Let's have a look at the car from the outside, however, we'll leave the hoist at half way up to be at the same height as the wheels. We'll examine each wheel, the driven wheels a little more carefully than the other two. Turning them by hand may reveal possible noises, which we'll only look at seriously if our suspicions are confirmed after a test run.
One may also notice that the brakes are too tightly adjusted. A small amount of resistance when turning them is not a problem, as long as the friction is not too much. Now we take hold of the wheels at the top and bottom and at the front and rear. Try to wobble them as hard as you can to see if there is any play. If there is noticeable play, get someone to help to find the reason.
Calculating the possible expenses requires more expert knowledge. If there is play in the wheel bearing and if, e.g., the non-driven axle is adjustable, the costs will be relatively low. It will be substantially more expensive if a fixed bearing has to be replaced. Similarly expensive, would be the ball-joint of the tie-rod or the joint in the wishbone.
The drive shafts can also be tested on the wheel of the driven axle. After engaging a gear and blocking the wheel on the other side, there is play when moving the wheel back and forth. However, don't place too much value on this. We have already measured, on the outside of the wheel, distances of two to four centimeters.
We're not trying to determine the play in the gearbox or the axle-drive, because for this we'd need acceptable or non-acceptable values. What we're trying to do, is exercise a certain amount of force on the joints of the drive shafts. That means that someone has to take hold of the respective drive shafts, in front of and behind the bellows, to check for play. There shouldn't any at all.
While you're still near to the wheels, have a look at the rims. In the last article we've said enough about the tyres. The rims can also tell you a lot about how the car was driven. Are the edges damaged, from driving too close to the curbs? Have the protruding rim-bowls also had a knock or two? The brake disc may be without grooves but is it perhaps corroded from standing for a longer period of non-use?
At this point, it may be important to mention, that it's not only about estimating the future expenses, but also about the arguments brought forward in the following price discussion. Although you probably already know this, but psychlogicaly seen, it is wiser to emphasize any negative findings and keep any positive discoveries to yourself. 07/13