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Hey everyone, I'm test driving a 2015 pro4X in the morning. Is there anything I should look out for? It's about 50k miles and one owner and it has a pretty good car fax report. Externally it is about 95% and internally, the pictures look great. It is the leather interior. What should I look for tomorrow? They are expensive up here in Canada, I have to get it right but there is a lot of interest in it and I am the first test drive.

I'm currently driving a 2003 TJ Rubicon that I have had for about 10 years, but I want to get a more family friendly, still capable SUV. This one or a trd off road 4 runner are what I have been looking at but they are both rare used with low KM around here. I'm used to low gas mileage and a rough ride, the Xterra is actually going to be really comfortable compared to what I am used to.

Thanks Everyone.

Ryan
 

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I often have family, friends and coworkers ask what they should look for when purchasing a used vehicle. With this in mind, I thought some of you may get some use from my general checklist.

Yes, this information can be used in checking most all vehicles ( including Xterras) which you may consider purchasing

1. When possible, resolve yourself to looking at a Carfax or an Autocheck report prior to viewing a vehicle. Note: this advice is so important you will see it posted once again towards the end of this list.

2. Walk around the car and check paint color. Check for any discolor from one panel to the next. (An old obvious sign of previous bodywork)

3. Bring a metric ruler which should be used to check the gaps between your body, door, trunk and hood panels. Basically, your checking for any sort of body repair.

4. Run your finger along the gaps of each panel on the vehicle body. A rough or sticky texture is often left over from tape residue which may share the vehicle has been repainted.

5. Stand at each corner of the vehicle and look along the length of it. This is an excellent way to identify any waviness in the paint . Signs of waviness in the paint is definitely a clue that a vehicle has been repaired.

6. Check your tires are wearing evenly. If not, check the air pressure for a clue as to why their not wearing properly.

7.Look under the vehicle for any signs of oil , transmission fluid and or coolant leakage.

8. Check the rear and or front axle for any identifiable leaks which also includes grease and or oil at the axle ends.

9. Check the boots around your CV joints for any wear, cracks or signs of grease which may be slung about .

10. Open the hood and check the bolts and brackets which hold the bumper in place. There will likely be marks around these items if the bumper or brackets have been replaced.

11. Check the rear bumper for the same.

12. Look under the vehicle and check for any black marks on your exhaust. Black marks on your exhaust is a sign of an exhaust leak.

13. Check the engine bay for oil leaks, corrosion, stains and odd smells.

14. Check the engines belts, hoses and clamps to make sure everything appears proper and without wear, cracks or bulges.
Check the fluid in the brake reservoir, it should be full and clear.
Check the fluid in the power steering reservoir, it should be full and not smell burned.

15. Remove the oil filler cap and pray everything looks like ...oil. You should visually inspect the bottom of the oil filler cap along with an inspection of what you see inside the valve cover opening. What you dont wish to see is a milky yellow residue which is a sign the engine is leaking coolant into the engines oil. Pull the engine dipstick and check to see if the oil is clear of any milkyness. In addition make sure to check the dipstick for any burned or caked on residue. To be clear, the oil should not smell burned in any manner.

16. Check the cars radiator hoses for pressure, if there is no pressure in the hoses, remove the radiator cap and check the fluid. It should be red, blue, yellow, pink or green depending on the vehicle your wishing to purchase. What's important is it should be clear, not milky, foamy or the consistency of a milkshake. This is a good time to become familiar with SMOD and what to look for.

17. Check the overflow tank for the radiator. You need to check for the same attributes as you would the radiator.

18. Pull the dipstick from the transmission and evaluate the appearance of the transmission fluid. Dark red fluid is normal for a car needing a fluid change and a brownish tint is a fluid which may never have been changed. Bright red notes transmission fluid which was just recently changed. As a side note, I would rather see dark red than bright red. Most people dont change their trans fluid prior to selling their vehicles unless they are having a problem. After a visual inspection of the fluid color, take a moment to smell the fluid. What you dont wish to smell is something which smells like burned oil.

19. Check the interior for any flaws, smells or an abundance of scent which may be used to cover up something offensive.

20. Crank the car and look for any white smoke which may exit the exhaust. Viewing puffs of smoke is a sign the vehicle is using oil.

21.Turn on the ac, check every function of the ac re: dash blow, feet blow, defrost , recirculate, blower speeds etc etc etc.
Is the ac cooling the vehicle?

22. Take the vehicle for a drive and check:
Brakes, smooth non pulsing, squeal free brakes is what you want.
Acceleration
Transmission Shifts
General handling.
Does the vehicle pull towards one side of the road or the other.
Pulsing in the steering wheel when braking and without using the brakes.
How does the vehicle feel at 20mph, 40mph, 60mph and " highway speed limit"mph
Check the heater works appropriately
If the vehicle is a 4wd, check that it shifts in and out of 4wd and functions correctly with a short drive off of a paved road

23. Park the vehicle on flat ground and check for sag in one side of the vehicle or the other, including front, back and side to side.

24. Use a handheld code checker to see if there are any hidden problems which can be found. If you dont have such a device, stop by a local parts store and ask them to check for you. This is typically a free service most auto parts stores will offer. Check for any warning lights which may not work on your dash when the key is initially inserted. Check the gauges in the vehicle to make sure they are all working appropriately.


25. Now that the vehicle has been driven somewhat, its a good time to use an infrared temperature checker and run a check on your catalytic converters.

26. Finally as a reminder , purchase a Carfax or an Autocheck report of the vehicle your interested in. If your purchasing from a dealership, ask them to provide one of these reports for you. ( IMO Carfax is more detailed, but is also noticably more expensive)

Keep a record of every issue you find and either have the owner/dealer repair these issues or negotiate a reduction in the purchase price to cover this cost.

Make a checklist before going shopping and you can run through all these checks rather quickly
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, I have already done most of these and the Carfax looks great. They weren't open today, but the truck was on the lot and I spent 20 minutes examining the exterior and underneath. It has passed a 150 point inspection at Kelowna Chevrolet and it comes with a warranty of some kind. I'll learn more tomorrow.
 

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Pretty much all of the mechanical quirks were resolved by the 2011 model year. 2015 should have nothing you really need to look out for aside from what you would normally check for in a used vehicle. Sounds like a pretty safe bet, especially if they include a warranty.
 

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IIRC the only issues with 2015 had something to do with the new fangled touchscreen radio. That would be warranty work I believe and probably only needing a software update. Everything else about the truck is/was bullet proof.
 

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IIRC the only issues with 2015 had something to do with the new fangled touchscreen radio. That would be warranty work I believe and probably only needing a software update. Everything else about the truck is/was bullet proof.
You recall correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
And it came with good winter tires. I have until may or so to tweak it up for 33's. I'll search through the forum to see the best way for ththe best ride.
 

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Congrats on the new ride. As a Jeep owner you might have sticker shock on the costs we have to endure and how much richer we make the execs at visa/mastercard in order 'play'.
 

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Nice X
congrats
 
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