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How To Inspect A Used Car Before Buying

By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large

With automobiles lasting much longer than they did years ago, along with the need nowadays to save as much as possible on “big ticket” necessities, buying a pre-owned car or truck is something we, or someone we know, will likely do at least once every several years. If you’re like so many, however, you lack the basic knowledge necessary to make even a remotely informed decision about the condition of the vehicle you’re considering for purchase - you wish you had some kind of idea about what to look for when inspecting an automobile you’re thinking of buying. Thankfully, in this day and age of “information overload,” there are quality resources available to help you pick up some of that knowledge, and I want to share my thoughts with you on one of those.

Classic Vintage Used Car Ad

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Inspect Before You Buy is a neat ebook written by a fellow named Jerry Ellingson, an ASE Certified mechanic with many years in the business of repairing automobiles. Of particular note are the several years he spent plying his trade at a used car dealership, where he inspected and repaired all kinds of cars that arrived on the lot in anticipation of being resold to folks like you and me.

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Inspect Before You Buy walks you, quite literally, through the process of inspecting a used car; as a matter of fact, the way it’s written and formatted, you could easily print the book out and take it with you to use as a guide the next time you go shopping for a used car. Beginning with the exterior of the vehicle, Ellingson tells you what to look for, specifically, when evaluating the body and paint, glass and trim, wheels and tires, body panel alignment, and the trunk area. From there, he takes the reader under the hood, through the underbody, and throughout the interior. Finally, Ellingson informs you of what to watch for when taking your prospect for a test drive, from what to listen for when you first start the vehicle, to how to evaluate the handling and drivability, and much, much more. Ellingson also includes a comprehensive checklist as a part of the book (something you will want to print out and take with you, even if you leave the rest of the book home), as well as a list of automotive websites that you may find helpful when looking for a used car, including links to the wonderful Edmunds and NADA guides.

Note that Inspect Before You Buy is not a book on auto repair, nor an in-depth manual on cars; it is not intended to be either of those. It is a solid, car-shopping guidepost that can be very useful in helping you to determine if you’re about to make a smart investment…or if you’re about to buy a four-wheeled “money pit.” To that end, I think the book is great. What I like about it, too, is the price – just $6.95, and even at that, the book comes with a money-back guarantee. If you’re already an expert when it comes to this stuff, this may not be for you, but if you’re like me, and a whole bunch of other folks, this could well be the most important money you spend on behalf of your next car purchase…and that includes the dough you drop on the car itself. Click Here To Grab Your Own Copy Of This Incredible Book.

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