I was wondering where could I get a list of things I should check out myself before buying a car. Things like, inspect all lights, and the various systems in a car. Example- charging system, engine etc..
for used car information go to www.samarins.com and click on used car information, there is extensive information available and also a used car reviews section for many different cars that may be helpful. One thing I learned about used cars you will not find in there, is to try to test drive used cars when they have been sitting overnight, open the hood, check the oil, to see if its clean, and check the automatic transmission dipstick to see if the fluid is clear, and pinkish (clean) if it is brown, or worse, black, and stinks bad (quick sniff tells you all you need to know) walk away.
If the tranny fluid is clear, leave the hood open, hop back in the car, and start it up, if it starts up smooth, with no jumping or rattling or banging or knocking and no big puffs of blue smoke, jump out shut the hood as quickly as possible, jump back in and take off, faster than normal. if you can get ANY USED CAR, to run drive and stop good cold, it may not be in too bad of shape. some cars just developing problems, may not even move for 5 to 15 minutes until warmed up first.
Always plan to take a car to a mechanic, if you check all the windows (up and down fully several times each) the heater the lights, turn signals brake lights air conditioning tilt radio power sunroof, first, then you do not have to pay the mechanic to do it again, keep track of any problems, if your mechanic checks the engine and transmission and body and frame and oks the car, but finds minor problems, have him write a repair order to fix the problems he found and any you found, and use this to negotiate the price DOWN
Take the car to a good tire shop like les scwab, and ask them to do a free brake inspection, again getting a repair order for negotiating the price down later (tell them it is a used car you are considering buying) yes it takes time, but if you plan to spend thousands of dollars on something used, you need to know of big problems BEFORE YOU BUY, NOT AFTER. patience, patience patience is the best way to buy a used car, I have looked at broken down crap for weeks sometimes, literally, and then you go around a corner, and find some grandma car in perfect condition, waiting for a smart human like you to take it home!!! I prefer cars owned by older people, they take better care of them, they do not beat the piss out of them, they fix minor problems promptly, and drive much less than some hotrod teenager, and they are usually in outstanding condition compared to a car owned by a teenager.Sometimes for one reason or another, a car you really liked, you have to walk away from, but you know what, some of the best nicest cars I ever found, was leaving some broken down crap, and on the way home found a really nice car with a sign in the window. you just never know, you can check used car pricing, just type www.nada.com in your web search box and look for your car in the consumer section, good luck take care, hope this helps some
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