and poor paint jobs aren’t just eye sores, they’re also signs of major mechanical problems. If the car had a faulty engine and the AC needed a tune-up, chances are that you’re going to need a lot more than just a good sanding and polishing job to fix it.
Wheels are Missing
It’s hard to know what kind of condition your car is in when all four wheels are still on it. If your wheels are missing, cam out the tires and check underneath for damage. Missing wheels can mean that there is already heavy rust underneath. You’ll also want to check all around the wheel wells for any signs of water leaks or obvious leaks in the wheel wells if you didn’t remove your old tires first.
No Oil Stains on the Ground
If the car you’re looking at has been sitting for a long time, there should be some oil spots on the ground from where it drained out the oil. If you don’t see any spots beneath it and there’s no sign of fluid around, chances are that it never had any oil in it to begin with.
It’s a Flooded Car
Any car that has been flooded and then dried out will still have water damage inside. After a flood, everything that was wet and now dry will start to rot or rust away. That black mold usually isn’t just surface dirt – there is still plenty of moisture left over inside. You’ll also have to worry about what kind of rusting will be taking place in the meantime.
No Door Hinge or Tailgate
Check around the doors and on the tailgate for any busted hinges or missing parts. These are just two more signs that the mechanics were not taken care of by the previous owner, but they also mean that a thief could get into your car easily if you’re not careful!
Old Seat Belts and Upholstery
This can be a tough sign to spot because old seatbelts can look great when they are removed and reused in new cars, while no seatbelts means never ever put seatbelts on your car again.