You have found the perfect vehicle or the one closest to your needs, it’s time to test with the owner. But before driving, you have to inspect the outside. What are the important points to watch? How to detect hidden cases or defects? Bodywork, headlights, wheels, here are the places not to be missed.
Before the test, the inspection
For a purchase as important as that of a car, often on credit via a car loan , for example, it goes without saying that a test is necessary to support its choice of model and especially to verify that no major defects. ‘exist. Just as essential, it is imperative to inspect the vehicle from every angle, starting from the outside.
The first part you need to look at is the body, roof included. Although its general condition and the paint may be suitable, it is necessary to detect the bumps which can hide a small shock, the repainted parts which mask a damaged element, the scratches and the traces of corrosion which lodge rather on the lower part of the box . Do not hesitate to go to bed to see the rust on the chassis or notice parts hanging in the air, the exhaust being the first to come off. This will also allow to detect possible deformations or suspicious elements.
Then check the doors. First the hood, which must open very easily and hang either by a jack, or with a metal rod to hang for older models. Then open each door, which must not creak and close without forcing in a thump. Do the same for the trunk door (s), noting the condition of the tailgate cylinders. On certain minivans, MPVs or utility vehicles, check the opening of the sliding doors and the condition of the rails.
Full lights on the vision
Then check the different glazings. The windshield is the most important element, but also the most exposed. Watch each part carefully closely, because if a crack is easily visible, a small shine of a few millimeters can quickly turn into a crack in case of strong thermal amplitudes or during a rough passage on a pothole. Take advantage of this to check the condition of the wiper blades. Then go around the car observing the side windows, and their manual or electric actuation, or electric pulse, as well as the anti-pinch. Finish with the rear window, whose defrost must work perfectly.
Other vital elements to see and see, the lights. The headlights at the front must be totally clean, and ask the owner to operate each light: those crossing, road or full headlights, position (night lights), distress and turn signals, daytime, fog lights. Do the same for the rear lights: position, stop, turn signal / warning, reversing, license plate light and fog lights.
Check the wheels
Last important element to consider, the wheels must be in perfect condition. It starts with the tires, not deflated, to be the same type on an axle and not smooth (it may come into play on the trading if you have to change). Check the rims, which should not be broken or cracked, as this may compromise your safety or cause greater damage.
Conclude with the brakes, which you will observe quickly with a flashlight to check the condition of disks and pads, or the general condition of those drum. In parallel, take the opportunity to contemplate the wheel arches subject to corrosion, especially if the vehicle is often driven on salt road.
The inspection of the bodywork, glazing, optics and wheels has given you satisfaction, or you have retained interesting elements for negotiation? The next step will be the examination of the interior, the seats in the trunk, through the various controls and the operation of the air conditioning.