Buying a car can be an exciting adventure. There’s a certain level of satisfaction and enjoyment in pulling out of the dealership in a new ride. There’s quite a process that needs to happen before that can happen, though. The price needs to be negotiated, extended warranties to be discussed, taxes and fees to be added, and potential financing options to work through. In addition to all those things, there’s something else that should be considered if you’re contemplating purchasing a used car. Once that vehicle is in your garage, you’ll have maintenance costs. Planning for those costs needs to start even before you drive your new car off the lot.

Here are four commonly used car maintenance items that should always be contemplated when contemplating buying a used car:


The tires on any used vehicle should be inspected for wear and tear. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a vehicle only to be surprised that the tires need replacing almost immediately. A good trick to check the state of the tires is to insert a penny into the tire groove with Abe Lincoln’s head upside down. If the top of the head is visible, the tires need replacement.

To better estimate how much life is left on the tires, follow these steps:

  • Before going car shopping, stop by a tire center and ask for a tire tread gauge. They are essentially business cards with marks on them for measuring tire tread.
  • Measure the tire tread by inserting the card into the groove of the tire.
  • Find the tire manufacturer and model by inspecting the side of the tire.
  • Visit the tire manufacturer’s…

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