Before conducting an inspection of the exterior of the four-wheel drive vehicle you are considering purchasing, make certain that good weather conditions exist. The ground should be dry and there should be plenty of sunlight. Some aspects of the exterior inspection include:
- Consider the environment that surrounds the used four-wheel drive. Are the dealership surroundings clean and orderly? Does the retail company provide efficient customer service? Is the private owner's property well maintained? The surroundings, can provide an indication of how well the owner maintained the vehicle.
- Look to see when the state inspection and the emissions test stickers will be due.
- Observe how the four-wheel drive sits. The vehicle should sit level horizontally when it is viewed from the front and the rear. When viewed from the side, the rear of the vehicle should sit slightly higher than the front. A four-wheel drive that does not sit properly has been driven and used hard.
- Check all four of the tires for evenness of tread wear (similar to how the soles of a person's shoes indicate how he walks). Also, check to see if all four of the tires are the same brand and type. Sometimes, an owner will install a new set of front tires on a four-wheel drive to hide the uneven tire wear caused by a steering and/or a suspension problem.