How To Properly Test Drive a Car

July 23rd, 2014 by

US_YA12_402_A_BWWhen it’s time to head to your nearest Toyota dealership to find that perfect vehicle, one of the first things you’ll want to do is go for a test drive. This is your chance to drive around in the vehicle that may soon be yours so it’s very exciting but test-driving plays an important role in shopping for a car. You can learn a lot from testing driving a vehicle that will help you determine if it’s the right one for you, so make the most of this opportunity.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you feel comfortable driving the vehicle. Just because you like a certain type of car or truck, doesn’t mean that you will enjoy driving it. You may find that it’s difficult to get in and out of it, the seat may not move up far enough for you to reach the pedals or it may be too cramped.

Making sure you feel comfortable driving the vehicle is important but there are also several other things you need to check out when test driving a vehicle. Following the advice below will help you get the most from test-driving a vehicle.

Prepare for the Test Drive

Before you test drive any new or certified used vehicle, have a route picked out where you can drive through town or somewhere similar where you have stoplights and lots of traffic so you can see how the vehicle performs under these conditions. Next, take it out on the highway where you can pick up speed to see how it performs on the open road. Driving in different areas and going various speeds will help you get a real idea of how it will perform.

Be Observant

While it’s tempting to turn the stereo system up loud and cruise around during your test drive, it’s not what you really should be doing. You can check out the radio and speakers when you get back on the lot.

While driving around, you need to avoid distractions so you can pay attention and look for any obvious signs that indicate there is a problem, such as the ones below:

  • Do you hear a roaring sound or any other strange noise that doesn’t sound right?
  • Does the vehicle stop quickly or do you have to pump the brakes to get it to stop?
  • How does the transmission perform? Does it change gears smoothly?
  • Does it pull to one side or is it difficult to steer, especially when going slow?
  • Does it ride comfortably or can you feel every bump in the road?
  • Do the headlights, backup lights, signals, wipers and windows (if electric) all work properly?
  • Does the heat and air work properly when you’re driving around?

Have someone ride with you so you can make a note of anything that you find wrong with the vehicle or that you think might be a problem. This way, you can discuss it with the Miami Toyota dealer when you get back.

Before, during and after the test drive, listen to the engine run. Even if you don’t know anything about engines, you can still tell of something doesn’t sound right. If you hear a knocking or ticking noise coming from the engine, it could mean there is a problem that needs checked. If the engine runs hot or if you see oil or any other fluid on the engine after the test drive that wasn’t there before, this also indicates there may be a problem.

Preparing for and being observant will help you get the most from the test drive so you can find the best vehicle for you personally.

Posted in Car Buying