One of the most important aspects of a complete and thorough pre-purchase car inspection comes in actually two parts. The first is to have a checklist available which will cover ALL main systems of the vehicle. The list may also need to include subsystems of certain systems. An example would be a category called “steering and suspension” where the mechanical condition of the steering and suspension components should include parts such as control arms, ball joints, bushings, springs, struts, shocks, wheels and tires. However, an important subsystem of the steering and suspension system would include the hydraulic system which includes the rack and pinion or steering box, pump, resevoir and hydraulic lines. It’s important that the checklist considers the hydraulic part of the steering system separately since a defect in this area can include a variety of symptoms such as leaks, noises, contaminated fluid, steering easier in one direction than the other to name a few. The same goes for any kind of airbag or air-suspension system . In this case, the compressor, airbags, air reservoir, lines and associated controls should have its own section on the checklist also.