Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar karjunkie 03/18/10 3:58 pm PST

    If you've never been to a car or auto auction before, it's a good idea to attend at least one before you plan to buy and I would say that its best to go to several to really get to know the process. Go to a car auction and do not place any bids, just simply watch and observe. Learn all you can about the auction process, what certain terms mean and everything involved in the auction. Print the NADA car value before you go and see the rock bottom value of the car or truck. Go to the inspection period and follow around the guys that seem to know their stuff. See what they check and how they go about inspecting the vehicle. They know all the tricks. But be discreet so they don't get too paranoid. Always bid against the guys that are professionals. They will stop well below the value of the car and with a few bucks more you will win AND know you got a good deal. Their are many little tricks. A magnet will find any major bondo repair on the body. A new or unusual interior means the car was flooded. Lift the carpet wherever you can and look for water damage. Open all the door and look for bolts on the door hinges and fenders that do not have the original undisturbed factory paint to indicate they were replaced. Wear old clothes, have a good high power flashlight handy and crawl under the cars for signs of rust, frame damage or fluid leaks. Pull the oil and tranny dipsticks and be sure the fluids are clean. Pull the oil cap and look for sludge or unusual deposits. Use a small flashlight to check the internals through the oil cap opening. Check the color of fluids in the brake and power steering reservoirs. Open the air filter box and look under the filter for any signs of water or unusual deposits. Check the tailpipe for deposits of soot or oil. Turn every accesory on and off including radio, heater air conditioner etc. As noted, start and run the engine for a sufficient period to check oil pressure and temperature gauges.

Answers

  • knowledgepower 03/18/10 1:49 pm PST

    There's no way of knowing unless you check out the cars, look under the hood of each one and check for odvious leaks aound the gaskets. Check the belts for cracks and hoses for sign of wear. Once you crank the vehicle wait a few minutes for it to warm up and don't rev the engine because the oil pressure has to build up, if there any noises from the engine then it's not the one to buy for resale. Check the shifting of the transmission, any jerks or hesitation are also bad signs. Buy each car like you are buying it for yourself,once you establish a good reputation for honesty in vehicle selling the word will get around. The auction will provide you with the title upon purchase so there is no lein holder issue.

  • boomchek 03/18/10 2:22 pm PST

    The auction should have the titles for the vehicles, so liens shouldn't be an issue but it's best to check with the auction and ask them.

    As for mechanical condition, you need to learn what to look for and how to check if a car is good or not. It's more complicated than something that can be explained in one paragraph here although if you read the above answer from "knowledgepower" you'll have a good starting point. It takes few years of being in the car business to properly appraise used vehicles in a way as not end up losing money on it.

    Another important thing to remember is to check your local laws that pertain to reselling vehicles. In some areas you may need a dealer's license if you sell more than an XX amount of vehicles per year.

    Good luck.

  • karjunkie 03/18/10 3:58 pm PST

    If you've never been to a car or auto auction before, it's a good idea to attend at least one before you plan to buy and I would say that its best to go to several to really get to know the process. Go to a car auction and do not place any bids, just simply watch and observe. Learn all you can about the auction process, what certain terms mean and everything involved in the auction. Print the NADA car value before you go and see the rock bottom value of the car or truck. Go to the inspection period and follow around the guys that seem to know their stuff. See what they check and how they go about inspecting the vehicle. They know all the tricks. But be discreet so they don't get too paranoid. Always bid against the guys that are professionals. They will stop well below the value of the car and with a few bucks more you will win AND know you got a good deal. Their are many little tricks. A magnet will find any major bondo repair on the body. A new or unusual interior means the car was flooded. Lift the carpet wherever you can and look for water damage. Open all the door and look for bolts on the door hinges and fenders that do not have the original undisturbed factory paint to indicate they were replaced. Wear old clothes, have a good high power flashlight handy and crawl under the cars for signs of rust, frame damage or fluid leaks. Pull the oil and tranny dipsticks and be sure the fluids are clean. Pull the oil cap and look for sludge or unusual deposits. Use a small flashlight to check the internals through the oil cap opening. Check the color of fluids in the brake and power steering reservoirs. Open the air filter box and look under the filter for any signs of water or unusual deposits. Check the tailpipe for deposits of soot or oil. Turn every accesory on and off including radio, heater air conditioner etc. As noted, start and run the engine for a sufficient period to check oil pressure and temperature gauges.

  • Stever@Edmunds 03/18/10 4:48 pm PST

    Another thing to check are your state's reseller laws, as Boomchek mentions.. Some states are pretty strict about "curbsiding". You may be limited to the number of cars you can legally sell a year without getting a dealer license. And some states require a bit of hoopla to get a dealer license - a permanent selling address (car lot), business licenses, insurance, etc.



    The Used Car Buying Checklist may give you some more ideas.

    Source: 

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Car Buying Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. Stever@Edmunds 10960
2. MrShift@Edmunds 7065
3. morin2 5555
4. karjunkie 4135
5. texases 3810
6. knowledgepower 3590
7. zaken1 2225
ADVERTISEMENT