Used Trucks

Written by Abby Luttrell
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When you're shopping for used cars or trucks, what should you look for in a test drive? The average person is a little intimidated, because unless they are a master mechanic, they just don't know what to look for--or what to listen for. But the same red flags are there for used cars and trucks, and they are fairly simple.

Test Driving Used Cars and Used Trucks

The most important thing is to look under the car and see if anything is wet under there. OK, it sounds gross. But it's the quickest way to find out if your fabulous used car or truck actually has an oil leak. You can reach your finger and wipe some of the condensation off if you don't know what the stuff is. It won't kill you. It will be either water, oil, or brake fluid.

When you're driving, look in the rear view mirror. Not just to see the driver behind you, but to see if the exhaust has any color to it. If it's black, or pale white, there's some oil leakage or oil problem. Don't be seduced by a deal for a cheap used car and then find out too late that it has major problems.

How does the car handle? Is it jerky or smooth? Does it feel like it might stall? Some of these things are minor adjustments which can be made easily by the mechanic. Others point to more serious problems. Don't be afraid to mention anything, no matter how small. And don't be afraid to have your used car or truck checked over by your mechanic before you sign any purchase agreement.

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