New Considerations When Used Car Shopping

12.19.16 - Used Car Lot

Hybrid and EV models have now been on the market for a few years and that means we are entering a brand new market of used cars as much as we are entering times when new cars are developing. There are plenty of things you need to enjoy when you head out and look for used cars in the changing world of vehicles. There are more electronic components than ever, making it even more difficult for you to make sure you have the right vehicle to drive and enjoy on the road. When you’re looking for some great EV and Hybrid models to choose from here are some tips that can help you find the right one for you.

Software Updates – The software installed in an EV or hybrid is meant to improve the performance of some of the systems and make it easier for the vehicle to perform for you. Some updates help to improve battery life, giving you longer ranges and other updates make the systems work more efficiently for you. Make sure the car you’re considering has had all the software updates available and its documented by the dealer. You can verify this information using the VIN to help ensure you’re getting the right deal on the vehicle.

Charging Gear – Every EV has to have a charging setup and you need to make sure any of the components associated with charging the car’s battery are in perfect condition. This is similar to checking that an engine is able to run in a gasoline model, but even more important because the charging system has to store the fuel for the EV model and some don’t have a backup gasoline system to give you a tank and an engine which are primal systems compared to some of the new EV systems on the market today.

Don’t Forget the 12V – Many times with EV and hybrid models we focus so much on the large battery system that’s meant to propel the car that we forget about the smaller battery which actually starts that car and keeps some of the components operational. If you do buy a hybrid or EV model you need to know that as long as the system doesn’t use the backup gasoline engine you won’t be charging the 12V battery. A trickle charger can help you with this problem whenever you have the car parked and help lengthen the life of this particular, often ignored battery.

Look at the Hybrid or EV Battery – Batteries have a lifespan that is constantly depleting. It doesn’t matter what battery it is, eventually it’s going to stop charging back up and stop functioning. Thankfully most hybrid and EV models have batteries that continue to perform well for many years but you want to make sure the one you’re considering buying has been used and abused on the road. Have the battery fully charged and see how well the overall performance of the vehicle is when it comes to the range compared to when it was new. You should also look for an EV or Hybrid that’s only been serviced by a dealer that’s part of the network that built the car.

Have the Car Scanned – Ask the dealer technician to scan the car for you and give you a report of what’s found. This is actually a pretty easy task for them to complete using a special scanning tool that is able to search for any problem areas in the car’s systems. If a dealer won’t do this for you, you should bring your own code reader or scanner and hook it up. If they won’t let you do that either, walk away from the car, it’s going to be a bad deal for you.

Still a Car – Test everything else in the used vehicle too. You don’t want to focus solely on the electronics of the car and forget that there are some mechanics involved. You also don’t want to spend so much time with the operational systems that your forget to take the vehicle for a test drive or to look at the various features it has to offer. Make sure you know how everything works and check it completely for any signs of issues even regular cars would give you.

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