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10 Tips to Buying a Used Car

Although the car you buy may not be new, it is to you.  
Here are some tips to help you when you're out
looking for that car:

1.  Be sure the check engine light comes on when you start the car or turn the key to auxiliary.  Many people will pull the bulb rather than fix the problem.

2.  Be sure the air bag light comes on when you start the car or turn the key to auxiliary. If there is a problem with the airbag system or if there is no airbag present, it's likely the bulb has been pulled and the problem has not been fixed.

3.  Be very careful of buying a car that is running or has recently been running.  Many major problems are present on a cold car that will go away when
the car warms up.

4.  Check the VIN numbers.  Many cars have a VIN number on the inside front fenders, hood and doors.  Make sure they all match.  Also, if there is a VIN number on one front fender and not the other its likely been replaced.

5.  Don't rely heavily on Carfax.  Many accidents are not reported and are fixed at sub-par shops or in someones driveway.  If an accident is not reported to the police or insurance, it may not show up on Carfax.

6.  Do not be afraid of a car that has been in an accident.  Most cars have and people just dont know it.  The important thing is the quality of the repair.  
A qualified person can determine this.

7.  When buying from an individual, always ask how long they have owned the
car.  If they have owned the car for less than a year, nine times out of ten,
you don't want it.

8.  When buying from an individual, be aware that in Missouri, the car will have to pass inspection before it can be licensed.  It is not uncommon on a
$2,000-$4,000 car to spend $500-$700 to get it to pass inspection. Missouri dealers have to be sure the car passes inspection before you buy it.

9.  Do not believe gas mileage claims; research it!  Many people will exaggerate as much as 10 MPG and you may end up with a car you can't afford to drive.

10.  Check the radiator when it is cool only.  Be sure the fluid is clean and free of debris.  Some people will put Stop Leak© in and you wont know until much later and may face a hefty bill to fix the problem.




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