BUYING A PRE-OWNED VEHICLE
Walk around Inspection and Test Drive
Concerns when buying a Pre-owned vehicle
- Was it someone else's problem?
- Is it really the mileage?
- Has it been in a flood?
- Can we afford to take a chance?
- Will the seller stand behind the vehicle if there is a problem?
Reasons for buying a Pre-owned vehicle
- More vehicle for your dollar
Who sells Pre-owned vehicles?
New Car Dealers
Sell Certified Pre-owned vehicles with a certified warranty
Non-Certified Pre-owned vehicles
Independent Pre-owned Dealers
Sell Pre-owned vehicles
Sell pre-owned vehicles as is
There is no recourseQuestions to ask:
- Compare the list of equipment to the actual vehicle
- CarFax History Report?
- Branded Title?
*Ask to speak to the technician who inspected the vehicle.*
*Get the 'CarFax' Vehicle History Report*
Inspecting the vehicle
- Paper and pen
- Checklist with clipboard
- Small flashlight
- Small magnet
- Paper towels
- CD or DVD
- Tread depth gauge
At the windshield
- Verify that the VIN# under the windshield matches the one on the title and registration. Use your flashlight if necessary.
Under the hood
- Oil is clear amber color
- Feel for grit or particles
- Does not smell like burned toast
- No bluing of the metal form heat
Oil Fill Cap
- Rubber seal is pliable
- No deposits on cap or seal
- Fluid is clear pink color
- Feel for grit or particles
- Does not smell like burned cork
bluing of the metal from heat
- Check terminals and wires for corrosion
- Check cells for water level
Brake and Power Steering Reservoirs
- Clear fluid with no milkyness
Start the Engine
- Listen for noises
- Look for wavy wear patterns
- Measure for acceptable tread depth, use tread depth gauge
- Minor scratches or dents that are appropriate for the age and mileage of the vehicle are 'OK'
- But Look for poorly executed repairs, which are characterized by panels that don't line up or are wavy.
- Your magnet will tell you if there is filler present
- Check all the rubber seals around the doors and hatch, they need to be soft and pliable
- Look under the spare tire for corrosion
- Check for moisture or a musty smell indicating leaks or flood damage
- Check the struts by pulling the hatch or trunk down and see if it rebounds
- Seats comfortable? Cracks in the leather split seams, power adjustment works
- Carpeting?wear, stains, musty or other odors.
- Door jams?overspray from poorly executed repairs
- Does the CD or DVD player work
- Try out the sound system
- Try the power windows and mirrors
The Test Drive
- Start the engine and look for exhaust smoke?there should be none
- The dash--there should be no warning lights on
- Acceleration?does it have enough power?
- Braking?does it stop well and in a straight line?
- Turning radius?will it be easy to park?
- Noise level?acceptable?
- Over the Railroad tracks?how does it handle bumps?
- Vibrations, misfiring, stumbling, delay during acceleration, rattling, noise, smoke, rough idling?
the Huffines 125 Point Inspection
Click Here for the inspection form we use
when certifying Pre-Owned vehicles at Huffines.