High-mileage cars may have a lower price tag, but the risk for concerns or troubles can be higher. Here are some simple checks to employ when shopping for a vehicle with a high odometer reading:
Check the Engine
As a vehicle ages, so does the engine – they can become weak, start to leak and fail more often. A compression test, completed by a qualified technician, can identify signs of engine failure, like leaky piston rings or a leaky head gasket. This is trouble you don’t want to take on, so be aware before you purchase.
Check for Major Wear & Tear
High-mileage can do a number on key vehicle parts and components. Transmissions, brakes, wheel bearings and exhaust systems can really take a beating over time if they are not properly maintained at regular intervals. Listen for potential warning sounds, like roaring, whining or grinding. This can signify a greater issue under the hood, making this high-mileage vehicle not worth the investment.
Inspect All Lines
Over time, gas and brake lines can corrode and weaken, causing serious safety issues. Before you buy a high-mileage vehicle, be sure to inspect all lines in the vehicle. If you smell gas from inside the car or notice weak, spongy brakes, walk away.
Look for Rust
Rust is sneaky – it likes to hide in the nooks and crannies of a vehicle. Even if the overall exterior of the car looks to be in good shape, there could be rust in areas that are harder to see. That’s why you should look at key rust-prone spots on the car’s body, including the panels, floor pan, inner edges of the doors, hood, tailgate and trunk.
Inspect the Dip Stick
If considering a high mileage vehicle, be sure to inspect all fluids in the vehicle. Most fluids, like the engine, transmission, power steering and brake fluids, should be transparent. If you notice that the fluids look burnt, cloudy or sludgy, this shows that the vehicle was not properly maintained. A clear warning sign!
Feeling overwhelmed? Many preowned car and truck shoppers do! That’s where a dealership, like Key West Ford, can help. Unlike some used car lots or private sellers, we go above and beyond by performing a 129-point safety and mechanical inspection on every preowned vehicle on our lot.
Don’t waste your valuable time shopping around! Stop in today to check out our extensive in-stock inventory of quality used cars and trucks at great prices.