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Buying a Used Mercedes Car? Then You’ll Need to Check out this Used Car Checklist

Giancarlo Perlas March 18, 2021

Believe it or not, finding a used Mercedes car that isn’t going to give you any trouble doesn’t come down to luck. It comes down to doing your research and also using your investigative skills to spot any potential problems. If you want to make sure that you are saving yourself from any automotive headaches in the future, then this is the guide for you.

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Homework

If you want to reduce the overall risk of buying a vehicle that is free from problems, then you need to try and find a model that has a good level of reliability before you begin your shopping experience. It’s more than possible for you to look up a consumer report as this will give you real-life reliable information that could easily help you to narrow down your selection. If you know that a car has a lot of problems, then it may be worth you avoiding it. If you know that there are certain issues, then you know to give the car a good check over in this area. By paying special attention, you can be sure to increase the lifespan of your car and you can also narrow down your choice. Sometimes when you buy a car used, you will get the option to get the warranty that comes with it. The dealer will be obligated to pay some of the repair costs if something happens to the car during a certain time frame. If the car is being sold “as is” then the dealer probably won’t be obligated to pay anything towards it. Your dealer is making no guarantee for the condition of the car so if you do experience some problems then you need to make sure that you are able to take full responsibility. A lot of states in the US do not allow “as is” sales if a vehicle is selling for more than a certain price. This is to try and protect car buyers from experiencing issues that they cannot afford to repair in the future.

Inspection

It doesn’t matter who you decide to buy from, because you have to make sure that you look over the vehicle properly. If you can, you also need to take a mechanic with you as well. They will help you to check over everything and they will also help you to pinpoint any possible repairs. The great thing about having a mechanic with you is that they can tell you on the spot how much the repair is going to come to, so this is a very good way for you to make sure that you are not going to be overpaying. Do your inspection in broad daylight if you can as floodlighted lots can easily hide any body defects. You also need to make sure that you park the car on a nice level surface, while also asking the seller to avoid driving the car for at least an hour before you inspect it. This will help you to make sure that there are no oil leaks or anything else of the sort. If you know that you need a new car because yours has been involved in an accident, then you will know that sometimes damages do not become apparent until some time later, so it helps to really take your time here. If you’ve been in an accident, then it may be a good idea for you to hire a top car accident lawyer.

Exterior

Start out with the condition of the body. You need to check every panel and you also need to check the roof as well. At this point you need to look out for scratches, dents or rust. It is also a very good idea for you to check the lines of the fenders and the doors too. If you see panels that are misaligned or if you see large gaps then this would indicate that there has been a shoddy repair that has been done, or that the manufacturer did not take the time to make sure that the car was in good condition before leaving the factory. Of course, the paint colour and the finish should be the same across every single body panel.

If you suspect that there is a dent and that it has been patched in with some body filler then consider taking a magnet with you. If you put the magnet on it and it doesn’t stick then this indicates that filler has been used. If other parts of the vehicle have been repainted, then there may well be paint which is coating the rubber seals around the hood or even the trunk lid. At the end of the day, minor cosmetic flaws or even light scratches are not usually cause for concern, but rust certainly is. You need to check the outer body for any rust or blistered paint. You also need to inspect the wheel wells and even the rocker panels which are under the doors. Bring a torch with you to get the best result out of your inspection in general.

Open the door and close it, along with the hood. Gently lift it and let go of the door. This is especially the case with the door on the driver’s side. If it seems loose on the hinges, then the car has seen some heavy use. Now is also the time for you to inspect the rubber seals for any tearing.  Next up, glass. Look at the glass in the vehicle and ensure that there are no large cracks or even pocked areas. A small stone chip probably isn’t anything for you to worry about but at the same time, you should use it in your favour when it comes to negotiations.

Suspension

With the suspension, you need to walk around the car and you need to see if it is at a standing level. Bounce the car up and down- if the suspension is in good shape then the car should rebound once. If it isn’t then you may find that the car keeps on moving up and down. Grab top of the front tyre and then tug it back and forth too. If you hear a clunking or a ticking sound, then this can indicate that the wheel bearings or the suspension joints are done for. It’s a good idea for you to ask your friend to check to see if the lights are working too. Make sure that the light lenses and the reflectors are intact and that they have not fogged up with moisture.

Tyres

Believe it or not, you can learn a great deal by simply checking the tyres alone. A car that has 20,000 miles or less on the odometer should have the original tyres. Be careful if you see a low mileage car that has new tyres. This is a clear indicator that the odometer has been rolled back and it may mean that other damages are being covered up too. At the same time, you need to check for any different tyres as this indicates that some of them may have been replaced over time. If this is the case, then you need to talk with the dealer or the person who is selling the car to find out why. If they cannot give you a good explanation or if they fumble, then this means that they may be trying to cover up how many miles the car has actually done, and this is the last thing that you need.

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