Date: Tue, 03 Feb 1998 05:42:46 GMT
From: Ywan Mason <>
Subject: Re: Purchasing Guidelines?

To rule out lemons before spending money on a thorough check out by a qualified Saab tech, ask the owner to let you drive the car. Take it away from the seller if at all possible. Best situation is to pick up the car with it bone cold and see how it does throughout a temperature cycle, cold start quality and noise, as well as normal operating temps. On the drive, get to highway speed. Listen for whining noises that diminish on decel in the higher gears at speed. This is indicative of pinion bearing failure in manual trans. Note automatic shift quality. Does it seem right? Check the fluids in the car. Are any low? Is the oil dipstick clean, or have a bunch of build up about half way down. Is the engine oil clean? what does the filter look like? Brand? Does the auto tranny fluid look brown instead of bright red? Does it smell? Look under the car, see any wetness or torn cv boots? Drive the car long enough for the temp gauge to climb and note its hottest point. Be leery of anything much over 5/8 of the gauge. Turn the wheel right or left as far as it will go and drive in circle in a parking lot. Do it the other way. Do you hear any clicking or popping? Outer CVs are possible if you do. Accelerate at different speeds, do you feel a vibration as you accelerate that goes away when you let up? Inner drivers are suspect if so. Listen for any strange engine noises at idle and 2500 rpm with a few throttle blips. Look at the tires, are they wearing evenly? Do you feel like the car is going straight down the road? Is it smooth on braking, acceleration and cruising? Look on seals and moldings and under the hood for over spray or tape marks tattle tailing on bodywork done previously. If you can find over spray or tape marks, chances are at some point, the car was put back together with less than perfect body work. Ask to see any available service records, and if the car passes your initial tests, make sure you spend an hour's labor and have it checked by someone who sees them daily before you buy the car. Take the service records to them to see as well. They may know the quality of work that the car has had from the records. They may well find harbingers of things to come that you might miss. Get estimates, not guesses. Just know what you are facing and if what you are buying is in as good as condition as it appears justifying what you will spend.

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