Auto Buying Guide

Welcome to the Buying Guide. This section is here to provide tips for buying your next Volkswagen. This is a living document so expect it to evolve with more details as time moves on and new tips are revealed. We will try to break this out by platform and if needed model to make the buying process that much easier.

As with any potential purchase whether it is a VW or something else there are fundamental steps to take before buying. Please review the tips below that I have learned over the years

First things first, we all get excited when it comes to shopping for a new (used) car. Sometimes our eagerness or "love at first site" feelings tend to overshadow sometimes obvious problems with a car. Makes sure that you don;t sell yourself on the car by reading an ad or talking to someone via email or the phone. Make sure you take the time to go out and thoroughly inspect the car.

Since these are my viewpoints on shopping for a car, there are many differnt points of views, but these have always done me well in my searching. When you first go to see the car, keep your chin off the ground, meaning if it's everything you can imagine visually don't give the seller the idea that you are in love. They will do everything they can to distract you from any potential issues and if it is the right car, it will impact you come negotiation time.

A quick visual inspection will usual suffice when you first visit with the car. Make sure there are no obvious cosmetic problems (that weren't noted in the ad), look under hte car for signs of stains or fresh leaks on the ground. Get inside the car and give a once over on the interior, again looking for glaring problems such as damage to the material, stains, odors.

After the quick visual I like to start the car up and spend some time chatting with the current owner/salseman. This gives hte car an opportunity to warm up, and also allows you to give it another look, but this time at the mechanics. After starting the car stroll around the back, look for smoke. Pop the hook and open it up. If you are even a shadetree mechanic you know the different smells of chemicals used in cars, you will know the smell of burning oil, coolant, clutch and brakes. Since the car is stationary the latter two come in to play later. Sniff around the engine bay for any strong odors of oil or coolant. Look to see if ther eare aftermarket components or modifications. That can be good and bad, more on that later. Listen for ticking (sticky lifters), pinging (detonation issues) and slapping.

Before you get back in the car give tires a quick peek and make sure they all match, that the visual pressure looks okay and that there is no damage to the tires or bent wheels.

So far so good? If not walk away, you've gone far enough, there are other cars. Still acceptable, lets go for a drive!

To be continued! Stop back often to review updates to this buying guide!

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