What to Look for When Buying a Used Car

Used cars on a lot

It’s no secret that buying a car, whether new or used, is one of the biggest and most important purchases a person will make in their lifetime. By knowing what to look for when buying a used car, you will ensure you get a good value, make a sound investment, and end up with a vehicle you can rely on the streets of Peoria. Here is a brief guide to help you inspect and buy with confidence.


Start by taking a look at the outside of the vehicle— being mindful of any cosmetic issues that might signal a larger problem. This includes dents, uneven body panels, and cracked or broken auto glass.

Next, go in for a closer look at some of the exterior components:

  • Doors, Hood, & Trunk Open each one to test the hinges and make sure everything fully opens, closes, and latches as it should.
  • Headlights, Taillights, & Turn Signals Check that each one is fully illuminated and operational.
  • Suspension Test the suspension by lightly bouncing each corner of the vehicle; if a corner only bounces once, the suspension is likely in good shape.
  • Under the Hood Look for a clean engine and intact hoses that are pliable but firm to the touch.
  • Underneath the Car Inspect the tailpipe and chassis to check that they’re not bent or cracked, and look at the ground underneath for any fluid leaks.
  • Windows Roll the windows up and down to verify they’re working and closing/sealing properly.


The interior can also give you insight into the vehicle’s condition, specifically the:

  • Air Conditioner & Heater Turn them on and confirm they’re producing warm/cool air.
  • Roof Inspect the roof liner for any sags or stains, as these could indicate a leak.
  • Seats Try out the seats to make sure they’re comfortable and free of damage.

What to Ask When Buying a Used Car Near Bloomington

If you’re wondering what to ask when buying a used car, inquire about any of the above areas, as well as:

  • Is there a history of maintenance?
  • Is the vehicle history report available?
  • What is the ownership history?
  • What is the vehicle’s mileage?
  • Are there any current recalls on the vehicle?
  • Is the car as is, or is it under warranty?

Find Your Next Used Car at Ray Dennison Buick GMC

Now that you know what to look for when buying a used car in Pekin, let us make the car-buying process easy and stress-free. We have a large used inventory, and our certified pre-owned vehicles have passed a rigorous inspection process. Schedule a test drive today.


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