When you have finally picked out the car that you want, it’s time for the important test drive. If the seller won’t allow you to drive the car before you buy it, walk off. They’re hiding something otherwise. Make it very clear that you need plenty of time behind the wheel before you buy it. If you can’t fully test it over just one trip around the block, it’s time to walk off. What do you need to look for on your drive though?
When you drive the vehicle, the first thing to begin to search for is to determine if the automobile slightly drifts to one side of the road or the other. This might be either just a very simple alignment problem, or it might be signs of an extremely significant frame alignment issue. When driving a car in a straight line the car should also not vibrate or shimmy since that are signs of problems also. The wheels should also not vibrate when turning slightly left or right rather like you’d do if changing lanes.
To check the brakes you should go find a large empty street or perhaps a parking lot. Just be certain no one is following behind you. You will want to get the car up to approximately 40 miles per hour and stomp on the brake firmly. The car should begin to stop easily and not pull hard to one side or another. If the vehicle has antilock braking systems you need to feel that the brake vibrate under your foot as the ABS functions. If the car doesn’t have ABS then the pedal should stay stiff underneath your foot whilst braking.
The parking brake should be analyzed as well. To test the parking brake you will want to drive up a hill then brake. Take your foot off the regular brake. If the car doesn’t move, you have a working E-brake. If it doesn’t, well then you have a problem and should start braking regularly.
While on that hill, you may wish to test the cars acceleration. Go to the bottom of the mountain and stop. Once at standstill, step on the gas. The car must go up the mountain without any issue, arbitrary surges in power or funny noises coming from the motor. This same evaluation needs to be performed on a level place, but this time, flat out floor it. If the car doesn’t accelerate hard, smoothly or makes crazy noises, then you probably will want to not consider it.
Another easy problem to test for is your Engine overheating. By getting out on the highway and cruising for longer then ten minutes, then you will be able to tell if the engine overheats as well as having the ability to tell whether the car performs at highway speeds. As soon as you get off the street, find somewhere to park for 5 minutes and then turn the AC all the way up. This is to simulate being trapped in traffic. The engine should not overheat during either of those tasks.