Taking the Cat out of the Bag: What to Look for in a Used Car

Don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new car but don’t want to waste it on a bucket of bolts either?

Here you will find answers on how to bring down the scammers trying to capitalize on careless customers. Drop all fears about buying a used car and grab the tips from the Indy Auto Man used car dealership experts on what to look for when buying a pre-owned vehicle.

Don’t Risk Your Money

Choosing a used car is always a crapshoot. You can inspect every inch from the outside,

even lift it and check the chassis. But without detailed diagnostics of the engine, gearbox, and other components of the car’s heart, it is still a pig in a poke. And here a dealership and their diagnostics can be of good service.

At Indy Auto Man car dealer center in Indianapolis, the mechanics carefully examine the vehicle before buying it from the owner. Car sellers value their reputation and will not deal with illiquid or problematic vehicles. The dealership thoroughly checks the chassis, engine, and performs all necessary service and reconditioning procedures. Each used car at Indy Auto Man dealership goes on sale with a 7-day exchange guarantee if something goes wrong.

But it is always recommended to undertake your own inspection as well.

List of the main points you should check:


Body inspection of a used car is the crucial point. From this stage, you can understand how much the car seller wants to deceive you and sell a car that does not match the price.

Carefully study the body paintwork. If there are repainted elements, there is a risk that the part will be covered with rust before the warranty period due to poor-quality repairs. Examine the underside of the vehicle. It should not sag, should have no dents or rust.

Look at the car from the side; the body should be symmetrical. The doors of cars with factory geometry close easily without additional effort.


Stand in front of the car, assess the roof level, the uniformity of the ground clearance.

Luggage Compartment

Move the upholstery, make sure there are no bumps underneath. Check the mounting bolts. If the vehicle is damaged in an accident, there will be marks on the inside of the trunk. There should be a spare wheel and a jack under the boot floor.


Discs should not have cracks, defects, and pads should not have traces of strong uneven wear. The tires should also be worn evenly. Eliminate the presence of hernias, cracks in the rubber.

When inspecting the wheels, the most significant thing is to make sure of the integrity of the brake system. Look at the external characteristics: there should be no cracks on the brake pads. The same goes for brake discs.


Inspect the interior for wear and tear. Look for seats, steering wheel, power windows, windshield wipers, air conditioning, stove, heated seats, mirrors. It must be dry under the rugs. Otherwise, problems with the door seals are likely. Make sure the dashboard is working properly.

Engine Compartment

Equip yourself with a bright flashlight, open the hood and inspect what’s underneath. Carry out an external inspection and check the elasticity of the rubber hoses, the integrity of the side members, the serviceability of the compressor when the air conditioner is on. Eliminate the presence of rust, damage to elements. Find the VIN code, make sure that it matches the one indicated in the title.

The engine should not leak in normal condition. To check, you need to start the engine and see if bubbles appear in the expansion tank during operation. If there are any, then this indicates a defect in the head gasket.

In good working order, the engine does not emit extraneous metallic sounds, for example, crackling, grinding, etc.

Take a Test Drive

When taking a used car for a test drive, try to estimate:

  • how the engine starts and operates;
  • feeling on the road;
  • comfort in driving;
  • the presence of suspicious noises;
  • suspension and braking system operation;
  • the jerks when changing gears and steering wheel beating.

Secure Yourself – Come to the Dealer

A dealership is the safest place to buy used cars. If you are looking for a reliable one in Indianapolis, visit Indy Auto Man. At this dealership, cars undergo a full range of legal and technical checks. The Indy Auto Man dealer is willing to say openly about the problems and possible repairs that the car may need. At this dealership, you will find great prices for the car sale backed by a 30-day price match guarantee and also beneficial trade-in and financing options.


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