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Classic Vehicle Pre-Purchase Evaluation Checklist

  • Use this website to verify
Body Exterior
  • Visually inspect for repairs, damage, abnormal tire wear, improper alignment.  Look under carpet in trunk, interior and under dash for rust damage.
Body Panels
  • Inspect for damage, dings, dents, alignment, mismatched paint and overall paint condition. 
  • Inspect for damage, alignment and improper repairs. Note: Slightly mismatched paint is fairly common on some vehicles with plastic bumpers.
Doors/Hood/Trunk/Tailgate Operation
  • Release mechanisms manual/automatic, hinges, alignment and proper attaching devices. (Bolts and over spray are indications of damage repairs) 
Grill/Trim/Molding/Roof Rack, Etc.
  • Condition: Bent, dings, parts missing and proper attachment. 
Glass/Mirror/Wiper & Washer Condition
  • Windshield (Damaged, pitted, repaired, wiper marks, cracked)
  • Side/Rear Windows (Damaged, pitted, repaired, cracked)
  • Mirrors (Condition of mirror, hinge, operation)
  • Wipers (Condition of mechanism/blade)
  • Wipers (Operation/Speeds/Delay)
  • Washer (Fluid Level/Spray Pattern)
Exterior Lights
  • Head Lights, High/Low Beams (Alignment/Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Tail Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Brake Lights/High Mount Brake Light (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Parking Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Hazard Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Reverse Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Turn Signal/Side Marker Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • License Plate Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
  • Fog/Driving Lights (Lens Condition/Operation)
Seat Belts (if originally equiped) - Condition/Operation
  • Audio System - Radio and Speakers (if originally equiped) - Condition/Operation
  • Antenna (Condition/Operation)
  • Air Conditioning System/Climate Control System (Condition/Operation/Charge via Sight Glass)
  • Heating System/Climate Control System (Condition/Operation)
  • Defogger/Defroster (Operation)
Interior Amenities
  • Clock (Condition/Operation)
  • Horn (Condition/Operation)
  • Lighter (Condition/Operation)
  • Ashtray (Condition/Operation)
  • Glove Box/Glove Box Light/Center Armrest/Console (Condition/Operation)
  • Tilt/Telescopic/Swingaway Steering Wheel (if equiped) - (Condition/Operation)
  • Mirrors/Rear View (Condition/Operation)
  • Instrument Panel/Lights & Warning Lights (Condition/Operation/Bulb Check)
  • Interior Courtesy/Dome/Map Lights (Operation)
  • Interior Door Handle (Operation)
Interior Trim/Carpet/Floor Mats
  • Carpet (Condition/Appearance)
  • Floor Mats (Condition/Appearance)
  • Door Trim/Panels (Condition/Appearance/Attachment)
  • Headliner (Condition/Appearance)
  • Sun Visors (Condition/Appearance/Vanity Mirror & Light)
Luggage Compartment/Trunk/Truck Bed
  • Luggage Compartment Mat/Trim/Carpet/Cargo Net (Condition)
  • Luggage Compartment Light (Operation)
  • Jack/Tools (Condition)
  • Seat Upholstery (Condition/Worn/Ripped/Cracked/Faded)
  • Seat/Headrest Adjustments (Manual/Automatic Operation)
  • Heated Seat (Operation) 
Sunroof/Moonroof/Convertible Top
  • Sunroof/Moonroof (Condition/Operation)
  • Convertible Top (Condition/Operation/Rear Window & Zipper Operation)
  • Convertible Top Boot (Condition) 
Window/Door Lock Operation
  • Door Locks/Controls (Manual/Automatic Operation)
  • Windows/Controls (Manual/Automatic Operation, Locks) 
Engine Mechanical Condition:
  • Fluid Leakages (Record where and what is leaking)
  • Oil in Air Cleaner (Can indicate excessive blow by or faulty PCV system)
  • Water in Oil (Check underside of oil filler cap)
  • Oil Pressure (Indicator light only must test with gauge/Record pressure readings)
  • Cylinder Compression Reading/Power Balance Readings
  • Inspect Timing Belt (Condition: Change per maintenance schedule)
  • Fluids (Condition/Levels)
  • Belts (Condition)
  • Hoses (Condition)
  • Wiring (Condition)
  • Engine Mounts (Condition) 
Cooling System
  • Hoses (Condition)
  • Coolant (Condition/Level/Leaks/Freeze Point/Voltage - Corrosion)
  • Radiator (Condition/Pressure Checked/Tube/Fins)
  • Cooling Fan/Fan Clutch/Fan Motor (Condition/Operation/Auxiliary Fan Operation)
  • Water Pump (Noise/Leaks)
  • Pressure Test Cap/System
  • Recovery Tank (Condition/Fluid Level/Sensor Operation)
  • Belts (Condition/Cracks/Glazed/Frayed/Proper Adjustment)
Fuel System
  • Fuel Pump Noise/External Fuel Pump Leakage
  • Fuel Lines/Hoses/Pressure (Leaks/Record Reading)
  • Fuel Filter (Condition/Replace per Maintenance Schedule)
  • Air Filter (Condition/Replace per Maintenance Schedule)
Electrical System
  • Starter Operation (Record Starter Draw - Amperage)
  • Alternator/Charging (Record Regulated Voltage/Maximum Amperage Output)
  • Ignition System (Operation/Scope)
  • Battery (Age,Condition/Fluid/Level)
Exhaust System
  • Entire Exhaust System (Condition/Leaks/Damage/Noise)
  • Broken studs in head at exhaust manifold, broken studs where pipe bolts to manifold?
  • Catalytic Converter and Shielding (if equiped)
  • Transmission System (Condition)
  • Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Fluids (Condition/Level/Leaks/Fill or Change Oil and Filters)
  • Manual Transmission/Drive Axle/Transfer Case Fluids (Condition/Level/Leaks/Fill or Change Oil)
  • Transmission Mounts (Condition/Cracked/Oil Soaked/Broken/Replace Worn Mounts)
  • Universal Joints/CV Joints/Boots (Condition)
  • Differential/Drive Axles (Condition/Leaks/Damage)
  • Clutch (Adjustment/Fluid Level)
Tires and Wheels
  • Correct Size
  • Tread Depth (3 reading per tire)
  • Condition/Abnormal Wear (Sidewalls/Alignment Problems)
  • Pressure (Record reading for each tire)
  • All Tires Match
  • Spare Tire (Condition/Inspected same as other tires)
  • Wheel (Condition/Run out/Curb Damage/Finish)
  • Alignment (Record Angles)
  • Fluid (Condition/Level/Leaks/Top off as necessary)
  • Rack and Pinion/Steering Linkage (Condition/Leaks/Boots)
  • Power Steering Pump and Hoses (Leaks/Noise/Operation)
  • Suspension System/Control Arms/Ball Joints/Bushings (Condition)
  • Tie Rods and Idler Arm (Operational to Factory Specifications)
  • Sway Bars/Links/Bushings (Operational to Factory Specifcions)
  • Springs (Vehicle Ride Height/Check for Spring Sag)
  • Struts/Shocks (Leakage/Bounce Test) 
  • Calipers/Cylinders (Operation/Condition/Leaks)
  • Brake Fluid (Level/Condition/Top Off as Necessary)
  • Pads/Shoes (Condition/Wear/% Remaining/Replace Linings if Necessary)
  • Rotors/Drums (Condition/Wear/Resurface or Replace as Required/Measure and Record Readings)
  • Brake System Lines/Hydraulics/Hoses/Fittings (Condition/Wear/Leaks)
  • Parking Brake (Operation/Adjustment/Condition)
  • Master Cylinder and Booster (Operational/Leaks)
Road Test
  • Starting Cold/Hot 
  • Engine Idle Quality
  • Engine Performance/Smooth Acceleration
  • Engine Noise (Cold/Hot and High/Low Speeds)
  • Automatic Transmission/Transaxle Noise (Cold/Hot)
  • Automatic Transmission Shift Points/Slippage (Operational/Smooth/Proper Shift Points/Check at all shift points)
  • Drive Axle and Transfer Case Bearings or Gear Noise/Vibration
  • Clutch Operation (Smooth Engagement/Slippage/Chatter)
  • Steering/Rack and Pinion/Steering Linkage Performance (Steering Wheel Free Play/Center Steering/Response/Smoothness)
  • Brakes/ABS (Effectiveness/Operation/Noise/No Pulling
  • Cruise control operation (Including Resume)
  • Gauge/Speedometer/Tachometer/Odometer (Operation)
  • Body/Suspension (Performance/Noise/Rough Road Test) 
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