Used Car Inspection Checklist

August 16th, 2018 by

used car inspection checklist drivers automart

At Driver’s Auto Mart, we ensure that our customers are receiving the best possible deal for their potential used vehicle. We know buying a used car can be a lengthy, and rather risky experience so we’ve put together a used car inspection checklist to assist in making the process a quick and painless one.

For starters, before you visit a used car dealer, make sure you have the following items:

  • Notebook and pen for taking notes and recording the vehicle identification number, mileage, and asking price
  • Paper towels for checking the engine oil
  • Flashlight for looking under the car for leaks and/or corrosion
  • Small magnet for detecting concealed bodywork
  • CD/AUX cable for testing car stereo
  • Auto history report, if possible.

Exterior + Tires

  • Windshield free of cracks
  • Trunk and driver-side door lock and unlock with key
  • Hazard lights work properly
  • Directional signals and headlights, including high beams, work properly
  • Body panel colors match
  • Magnet adheres to all steel body panels
  • Paint job that hasn’t been compromised or done badly
  • Seams where the trunk and hood close are aligned
  • Doors and fenders are properly aligned
  • Free of body scratches and dents
  • Headlights and directional lights are intact and fully functional
  • Tires are a reputable brand name (Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear)
  • All tires are from the same brand
  • Tires are free of any cuts, bubbles, and/or cracks  – use some soapy water if you can’t tell by sight and if the dealership lets you. Bubbles will form with a little pressure where there’s a hole.
  • Spare tire, jack, and lug wrench are included and functional
  • Spare tire inflated

Engine + Suspension

  • Free of fluid or oil leaks
  • Oil filler neck not coated with thick, black tar
  • Battery-free of corrosions
  • Oil stick free of dark, black oil
  • Engine is free of odors while running
  • Exhaust pipe emission is clear
  • Vehicles rest leveled
  • No creaking noises when bouncing inside the car
  • All corners respond the same when bouncing


Automatic Transmission:

  • Fluid looks clean, not dirty or gritty
  • Transmission neither slips nor delays when driving

Manual Transmission:

  • Each gear shifts smoothly
  • No grinding noises when in reverse

Brakes + Steering

  • Vehicle steers straight and does not pull to one side when applying brakes
  • Parking brake engages and disengages freely
  • Brake pedal and/or steering wheel does not shake when brakes are applied
  • Wheels do not lock when applying anti-lock brakes
  • The vehicle does not drift to one side or the other
  • The vehicle is stable – no shaking or vibrations
  • No resistance in the steering wheel when turning
  • No clicking or clunking when turning


  • Seats are unworn and free of cracks
  • All doors open and close freely
  • Trunk opens and closes freely
  • All gauges work
  • No dashboard warning lights
  • Infotainment system works
  • A/C works
  • Heater works
  • Windshield wipers and fluid all work
  • All seats adjust properly and have functional seatbelts
  • Power windows operate properly
  • Sunroof works fine
  • Car alarm works – key fob or attempting to get into the vehicle while it’s locked


  • Car manual located in the glove box (When applicable)
  • Instructions included for any accessory
  • Service and repair records are available
  • Owner has title

It’s important to keep in mind that when buying a used car, research is definitely key. If you feel like you aren’t getting the best deal possible or you feel rushed while inspecting your potential used car, it’s okay to say no thank you and walk away. As previously mentioned, here at Driver’s Auto Mart, it’s our job to ensure our customers are getting the best deal on a used vehicle. Visit our location today in Davie, FL or visit our website for more information on our entire used car inventory selection. Also, stay updated and follow us on social media today!

Photo Credit/Copyright:


Posted in Driver's Auto Mart