We get a lot of calls from viewers who have bought a used car and realize too late they are stuck with a clunker.
In South Carolina there are no lemon laws to help consumers who buy used cars.
So we want to prevent you from make the mistake upfront.
Here are the top 7 steps you should take before you buy a used car.
7. Order A Title History.
The dealer may give you a Carfax report. But that's not always the full story. You can get the car history using the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.
6. Inspect The Outside
Spartanburg Mechanic Harry Brady says first check for mismatched paint on the outside and under the hood. That could be a sign the car was in a crash. Another technique, make a fist and put it between each tire and frame.
5. "You know how much you put in, so you go to the other side and if there's a difference, you have a problem immediately," said Brady.
Number Five: Check the fluids
The oil should be a golden amber, brake fluid, clear, and coolant up to the full line.
4. Check the tires.
An easy way to do that is to take a penny and put Abe Lincoln upside down. Then stick the penny in the tread and if you can see the top of Abe's head, it's time to get the tires replaced. All 4 tires should have even tread wear. If they don't the wheels might be mis-aligned."
3. Ask For The Maintenance History
Detailed records of oil changes and filter replacements can show whether a car is in excellent or just fair condition.
2. Watch Out For Rentals
The engines of rentals tend to have more wear and tear.
1. Ask A Professional
Brady says not getting a used car checked out by an independent mechanic is the biggest mistake he sees.
"I've had a lot of bad stories, we've had people buy an automobile that was rusted, they didn't get underneath to check it," said Brady.
And if you don't have it checked, there's a good chance you'll be writing checks to pay for repairs.
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