Here at Morganton Honda, we want to help make your car-buying process as simple as possible. We also know that buying used is sometimes the better option for certain customers. To help you out with shopping for a used vehicle, we've assembled a list of important things you should do. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Used Car Buyer's Checklist

✔ Do Your Research Before searching for a car, take a moment to ask yourself if there is a certain type of vehicle that you need. If you know what type of vehicle you want, you can narrow your focus to a more specific set of inspection items. Also, when looking at models that match your desired type of vehicle, research the common problems for each model you’re considering. It’s as important to know the drawbacks of a vehicle as it is to know its strong points.

✔ Exterior Checks Walk around the vehicle to inspect its body, noting any scratches, dents or rust, and check that the body panels line up evenly. The doors, hood and trunk should easily open and close. Examine the tires to see if they are all the same brand and in good condition (no cracks, bulges, scuffing or bad tread). Also, check that the lights all work properly, have no cracks or other damage and show no signs of moisture.

✔ Interior Checks When inspecting the interior, you should immediately notice if there is an odor. Smells like mold, must or mildew could indicate a water leak or flood damage. Next, check that the seats are undamaged and work properly, including being able to get the driver’s seat into the right position for you. Test the controls and instruments to see if they’re all functioning. Lastly, look at the roof for signs of staining or water leaking through a sunroof or window.

✔ Under the Hood When checking under the hood, inspect the belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. Each should be in its proper place or at its proper level, and there should be no cracks, leaks or water. Remember to look underneath the vehicle to see if anything is leaking.

✔ The Test Drive One of the most important parts of your inspection is to test-drive the vehicle. Take note of how long the vehicle takes to start and listen for odd noises. You should drive on a variety of roads to test its performance at different speeds. Check that the transmission shifts smoothly and that the brakes offer good stopping power without pulling the vehicle to either side.

✔ Paperwork and Mechanic's Inspection Before you buy the vehicle, you need to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and run a Vehicle History Report. Most dealers will provide a report on all of their used vehicles. You also should have a trusted repair shop fully inspect the vehicle before you close the deal.

If you have any questions about what you need to do before buying a used car or would like to test-drive any used cars, please feel free to contact us or stop by Morganton Honda at 1600 Burkemont Ave, Morganton, NC 28655. We look forward to serving our customers from Hickory, Asheville and Marion.