Used Cars Pre-Purchase Inspection: Things to Consider

Importance of pre-purchase car Inspection

Shopping a vehicle is the second-biggest buy most people make in their lives. A vehicle, like a home, is an expensive and complicated purchase. There are numerous parts of the car that may require repair. Some of these factors may also have an impact on the vehicle’s safety. And, because most of us aren’t car experts, hiring an ASE-certified automotive technician to thoroughly inspect a used car BEFORE you buy it makes sense.

A pre-purchase inspection entails much more than simply “kicking the tyres.” An automotive technician should thoroughly inspect the vehicle. This system can take 45 to ninety minutes and must encompass the following steps and extra:

  • Take a test drive
  • Checks on the monitor
  • Computer system readiness monitoring devices
  • Bulbs and dash warning light
  • System audits
  • The battery and its charging
  • Electrical\sExhaust
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • HVAC
  • Ignition
  • Radiator and air conditioning
  • Mechanical inspections
  • Linkage for steering
  • Components of suspension
  • Belts and hoses
  • Check for any fluid leaks.
  • Checks for maintenance
  • Tires and braking systems
  • Windshield wipers/washers and glass
  • Fluid levels and overall condition

If this appears to be a lot, you are correct! Yes, it is! A thorough inspection should, in fact, include over 200 checkpoints! When looking for a car, you’re probably looking for the features that are most important to you: colour, make, model, number of doors, stereo, price, and so on. The tangible aspects of the vehicle are what initially drew you to it. You can look at vin decoder to better understand the current condition of the vehicle.

However, it is the unknown and hidden factors that can turn your purchase into a disaster. When it comes to safely getting you from point A to point B, what’s under the hood and under the vehicle’s body is actually more important than how it looks on the outside.

It should not be difficult to schedule a pre-purchase vehicle inspection for used cars for sale. If the seller pauses or declines, this is a bad sign, and you should probably walk away. It is preferable if you can borrow the vehicle from the dealer or private seller, schedule an inspection, and drive it there.

Get a third-party inspection. Finding an inspector who inspects vehicles for a living is your best bet. Many repair shops concentrate on repairs rather than inspections. Mechanics in those shops typically dislike performing inspections, so they will frequently rush through the process. You want your inspector to have a trained eye that is completely focused on the task at hand. That is exactly what vehicle inspectors do! Also, ensure that they take the vehicle for a test drive and lift it to thoroughly inspect it. There are no shortcuts when it comes to inspecting a vehicle.

Finally, ensure that the inspection report is detailed and well-documented. The best report is one that is available online and includes photos. An inspection used to be as simple as a piece of paper with a bunch of check marks on it. Not any longer! Transparency has become the norm in most industries these days, and the automotive industry is catching up. Make certain that you receive a high-quality report from a high-quality inspector.

HVAC: The car’s air conditioning and heater should operate at all speeds, and the compressor should be quiet.

Exhaust: Excessive blue exhaust smoke indicates that the car is consuming a lot of fuel. If it’s black, there could be a problem with the fuel system, whereas white smoke indicates burning antifreeze, which indicates a head gasket failure.

While no inspection can guarantee that every flaw in a used vehicle will be discovered, a trained eye can help you avoid major issues. Given the thousands of dollars at stake, an hour of your time and the relatively low cost of inspection are wise investments.

Even better if you can find an inspector who provides a warranty on the items they inspect! Allow an independent expert to handle the mechanical aspects of the vehicle so you can concentrate on the fun parts of the vehicle and have the peace of mind you deserve when purchasing your next used vehicle!

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