According to this article from, the ninth step to test drive a used car is to drive down a dead end road.

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  1. 9. Drive down a dead end.

    Used front- and all-wheel-drive cars often have problems with the constant velocity ("CV") joints; these are the components that allow the wheels to receive power while they're steering. Take front- and all-wheel-drive cars to an empty parking lot or cul-de-sac. Roll the windows down so you can hear unusual noises. Make tight, slow circles with the steering turned fully, first one way and then the other. Failing constant velocity joints make a variety of expensive noises, including clicking and whining.