Check its exterior
Walk around and find out whether the body has suffered any injury. You must shake the corners up and down to check whether the shock absorbers continue to be in a good state. Ensure that its wheel bearings do not produce any noise while making an attempt to tug and pull the tires at the front. You can determine whether there is something loose across the hinges. Find out whether there any signs of repainting.
Look at the interior
You should try smelling the car’s insides, beneath the carpet and the mats. If there is a smell of mildew, it is possible that there us a leak anywhere or the car might have been damaged due to flood water. Activate the AC and ensure that it certainly turns the entire inside of the automobile cold. Also try the heater. Check all the lights inside and always remember to blow its horn. Try every seat adjustment. The upholstery must also fit. There are many other things to check, and it might be a good idea to take a mechanic along for the inspection.
Look within the trunk
Once again, try smelling the interior and look at whether there are signs of any leakage. Ensure that there are a few basic automotive tools still available for new users.
Look at the area beneath the hood
Check the wiring and ensure that there is no brittleness or cracks. Squeeze the fan belt and hoses to make sure there are no cuts and electrical tape patches for the same. Never remove the radiator cap until it has cooled sufficiently. If there is a greenish tinge, it is a sign that the area where the coolant is happens to be in proper condition. Watch out for dirty-whitish color and stains on the radiator. Also allow your mechanic to check the rest, such as the batteries.
Check the area beneath the car
Lie down and use an emergency light to check the condition of the engine that lies beneath. Are there any signs of residue? Look at the pipes and assess whether there are any signs of heavy rust formation.
Go for a Test Drive
Let not the dealer / owner stop you from going more than around 20 miles of the test drive. It is a wonderful opportunity to check whether there are any issues with the comfort aspects, transmission, brakes, steering wheel, heater, air-conditioning etc. Can you hear any rattles while on the road? Take a tape, CD, blanket, towel, magnet, gloves, flashlight, paper and pen while checking out a car. It can be worthwhile for you to do so.