Question about 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier

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I want to buy a 1996 Chev Cavalier with 62K miles. What do I need to look for regarding maintenance or if the car is worth buying. Thanks, Barbi

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Check coolant level to make sure it is reasonably clean (not new) check engine oil the same way...should not be black but new coolant or oil can mean that it was changed to cover up a problem, or that there was a recent repair done. Look in the oil fill hole and see if there is any visible sludge. Check trans fluid (automatic) make sure it does not smell burned. If service records are available, check that regular service has been done, also look for "repeat" repairs like trans service twice in one month etc...indicates a problem, perhaps unresolved. Look underneath for leaks. any leaks are bad (even if you know they may be pretty normal.) Make sure that engine is cold when you get there...People will often run a car that has a hard start cold problem, so you will not know about it. Drive the car. Anything you don't like will annoy you after you buy it. anything that feels "wrong" probably is.
If you can, have a mechanic look it over. And, set aside about 2-3 hundred dollars to have all fluids changed as soon as you buy it (gives you a good baseline for continued maintenance.
Good luck

Posted on Jul 18, 2009


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