Buying 2014 Maxima - could use some advice
My wife and I went and had a look at a 2014 Maxima today that we fell in love with, but being prudent people (or at least trying to be!) we wanted to make sure of the deal before we went through with the purchase.
The car in question is a rebuild, having been bought at auction by the seller as an insurance lot. He told us that the work involved to rebuild the car required replacing the right rear corner, the right rear door, as well as the rear bumper and tail light. So basically the drive train suffered no damage at all, just the body work. Asking price, for a car with only 22,000 miles and a combination of the premium and sports package, is only $12,900. According to the seller, who does seem like a genuinely up front guy who owns a body shop and does this kind of work on the side, is that the price reflects the car's damaged background. The vehicle has passed Florida DMV inspection.
I'm talented in a number of areas, not least of which is my knowledge of rehabbing houses - I can do practically everything from the ceiling to the floor, including kitchen installations, electrical work, plumbing, floors - you name it I can do it, and to a professional level. But when it comes to cars I'm next to useless - I know how they work in theory and I basically know where to put the air and fluids, but other than that I'm pretty hopeless, part of which stems from the fact that I didn't get my driver's license till I was 40 so didn't feel the need to know the inner workings of a car.
So anyway, I took the car out for a test drive today and was thoroughly impressed - the engine has some real kick to it, and the interior and fittings were great. Having had issues before with a vehicle that vibrated at speed I pushed the car out to 85 during the test drive to see if the damage may have caused any body defects that affected the drive, but all seemed fine - it remained smooth and vibration-free throughout the drive.
Having done some homework on the net, it seems that the car has a combination of the premium package and sports package. It has the double moonroof, faux dark wood trim, large screen and so on, plus the manual paddles on the wheel - though it only has 18" wheels on it and no spoiler, whereas I was under the belief that the sports package came with both. Perhaps the paddles were just an option on their own to add to the premium package?
So come Monday I'm going back to give the car a final inspection before we sign on the dotted line (I didn't have much time today because my wife was in tow and getting impatient in the hot Florida sun) and I'd really appreciate some pointers on anything I should look out for. A mechanic friend said that I should at least check the radiator fluid to see if there's any oilyness to it, but other than that and running through some basics on checking the AC, electronics, and perhaps the seals on the moonroof I wasn't sure what else to look out for. The car looks in immaculate condition, and both my wife and I got a really good vibe from the seller, who isn't some professional car salesman trying to snow us with the typical sales pitch. He told us that most of his work involves normal body repair work but during quiet spots he buys these damaged vehicles to keep his employees busy and money rolling in to pay the bills. He loves the Maxima and makes a specialty of buying them for rebuilds - seemed like a pretty genuine guy, as I said earlier.
Obviously there are people on here who know these cars backwards, so I'd be grateful if I could get some appropriate feedback that would enable me to go in on Monday with a checklist of things I should take note of. Because it's a rebuild whatever remaining warranty that might have been in play as far as the drive train is concerned is now null and void, so it would certainly be a load off if I gave the car as thorough a check as possible (short of having someone come along to give the engine a compression test!) before we put money down on it. Obviously buying any used car is something of a gamble, but at least I'll know I did everything possible to make sure the car is fine.
Thanks in advance.