When shopping for a used car, the first thing you’ll do is narrow down your selection based on price, type of vehicle, mileage, and so forth. Once you’ve closed in on some final candidates, it’s time to do some test driving. It’s important to know how to properly test drive a used car in order to make a smart purchasing decision.

10 Steps You’ll Want to Follow for Test Driving a Used Car

If you haven’t gotten past the first step yet, check out some of our used cars for sale in Sylacauga, Alabama. When you’re ready, follow the steps below to take it for a test drive.

1. Resist the temptation to jump in and go

Take some time to examine the exterior of the car. Look for any signs of rust, repairs, or mismatched paint that could indicate old accident damage. Is there anything hanging from underneath the car? Any fluids dripping?

2. Step inside the car

Once in the cabin, test the following:

  • Seat controls
  • Power mirrors, windows, and locks
  • Interior lights, turn signals, brake lights, and headlights
  • Heating and air conditioning
  • Horn
  • Radio and navigation

Make a note of anything that raises a red flag.

3. Begin driving

As you do, keep the radio turned off so you can listen for any rattling, knocking, or other noises. A whistling sound may indicate an unsealed window, door, or sunroof.

4. Keep your eye on the instrument panel

Make sure all the gauges such as the speedometer, fuel gauge, and temperature gauge are working properly.

5. Make both hard left and right turns

See if your steering wheel properly responds.

6. Make a hard brake and a hard acceleration

You’ll want to know that your accelerator and brakes are up to snuff.

7. Check your alignment

On a straightaway, center the car in the middle of the lane and loosen your grip on the steering wheel to see if the car pulls in one direction or another.

8. Check your blind spots

Get a feel for driver visibility.

9. Pop the hood and check out the engine

Is there any unusual odor or fresh buildup of engine sludge? Check again underneath the car to see if any fluid is dripping.

10. Get a second opinion

If the car passes your test, take it to a mechanic to get the advice of an expert.

Time to Test Drive in Sylacauga, AL

Now that you know how to test drive a used car, it’s time to get behind the wheel. Browse the selection of used cars at Vaden Toyota of Sylacauga in Alabama, and contact us to schedule your test drive today.