The car has 155,000km and the current owner bought it 6 years ago with 120,000km. Previous owner also had it 6 years.
The current owner's wife has been using it but she's a housewife and doesn't make many long trips in it (they have 3 other cars in the family). Mainly trips to grocery store, kids school, etc. I'm pretty sure she drives it every day or at least every other day, just not for really far distances. They live in a small town and everything is a few kilometers away at most.
No salvage title here.. the car is currently registered and has a valid "unbranded" title. This is from a "vehicle information package" the government requires us to buy before purchasing a car. Sort of like Carfax, but it's 100% accurate since it's all data from provincial records. If there is a lien or branded title, it will show up in this package.
Here is what I've already looked at:
1. Coolant (rad) cap - clean coolant, no oil in it, green stuff (current owner probably didn't know better), nothing stuck to underside of rad cap (gunk, etc.)
2. Oil cap - no burnt smell, nothing stuck to underside of cap (ie. milky white coolant residue)
3. Oil dipstick - Relatively clean oil, at proper level, doesn't smell or look burnt. Dipstick has no burn marks
4. Trans dipstick - no burn marks, smells, etc. Fluid is bright red and almost looks too new but the guy is a maintenance nut so I'd think he changes it too often rather than he's trying to hide a problem.
5. Softtop - checked it, but it was replaced last year
6. Paint - glossy, straight lines, excellent job (done 6 yrs ago)
7. Rims/tires - perfect condition, tires about 50% worn and replacement time is coming up.
8. All power/electrical items work - antenna, radio, heat, etc. Couldn't try A/C because it was freezing out.. owner "says" it works fine. I'm willing to take the risk that it needs a compressor or something else reasonably expensive.
9. Engine/leaks - engine is clean but not TOO clean as if it were just shampooed. No leaks that I can see.
10. Driving - car runs fine, straight line, etc, etc.
1. Banging noise from rear when driving. Sounds like a kid in the trunk banging a rubber mallet on the trunk floor. Checked trunk, but no kid found
He says he thinks an exhaust donut broke.. I tried to grab the muffler and swing it up & down, but it doesn't move (seems fine). I'm assuming an exhaust hanger let go in the middle somewhere and the pipe is banging. I'll look under the car for a broken pipe or exhaust part before I pay him.
Anything you can think of that I might have missed? I can't exactly pull a valve cover and check timing chain stretch, but if there is anything "quick" you feel I should have a look at, I'd LOVE to know before I hand over the $$$$!
Thanks guys.. you've been a great help!
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