buying a used vheicle on kijiji - View the VIBE

There’s nothing quite like looking for a higher quality used vehicle and coming across what seems to be the perfect one on While finding a car or truck that you like is wonderful, there’s a lot to be done before you agree to buy the vehicle. Always check these ten things first and you have a good chance of investing in a previously owned vehicle that will serve you well for a long time.

1. Research the Year, Make, and Model

Your task begins before you ever decide to make contact with the buyer. Put the Internet to good use and find out all you can about the make, model, and year of that great looking vehicle. The goal is to find out if there is anything in general about that Hummer you should know before deciding to make the call.

You’ll find that the Internet has a wealth of information that you need to know. It’s possible to determine if that make and model has ever had any type of recall, what sort of mechanical issues owners have discussed on message boards or social media, and what sort of professional reviews are posted on different sites.

In many cases, what you read will confirm that the model is reliable, generally gets good mileage, and is worth taking a closer look. In the event you do find more negative information rather than positive data about the make and model, take that as a sign to consider a different vehicle.

2. Read the Owner’s Description Carefully

You can also learn a great deal from the owner’s description. Even if it’s brief, there are bound to be come clues about what to expect. Pay close attention to the number of miles on the engine and any references to regular maintenance and upkeep. That provides some idea of how well the vehicle has been maintained.

When there are images along with the description, you can get even more data. Look closely at the images to determine if you see anything that indicates there’s an issue with the vehicle. Remember that while images cannot tell the entire story, they will help you determine if there’s a dent in one of the doors or if the vehicle seems to have one corner a little lower than the rest. That could indicate there is some type of issue with the suspension.

3. Verify That the Title and Registration Are in Order

Now you can think about contacting the owner and ask a few questions. It’s not time to schedule an appointment to see the car or truck just yet. Along with some other basic questions, there’s one that requires a precise answer first; is the vehicle title and registration up to date and free from any liens?

If the response is yes, go ahead and schedule a date and time to check out the vehicle. When the owner says no or seems to want to circumvent giving a direct answer, you really need to drop the whole idea right now. The last thing you need is to pay good money and find out that the title and registration you receive is anything but clear.

4. Examine the Exterior

After you’ve communicated with the owner through and decided that you do want to take a look at the vehicle, set a date and time. When you arrive, start the inspection with a close look at the exterior. Go over the body and make sure you see nothing other than minor dings to the pain job. Overall, the pain should be in decent condition and not faded.

Be specifically aware of any sections of the vehicle that seem to be a slightly different shade from the rest of the body. That could indicate the vehicle has been in some type of accident. If you see anything like that, you do want to ask what type of accident happened, when it took place, and if all the damage was corrected. You’ll also want to file those answers in the back of your mind for a little later.

5. Remember to Check the Tires and the Exhaust Pipe

While you are walking around the Hummer and going over the body, take the time to check the tread on the tires. While you do want the amount of tread to be good enough to drive, there’s something else you want to notice. Is the tread wearing evenly?

If the tread is not even, that could mean the tires need balancing or the vehicle needs an alignment. It could also mean that not all of the damage from the accident was repaired properly. You don’t have to say anything now, but do keep this information in mind as you continue to evaluate the vehicle.

6. Take a Good Look at the Interior

Move on to the interior and see what you think. Be aware of any wear and tear on the seats and the carpeting. Check the liner to see if it’s still firmly in place or if there are some signs that it’s working loose in a few places. In general, you want to find the seats, liner, and carpeting are in good shape and need nothing more than a little cleaning.

Remember to look closely at the dashboard. While you weren’t sure in the images posted at, the dash did seem to be slightly off. That could mean it was pulled away to install a new sound system. It could also mean that the dashboard was dislodged during an accident and never quite put back in the proper place.

7. Go For a Test Drive

If things seem to be fine so far, it’s time to take that Hummer for a test drive. During the drive, pay close attention to the following:

• How does the engine sound?
• Does the transmission shift without hesitation?
• Are there any knocking sounds?
• Do the brakes respond easily?
• Is the engine heating up at a reasonable pace?
• What do you think about the pickup?
• Is the ride smooth?
• Do you notice the wheel pulling to one side?

While these are not the only things you want to check during the test drive, they do form the foundation. If you are concerned about the performance of the suspension, engine, brakes, or transmission for any reason, keep your enthusiasm in check and proceed to the next step.

8. Do a Quick Check of the Engine

While you’re taking that test drive, drop by the auto shop that you normally use. See if someone can take a quick check of the engine. If you noticed anything that made you wonder about the transmission or the brakes, mention that too. There are a number of ways for a trained mechanic to quickly determine if there’s any serious issues with a vehicle. Something as simple as a visual check of the engine and looking for signs of fluids leaking while the vehicle is running are two examples.

Keep in mind the mechanic may not be able to spot everything that might need attention soon. What the professional can do is determine if the vehicle is in basically good shape and is not likely to need any major work in the immediate future.

9. Try Everything Before You Finish the Test Drive

While you are returning the vehicle to the owner, try everything. That means seeing how the windshield wipers do, testing the air conditioner and the heater, seeing if the fan on the defroster seems to work properly, and even how well the sound system performs. If the feature is on the vehicle, you want to try it.

Remember to include testing all the lights as you drive along. That includes the running lights and the brake lights. You also want to make sure that the emergency flashers are ready for use if the need arises.

While some of the features can be tried while you drive, it’s best to pull over while testing out others. Use your judgment and don’t take any chances. You do want to get the vehicle back to the owner in one piece.

10. Obtain a Car History Report

If you are happy with everything up to this point, there’s still one more action item on your check list. Get a car history. You want to know if there’s anything in that history that could cause issues later.

The owner may already have a history prepared. If not, there are a number of sites that offer car histories at reasonable prices. The money you spend to obtain that history will help you know the deal is a good one or make it easier to avoid a problem later on.

Remember to take your time before you make any decision about the vehicle. There’s no rule that says you have to make an offer for the car during your first visit. When necessary, step away and take a couple of days to mull over the purchase. Once you are sure it’s right for you, contact the owner, make the offer, and make sure you get all the documentation needed to transfer the ownership into your name.