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At Gateway Auto Clinic in Kettering, OH, we know buying a used car, truck, or SUV can be a gamble. While there are no guarantees, there are key points of inspection that tell us a lot about the condition of a vehicle and how it has been maintained. There are some important points of the inspection we verify when checking out a used vehicle.

How Do the Steering and Suspension Look? - On any used vehicle, it’s essential to carefully check out the suspension and steering components. Not only is it a matter of safety, but it’s also an often-overlooked system and one that can be costly to replace depending on the damage. We inspect components like tie rod ends, ball joints, wheel bearings, and shock absorbers for wear - sometimes it can be subtle, but millimeters matter when you’re talking about front end components.

Suspension and steering components will also often indicate whether or not a car has been in an accident before - typically, if things are knocked too out of whack, adjustments are made in the front end to compensate for not being able to get everything lined up perfectly the way it came new. A vehicle may seemingly drive fine, but underneath there are all sorts of mayhem.

How Much Rust Does the Vehicle Have? - Rust is a big one - it’s not always obvious, and you have to know how much is normal, how much is excessive, and if the location of the rust matters or not. In order to check out the suspension, the used vehicle is typically lifted into the air, as that’s the only way to properly assess the situation. This is a perfect opportunity to see where and how much rust the vehicle has, and if it’s a cause for concern. Rust can start anywhere and affect essentially every system on a vehicle. It can be tricky to find unless you can really get a good view from underneath the vehicle. It’s much more than cosmetic - it determines the structural integrity of a vehicle, and how much work is going to be needed in the future on brakes, suspension, etc. Even a car that looks new on the outside can have extensive rust damage underneath.

Has the Vehicle's Fluid Been Well Maintained? - The condition of coolant, oil, and transmission fluid can often tell a trained professional everything they need to know about a used vehicle. If coolant is making its way into an engine or transmission, or oil or trans fluid is making its way into the coolant, it’s a sure sign that a deal is too good to be true. These repairs can not only be costly, but it’s difficult to assess the damage that’s already been done. If your mechanic finds an issue in the fluids, you’re better off moving on to the next one.

While these aren’t the only things worth checking out on a used vehicle, they are some of the most essential. Trust a trained professional on your next used car purchase, and help put your mind at ease. For the best maintenance and repair shop in Kettering, OH, call or stop by Gateway Auto Clinic today.


Thank you for visiting Gateway Auto Clinic in Kettering, OH. Count on our automotive repair technicians to keep your car, truck, suv, or van on the roads longer and safer.

Schedule your appointment today BOOK NOW   |   CALL: (937) 435-8094

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4750 Wilmington Pike
| Kettering, OH

(937) 435-8094
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MON-FRI | 7:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Weekends | CLOSED