Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Potential 84 380sl will be at dealership for checkup tomorrow. Car has 95,000 miles, if sound I will purchase, what should I be m

asked by on

Car is being examined at dealership prior to my purchase, what should I be most concerned with?

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Look for corrosion, improperly repaired cra...

Look for corrosion, improperly repaired crash damage, of course particularly on the frame, and other physical damage that is costly and burdensome to repair as well as any missing original parts. When you drive the car, ideally it should track straight with your hands OFF the wheel for a "distance" (1/16 to 1/8 mile or more is good), if not it will need suspension and alignment work. All other stuff is easy to fix in comparison. If the brake and fuel lines are corroded, they will likely all have to be replaced, possibly including the gas tank (not a big deal, but just keep it in mind and use Ni-Copp, or comparable, in all retrofitting). If you want to get a basic indication of the mechanical condition of the engine, get compression test results for each cylinder and look for basic uniformity from cylinder to cylinder and, of course, sufficient pressure. Unless it has already been restored, on any old car, basically you are going to have worn out "parts", particularly rubber seals, pulley bearings, brakes, and so forth. All of that is replaceable but if the car has lots of corrosion or ANY crash damage, unless it is some rare model, it is really not worth anything (except as a base for a laborious and costly restoration) so, again, if no "significant corrosion or damage" I wouldn’t be excessively worried about the mundane items, excepting of course that during a professional inspection, of the kind that YourMechanic performs, all deficits, no matter how "minor", are still thoroughly documented for you in a pre-purchase report. If you desire such an inspection and evaluation, by all means let us know. Any other concerns, or more detailed questions regarding the vehicle, please let us know.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car choices

Hi There, These are great choices with great options and low mileage which are all great things to look for in purchasing a new vehicle. The Subaru is a very well respected car with a long history of dependability and...

Q: Need to know the A/C relay location on a 1982 European Mercedes-Benz 280sl.

The relay is on the driver side right next to the brake booster and master cylinder. It looks like a large black block by the fender. For the compressor to not have power to it, check the low pressure switch...

Q: Start Error with vehicle.

These vehicles have ben known to have a defective ignition system immobilizer that can cause the issue. The replacement immobilizer will require programming with a factory scanner that can enable it. Have a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic,...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.