Please Guide me

This is a discussion on Please Guide me within the Car Talk forums, part of the The Pub category; What questions should you ask when buying a used car and what physical things should you look for on the car?...

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Thread: Please Guide me

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Please Guide me

    What questions should you ask when buying a used car and what physical things should you look for on the car?

  2. #2
    TR Blogger wez's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Åland, Finland
    Its a though one. But here is some stuff I took from the top of my head...

    - Mileage
    - Parts that needs replacement. Have it been done in a while? (breakes, filters, tires etc. The cost will add up quickly)
    - Everything seems to be in order in the service book?
    - All windows are undamaged? (expensive stuff)
    - Does the AC work like it should?
    - Test all buttons etc
    - How does it sound?
    - Take it for a test drive and floor it on a safe road. Everything feel and sound ok?
    - Does it go straight ahead if you let the steering wheel go?
    - Warranty?

    And ofc stuff like stereo, speakers etc. which can be nice to have in order. Can get real costly if the car got a "brand specific" stereo. (as in you cant slap a standard unit in it without modification)
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  3. #3
    TR Staff The Duke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    17 times
    ask for a carfax report

    make sure you are buying from a reputable dealer and not some side of the road jockey. I know lots of tricks those guys use and you will not be happy in a few months
    Intel I7 920 @ 4.3 // ASUS 580 // ASUS Rampage III Extreme // 3x2GB Mushkin// Antec TPQ 1200w// Water Cooled

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  4. #4
    Newbie gfong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    If you can afford or know of a mechanic that you can take the car and get it looked over that would be the ideal situation.
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  5. #5
    Malpine-Pedia Malpine Walis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    1 times
    Not only should you check the AC (which can be so expensive a repair that many people let it go) but you should also check the heater. Heater cores can also get leaks the same as radiators. And it is a trivial bit of plumbing to simply bypass the heater core completely. Even in today's weather, it only takes a few minutes to verify that you can heat the interior. If it has been bypassed, you will want to know before winter hits. Also, if your car overheats in high summer weather, the heater core can, while unpleasant, be just what you need to get to a service station.
    Allow me the following heresy: There is simply no such thing as the perfect computer. Even if you managed to build it, some new bit of hardware would come out next week that is marginally better than what you have.

    Decide what you want, ask questions, respond to the answers. If it takes you a couple of months to get there, that is fine. You will have a better computer that you could buy from Dell or similar companies.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    hammond, in
    if you cant get a carfax, and they claim the car was never in a wreck, check to make sure all gaps between body panels are the same throughout. example, is the gap between the driver door and front fender the same width at the top of the fender and the bottom of the fender. also check to make sure the headlights are properly aligned with the car (not the beam of light, but the actual mounting). i bought a used car from the original owner and he said it was never in a wreck. the next day i noticed some gaps wrong, and the hood wasnt even closing properly.
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