Whether you’re buying from a dealer or private seller, purchasing a used vehicle is always a gamble. The owner may lie or avoid mentioning certain problems, which can cost you thousands in unexpected repairs. Sometimes a defect makes a vehicle unsafe, and drivers don’t find out until it’s too late.
If you are shopping for a used car or truck, a thorough inspection can save you time and money, and help you avoid a potential accident. Unfortunately, even the safest vehicles are not immune to other drivers’ negligence.
If you were injured in a crash that someone else caused, contact a Baton Rouge personal-injury lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, time off work and other damages.
Schedule a free consultation today by calling 800-537-8185. Until then, read on to find out how to spot safety problems in a secondhand vehicle:
What Should You Bring to a Vehicle Inspection?
Before meeting with the seller, the Department of Motor Vehicles recommends that you gather the following equipment:
- Pen and notebook to record vehicle details;
- Paper towel for checking oil;
- Magnet to check body work;
- Flashlight to look for leaks and corrosion;
- And a CD and USB drive to check the stereo.
When inspecting the vehicle, be sure to focus on these four areas:
Evaluate the exterior to make sure:
- The windshield is free of cracks or chips;
- The body panels match in shape and color;
- Magnets adhere to all body panels;
- There is uniform paint – fresh paint may conceal rust;
- The door and trunk seams align neatly;
- Wiper blades function correctly;
- And the headlights work.
The American Automobile Association recommends that you check all tires, including the spare, for signs of wear. Make sure they have adequate tread, are free from cuts and bulges, and are all the same make. Uneven wear may indicate an issue with alignment or suspension.
Check that the engine is free of oil and fluid leaks, and the battery is not corroded. The oil dipstick should not be dark or contain black oil. Also, check exhaust pipe emissions; they should not be blue or black.
The car should rest levelly on a flat surface. Bounce the car to make sure there are no creaking noises.
If you have concerns about the safety of a used vehicle, ask a mechanic to perform a thorough inspection. Request that he or she evaluates the chassis, transmission, airbags, brakes and steering.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in Louisiana, contact a Baton Rouge accident lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC. Our firm has more than 100 law professionals and 50 attorneys. We can help you navigate the claims process and avoid mistakes such as accepting a low settlement offer.
As the victim of another motorist’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care bills and other damages. Call 800-537-8185 today to schedule a free initial consultation.