Own an older car? Then it’s safe to say you’re likely already hyper-sensitive to potential issues when they pop up. As we all know, cars can last for many years if they’re maintained well throughout the duration of driving it. One of the benefits of purchasing a new car is knowing the history behind it. Unfortunately, those who purchased older vehicles can only rely on tracked repairs that are provided by the previous owner.
Expert advice on what to look for
Purchasing an older vehicle requires knowing the proper steps to take and questions to ask.
If you’re getting ready to purchase a used vehicle for yourself or another driver in your household, we’ve done the leg work for you. Endurance handles thousands of car repair claims every month and has a team of automotive veterans here to help.
Below are some tips we suggest considering:
- Assume the previous owner did nothing to care for the car – If you’re purchasing a used car, you don’t really know how often the previous owner experienced issues and repaired them. Our advice would be to assume they did nothing and get any potential issues taken care of or checked out. Take your used car for an oil change, tire pressure check, and deep cleaning soon after completing the purchasing process. You may even want a mechanic to inspect it, especially if there’s a grace period for returning your purchase. They may be able to uncover an issue that can cost even more than the car or make you realize it is not for you.
- Take an extended test drive – Driving the car around the block can only show so much. Our auto experts recommend going on a drive for at least 10 miles to make sure everything is working well. Look for leaks, noises, and smells that may occur as you’re driving too. Shoppers should always look for negative indicators, especially when in the market for older or pre-owned vehicles.
- Check components once you buy – When you own the car, check components like the suspension, rubber bushings, brakes, and more for wear and tear. It’s good to know where you stand when you own. If you’re unsure on how to do so, invite someone you know who’s familiar with cars.
- Oil changes – You should, of course, take your car for an oil change, and also check the manufacturer’s guide for the average amount of oil consumption. With an older car, you’ll want to check oil levels a little more often.
- Check fluids – No matter what the manufacturer may say about “lifetime” fluids, it’s very cheap and easy to change or refill fluids like washer fluid, oil, and more. It’s an affordable way to prevent breakdowns. Sometimes transmissions get overheated, for example, and then you’re out of luck. Or, the previous owner may have put the wrong fluid in the wrong spout. It’s worth flushing them out and replenishing.
- Note your mileage – Before you take ownership, it’s important to note mileage and levels of fluids, so you know where you started. This will help you learn how your car may have deteriorated from the statistics the manual has printed. Cars tend to become less efficient over time so those stats may not be accurate.
- Get an extended car warranty – Some dealerships do offer warranties for older cars if you purchase directly from them. However, if you are purchasing directly from the seller, or taking over a family member’s car, you can still get an extended warranty. Endurance Direct offers extended vehicle service contracts for older vehicles – contact Customer Support to discuss your needs.
You can make cosmetic changes as needed, but it’s more important to ensure everything inside the car is in working order. Older cars now are in general, better than older cars were 10 years ago. Manufacturers are learning what people need, and technological advancements like MP3 audio jacks, GPS, and other modern conveniences have been around for some time. Most vehicles in the last 10 years or so have these features. Older cars are no longer hunks of junk, but efficient vehicles you can keep for several years if you treat them right.
We have a plan
We’re working hard to keep America on the road and offer peace of mind amidst COVID-19. If you’re a current customer and facing financial hardship, we have relief options available. Simply contact us to learn how we’re keeping your vehicle protection plan active at this uncertain time.
If you don’t have auto protection from Endurance, now is the time to prepare for the unexpected. We have limited time relief plans available, and you can request a no-obligation quote or call 1-866-918-1438 to hear about minimal down payments and current deals. When it comes to car maintenance, there’s a lot to think about and we’re here to help.