Join Date: Jan 2015
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Hard to believe a dealer would keep a used car on its lot for 200 days. Generally a used car accepted as a trade in if it is worth keeping on the lot at all only stays for 30 days or so. If it isn't gone in that time the dealer just hauls it to a dealer to dealer auction. Now maybe with a lease return the dealer doesn't have the option of off loading the car to an auction? Regardless, wonder why dealer would keep the car 200 days? That's kind of a gruesome reminder the dealer is failing at its primary job: Sell cars and sell them quickly.
If the car proves to be worth owning that it has been on the 200 days could be a sign the car would be had for a good (discounted) price, but one has to wonder (again) about that 200 days on the lot? Not one person in that time bought the car. That really -- at least to me -- calls for some caution regarding the car.
Ok, car checkout. Here's something on how to check out a used car which applies to the R/T....
Used Dodge Challenger check out:
My general advice is to visit the used car cold, open the hood and check the oil level, leaving the hood open. Give the other vital fluid levels a visual check at least to ensure none are low. If vital fluids are low this could be a warning flag the car wasn't properly serviced/taken care and there could be a problem. (That the car is being offered by a dealer these levels should be ok, but check everything.)
In the car start the engine. Be sure all warning lights come on and then go off once the engine has started. Pay particular attention to the CEL. Be sure the A/C is off. You test the A/C later.
Let the engine idle from cold. You want to listen for any signs of ticking/noises or any other signs the engine may not be healthy. A rough idle, backfires, spitting back, anything out of the ordinary.
If you can view coolant and oil temperature and pressure and battery voltage. You want these displayed as you get first a test ride then have a test drive.
Get out of the car and walk around the car checking body panel finish, alignment, and gaps. Note the condition of the wheels, looking for any curb rash. Check the tires. Ideally they should be factory sanctioned tires and in good condition. Check the brakes, look at the rotors for signs of damage/excessive wear -- a lip around the rotor outer diameter.
Check the hood and trunk hinges for any signs the fasteners have had wrenches on them. Check for signs of wrenching on the bolts that hold the fenders to the car and at the strut fasteners. At the front carefully check the radiator fasteners for any signs of wrenching.
After some few minutes of the engine idling -- the longer the better -- and with the engine still running ok and sounding ok have the seller take you on a test ride. The route should be around 15 miles long and chosen to give the driver a chance to demo the car as you intend to use it. What is wanted is a mix of city driving with stop and go, steady moderate speed cruising on like a boulevard, and some highway/freeway driving. Ideally there should be some opportunities -- once the engine is up to temperature -- for some rather hard acceleration with the driver starting out from a standstill or a slow roll and accelerating hard up through at least a couple of gears. No need to smoke the tires or try to duplicate the factory's 0 to 60mph time but you want to experience the engine under hard acceleration to verify it pulls good, runs right, and afterwards shows no ill effects from the hard acceleration.
While a passenger of course pay attention to how the transmission shifts, how the car rides, feels. The car should not want to pull to one side or the other and the hard acceleration should give the driver a chance to perform a hard braking. No tire lock up but you want to verify the brakes have plenty of bite and the car tracks straight under hard braking.
With an automatic I recommend having the driver do a k-turn with the engine/transmission cold to see how the transmission reacts to repeated/rapid changes in direction.
After the 15 mile test ride then back at the starting point -- leaving the engine running -- get behind the wheel and drive the car over the same 15 mile test route and drive it pretty much the same way although since the car is unknown to you you can dial back on the hard acceleration test. You don't want to let the car get away from you and wrap it around a telephone pole.
And with the engine/transmission now up to temperature you do the k-turn to once again see how the transmission reacts to repeated/rapid changes in direction.
After your 15 mile test drive then at the starting point if you still like the car confirm all systems work. From the head lights to the tail lights. From the horn to the back up camera (if fitted). The A/C. Check all the controls. The wipers. Everything.
At this point if you still like the car and believe you can buy it for a good price -- based on your market research -- it is good idea to arrange to have the car given a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) by a tech who is qualified to evaluate the car. A Dodge dealer tech can be used. These guys evaluate trade ins all the time.
This gets the car in the air so a check can be made for any leak sign. At the same time a check can be made for any signs of damage or damage repair.
You want to really experience the car in its natural state: engine running and on the road. All cars generally look good on the lot. But it is how they look and run and feel and sound and smell on the road, or after being on the road, that really matters.
Be aware and adjust your price accordingly that the car probably needs some attention. Unless the seller can supply paper work the services are current or you can run the VIN through a Dodge dealer and get a list of services budget for various services that are due.
The car could be due -- although this might not be called for in the factory service schedule -- a brake fluid flush/bleed; new engine air filter and cabin air filter.
I'd budget to treat the cooling system to a drain and refill with fresh coolant. This every 4 years or so helps extend the life of the water pump and hoses.
Tires should be in good condition but if not if the tires are worn unevenly budget for new tires and an alignment assuming wear is not severe enough to suspect the car's bent. In this case you don't want new tires and an alignment you want to walk away from the car.
Remember these things: Price is not fact only an opinion. And there is always another car. If you find something negative about this car don't feel you have to buy it. There is another car out there you'll like just as much if not more than this one and it won't have any negatives.