When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck, a Used Car Inspection Checklist is an excellent choice. To avoid purchasing a used car that will leave you stranded, we recommend thoroughly inspecting it on your own and/or requesting a professional used car inspection.
Follow these 9 steps to ensure you cover all of your bases and find a vehicle that is worth your money.
When Conducting a Used Car Inspection, Use These steps to check a car.
We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.
We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.
1. Examine the mileage
According to available data, most people drive a car 15000km per year on average. Any more than that will result in the vehicle having higher-than-average mileage for its model year and should warrant a discount compared to its less-driven peers. REDBOOK and CARSALES are two resources you can use to determine the market value of a used vehicle.
2. Examine the vehicle’s history report
Examine the vehicle’s history to see if there has been any previous damage. The seller may have the history report available for viewing. If not, you can purchase and download it online or request it from an inspection company.
The report is a good place to start, but sometimes it only includes information that has been reported. Previous owners may not have reported certain maintenance or claims/damages made to the vehicle. Through our vehicle inspection process, we have additional methods of learning about the car’s current condition.
3. Check for rust and discolouration of the paint
A close examination of the paint job can reveal information about the past. The Colour and quality uniformity of panels should be compared. If the colour or condition of the panels does not match, the vehicle was most likely involved in an accident and some panels were replaced.
Rust – If you notice rust on the vehicle’s bodywork, it could be an aesthetic issue, but it could also indicate deeper issues that are costly to repair. Frame rust, for example, can compromise the vehicle’s integrity and shorten its lifespan. If you notice rust on the vehicle’s body, look under the bonnet and undercarriage for more evidence.
4. Tyre Inspection – Look for signs of wear
A coin tread depth test is a quick way to check the tread on a tyre. Insert a coin into the tread and inspect it – repeat for each tyre. Please don’t forget to bring a spare. If the grip wears out, the tyres may need to be replaced soon, at an additional cost to you. If the tyre wear is uneven, there could be an alignment problem.
5. Undercarriage & leaks on the ground
While you’re looking at the tyres, check the ground and undercarriage for any signs of leakage. Leak repairs can be costly, but they may provide a price break/point of negotiation.
6. Check and Examine
– Examine the oil levels and condition/colour.
Remove the dipstick and clean it. Insert the dipstick once more, then remove it. A light oil colour usually indicates a recent service, whereas a dark or muddy colour indicates that it hasn’t been changed in a while. Plus a stained dipstick indicates less than frequent changes. Add the cost of the service to the price.
– Under the bonnet, look for signs of rust or corrosion.
These indicators provide a good indication of the vehicle’s previous treatment, current condition, and life expectancy.
– Examine belts for signs of wear.
If any of the belts are frayed or torn, they should be replaced as soon as possible.
– Examine the transmission fluid.
Make certain that the levels are high. The fluid should be clear and reddish in colour.
– Fluid for braking.
The amount of fluid left in your reservoir can be used to predict how worn your brakes are. Low brake fluid levels indicate that the brakes require repair. Also if dark/dirty, it indicates it hasn’t been replaced frequently and may have a high moisture content.
– Examine the antifreeze.
Check for oil contamination and that the colour is clear.
– Examine the battery.
Examine the area for leaks, damaged cables, poor contacts, or corrosion.
7. Lights: Headlight, Taillights and Signal Lights
Ensure brake lights, turn signals, headlights, and taillights are all in working order. Headlight lenses should not be hazy. Also, check for all interior lights are working too.
8. Driving Test
Keep an ear out for any unusual sounds or vibrations. Is the engine sounding normal when you start it? Perform any necessary warnings or checks. Do the engine lights (indicating DTC Error Codes) illuminate? When you press the throttle, observe the performance. Is the steering wheel vibrating or leaning to one side?.
Examine how the vehicle handles on various road surfaces. Brakes can give you a good indication of how worn they are or if they pull to one side. Don’t forget to look for the parking brake. If it’s a manual transmission, feel the gear shift to see if it’s smooth.
9. Professional Inspection
If you are unsure about any of the items on this inspection checklist, consult a professional. It’s also a good idea to have it checked out by a mechanic. Any issues that the mechanic discovers can be used as bargaining chips if you decide to make an offer. When compared to the cost of purchasing a problem-ridden vehicle, the professional inspection fee is a small price to pay. Check the comprehensiveness, OBD scan tool, and peer comparison when choosing a service.
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If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!