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Monday, Sept. 5

Tips for buying a pre-owned vehicle

To help you decide what your next car should be, visit sites such as MSN Auto and NADA Guides for reviews, pricing and lists of best used car buys. Of course, we also have terrific rates for members who want a new car or preowned car— as low as 2.49% APR!

Look for certified vehicles
Manufacturer certification is preferable to dealer certification.
Avoid the hassle of tracking down the car you want and let a personal car shopper do the legwork for you. Contact Dave Escobar at Trojan Auto Buying and just tell him what you want. Dave and his team will find it, negotiate the best price and even arrange for delivery to one of our branches.

Check the Kelley Blue Book for current values. Then go to Autotrader or Autobytel  to see what sellers are asking. This will help you set a price range and make an initial offer.

Private party sales
It’s best to have a trusted mechanic check it out, but if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, here are some telltale signs you can look for upfront:
Check for rust by the door hinges.

  • Check the tires and windows for signs of paint over spray indicating bodywork.
  • Test-drive it during the day to see how the A/C works.
  • Examine the transmission fluid; clear indicates it’s fresh, a slightly brownish color means it’s older. This could be a clue to how well the vehicle was maintained.
  • Check the tires for uneven wear; this could simply be improper inflation, or could indicate alignment problems.

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