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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am buying a used TL and not sure where to post this question.

I have found a 2007 TL base that I am interested in purchasing. The car has 44,000 miles and I've negotiated the price to 15k with the dealership (its not a Acura dealer).

The question I have is what should I check on this TL to make sure it is in good condition.

I got the carfax and some things worry me.
The car was first purchased with a Lien Reported in 2007 (dealer says its because it was a lease)
Then in 2010 car was reported at auto auction
it says 'Auction Announced as FLEET/LEASE'

This dealer tells me that it was a leased car, but why does it say 'fleet'?

Also should I buy the used car from an Acura dealership instead of another type, so I can get a warranty, certified and things like that?

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Yes 15k is a skeptical price. I could see why you are shocked, always double check with KBB if your not sure. I would have to say you need to do a whole car run down really. I am quite wild when it comes to such information about my vehicle.

1. Check all the doors, trunk, hood, etc for the Acura original sticker to see if parts were replaced; generally when a car is damaged excessively they would not be able to pull out dents and would need to completely take out the original parts. The bad part about this is those parts are generally weaker then factory grade, and that jeopardizes your safety. [The doors and the rest have it with a blue sticker with acura written on it and the part #]

2. Check the vehicle for any irregularities such as chassis damage, which is another key component to your safety. The front of the vehicle has a dash board that should runs flush with vehicle. As you open the doors passenger or driver, look towards the "pit" of the door, you can see the outline of the interior and what is part of your dash. There should not be any spaces between the gaps; everything should be smooth. Generally when the chassis is jeopardized, it causes a bend which turns the whole chassis, making the interior shift. It is easily noticeable, along with the obvious things such as air bag deployment.

3. Next things you can check to be certain, measure the vehicles dimensions. Measure both sides of the vehicle driver and passenger to be sure they are the same height of the ground. Next, check the tire ducts, all the tires and frame should be even height front and back. Both the front and back are different, but both sides should be even if the chassis has not been damaged. You could also check all the gaps in the vehicle should be even. Often vehicles have specific details which should be symmetrical on both sides. For example on this vehicle, the front bumper and hood should all be flush where they meet. The rear bumpers should be smooth transition from the frame, no over or under hang where the bumper portion connects, is sunken or elevated are signs that the vehicle may have been rear ends or it rear ended a vehicle. The vehicle has lines virtually everywhere, you need make sure they are all the same size, the lining of the trunk to the headlights, and more; as mentioned with the hood and bumper.

4. Further proof of chassis damage comes in the vehicles turns, this is based on the test drive. I would drive in a figure 8 pattern in an empty parking lot. The car should roll the same either way you go in the figure 8. If you are not sure, you can drive one at a dealership for your knowledge of what is not salvage; dealers cannot sell salvage vehicles. Generally, you must go all out for a purchase which is major, so I suggest it to everyone. Test drive the hell out of the vehicle to make sure everything is functional. Especially those components which are for safety, everything else is replaceable of course, but you are not.

This is the basic run down for the main things which a vehicle must have to be in any reasonable shape.

Everything else is based off KBB, and how the vehicle performs. Is the motor tired from being over-driven or driven too roughly. Trial and error will be your only judgement, I would suggest going to a dealership and taking out one of those acura's for a test drive. Other than of course car fax notifications for all the oil changes if they are available. That will also give you a better idea of how the car was driven, if the car has had all it's oil changes on time, and it is running sloppy. It is a given that the car was being harshly used, which of course decreases the life of the motor and problems you could have. If no information is given about oil changes, it is a toughy, but more than not people just did not want to pay for the dealership to do a 40 dollar oil change, and went to cheaper spots which do not record car fax. I think if you take my advice[test drive dealership] you will be able to differentiate what is best for you. ***MOST IMPORTANTLY*** I would suggest you allow acura to do a 150 pt inspection on the vehicle and diagnosis, which will show any hidden bugs or kinks that could be hidden with a computer reset. It will cost a 150 dollars, but my friend it is beyond worth it, when you are paying 15000. Exposes any funny business, most dealerships get scared when they believe you will take such bold action; I use it myself every time I have bought a vehicle from a non-brand lot as you are doing in this case. ***Really the most important

Last I would have to say a fleet vehicle means it was bought by a corporation or business, it allows the vehicle to be written down for a tax return purchase. Which is quite a bit when you buy a brand new car, so people opt out to say this is a car I use to get to work and transport things to work keeping my business running; even though it is BS. So it could be a good thing really, it has low mileage for a 2007, and the last owner seems to have had some good funds to take care of the vehicle. You would hope since he claims to be a business owner, and has to own one to get the write off.
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