How To Inspect A Used Car?

How To Inspect A Used Car?

The used car market has a lot of choices and these cars have some defects that’s why before getting a used car, inspect it carefully to know what you are getting, and is it worth it or not? It is suggested to get an inspection by a mechanic before buying it but there are some things that you can check by yourself that will help you to negotiate the price.

Start with Exterior

Body Condition

Check each body panel and the roof is in its great condition no dents, scratches, and rust is there. Minor scratches are no problem and also check if the car has been repainted you can look at the painting finish, rubber seals, and under the hood to check. Also, check the paint color and its finishing is the same or not.

If you think that there is a body filler on dent used magnet to check if it doesn’t stick then there is body filler otherwise not.

Check doors, hood, and trunk by opening and closing it, check all doors individually.

Windshield, Window Glass, and Outside Mirrors

Check carefully if they have major scratches or they are fixed temporarily by opening it or fold it up down to get a better idea.  Small chips on the window are no problem but if it is on the windshield than it can be a costly repair.

Lights and its Lenses

Firstly check light from outside that there is no crack or fog over the lens, and then check by turning it on. Make sure all lights are working and their reflectors are intact.


Tires can tell you a lot like how much it is used, was earlier owner has used it aggressively or not. Check them carefully and determine how much they can still be in use also check the rim, there should be no dents or cracks on the rim also.


Never buy a car if it not standing on the level. Check from the back and bounce each corner up and down. If it rebounds once then the shock is in good condition.

Exhaust System and Underneath the Car

If possible, check if there is rust under the car and any signs of frame damage. Also, check for blind spots, which may is a leakage point.  Run your finger along with the exhaust, if greasy much than it is a bad sign. Also, turn on the engine and check if it’s not cold and there is white vapor than it is also a bad sign.



The first thing to check in the interior is if there is any smell. A musty, mold smell indicates water leaks, and an acrid smell indicates if it used by a smoker. If you don’t like the smell then don’t buy it as it is hard to remove it.


Try all seats even the rear and check the upholstery is not ripped off also, try all seat adjustments to make sure they work properly.

Sound System, Connectivity and Controls

Check the audio system, FM, AM, Bluetooth, and if there is Android Auto and Apple Car Play compatibility check all are working. If there is an engine start button check it and window controls and other controls are need to check.


Check the headliner of the roof should not have any stains or dents. If there is sunroof ten check it by opening and closing the same in case of the Convertible top.


While checking interior brake pedals, clutch, and gas pedals they should move smoothly if the car is used for low miles.

Under the Hood

Hoses and belts

There should be no cracks or damaged belts and rubber should be firm and supple. Squeeze various hoses running to the radiator, air conditioning, or other parts.


The radiator hose should be soft and the coolant should be greenish or orange. If there are greenish stains outside the radiator then there is some leakage.


There are different types of fluids and all are necessary so check them all. Engine oil should be dark brown or black. If the oil is honey-colored then it is just changed. Transmission fluid should be pinkish or red not brown and should smell like oil.


If there are any dark brown oil stains on the engine block then there is some leakage and if any fluid is empty ask why it is as chances are it may have leakage.


Some batteries have indicators that signify some things; if it is green then the battery is in good condition and the yellow or black mean battery is dying. Also, check the fluid by unscrewing the cap on the battery.

Timing Belt

The most important on the engine is the timing belt and it is most expensive to replace it. Generally, its life is 60,000 to 100,000miles. Make sure it is in good shape.

Take a Test Drive

  • Make sure the car is good to drive
  • Brakes are working properly
  • No shaking while driving at low speed
  • Make a sharp turn at low speed to check that there is not shaking or loud clunking sound

Take It to an Independent Mechanic

Before making a final decision goes to an independent and let him go through the car as there are many things we cannot determine by looking but a mechanic can. Also, a mechanic can give you advice on why you should buy it or not.