Car Buying Checklist .pdf
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Car Buying Checklist
Check Tires – Check lifespan, worn on edges indicates
worn wheel bearings or bad alignment. ALL 4 SAME?
Check Mileage – Check for odo rollback, check for brake
Check Body Lines – Check to make sure body lines are
aligned. Misalignment = significant collision.
Check VINs on Parts – Check to make sure VIN matches
on windows, doors, etc.
Check Paint – Does it match all the way around, check for
pinholes, check for rust.
Check Underside – Exhaust rust, CC wear, CV joints, look
for oil residue.
Check Tailpipe – Is the residue black and dusty (OK) or
oily/thick (burned oil).
Check Coolant – Is it clear, or milky (leaking headgasket)?
Check Dipstick – Is it clear or black? See if it smells
Check Windows – Any chips? Peeling laminate?
Check Dash Indicators – With key turned in “start”
position, engine off. Are all the lights illuminated?
Remove the Spare Tire – Is it there? Is the jack and tire
iron still there? Is there any water damage?
Check Under Hood – Check belts for fray, check rubber for
suppleness, check connectors, check for rust.
Start the Car – Does it turn over well? Does it sound Okay?
Is there piston slap?
Turn on Defrost, Heat all the way up – Does it smell okay?
Does it smell like burned oil?
Rev the Engine – Is there any white smoke?
Try all the windows, hood release, locks, keys in all the
doors, trunk – Do they all work?
Turn the AC Controls – Does the fan speed change, does
the AC work? Is there any weird noise or smell?
Check Under Hood Again – Does everything look fine?
Does the paint match the body paint?
Test Drive – Does it sound okay? Do the wheel bearings
sound fine? Turn off all the fans and listen carefully.
Check Interior – Stains? Do all the seats fold back? Does it
Check Headlights – Do they turn on? Check high beams.
Check brake lights.
Check Roof – Any sagging interior? Is the rubber cracking
on the outside? Any signs of leaking?
Check Title & Registration – Does it match seller’s driver’s
license? Are they a curbstoner?
Get It Checked by Private Mechanic – Verify that repairs
were actually made.
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