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How to properly test drive a dealership certified used car

How to properly test drive a dealership certified used car


As you saw yesterday, the test drive is a vital part of
buying a new car. If you're in the market for a certified used car, that point
is still the same. And then some. Continuing our drive to ensure complete
satisfaction, Car Nation Canada are putting these test drive tips out there.
All so you can get the very best car for your money.

While you don't have any of the insecurity of buying
privately when you buy from us, each car has its own characteristics that you
need to be comfortable with before you buy. That's the point of a test drive.
To see if your car of choice is the perfect partner or whether you should try something else.

Before the test drive

Before you even get into the car, you want to make sure it's
as described and the right car for you. The test drive can invoke and emotional
attachment so it's important to do these checks first.

  • Check wheels and bodywork for rust or any kind of damage
  • Check that the engine is cold before starting
  • Have someone watch the exhaust when starting for any dark or
    blue coloured smoke (diesels blow black smoke on engine start normally)
  • Let engine idle and ensure idle is smooth
  • Listen for rattles, creaks, groans or anything that sounds
  • Test handbrake by gently pulling forward while engaged. Car
    should resist
  • Turn steering wheel from side to side, movement should be
    quiet and smooth
  • Check all lights, electrics and air conditioning if present
  • What are the blind spots like? Have a friend stand at
    various points to check

Test driving a certified used car

Test driving a certified used car is much the same as
driving a new one. You're essentially checking that you are comfortable driving
it but are also looking out for anything amiss. Spend around 30 minutes test
driving the car and don't be rushed.

  • Are the instruments clear and accessible?
  • Drive on all types of road, highway, city roads, country
    road at all speeds
  • When it's safe to do so, find somewhere quiet to test the
    brakes thoroughly
  • When it's safe to do so, find somewhere quiet to test
    acceleration and steering
  • Listen out for noises that shouldn't be there
  • Check for smooth operation of brakes, steering, engine,
    tires and electrics

After the test drive

Leave the engine on for a few seconds at idle to ensure it's
still smooth

Then discuss it with whomever you brought with you to make
sure you didn't miss anything while driving. Discuss the car, whether it
delivers what you need and whether you could live with it long term. Only then
should you sit down with the sales representative to strike the deal.

Buying a used car from Car Nation Canada is about as safe as it gets. All our vehicles are safety checked, serviced and fully prepared  for their new owner. We still want you to be completely confident in your purchase, so would encourage all our customers to thoroughly test drive any prospective new vehicle.

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