post-delivery checklist

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Since some of us are soon to take delivery of new cars, I thought it might be useful to compile a post-delivery checklist for owners. Dealers have their pre-delivery checklist, and I am looking for tips for the new owner on things to look for when they arrive at the showroom on the big day.

Here are a few items I came up with. Some are general for any new car [from Motley Fool] and some are specific to the Thunderbird.

  • Verify the VIN. Mixups are unlikely, but do happen.
  • Ask if any repairs were made. Things can happen during transit. Honest dealers will tell you up front, but you should still ask.
  • Check the paint job. Orange peel is more visible under flourescent lighting.
  • Examine the fit of all doors, hinges, the hardtop and softtop. Do they work and seal properly? Is there any evidence of water damage to the softtop?
  • Is the engine compartment in perfect shape? Is every dip stick, plastic cover, wire harness present and properly secured? All the fluids should be at optimal levels: oil, transmission, power steering, brake, windshield wash, and coolant. There should be very little dirt and grime, and not a single sign of fluid leakage of any kind.
  • Inspect the windows, headlights and mirrors for chips, cracks and other defects. Some T-birds showed bubbles in the headlight assembly that may result in water seepage and fogging [this has been a significant problem for some new LS's.]
  • Take a test drive and recheck the engine afterward for fluid leakage.

Any others?


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Make sure you get ALL the paperwork you can including the window sticker, the invoice, any other dealer paperwork they will let you have, the interior paper labels that hang from just about everywhere, the cart, cover, and wrench for the hard top, the dweeby floormats, owners manuals, warranty books, an extra brochure to keep with all the other paperwork for your great-grandchildren when they sell this car in 50 years for 8 trillion drachma.

blue/blue/full blue/premium on order: 10 of 18
Several people have said that they took off their hard top the first day and discovered some water and water spots on the soft top. So it would be a good idea to take it off ASAP and make sure it's dry.

Otherwise the water can cause problems if it's left there for the entire season.

TBIRD II - My License Plate
# 9476 - No delivery date yet...
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