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Old 06-14-2018, 04:12 PM   #1
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Bus buying checklist?

Hi my fianc and I are going to look at a bus that a church is selling about an hour away from where we live this tuesday. I was just looking for advice on what to check for when inspecting it. We live in northern Indiana so I know to check for rust and I was going to test drive it before we buy it but are their other things we should look for? Also any tips for driving it it's our first time driving a bus 😬😬😬
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:56 PM   #2
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Condition of tires
Check the oil BEFORE you start it. Pull out the dipstick and feel the oil. It should also be clear, not black.
Start the bus yourself and listen closely. Strange noises may indicate trouble.
Check all the exterior lighting
Check all the gauges, especially the air if you have air brakes.
Is the steering sloppy or tight?
Once rolling, are the brakes good?
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:25 PM   #3
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https://wanderlounge.net/things-to-l...-buying-a-bus/

Some notes I put together about looking at a bus to buy! I've bought 2 now and helped others buy several more and this is the combination of those experiences.
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:55 AM   #4
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Thank you!
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:24 PM   #5
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If the engine has already been warmed up for you before you get there, be suspicious.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:08 AM   #6
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I would be leery if the oil is clear. That means it just had an oil change which could be a innocent "help" from the church for the buyer or it could be covering up an issue such as coolant in the oil. Check the top of the dip stick under the cap for rust which might indicate coolant in the oil. Check the coolant overflow bottle. Does it smell like diesel fuel? That's not good. Not necessarily a deal breaker but some repair work.
Yes, if the bus is already warmed up it could be concealing some issues. Personally I would like to start the engine cold and then drive it for about 30 minutes (not just idle) to see how the temperature comes up, to uncover any hesitation in the engine (dirty injectors), overheating, etc.
Check the tires for uneven wear (alignment) and rock the steering to see if there's wear in the kingpins. Steering should be tight.
Oh, there's more but that covers some of the bases. Depends what engine/trans it has.
And if you're not mechanically inclined I would call the local school bus transportation office and see if there is a mechanic you could borrow to go look at it. If not, ask for the number of one of their veteran bus drivers that is mechanically inclined. Since it's summer break the drivers are just sitting around twiddling their thumbs and since most of them are retirees they're probably looking for something to do...
Driving... it's like driving a big long car with great visibility. Don't swing wide on turns but go beyond the turn and then cut. Practice in the church parking lot and watch where the rear tires are as you make a turn. And air brakes take a little getting used to. A well tuned system should put you through the windshield if you step pretty hard on the brakes. If it feels "mushy" ask them to show you how to check the slack adjusters. If they're good they can crawl under and adjust them for you which also may give an idea of how well it has been maintained.
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Old 06-16-2018, 01:12 AM   #7
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Oh, another easy one is watching for engine smoke. If there is white smoke that's not good. Dark smoke not so bad especially if it happens when you accelerate.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:32 AM   #8
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Thank you so much all of this advice is awesome �� we are so excited to get this all started ��!
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