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Us car-mad folks at Brze know exactly how exhilarating it feels to be test driving your potential new ride. We also know that this same excitement could cause buyers to overlook important features and red flags. We want to make sure your next big purchase won’t be your next regret, so if you’re buying a car in Singapore, here’s seven things to look out for during your test drive:
1. Tyre alignments
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Before you take your car for a spin, quickly check to see if the tyres are aligned. During the drive, you can easily detect tyre misalignment by letting go of the steering wheel whilst on a straight road – misaligned tyres will cause your vehicle to drift sideways, and will feel heavier than well-aligned ones.
2. Car electronics
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Some important things to look out for are your signals, brake lights, aircon, GPS and reverse sensors. If the car you’re intending to get has lush features such as a convertible roof, make sure you check that it’s working as well.
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3. Engine sounds
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When you rev the engine, does it sound more like the smooth purr of a satisfied cat, or the dry and rattling cough of a sickly old uncle? A well-performing car should have an engine that sounds smooth and soft. You want to ensure your new engine is not going to be jumpy, sticky or loose.
4. Car sounds
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Apart from the engine, do also check that accelerators, brakes, brake pads and rotors don’t squeak or make weird noises when in use. If you’re driving above a pothole or rough road, and hear suspicious knocks and rattles, you might have a steering issue (or a kidnap victim in the trunk).
If you need help ascertaining if any potential repair works need to be done, consult a professional mechanic before your purchase.
5. Smoothness of your experience
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Nobody wants a rigid partner, or steering wheel. When you’re reversing, is the transmission change smooth? Are there any strange noises that occur whilst you steer, and do your gas and brakes seem okay? Do also remember to test the suspension and steering wheel to make sure you can accelerate easily between gears – test the upshifts and downshifts.
Lastly, ensure there are no problems with the power steering of your car. If you feel a heavy weight while doing 90-degree turns, think twice.
6. Indemnity forms
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Some car sellers require their potential buyers to sign an indemnity form before taking the car in question out on a spin. This means that you’ll be liable for any damages that occur (touch wood) during the test drive, and while getting into trouble might seem unlikely, it is always good to drive extra carefully.
7. Car and dealer research
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Knowledge is power, so you want to make sure that you know exactly what you are about to buy, and who from. Is your deal reasonably priced? Look out for common problems with the model you’re interested in, ask questions, and don’t be shy to find out details such as the car’s mileage, previous owners, accident history (if any), implicit transactional costs, and more.
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8. Bring a trusted friend along
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With all the above said, it’s really not surprising if you’ll miss out a thing or two no matter how prepared you are, which is why it’s always good to bring another trusted person along to your test drive. After all, two is better than one.
If you’re buying a car in SG, we wish you the best of luck, and although you cannot see, our entire staff is doing a little celebratory dance in your honour. Remember to look out for these 7 things during your test drive, and you’ll be good to go.