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Limited Group Buy: E30 Rear Subframe Camber & Toe Correction Kits - $69 Shipped

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Old 11-22-2004, 09:41 PM   #1
Chris
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Default E30 Buyer's Guide

This guide will be broken down into (4) sections:

1. Questions to ask the owner

2. Interior Inspection

3. Exterior Inspection

4. Test Drive
--------------------------------------------------------



Questions to ask the owner:


1. Is the engine original, if so was it ever rebuilt. If it isn't the original, then what happened to the original, and how many miles are on this engine?

2. Was the timing belt ever broken, if not, then when was the last time it was changed. If it did break, then how much damage was there?

3. Do you have any service records? How about receipts?

4. Have you had any repairs/work done to the car, if so, then what? Did you do the work yourself, or did you have it done elsewhere. If you had the work done elsewhere, where did you have it done?

5. How often do you change the fluids. What fluids have you changed? How often was the oil changed?

6. Has the odometer stopped working? Has it been replaced?

7. Did you garage the car? How often would you say you cleaned/waxed the car? Did you use it during the winter months?

8. Have you done any modifications to the car? Do you know of any that have been done prior to your purchase?

9. How long have you owned your car? Are you the original owner, if not, then what number owner are you? Why are you selling? How long has the car been for sale?

10. Has this car been in a accident?

11. Has your car been repainted?

12. What is wrong with the car? Does the interior ever get wet when it rains?

13. Do you own the car outright, or is there still money owed on it? Is the title in the sellers name and do they have it handy?

14. Is it a problem if I have my mechanic look over the car?

15. Is the registration current?

16. Has the car ever failed inspection? If so, then for what? Was said problem fixed?




Interior Inspection:


1. Check the power door locks, windows, and sunroof work.

2. Check to see if the interior carpet is wet.

3. Check if there any cracks in the dashboard.

4. Check to see if the headliner is intact.

5. Check for stains in the carpet.

6. Take note of whether the seats fully function - do they recline, do the move back and forth? What's the condition of the seats? Check to see if the seatbelts work and see if they are anchored properly.

7. Check to see if the horn works.

8. Check to see id the trunk carpet is wet.




Exterior Inspection:


1. Check out the wheels. Do they look bent? Do they have any curb rash? Do they have all their wheel caps?

2. Check out the condition of the tires. Does the rubber look good. Do they look properly inflated? Are there any bulges/bubbles? How much tread is left?

3. Check to see if all the driving lights work, including high beams, fog lights, and blinkers.

4. Check the glass around the car. Do the windows look like the go up all the way? Are there any cracks/chips in the windshield?

5. Check out the lenses on the taillights, headlights, fog lights, and side markers for cracks.

6. Get under the car and take a look at the brake lines.

7. Check out the suspension and bushing components.

8. Check under the engine for oil leaks.

9. Check to make sure all the VIN numbers match. There is one on each of the front fenders, one in the door, and another on the dashboard.

10.Check for bent floorpans and jacking points.

11. Check the following places for rust:
  • - fenders

    - license plate light area

    - lift points

    - rocker panels

    - four corners of the floorboard

    - lower parts of the doors

    - under the battery in the trunk

    - behind the rear wheel wells

    - sunroof

    - fuel tank

    - fuel door

    - strut towers

    - the seal around the front and rear winshield

    - rear cross-member

    - brake calipers

    - taillights

Test Drive:


1. When you start the engine, notice if any lights stay lit on the instrument panel? Also press the check button on the overhead check panel to see if anything stays lit.

2. Check to see if you hear any belt noises. Notice if they go away once the engine warms up

3. Do you notice any noise when you turn the steering wheel?

4. How does the engine run? Is it smooth? Is there any blue smoke coming from the exhaust? Do it buck or hesitate?

5. Check to see if the brakes are mushy. Does the car vibrate when you apply the brakes at slow speeds?

6. Check to see if the clutch engages properly. Is it hard to shift into gear? Does the shift lever feel loose. Is there a smooth transition from gear to gear. Do you hear any unusual noises coming from the tranny?

7. Check to see if the A/C and heater work. Does the fan operate on all 4 settings?

8. If you can, check to see if the rear window defroster works? Does the front windshield fog up when the heater is on?

9. Check the engine teperature. Is it reading normal?

10. Check the windshield wipers work? How about the washer fluid?

11. When you are done with your test drive, put the car in neutral(or park) and pull up on the ebrake. Open the hood and see if the engine is smoking. How does everything sound? Do you hear any hissing or ticking?


Note: I suggest you don't do the following:

- Look at the car in the dark.

- Look at the car in the rain.

- Check out the car right after someone else drove it.
--------------------------------------------

I hope most of you find this helpful. If you feel that you could add to this list, then by all means post away.
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:25 PM   #2
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Good/Bad?
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Old 11-23-2004, 11:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
Good/Bad?
Great! Very very thorough.

A fairly good way to tell if the car is high mileage, even if the odometer indicates otherwise, is to look at the general condition of the interior and the windshield (if it hasn't been changed). Obviously, high mileage cars will generally have a lot more wear and tear than low mileage ones. So if the car you're looking at is low mileage but has an excessively pitted windshield and/or rough interior, chances are it's been rolled back or the cluster has been changed.


Edited for typo.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris
Good/Bad?
Great! Very very thorough.

A fairly good way to tell if the car is high mileage, even if the odometer indicates otherwise, is to look at the general condition of the interior and the windshield (if it hasn't been changed). Obviously, high mileage cars will generally have a lot more wear and tear than low mileage ones. So if the car you're looking at is high mileage but has an excessively pitted windshield and/or rough interior, chances are it's been rolled back or the cluster has been changed.
Thanks and good point.
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Old 11-24-2004, 12:10 AM   #5
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Nice work chris.
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:55 AM   #6
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What about VIN number and carfax report if they have done it?
Who drove the car usualy (like an adult vrs teenager)
Was the car ever raced/tracked?
Is the car daily driven/pleasure driver or in storage?
Have there been any other offers for the car?

Im sure there can be more. Not sure if these are important/anyone cares. But i usualy ask them these too.
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Old 03-09-2005, 12:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesepton
What about VIN number and carfax report if they have done it?
Who drove the car usualy (like an adult vrs teenager)
Was the car ever raced/tracked?
Is the car daily driven/pleasure driver or in storage?
Have there been any other offers for the car?

Im sure there can be more. Not sure if these are important/anyone cares. But i usualy ask them these too.
Good stuff.
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Old 05-27-2005, 10:57 PM   #8
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Hi, This is a good write up. But it's more of a general overview of Any used car.

What are some Common things that go wrong with these cars? I've owned several VWs over the years Mostly A1 GTIs, Sciroccos and A2 GTIs. On those cars common problems are Door Handles, Certain Gear Boxes suffer SMS (Self Maching Syndrom). Stuck Odometers, etc.

I guess what I'd like to see is what are some of the Common problem areas on these cars.
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1badmkIrocco
Hi, This is a good write up. But it's more of a general overview of Any used car.

What are some Common things that go wrong with these cars? I've owned several VWs over the years Mostly A1 GTIs, Sciroccos and A2 GTIs. On those cars common problems are Door Handles, Certain Gear Boxes suffer SMS (Self Maching Syndrom). Stuck Odometers, etc.

I guess what I'd like to see is what are some of the Common problem areas on these cars.
glove box latch, knee bolster, timing belt, leaking sunroof drains . . .
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Old 05-27-2005, 11:28 PM   #10
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...central locking gremlins, dashboard cracks, bad seat shocks...
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