Used Car Checklist: Questions to Ask the Dealer/Owner
- Why are you selling it? _______________
- How long have you owned it? ____________
- What kind of gas mileage are you getting? _______________
- Has it ever been hit or in an accident?_______________
- What work does it need? ____________
- How many miles does it have on it (more than 15,000 a year should ring alarm bells)? ______________
- Do you have receipts, manuals and inspection records? (Check name on title, registration, driver’s license.) Yes___ No____
- How much do you want for it? _______________
- What’s the least you’re willing to take for it? _______________________
- Buying a Used Car Checklist
- Look at the car during the daylight, not at night or in the rain.
- Any bangs, scrapes, dents, rust spots? Dashboard or windshield cracks? Yes___ No____
- Is the paint an attractive color? Fresh and unfaded? Yes___ No____
- Look under the car; any corrosion or other damage? Yes___ No____
- Loose or missing parts? Scrapes underneath? Yes___ No____
- Is the frame straight? Yes___ No____
- Look under the car; any tell-tale oil or fluid leaks? Yes___ No____
- When you turn it on and run it awhile, is the car a ‘smoker’? Yes___ No____
- Used Car Checklist: Interior
- Is the upholstery in good shape, or is the leather or fabric torn or scraped? Power seats work? Yes___ No____
- Is there a cigarette smell? Yes___ No____
- Is the carpet clean and tear-free (pick up floor mats and check)? Yes___ No____
- Windshield wipers work? Yes___ No____
- Are all the car’s lights, controls and gauges working? Yes___ No____
- Seats and seat belts in good shape? Yes___ No____
- Do you and your family (and cargo) fit in OK? Yes___ No____
- Air conditioning, heater, defroster works? Yes___ No____
- All power options (locks, windows, antenna, etc) work? Yes___ No___
- Stereo, speakers, CD player, navigation, GPS, MP3, etc. working? Yes___No____
- Mirrors, horn working? Yes___ No____
- Used Car Checklist: Tires
- Tires have plenty of tread? Yes___ No____
- All the same size? Yes___ No____
- Is there a decent spare (and a jack and lug wrench)? Yes___ No____
- Used Car Checklist: Engine Compartment
- Check oil, power steering, automatic transmission, etc, fluid levels. Any leaks? Yes___No____
- Anything broken? Cables/hoses look frayed? Yes___ No____
- Start easily? Run smooth? Yes___ No____
- Smoke or burning smells when running? Yes___ No____
- Undue vibration? Yes___ No____
- Does the car stall if you take foot off the accelerator? Yes___ No____
- “Rev high” when idling? Yes___ No____
- Check engine light or other lights appearing? Yes___ No____
- Used Car Checklist: Test Drive
- Choose your own half hour route that will take you through city streets, winding hills and fast freeway driving.
- Does the car shift smoothly? Yes___ No____
- Or is the car slow to accelerate, or do you hear a ‘clunk’ or grinding (may show transmission problems? Yes___ No____
- Enough power to climb hills and pass safely? Yes___ No____
- Any noises or vibrations, rattles or squeaks? Yes___ No____
- Do brakes work smoothly when going from 50mph to zero (‘panic stop’)? Yes___ No____
- Does the car pull to one side when braking? Yes___ No____
- When safe, take hands off the wheel. Does the car pull sharply to one side? Yes___ No____
- Make a few slow, tight turns; any noise coming from front wheels (might indicate CV joint problems)? Yes___ No____
- When you do long and short turns, sudden swerves and smooth transitions, does the car provide good steering response? Yes___ No____
- Is it easy to parallel park? Yes___ No___
- Does the car pull, wander or shake? Yes___ No____ Is the car quiet when the fan and heater or AC are on? Yes___No____
Alloy Wheel care
Alloy wheels are the most common type of wheels on the road today.When it comes to top quality car wheels, alloy wheels rank high on the charts. Since these wheels are made of aluminium, they are much stronger, and provide better acceleration and braking than regular steel wheels.Here are some tips that can help you keep your steel and alloy wheels clean.
Aluminium wheels need regular cleaning and maintenance. For cleaning the wheels, you would need water and hose, soft rags or washing mitt, a wheel cleaning brush, and some large cotton swabs. These large cotton swabs will be used for cleaning the hard-to-reach spots. You would also need to buy a mild wheel cleaner and a polish. However, make sure the polish and the cleaner both suit the wheel’s finish.
We recommend cleaning the wheels before washing your vehicle. Cleaning wheels first will prevent brake dust and dirty water from splashing onto a clean car.
Rinse wheels to remove loose dirt and brake dust. Use a Fire Hose Nozzle to deliver a strong stream of water.
Spray one wheel at a time with an alloy wheel cleaner. These cleaners are non-acidic in order to protect the wheels' finish. Whether you have clear coated or polished alloy wheels, these wheel cleaners are safe choices.
Use a soft bristled wheel brush to agitate the wheel. The Speed Master Wheel Brush is a great choice because it can fit narrow or wide spaces and has a flexible stem. The soft, synthetic bristles loosen grime and brake dust without scratching the wheel finish. Reach through spokes to clean each wheel front to back.
Don’t forget the lug nuts. Brake dust hides wherever it can. Use a lug nut brush to clean around the lug nuts and inside the lug nut holes. While you’re working with the brushes, the wheel should remain wet. The water and wheel cleaner help loosen grime, but they also lubricate the wheel surface to prevent scratching. You never you want to let a wheel cleaner dry on the wheel because it will spot the finish.
While you’re down there, clean the wheel wells, a.k.a. fender wells. A lot of dirt and mud is kicked up in the wheel wells as the tires roll. You might need something a bit stronger than what you used on the wheels. Spray the wheel well generously with an all purpose cleaner, like Detailer’s Pro Series Cleanse-All Exterior Surface Cleaner. Use a long handled brush with sturdy bristles to agitate the wheel well. Note: Do not use your soft wheel brush on the wheel wells. Likewise, do not use the wheel well brush on the wheel itself. Think soft and gentle for wheels, strong and sturdy for wheel wells.
Rinse the wheel and wheel well, including the lug nut holes and between the spokes.
Always dry wheels. Water spots are unattractive wherever they appear, even on the wheels. OurWheel & All Purpose Microfiber Towel is exceptionally gentle on the wheel finish and grabs any residual brake dust. Because the towel is black, you can you use it on wheels without ruining it. To avoid cross-contamination, use this towel only on wheels and wash it separately from your other microfiber towels. Brake dust is the last thing you want on your paint
Cleaning alloy wheels
A warm day is ideal to clean your wheels, however try to avoid doing it in direct sunlight. Start by cleaning the wheels with water. Using a hose will help you reach inside the spokes. You can arch the hose just a bit to get dirt and grime out of the tricky corners of the wheel. It is important that you rinse off dirt and grime as cleanly as possible. This will help avoid scratching the surface of the wheel while cleaning.Once you are done hosing the wheels, soak the rag or mitt into soapy water and give the wheel a gentle scrub. After scrubbing the entire wheel thoroughly, rinse off the soapy solution with plain water. Clean inside the spokes using the wheel brush and rinse thoroughly once you are done. The large cotton swabs will help you wipe the remaining dirt off. After cleaning the wheels thoroughly, dry them with a clean cloth or towel.
Waxing and polishing
While some wheels need polish, others require wax. The type of wax or polish you use will depend on the wheel’s finish. For example, if the wheel has a chrome finish, you would need to use a chrome polish. Also, if the aluminium wheels are polished, go for aluminium polish. On the other hand, for painted or coated wheels, choose to use a good quality automotive wax for protecting the finish. Apply the wax or polish using a clean rag and buff till it becomes shiny. Polishing is not necessary for anodised wheels. In that case, applying a thin coat of petroleum jelly would do.
Following these simple tips will maintain the appearance of your car’s wheels as well as assist them in lasting longer. Since high-end wheels are often quite expensive and can be a highly personal statement that the owner makes, it is worth spending a little extra time on cleaning them. Just like the rest of your car, treat your wheels with respect, and they will continue to look great for a long time regardless of whether they are alloy wheels or steel rims