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How To Inspect Your Car Before Final Delivery

Aug 17, 2007
When you buy a new vehicle you have every right to get one that is perfect and totally free of any imperfections. You don't want to pay top dollar for a brand new car that has mechanical problems or problems with the interior, body, or finish. Before you sign the final papers and take delivery of the car you want to be sure that you thoroughly inspect the car including road testing it. Take down notes of any imperfections and insist that they be taken care of before you sign anything. Some dealers will let you take the car overnight, if they will take advantage of it as it can give you the time to really check it out more than a 5 minute test drive and walk around at the dealership.

Another thing that is really helpful is to have someone else, other than the salesman, look it over with you. They may see something you don't. Don't let the dealer tell you "Don't worry. Go ahead and sign and we'll fix it later." Your signature is binding, there word isn't. Mechanical issues are usually just a matter of a minor adjustment, or they may have a factory flaw that is covered by the factory and will be repaired. Paint and upholstery on the other hand are items that most dealers are not very good at repairing and they will try to make you believe that a flaw is normal, it isn't.

Once you have driven the car off the lot with a signed contract anything and everything will be assumed to be your fault, so you have to be sure that it is perfect before you leave.
NEVER take final delivery of a car at night. There are many flaws that can be hidden when not in direct sunlight. It is well worth the time to take off from work and see the vehicle in the daylight so you aren't surprised by scratches or swirls in the paint you couldn't see.

These are some of the things you want to inspect:

Make sure that the serial number on the car matches what is on the paperwork. Check the odometer or mileage reading. If it has more than 300 miles make them tell you why. If they can't give you a reasonable answer, get another car. Sometimes they trade cars from other dealers and this could explain it, but make them show you the paperwork proving it.

Check the body and paint thoroughly. Look inside the hood, trunk, and gas filler compartment. This is an area that is overlooked for overspray. If there was a minor flaw they fixed they may try to pass it off without disclosing it. New cars that have been partially repainted will not match later on as aging will make the colors different.

Be sure everything is lined up properly. The doors, hood, trunk, and windows should all be perfectly lined up and there should be a good seal around the windows with no wind noise. Check the upholstery for any stains or tears and be sure all the mechanical and electronic devices are in proper working order.

Be sure to have the salesperson take the time to go over all the equipment with you and be sure you know how to operate it and also check all the lights to be sure they are working. Also be sure to check all the fluid levels and be sure they are topped off.
When you take the car for the test drive be sure to test the alignment by briefly releasing the steering wheel and note whether it pulls to the left or right. Also, test the brakes under light and heavy braking. There should be absolutely no shudder at all, if there is it needs to be corrected.

If you follow these suggestions it should prevent you from having a bad experience when picking up a new car.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Protect your new car's finish with quality car care products from http://www.carcarewizards.com
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