In the market for a used car?

Buyer beware! Used cars can be a great option for people looking for a nice vehicle at an economical price. However, there are a few steps to follow to ensure that you get a reliable and satisfactory vehicle.

Watch out for curbstoners

A curbstoner is someone who buys junk vehicles and does some work to make them appear to be nice vehicles. Often, these vehicles are missing airbags and other critical components of a safe reliable car. Sometimes the warning lights on the dash are disabled to prevent the buyer from catching on to the problem. Curbstoners will make up stories about how they are moving back to their home country and many times they say they are doctors or veterinarians. Many times the vehicles can be too good of a deal and should be brought in for a used vehicle check by a professional. Once a technician looks closely at a curbstoner’s vehicle it can be easy to see the damage/problems that are being hidden. In our experience at Japanese Auto Service we have seen many flood vehicles with large amounts of rust that have been for sale in the Denver area.

Watch out for out-of-state vehicles

Many vehicles from out East in the rust belt area are brought to Colorado and sold. These vehicles are prone to failure sooner than a vehicle from a dry climate. Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and California are great places to buy a vehicle from. However, if you are buying a vehicle from out of state and assume it is 4wd or AWD that is not always the case. Many two wheel drive trucks and SUV’s are sold in warmer states.

Drive the heck out of it and don’t get used car fever

If you are buying a used vehicle then take it on a very thorough road test. Try every accessory, run the AC while driving up a long hill on the highway and if it’s four wheel drive then test it out. Make sure all the correct warning lights come on with the key on. Don’t get so excited at the thought of a new car that you overlook things that may give you problems down the road. There will always be other vehicles to choose from and if there’s any question you should think long and hard about it.

Don’t just look at the odometer

Many Japanese vehicles can run for half a million miles if maintained properly. People always think that if a vehicle has one hundred thousand miles that is high mileage. Well, it may be high mileage but on a modern Japanese vehicle it may be almost as good as new. Don’t be scared away when looking at a high mileage Japanses automobile. Almost every Toyota that I have bought has had well over 100,000 miles on it. They were all properly serviced and still run great.

Ask a mechanic

If you have any question about the Honda, Nissan, Toyota or Subaru that you are purchasing then give us a call. We do very thorough, full used car checks for a reasonable price and quite often we have found things that the buyer was unaware of. We will make a list of all the faults we find with the vehicle and you can use this for bargaining the price down. Many times this pays for itself.