Experts Recommend a Pre-Purchase Inspection
A Good Inspection Serves Many Functions:
Confirms the condition level of the car
Reveals hidden problems with the body, frame or engine
Finds engine codes that can reveal engine problems
Builds confidence in the value of the vehicle
Many major problems that can be spotted by a good inspector include:
Frame damage — If the frame shows damage it indicates the car has been in a serious accident. Unless it has been repaired correctly, the car’s wheels might not track properly, causing the vehicle to pull to one side and eventually leading to tire damage.
Poor previous repair work — This could range from sloppy bodywork to improper installation of modifications.
Smoker’s car — If a car is being purchased remotely, via eBay for example, the seller could disguise the fact that someone has smoked in the car. Smoke gets into the vehicle’s headliner and upholstery, and it is impossible to remove the smell.
Flood-damaged car — A vehicle history report can red-flag a flood-damaged car unless its title has been falsified. If that’s the case, then it’s important for an inspector to check for signs of water damage.
Purchasing a used vehicle can be risky.
When excited buyers get emotionally caught up in the vehicle purchase, they often miss mechanical, cosmetic, and safety issues during visual inspections and test drives. These problems are compounded if the vehicle being purchased is located in another city and is purchased prior to being seen in person. To eliminate much of the anxiety and get an accurate picture of the condition of the vehicle, many buyers choose to have a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done before the sale is final.
Federal Trade Commission
It’s best to have any used car inspected by an independent mechanic.
An inspection is a good idea even if the car has been “certified” and inspected by the dealer and is being sold with a warranty or service contract. A mechanical inspection is different from a safety inspection. Safety inspections usually focus on conditions that make a car unsafe to drive. They are not designed to determine the overall reliability or mechanical condition of a vehicle.
Mobile vs. Garage Inspection
If the seller is willing, opt for the garage inspection. That should allow the mechanic to put the car on a lift to view the chassis and frame more thoroughly and also give him access to other diagnostic equipment for a more comprehensive inspection.
Beware of the limitations of a Carfax report.
A Carfax, or any history report, are not physical inspections and cannot be substituted for a physical inspection. Don’t let a salesperson or seller talk you out of your right it have a professional inspection performed before your purchase by using a “clean” Carfax report. Most accidents are not reported to Carfax and a history report cannot tell you the current condition of any mechanical or electrical systems or component.
Knowledge is Money.
The more you know about a used vehicle the better deal you can make. The buyer is responsible to determine its true condition before purchase. Having the vehicle professionally inspected by a qualified ASE Master Technician & Frame Specialists will help you negotiate a better deal, and avoid purchasing someone else’s problem vehicle. Here are the 1-2-3 Steps for buying a good used vehicle.
The #1 reason vehicles with existing problems are purchased is the buyers’ inability to determine the current condition before purchase.