technician with a wrench working on the engine

Eventually, the time comes to replace your car, truck, or SUV. Often, you’ll decide to go used to save some money. This can either be a great financial decision, but it takes a little more groundwork to make sure you’re getting a good deal and a reliable vehicle. From researching, to test driving, to inspecting a used vehicle, Phoenix Motors Automotive Repair in Madison, AL has a few tips to help you get there.

Do Your Research Before you do anything else, do some homework. You want to have an idea of what you want before you go shopping, so you can look into those makes and models in advance. Check consumer reports, talk to someone who owns one, talk to your trusted technicians. Gather information about the vehicle, issues it may have, and so on. This will also help you narrow down which vehicle to choose.

Test Drive It’s impossible to know for certain if a vehicle will or will not have problems down the road. However, there are definitely some key points you can check to get a good feel for the overall condition and make sure things are operating properly. First, you’ll want to make sure you run the car long enough to get it up to temperature, to make sure no issues arise once the car has warmed up. Listen for strange noises while the vehicle is running and as it gets up to temperature. Make sure everything sounds good, and no codes or warning lights turn on. Next, drive it in some stop-and-go traffic. This allows you to get a feel for the brakes, steering, acceleration, etc. Let the transmission shift through every gear, and pay attention to anything out of the ordinary. Listen for noises in the suspension, and while turning. Driving on a bumpy road tends to bring out any rattles or unusual sounds that might indicate an issue down the road. Finally, get the vehicle up to the highway and interstate speed. You want to pay attention to steering issues and check for good alignment. The vehicle should pull in in a straight line, without wandering or fighting against you. Pay attention to shaking or vibration as well - Some vehicles will only shake at certain speeds or RPM and indicate an issue somewhere in the suspension or mechanics of the vehicle. 

Have It inspected The best inspection you can do is have a certified technician take a look at it. Certain things are only really visible on a lift - rust, condition of suspension components, leaks, and the like are far more obvious from underneath the vehicle. A good technician can also tell a lot about a vehicle by the condition of the oil, coolant, and transmission fluid. For example, coagulation on the inside of the fill cap indicates a head gasket issue, and dirty or burnt transmission fluid indicates a transmission problem. A good technician can also listen to an engine run and pick out unusual sounds you may not notice or know how to interpret. If you’re purchasing a new or new to you vehicle, the above guide is a great place to start. Also, if you can, get a vehicle report from Carfax or another reputable source. Many dealers will work with you on this. It’s a good extra safety measure, and will usually let you know if the vehicle has ever been wrecked, flooded, or stolen.

For all your repair and maintenance needs, our technicians are trained and equipped to get the job done. For the best auto service shop in Madison, AL, call or stop by Phoenix Motors Automotive Repair today.



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Thank you for visiting Phoenix Motors in Madison, Al. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today, CALL (256) 864-2845.

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