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Old 13th June 2005, 00:31   #1
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Default New Car PreDelivery Inspection List Part I, II, III and IV (by Kishor kulkarni)

Hi All,

My friend once complied a New Car PreDelivery Check list, he posted it on Indica forum on yahoo. With his permission I am posting the same after some minor editing. As the list is quite long, posting it inot parts. So here goes Part I.

------------------------- New Car Predelivery Check List PART I------------


You bought a new car and it's ready for you to pick up and drive off the lot. I can imagine the excitement but it is important not to rush the delivery process. Remember once you sign the sales agreement and the new car's wheels hit public pavement, the car becomes all yours - for better or worse.

Your new car will indeed come with a bumper-to-bumper factory
warranty. But keep in mind that the dealer is more likely to take
care of any problem a lot faster if it threatens to hold up the
closing of a sale.

This all means that before you sign the dotted line and grab those
keys, you'd be prudent to take one last hard look at both the
paperwork and the car you're buying to be sure they're just what you
bargained for.

I have compiled a comprehensive checklist that might come handy the
day you pick up your new baby. To be honest, I am not the original
author. I collected this information from various sources.

This pre-delivery checklist contains many points that you might overlook if you're in too much of a hurry to take possession of your new car. I know it is not all encompassing, but it will get you started down the road to obtaining a trouble -free vehicle.

The salesperson may not love you for taking all these precautions.
But if you do, chances are much greater that you'll love your new

So here we go!

1. Never accept the delivery in the late evening. Call the
dealership ahead of time and let them know that you plan to perform a very detailed delivery check during daylight hours. Getting through
your checklist may take couple of hours or more so see that you get
an earliest possible appointment (0930 hrs or even earlier if
possible) so that you will be having sufficient time to inspect the
car, put accessories/modifications and fix any defects found,
complete the paper work, all under a bright daylight.

Also insist that no Invoice to be made in your name till you complete
the pre-delivery inspection.

2. Some people believe that taking delivery of 'Metall' goods on
Saturday is inauspicious, while some insist on a `Muhuraat', plan
and prepare accordingly if you are one of them.

3. Call couple of days in advance to confirm the delivery date
and time to avoid any disappointment in case dealer is unable to
deliver the car for what so ever reasons on that appointed day.

4. In the mean time, keep your paperwork ready. Check with the
dealer well in advance about documents required to complete Car
Registration, Insurance, Car finance formalities etc.

5. If any financial transactions are to be completed on that D-
Day, carry all PDC, cash, DD etc.

6. Check and verify that your car insurance starts the minute
you take delivery.

7. It is prudent to have somebody , a third person, not
emotionally attached to your car buying process, accompany you during the whole process. And if you can manage to have an experienced Auto mechanic or an eagle-eyed friend or relative along with you nothing like that; four eyes are better than two. This also helps in case dealership tries to pressurize you on any account.

8. Don't forget to take your camera / camcorder with you (of
course with fresh batteries, film/ cassette/memory card), not only
for capturing the moment of joy but in case you find any cosmetic
defect in the car, a picture will serve as a proof.

9. Carry a pre recorded Audio cassette / CD to test the Music System in the car (if fitted).

Now you are in the Showroom!

1. Treat all front desk, sales, service, delivery and administration staff with respect. Buying a new car could be a proud moment for you but delivering a car is a routine matter for them.
You had spent considerable amount of time in researching a car make and model , made several visits to dealerships for test rides and price negotiations, now it is a matter of couple of hours more so observe patience and courtesy. Don't loose temper and start fighting with people over there, some delays, and minor irritations are quite possible and they do happen!
Your sober, mature and decent behavior will make a very good impact
on the staff over there and that in term will help you in getting
better respect and service from them in future.

2. Don't depend on dealer's mechanics and preparation people to
take care of every last detail. Inspect it yourself and if it isn't
right, have it corrected. People do make mistakes and forget things
(sometimes deliberately!) Always remember that the dealership will be
more receptive to making repairs before the sale. So have any
corrections made before you take delivery.

3. Part of the salesperson's job is to acquaint you with your
new car's features and how each one operates. Ask him to demonstrate the car fully, top to bottom, in order to understand how everything works on the vehicle. The salesperson is more likely to give you his or her undivided attention before, rather than after, the sale is

Now let us begin with the visual inspection first.

To be continued...
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Old 13th June 2005, 00:37   #2
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Default New Car PreDelivery Inspection List Part II (by Kishor kulkarni)

Cont.. from Part I


Visual inspection

1. Note the mileage. Before you do anything else. It should be
as close to zero as possible. What you don't want is a car with 100
or 200 Km that's been a demo vehicle to every lead-footed prospective
buyer in town. Be reasonable, but question anything greater than 50

2. Look over the bodywork. Do it in an open space and under a
bright daylight. Walk around the vehicle several times looking from
as many angles as possible. Carefully sight along the sides of the
car, from front to rear and vice versa, looking for ripples, dimples
and dings. Look for paint over-spray on door ledges or around the
edges of the engine compartment that might indicate repairs. Make
sure seams and door lines are straight and true. Remember, a careful
inspection is critical because after the car leaves the lot, the
dealer could reasonably claim that any body damage was caused by you.

3. Doors, hoods, trunks, deck lids, and lift gates: Do they all
work correctly? Do they seal properly? Does the fit and finish match
up between these and the rest of the bodywork? Do the locks work
properly -- are they automatic, can they be operated remotely? Does
the hood release lever operate from the inside. Do you know the
location? Can you open the hood yourself? Does it stay up on its own?

4. Open bonnet. Is the engine compartment in perfect shape? Is
every dipstick, plastic cover, and wire harness present and properly
secured? Check all the fluids are at optimal levels level:
transmission, Engine Oil, Coolant, Break oil, Power steering oil,
windscreen water and battery water. There should be very little dirt
and grime, and not a single sign of fluid leakage of any kind.

None of the engine components should show exterior wear or replacement e.g. things like one spark plug wire that is a completely different shade of black should draw a red flag and a question.

5. Check the Battery: No corrosion should be present on the
electrodes. It should be properly connected -- fastened to wire leads
and properly secured / tied down in the vehicle. Ask about how to
jump it properly. Does it have a special separate warranty?

6. Close bonnet. Check bonnet seats in firmly.

7. Is the trunk in perfect shape? Is the carpeting properly
fastened? How about the outside lock? If it has gas shocks to hold up
the lid, are they working properly?

8. Tires: Where is the spare tire and jack system located? Is
the spare properly inflated? If you have wheel locks, where is the
lug key? Are all the tires the same and as ordered? (Some performance tires have several different speed ratings and associated cost levels. Check the specific numbers on each tire.) Check the dates on the tires , tires should be fresh. What is the proper air pressure?
What is the tire warranty and where is it? The tires should show no
signs of wear, and should be properly inflated. Tires should be scuff-
free. Are the hubcaps properly affixed?

9. Look in the glove box. Does it open properly? Does it lock?

10. Windows and Mirrors: Make sure there are no defects (chips,
cracks). Are the options installed and how they working? (Options may
include rear defogger, wiper and tinting.) Proper open and close
operation tested on each window. Control device operation and
location - power window controls, rapid down operation? Wipers,
controls, delay systems, rear window?

11. Get in the car. Is the interior in perfect shape? Carpet,
headliner, seats should have no tears, stains, or damage. Try both
the front and back seats and keep your eyes peeled for problems. Try
out any device that will move, bend, turn, be pushed, or pulled. Do
all the seatbelts work? Are the floor mats you ordered in the car?

12. Driver's Seat: Do you know how to work the seat position
controls and where they are located? Does the lumbar work? Note the
steering wheel positioning, tilt, telescope, lock, horn, and cruise

13. Keys: Do you have more than one set? Is the remote entry
working? How does the alarm work (codes and disarmament)? Is there a panic button and cut off switch? Do the door locks have child

14. Make sure that spare tire, tire-changing equipment, owner's
manual, plus any unusual items that may standard equipment - like a
first-aid kit or floor mats should of course, be on board. Then be
sure the car has any optional equipment that you paid for - premium
or alloy wheels or a trunk-mounted CD changer, as examples. No
reputable dealer would try to cheat you out of these things. But
should any be missing, he'll go to more trouble to get them quickly
if you refuse to take delivery of an incomplete vehicle.

Now it is time to crank the engine........

To be conitnued in Part III
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Old 13th June 2005, 00:47   #3
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Default New Car PreDelivery Inspection List Part III (by Kishor kulkarni)

Continued from Part II


Now it is time to crank the engine

With the bonnet open start the car. Let the car idle for 2 minutes
and check for leakages. Engine should also vibrate normally. Switch
of engine and engage Hand breaks, Switch on car electric circuit and
observe the following:

a. Engine oil lamp on indicator should come on and then go off
after some time on dash board.

b. Open driver/ passenger door. Door open lamp should glow on
the dashboard. On closing the door the door open lamp should go off.

c. Hand brakes engaged lamp should glow on the dashboard. On
releasing the hand brake, the same should be extinguished.
All this while ensure that battery lamp indicator (Indicating
charging is not on) glows on the dashboard.

Start engine. Battery charging should start and battery indication
lamp on the dashboard should now stop glowing. Check the operation of all the lighting systems:

Headlights (low and high beams), tail lights, emergency flashers,
brake lights, backing lights, trunk light, hood light, interior
lights (map lights, dome lights, glove box, reading lights, running
board lights).

Does the vehicle have automatic shutoff? Is it for the headlights
only? How long does the dome light stay on after unlocking and
locking the door? Can you dim interior lights. What about the
dashboard lights? Is the ignition switch lighted?

Check left and right turn signals (front and back -- you'll need a
helper) proper operation, and switch positions Do the lights work
correctly? Does the internal opening button work correctly?

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning: understand all the controls
and features of the climate control operations and control panel. Are
there special defoggers? Special filters? Multi level systems? Front
and rear controls? Temperature settings and automatic controls? Duct
operation? Fan controls? Switch on AC. Check AC for cooling. Check AC
cuts in and cuts out in a reasonable time. Similarly check heater and
cigarette lighter for proper functioning.

Check the Sound System: understand how everything operates. Adjust
the controls and get sound out of each speaker. Does it sound correct
to your ear? Try a cassette and CD (bring one with you). How do
special features, such as equalizers, amplifiers, and trunk mounted
CD tower work?

Now it is time to Spin

You may have already test driven the car, but this time be on the
lookout for any malfunctions. The dealership still owns the vehicle,
so expect the salesperson to accompany you. But request him or her to keep quite as you'll need to concentrate - and listen - as you put
the truck through its paces. Be sure to take it on the highway, not
just around the block.

1. Get in and buckle up!

2. Ignition System: Does the car start properly?

3. Listen carefully to engine idle. Does it sound okay?

4. Look at the tailpipe. Any abnormal smoke or color? Moisture?

5. Brakes: Do you like the feel of the brake pedal (even and
smooth)? How does the parking break work? Does your foot have to be on the brake to shift out of park?

6. When you put the vehicle into gear, does it sound okay? Do
the shift indicators line up with the proper gear that you are in
(i.e. the indicator reads R when in reverse)?

7. Noise Check. Turn the radio off and use your senses. Drive
over various road conditions and speeds that you know you will be
frequenting. Listen for the Buzz Squeaks and Rattles (BSR) -- no
tweet, tweet, tweet from the tailgate allowed. Also note NVH (Noise,
Vibration, and Harshness) -- no loud thuds, or strange shaking
between above 60 Kmph allowed.

8. Watch the gauges. Do they move and register properly? (Gauges
include the odometer, speedometer, tachometer, oil pressure, and
coolant temperature.)

9. Run the air conditioning and heating. Do they appear to work

10. Check the vehicles acceleration and braking for proper

11. Check the cruise control (if your car has one) for proper

12. Check the vehicle's handling: Can it turn a tight U-turn?
Does it make any strange noises? Make right and left turns. Does the
steering respond properly?

13. Battery not charging glow lamp should not come on.

14. On a straight stretch of road drive at 60 kmph and leave the
steering wheel. Car should keep straight and not pull to left or
right. In case if it pulls towards left or right, dealer has to do
the wheel balancing and also wheel alignment.

15. Switch on AC and get a feel in fall of power when AC is
switched on.

16. Check operation of windscreen spray and vipers.

17. Check operation of horn.

After the spin

1. Open the hood and have a look. Any new fluid leaks? Is the
radiator cap still on properly? (Have the service manager help with
this one.) Check the oil and transmission levels yourself. Take a
quick peek under the vehicle and make sure there are no fluids
dripping on the pavement.

2. Is every option you ordered and paid for installed properly
in the vehicle? So many options exist that it is impossible to make
any kind of accurate listing. What is important is that what you've
paid for is there, and that you know how to operate each one.

3. Service Department: Have you met the service manager and
taken a tour of the service area? Have they explained the specifics
of the dealership's service policy and hours of operation? (Some
dealers are by appointment only, some are first-come first-served.
Most treat buyers from their dealership better than other walk-in
customers. So keep that license plate holder with the dealer's name
printed on it.) Has the service manager reviewed the basics of the
service plan for your vehicle with you? Does the dealership have a
free check up? What period of operation does it cover?

4. Does your vehicle have a 24-hour roadside assistance program?
What does it entail?

5. Did you buy a special service plan? What is covered?

6. Do you have a business card for each of the dealership
personnel you've worked with?

7. Is every defect that you've noted been properly corrected?

Now it is time to complete paperwork and other formalities.

Read the paperwork! Don't take anybody's word for anything. Make sure all the blanks in the contract are filled in. Insist on having a copy
of each document you are signing. Make sure you're paying what you
agreed to pay in your earlier negotiations. And make sure you're not
paying for anything you didn't agree to buy. Once you're certain both
the car and the paperwork are in order, you're ready to sign the
contracts and drive away.

Ask to be shown the internal PDI Certificate for the chosen piece.

Check Chassis number and Engine number of car matches with the
Invoice and or Chalaan.

Check the Chassis number and Engine number are properly endorsed in the Registration papers and Insurance Papers

Collect warranty card of the car. Check warranty details are properly
endorsed and ensure that all free service coupons are in date.

Collect warranty cards of battery and all accessories.

Collect Pollution certificate. This is valid for one year.

Check all papers once again. Ensure that invoice, sale certificate,
receipt, Registration, Pollution certificate, Warranty card, Battery
warranty card and warranty card of accessories are in your

Check out from the Owners Handbook what all items are FOC with the
Car, such as Stephney, Toolkit (# of pieces), Jack/Handle and spare
fuses/lamps, First Aid Kit etc.

If opted for additional warranty (on payment of specified price)
ensures that car details are endorsed correctly in the additional

Ensure/Demand that the Car has at least 5 liter of Petrol in it, as
is provided for by the OEM.

Check pressure of air in all tyres and should be as per the
recommended pressure.

All set and go...

Grab the keys, lights camera action!

Enjoy your car, but don't forget to donate something to a good
charity, there are many people around rather less fortunate people than you.

Some more tips:

To be continued in Part IV
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Old 13th June 2005, 00:53   #4
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Default New Car PreDelivery Inspection List Part IV (by Kishor kulkarni)

Continued from Part III


In addition here are some more tips:

1. Check the car manufacturing month/year.
2. In case of extended warranty check its coverage and
deductibles. Also check whether this warranty is transferable to a
new owner in case you need to sell your car while this warranty is
still in force.
3. Get all promises and commitment from the dealership in
4. I repeat here again remain very friendly and decent while at
the car dealership, as you are going to visit them many times in near
future. Make some friends over there. You may feel at the top of the
world while taking the delivery of your car but for the dealership
yours is just one out of half a dozen deliveries they are going to
make on that particular day.

Now about some modifications and accessories:

Remember any alterations, modifications, add-ons has got effects on
your car Warranty and Insurance coverage and most important
functioning of your car. There are several cases in the recent past
in which warranty and/or insurance claims are refused just because of
such changes.

Most common and favorite add-ons are:

1. Alloy wheels
2. Bigger and broader tires
3. Tubeless Tires.
4. Music Systems
5. Central locking
6. Power windows
7. LPG/CNG kits
8. AC / Heater
9. Teflon coating and/or any antirust coating
10. Any gadgets such as fog lamps, High mast break light, Digital
clock, RPM meter etc.

What I think and suggest is:

1. Better stick to original tires. The car manufacturer has
arrived at those specs after a considerable study and research, and
in most cases it is the best compromise after considering the
intended use profile of the vehicle, expected fuel economy, safety
and road structure in India. (If it is offered as an option then you
may consider it.)

2. Working on Alloy wheels and Tubeless tires is a skilled job and needs
specialized tools, which is difficult to find at any roadside garage.
If at all you decide to change tires/wheels then check with the
dealership and insurance company regarding warranty and insurance.
Get it endorsed on your car documents; RTO also needs to know about
such modifications. Also get the tires changed at the dealership as
they are better equipped to handle alignments and balancing.

3. Central locking: Its effectiveness is a debatable issue.
Simple mechanical type gadgets are much better and cheaper too. If
offered by the car maker as an option you may consider it. In many
after market locking systems (even offered by dealerships) need
altering car wirings, drilling body parts etc. Which is again not
good for your car warranty, insurance claims.

4. Power windows: Altering car wirings, drilling body parts?
Check. Not good for your car warranty and insurance claims

5. Teflon coating is also a debatable issue; by and large it is
observed that it is pretty useless. If dealership is offering it as a
freebie it is better to decline it and convert it into some cash

6. For Music system, go for standard option suggested by the
manufacturer /dealership, see that car's wiring is not disturbed in
any manner. It should be as simple as plug and play. Altering wiring
will void your warranty and may cause serious malfunction in future
and insurance claims will be refused.

7. Same is true about AC and CNG kits. If it is offered as an
option by the manufacturer then and then only go for it.
9. for all other accessories check with the dealership and
Insurance Company about their impact on warranty and insurance claim.

All the best!!

And give me the car for a spin, next time when we meet
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Old 13th June 2005, 01:37   #5
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Fantastic resource. Thanks for the effort, SMG.
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Old 13th June 2005, 01:54   #6
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Wish to add one more...

Don't forget to tip the Chowkidars/security guards, mechanics at the dealership. They will remember your face and when you drive next time to the dealership, you will receive a Royal Salute.

The Sales Person who helped you in the whole buying process may not accept a direct (Rs) tip but you can always offer him a small gift (like a nice pen, tie pin , music CD , a book, perfume etc) as a token appreciation towards his/her service.

Also while leving thank all esp. Showroom manager/owner, workshop / finance / accounts / insurance people and (most important)the front desk staff (reception) , say some good words about their service , also mention that you are quite happy about the overall buying expereince and will recommend this dealership to all . (Don't burn the bridges , even if your experience was not so good).

This will build your reputation over there and in turn you will always get a better/priority treatment.
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Old 13th June 2005, 11:24   #7
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that was an extremely well prepared checklist. thanks for the effort.
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Old 13th June 2005, 15:27   #8
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Thumbs up

damn kewl resource man...and that too well timed.....just after the launch of a much awaited car......
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Old 13th June 2005, 15:57   #9
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Originally Posted by SMG
6. For Music system, go for standard option suggested by the
manufacturer /dealership, see that car's wiring is not disturbed in
any manner. It should be as simple as plug and play. Altering wiring
will void your warranty and may cause serious malfunction in future
and insurance claims will be refused.

I tend to disagree here...

The Maruti guys give a substandard kenwood/assembled music system which is worth Rs. 500 in accessory Market. And dealers chage Rs. 5000+ !! ***..

Better to get music system installed from outside, but yes, no wire cutting should be done. Having said that, most accessory dealers now a days are using couplers(plugs) for fitting the system...
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Old 13th June 2005, 16:34   #10
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I am sure this checklist will come handy for many people. Good to have it in the archives of team-bhp. Lot of us get too excited when getting a new car and just want the keys to drive away. But one should follow this kind of checklist as to avoid disappointment in the future.
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Old 15th June 2005, 18:32   #11
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hey SMG

that is a very good & detailed article
will be helpful to everyone

just one flaw
"IF everyone starts to do such inspection then there will be a loooooong waiting to take delivery at every dealer"
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Old 15th June 2005, 21:24   #12
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Hey SMG,

Thats very well put.. hope it had come a bit earlier then even i would have done all that.. but anywayz i learnt from your mistakes..but next time i will keep this all in my mind..

P.S What about 2nd hand cars should we do the same?
I tend to disagree here...
Me too.. The dealership always overquotes the price..
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Old 30th August 2005, 18:33   #13
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Thanks SMG for that nice check list. Except for test driving (traffic was bad during delivery time), I almost followed most of the points while taking my Petra delivery on Sunday.. What else I can say, I am proud owner of Fiat Petra

thanks again
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Old 30th August 2005, 19:48   #14
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Congratulations, pingmepal!
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Old 30th August 2005, 20:41   #15
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Congrats man , wishing you good time for long times to come, with your new vehicle.
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