Buying Used Cars

Buying Used Cars

When shopping for a used car, safety is an important factor to keep in mind. The good news is that there are more safety features available in vehicles than ever before. Here are some of the most important features to look for and ask about when you’re serious about purchasing a used car.


Air Bags

While it has been 15 years since air bags became a standard feature on all cars, the technology has continued to improve to reduce the risk of injury in accidents. Running on sensors, air bags will deploy instantly and automatically the moment a collision is detected. The universal presence of air bags means that car owners should know the risks of improperly seated passengers, especially children. Many cars now employ detection systems that will detect which seats are occupied, triggering only the necessary airbags in the case of an accident. Supplemental airbags, like those that deploy from the sides of the car, have been added over the years as well. These features help to increase the effectiveness of airbags while also reducing the risks associated with them.



Seatbelts have been around even longer than airbags, and are recognized as one of the most effective safety inventions in history. It’s important to wear a seatbelt to protect yourself from injury, but it’s equally important to make sure that the seatbelt is fully functional and worn properly. Many cars now have special belt systems to make it easier to insert a child-seat, but the level of compatibility with different seats can vary.


Antilock Brakes

Older drivers may remember the days when drivers were forced to frantically pump brakes in order to keep them from locking up. These days, cars employ a system of sensors to maximize brake effectiveness and allow cars to be steered, even as they’re coming to an emergency stop. Drivers need only to fully apply the brakes, and the ABS system will take over the critical task of “pumping the brakes”.


Traction Control

Every automaker has their own name for the electronic system that automatically assists in traction control. Many work by using the antilock brakes to keep a wheel from spinning in water or on ice. Some intuitively monitor a variety of driving factors in real-time to increase control. For drivers that expect to be on the road in stressful winter conditions, it’s a good idea to look into the traction control system on a vehicle.


Tire Pressure Monitors

These days, all new cars are required to have a system that warns when a tire’s pressure is dangerously low. This is extremely helpful, as deflating tires can go easily unnoticed, leading to greater risk of a flat or catastrophic blowout. Tire pressure is also a key factor in fuel economy, so be sure to heed the advice of any warning lights, and to check the tire pressure of your car manually on an occasional basis.


At Car City, we value the safety of our customers, and are happy to see constantly improving safety features that save lives and reduce injury. Visit our website at or come to our showroom in Grand Rapids, MI for a wide selection of quality used cars.


Choosing the Right Used Car

Many of our customers in the market for a used car begin wandering around our showroom, hoping that a random car will catch their eye and steal their heart. Trust us, we know how exciting the feeling is when this actually happens. And while shopping for a car based on looks alone can be fun, it’s rarely the smartest way to find the one that’s right for you. The most important factor of all should be what you’re actually going to be using the car for. Think about the following questions when narrowing down your choices at the dealership.

First of all, who will be riding in the car with you? Are you a single man or woman looking for personal transportation, or will you be transporting a family of five to and from football practices and dance lessons? If you’re alone in the car for the majority of your travels, it would probably be foolish to go out and buy an 8-seat minivan. You also won’t want to have to choose which child has to stay home from the trip to Florida because you bought a two-seat sports car. If you do have small children, think about where you’ll put car seats, and whether you need to keep an eye out for any special features.

In addition to who is in the car, also think about other objects and materials with which you might be traveling. Even if the idea of a big pickup truck gets your motor running , are you really going to need it to drive to your nine-to-five office job? Probably not. There are all different styles to choose from, each with their own unique storage features. Hatchbacks, for example, are usually very versatile, with a surprising amount of available storage space. However, they also tend to lack an enclosed trunk typical to a sedan or station wagon.

Ask yourself what type of driving you’ll be doing. Every car has different gas mileage averages for city and highway driving. If you travel two miles through an urban area to work every day, you won’t need to pay much attention to highway mileage. But if you have a 45-minute expressway commute, highway gas mileage, and gas mileage as a whole, becomes much more important. Many people don’t realize that different car models are actually designed for different types of driving.

The final fundamental factor to consider in choosing the right car is not the roads you’ll be traveling on, but the condition of those roads. If foresee needing to drive your car through extreme winter conditions, it might be a good idea to find something with all-wheel drive or assisted steering. If you’re moving to San Diego anytime soon, you won’t need to worry about something like this. Even the color of your car should be considered when it comes to the weather.

Once you’ve narrowed down the actual function you need out of a used car purchase, come to the Car City showroom to find the car that fits the bill, or check out our website to see our large inventory of available used automobiles.

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