VW Jetta: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW|Forum Volkswagen Bora
JettaJunkie.com is the premier Volkswagen Jetta Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 40

Thread: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

  1. #1

    Default Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    I thought I'd put together my own personal checklist of things to look for when buying a vehicle. I hope this helps some of the future dubbers out there!

    1. Body lines.

    The thing most people don't pay much attention to... Carfax is worth getting because its $20 and if there was an older crash, it'll be on there... but it's really useless because it can take up to a year for an accident to be reported to Carfax. Also, if a mechanic or ''gear head'' owned the car and crashed it, they can simply repair it themself, and nobody would need to report to Carfax about it.

    Heres what to do: You know the creases/openings (body lines)that seperate the doors and the fenders? The hood and the fenders? The bumpers and the fenders? The trunk and the upper body pannels? Simply use your finger to slide over them. If the pannels are on uneven plains, or, for example, the two spaces on either side of the trunk/upper body pannels are of different sizes, the car has been in a collision. Maybe with another car, maybe with an object... but it's been hit in some way or another. Basically, you want all the ''body lines'' to feel flush and be of the same size accordingly. It's a bit hard to explain, but if you have a question about it, PM me or I'll try to clarify, but it's a pretty simple concept. This should be the first thing you do, because personally, I would never buy a car that's been smashed lol.

    2. Acceleration and braking.

    Just because you're on a test drive and the fat guy sitting next to you pretends to know what he's talking about, doesn't mean you can't REALLY test the car. Floor it, see if it gives you any droaning/sluggishness, bucking, or clutch slippage. At some point, slam on the brakes... See if it stops properly/quickly, pulls to one side, or or makes any grinding noises/vibrations in the brake pedal.

    3. Testing CV joints... Expensive little guys.

    Find a nice empty parking lot. Crank the wheel all the way to one side and drive in circles. Speed doesn't matter. Any popping noises indicates bad CV (constant velocity) joints. Do this again with the wheel turned the other way as well.

    4. Testing/looking for problems with strut mounts and bearings.

    Again, in a parking lot, drive in reverse (speed doesn't matter, but slow is preferable) and after moving, turn the wheel in one direction all the way till it stops. Do it again in the other direction. Popping or creeking (a spring-like creek) indicates bad strut mounts/bearings. Sometimes CV's will also pop in reverse, so see if you can pinpoint whether the sound is coming from above or below. In addition, strut mounts/bearings can make the springy/creeking noise while not moving at all... Just turn the wheel while the car is running at a stop. Make sure the radio is off and listen carefully...

    (Note this is best done with load on the front wheels)

    5. Allignment.

    Find a nice straight piece of road... Start cruising, and let go of the wheel. If it pulls to one side or the other, it needs an allignment. The Stealership can do this at very little cost to them...

    (Note you need to be in a center lane for this test. Roads are ''crowned'' for water drainage, and it's not uncommon to have to hold the steering wheel slightly towards the centerline on a two lane road).

    6. Engine check.

    Open up the hood... It's going to be clean because they steam clean every engine before selling, but make sure everything is stock... Buying a car that's been modified can be bad news... You don't know whats been done to it, and even if it's got a cold air intake, chances are, some kid beat the living piss out of it. Anything shiny is probably aftermarket. You want to see stock intakes, stock exhaust, stock everything.

    7. Checking shocks/struts.

    Very simple... take two hands, and on the rear two corners of the car, push down using your body weight. Do it a few times in a row. It shouldn't be TOO soft, and definitly should not bounce. If it bounces at all, the shocks are shot. To test the front, place your hands on the outside of the hood, so you're actually on the fender. You want to be about over the wheel of the car. Again, push down a few times using your body weight, and push it down a few times, then let go. Again, you don't want to see bouncing, and you don't want it to feel soft.

    8. Check the tires.

    Nobody wants tires that are ''legal'' and will wear out in a month. Use the ol' penny trick...

    9. Making sure accessories work!

    When you test drive, alot of peoples reactions are to simply drive it around, make sure you like the ride, acceleration, and feel. But it's easy for the seller to get away with other problems.

    Turn on the radio... Make sure it works. Play with the bass, treble, etc. USE THE CRUISE CONTROL! Make sure the defroster works, as well as power windows, the sunroof (if equipped), the parking brake, power door locks, the trunk and fuel door, heated seats (who cares if its 100 degrees out, you want these suckers working in the winter!), and so on.

    And finally, turn the lights on and make sure the interior lights work. Outside lights WILL work because it's illegal for a certified dealer to sell a car that cannot be properly inspected. But a while back, I purchased a '99 Saab 9-3. Ofcourse it was daytime... I never thought to turn the interior lights on. After I purchased the car, I drove it for the first time at night and found that half the spedometer wasn't lit, and the display on the center console wasn't lit.


    10. Paint check, if you're anal about that kinda thing.

    Run your finger across the paint. It should be smooth... But after time, vehicles left outside will aquire ''fallout''. This happens when dust/dirt particles work themselves into the paint... It'll feel almost like sand paper. This can be removed using certain waxes/clay bars, but if left untended, can come loose while hand washing and get stuck in your sponge, leaving swirl marks on the paint.

    Also, make sure no clearcoat is pealing anywhere.

    11. Wheel condition.

    Hubcaps, alloys, bare steelies... Doesn't matter. Check the rim of the wheel and make sure it's not bent!

    12. Brake rotor check (with alloy wheels only).

    Reach through the spokes and drag your finger across the rotor (best to do before you test drive so you don't burn your hand lol). If there's a big lip on the rotor, insist that they be changed. Very cheap for the Stealership. If you can reach the back side of the rotor, check there as well for not only a lip, but uneven wear.


    For those of you who know their suspension parts!

    - Reach through the wheel wells (if you can) and grab a hold of the ball joint. Have a buddy rock the car back and forth... Any popping noises or if it FEELS like its popping/grinding (anything but smooth) indicates a ball joint going bad. You do not want these going bad.... trust me lol. Your wheel is elegable to fold away from, or underneath your car without warning. I've seen it many times.

    - Again, reach through the wheel well and grab the lower sway bar end link joint... Rock the car. Same dealio... You can do this with the tie rods as well.



    And there ya go! My personal checklist of what I look for when buying a car or helping a buddy of mine purchase one.



    Last edited by Boost Addicted; 11-07-2010 at 08:50 PM.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    JettaJunkie.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Euro Snob Vixen is on a distinguished road Vixen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Mason City, IA
    Posts
    14,453

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    You are on a roll!
    IMD | IG @VixenVR6 | sLoww MK4 VR6 RIP | MK6 2.5 SEL

  4. #3

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Amazing! This is good stuff, and applies for all cars. Maybe move it to a general section and name it for general cars. I didnt see much that is unique for mkv's. Correct me if im wrong.
    Once you go boost, Ya dont go back!

  5. Remove Advertisements
    JettaJunkie.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealFeeny View Post
    Amazing! This is good stuff, and applies for all cars. Maybe move it to a general section and name it for general cars. I didnt see much that is unique for mkv's. Correct me if im wrong.
    Nah your right man, lol thats a good call. Originally I was gonna do it for JUST the 1.8T, but I was typing it and realized its for all MKIV Jetta's.. but it can actually be used for all MK's.

    Good idea

    Nooow... Where to post it where everybody will see it lol




  7. #5
    Euro Snob Vixen is on a distinguished road Vixen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Mason City, IA
    Posts
    14,453

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    I'm moving it to junkie announcements
    IMD | IG @VixenVR6 | sLoww MK4 VR6 RIP | MK6 2.5 SEL

  8. #6

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Balla, thanks Vicky! But do you think all the noobs look there? I don't wanna like quadruple posts, but should there be one at the top of every MK forum?? I just remember being new here and going straight to my Mark lol.




  9. #7
    Euro Snob Vixen is on a distinguished road Vixen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Mason City, IA
    Posts
    14,453

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    It left a perminant redirection in the MK4 forum. So it's still there, but if they click on it it'll bring them to this forum section.

    I changed the title too
    IMD | IG @VixenVR6 | sLoww MK4 VR6 RIP | MK6 2.5 SEL

  10. #8

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Alrighty sounds good! Thanks for changing the title... I was trying to do that myself and couldn't figure out how lol, I'm a terrible mod......




  11. #9
    Euro Snob Vixen is on a distinguished road Vixen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Mason City, IA
    Posts
    14,453

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    In time, young grasshopper.

    (You actually have to right-click the "edit" button on the post and open it in a new tab)
    IMD | IG @VixenVR6 | sLoww MK4 VR6 RIP | MK6 2.5 SEL

  12. #10

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Could make that one general and then make ones in each mk with each engine, that has some specific stuff for the mk and specific engine? Actually that sounds like a lot of work haha
    Once you go boost, Ya dont go back!

  13. #11

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
    In time, young grasshopper.

    (You actually have to right-click the "edit" button on the post and open it in a new tab)
    Good to know

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealFeeny View Post
    Could make that one general and then make ones in each mk with each engine, that has some specific stuff for the mk and specific engine? Actually that sounds like a lot of work haha
    Does sound like a good idea, but I'm only real knowledgable in the MKIV, specifically the 1.8T. I know nothing about MKI's or MKII's, little about MKIII's, and little about MKV's lol.




  14. #12

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Haha same here boost, I have just been following in your footsteps since i got here.
    Once you go boost, Ya dont go back!

  15. #13
    Euro Snob Vixen is on a distinguished road Vixen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Mason City, IA
    Posts
    14,453

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealFeeny View Post
    Haha same here boost, I have just been following in your footsteps since i got here.
    That's cute lol.
    IMD | IG @VixenVR6 | sLoww MK4 VR6 RIP | MK6 2.5 SEL

  16. #14
    AllShoNoGo Gargamelmk2 is on a distinguished road Gargamelmk2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Summerside,Prince Edward island. C-A-N-A-D-A
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealFeeny View Post
    Haha same here boost, I have just been following in your footsteps since i got here.
    Big Brother syndrome...

    Sooo is mine no good?
    https://jettajunkie.com/vw-jetta/show...used-1933.html
    Last edited by Gargamelmk2; 09-14-2009 at 08:14 PM.
    Hidden Content If Nissan motorsports is called Nismo, wouldn't Honda motorsports be called Homo?

  17. #15

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Woah! Where did those smiles with hearts come from!!!! I did not put those there!
    Once you go boost, Ya dont go back!

  18. #16
    AllShoNoGo Gargamelmk2 is on a distinguished road Gargamelmk2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Summerside,Prince Edward island. C-A-N-A-D-A
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealFeeny View Post
    Woah! Where did those smiles with hearts come from!!!! I did not put those there!
    LOL..just my humor..
    Hidden Content If Nissan motorsports is called Nismo, wouldn't Honda motorsports be called Homo?

  19. #17

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Gargamelmk2 View Post
    Big Brother syndrome...

    Sooo is mine no good?
    https://jettajunkie.com/vw-jetta/show...used-1933.html
    lol wtf?! I've never seen that before! My bad dude... Didn't know you made one.

    Did it JUST become a sticky?




  20. #18
    AllShoNoGo Gargamelmk2 is on a distinguished road Gargamelmk2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Summerside,Prince Edward island. C-A-N-A-D-A
    Posts
    2,465

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Boost Addicted View Post
    lol wtf?! I've never seen that before! My bad dude... Didn't know you made one.

    Did it JUST become a sticky?
    It was, but was lost when the master DIY(not yet done) list started up...
    no worries now the newbies have no excuses
    Hidden Content If Nissan motorsports is called Nismo, wouldn't Honda motorsports be called Homo?

  21. #19

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your MKIV

    lol alright man. I just didn't want you to take it as an insult or somethin. I really had no idea lol




  22. #20

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    I wish I would have become a member of this forum before I bought my first car/jetta

  23. #21

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by schwaa View Post
    I wish I would have become a member of this forum before I bought my first car/jetta
    Why's that?




  24. #22

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    good thread!
    "are you guys saying you change your wheels every summer and winter.."

    vr build:
    Hidden Content !!!
    old mk3:
    Hidden Content

  25. #23

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by vento:) View Post
    good thread!
    Thanks boss




  26. #24
    gettin it! Jetta_Princess is on a distinguished road Jetta_Princess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Damn i wish i could of found this thing before i bought my car. everything is fine but my AC and i have a lil one and it gets pretty hot. i jus bought my car friday 4/16/10 and monday 4/19 i find out i need a new ac compressor. Damn things are friggn expensive
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by SpeedyGTI Hidden Content
    yea! chicks who drive mk4s ftw!

    Loving the low life
    Slammd Princess Hidden Content

  27. #25

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta_Princess View Post
    Damn i wish i could of found this thing before i bought my car. everything is fine but my AC and i have a lil one and it gets pretty hot. i jus bought my car friday 4/16/10 and monday 4/19 i find out i need a new ac compressor. Damn things are friggn expensive
    You should bring it back to the place you bought it see what they can do for you...or did you buy it from some random person?

  28. #26
    gettin it! Jetta_Princess is on a distinguished road Jetta_Princess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by jedduh View Post
    You should bring it back to the place you bought it see what they can do for you...or did you buy it from some random person?


    My sis bf friend was sellin it and i told him im not payn him the last $500 cuz he didnt tell me bout it and he said no cuz $3500 was the lowest he was letn it go(for someone he knew) but ima pay him and i hope he wrecks in another car(not really im jus mad) cuz he had to know about it not workin.
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by SpeedyGTI Hidden Content
    yea! chicks who drive mk4s ftw!

    Loving the low life
    Slammd Princess Hidden Content

  29. #27

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by Jetta_Princess View Post
    My sis bf friend was sellin it and i told him im not payn him the last $500 cuz he didnt tell me bout it and he said no cuz $3500 was the lowest he was letn it go(for someone he knew) but ima pay him and i hope he wrecks in another car(not really im jus mad) cuz he had to know about it not workin.
    well isnt he a nice guy...so you get it checked out by a mechanic or you just tried turning it on and it wasnt blowing cold air? maybe just needs to be serviced

  30. #28
    gettin it! Jetta_Princess is on a distinguished road Jetta_Princess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by jedduh View Post
    well isnt he a nice guy...so you get it checked out by a mechanic or you just tried turning it on and it wasnt blowing cold air? maybe just needs to be serviced

    hes an ass not so much a nice guy. well i have a friend that has a customs shop and he knows alot and he checkd my compressor and said something bout the clutch in it wasnt doin something so it not running and ima need a new one. he would cheat me cuz he does all my work free and i try to pay but he wnt take it. He's cool with my bf and my bro thats why i think!
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by SpeedyGTI Hidden Content
    yea! chicks who drive mk4s ftw!

    Loving the low life
    Slammd Princess Hidden Content

  31. #29

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Seriously guys keep it on topic. This is like the third time you two have gone off in some completely random direction in a thread. If you wanna discuss, go to the off topic haus or use the visitor message or PM system. Cut it out please, I don't like giving infractions.
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by DasBohan Hidden Content
    martin shebag, you cant handle me
    Hidden Content Originally Posted by DasBohan Hidden Content
    As per tradition we name all our hilarious ricer posters. So, ladies and gentlemen i introduce, Charles Camelglow. enjoy the destruction.

  32. #30
    jetta fever thenewblisster is on a distinguished road thenewblisster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Del Norte Ca
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Buyers Checklist! Things to look for when test driving your VW

    Quote Originally Posted by OregonDweller View Post
    Seriously guys keep it on topic. This is like the third time you two have gone off in some completely random direction in a thread. If you wanna discuss, go to the off topic haus or use the visitor message or PM system. Cut it out please, I don't like giving infractions.
    ya it did get way off topic, but interesting none the less.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Volkswagen Forum Volkswagen Jetta Diminished Value Oregon portland oregon seo oregon accident report Diminished Value total loss Google Places Forum Las Vegas Myths Oregon Civil War privacy policy
jettajunkie.com is an independent Volkswagen enthusiast website owned and operated by VerticalScope Inc. Content on jettajunkie.com is generated by its users. jettajunkie.com is not in any way affiliated with Volkswagen AG.