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-   -   ARTICLE: Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI) & Check List (

McLaren Rulez 8th December 2009 22:52

Now, what is a lemon? A car with a problem after it leaves the showroom is not a lemon. A lemon is a car with serious and multiple problems. If your engine packs up, gearbox stops working and brakes fail, you can safely say you've got a lemon. On the other hand, a small rattle doesn't make your car a lemon.

The idea of PDI is to mainly check for any obvious problems. Scratches, odo readings, etc. come under this. Serious problems (the type that makes your car a lemon) may sometimes be observed under a regular PDI but this is unlikely. Normally, when a car suffers multiple failures and is obviously a lemon, companies will take it back and give you a new one. I doubt if its something a car buyer should be overly bothered about.

vkochar 8th December 2009 23:03

I guess what he means by a Lemon is a Display car which has been touched everyday, opened and started and fiddled around. The cars on Display are also subjected to quite a lot of torture - Kids Jumping, banging and reopening doors a hundred times in a day. Electrics being checked, Lights being flashed etc.

Yes, the one way of recognising these cars is if it's too shiny and parked in the showroom.

I have not taken a lot of cars in my lifetime BUT yes have chosen about 5 cars in these last 10 years and accompanied countless friends when picking their new cars.

I always chose to go in the stockyard or the latest deliveries, these cars are usually dirty BUT are absolutely new.

The other thing to look for in a car shed or parking lot is to chose a car which has all the plastics, protective thermocol pieces and even the electrics not connected.

Also keep in mind that a showrrom display car usually is the brightest and most unique colour - Like Blue, Red Golden. Not too many whites, Blacks & Silvers.

The one thing to keep in mind also is not to hurry on deliveries. Asking someone to give you a car imediately is the one area where a dealer could cheat you since you are in a hurry.

The last car ( Verna ) I brought I wanted White which was hugely short in Haryana ( white colour crazy state ) I waited 3 weeks BUT no hurry. I got a spanking new car done about 15 kms !

Thad E Ginathom 8th December 2009 23:04

A car that has been taken for a test drive or two before delivery has probably come to no harm at all. Of course, the practice is dishonest and despicable, possible even tantamount to theft or fraud, as the car is now ex-demonstration, and not new.

What can be done? Apart from actually monitoring the vehicle every minute between it being delivered from the manufacturer and passing into your hands?

A "lemon", as McLaren Rulez says, is an entirely different thing.


Crossposted. vkochar tells us some very basic and simple things that can be done :)

GTO 9th December 2009 13:19


Originally Posted by sachinj12 (Post 1623421)
One thing that every car buyer(irrespective of new or used) prays is that his/her car should not be a lemon?

Mclaren's definition is spot on. Unfortunately, there isn't a way to separate out a lemon from a regular car. After all, serious problems will only show up after logging on the miles.

Good news is : Quality standards are ever improving in modern cars. Fact is, you'd have to try real hard to end up with a lemon :)

Our PDI checklist helps you in identifying pre-used for testdrive cars, as well as damaged cars.

GTO 14th December 2009 12:28

Thanks to wildon for this point. Added to the PDI checklist


For users who wanted to know the exact date of production of their car follow this.

At the time dealer notifies you that your vehicle has been arrived, then ask for the FORM 22 certificate. You can find the Engine Number and Chassis Number of the particular vehicle. Also check the Date/Month/Year in the Road worthiness certificate in Form 22 to get the details of manufacturing.

Form 22 is issued from the Manufacturer.

KARMAniac 28th December 2009 02:32

Second hand car passed as brand new!!
One can really see to what extent a dealer can go in selling a car. This one guy has taken his alto (am not sure about the model) for his first free service and he got the shock of his life when the service engineer told him that their database was showing his car as second hand car, .i.e, True value for maruti. I tried to get hold of the person but couldn't and the case was hushed up because I didn't hear anything about the case later. Has anyone else experienced this or heard about similar cases?
I would like to believe it as a rumor but one can never know for sure.
To moderators: Am not sure if i am posting a relevant topic in this thread; request you to move if required
Drive safe please.

akhilesh 28th December 2009 10:11

Hi All, We've booked a punto MJD Active and about to take delivery on 1st Jan. As a team bhpian I took down the chassis number and decoded it, found it to be Nov 2009 make which is OK. Before taking delivery I just wanted to make sure that the car I'm getting is visibly OK with no signs of rust and panels falling of , So went to the stock yard where our car was parked. Though there we no signs of rusting but i was shocked to see that the glove box has the lock removed and the fuse box cover is falling off and seemed broken. Then I checked the under body and engine area they looked untouched. But then came another shocker, I saw some paint spray marks on the left from seat as if they did some touch up job near the running board area and forgot to clean the mess.

I pointed out everything to the supervisor there and he assured me that PDI is yet to be done so everything would be fine. I've asked the sales associate to replace the car. Is this the right thing to do ?? Or I should take the delivery ?
Can some one please help me out on this please: Sorry I couldn't take pictures :(

sachinj12 28th December 2009 21:20

If you have doubts, don't accept it.Trust your intuition and use common sense. Sales person will assure you 101 things but they hardly attend to any.If you feels something is not right,reject the car right away. Insist on a new piece, it doesn't matter even if the delivery gets delayed. Hope you have not signed Form 20. Do post about the status, as bhpians can help you out.

PS: Mods, I think it would be wise to to ask people not to sign FORM 20 when they book the car,Please include this in PDI guide. Just my thoughts.

akhilesh 28th December 2009 22:32

Thanks Sachin ! No we've not signed anywhere thankfully. On Sunday when I called him up rejecting this piece and asked for another, He said he'll get back to me today i.e Monday but no words from him as yet. I'll keep everyone posted with the status.

akhilesh 29th December 2009 19:36

Good news ! They guy agreed to give me another piece. The new car would be delivered to us in 7-8 days time :)

sachinj12 29th December 2009 20:52

Well, congrats on the new buy, See you at initial ownership thread then:)

drdeepudev 29th December 2009 22:13

A special thanks for this thread. It came handy. Im getting my Fiat Linea MJD dynamic pk delivered on Jan 1st, 2010.

abhayshanu 22nd January 2010 10:36

Hey guys, booked my P220 and wanted to know if there is a PDI list for bikes? It will be delivered within 7 days or by 28th Jan 2010.

sachinj12 22nd January 2010 14:31


Originally Posted by abhayshanu (Post 1694792)
Hey guys, booked my P220 and wanted to know if there is a PDI list for bikes? It will be delivered within 7 days or by 28th Jan 2010.

Just do the regular things. A bike doesn't need an exhaustive check up like a car.
Check the documents, see whether all the accessories you have asked for has been fitted, the usual electric stuffs. That should do. Nothing overtly to be worried about. Happy motoring.

mithun 23rd January 2010 11:15


Originally Posted by sachinj12 (Post 1695270)
Just do the regular things. A bike doesn't need an exhaustive check up like a car.
Check the documents, see whether all the accessories you have asked for has been fitted, the usual electric stuffs. That should do. Nothing overtly to be worried about. Happy motoring.

Adding to this, make sure that there is no paint/chrome flaking !

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