If you're anything like me, you don't want to look like a rube when it comes to buying anything, but when it comes to test driving a car, most of us don't take the time to do it right. Basically, we hop in, go around a couple of blocks and, if the darn thing doesn't blow up, we either take it or pass on it.

Well, the folks at Autotrader say there are basically four things we should do when test driving a vehicle  and taking the time do do these could save you money or, at the very least, keep you from buying a lemon.

1. Take a friend with you - it never hurts to have a second pair of eyes and ears especially when your making such a major decision. Your friend may notice problems that got past you.

2. Take a long test drive - Most of us barley drive a few blocks when we test drive a vehicle. Autotrader suggest you take a real drive. The more time you spend driving the car, the more likely you are to notice little things.

3. Don't just drive on smooth roads - Hey, if the car can't take the punishment of some of the crappy streets we have, you don't want it. Drive it on a bumpy road or over some railroad tracks. If the car is going to reveal noises, that should do it.

4. Parallel Park - there's no better way to see just how good a car handles than to try and parallel park the darn thing. You can not only find out how easy the car is to handle, you can also discover the vehicles blind spots.

Just doing these four simple things can keep you from buying trouble on 4 wheels.

For more on the subject of buying cars, Autotrader is a great source.