Turns out, the Ford Mustang isn’t only one of the most popular new sports cars around, it’s also one of the most commonly-searched second-hand sports car in the used marketplace, too.
The currently-available Mustang launched back in 2014 for the following model year, and many copies of this vintage are winding up in the used car market these days, giving shoppers access to the most high-tech and talented Mustang yet, at reasonable second-hand prices.
Look for a variety of engine options, including the popular five-litre V8, aka, the 5.0. coupe and convertible body styles are available, as are manual or automatic transmissions.
Though Ford made some specialized performance versions of this car under the Shelby moniker, we’re focusing on the more mainstream versions of the Mustang for this piece.
Warranty and servicing: The way a newer used vehicle was cared for can have a direct affect on its remaining warranty coverage. There’s a good chance the Mustang you’re considering from this era still has some factory warranty remaining, but you’ll want to be sure that it’s been properly maintained by checking all service requirements against all service records. Warranty coverage does not apply to damage or wear caused by overdue or skipped maintenance, so you’ll want to make sure the unit you’re considering has been flawlessly cared for before you buy.
Check the roof: Convertible Mustangs require extra steps on the test drive process. Open and close the top several times as per instructions in the owner’s manual. Signs of binding, strain, or failure to complete the full range of motion can indicate problems that need addressing. Inspect the top carefully, inside and out, for any damage to the fabric material. Inspect the rubber seals around the roof for signs of ripping, damage, or missing pieces, which may cause water leaks. Finally, press your hand into the carpeting of the vehicle at various locations to detect any unwanted moisture that could be evidence of a leak. Don’t forget to look under the floor of the trunk, in the spare tire area, for signs of water leaks, too.
Check the automatic: Harsh gear shifts, shifts that feel clumsy or slow to respond, and general unpleasantness from the automatic transmission are generally caused by corrupted software that controls the transmission’s computer brain. In the majority of cases, the dealer can re-flash or re-install this software to effectively remedy the problem. Still, if you note any unwelcome sensations from the transmission, be sure to have a Ford technician check things over before you buy.
Here’s another test: place the vehicle in drive, drive forward a foot or two, stop the vehicle, shift to reverse, back up a foot or two, and repeat the process several times. An obvious “clunk” through the vehicle when shifting from drive to reverse is a sign to have the transmission checked over.
Tires, brakes and clutch: When approaching any used Mustang, assume it needs new tires, new brakes and a new clutch, until you have proof to the contrary. These components are sometimes called “consumable” parts because they wear out with use and typically faster in a performance car like the Mustang, and faster still if the seller was an aggressive driver. Assuming that the seller would rather you foot the bill for replacing consumable parts that they’ve worn out can save you money.
On the topic of tires, use of the Mustang on anything less than high-quality, performance-oriented tires from a reputable brand is not advised.
Skip the mods: Many drivers modify their Mustang with non-factory products to increase its visual appeal, performance, and the like. The average shopper is best to avoid a Mustang that’s been modified by a previous owner, as many modifications can adversely affect vehicle durability and reliability, and may even void remaining warranty coverage.
The information presented above is gathered from online owner discussion groups and collaboration with a network of automotive repair professionals. The above information is not a comprehensive list of all possible issues with the vehicle in question and is instead intended to draw shopper attention to possible trouble spots they may wish to investigate before they buy. In most cases, problems listed above are reported with relative rarity in comparison to total sales volume. Shoppers are advised to have a dealer-performed pre-purchase inspection on the vehicle they’re considering for maximum peace of mind.
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