When it is time to purchase a new or used vehicle, how do we, as lay persons, know if a particular car has been well maintained, if it is safe to drive, and how much repair it may need in the years to come based on its age and condition?
A brand new car may even have some quirks, just because it was just rolled into the dealership does not guarantee it is a solid and worthwhile car purchase.
A good place to start your investigation is with your Fort Collins Auto Repair shop. They will have seen virtually every car manufactured rolling into their repair bays (or sometimes being towed in), and have a pretty solid idea of which cars tend to be more reliable than others. They will also know the quirks associated with specific manufacturers, as well as particular types of models. For example, some cars, due to body design, weight, or transmission may experience more problems with transmissions and axis. Other cars may be more prone to rollovers. And some vehicles are just all around solid and tend not to have any major issues as long as they are well maintained and responsibly driven.
Various consumer reports sites are also very helpful when it comes to narrowing down the more reliable cars from those prone to problems. Keep in mind, a manufacturer may produce a quite solid vehicle in a specific model for one year, but the following ears version may not be as efficient. Many car evaluation sites are available on the web, go ahead and check them out. These resources, along with some advice from your Fort Collins Auto repair shop, will help you narrow down the field of makes and models to look at when shopping for a new car. Do remember than some older specialized vehicles may have limited options when it comes to part replacement as well. If you have your heart set on a car that is no longer in production, replacing a bad alternator or a light cone may be very difficult.
How much is this particular car really worth based on how old it is? Check car value sites in your area, including Bluebook and your car insurance provider. Balance the value against the cost of maintenance and upkeep to get a comprehensive picture of how much this vehicle will cost you in the long run. Some well worn out cars are simply to expensive to continuously repair as their various components begin to break down because of wear and usage. Will the used car need new tires? How is the windshield? What about the interior? Again, it is a great idea to run the vehicle you’re considering for purchase by your Fort Collins Auto repair shop, and invest a bit of money letting them evaluate its health. They can do everything from an engine compression test to checking out the history of this vehicle, how well it has been cared for, and check to see if it has ever been recalled.
We have all purchased a car at some point that was an absolute money pit of frustration and uselessness. It may have even been a brand new or almost new car. All these purchases resulted in was the loss of a lot of money and a great deal of frustration. It is reasonable to expect that any car will have maintenance issues, but if the overall manufacture of the vehicle was shoddy from the inception, and the car was not cared for or in an accident, these are things any buyer needs to know prior to making an offer. Save yourself the grief and waste of buying a terrible vehicle by learning its overall reliability, dependability, history, and its current health. Your Fort Collins Auto Repair shop will know what to look for in determining the overall viability of the car’s health.
Your auto technician will also have seen these particular models before, and have a good idea of what constitutes a healthy life span. Some car models can expect several more years of healthy use even if they are 10 years old. Others will begin to break down after only 5 years. Your auto technician will be able to evaluate the health of the car, not only by testing and examining various components, but also with the knowledge of particular makes and models and how they tend to perform over time.
Another thing to consider is which kind of cars are more prone to certain kinds of breakdowns over others. For those of us who enjoy manual transmissions, anticipate more axle problems than you would with a automatic tranny. This does not mean you shouldn’t buy that AWD car, only know that different cars and types of cars behave and require maintenance differently.
Whatever you conclude is the best car for your needs, be sure and bring it by Fort Collins Foreign Car Service not only sound mechanical advice, but an evaluation prior to making a purchase. We are here to help you, and want you to get the best car you can when purchasing a new vehicle.