First Things First.
Dont Bid Unless you have all the facts about the car.
Main questions to email the seller have to be.
no.1 when was the cam belt last changed
no.2 is there any signs of smoke from the exhaust. sign of piston ring wear
the next things really need you to view the car to make sure everything you need to know is known. the seller should not object if he or she has nothing to hide. i strongly suggest you view before bidding if you can.
check for oil in the radiator.sign head gasket has blown
check for mayo like build up inside the oil filler cap. another sign of head gasket failure or piston blow back or lack of maintence
get someone to listen while you turn the steering from full lock to full oppisite lock. are there any knocks or clunks.if noise is heard could signs of cv joint wear.
check for exhaust smoke or excessive noise from the exhaust.
check the wheel bearings for movement by holding wheels tight in both hands and giving a good hand shake.
at the same time check tyre wear.
with engine in nuetral and at tick over press clutch pedal down and see if any noises like knocking or rattling are heard. if so it could mean the thrust bearing needs replacing.
check for loud knocks from engine possibly less when engine under load during acelaration. could signs of big end wear.
loud tapping coming from top of engine could be signs of cam shaft wear.
check all lights on dash board such as abs are working and go out after a few seconds.
make sure no injector or service lights are on and that air bag light is off and that its within the dates before renewal.
check seat belts are all in order and work right.
check the braking system by pressing the brake pedal down with the engine turned off. the pedal should go hard after two presses and stay hard.
start the car the pedal should move slighty but not go to floor. if it does either with the car running or not it means there is a fuild leak either in a brake cylinder or the slave cyclinder or brake pipes.
check the fluid resorvoirs for correct brake fluid and power steering fluid levels.
check for oil leaks around the rocker cover and for fuel leaks around spi or multi point injection units.
make sure all warning lights like battery or oil lights go out on start up.
check flashers and all lights works including brake lights.
test drive it and check for vibration under breaking . could indicate worn brake discs and worn suppension.
check engine performance is it what you would expect from such a car . is there any misfire or hesitation or judder when pulling a way in first gear this could mean a new clutch is needed or the clutch plate contamited with oil meaning an oil seal is worn.
check for steering wobble after about 40 mph this could indicate poorly balanced wheels or worn suspension parts.
check braking ability.
check all gears are easy engaged and check for clutch slip by finding a good upward slope and using 4th or 5th gear at low speed about 20mph and pushing acelerator to the floor. if engine revs on without extra speed the clutch is slipping .
make sure no large cracks are visible in windscreen in any area. these soon spread and are not usally noticed untill later.
check all light covers are crack free and hole free.
check that the carpets are dry inside the foot wells.
check for rust around wheel arches and sills.
make sure all bumpers are secure and if possible check subframe mounts for signs of rust or corrosion too.
Make sure all windows open and close and all door locks including boot and hatchback all work too.
check wiper operation front and rear including washer.
make sure if possible that it starts from cold ok.
and that it restarts when warm ok
check that it ticks over when warm and cold.
if you cant make sure of all theses things then the most important is of course the brakes and engine are in good order.
Remember old cars have old problems and will get new problems.
Dont bid if unless you have the full facts. its your money and no matter how much or little you pay you deserve to get what is in the description.
but beware. a car that is for sale that says good starter may just be a good starter and nothing else.
I hope this helps you and does not put you off finding a bargain or the car of your dreams.
THE ABOVE IS BY No MEANS EVERYTHING BUT IF FOLLOWED COULD NET YOU A GOOD CAR AND NOT A CABBAGE
PLEASE SEE MY OTHER GUIDE WHERE DAVE69700 HAS ADDED TO THIS GUIDE BUT LACK OF GUIDE SPACE MEANS IT IS IN A SEPERATE GUIDE
SO PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK TO THE RIGHT CORNER SAYING SEE ALL MEMBER GUIDES