Car Buying: How to Test Drive a Car

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.

  • Pay particular attention to the car’s steering ability as you take a couple of right and left turns.
  • On a highway, go ahead and check the vehicle’s acceleration. You should also make note of the vehicle’s driving feel, and whether it affords a smooth and steady ride
  • Get some more street driving in to ensure the vehicle will not run hot or rough after freeway driving.
  • You may also want to find a vacant parking lot or other open area of roadway to hit the brakes hard to check the car’s stopping power.
  • The street and highway driving should include running in all gears, including reverse at some point.
  • Run the heat to ensure it emits hot air, and check the air conditioning for cool air.
  • Have the car idle for at least five minutes after a drive to ensure it does not run hot or rough after or during driving.
  • Your post-drive inspection should include a thorough look for body, frame, or other damage or defects, and a look under the engine to see if any fluids are leaking or dripping.

Come test drive one of our quality vehicles at Little Joe’s Autos today!

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