What You Need To Know Before Buying a Used Car (Part 2)

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Is it time to go pick up the car and drive it over to Alex’s for a PPI?  Not until you’ve had a chance to careful inspect both the interior and exterior for yourself.

Interior: The first step is to act like an 8 year old and get in the car and play with every button in the car. Ensure all the windows work smoothly, convertible top functions, sunroofs slide effortlessly. Check that all of the climate control functions work. Verify the radio is functional and speakers are not blown. If you see a button push it. If it is not working try to understand what the repair might involve before purchase.

Now, are the factory tools and manuals there? On older cars these can be quite valuable and may be almost near impossible to replace.  Then inspect visual elements. Seats should be in good condition and absent of tears. They should move smoothly. Make not of any dash cracks as they can be very expensive to repair. Look at carpets and inspect for anywhere that may have water intrusion. Water intrusion can not only ruin interior soft parts, but can also damage expensive electronic control modules. Lastly, any aftermarket stereo should be looked at closely. The sound may be good, but the install can be awful. Make sure the install was done professionally including all components properly secured, wiring properly bundled and secure, and proper wiring terminations.

Exterior:  Pay attention to condition of paint, i.e. fading and oxidation, dings and scratches, poor maintenance (swirling in the color from improper waxing and buffing), repainted, mismatched colors on different sections of the paint indicating a poor paint repair, presence of any rust

Does the glass look good? Any chips or cracks? Even gaps or body panels missing or damaged chrome, emblems and trim pieces. Especially on older cars, replacing these can be incredibly expensive if they can even be found.  Check that wheels are in good condition and do not have curb rash.  Verify if they are the original wheels that came with the car or not. If aftermarket wheels are installed check if original wheels come with the sale. Ensure aftermarket wheels installed with the correct centering ring and lug nut type to ensure no vibrations.

What is the condition of the tires? If they are worn or weather cracked take note. Depending on the vehicle a new set of rubber is not inexpensive.