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Safety checks

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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm
Driving a vehicle with advanced safety features and a high rating for crash protection may not only save your life and reduce injuries in the event of a crash, it may also save you money. In some states, certain safety features on a vehicle, such as air bags and anti-lock brakes, reduce the cost of insurance. If you choose to sell your vehicle, safety features may increase your car's resale value. Consequently, it is important to consider several different things when determining the safety of a pre-owned vehicle. Try on the seat belt and take a test drive to ensure that you are comfortable while driving the vehicle. During your test drive, make sure that head restraints, roof structures, and windshield designs don't interfere with ability to see clearly. Inspect the passenger air bags, door locks, and rear-view mirror. Checking the rear and front defogger/defroster could prove valuable, especially if you live in an area where severe weather is a concern. It's also essential to inspect the brake lights and headlights for proper function. Before purchasing any used vehicle, it's a good idea to have a mechanic perform a complete check-up on the car. Exterior items to look for include: cracked wheels or loose wheel bearings, dangerous brake conditions, steering play, worn tire tread, and leaking shock absorbers. It may also be wise to check the fuel lines for leaks, chafing, or damage, as well as the oil lines for leaks and secure attachment.

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