Big Red's Automotive Consulting Services

Guy inspecting car

The Pre-purchase Used Car Evaluation

Purchasing a car can be a difficult experience. Private sellers are not required to have the same regulations that dealerships have, so it is a good idea to have a professionl do a thorough inspection of your potential used vehicle before you purchase it. After many years of people making this request, we decided to provide this as a regular part of our service, so Big Reds Automitive has made this service available for you.

With our 2 hour comprehensive inspection, you can get a good perspective on the current condition of the vehicle and any repairs or maintenance that it may need. We are the experts- with Big Red's, you will be confident in knowing what your getting, and you may even be able to negotiate a discount on your purchase!

The service is a comprehensive check of the vehicle and includes a written report on the condition of the vehicle and what it may need. An overview of this thorough check up is listed below.

Inspection Checklist

  • Exterior
    • Windshield free of cracks
    • Body panel colors match
    • Magnet adheres to all steel body panels
    • Fresh paint job (if yes, it could be to conceal rust)
    • Seams where the trunk and hood close are properly aligned
    • Seams where doors and fenders meet are properly aligned
    • Free of body scratches
    • Free of body dents
    • Windshields wipers and blades fully functional
    • Headlights and directional lights intact and fully functional
  • Tires
    • Tires are a reputable brand name (Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear)
    • Tires are all of the same make
    • Tires are of free of any cuts, bubbles or cracks
    • Tread worn evenly (uneven wear indicates alignment and suspension problems)
    • Spare tire, jack and lug wrench on car and fully functional
    • Spare tire inflated
  • Engine
    • Free of fluid or oil leaks
    • Oil filler neck not coated with thick, black deposits
    • Battery terminals free of corrosion
    • Oil dip stick free of dark, black oil
    • Free of odors while engine is running
    • Exhaust pipe emissions are neither blue (indicates engine burns oil) or black (indicate excessive oil consumption)
  • Suspension
    • Vehicle rests levelly
    • When bouncing the vehicle's corners, no creaking noises are made
    • Battery terminals free of corrosion
  • Frame
    • Chassis is neither bent nor cracked
    • No signs of crumpling or straightening inside the trunk
    • Frame holes just inside outer edge clean and free of scratches
  • Automatic Transmission
    • Transmission fluid looks clean, not dirty or gritty (no indicates possible internal transmission problem)
    • Transmission neither slips nor delays when driving
  • Manual or Standard Transmission
    • Each gear shifts smoothly
    • No grinding noises when in reverse

Inspection Checklist Continued

  • Interior
    • Seats unworn and free of cracks
    • All doors open and close freely
    • Trunk opens and closes freely
    • Lacks a heavy scent of air freshener (may indicate something is being concealed)
    • All gauges work
    • No dashboard warning lights remain illuminated
    • Stereo works
    • Heater works
    • Air conditioner works
    • Windshield wipers work
    • Windshield wiper fluid dispenses properly
    • All seats equipped with functional seat belts
    • All seats adjust properly
    • Power windows operate properly
    • Sunroof opens and closes properly (if applicable)
    • Car alarm works (if applicable)
    • Trunk and driver-side door lock and unlock with key
    • Hazard lights function properly
    • Headlights, including brights, work properly
  • Brakes
    • Vehicle steers straight and does not pull to one side when applying brakes
    • Parking brake engages and disengages freely- No grinding noises when applying brakes
    • Wheels do not lock when applying antilock brakes (if applicable)
  • Steering
    • Vehicle does not drift to one side without prodding
    • Vehicle is stable; no shaking or vibrating
    • No resistance in the steering wheel when turning
    • No clicking or clunking when turning
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Big Reds Automotive Serving the Communities for Auto Repair, Truck Repair and Maintenance: Oceanside • Carlsbad • Vista • Bonsall • San Marcos • Encinitas • Poway • Solana Beach •Leucadia • Fallbrook • Ramona • Lake San Marcos • Hidden Meadows • Fairbanks Ranch auto repair • Ranco Santa Fe • Rainbow CA • San Elijo •Escondido • Cardiff • Miramar • Del Mar • South Escondido • Mira Mesa • Rancho Penasquitos • North San Diego County •Valley Center • San Marcos • Near Palomar College