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Old 11-11-2006, 02:27 AM   #5
korrupt1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: az
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this IS NOT mine but I felt it was quite informative and should be able to help diagnose some potential troubles for people when out looking....I printed a copy for myself for when I am out looking....has saved me thousands so far

-Have someone cold start the car while you stand behind it watching the tailpipe, and look for gray smoke with a blue-ish tint (easiest to see in direct sunlight)

-Let the car warm up and continue to stand behind the car checking for smoke

-Now move to the front of the car, and open the hood. Listen for bad noises (noticeable injector ticking is normal)

-Now go back and watch the tailpipe for smoke, have someone blip the throttle, while you watch for smoke, let it idle between the blips

-Now do the same but have them mash the gas and rev it up till like 5000rpm or so

-Now have a friend follow behind you in another car while you go for a test drive

-Have him/her watch for smoke while you drive

-Put it in 2nd gear, let the rpm drop to about 1500, and then stomp on it, and stay on it till redline, then let off the gas. Your friend should be watching for "gray/blue smoke". Just grey/black smoke is okay.

-Smoke at cold start-up, leaving a stop-light, or throttle blipping from idle is valve stem seals. Smoke under boost, or after letting off of boost, or maybe when revving full throttle, is turbo seals. Smoking for no good reason, or if it doesn't stop pretty quickly is piston rings (may get better or worse when hot).

-Your job while at full throttle in 2nd is making sure the turbos boost fine (smoothly), that you can feel full boost by 4500rpm or near it, and that you don't hear bad noises (slight turbo whistle/whine is ok, if it has an intake it will be noticeable)

-Use all the gears in the transmission, and make sure it shifts fine (if it is a 6spd, it is going to feel and sound clunky too you, thatís normal. If the transmission makes "ball bearings in a can" sounds at idle or low speeds, that is 2-piece sprung flywheel and is normal)

-While driving with the windows down, listen for clicking or popping noises coming from outside the car. (A POP when starting or stopping, or making a sharp low speed turn (maybe up a hill), is the drivers side engine mount. A clicking sound under initial mild acceleration or deceleration, that lasts for only a second or two then stops, and sounds exactly the same regardless of speed, is the rear upper control arm bushings. A clicking that changes with speed is wheel bearings)

-Make sure the brakes work smoothly and reasonably quietly. When coming to a stop take your hand slightly off the wheel and make sure it stays straight.

-Make sure the car tracks straight on flat roads.

-A creaking noise from the hatch when turning up hill, means it needs rubber hatch bumpers.

-Rattling from above you means the targa is loose (make sure the targa bolts loosen, and tighten back down smoothly) and make sure the targa wrench is there.

-Make sure the rear hatch opens and closes fine, and that is stays up on it own.

-Make sure all the doors open and close smoothly

-If you can really smell the exhaust when coming to a stop, it has no cats

-If when flooring it, the car pulls smoothly till ~4000rpm, and then rockets forward like getting hit with a semi, then it's modefied and not stock. If you have taken a look at the engine bay and it seems quite standard, the car maybe on TTC setup. If you can hardly feel a change over from the 1st turbo to both, then it's stock.

-When checking under the car for leaks, donít be alarmed by an oily sludge on the transmission and differential. Thatís a greasy undercoating that Toyota applied. But check for fresh oil leaks, and check the rear CV joint boots for cracks.

-If possible, look at the spot where the car normally parks. Check for fresh oil puddles or spots. If they say their other car caused the spot, don't believe them if it's a clean 1-2 year old car they are blaming it on.

-Check the wheel rim, inside and out, for curb rash or bent rims.

-Check for excessive or uneven wear on the tires

-Check for cheap, or miss-matched tires

-Look to see if all the little plastic panels and parts under the car all line-up, and are attached, and that paint is not where it shouldn't be (cracked under trays are not uncommon, don't be alarmed). Spend a fair amount of time on the ground, don't be afraid to get a little dirty. Also all the major body panels have the original VIN number visibly stuck on them, make sure they are all still there and are the right number. Look for missing, non-original, or out of place fasteners. All these things are possible signs off a collision.

-Check for signs of rust in the wheel wells and inner fender

-Check the condition of all the exposed rubber on the suspension joints

-Make sure the power steering is smooth and quiet

-Make sure the gaps in the body panels are all even.

-Walk all around the car, and look at each panel at different angles. Looks for small dents and dings, and make sure the paint matches all around.

-Look over the paint condition very closely

-Check around all the glass to see if it has been replaced. Check the manufacturer information on the glass to see if they are all the same.

-Make sure all the exterior lights work

-Check the headlamps for cracks, moisture or fogging/yellowing (expect them too be fogged/yellowed if an earlier model)

-Make sure to test every last switch in the car to make sure it works (power windows, locks, turn signals, light switch, dome lights, power seat, cruise control, everything). Use all the functions on the A/C and make sure they all work. Go from HOT to COLD A/C and make sure it's getting very hot, and very cold. If it has a factory alarm, make sure the key-fobs work.

-Check the interior for excessive wear (cracked leather in the seat's side bolsters is pretty damn common).

-Check all of the fluids, make sure the fluid isn't terrible. Open the oil fill cap, and look inside for sludge build-up (you shouldn't see any)

-Find out what oil the use, and how often (don't trust their answer unless they have receipts)

-Ask them if they have had any work done to it. If they have owned it for several years, and say they have done nothing to it, don't take that as being a completely good thing.

-Ask if it has ever had modifications, and what.

-Make sure it still has the spare tire, jack and wrenches, owners manual, and targa wrench.

-Try to get the repair records

-Do a VIN # and chasis number check

-Take it to a mechanic you trust AFTER you have done all this to get it checked out one last time before buying it.

-If the owner refuses any of this, be suspicious.

-Try to take a level-headed friend with you who you can trust.

This may sound like a lot to do, but really it's not, most of these things take no more than a second to do. Make sure to always go look at a car on a bright sunny day, and make sure you and the seller will have plenty of time (don't rush anything)

Any problems you find (and your likely to find a few) should not mean you shouldn't buy the car. But you need to know what you are getting into, and whether the price is reasonable. Always negotiate. People are almost always willing to come down some on their asking price. And be prepared to walk away as hard as it may be.



One guy actually tried to rush me into buying his MKIII...and a few minutes later I found out why...car wouldnt have made it home....as it overheated and blew coolant all over his driveway.......doesnt say much since he was asking almost 5K for the car.....TSK TSK


anyways...........hope that helps you people when out looking

Last edited by korrupt1; 11-11-2006 at 02:29 AM.
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