What Should You Look at During a Test Drive?

A stock photo of people looking at used cars.

Best Tips for Test Driving Used Cars

There is a lot of work that goes into buying a car, truck, or SUV. Hours of research, budgeting, and comparison shopping have hopefully led you to Autohouse Kingston to take a test drive. Taking some vehicles for a test drive is arguably the best part of the entire vehicle-buying process. While we want you to enjoy the test drive, the team at Autohouse Kingston also wants you to get the most of the trip. Our sales team came up with a few helpful tips they wanted to share to make sure you find out things about the vehicle you can’t read about.

READ MORE: Watch Out These Red Flags

How To Test Drive a Car Beyond Driving it

Test driving a car is more than jumping behind the wheel and mashing the gas pedal to the floorboard – please don’t do that either. First, take a slow walk around the vehicle you’re interested in taking home. Be on the lookout for dents, paint cracks, and signs of rust. Also, closely examine all the glass components for cracks and chips. The best time to look at the exterior of a vehicle is when the sun is out and unobstructed by clouds. 

Regardless if you’re looking at a pre-owned vehicle at Autohouse Kingston or buying directly from the owner, ask for a CarFax vehicle history report. This will let you know if it has been involved in an accident or if there are any open factory recalls that need attention.

The 5 Steps for Test Driving a Car

  1. Kick the Tires: There’s no need to actually kick a vehicle’s tires anymore. However, do closely examine the tires for signs of uneven wear and tread depth. You can easily check a tire’s tread depth by using a nickel. If the top of the Queen’s crown can be seen, the tires need to be replaced.
  2. Turn it Over: A well-maintained engine will have a constant hum. Listen carefully for any sounds that seem out of place. Anything that rattles, clicks, or grinds should be avoided. Also, make sure you look at the dashboard for any warning lights that may be activated and that all of the gauges work.
  3. Pushing Buttons: Turn on the radio, heater, and air conditioning to make sure that everything is working properly. 
  4. Take a Seat: A vehicle can look great on a computer screen. It can even look inviting sitting in a showroom. However, only by getting behind the wheel and adjusting the seat can ensure you and the car are, literally, a good fit. Make sure you’re comfortable behind the wheel and that you can easily turn left or right to check the vehicle’s blind spots.
  5. Go for a Drive: Do your best to use the test drive to mimic your daily driving routine. Ensure the vehicle easily accelerates and that the transmission changes gears smoothly. Also, take the time to listen for more noises that sound suspicious.
 Autohouse Kingston works very hard to make sure every car, truck, or SUV we have for sale is safe, reliable, and affordable. Make an appointment with us, today, to take a look at what we have available.