Well the news says that this will be a record year for sales in both the automotive and motorcycle industry. However not everyone buys brand new. So how do you know exactly what you are buying? I’m not talking about the year, make and model and what options it had from the factory, but what condition is that car or bike in and what has it been through? That’s what we will cover in this article –
When buying a used vehicle you need to make sure that it hasn’t been through a rough life, i.e. bad accidents, floods or even possibly stolen and resold and even flood damage. While some of this can be pretty obvious on motorcycles, it may not be with a car.
There are two things you can do to make sure you are really getting what you are paying for. This first, when it comes to cars, is to go ahead and take it to your local mechanic to make sure that it is okay mechanically. A good mechanic can look at the fluids and belts and a few other things to make sure the vehicle has been well maintained. In some cases they may even be able to tell if the vehicle has been in an accident. That of course is a real big concern, which brings us to the other way to protect yourself.
Vehicle History Reports – there are a lot of people that have used these before in the past, and there are a lot of people who haven’t. While sometimes people are okay and don’t have problems after purchasing a vehicle, there are other times when people could have saved themselves a lot of money and a lot of headaches by just getting a report. It really is cheap insurance.
While it may be pretty easy to tell if a motorcycle has been dropped, it may not be so easy with a car. This is probably one of the best features about a vehicle history report. It’s not always so easy to tell if a car has been in a bad wreck or not. There are important parts to a car that make it safe when you are involved in an accident like the crumple zones and air bags. A lot of time if it has been wrecked and crumple zones have not been repaired correctly or not repaired at all can cause 1 – the car not to “crumple” or give way when involved in an accident and cause more harm to the occupants and 2 – if involved in an accident again the vehicle suffers more damage than it should have. If you order a report on a car and it comes back that it was involved in an accident with heavy damage it may be better to just find another vehicle.
Another factor that has become of more importance as of late is flood cars. Cars now days are very sophisticated and have a lot of on board computers, which actually do more and control more than the computers on the space shuttle did. When a vehicle is submerged these computers take on water. They may seem to work fine for some time, but as time goes by these computers corrode and their connections don’t work, causing all kinds of problems from check engine lights all the way to safety restraint lights coming on. In most states if the check engine light is on you won’t be able to get an inspection done in order to renew your “tag” or registration for the vehicle. Also, on most cars if the air bag light is on, the air bag system is not functioning at all and leaves you more susceptible to being hurt in a crash.
Most vehicle history reports report both of these concerns as well as others. However, not all reports are created equal, and with some you get just as much information for less money. We are not big fans of Carfax. We feel they are over priced. They have to charge a lot of money for their service to be able to pay for all of those ads that you see on tv with their cute little car fox. The brand that we prefer more is from KNW Autobody. We find that their reports are more reasonably priced, and in most situations give the same information. Keep in mind that the information they give is from what they collect from insurance companies and other government agencies. KNWAutobody.com Car History Reports seems to have a nice balance of both and serve not only cars, but motorcycles as well.
Sometimes one report will have something that another report won’t. For that reason we always suggest that if you don’t know how to really look over a vehicle before purchasing it, take it to your local mechanic and have him do a once over to make sure everything is on the up and up.
We also found a vehicle that gives a little more info on the service – Happy Motoring!