5 Things to Look for When Test Driving a New Car
Before buying a car, most people know that they should take it for a test drive. But what you may not know is what to look for during the drive. The most important aspects of the vehicle will depend on what is highest on your list of priorities.
Comfort of the Ride
Some cars have suspensions designed to isolate the car from the road, offering a smooth and comfortable ride. But others have tightly-tuned suspensions that cause you to feel every bump. Sports cars tend to have tighter suspensions, while luxury models might feel smoother in the ride. Other factors that affect how comfortable the car feels include the seats and tires. Some designers offer contoured seats with extra bolstering. Ill-fitting or misaligned tires might cause the car to feel bumpier than usual.
There is always a learning curve when adjusting to the sensitivity of the brake pedal in a new car. But you should take notice of how the car feels when you press the pedal gently and with more force. If the car begins to shake or vibrate when you apply the brakes, it could be a sign of a problem with the pads or other components. Brakes should always provide enough stopping power even with a gentle push of the pedal.
One of the biggest complaints made by car buyers is the amount of noise within the cabin of the new vehicle. Luxury vehicles tend to have noise-dampening materials and glass that keep the cabin quiet, even when driving at higher rates of speed. Before you buy, take your test drive on roads with varying speed limits to get a better idea of the noise level.
Condition Under the Hood
You don’t have to be a mechanic to take a quick inspection of the condition of the car beneath the hood. Look for any signs of rust or corrosion, particularly around the engine, along with any parts that look like they might have been replaced at some point. You can tell when something has been swapped out if it doesn’t quite match the rest of the components. Take a peek at the ground beneath the parked car to see if any fluids are leaking. All parts of the car should look clean and well-maintained.
If you’re buying a pre-owned vehicle, it’s also smart to walk around the car to look for any dents, dings, or other damage. Even a small dent that hasn’t been fixed properly can lead to rust. Look at the interior of the vehicle as well to make sure there are no tears in the upholstery, damage to the dashboard, or missing accessories.
When shopping for a pre-owned car, it’s always smart to have a mechanic take a closer look to make sure that the most expensive aspects of the car, such as the transmission and engine, are in good condition as well. If it passes and you feel comfortable with these important aspects of the car, you should feel confident to make an offer.