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Old 22nd April 2006, 11:46   #1
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Default URGENT !!! What to keep in mind and check when buying a second hand car?

hi guys!

going for a baleno 2002-3 model. just wanted to check what things i should check and keep in mind when i go for the test drives of the models? pls help me out since i have 2 check 2 cars tommorow morning. one is 26k driven and the other is 34k driven. both black 2002 models.
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Old 22nd April 2006, 14:04   #2
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Hey Naveen important things to look for are

1. Bodywork - See everything is in shape and there is no fading, mismatching bodywork. Any minor resprays are ok let's say if a fender has been painted or such.

2. Accidental Damage - Look at the car closely from all places open the bonnet and see if the subframe and the rest of the body are the same colour and watch out for rust. Usually rusting of any structural body parts is a sign of accident related repairs. Open the boot and lift up the cover of the spare wheel well and check there for repairs or rust similarly look at the back of the boot lid and underside of the bonnet. Also if possible put the car on a lift and check for underbody damage/repairs. Also when on the lift check if there is any oil residue or leaks or knocks to the sump or other body parts. That can indicate a leaking engine or gearbox or such things.

3. Drive - Thoroughly drive the cars and make sure the clutch, gearshift and brakes are in order. The brakes should not grab or squeal and the clutch should be light in operation and should have a comfortable biting point. Also the gearshift should be smooth without any obstructions or noises. Also drive over rough roads for an extended period to check there are no undue suspension noises or any squeaking bodywork. To check the steering and axles go to a field or an empty parking lot and drive the car around in circles at slow speeds with the steering on full lock if the axles or steering has any issues it will show them. Also the engine should be eager to rev, should have no fan blet or no other noises and should be smooth and quiet. The idle should be stable and there shouldn't be a problem while driving under A/C at 3/4th with proper cooling.

4. Tyres - Check the tyres for any signs of uneven wear this could show lack of maintenance or suspension issues.

5. Interiors & Electrics - Check all lights and other electrics to make sure they work properly and check the interiors for any evidence of abuse or lack of maintenance.

6. Service History - If possible ask for the service history which should be in the Service Booklet/Owner's manual as that will show you if proper maintenance has been performed and where.

Most importantly don't drive the car warm if the owner has kept the car warmed up for you insist on doing the inspection first and then the test drive since many issues are only evident when the car is cold. And if you think at any point of time that there is comething fishy with the car just walk away, when you drive the car and your gut instinct senses something is fishy just walk away.

That's all I can think of if I can think of more things I will post them later.
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Old 22nd April 2006, 14:09   #3
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Take a look at the car head-on from a distance to see if it is leaning to one side or the other. Obviously, do this on a flat even road.

And for checking body damage or signs of re-paint, its better to take someone with a good eye along because generally most people can't notice differences in the original paint which has faded a bit and the parts where new paint has been applied.

Last edited by Deeps : 22nd April 2006 at 14:11.
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