As several members have posted that they are looking for a new/pre owned Zed, I have updated my previous pre owned vehicle check list/guide to hopefully assist in ensuring you get a good buy. It's not a definitive list of checks but hopefully covers most of the important issues. Take your time when looking and be wary of the seller who tells you he/she has already had offers and tries to rush you into a decision.
REMEMBER - the decision to buy is yours and yours alone. Make the decision to buy based on a proper visual and mechanical review of the vehicle and take your timeINTERIOR
Do all the controls, switches and displays work properly?
Take a several music CDs with you and check operation, if a boot multi player check this works as well
Try the radio – if steering wheel controls fitted check their function.
Check the A/C works (an expensive repair) – for older vehicles ask if it has been re-gassed recently
Do all the lights work? Get someone to stand behind and check the brake lights/rear fog light indicators etc
Are the carpets and seats all dry? If not, is there a leak?
Does the wear on the interior reflect the mileage - high wear low mileage WALK AWAY
Check the foot pedal rubbers – excessive wear in comparison to recorded mileage may indicate something is wrong, brand new rubbers may indicate a fastidious owner or trying to cover up high mileage.
Check the ashtrays - is it a smokers car! If the ashtray is clean ASK! A new ashtray can disguise the fact that its a 'smokers' car. If you are a non smoker the smell will give it away and can impact on resale value.
If Sat Nav (GPS) fitted check it works and the maps/software up-to-date (BMW updates are expensive!)
Look for a tamper dot in the mileage display which means the mileage shown does not correspond with the ECU/ key mileage recordings (see picture in Gookahs thread below)BODYWORK
Ask if the vehicle has been subject of ANY bodywork repair - not an issue if repairs have been done properly but a negitiating point.
Is the bodywork free from dents, scratches and rust?
Check panel fit on all panels for signs of accident repair – look for overspray on hidden parts (under the wheel arches on rubber trim)
Make sure you do not check the car in the wet or the dark, as you are more likely to miss problems. If it’s in someone’s garage check it in the daylight
Squat down and look along the sides of the car to help you spot mild dents or accident damage
Gently pull back rubber seals around windows. Is the paintwork free from over-spray and suspect repair signs?
Look for signs of additional layers of paint, or ill-matching spray marks where an additional layer of paint has been added but the finish is not right. These are signs of an accident repair or potentially covering up corrosion
Open the boot (trunk) and bonnet (hood). Is the metal work in good condition? Wherever there is exposed metal you need to look for ill-matching colours or buckling, these can be signs of accident damage.
If a Roadster try the roof – up and down smoothly. Has the roof motor been replaced.
Does the rear demister work - look for elements that are not working, complete new roof required to replace! (Ouch.....)
Check the number plates (registration plate). I are they origional (original dealers name on the botton of the plate) or replacements. Replacements may indicate an accident replacement.ENGINE / MECHANICALS
Before you start the car open the bonnet (hood) and feel if the engine is warm – owners may well start and run the engine prior to your arrival to ensure it starts OK and which could potentially mask engine issues. If it’s the car for you return the next day (if possible) and start from cold – remember it’s your money!
Is the exhaust smoke-free when the engine is warm? If not, there may be a problem
Is the coolant reservoir full of brightly coloured coolant? It should not be empty or brown. If not, are there any leaks that need further inspection?
Is there plenty of clean oil in the engine?
Take filler cap off and look for signs of emulsion (white/yellow gel) which may indicate head gasket problems – not a common issue on BMs but worth a quick check
Have a good look at the engine and securing bolts – bolts with rounded heads or signs of excessive over tightening may indicate issues with servicing and repair
Check service history and documentation - BMW is probably best if a car under 3 years old but not essential (there are some excellent independents out there)
Note: BMW will help confirm history if you provide reg. number and VIN
Check for a valid MOT (UK) – will assist in confirming mileage, if less than a year insist on a full year MOT (this at least will give you an up-to-date check on mechanical condition)
Link to DOT MOT register (UK): http://motinfo.direct.gov.uk
Check brakes/pads for wear (when were they last changed)
When was brake fluid last changed (every 2 years)?
Check the excise licence (tax disc) details exactly match the car and number (registration) plates
Tyres – good tread left and all tyres match (are they quality tyres or cheap options)
Z4s have had coil spring failure – have any been replaced (if not they may need it in the future)
If you have access to a ramp get underneath and check round for signs of damage and general condition
For older cars – has it had a new battery?
If XENON lights fitted do they self level?TEST DRIVE
Take the car for a good drive (1/2 hour) and at least until it has reached normal operating temperature - this may well reveal leaks etc not apparent on a short run
Does the car drive in a straight line when you loosen your grip on the wheel?
Gearbox operation – smooth and precise with no gear change difficulties (manual/automatic/paddles)
Is the steering accurate and free from play or judder?
Does the car pull away and brake easily without any noises or judder?
Under hard breaking does the car come to a halt in a straight line or pull to the left or right
Warning lights should all extinguish when car is started
Cruise control if fitted – does it work?
If a manual car accelerate to about 35-40mph and change into top gear – accelerate and see if the pull away is smooth or there is some engine judder. Not a definitive check but judder may indicate coil, ignition or injector issuesIS THE VEHICLE ISURED FOR YOU TO TEST DRIVE
You can check if the vehicle is insured (but not the full details on the MID database - http://ownvehicle.askmid.com/askmid.aspxACCESSORIES
If there are any get them thrown in for the price of the car - don't pay extra for them
Ensure fitted accessories are legal in terms of fit, form and function
BMW accessories are better than other aftermarket accessories in terms of resale value – if BMW parts have been replaced does the owner have the original BMW parts (if so get them thrown in for no cost)
Follow the instructions to get a dealer style list of options fitted to the car from new. Go to:http://www.bmw.co.uk
>Owner area >Genuine BMW Parts >Parts catalogue [read on screen instructions for log in] > Enter VIN > Click on options at the top of the page, and expand the 'Vehicle information' tab at the top for colour and trim optionsGENERAL CONSIDERATIONS
Ask if it’s ever been involved in an accident and get details included on any sales invoice. There are several examples of second-hand vehicle sales receipt on the internet, take one with you just in case the seller doesn’t have one prepared
A vehicle which has been sibject to proper accident repairs should not prevent purchase but KNOW THIS before you make an offer
HPI checks (or similar) for private deals are worth doing and should reveal any serious/insurance reported accident history. If you are a member of an Auto club (RAC/AA or similar) check with them as you may be able to get a free or reduced price vehicle check
If the car has a current BMW warrantee then its transferable but if it has an aftermarket one can that be transferred?DEALER PURCHASES
If buying from a dealer GO THROUGH THE SAME CHECKS, dont be fobbed off with the '101 point pre service check' routine etc
When was it last serviced - ask for a full service before delivery CHECK the service book. If they haven't got it ask why
If the dealer offers a warranty, how much and for how long.
Check what it covers - does it cover the roof motor, YES or NO, accept nothing less than a straight response
Does it cover wheel corrosion, cracks etc. Again straight answers. Many will state, 'On a case by case basis', not acceptable
Ask to see the warranty terms and conditions - take them away and read them
Finnance - Dealers can deal on finnance rates the higher they go the more money they make - try and knock off 2% and then negotiate
Try and get the next service thrown in free - if you don't ask you don't get!
Remember an oil service is required every 2 years irreswective of mileage so 'A Full Service History' may only be mileage based and not time based CHECK as it could affect a warranty
Ask for details of the previous keeper and call them - ask what £s they p/exed the vehicler for and its history. JUST TAKING YOUR TIME AND CARRYING OUT A THOROUGH CHECK MAY SAVE YOU WEEKS/MONTHS OF PAIN/FRUSTRATION
IF IN ANY DOUBT WALK AWAY – THERE ARE PLENTY OUT THERE!
IF YOU LIKE IT AFTER ALL THIS OFFER A SILLY PRICE - YOU NEVER KNOW!