Looking for a long time for a basic car check when buying something, even had a friend try one time and still got burned.  here is the source

Checklist when buying a “new” used car (Fav and Forget) – Imgur

  1. Let the sales guy watch you do the checks
  2. All the locks work
  3. Windows smooth
  4. look under hood and on ground for leaks or any areas that look really clean
  5. rims for dents or scuffs
  6. tires are wearing evenly
  7. turn the key slowly, and watch all the warning lights work
  8. Check fluids
    • Oil is milky or sparkly is bad
    • Trans smells burnt is bad
    • Coolant
  9. start the engine
  10. Check the gauges
  11. Listen to the engine with the hood open
  12. Check all the lights walk around
  13. look for rust around the inside of the bumper, under doors, and near the converter
  14. Test drive
    • check the E brake
    • turn wheel from lock to lock, drive in circles slowly listening for clicks
    • 50mph and brake quickly, feel for vibrations
    • 50mph, release steering and see if the car pulls


I’ve always bought used and found this list and thought I’d share. Here are some things I’d like to add:

1. If you know the car you’ll be seeing ahead of time, research the common problems.

2. Lift up floor mats and seat covers. For floor mats this is good because I’ve ran my hand over wet carpet before. (Could be AC problem, rain leak, etc)

3. Sit in every seat and push every switch. Sometimes the button works for the driver but not for the passenger.

4. Check name of person selling vs name on title or registration. Lots of auction buyers don’t want to pay the extra to put it in their name. (Sometimes registration will even have a date it was printed. Example: Feb 2021 on a car from 2010 that is supposed to be First Owner. Only way this is true is if person paid off their car loan but still good to check)

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