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Test Drive

What to Look for on a Test Drive

It’s time to make an upgrade. You’ve been driving that Honda Civic around forever, and now you have a little money in your pockets. Or maybe your family has changed, and it’s time to upgrade. 

Whether you’re looking for a serviceable sedan or the hot rod of your dreams, a good dealership can help. Buying a new car is a huge investment. 

For most people, it represents a financial decision that will impact the next six to ten years of their life. A dealership can help them get the best interest rate and a car that suits their needs. 

But a lot of the responsibility falls on the consumer, too. What’s the best way to make sure a car is right for them when they’re at a new car dealership? Taking a test drive! 

Here’s what you should look for during a test drive.

Listen Carefully Before You Leave the Dealership

A test drive starts before you even put the car into gear. Once you turn the keys in the ignition, let the car idle for a few minutes. 

Start with the temperature gauge. After a few minutes, once the car is fully warmed up, it should rest at the midpoint. If it’s too high, this could indicate issues that you don’t want to fix. 

As the car warms, listen. Is it making any odd rattling, whining, or coughing noises? These may be evident once you leave the lot. 

Auto dealerships are looking to sell the car. So ask all your questions! They’ll be sure to provide you with an answer. 

Take It Into Traffic 

With stop-and-go traffic, you’ll be testing your new car every inch of the way. Of course, you may be tempted to see just how fast it can go, but take it slow at first!

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When you hit the brakes, how do they feel? Are they resistant, squeaky, or jumpy? Any brake issues, especially on a new car, are a no-go. 

Pay attention when you make turns, too. Take a few ninety-degree turns to see how they feel. Does the car pilot effortlessly, and does the steering wheel respond to you, or does it feel like trying to wrestle a pig into the mud?

If it feels like the steering is yanking you around, this could indicate issues with the alignment or suspension. 

Acceleration is also an important thing to pay attention to. Many car dealerships are located in busy parts of town, so try to take it to the highway. Does the car respond well when you press the accelerator?

Also, consider how it shifts through gears. The best way to do this, if the landscape accommodates, is to drive up and down a few hills. This allows you to put the car through its paces.

If you’re looking for the perfect car to test drive, view here for some options!

Getting the Best Deal 

It’s been a long journey, from the moment you first Googled “car dealerships near me” to signing on the dotted line. 

While good dealerships will stock quality new cars, it’s best to listen to your gut. A great dealership deal can’t override that.

If you liked this article, check out our other articles on the site before you go!