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5 Things to Look For In a Used Car

Buying a used car is a great option if you’re looking for something with a smaller price tag that can get you from point A to point B. We know that buying a used vehicle can be nervewracking, especially if you aren’t a car expert, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 things to look for when shopping for a used vehicle:

Under the Hood

Before you get in a used car and take it for a test drive, take a look under the hood. While you may not be a mechanic, you can at least check for things that might be red flags. Is the engine bay clean and free of oil splatters? Do you see any corrosion on the battery or wires? Those can be signs that the vehicle is not in great working condition. You can also check rubber materials like belts and hoses for cracks by giving them a little squeeze. If everything under the hood checks out, you can move on to the next thing.

Exterior Condition

Take a lap around the vehicle to spot any damage that may decrease the value of the vehicle or that may be a concern. Misaligned panels or large gaps may indicate that the car has been involved in some sort of accident. If this is the case, you can certainly ask a dealer for a vehicle history report. During this lap, it is okay to have the car running so you can check that headlights and brake lights are functional before taking the car for a spin. Don’t forget to check the tread on the tires and any scuff marks on the wheels – and check under the vehicle for potential rust.

Interior Condition

Inside the car itself, you should look for any obvious signs of damage. Look for rips or tears in the upholstery and any stains. You should also check that the AC and heater work properly by turning them on. Turn the windshield wipers on and test that any controls for the turn signals or headlights are also in proper working condition. If the seat adjustments are electronic, test those, as well as your windows and mirror adjustments. Last, check the odometer to make sure that the mileage is the same as what the seller has told you.


There is not a simple answer to the question, “what is good mileage for a used car?” because it all really depends on how well the vehicle was maintained. It is good to remember to use caution when purchasing a car with high miles because engine parts are not made to last forever. However, if the previous owner maintained the vehicle well, the car may still have a lot of life left to live. Keep in mind that 100K city miles are harder on a vehicle than 100K highway miles.

Vehicle History Report

A vehicle history report will help you identify problems you can observe by looking at the car. You will be able to see any accidents the vehicle has been in and if there have been past issues with the title. You can get a vehicle history report from the dealership you are purchasing the car from or online using the VIN number. This will help you determine if everything the seller has listed about the car is accurate.

With these five things in mind, you can buy your next used car with confidence! The team at Peak Kia North is committed to providing the best experience to every customer that walks through our doors. With the largest selection of used cars and trucks, and certified pre-owned vehicles, we are certain you will find your next vehicle at Peak Kia North. Check out our inventory today!