When you’re shopping for pre-owned cars in Baltimore, you will need to do a little research into the history of any car before you buy it. Of course, you’ll likely make the usual important efforts to find out whether or not the car has been in accidents or had hail damage, and whether or not oil changes and other routine preventive maintenance tasks have been done, and so on.

But, an often overlooked question is whether or not a car may have some of the various kinds of weather damage that happen to millions of cars in the US every year in climate zones throughout the country.

Knowing where a pre-owned car has been, prior to buying it, can save you a lot of expensive disappointments down the road. Here are a few things to consider regarding its history before purchasing a used car.

Where was the vehicle previously registered?

Every region of the US has unique weather conditions, with weather that can cause a serious accumulation of damage to a car you may be considering buying.

The extreme cold of Northern border states, the severe heat of the desert Southwest, or the freeze and thaw conditions of the Northeast and upper Midwest, and the salty sea air of the coastal Southeast all inflict their particular kind of abuse on automobiles. So, it’s important to recognize that when you enter your search “pre-owned cars Baltimore”, the best and worst cars you find may or may not be from the metro area.

Cars from cold weather states

Northern US states have severe winter weather every year. If you want to buy a car from one of these sates, be sure to have the frame and undercarriage examined for weather damage. And, remember that a fully charged battery kept at temperatures at or below zero degrees Fahrenheit may have under half of its usual power to start an engine. That means that repeatedly starting a car in extremely cold weather is likely to decrease the power and the life expectancy of the battery.

More significantly, having very cold, viscous oil pushing through the engine when starting the car increases friction inside the engine, and it can necessitate very costly repairs or even engine replacement. So, be sure to have the battery and engine checked, prior to purchasing.

Cars from hot weather states

Continuously hot temperatures can cause hoses, tires, and other rubber parts to dry out and put you at risk of engine malfunctions or tire blowouts. Water in the battery evaporates faster in heat, which can result in reduced amperage to make the car start. Maintaining more frequent oil changes and other lubricants is more critical in hot weather regions than in some milder weather areas of the country. Also, failure to maintain coolant levels during high heat can destroy a car’s engine.

So, a professional inspection of the engine and rubber parts is essential, prior to purchasing a car coming from a hot climate.

Frequent freeze and thaw states

If not promptly cleaned off of a car, road salt can speed up rust and corrosion at spots where there are scratches in the paint, and it can corrode the metal of the undercarriage. The latter can cause safety issues.

So, be aware if the car is from one of the “salt-belt” states, most of which are in the Northern Midwest, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic region, where great amounts of road salt are used to facilitate rapid snow and ice melt. Have the car inspected by a mechanic for salt damage, prior to buying.

Salty sea air states

Vehicles kept near salt water bodies can form rust quickly, if they’re exposed to ocean sprays. But, farther from the beach, typically ten to twenty miles away, may not be affected. The top areas of the vehicle, including the hood, roof top, hood and trunk tops, and top edges of doors should be inspected for indications of corrosion.

Also, nuts, bolts, and brake calipers can be affected by long exposure to salty humid air and dew. Cars may fare better in warm weather salty areas than in cold salty air locations, because less dew forms overnight and in early mornings. Dew droplets can create pools in various nooks and crevasses, promoting corrosion.

History reports for vehicles

So, when you search “pre-owned cars Baltimore”, remember that the best pre-owned cars can come from anywhere. What makes cars the best of their make and model is not their locations of origin. It’s how well the previous owners addressed issues that typically arise over time in cars from those particular places of origin.

Always ask for a report of a car’s history prior to purchasing, in order to have a full understanding of how the car has been maintained. And, find out which climate it has been previously operated in, so you can look closely for issues related to that part of the vehicle’s history.