Test Driving Tips

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Are you thinking of getting a used car? Are you searching for tips on what to check and look for when considering buying a car? It is of utmost importance to have a thorough knowledge of the car that you are going to acquire. This will ensure your enjoyment and contentment for the years to come using your car.

The proper mind set

First of all, you must keep in mind that test driving a car is not a simple procedure. It will determine the claimed performance of the car you want by the dealer and contrast it with the performance in real conditions. This is the time wherein you can see if the car that you have always wanted measures up with your ideals and standards.

Prepare a checklist of criteria

It is important to make a checklist of criteria by which you will be able to judge a car’s performance without having any problems regarding objectivity. It will help you see the car’s advantages and disadvantages without the influence of other factors that are not as important. This will also enable you to conduct the test drive faster since you already have a set list of the things that you are looking for in a car.

Explore other weather conditions

You should consider test driving a car in inclement weather conditions to have a better feel of the car’s overall performance regardless of the type of weather it will be used in. It is good to know the car’s feel when driving in rainy conditions or at night. If the dealer requires that a representative accompany you on the test drive, let the person know what you are planning to do and what route you will be taking.

Drive in different kinds of terrain

When test driving a car, outline a route that will take you to different kinds of terrain like bumpy roads and steep hills. When checking a car’s turning capabilities and braking power, consider doing it in a side street that has very little traffic. If you are going to evaluate the car’s acceleration and speed, then taking it to the open highway or the interstate is a good idea. You should also do a lot of driving on the types of roads that you encounter in everyday driving like your route from work going to your house or vice-versa.

Inside the car

When you are inside the car and behind the wheel, some of the things that you should check are the following:

Look to see if the gauges are working properly and are easy to read. Make certain you can easily see beyond the steering wheel and it does not in any way obstruct your view.

On the dashboard

After checking the gauges and steering wheel, the next thing to look at is the dashboard. Check that all the dashboard controls are within easy reach and you do not need to significantly move out of a comfortable driving position. Search for any extensions on the dashboard that may potentially cause injury to the driver or passenger during sudden stops or when surging forward.

Visibility

Check that windshield wipers are working properly. Use the squirting mechanism that applies the wiper fluid onto the windshield and find areas that may not be reached by it. This is critical since it may affect your night time driving and when driving during bad weather conditions. Does the car have a tint? If the tint is too thick, it will impair night visibility and cause you to have a hard time driving at night. There are also laws that prevent the windshield from being tinted. Check the rules and regulations in your state to determine if that applies.

On the road

While driving, check for blind spots by looking closely at the side mirrors as well as the rear view mirror. Evaluate the performance of the car’s suspension by checking if it offers a comfortable ride and you feel that you are in control at all times. Look for a parking lot without too much vehicles and conduct a few sharp turns as well as a U-turn. Does the suspension work well or does the car wobble too much?

Steering performance

Observe that the car has a responsive steering mechanism. A little turn of the steering wheel should be enough for the car to respond efficiently. The steering should be balanced enough so as to have enough power for easy steering and at the same time it should correctly render the feel of the road to the driver.

These are some of the things to consider when taking a car for a road test. Remember to put a car’s performance first in your priority before its other aspects.
 

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