Here at Spartan Toyota, we want to help our customers in any way that we can. So, if you’re looking for a quality used car, our team is ready to get you behind the wheel of a vehicle that fits your lifestyle and budget. When looking for a used vehicle, there are a lot of factors to keep in mind, so check out this checklist we’ve made to make the used car search a bit easier.

Used Car Buyer's Checklist

✔ Do Your Research Before you even begin your search for a car, make sure to ask yourself if there is a certain type of vehicle that you need. By deciding on what type of vehicle you want, you will have a specific list of inspection items to look for. When researching for the vehicle, make sure to also find out what the common problems are for the models you are considering.

✔ Exterior Checks Make sure to always look at the body condition. Walk around the vehicle and take note of any scratches, dents and rust. Make sure to also take note of the body panels. Everything should line up evenly and the doors, hood and trunk should be able to open and close. While walking around your vehicle, also make sure to inspect the tires. All of the tires should be the same brand and should be in good condition (no cracks, bulges, scuffing or bad tread). Lastly, make sure to always check the lights. All of them should work properly and be without cracks and damages in addition to no moisture.

✔ Interior Checks When inspecting the interior, one of the first things you need to do is check for an odor. If the car smells like mold, must or mildew that could indicate a water leak or flood damage. Make sure to also check the seats to see if they are worn or have any tears in the upholstery. You also need to make sure that the seats work properly and that you can get the drivers seat into the right position. You always need to make sure to test our the controls and instruments to make sure that they are working properly. Lastly, you need to take a look at the roof and make sure that there are no signs of staining or water leaking through a sunroof or window.

✔ Under the Hood When looking under the hood, you need to make sure to inspect the belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. Everything should be at its proper level and there should not be any cracks, leaks or water. Make sure to also look underneath the vehicle to see if anything is leaking.

✔ The Test Drive Probably one of the most important parts of your inspection, you need to test drive the vehicle to make sure that everything is working properly. When starting the vehicle, make sure to take not of how long it takes for the car to state and if there are any odd noises. You need to take the vehicle on a variety of different roads so that you can test it at all different speeds. Additionally, also be sure to see if the transmission shifts smoothly and make sure that the brakes offer good stopping power without pulling the vehicle to either side.

✔ Paperwork and Mechanic's Inspection Before you close the deal on the car, you need to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and get a Vehicle History Report. Most dealers will provide a report on all of their used vehicles. Also make sure that a trusted repair shop full inspects the vehicle before you purchase it.

If you have any questions about what you need to do before buying a used car or would like to test-drive any used cars, please feel free to contact us or stop by 5701 S Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing, MI 48911. We look forward to serving our customers from Lansing, MI, and throughout Williamston and DeWitt.