One of the biggest costs associated with a used car is not the payment, the insurance and the gasoline. It’s the upkeep. To stay in tip-top condition, every car needs ongoing maintenance and repairs as it goes through its life. Any mechanic can tell you that deferred or ignored maintenance will be much more expensive later on, so knowing that all the proper service has been performed on your vehicle is critical to making a purchasing decision.
The best way to know if a used car has been properly serviced is to follow the paper trail. You should ask about any receipts, warranty records or dealer service documents that the vehicle comes with.
If you can’t find proof that something has been done on the used car, you should always assume it hasn’t been. Making the assumption that a previous owner changed the timing belt on time, for example, has ruined many an engine.
Certified used cars should be properly maintained and come with some documentation to prove it.
Every car comes with a unique maintenance schedule: a list of required services at different mileage intervals to keep the car running properly.
Before you buy a used car, make sure you look up the maintenance schedule for it. Not only should you look to make sure all the previous maintenance has been done on time, but you can also use it to plan ahead for the future.
The important thing is that you don’t skimp on the maintenance of your used car, and you should do your best to make sure the previous owner did the same.
By picking a certified used car that’s had all the proper work done on time by professionals, you’ll save money over time — even if it costs a bit more up front.