Automotive Column 42 Back to School
Syndicated Newspaper Column
Shopping for school cars can be fun. Remember reliability before beauty. They may want the hottest looking car but on a budget we pick reliability and economy first.
CAR QUESTIONS TAKEN FROM
OUR WEEKLY TALK RADIO SHOW
Dear Motor Medics,
We’re getting ready to send our daughter to college and are shopping for a car that will get her through the next four years. We don’t know what we are going to choose but it will likely be 3-4 years old and probably out of warranty or very near it. We know that we will take care of the car we buy but how can we be sure it was taken care of before we bought it? We have heard of vehicle history reporting agencies that can do background checks but we don’t know how they work or what they cover. What do you suggest when purchasing a used car that will help us the most?
Connie in Henderson Texas
Purchasing a used car can be a fun experience if it turns out to be what you expect, but It can be hard to tell how the car was treated before you owned it. I would strongly recommend that you don’t purchase a vehicle without having an independent source inspect it. Take it to the mechanic you trust and give it a good check, this can often catch things that would cost you a lot of money. When I purchase a car I always use a vehicle history reporting agency to give me more insight as to the cars past. While these agencies have some good reports, they are not complete maintenance records so never go without an independent inspection.
Take care, the Motor Medics
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Advice given by the Motor Medics is for entertainment only. Each problem is different and requires different approaches and answers given here are opinions and just one possibility. In order to make an accurate diagnosis a qualified technician should make a hands-on diagnosis. Always follow all recommended safety procedures and consult with your own qualified technician before attempting repairs of any kind.