Deciding to buy a used car usually boils down to two things: the price and the condition of the vehicle. According to Vision Kia Fairport — a known used car seller in Rochester, a lot of buyers are looking at cars made by Kia Motors when purchasing a used car. This doesn’t come as a surprise as Kia has one of the best vehicle dependability scores in the market.

However, buying a used Kia doesn’t guarantee that there will be no problems. You also need to look at the following five things when buying a used car.

Physical Condition

If you don’t have a mechanic with you, spotting some physical issues of the car can be challenging. You want to avoid dealerships trying to pass off a car that has had major repairs on the body, as this is a sign that the vehicle has been in an accident.

Here are the following things that you need to inspect:

  • Tires
    Check if the tires are from the same brand and if they’re equally worn out. An uneven tread on the tires means that they’re misaligned.
  • Body
    A little dent here and there with some hairline scratches can be expected. Be sure to check for significant rusting as this can pose a bigger problem in the future.
  • Under the car
    Look under the car and check for damage and rust. An exhaust pipe with a greasy residue means that the engine could be burning oil.


A used car with a high mileage count will mean that more parts may need replacements. Experts from Top Gear says that car parts will start showing signs of age after 37,000 miles in mileage. An average person drives about 9,000 miles per year. This data would mean that after four years, your car will start showing some problems.

Korean-made cars like Kia, are sturdier and can remain reliable up to 200 thousand miles. After this mark, some parts may require weekly replacement. If you’re buying a used car for your kid who’s going to college, you can buy them a car with around 180 thousand miles on the clock without worrying much about it.

Under The Hood

The hood is where all the magic happens, and it’s crucial for you to check it for any signs of damage. Here are a few things that are easy to spot to save you the future headache.

  • Oil levels
    To check the oil level, you can take the dipstick out and inspect the bottom part of it. It should show brown and clear oil. If you see a milky-like substance, it’s a bad sign because it shows that the oil has not been changed for a long time.
  • Engine bay
    The bay where the engine is located should be dirty and grimy. A clean engine bay is suspicious, and it can be a sign that the seller is hiding something.
  • Coolant
    A good coolant should be bright purple or green. If you see rust in it, it could mean that the previous owner abused the use of water as a coolant which could lead to future problems.
  • Engine sound
    Have someone to start the engine from you. It’s better if it’s a cold engine as you can really hear how the vehicle sounds. Any unusual noise should be a fair warning.


Vehicle History

Always ask to see service records or logs of any repairs that have been made on the car. This could be a document or old receipts from maintenance work. Having access to the service record will give you a better look at how the car was used and taken care of.

A vehicle’s history report should also show you if there were any other previous owners and accidents. If car records aren’t available, you can use third-party service providers to get that information for you, but that would cost you extra money.


The best way to test the car’s performance is by test driving it. Sure, everything could look great on the outside and under the hood, but the real test comes when you’re using the car. Ask the dealer if you could take it to different environments such as local and highway driving.

On a local driving environment, you get a feel on how fast the car accelerates and the condition of the braking system. On the highway, you can test the engine and how smooth the ride is.

When doing a test drive, keep your eyes and ears open and listen to how the car performs. Take note of any noise you hear and ask the mechanic about it.


There’s no shame in buying used cars. What’s shameful is buying a used car and not checking it thoroughly. It’s better to go through a credible used car dealer than going straight to a private seller. It gives you the convenience you need when you have questions and at the same time offers you a better after-sales service. Never rush into the decision and always seek help from a mechanic.