Body condition analysis
- Measure the clearances between body parts. If the slots are uneven, this body element is not installed at the factory but manually. This means that earlier, such a part was damaged and removed for repair or was replaced with a new one.
- Check the absence of backlash and squeaks. To do this, open and gently close all doors, the hood and trunk lids one by one. Suppose any element was removed by the salon staff, likely. In that case, it is not installed perfectly, and this will be noticeable when using it.
- Pay attention to the sealed seams. They must be uniform and perfectly flat. Such a seam can only be made in the factory. If any of them differs in colour or is done inaccurately, it was applied by hand outside the factory assembling the model.
- Examine the bolts on the body. When assembled at the factory, they are usually painted in body colour. If you find that one part is screwed on with unpainted bolts, and all the rest are painted, then this car element was not installed at the factory.
Also, pay attention to the optics. The headlights must be perfectly level and free from cracks. Next, examine the bumpers and skirts of the car. There should be no scratches, chips or other damage at the bottom of them. Finally, none of the car doors should protrude beyond the body or be skewed. Only in the absence of all the listed defects can you be sure that the car is not everyday life and is fully assembled at the factory.
Checking external assemblies, components, and consumables
First, make sure that all the equipment and options you ordered are installed on the car. It is better to check the availability of systems and components against a pre-prepared list. This way, you will not miss anything. If something is missing from the list, ask to install this equipment immediately. Next, inspect the following elements of the car:
- Wheels. Pay attention to their diameter, as well as the quality and condition of the tires. They must be new. Now you need a pressure gauge. Tire pressure must correspond to the indicator specified in the car’s manual.
- Optics. Ask the manager to turn on the low beam, high beam, headlights, and daytime running lights one by one. Inspect the front and rear lights when operating in each mode.
- Locks. Test the operation of the central locking system, lock and open the car doors, hood, and trunk one by one. Make sure they all work correctly.
Then look under the hood. Pay attention to the quality of the fastening of the battery terminals and the date of manufacture of this unit. It must coincide with the year of manufacture of the car itself.
Inspect hoses and connections for integrity and leakage. Check the oil level in the engine, gearbox, the presence of brake, windscreen, coolant, etc. All containers and units must be filled with working substances within normal limits. If you notice that the liquid has been underfilled or poured more than necessary, ask to put it in order.
Open the trunk of the car, check for the presence of a spare wheel. If it is provided here, pay attention to the serviceability of the backlight. The vehicle must also have a basic set of tools, including a jack, a balloon wrench, etc. At the end of the external inspection of the car, check the fuel tank cap for serviceability.
Interior inspection, comfort, and safety systems
When the car’s exterior has been thoroughly analyzed, it’s time to get behind the wheel. First, look at the odometer reading from the beginning. It is allowed that there were about ten kilometers, but no more. After leaving the assembly line, the car overcomes a particular path through the territory of the manufacturer’s plant and then in the dealership’s parking lot.
But if the odometer shows several tens or hundreds of kilometers, this car was primarily used for test drives, and this is a reason to ask for a substantial discount. Moreover, during tests, the vehicle is often not operated in a quiet driving mode. Still, they are trying to squeeze out the maximum experiment.
You will have to sit in the driver’s seat when checking the car since you need to test the adjustments for both the driver and passenger seats. At the same time, make sure that the seat belts are working correctly and firmly and the power windows. When checking them, open the windows completely. Experience the steering column adjustment. If the rear seats are folded in the selected configuration, check this too.
Even though the manager has already shown you how the headlights and dimensions work in all possible modes, now it’s time to switch them on with your own hands. At the same time, pay attention to the correct operation of the indicators of high beam, low beam, turn signals, reverse, etc.
Start the engine and inspect the dashboard for error indicators. Listen to the motor running. Jerks, rattling, and other extraneous sounds coming from it are unacceptable. The motor should run stably, and as it warms up; its speed will decrease. Check the immobilizer several times using each key in turn. Next, proceed to test all car comfort systems, including:
- climate control or air conditioning in all possible operating modes.
- a multimedia system by pushing the provided interfaces.
- heated seats, glass, and mirrors.
- blowing the cabin.
- headlight range adjuster.
- windshield wipers and washers, headlights.
- electric drive of mirrors, sunroof.
- rearview cameras, etc.
Test the vehicle systems to the maximum. For example, if it has an adaptive chassis, be sure to toggle all of its modes. Review the functionality of the onboard computer, and do not be afraid to try what it offers you. Also, check the interior lighting and the glove compartment. Finally, inspect for damage and debris to the trim on the dashboard, doors, seats, headlining and armrests.
After all, this, take a short test drive of the car. Do not forget about the tires. For example, if you have chosen an SUV and it is equipped with one of the best-rated SUV tires, then:
Pay attention to the smoothness of the ride, the lightness of the steering wheel and the crispness of gear changes.
In this case, there should be no extraneous sounds. Also, listen for plastic creaks in the cabin while driving. Finally, stop the car, not exactly where you left. This is necessary so that you can go to the place where you warmed up the car and see any oil or brake fluid drips on the asphalt after a test drive.
If there is a ramp on the territory of the passenger compartment, stop the car on it, put it on the handbrake and turn on the neutral gear. If the vehicle does not roll, the handbrake coped with the task. The auto-check is over.