+1 , finance is crucial check on many cars.
Also, the zoning in on the importance of checking the oil, but no equal attention is directed in checking the coolant levels and if oil/sluge is in the expansion bottle indicating headgasket failure.
No mention on how to check for the impending failure of a dual mass flywheel, very important in near all diesel cars and van models, and a real cuase as to why cars come to market because the vendor knows that replacemnt of these expensive components is in the post, and wants rid before it goes BANG.
Also, no mention of checking brake discs for scoring/lips, so easily done with finger access in between alloy wheel spokes.
Also, checking the chassis/vin no against documentation.
Some excellent advice right there thanks.
Pity I didnt see it earlier as I bought meself a new motor today
Great post Limerick man fair play and good on the Mods for making it a sticky. Hope it helps someone..
like others have said, thanks alot for this i really could have done with it when let out to buy the trouble i did. 3 months on still no log book, i inputted the reg into the link you gave and it came back reg not found! so, things are trickier than i thought. and as petrol has just hit 1.50 l today, a poor choice on that count . doh doh doh doh! thanks again
Fantastic post LM. Cheers.
Great post! And good detail too.
Only thing i dont agree with is looking a car over in the dark. Lamp or not you could easily miss something and you can not see an overall view of the car. By all means view it in the dark but dont buy it untill you see it in daylight.
I've seen alot of cars, and in MY personal experience, I've spotted alot more with a light in the dark than I have in the daylight... But again this thread is my own opinion and shouldn't be taken as gospel!
fair comment,but I think its a flawed suggestion to view any car/vehicle in the dark.
I've viewed 100's of cars. I didn't copy and paste my post from somewhere else, it's all out of my head. I'll change it if ye think it's flawed.
I know LM, and you're a dab hand but for an inexperienced car buyer who does'nt know whats what, its real bad advice.
I think you should change it and add the finance check as well as all the other suggestions listed in this thread.
Still, good post man.
I reccomended to do a Car History check, which will tell you if the car has finance on it or not, but I'll include it anyway.
Edit: I can't actually edit the post anymore! LOL
Great post, maybe it'd be good to post a list of sites where to look for cars to complete the list?
That list would be endless! The reason I included the history check sites are because I've payed for and used both and found them satisfactory.
a lot of good info in there.. fair play LM.. as said in most diesels the oil will be black.. mine is usually black the day after i service it! also i carry a liter of oil a bottle of brake fluid and a bottle of power steering fluid at all times even do the car never uses a drop of any of them so its not always a bad thing if you see them in the boot... then again mine have never been opened lol
One thing i will say about buying a car is dont get attached to one for any reason untill you know its in good condition.. also beware of anyone trying to over sell you a car! usually not good
One trick that I use when looking at a car is also look around the yard. If the house/yard is generally maintained, it's a good sign. The other cars there can be used to give an indication as to the way other cars are treated.
Also, if you can, sneak a peak at the drive where the car was generally parked. Usually, when people are selling a car, they already have a replacement and people being creatures of habit, the replacement will be parked in the old car's usual spot. Have a peek to see if there is oil/fluid staining on the ground.
If, on phoning and after the usual "I'm enquiring about the car for sale", the seller wants to meet in a supermarket car park or petrol station, have some reason to go back to the seller's residence (examine the car in privacy is a good 'un). A genuine seller will not have a problem. A dodgy operator will not like it.....
As for looking at the actual machine, it's the usual points that others have mentioned. One trick that I use on the test drive is to ask the owner to drive the car back. Then you'll see how the owner drove the car and how gentle s/he was.....