The vehicle is now standing on the ground. It would be an advantage if the sun was shining. One of the most difficult tests, is looking along the sides of the car. Choose the most acute angle and go down on your knees. You won't believe what you can see. Cars that appeared in all their shining glory, are suddenly degraded to wrecks.
Only a real "putty-artist", with magical sanding-hands and a perfect eye, can pass the test of repairing heavy damage to the sides so that it can't be seen afterwards. If only for this examination, it's worthwhile to pospone a viewing if it's been raining. An indoor check-up is a poor substitution.
You may find it hard to believe, but tests like this have opened my eyes, even in the case of high-priced old-timers. How could it be otherwise? A car as old as these are, has perhaps had several accidents, or at least, a few careless mishaps. At some point, the shape is simply lost. Of course there are top panel-beaters - or should we say bodywork artists - who can return the car to it's original condition, indeed, who can pay that kind of money?
As long as we're on the subject of the coachwork, let's take a look at the trimmings. They are not directly necessary for the running of the vehicle and this problem concerns more the older cars. Their trimmings can perhaps, no longer be found on the market. This is only discovered after the car has been registered and licenced, then it remains a problem.
For more modern used cars, we now go over to the windscreen. Forget about the worn out wiper-blades. They can only be used as an argument to lower the price, although they cost only little, in comparison to a scratched or sand-blasted windscreen. The same thing is valid for the rear window, where a single wire of the heating is damaged. It's amazing how often one will be aggravated by something like this.
With older cars, rather take a look at the edges of the windows. The condition of the rubber-seals is very interesting. If they're porous or damaged, one can assume that underneath there is rust, this is very expensive to remove, if it can even be done at all. A whole piece of the fold may be rotted away and all you can see, is a small spot of rust.
Should you be a convertible fan (see pictures), then I've got a special task for you. Open and close the roof, do it several times, if it's elecrically powered, wait a few moments before repeating the procedure. Examine the roof very carefully, also the window-seals. Should the rear window be made of plastic, check how it's folded together the first time it comes out.
You won't believe just how annoying a convertible top can be. Of course, it always leads to the same thing: It leaks and it costs a lot of money to repair. Don't believe anyone who says that you can easily do some repairing yourself. Regardless of whether it's made of canvas or synthetic material, generally it must be replaced if damaged. In this case, we are of course, talking about used cars that are generally affordable. 07/13