5 Secrets to Buying a Cheap Used Car

rev up your engines, well we’re all
trying to save money and if you’re looking for a good cheap car, if that car
still runs good it could be a good car but you need to check some serious
things first, and I’ll use this 68 Mercury Cougar as an example, now it’s
sort of a classic car, though this one is in pretty rough cosmetic shape, but if
they are rough cosmetically, hey you can get them a lot cheaper that way, as
long as they’re not rotted the whole way through, give them a good tap you can see
this is still pretty solid, it’s just that the paint
went off, it can be sanded down and repainted if you want, but there’s some
parts that you don’t want all rotten like the frame, so you want to jack it up
and check that so when you crawl under the car start looking now this part of
the frame might not look that good, but you get yourself a little hammer and hit
it, it’s still real solid that’s just some of the undercoating coming off
that’s fine, but if you would have hit it in pieces would crunch in and it was all
flaking off, hey then you wouldn’t buy it you don’t want one with a rotten frame
years ago I had an old customer, I’m in Texas, he bought a used Mercedes
from Florida, he drove it here and then he wanted me to service it, I put my jack
under there and I started to Jack the frame and
the whole thing was just breaking into pieces and I looked, the entire bottom of
the frame was rotting away, the car was basically worthless, and while you’re
under there check stuff like the brake lines, see if they’re all old and rotten
and have welded into one piece where you might have to replace the entire brake
line assembly if anything starts leaking and before you buy any old car, do a
little research about are parts still available for this thing, now this
cougar may be 51 years old but check this out, I just put a brand new
carburetor on it, believe it or not since I live in a big city Houston, it took me
one hour to get a brand new carburetor for this, now yes the Cougar is basically
the mercury version of the Mustang, so most of the parts are totally
interchangeable, and people always like mustangs so you can get parts for them
readily, and as a small aside if you’re thinking of buying an old classic car
you might think about a cougar, the Mustang prices are through the roof but
the Cougar is basically the same vehicle with a different body style, and when it
was new it actually cost more than the Mustangs did, so if you want to say get
a snazzy or old car, hey why not pick one that’s a little bit off-brand, not quite
as popular, you’re gonna pay a lot less and still could have a great vehicle
but regardless of what type of car you’re buying, just an old beater to get you
around, or a semi classic, make sure that parts are available for that model, don’t
don’t go out and buy from manufacturers that don’t even
exist anymore, you want to buy an old Triumph car, hey you’re gonna have a lot
of headaches getting parts, fixing it up stick to things that were extremely
popular, that parts are still available for, now the next thing to do as simple
as it sounds, is check the coolant, now this is nice and green it came with
green coolant, it’s not corroded if it’s all rusted out and gunked inside, you
don’t want to buy a vehicle that has a cooling system that’s all corroded
inside, generally means the engines gonna have overheating problems, things are
going to corrode and wear out, so check the simple things like that, and if it’s
all corroded inside, yeah don’t bother to buy it because it’s probably gonna have
cooling system problems if it doesn’t already have them, and the next thing is take
it for a good road test, a trick a lot of
guys do is they hardly have any gas in the tank, so if you got it and it’s almost out
of gas hey put five bucks of gas in it
just so you can take it for a good test take it on the highway, see if it’s out
of control when you drive it at high speeds or whether it goes good, watch the
temperature gauge when you’re on the highway see if it overheats at highway
speeds, and then when you get in town drive it around 30 mile an hour zone for
15 minutes or so, see if it overheats in traffic, you don’t want to have a car
that has overheating problems, you’re mainly going to be looking for big
problems stuff like brakes, brakes don’t cost that
much especially today there’s aftermarket stuff, a
lot of times you can get brake pads for $20, you can get rotors for $29 on a lot
of vehicles, so you don’t worry about stuff like that, what you worry about is
the big-ticket items, the engine and the transmission,
and whether the car suspension is good because if they’ve been wrecked a lot of
times they won’t sit right, I had a customer years ago, they had bought a
used car and they said, hey their friend said the car looked a little weird when
they were following behind him, so they brought them over here, and I saw the
entire vehicle the bottom had been shoved to
the right, so when you follow him you could see that the right wheel was
sticking out further and the left wheel was sticking in further, the whole thing
had been shifted, so look at the car from the back and from the front, and if at
all possible have friends follow you or have the friend Drive it and you follow
it, and see if the thing is sitting cockeyed one way or the other, because if
it’s really bent, you don’t want to buy a car like that it’s gonna be more bother
than it’s worth, and when it comes to that demand to see
the title, because it’s not just your own financial safety, you want to make sure
they actually own the car they’re selling you, but you don’t want to buy
one of these cars that had been wrecked, if the title says reconditioned
refurbished or salvage title, yeah it’s a good idea not even to mess with those
things, because that meant they’ve been totaled by an insurance company and they
total them for some pretty good reasons, and sure once in a while there might be
a great car like that but hey, you want to play the lottery when you’re buying a
car, you know millions of people lose the lottery and only one person wins, check the
inspection sticker, if you’re buying it your using it for transportation, make
sure that the sticker is current and valid, don’t believe anything anybody
tells you when you’re selling the car, like oh it just needs this the passed
inspections or that, one of the biggest reasons my customers get rid of their
old junky cars, is because they’re sick of spending a ton of money every year to
get their car to pass the state inspections, if you’re in a state that
does state inspections, hey make sure it’s got a valid one because if it
doesn’t you might be just falling into somebody else’s money pit, another thing
do is to go and check the tires, these tires even though they have mud on them because
they’ve been sitting a while, they still got a lot of
tread left on them and they don’t have any bald spots or really bad marks, now sure
tires aren’t all that big of an expense but if you see really bald tires on one
part and not another, that generally shows the car has got a serious suspension
problem and you’re gonna keep buying tires and they’re gonna keep wearing out
too fast, so if they look good even if the tire treads are getting a little
thin, as long as everything’s even it doesn’t have a serious suspension
problem, now after doing a good road test the next thing you have to realize is,
before you take possession of that vehicle, make sure that your insurance
company is told you’re buying it and you have a time that the insurance is valid,
because years ago a friend of mine, he bought a used car, he was driving it back
and he got in a massive wreck, he ended up being sued, because he had no insurance
on that car while he was driving it, and even though whose fault it was is still
up in the air, he drove pretty fast so it was probably his fault, but
regardless you don’t want to be driving around in a non insured car even for an
hour or something, you never know what’s gonna happen, because these days with
cell phones hey, you can contact your insurance agent, you can have proof of
insurance on your phone immediately, once you tell them that you’re putting this
car on your policy, make a point of doing it before you start driving it around, I
made a mistake years ago, I had a customer who was thinking about buying
this used Mercedes, so they brought it over here and she got in the car with me,
and I road tested it, well while I was road testing it, I got pulled over by the police,
because the sticker wasn’t valid, the license plate one of them was missing, didn’t
have insurance, I had to go to court for that and it was a royal pain in the
wazoo, so now you know what to do if you’re buying an old car, so you don’t
get stuck with somebody else’s money pitch, because there’s plenty
of old cars out there that are still running quite well, but being really old
they’re not worth all their much money and it can be a fantastic deal sometimes,
like my 94 Celica that I paid 350 bucks for, so if you never want to miss another
one of my new car repair videos, remember to ring that Bell!

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