When you buy a used vehicle, you usually get more bang for your buck. You may be able to get a far better-equipped car than you may be able to afford new, at least that's what we like to think. But unless you conduct the necessary due diligence, you may end up with a money pit in your driveway.
To help you avoid such a nightmare, the editors of ConsumerReports.org have put together a basic but solid list of things you must check before money exchanges hands.
These are five of the 20 recommendations:
- Paint that chips off or doesn't match indicates damage repair and poor blending.
- Misaligned fenders suggest a poor repair job or use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer (non-OEM) parts.
- Hood or trunk that doesn't close squarely may indicate twisting from side impact.
- Dashboard air-bag indicator that doesn't light up could mean the air bag was replaced improperly--or wasn't replaced at all--after an accident.
- Missing car emblem or name on trunk may mean a non-OEM part was used.