Used Car Buyer’s Guide

Used Car Buyer’s Guide

Download Used Car Buyers Guide
Downloadable PDF: Used Car Buyers Guide

1. Telephone interview (Is this car worth looking at?)
  • a. How many miles are on the vehicle? Color? Automatic or 5 speed?
  • b. Is the title clean (not reconstructed or totaled)? Original owner?
  • c. Has the vehicle been wrecked? (less important on an older vehicle)
  • d. Has the vehicle been smoked in?
  • e. Do you have a dog or cat?
  • f. Do you have all of the service records?
  • g. How much oil does it use between oil changes? (1 quart is acceptable)
  • h. Does it need any mechanical or body repairs?
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2. Interior conditions.
  • a. Does it smell like cigarettes or animals?
  • b. Are there cigarette burns on the carpet or door panels?
  • c. Has it recently been cleaned to hide smells?
  • d. Does it smell musty from mildew?
  • e. Look under seats and in trunk for signs of mud, rust, or silt.
3. Exterior conditions.
  • a. Look for signs of body damage. Is there paint overspray on tires or window seals?
  • b. Is there excessive rust showing on bolts under the hood or under the vehicle?
  • c. What kind of condition are the tires in? Are all 4 the same brand?
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Murrieta Auto Repair
26540 Jefferson Ave F,
Murrieta, CA 92562
(951) 698-4222
4. Engine compartment
  • a. Pull oil dipstick. Is the dipstick black (not the oil on it)?
  • b. If possible, remove oil cap and inspect inside engine. Is it clean?
5. Test drive
  • a. Does the engine rattle when cold, warmed up or all the time?
  • b. Is there smoke coming from tail pipe when the vehicle is cold? (condensation is normal when cold) Any smoke when revving engine after it is warmed up?
  • c. Does it steer straight?
  • d. Are there any unusual noises while driving?
  • e. Are any of the dash warning lights on?
  • f. Does everything work? Lights, turn signals, wipers, air conditioner, heater, windows, etc

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