Pay or walk away? | 8 steps to mechanically inspect that potential purchase

Here are 8 items you should inspect as well as you can before you decide to purchase that classic car.

  1. Do the lights, turn signals and horn work?
  2. Check the heater, too, if you’re at all likely to use it.
  3. Check the wheel bearings.
  4. A compression test and even a leakdown test are not out of the question.
  5. Before changing them, look at all the fluids. Are they relatively fresh, or do they look as if they’ve gone a long time without being changed? Do they smell bad? If the car has an automatic, does the transmission fluid smell burnt? Does the engine oil look milky or filthy black?
  6. Look for leaks underneath the car. What is leaking and why? Is it minor, like the valve covers or the differential cover, or major, like a crack in the differential or a rear main seal gone bad?
  7. Inspect the steering, brakes and suspension.
  8. Are the ball joints, tie rods and tie rod ends good?
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