It is extremely important to test drive a car before you buy it. You should get a good feel of the vehicle before you sign those papers.
The actual driving part of a test drive should be a brief but thorough test of the car’s engine, suspension, steering and cornering, and on-board amenities, including heat and air-conditioning. A test drive should include both stop-and-go street driving, and some highway time.
Many dealers want to get you behind the wheel. They want you to fall in love with the car and buy it today. Dealers also run promotions, rewards, and incentives to get you in their doors. Many of us take advantage of that, especially if we’re seriously thinking about a new vehicle. While it’s definitely a good tactic, and in most cases, it works, there are more reasons why you should test drive before you buy.
Stop-and-go street driving is simple. It just means to get behind the wheel and drive around town, stopping at stop lights or signs, going around a few blocks. It should take approximately 5-10 minutes. This ensures that you listen to the engine, feel out the brakes and tires, and get a feel of the steering wheel. Doing this will give you a good sense of the transmission and idle engine behavior.
Once you are on the highway, use this time to check the vehicle’s acceleration. Take note of how it feels. Whether it affords a smooth and steady drive or if the alignment is slightly off. Also take notice if the exhaust or engine are making noise.
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