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Hey, you're in the vehicle / car zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Cars / Trucks / Vans Category: Miscellaneous Informational Topics

Informational Topic:

Used vehicles, be sure to check their respective histories and recall statuses.

The Information You Need:

So, you've found what appears to be a good used vehicle at a good sales price.  The used salesman has worked his sales pitch to win you over in bringing you to the table to sign the paperwork to make you the next owner of the used vehicle, but WAIT!

Have you done everything to make sure to the best of your abilities that the used vehicle you are about to sign over to your name, along with the attached financial costs, is every bit as good, safe and otherwise defect-free as the salesman has communicated to you? If you haven't checked the used vehicle's history and recall status on your own, you have not done your part in making sure your used-vehicle purchase will be a good investment for yourself.

In addition to all the other things you should be doing, like getting an independent mechanic to check your vehicle out, you should avail yourself to today's convenient resources of


checking the recall status of the used vehicle you are eyeing to purchase.  You should understand that a vehicle can be recalled for a variety of reasons, stemming from unsafe structural or mechanical designs to emission system defects.  The best way to find out whether your used vehicle has ever been recalled for any reason is to write down the vehicle identification number of it ("VIN," which is usually found at the lower level of the dash of the windshield on the driver's side, aside from being printed on the bill of sale) and provide it to either a car dealership or the customer service department of the vehicle manufacturer, whose representatives should gladly be able to input the VIN into a comprehensive database that stores all of such recall information and see if any recall applies to your used vehicle you intend on purchasing.

If the used vehicle  checks out to have no recalls attributed to it at all, or that any part of the vehicle that prompted an initial recall has since been rectified, your next step should be to assess the unique circumstances of the used vehicle to ascertain whether it had ever been in a serious accident,  its odometer reading, if it has ever been considered salvaged or otherwise subject to other use such as police use (and with that, potentially detrimental effects), etc.  This assessment can easily be done on online sites by inputting the VIN of the used vehicle.  For a small fee, some of these sites include the following: Auto Check and Car Fax.  See them and other relevant companies here as part of the Relevant Online Resources.

In short, taking the above steps will help steer you clear of buying a sour lemon for a vehicle.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team




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