What to Look for in a Fixer-upper
Thank you to Valvoline for sponsoring this feature- Getting Your Hands Dirty: Engine Work The Way It’s Meant To Be.
Times are tough. This has seen an uptick in used car sales. Where before only the neighborhood handyman or mechanic would be the one driving a remodeled car, these days more people are spending their cash on an older car and parts, rather than a brand new one. While the economy is slowly turning around, thanks to the internet, there are more people driving older cars than ever before.
Yet, many people who take to buying a a used car with the self-promise to fix it up and keep it running either have no idea what they are doing, or just take it to a local shop to get it fixed. There are a couple things to look for when buying a used car, and many used car dealers are using social media to sell cars.
Keep in mind, Buying a fixer-upper is much more than meets the eye. There are many shady dealers out there, and you want to make sure you are buying a car with solid potential rather than a lemon. Be sure to look for possible damage, discolored fluids or smoking exhaust. Do a test drive, take it up to speed through all the gears, make sure it stops solidly and check to see that all the gauges, switches, air conditioning, heating, etc. are in proper working order.
According to USA.gov, According to USA.gov, you need to closely read the paperwork and check for things like curb stoning or the repeated, unlicensed flipping of used cars for profit. Research the title of the vehicle through your local motor vehicle department and make sure the car hasn't been in a major accident. Check out The Center for Auto Safety to see if your potential car has been the subject of recalls or safety defects. And it’s a good idea to have the car inspected by a local mechanic and check to see if there is an active warranty.
No matter what, make sure to only buy a fixer-upper that you are confident that you can work on. Some cars prior to the 2000's have very accessible engines and can be worked on with relative ease at a low cost. And while a newer a car or a luxury car may look attractive, it may be more expensive may be to work on.
Learn more about Valvoline’s line of products and services to keep your car on the road.