Finding a good used car and keeping it running

Finding a good used car and keeping it runningIf you are thinking about buying a used car with a bad credit car loan, chances are you will want your car to last as long as possible before you need to replace it. Many used vehicles already have high mileage at the point of purchase, but there are signs consumers can look for to determine whether or not the car will have a long lifespan.

When you are looking to purchase a used vehicle, you should find out where it was driver previously, as different environmental factors can cause different mechanical issues, according to the Sacramento Bee. For instance, cars that were driven primarily in shore towns may have sustained rust damage from the sea air. You can also ask a dealer to see records of past repairs – and keep a eye out for major services such as timing belt replacements.

You can go online to research the make and model of the vehicle you are considering to find out the average cost of ownership. It can also be advantageous to investigate whether there have been any recalls on the car or truck in which you are interested. Finally, take the car for a test drive. This will allow you to find out how smoothly the engine runs, how well the brakes respond and gives you a chance to make sure the accessories – such as the air conditioner, interior lights and radio – all work properly.

Once you own a car, you should take proper care of it to help it last longer. A recent survey that was conducted by found that 68 percent of respondents are planning to drive their current vehicles well past the 150,000-mile mark. One way to reach this goal is to keep up with regular maintenance, especially when it comes to the car's fluids and filters. Oil changed should be done every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

It is also important to keep an eye on the engine's belt. Older cars may have more than one belt, but newer cars generally only have one serpentine belt that controls all of the engine's accessories, so if it breaks, your car could be useless until it is repaired. Pop the hood every few months or so and visually inspect the belt for damages – such as tears or chips in the rubber. If the belt is starting to show signs of wear, it may be a good idea to have it replaced before it gets worse.