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Discussion Starter #1
THis is sort of a spin-off of the other thread, as nothing was really accomplished...... ;)

Anyway, this is more/less directed toward what you should look for as in records or doing an inspection.....

Im gonna start, and then people add as necessary.... BTW, this would be something that would be done IN ADDITION to a dealer inspecion.....

First, when I get into the car, take a big whiff of what it smells like.... You can usually tell if the cars been a smoker car by this, as you may not notice it any other time.... So get into the car and start looking around, pressing buttons and making sure all the features work, all little compartments open correctly and smoothly... Check the glovebox for the owners manuals and possibly the spare keys.... Make sure all the doors open and close from both inside and outside....

For exterior inspection, make sure its a bright day, or have a good source of light.... Take your finger and feel the paint.... It should all feel the same (assuming its clean).... Also, you should see some orange peel to some degree... If not, its possible it was repainted, which might mean there was an accident.... ANother way to tell this is (hard to explain, but Ill try) if you can see scratches but are painted over.... Sort of like little grooves in the paint... These can be very hard to see, and usually require to move around a lot to see them.... However, if it looks like a good quality paint job, its not always bad, because if you start getting chips, it might just chip off one layer to reveal the bottom layer....

Now, make sure the tires are all the same size (not necessarily brand), load rating (important) and they should have similar wear... I know there is a trick to tell how the tread is (besides the TWI)... I think its if you put a penny up to the tread with heads side, upside dow, if you can see the top of his head, you need new tires..... Also, make sure the sides arent cracked....

Open the engine compartment, and the engine should be semi clean, but it can be self obvious if it was detailed... Feel some of the hoses, they should be very soft, but not really soft.... Also, they may be brittle so be gentle at first so you dont crack one! Now start checking fluids.... Check the oil, and make sure its a good color and at a good level..... Now check teh tranny fluid.... Dont be so concerned about level (check that later after its warmed up), but look at the color and smell... Smell it, and if it smells like burning the tranny fluid hasnt been changed for a long while.... Open up the oil filler cap, and shine a flashlight down in there, and you should see some oil but mostly clean metal (ie no black stuff fused to it.) If you do, it might be that maintennace wasnt up to snuff.....

Now fire up the motor, and make sure there are no squeels or anything coming from the engine compartment... I wont go into a lot of details, as most people should know what to look for in a test drive (IE the tranny shifts smooth, gets up to temp timely, etc).....

Also, when you get back, before you shut off the engine, leave the engine in park and check the tranny fluid level..... Just pull it out (not pull, wipe, check again) and check the level.....

If Ive forgotten anything, please add!!
 

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Open the trunk, pull up the false bottom, and look at the spare and the jack. Look for rust on the spare wheel, as well as on the jack. Feel the carpeting underneath for moisture. I was ready to make an offer on a beautiful green '98 DeVille until I saw that. Apparently the weatherstripping on the trunk had gone bad. It's not uncommon, either.

Also, feel the carpet on the floor of the back seat for moisture. Most of the used Caddys I've looked at had been shampooed with some kind of mildew-cide that covered any and all odors. Hell, I'd almost rather smell smoke or mildew than that chemical $h!znit.
 

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One thing I occasionally look for is engine or hose leaks. This may sound strange but park in a dark area like your garage or parkade, get a good light like a Maglite, and check all over the engine for wet shiny areas. I found several wet spots this way with other higher mileage cars, and for some reason, they show better with a flashlite and a darker area.

I check the fan belts or serpentines for extreme cracks or fraying. I check the weatherstripping because usually no one bothers to maintain this, and maintenance for rubber seems to be controversial, ie. armor all, silicone, etc.


Look under the car, check the exhaust for rust, as well as the muffler. If it's an older car, you can "rap" around the fenders with your knuckles to hear if there is body filler in there, meaning an accident or rust was there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thats a good idea..... Also dont certian fluids glow under a black light, or something like that.....
 

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I was also going to mention when inspecting the exhaust, don't ever let the guy at Midas or ? use the pliers to check it's strength! After they did that to my friends car, he had rust spots every couple feet on the entire length of exhaust pipe! They squeeze with the pliers, and I think it produces weak spots that may rust sooner.
 

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well i think you guys pretty much covered everything, one extra thing is to check the waterpump belt, as it is separate from the serp belt and it on the other side of the engine compartment. Ask the dealer (if its a Gm dealer) to pull up the service history on the car, and see if there were any recalls on it and see if they were done. the common ones are seatbelt pre tensioner, and fuel pressure sensor. there really arent that many recalls on cadillacs. but there are some thigns which are notorious for breaking on some models are:
Hot water valves and oil coolers on Cateras
tie rods on either sevilles or devilles i forget which (this may have a recall , i can't recall [lol])
there are a few others, ill list them all when i go into work tomorrow and ill post them up on here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Why dont you post that in the FAQ sticky in the CF SUGGESTION forum.. I should have the best FAQ done by the end of Jan.....
 

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The waterpump belt on the newer northstar motors. it's on the right side of the engine, seperate from the serpentine belt. some people may not think to check it.
 

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Ralph said:
I check the weatherstripping because usually no one bothers to maintain this, and maintenance for rubber seems to be controversial, ie. armor all, silicone, etc.
How DO you maintain weatherstripping's flexibility an elasticity?
 

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lev said:
How DO you maintain weatherstripping's flexibility an elasticity?
I have a 24 year old Pontiac and the weatherstripping is like new, seriously! It is driven in all types of climate. Keep in mind that weatherstripping isn't in the sun so I've had no problem using a rag and Armor All on the stripping when I do everything else. I also do the rad hosers, oops hoses :D that way too. Because of all the discussion we've had here where people have warned me to avoid AA like the plague, I've been using stuff w/o petrolium distilates in it now. Namely that "No Touch Wet n' Protect" tire care stuff. Everyone has their preference, be it AA or silicone spray that GM even sells.
 

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I believe one of the most important and easiest things has been forgotten... run the on-board computer check! ;) I suggest having a code list with you and a notepad to jot down the codes. That way if anything pops up you can ask the seller to have it fixed or at least use it as a negotiating tool.:poke:
 

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funny, i didnt see anything about testdriving!? make sure the suspension feels nice/ tight/ responsive. you dont want to inherit any suspension problems. get on the engine and see if it shifts properly. also, give the brakes a work out and see if they need new pads/rotors. this is general car info.

i like to check the door panels on the interior and feel around the edges to see if any plastic clips have been broken. alot of times a window motor or something needs to be serviced and the dummies dont know how to take off the panels so they just rip it off. also, for eldo's check the paint under the door jam. if its rubbin off it prolly means that heavy door is saggin. thats it for now.
 

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Day late, dollar short? Wonder if there is anyone around that can comment on buying a like new 1985 Cad Eldo Coupe with 14K on the clock that has been sitting in a recently deceased lady's garage since 1987, Current family member (heir?) inherited the car and had it shipped about 2K miles to his place. Did some initlal maintenance, got all the apparent glitches staight - drained gas tank (gas had gelled), cleaned, replaced gas filter in tank and remounted. Changed all fluids less trans (?), replaced hoses, cleaned metal hoses, mounted new tires.
Does anything else come to mind? I plan on driving this car to my home - about 900 miles, sometime next week.
Thanks for any pointers.
 

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well, testdriving is good. if it can lay down a good 4 feet of thick rubber on dry asphalt without causing the low oil pressure light to go on, or make the engine stall, i would be ready to make an offer.

Also, look into the history of it. Who drove it, where, when and how. If an old grandma drove it 1 mile each day to the store and back from the day it left the factory, i wouldnt buy.

If a teen-ager had this car for more than a few hundred miles, (or if the right rear tire is bald) i would consider something different.
 

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TimsToy said:
I believe one of the most important and easiest things has been forgotten... run the on-board computer check! ;) I suggest having a code list with you and a notepad to jot down the codes. That way if anything pops up you can ask the seller to have it fixed or at least use it as a negotiating tool.:poke:
How is this done, or how does one find out how to do this? Urgent!!!
 

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charles smith said:
How is this done, or how does one find out how to do this? Urgent!!!
I think I might be able to help on this ;)

Go to your local autozone/checker/kragen or whatever your local autoparts store is, and they usually rent code checkers free of charge (deposit of course). Make sure you get the one that will be right for the year of car, and if you don't know how to hook it up, consult a haynes/chiltons before you leave the store, or ask on here. You could also just buy a code reader, if you are serious about cars, that way you just have one, instead of borrowing one all the time.

Hope this helps!

Dane
 

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majax said:
This is a little off topic but how long does it take gasoline to gell in a tank?
I have never heard of gasoline gelling in a tank, (diesel is all I have heard of) All I have heard is that the gasoline turns to a varnish, and gums stuff up. On older cars, sometimes you can force bad gas through the carb, and get the crate to turn over. Even then, that hasn't worked, and I have helped blow out fuel lines that have a very disgusting varnish plug blow out the fuel line! It looked like a mouse turd! That I think is the biggest fear of a car sitting, is the varnish setting in, especially with a fuel injected engine. You can use stuff like Stabil to take care of the gas varnishing up. I think gas usually freezes up in winter like water doesn't it? I believe diesel usually gells up when it freezes, but that is way off topic at this point! :canttalk: I did pull gas out of a 1967 dodge that sat since 1994 about a year ago, and the gas stank like varnish, but the tank wasn't as bad as it could be. A concern I think would be the electric fuel pumps in the tank also. I imagine the pump would be killed by the varnish, because of not having the gas flowing through it.

Dane
 
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