Tips for Test Driving a Vehicle

After you get in to test drive the car, after checking the oil level, coolant and brake fluid in the engine compartment, it is now a driving characteristics. A good method for the first impression is to let the seller drive. This has the advantage so that you can watch as a passenger more because you are not distracted by driving an unfamiliar vehicle. The test drive should take place in daylight, as a night drive requires more concentration. That’s how we went about our test drive when we were looking at a St George used car when we were recently on vacation.

Look at starting a cold engine on the indicator lights: If the machine starts quickly (do not forget the pre-heating in older diesels), all indicator lights should be extinguished within a few seconds. This is usually a sign for OK all important systems that serve the driving and safety. When the engine is running smoothly, you can get off again and convince yourself of the function of the headlight and turn signals, headlight flasher, fog lights and brake lights and light circuit. Now let the seller go a few miles and watch his driving style. It can be concluded from the test drive, first, whether he (as a private seller) is familiar with the vehicle, on the other hand, if his driving style maybe to conceal deficiencies.

1949 Ford Coupe - flat head V8 engine
Photo Credit: dave_7

Keep the radio off during the test drive

Be careful as the car accelerates and whether the gear shift runs smoothly and the automatic shifts smoothly. As relaxed seated passenger is taken usually the suspension and tire noise more true. Worn-out shock absorbers and damaged axle feel and hear even a layman. You can compare features such as fan, air conditioning, power windows, sunroof, navigation, radio etc., without having to concentrate on the traffic. Turn on the radio but turn it off again, since it’s a distraction factor.
Ask them finally to be allowed to take over in a parking lot or an open road without much traffic the control. You must first have inquired as to how the vehicle is currently insured for all damages resulting from a test drive will be charged to the driver. The liability is however limited by liability and comprehensive insurance on the deductible and the downgrading of damage to the vehicle owner. Also, traffic adversities of course, go to the driver who caused them account. Do not drive with an unknown or insufficiently insured car because you assume all risk and liability for any damages!

When all functions test drive test itself

Once you sit behind the wheel and seat and mirror set, try all the features that you could not test so far. Then press for the horn and wipers to test and get familiar with the gear shift: As you put the car in reverse, are all the gears to shift well and evenly in the state? Then, the clutch is checked for proper operation. To do this, pull the parking brake, place the 3 Gear and let out the clutch lever slowly. The engine must now die, otherwise the clutch will slip through and must be repaired soon. Likewise, can you feel the behavior of the engine during this procedure, as it is with the stock: Shaking, shaking the engine noticeably before it stalls, the motor bearings are probably worn.

Now it is on the slopes: Go for a test drive on a straight street with little traffic as possible and take your hands off the steering wheel. Then continuously pulls the car to the left or right, is probably wrong track. Even an accident injury can be the cause of a warped track.

The function of the brake test also on a straight and dry road with little traffic. When the brake pedal a uniform and largely noise-free delay must occur. The braking effect is different on both sides, when the vehicle moves to the right or left. In this case, adjustments are needed in the workshop. During the braking test, you should also test the effect of the ABS. It is best to do on a road with loose gravel or slippery surfaces on the brakes at speed 40, if nobody is at risk. If you get out now and see clear grinding marks, at least one tire has blocked and denied the ABS. A repair is expensive, a defective ABS prevents the allocation of inspection sticker.

Check gearbox, starter motor and acceleration

Now test in detail the transition circuit by trying all combinations during the test drive, depending on traffic. Fast boot and downshifting and gear skipping shows whether the transmission is running smoothly or are suspicious noises. Ensure vehicles with turbochargers on the passage and the acoustics desselbigen: A soft singing or whistling when accelerating discreet is safe, louder noises may indicate problems and costly repairs. Move the car in city mode with a lot of stop and go and the roads and highway mode with high gears at low, medium and high speeds. Also try whether the steering wheel starts to vibrate at higher speeds.

For a full throttle, the coolant thermometer must (if present) do not rise too much, but must quickly when driving slowly recover. Otherwise, a problem with the thermostat could be. If an oil pressure gauge is available, you can check the engine for a fast ride. Hold during the test drive in a safe place, turn the idle and watch the oil pressure. He sinks drastically, the engine has problems with the lubricant circulation and probably not very long life expectancy more.

Finally, you check the steering at low speeds and when parking. They are at full impacts noises? Does it clear the game? When parallel parking, you can check if the steering is good. Do you need to boost too much or it creaks audibly, this indicates problems in the steering gear.

Take time for the test drive

A detailed test drive, as described here, usually takes only 30 to 40 minutes to complete, but well worth it in any case. A seller who has something to hide love it when buyers concede without hesitation. Remember, however, that one can not expect the equivalent of a new car at a used car price. Wear parts go as well as other components often unexpectedly broken and are due from certain odometer readings. Defects with the new owner has therefore always to be expected.

On the other hand, can also give a room for negotiation defects that become apparent during the test drive, the buyers. However, the private seller can not talk to him, he is probably untrustworthy and hopes for a less qualified buyers. In this case worth to abandon the vehicle, the liability for defects is excluded in a private sale, in most cases already in the contract.