There are approximately 250 million used cars on American roads. Each year, about 40 million used cars are purchased by consumers looking for a “new” automobile. For many consumers, the price of a brand new vehicle is just too cost-prohibitive, so many people shop used car lots and used car publications, searching for the vehicle – and price – which is right for them.
However, one of the problems with purchasing a used car is that you do not know the history. Even used car reports do not always reveal the vehicle’s entire history. And even more troubling, recent reports reveal that many owners of recalled vehicles fail to have the repairs made. That is why it is critical to take certain steps when shopping for a vehicle in order to make sure you are getting a safe one.
When you do find a potential vehicle to purchase, you should ideally have your own mechanic inspect it for any mechanical problems and to ensure the vehicle has not been in a prior car accident. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, so conducting a good, visual inspection yourself may uncover issues.
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Signs of body damage caused by an auto accident include dents, rust, and scratches. Check to make sure that all the body panels line up and that there is no difference in the paint color of the vehicle. If you suspect that body filler was used in an area, place a small magnet on the spot. Magnets will not adhere to body filler.
Another overlooked area in used cars is the tires. Make sure that all four tires are the same and exhibit the same amount of tread on them. If the tires have been replaced, make sure they are not used ones. The age of a tire is found by looking at its identification number, which is found on the whitewall of the tire. Tires which were manufactured after 2006 have their identification numbers located facing out on the sidewall. To determine what year your tire was made, look at the last four digits. The first two digits are the week the tire was made; the last two are the year.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have against the driver who caused the accident.