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Old 08-17-2004, 08:45 AM
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Things to check out when buying a new car

I'm going with a buddy of mine today after work to check out a '95 Mustang GTS with a rebuilt 5.0 and tremec 5 spd. I'm a bit rusty in looking over a car before I buy it since I haven't had to shop around for the past 3 years.

What things should I check out other than tires, brakes, shocks? Are there any voltage tests I can do if I bring a voltmeter? Any other 'under hood' diagnostics I can do on the spot to give us an idea of what kind of shape things are in?

I'd like to make a short check list for the test drive also. Any ideas? Thanks in advance guys (and gals of course)





MoocH

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Old 08-17-2004, 09:40 AM
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Pull the radiator cap & check for junk.
Let the car sit and idle until it comes up to temp, just to make sure it won't overheat.
Check the underside of the oil fill cap for foam or signs of anything other than oil.


Do a "panic stop" when your test driving it.

in addition to what you have listed already...

C
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:37 AM
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A compression gauge would be a good tool to carry, especially with a rebuilt engine. It might be a pain to do it if the owner will even let you. If they cringe at the request or get nervous then I'd pass.

Larry
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:46 AM
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I like to carry a stethoscope. I like to listen for irregularities between cylinders. If the car has loud exhaust you may not be able to here certain clicks or clatters in the engine.
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Old 08-17-2004, 10:52 AM
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I thought about that Wersh, but I don't know enough about diagnosing anything by sound to be able to find a problem. I would like to learn a bit more about it though for my own troubleshooting at home.




MoocH

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Old 08-17-2004, 01:30 PM
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exterior and interior condition can tell you a lot about how a person maintains their car. Somebody who lets their paint and interior get all dirty and messed up, is less likely to be a person who took very good care of the internals. Rebuilt engines, however, probably get special care given the amount the owner had to shell out for them. Keep in mind you have no idea who did the rebuild...

Feel for slop in the suspension, you'll likely find at least some. Look for oil lining the bottom of the car indicating a past or present leak of some sort. Check the fluids as to their color, level and smell.

Use what you find to make your decision, and set a price and stick to it. use what you know about the car to bring the seller's price down to what you want to pay.... that's pretty much always worked for me. Hope it helps bud, good luck-

K
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Old 08-17-2004, 01:34 PM
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See if you can drain the oil

If you are allowed, either drain the oil, or check for metal fragments in the pan. Too many stories of guys loading pans with sawdust and such.
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Old 08-17-2004, 04:34 PM
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Check the tread depth with your fingers (frt/back) if you see a notice able difference it might be getting hammered. Get under the car and make sure it's dry, find out why the motor needed rebuilt, check all fluids, and make sure you take it for a hard test drive.
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