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What to Look For When Taking A Test Drive Like A Mechanic

What to look for in a test drive

What to Look Out for When Trying a New Car

Before you sign away at that contract, thinking you’ve found the car of your dreams, you need to know how it drives and feels. Test driving cars is important. But what exactly should you be looking for when making the assessment on a potential new ride? 

In this useful and handy guide, you’ll discover everything you need to know about taking a test drive like a real mechanic. Not only will you be able to understand why people take test drives in the first place, but you will also be confident enough to make the best decision for your next car purchase. Follow our easy steps below, and you’ll be A-for-Away in no time.

How to Prepare for a Test Drive

It’s important to remember that you can’t book a test drive on a car you know nothing about. When preparing for a test drive, it involves a lot of research. You need to take the time to really learn about the car you have your interest set out on. What if you love the test drive, but come to know that the car has no air-conditioning or Bluetooth to play music? Research gives some perspective and gives you a good idea of what you can expect when you do decide to book a test drive at a dealership. 

To make things easier and less complicated, make a list of everything you want in a car. For example, as a future car owner, how important is ABS brakes or power steering? How about important safety features like airbags? What about interior features? And, of course, the engine power. 

Once you’re comfortable and feeling confident in your list of must-haves and must-nots, you can go ahead and book multiple test drives to help you decide on the car of your dreams.

How to Test Drive a Car

There is no wrong or right way to test drive a car. At the end of the day, you are the one who is purchasing the car, and the decision is ultimately yours. Test driving a car is done to assess its drivability, comfort and safety. 

So, before you climb in and turn on the ignition, inspect the car. Get a proper look. Check the door handles, the steering wheel, the tyres, the boot space, paintwork etc. Are the seats comfortable? Is there enough space for the backseat passengers? This is everything you need to look for before test driving.

Now comes the fun part, the actual driving. Paying attention to detail is crucial when driving. Depending on whether you’re test-driving an automatic or manual, how smooth is the ride? Are there any strange noises? Listening to how the car rides and how smoothly it changes into gears are all deciding factors. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the ride. If, in the end, you’re not satisfied with the trip, it’s time to look elsewhere.

What a Mechanic Will Check For When Test Driving a Car

A mechanic’s passion is cars. While you don’t need to be a mechanic to test drive a car, some mechanical knowledge will never do you wrong. Here’s what a mechanic looks for when test-driving a vehicle.

1. Check how easy the car starts

A true mechanic knows that the power and health of a car lie in how easily the car starts. If it starts perfectly fine with no trouble at all, the engine is healthy. If a car staggers a bit and struggles after a few tries, there could be something wrong. Always check to see how easy a car starts to get an indication of how good the car is.

2. Listen to the engine

The engine is what makes or breaks a car. Mechanics will often listen to the engine to hear if it’s running smoothly. If there’s a slight change in noise, performance or smell, a mechanic automatically knows that the car needs an inspection.

3. While driving, take note of the ride comfort

The more comfortable a car is, the higher quality and modernised it is. Roads can be bumpy and potholes are indefinite in South Africa. When a car rides comfortably, it’s a sign of quality tyres, wheels, and suspension. 

4. Check the gear transmission and make sure that all the gears change smoothly

Manual cars require efficient gear changing in order to drive. A mechanic checks how smoothly the gears change when gearing up or down. They will notice that if it’s quite stiff or difficult to change gear, it needs a service inspection.

5. Check if the car’s acceleration is sufficient

Not every car can move at the speed of light, but it’s important to check how sufficient the car’s acceleration is. A slow acceleration indicates that the car is weaker and takes longer to respond to the driver’s controls. 

How Long Should a Test Drive Take When Test Driving Like a Mechanic?

A test drive does not need to be an hour long. If you wanted to test drive a vehicle like a true mechanic, anything between 15 and 30 minutes is more than enough time to become comfortable with a car. Don’t rush the process – ensure you have a test drive checklist. When it comes down to making a decision on which car to buy, the driving experience will be the ultimate factor. Take your time, pay attention to detail, and enjoy the ride.

Want to experience luxury and comfort at its finest? Head on over to your nearest Subaru dealership and book a test drive in any of our exquisite Subaru vehicles. If you’re considering purchasing a Subaru, our skilled team have been trained to take you through the features and specifications of the model you’re interested in. Call us on +27 11 608 0116 today!

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