The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Ford and Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Before you start looking at specific vehicles, do thorough research on the Ford models you’re interested in. Look into the common issues and recalls associated with those models. Pay attention to consumer reviews and reliability ratings.
Determine your budget beforehand, including considerations for ongoing maintenance and repairs. This will help you narrow down your options and avoid overspending.
Vehicle History Report
Obtain a vehicle history report using the VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). This report can reveal important information such as accidents, title status, and service history.
Inspect the exterior and interior of the vehicle for any signs of damage, rust, or wear and tear. Check for consistent paint colour and body panel alignment, which could indicate previous repairs.
Consider hiring a professional mechanic to perform a thorough inspection. If you’re inspecting the vehicle yourself, here’s what to look for:
Engine: Check for any unusual noises, leaks, or smoke from the exhaust. Look for signs of poor maintenance, such as dirty oil or neglected fluid levels.
Transmission: Test drive the vehicle to ensure smooth shifting without any slipping or clunking noises. Automatic transmissions should engage promptly and smoothly.
Suspension and Steering: Pay attention to the vehicle’s handling and steering responsiveness. Look for signs of uneven tire wear, which could indicate alignment or suspension issues.
Brakes: Test the brakes for responsiveness and any signs of grinding or squealing. Check the brake pads and rotors for wear.
Electrical System: Test all electrical components including lights, windows, air conditioning, and infotainment system. Malfunctioning electronics can be expensive to repair.
Common Faults and Issues
Here are some common faults and issues associated with certain Ford models:
Ford Focus: Look out for transmission issues, particularly with automatic models from certain years. Also, check for rust around the rear wheel arches and inspect the suspension components for wear.
Ford Fiesta: Watch for coolant leaks, especially from the water pump and thermostat housing. Check the clutch for signs of slipping or shuddering, which can be common in manual transmissions.
Ford Fusion: Inspect for any signs of oil leaks, particularly from the engine and transmission seals. Test the air conditioning system for proper functionality.
Ford Escape: Check for rust on the rear wheel wells and underneath the vehicle, especially in regions with harsh winters or salty roads. Inspect the powertrain for any abnormal noises or vibrations.
Take the vehicle for a test drive on various road types to evaluate its performance under different conditions. Pay attention to acceleration, braking, steering, and overall comfort.
If you’re satisfied with the vehicle’s condition, negotiate the price based on your research and any issues uncovered during the inspection. Don’t hesitate to walk away if the seller isn’t willing to negotiate or address concerns.
With these expert insights and a thorough inspection checklist, you’re well-equipped to navigate the used car market with confidence. Whether you’re eyeing a sleek Ford Fusion or a reliable Ford Escape, following these steps ensures you’ll drive away with a vehicle that meets your needs and stands the test of time. Happy car hunting!
Ready to get a pre-purchased used Ford inspection? Contact the team at qualified Ford mechanic at Mobile Vehicle Inspections today.