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Mechanical Issues to Check Prior to Buying the Vehicle
For used vehicles (i.e., those previously titled in either DC or another jurisdiction), the District has a safety and emissions vehicle inspection. Therefore, it is critical you purchase a vehicle which can pass the inspection. It is a good idea to take the vehicle to a reputable mechanic. If the dealer or private seller refuses to have your mechanic check out the vehicle, you should not purchase the vehicle.
- Make sure everything on the vehicle is operational, including the windshield wipers, lights, etc.
- Check the brakes for alignment (i.e. pull) and worn brake pads.
- Check the tires for tread and tire size matching.
- Check under the hood by looking for battery for leaks, dirty oil, loose hoses, etc.
- Check for any noticeable smoking when the vehicle is idled.
- Check the body of the vehicle to see if there are any signs the vehicle has been in an accident. Fresh paint jobs are a sign of recent body work.