Buying a Second Hand Car
- inspect it in daylight, in dry weather if possible.Use a torch to look underneath for rust, tyre bulges, oil leaks etc.
- check engine oil, it will be reasonably clean if recently serviced.
- look from 20 feet away and check the car is level. If not, the suspension may need attention.
- press hard on each corner in turn. When released, the car should not bounce more than twice. If it does, the shock absorbers need renewing.
- check inside for damp areas indicating water entry and/or rusted floor panels.
- check slack in steering action. More than 2 inches of play indicates a badly worn mechanism.
- check the doors open and close easily. Misalignment could have been caused by accident damage.
- on the test drive, check for a clean exhaust and smooth clutch and gear operation. Check braking pulls the car up smoothly in a straight line.