Used vehicles are certainly an economical choice for budget-conscious Corvallis drivers. But how can we know we're getting a good used vehicle and not just inheriting someone else's problems?
There are good used vehicles for sale in the Corvallis area. Vehicles are sold when families upsize, when families downsize or even when someone just wants a new ride. So the used vehicle may be just fine. But some Corvallis used vehicle owners sell them because they don't want to deal with developing or existing problems.
When you're considering buying a used vehicle in Corvallis, ask for service records. Check to see if the recommended schedules for preventive maintenance have been followed. If so, you probably have a great used vehicle on your hands. If there aren't any service records, then assume the worst.
Check the vehicle for obvious signs of problems. Kick the tires if you want to but definitely check them for uneven tread wear. This can indicate alignment problems, worn shocks or suspension issues. Listen to the engine for unusual sounds and pay attention to unexpected odors. Take the vehicle for a test drive and make a list of any concerns you might have.
If the used vehicle you're looking at is a late model vehicle with under 35,000 miles/55,000 km on it, take it to Clayton's Auto Service for an inspection. This inspection will reveal many basic or developing problems. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Clayton's Auto Service about concerns you had on the test drive. Get a heads-up on needed repairs or maintenance.
Previously leased vehicles are often tempting to used vehicle buyers because they are generally newer models with low mileage and have been factory-cleaned. Be cautious, however. Many Corvallis residents who lease vehicles don't bother with preventive maintenance because they know they'll be turning the vehicles in. Again, ask for maintenance records, take the vehicle in for a full-service oil change and consult with the pros at Clayton's Auto Service about any problems the vehicle may have.
Older used vehicles are even more problematic for Corvallis used car buyers. Older vehicles simply come with more maintenance and repair issues than new ones. Take these in for a used vehicle inspection at Clayton's Auto Service. Usually, a seller will let you do this before you purchase the vehicle. These inspections are very thorough and will help you know what you're getting into. You'll be able to make an informed decision about your purchase. That peace of mind will make the cost of the inspection more than worth your while. It's always good auto advice for Corvallis drivers to purchase a Carfax report on any used vehicle. This report will let you know if the vehicle has been in a major accident and will give you a title history. You'd be surprised what used vehicle buyers have learned from those reports. Know before you buy.
Once you purchase a used vehicle, give it some tender loving care. Give it a thorough cleaning, inside and out — and don't forget the engine compartment. A good wax on the outside will make it look and feel “new.” And, of course, stay on top of preventive maintenance. Used vehicles bought in Oregon can last a good, long time if they're properly cared for. They're economical to buy and can keep on saving us money if we look after them.
How do Corvallis drivers know if an odometer is telling the truth?
Well, back in '86, Congress passed the Truth-in-Mileage Act to protect Oregon consumers against mileage fraud. It says a Oregon seller must certify the mileage reported is the actual mileage.
To have your odometer checked in Corvallis, Oregon, stop by Clayton's Auto Service:
Clayton's Auto Service 797 NE Circle Blvd Corvallis, Oregon 97330
If it isn't, the seller must say why; for example, maybe the odometer is past its mechanical limits. Some older odometers only go to 99,999 and then start over at 0. Or, the odometer has been tampered with, broken or replaced.
If the seller tells you the mileage isn't accurate, there's not much chance of putting a good number to it. And there's the unscrupulous seller who claims the reading is true, but it isn't. What can Corvallis vehicle owners do?
You can go to www.CarFax.com, where, for a small fee, they'll give you a comprehensive vehicle history search on your vehicle, showing local Corvallis, Oregon, ownership history, accident reports, total-loss events, manufacturer buybacks, Lemon reports and warranty status.
You can get a mileage history by checking with the local Oregon DMV (or wherever you happen to be) and other verified sources looking for inconsistencies in the mileage reported when the car was bought and sold. If there are signs of odometer rollback, now you'll know.
If so, proceed with caution. Or, negotiate a lower price. Or just walk away. There's always another vehicle.