5 Tips for Finding the Best Used Car

By: Mike's Car Store   |   30 Jun 2023

From affordability to resale value to building your credit, there are numerous advantages to buying a used car. Still, it's easy to get scammed into purchasing a lemon if you’re not careful. Contrary to popular belief buying a used car doesn’t mean compromising on reliability and quality. In fact, most used cars today will suit you just as well as buying one that’s brand new. By following these few guidelines and tips, here at Mike’s Car Store, we can show you what to look for in a used vehicle to ensure you’re driving away with one that will last you many years to come!

Tip #1: Do Your Own Physical Inspection

While most reputable dealerships in Louisville, KY, will be sure to perform a meticulous 180-point inspection on all their used vehicles (at least they should!), it’s important that you, the potential owner, make a careful inspection of the vehicle yourself before signing the deed. In the interior, inspect all of the seats, the floors, the doors, and the ceiling. Are there tears or stains? On the exterior, carefully inspect the paint job, the trim, and the bumpers. Are there any major scratches, dents, or evidence of repair? Also, look at the car lights, the tires, and the muffler.

Tip #2: Inspect the Engine

Sure, we don’t expect you to know the ins and outs of what's under the hood, but any obvious defects with a car’s engine will be a good indicator of how long it’ll last. A dirty engine can be a sign of poor maintenance. Check to see if there is oil on the engine. This could indicate leaks—or something worse. Cracks or tired-looking hoses and belts will be an expensive fix, so be sure to steer clear if you notice any glaring symptoms of wear.

Tip #3: Pay Attention to the Test Drive

How does the car handle? If possible, test it under high-stress situations, such as stop and go, high speed, low speed, sudden acceleration/deceleration, hard turns and sudden stops. When checking the brakes, listen for sounds of squeaking, grinding, or metal-on-metal. Listen carefully to the engine. A smooth hum is a good sound, while sputtering or knocking can indicate serious problems. Be sure to get the car up to at least 55 miles an hour. Some warning signs, like a bent rim, won’t be noticeable at lower speeds.

Tip #4: Use Your Nose

If a re-conditioning hasn’t been done thoroughly, unbecoming odors can linger – and some can be an indicator of a bigger issue. Take a nice, long whiff of the car. Some smells, like cigarette smoke and mildew, can be particularly difficult to remove. But the smell of burning oil or burning gas can be a result of something much more serious, like deep engine problems.

Tip #5: Trust the Experts at Mike’s Car Store

Here at Mike’s Car Store, we stand by the quality and reliability of our used vehicles and do our due diligence to ensure you don’t get sold a lemon. Honesty and integrity is our number one priority. After all, being a Lousiville, KY dealership run and owned by the #1 watched Car Salesman on the Planet means we have a strong reputation to uphold! We welcome any questions and concerns from our customers and want to make the used car buying process as positive for you as possible! 

Buying a used car doesn’t have to suck. If you’re in the Georgetown, Louisville, and Floyd County areas and looking to buy your first vehicle, buying pre-owned can be a great option. Here at Mike’s Car Store, we offer quality used cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs for all budgets. Browse our inventory today and contact us anytime for more questions.


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