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Old 10-22-2012, 09:40 AM   #2
Manolito

Name: Manolito
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sacramento
Rate My Car: 339 / 340
Your Ride: (2) '97 328s; '04 330; '04 325iT
If it were me, I would rather pay my money to a shop that specializes in repairing BMWs, someone who can distinguish the sound of a failing VANOS from the sound of a loose heat shield, and will run a compression check and look at blowby. The problem is that someone has to take the car to that shop.

I have looked at a few used cars, and I have helped friends and relatives look at a few used cars. I always found that after I had looked at a car and left, I always thought of something else I should have checked. Finally, I generated a checklist so that I would not forget anything. This checklist is only superficial stuff. The owner will be really uncomfortable if a stranger starts pulling off engine covers and removing coils and spark plugs to do a compression test.

What to look for on the Test Drive:

Handling:

[ ] City street handling

[ ] Highway handling

[ ] Two-lane road handling

Suspension:

[ ] Excessive body lean

[ ] Body motion control

[ ] Vehicle directional change with changing throttle

[ ] Noises with changing speed, direction, or bumps

Engine:

[ ] Noise

[ ] Acceleration

[ ] Idle

[ ] Hot restart without stalling

[ ] Visible Sludge under valve cover

[ ] Stored Computer Codes

[ ] Signs of oil leaks

[ ] Modifications and 'performance' parts.

[ ] Belts, hoses, clamps, inc. heater hoses

Steering:

[ ] Ease of operation

[ ] Vibration through steering wheel

[ ] Road feel

[ ] Loosness when moving or stopped.

[ ] clunks or pump whine

Transmission (Manual):

[ ] Clutch feel

[ ] Smooth gear changes

[ ] Noise

[ ] Cruise control

Brakes:

[ ] Parking brake

[ ] Brake pedal pressure

[ ] Brake pedal travel

[ ] Stopping gradually

[ ] Stopping suddenly

[ ] Antilock brakes


What to look for on the Interior:

From the Driver's Seat:

[ ] Do ALL warning lights illuminate?
inc. air bag, check engine, maintenance, ASC,
[ ] Seat controls

[ ] On-Board Computer Display

[ ] Instrument panel clarity/illumination

[ ] Tilt/Telescoping Steering wheel

[ ] All four electric windows (full up and down)

[ ] Sunroof fit and function

[ ] Water stains around glass and sunroof

[ ] Age of map in NAV system

[ ] Other Power accessories (wipers, etc)

[ ] Mirror controls

[ ] Radio, cassette or CD player and speakers

[ ] Heater, air conditioner and ventilation

[ ] Remote trunk and fuel-door releases

[ ] Horn operation

[ ] Interior dome light

[ ] Wiper/washer system

From the Passenger Seats:

[ ] Seat controls

[ ] Strap handles

[ ] Reading lights

[ ] Seatbelt operation

[ ] Folding rear seats

[ ] Rear Seatbelt operation

[ ] Rear defogger

[ ] Visor vanity lights

[ ] Glovebox

[ ] Cupholders

Look for quality of:

[ ] Upholstery

[ ] Headliner

[ ] Fit of interior panels

[ ] Trim and moldings

[ ] Dashboard

[ ] Carpet and mats

[ ] Window Tint

What to look for on the Exterior:

[ ] Paint

[ ] Rust spots

[ ] Tire tread wear

[ ] Bent Wheels

[ ] Damage beneath car (if visible)

[ ] Rusty Exhaust

[ ] Missing plastic shields beneath

[ ] Body-panel dents

[ ] Fit of trunk, hood, and all doors

[ ] Seals around doors and trunk

[ ] Evidence of rust or damage around frame

[ ] Paint overspray around doors, trunk, hood

[ ] Moisture in headlights and tail lights

[ ] Smoke from the tailpipe

[ ] Free flowing exhaust

Check the trunk for:

[ ] Key for Tire Locks

[ ] Spare tire

[ ] Jack

[ ] Lug wrench

[ ] Tool Kit

[ ] Carpeting and trim

[ ] Trunk light

[ ] Secure latching

Try keys on locks and latches:

[ ] Doors

[ ] Glovebox

[ ] Anti-theft system

[ ] Gas cap

[ ] Trunk

Try these:

[ ] Trunk release/catch

[ ] Hood release/catch

[ ] All four door latches/locks

[ ] Headlights

[ ] Parking lights

[ ] Reverse lights

[ ] Brake lights

[ ] Taillights

[ ] Hazard lights

[ ] Turn signal lights

[ ] License plate light
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