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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think it would be a idea for current owners to post replies concerning, "What are things to inspect before driving your Caliber off the car lot."

Examples would be: paint defects, door alignments, and etc. This would give consumers a one up...since sometimes we overlook these kind of flaws untill it is too late. Help out your fellow men (and women) and post!
 

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Just look it over really damn good...:D
 

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Paint defects and other cosmetic concerns certainly.

However, some may not be obvious during the time of the visit to the dealership and test ride, etc. Some defects/concerns may be only or more obvious during bright sunlight or artificial light; or hard to detect because of angle of view, rain, darkness, etc.

I had such a problem was that was difficult to detect during the bright sunlight when we inspected, test drove, and bought our Caliber - but obviously stood out under artificial light or when viewed from underneath looking upward at the car:

http://www.caliberforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285

It's in the correction process now.

I have detected other defects during the initial inspection when purchasing other new vehicles. In every case where it was: an easily-correctable or minor problem, when the vehicle itself was just what I wanted, and it was something that did not prevent me from buying the vehicle otherwise - the sales and service staff requested that I take about a week of driving after the purchase to note ALL detected defects, concerns, and problems as a list and present them together in order to arrange a comprehensive visit or stay (with loaner vehicle) in order to correct it all at once.

I'm sure many replies will cover other things to inspect before driving the new Caliber off the dealer's lot. Ensuring all lights, seat and other adjustments, compartment doors and hinges, etc function properly initially come to mind.

Inspecting not just exterior but INTERIOR cosmetics for proper stitching, coverage, fit, appearance, etc are also frequently missed (I had a rear captain's chair on my last conversion van that had to be replaced because of a workmanship defect - the material was short and unattached on one side and left exposed, but was not visible until someone sat on it about 2 weeks after after I had bought it).

I'd say the bottom line is, no matter what, be sure to have the sales and service staff at the dealership be aware that you will make a list of any defects or concerns that you will likely or surely find after a short period of ownership, and make sure that they state that they will honor such a list and make the adjustments/repairs in a comprehensive appointment afterward.

However, as an exception, anything that could be disputable as whether it existed when you first bought the car versus subsequently should be reported immediately as soon as detected. Examples would be something that is more apparent to be DAMAGE-related (to validate any claim that it was obvious factory, delivery-transportation, or dealership damage - and minimize claims it happened after purchase).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
nice write up harley...everyone keep them coming. i'm sure superbang is hitting that refresh button on this page...lol.
 

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I agree. Nice writeup Harley.

I would take along someone who has bought new cars before, especially one who does his own maintenance, and who you know takes real good care of his/her car.

Things that you miss are very often caught by the other person. He/she may have things to look at that you wouldn't consider. And at times, some things don't show up while you are test driving the car and sitting in the driver's seat, but can be seen/heard/felt by another person sitting in each of the seats - passenger, and both outside rear seats.

I am firmly convinced that the final test drive you take before finalizing the deal should be with someone familiar with cars and who can also listen to things outside the car while you drive by him/her at the side of the road or on the sidewalk.

It doesn't take that long to do all of this, but you can't find all of these things yourself, since you can only be in the driver's seat if you are alone.

This has helped me out a few times on cars both new and used, and I had the satisfaction of having those things fixed before I took the car home.

I agree with Harley, though, that you let the dealership know that you will also be writing down anything else you feel is wrong/out of place, etc. and will bring it back for correction.

Always have a small pad and pen handy because, if you're like me, you'll forget these things when you get to the dealership service shop.

Also, jot down on the paper the weather condition, speed, driving conditions, etc. in case you run into the ol' "it isn't doing that for us now, sir".

Anyway, that's my two cents!

Greg :)
 
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