The Test Drive
by Kevin Schappell
One of the most important steps in buying a new or used car is the test
drive. You can do all the research you like, but it all comes down to the
test drive. Driving the car must be comfortable, easy, and enjoyable.
Follow these few steps and get the most out of your next test drive.
- Check over the car before you leave the dealer's lot. Tires, fluids, and
lights should all be checked before you drive. Also make sure there is gas
in the car.
- If at all possible go on the test drive by yourself. You need to
concentrate on the driving experience and the noises of the car. A babbling
salesman will distract you and not let you get a good read on the car.
- Before leaving the lot, adjust the seat, mirrors, and the climate control
system. You do not need to be distracted while driving an unfamiliar car.
Make sure you are comfortable and have a good view of everything around you.
- Drive a variety of roads. Mix it up with some city driving followed by
highway if you can. You should make sure to try every gear and reach
highway speeds to fully test the car.
- Test the brakes. The steering wheel should not shake while applying the
brakes. Also, check to see if the car pulls to one side while braking.
Squeaks and rattles could also indicate worn pads.
- Notice how the car tracks. When you take your hands off of the wheel,
which way does the car go? If the car consistently tracks to one side, be
concerned about the alignment.
The last thing you should check is how you feel about the car. Did you
enjoy driving it? Was there enough power to get your blood pumping? Is
this a car you can live with every day? Most important don't get caught up
in the moment, don't buy the first car you see, and never never let the
dealer think you are interested.
Kevin maintains http://www.autoeducation.com where he gives advice on car maintenance, buying, selling, insurance, and financing. A mechanical engineer and car guy, Kevin has decided to spend his online time helping others learn about automobiles.
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