Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Lift the rear seat base and check the battery for condition (ensure it is the one you saw during your inspection of the car) and especially for security. Were a battery to tip over then at best leaking electrolyte will make a mess of paintwork – at worst an electrical fire could be the result. Check the wiring in the vicinity.
Check the seat belts by tugging quite violently; these are anchored to the tops and bottoms of the B posts; it's better to discover that the mountings are weak with rust (or have been bodged) at this stage than when you're headed towards the windscreen following a head-on crash – or even part-way through an MOT. Weak seat belt mountings make a car unroadworthy, so seek redress with the vendor.
Check the steering by feeling for lost movement –that is, movement of the steering wheel perimeter which does not move the front wheels. If it is much more than about 1 in. then check that none of the fixings in the steering mechanism have come loose. This can happen when a car has received attention to the steering prior to sale, but nuts and bolts have come loose since. Void steering wheel travel can indicate that the steering box components require adjustments (this is covered in Chapter Four). Also pull and push the wheel to check for play, and lift it then push down to check that the steering column fixings have not come loose.
Sit in each front seat in turn, grab the seat firmly and push down on the floorpan with your feet to check that the seat fixings and floorpans are sound.

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