test driving a vehicle

Whether you’re thinking about purchasing a new or used vehicle, taking a prospective car for a test drive before you buy it can be one of the easiest ways to help you avoid possible frustrations and costly repairs in the future. But did you know that a surprising 1 in 6 people are opting to skip out on taking the vehicle they thinking about buying for a simple test drive before buying it? When you consider that a vehicle purchase is often the second most expensive purchase a person will make in their life, it seems crazy that they wouldn’t spend an hour or so driving it before signing on the bottom line to make sure it fits not only their lifestyle but that it doesn’t have any immediate warning signs for issues to come. Here is what a good test drive can tell you about a used vehicle…


How It Handles

Vehicles, depending on their make, model and style, can have large variances in how they perform on the road. Does the car accelerate nicely and shift smoothly from gear to gear or are the changes jerky? Does it brake quickly or are the brakes too sensitive? Is the steering responsive or is it too touchy where you’re likely to oversteer with minimal changes?


If It Fits Your Lifestyle

The car, truck, SUV or minivan you think you want may actually be far different than the type of vehicle you actually need. Being honest with yourself about how much space, functionality and extras you need in a vehicle can help avoid frustrations later on after the purchase. Do you need it to be a work vehicle that requires a lot of storage? Will you need it to have towing capabilities and if so, how heavy? Is an All Wheel Drive or 4 Wheel Drive vehicle necessary for where you drive or the type of climate you live in? What is the minimum seating requirements you need to drive the vehicle day in and day out for years to come? Only after understanding these things before you take a vehicle out for spin, can you truly start to question if the vehicle you are test driving checks all of the necessary boxes.


If There Are Mechanic Issues

While some people are skipping the test driving process entirely, too many are choosing to take too short of a test drive. 50% of Americans say they only test drove a vehicle 30 minutes or less before they decided to purchase it but that may not be enough time to tell you all of the information you wished you had before spending thousands of dollars on a vehicle! Driving a vehicle for longer and over different types of conditions such as stop and go traffic and highway driving can show you much more. While you are on the road be on the lookout for these warning signs:

Indicator Lights

  • Engine Lights – Indicates a problem with the vehicle’s systems and should never be ignored.  Reasons for it engaging vary from a loose gas cap to a malfunctioning sensor to a faulty catalytic converter, with costs ranging from nothing but a little bit of elbow grease to thousands.
  • Oil Pressure Light: Indicates there is a problem with your oil pressure and can be caused by low oil, defective oil pressure sending unit, faulty oil pump, warning light switch or oil pressure gauge.
  • Temperature Gauge: Indicates your engine is running too hot or overheating.  This should not happen, even during stop & go traffic or when it’s hot if the coolant system is working properly.
  • Low Battery Light: Indicates a battery charging problem. This could indicate a problem with the battery itself, a problem with the alternator which recharges it or more commonly, an alternator belt.
  • Brake Warning Light: Indicates there is something wrong with the brake hydraulic system.  This could be as easy as forgetting to release the parking brake to hydraulic pressure being lost in one of the brake systems to brake fluid in the master cylinder being dangerously low.



If you find yourself searching for your next used SUV, minivan, truck or car to fit your needs and your budget, we invite you to check out our current inventory of Used Trucks, Vans, SUVs and Cars. At Broadmoor Motors, we specialize in finding the right used minivan, truck, SUV or car to fit your personal or business needs, all while giving you the best deal we can on both your purchase and trade in. Our family has been in the car business for over 60 years and continues to be family owned and operated in all of our Caledonia, Hastings and Wayland locations with financing available to those who qualify. We will find you the right vehicle to fit both your budget and your needs in a pressure-free environment.

Check out our reviews online and buy with confidence!! Family Owned & Operated and with Financing Available, we stand behind our Vehicles and our Warranty so you can be assured your used Car, Truck, Van or SUV will be reliable! Broadmoor Motors is your local choice for Car Sales in the greater Hastings, Middleville, Caledonia, Grand Rapids, Wayland, Byron Center, Dorr, Hopkins, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Lansing, Lake Odesa, Kentwood, Holland, Zeeland, Moline, Cutlerville, Wyoming, Hudsonville, Grandville, Jenison, Hamilton, Ionia and Allegan. Ask about our BMG Protection Plan, this is not an aftermarket product! area. Let Broadmoor Motors save you time and money when buying your next quality, Pre-Owned Car, Family Minivan, All Wheel Drive SUV, Commercial Van or Work Truck. Whether you need to replace your current car, minivan, truck or SUV with a great used vehicle, we can help you out. Broadmoor Motors is here for all your Car Sales, and Auto Service needs in the Byron Center, Kentwood, Caledonia, Middleville, Hastings, greater Grand Rapids, Wayland and Barry County area. With three locations to serve you in Wayland, Hastings and Caledonia, we’re here for all your Sales & Service needs. Give us a call at 616.698.9595 in Caledonia, 269.397.2400 in Wayland or 269.320.6304 in Hastings to see how we can get you back on the road!