What to Look Out For During Your Test Drive

So, you’ve done your shopping and have secured your financing with GDFI Car Financing, yet, you still have to make sure you and your car are compatible. That is because you’re going to spend a lot of time together. However, you don’t have to spend a long time in a car to figure out if it’s a good one or not. If anything isn’t quite right, or if something seems off, you’ll notice it right away.

A ten-minute test drive should be plenty, as long as it allows you to experience a range of driving circumstances, including the ability to accelerate. Although, taking a fresh new automobile for a test drive might be intimidating if you don’t know what to look for. We’ll teach you what to look for and how to prevent getting caught off guard. Take note of the following:

Cold Start

It’s best to test the car while it’s freezing outside. A warmed-up engine, especially on a diesel, may disguise a multitude of defects. Be cautious if the automobile has already been started when you first see it as the engine will be warm when you raise the hood and the temperature gauge will have risen a bit.


If the car has been lying on a forecourt for a long, the brakes will most likely need a coat or two of wax to remove any surface rust and work correctly. Also, they won’t get any better if they don’t feel well after 5 minutes of driving. 

You want the car to come to a controlled stop, and you should feel the brakes pulsing beneath your foot if it works well. If the road is curved, the car may deviate slightly to the left, but it should stop in a straight line with little trouble. If it pulls to one side, something is wrong with the brakes, the suspension, or even the tire pressures.


Instead of jumping up and down on the front of the car as they do on TV, drive it and listen for knocks, bangs, or, more likely, creaking and groaning. If your automobile is making a racket as you travel over bumps, it may require new bushes or other suspension components. When moving at slower speeds, keep an eye out for clonking or creaking noises.


Wheel wobbling is sometimes only noticeable at greater speeds and indicates a problem with the wheels, tires, suspension, or steering. Turn the steering wheel as far as it will go from lock to lock with the car stationary and the engine running – the power steering pump may probably produce a bit more noise when you reach to full lock, but it shouldn’t make a racket, and there should be no noises from the suspension.


Listen for a humming sound from the wheel bearings when cornering at a reasonable pace. It might be a wheel bearing on the way out if there is a notable shift in pitch. If a bearing is shot, you may also gently wobble the car from side to side on a broad, open stretch of road, which will also result in a humming noise.

The goal of your test drive is to evaluate the vehicle. So, when driving it, talk to the seller and ask questions, and keep an eye out for the things mentioned above. You can also bring along someone who knows what to look for when you go for a test drive. 

Always keep in mind that the vendor sincerely wants you to purchase their vehicle. They want you to shake their hand, hand over a large sum of money, and then drive away. So, never play your hand too soon. If you’re thrilled about the car and full of praise for it, they’ll know that they can be firm when it comes to closing the transaction. You have a greater chance of negotiating a lower price if you keep your cool and keep your cards close to your chest.

Also, remember you don’t want to end up with a lemon on your hands.