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Pre-purchase Checklist for Used Vehicles

Pre-purchase Checklist for Used Vehicles

If you’re considering buying a used car, you’re probably worried about all the possible unseen problems and damage that could have you spending a lot of extra money at the repair shop. Not to worry though! Eccles Auto Service has put together a quick checklist to help buyers ensure they don’t have any surprises pop up after they make their big purchase.


Before you make the purchase or go to inspect the vehicle in person, it’s important to do your research. If you have a type, make, or model of the vehicle you’re looking to buy, start there. Look-up all of the common issues with the model and make you’re pursuing. Different types of vehicles will usually have a different set of issues to look out for.

Exterior Inspection

One of the first things you need to do is inspect the body condition. Walk around the vehicle and take note of any scratches, dents and rust. Also take note of the body panels. Everything should line up evenly and the doors, hood and trunk should be able to open and close. Any signs of unevenness or colour change may be red flags that the vehicle was treated from an accident. While walking around your vehicle, also make sure to inspect the tires. All of the tires should be the same brand and should be in good condition (no cracks, bulges, scuffing or bad tread). Lastly, make sure to always check the lights. All of them should work properly (including blinkers) and be without cracks and damages in addition to no moisture.

Interior Inspection

When it comes to the interior of the vehicle the first thing you will probably notice is the smell. Mould and mildew odours could indicate water damage in the past. Check the seats for scratches, tears or wear. Also, make sure you can sit comfortably after seat adjustments. Turn the car on and make sure all the control gauges work and check all the electric switches. Lastly, take a look at the roof and make sure that there are no signs of staining or water leaking through a sunroof or window.

Engine Inspection

When looking under the hood, make sure to inspect the belts, hoses, fluids, oil and transmission fluid. Fluids and oils should be at their proper level and there should not be any cracks, leaks or wear on the belts. Make sure to also look underneath the vehicle to see if anything is leaking. This may be trickier for novice vehicle owners or new owners, so if you can bring the vehicle into Eccles Auto Service in Dundas Ontario and we will inspect it for you!

Test Drive

The most important part of your inspection is to test drive the vehicle to ensure that everything is working properly. When starting the vehicle, take note of how long it takes for the car to start and if there are any odd noises. Make sure to drive the vehicle on a variety of different roads so you can test it at all different speeds. This is to be sure the transmission shifts smoothly and to make sure that the brakes provide good stopping power without pulling the car to either side.

Paperwork and Professional Inspection

Before you close the deal on the car, make sure to get the vehicle identification number (VIN) and get a Vehicle History Report. Most dealers provide a report on all of their used vehicles. Additionally, make sure that your trusted auto experts at Eccles Auto Service examine and inspect the vehicle before you cut the check! Contact us today!


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