What to ask about a car?

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: What to ask about a car?
By Number9 (Number9) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:11 am: Edit

Looking to buy my first car, and I might be talking to the owner tomorrow. I'm unsure. What are the standard questions I should be asking?

By Im_Blue (Im_Blue) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

- How well has the car been maintained? Ask for maintenance records: oil changes, tire rotations, brake pad and tire replacements, etc.

- Has the car been in any accidents?

- Ask if you can take the car to a mechanic to check it out. This is a standard procedure when buying any used car and costs around $50 to $100.

- Ask about the driving habits of the drivers. Highway miles are better than city miles (less wear and tear).

- Are you the original owner of the car? It looks bad if the car has been sold many times - that might indicate unreliability. Ask for the original window sticker of the car so you can see all the options.

- Ask for the VIN number of the car so you can check it out before you buy. Carfax.com allows you to check cars for accident history.

By Alongfortheride (Alongfortheride) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 08:54 am: Edit

Are there any current recalls that are out on the vehicle that haven't been taken care of? Carfax might tell you that. However, if the car has been sold before, the chain between manufacturer and owner may have been broken.

Also, a quick tip that I was given to check for obvious frame damage is to wet a small patch of driveway, then drive through it. There should only be two sets of tracks and they should align perfectly. If not, the car may have sustained frame damage. Primitive test, I know, but if more than two tracks emerge, don't walk, run away!

By Ferrari (Ferrari) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

Why is the owner selling it? I know, obvious question, but important.

By Number9 (Number9) on Saturday, August 14, 2004 - 01:52 pm: Edit

Carfaxed it before I talked to the owner. It had a salvage title. I'm not going for this car now.

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