Wednesday, April 02, 2008

I got a car!!

With my wife going back to college and the weather always being nice in San Diego, we broke down and got a car. We got an awesome 2001 Nissan Sentra. Has a moon roof, which is sweet. Something I thought I'd add is all of the things I checked when I bought the car that some people may not know to look at when they buy.

Always check the following:

  • Exterior of the car, paint chips, fading, rust
  • Look at the glass and make sure there are no chips
  • Look at the molding around the doors and make sure it isn't torn
  • Look under the car and see if there are any holes in the muffler or if the undercarriage is rusty
  • Check all of the electronics: Lights, radio, wipers, remote entry(if avail)
  • Make sure the tires have good tread on them
  • Look behind the tires and make sure the axles look good along with the A arm, check the boots around the axle, accordion looking black rubber
  • Look at the engine: check belts, hoses, and overall shape, listen for any noises when it is running
  • Open the oil cap and look to see if it is clean inside
  • Ask if there has been any replacement or alternator, timing belt, starter, and if the oil was changed frequently...rule of thumb is change every 2k-3k miles
  • Put your hand near the exhaust and see if you feel air puffing out, this will let you know if it is blocked
  • Ask if it has passed the smog inspection
  • Check the shocks by pushing down on the bumper and releasing quick...if the car bounces more than once then the shocks are bad.
  • Make sure the AC works
  • Watch the temperature gauge when the car is running, make sure it doesn't get too hot
  • When you drive the car see if it pulls to one side of the road or the other, this can suggest alignment problems.
  • Get a background report on the car like Carfax
  • When the car is shifting(if automatic) feel if it shifts hard or soft, if hard that can suggest transmission issues
These are just a few tips to look for when looking at cars. Always make sure you give it a good thorough look of the car before you purchase. And as always, even a thorough look can't find everything.

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