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Buying a Car on Craigslist

Josh Elst

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When it comes to buying a car, there is always that choice. To buy a new car? Or to buy a used car. The biggest problem anyone has is trusting a random person, putting money on the line to get a  reliable vehicle. In order to avoid these things there are a few simple things you look at while checking out the vehicle you want to buy.

Tires are one of the most important things to look at when checking over a car. The lack of tread on tires can cause a lot of problems. You can check the tires tread with a penny by putting the penny so Abe Lincoln is upside down. If the depth of the tread hits his head, the tires have a decent amount of driving on them. Also, don’t forget to check for camber wear. Camber wear is where the tire is worn down unevenly. If the tire has camber wear, it means you need an alignment. To get an alignment costs $60-$100 on top of buying brand new tires for the car. Having bad tires can bring down gas mileage, reduce handling, make a lot of noise, and can even blow at any time.

Another thing that people don’t seem to look at is the fluid levels. One of the most important fluid levels to check is the oil level. Running a vehicle out of oil could cause the motor to need to be repaired or replaced. Also, bad oil can cause sludge like fluid to get stuck in the valve cover and oil pan; causing oil pressure to spike and possibly blow the motor up. If the oil level is low, that means the vehicle either burns or leaks oil somewhere. Leaking oil isn’t always hard to fix, it’s as simple as tightening a drain plug in the oil pan, or even tightening a filter up the rest of the way. Another bad thing about oil is, if you pull the dipstick for the oil and it has a whitish color in it, the car has a coolant leak. Coolant is another thing to check because a car will lock up without it and cause major problems. Transmission fluid is another fluid to be checked, it should be red as blood. Bad transmission fluid will cause a transmission to slip or blow. And the last but not least to check is brake fluid. It is the only thing that will make you stop. Having a car that won’t stop isn’t good. If the fluid is low, there could be a bad brake line. A bad brake line could cause you to have to replace rotors, and pads. For a full brake job, it is close to 300$ if not more!

If you don’t trust the person you’re buying from, you should get the opinion of a mechanic. On a daily basis mechanics deal with problems on cars all day which makes them a good source to ask if your getting a good deal for your car or not. Hopefully he would do a good inspection and you would end up buying the vehicle.

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Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Extraordinary
Buying a Car on Craigslist