(Posted on Feb 24, 2017 at 11:18AM by Laurel Steele)
After careful research, budgeting, and consideration, you’ve decided on your ideal used car. Now, it’s time for the test drive. While you may be ready to hit the highway and see how quickly your potential steed can accelerate, there are more important things to look for first. Luckily, KBB.com recently made a detailed list of things to bear in mind when test driving a pre-owned vehicle.
1. Engine Noise
After you start the car, what do you hear? If there are ticking or tapping noises, it could mean a problem with the hydraulic filter or valves. Test the power steering by moving the wheel to both sides and listen for a squealing belt. When the car is in reverse, grinding or clunks could mean broken transmission mounts or serious engine problems.
2. The Brakes
Sometimes, you may experience a small pulsating action when you have to hit the brakes. If the car has ABS (antilock brakes), this is normal. But if the vehicle does not have ABS, this is a red flag. Also be sure that the car doesn’t veer to the left or right when the brakes are applied. If it pulls one way or the other, it could mean there’s a problem with the brake pads or calipers.
3. Steering Vibration
Once you’re on the open road, how does the steering wheel do? If it’s shaking or vibrating, it could be a fixable problem like an unbalanced tire or something more serious like a loose steering rack. If the steering wheel shakes when you’re braking, it could also mean a sticking caliper or a twisted brake rotor.
Are you ready to put your dream car to the test? Visit us at Sound Ford in Seattle, Washington to take any of the pre-owned vehicles in our inventory for a test drive.