You don't have to be an expert mechanic to investigate known trouble spots and to recognize some of the problems in a pre-owned car. Investigating these trouble spots may just be a matter of looking in the correct places. Begin by looking at the vehicle from the front, from the side, and from the rear. As you observe the pre-owned car's overall appearance, look to see if the paint color and texture match on the fenders and doors, as well as on the trunk and the hood. If you observe areas of new paint on an older car, it could be an indication of previous problem areas. Rust also may be a sign of a condition that could result in difficult and expensive repairs. After looking at the exterior finish of the car, examine the tires, checking them for uneven wear or bulges. While looking over the tires, open the trunk and inspect the spare. With the trunk open, check for musty smells that may be a sign of previous water-leakage problems.
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