What is an Automotive Pre-Purchase Inspection?
What is the first step regarding a car pre-purchase inspection?
To find an unbiased car repair shop that is well versed in the inspection of a car that you are considering the purchase of. The average automotive repair facility can accomplish the inspection, but they are out to sell you services. That means they are not unbiased. That same auto repair shop doing the inspection has a conflict of interest. They are fearful of leaving you with the impression that the car is any good. The reason being, if you end up purchasing the car and need to fix something right away they don’t what to have said the car was in great condition. The unbiased car inspection will rather key in on preventing you from being surprised by the first upcoming repairs.
Is a Pre-Purchase Automobile Inspection worth spending money on?
The need for this inspection is highly recommended. We at Clark Automotive Clinic offer this service for a nominal charge ($60.00) to our clients. The list we use may not be as long as some out in the market place, but remember the goal of the pre-purchase inspection? The Pre-purchase inspection will/should allow you to buy the car without any surprises for the near term. The inspection should list immediate safety issues and near term repairs. The estimate of those repairs, though important, is not needed till you start to evaluate if this is the car for you. We started providing this service after a very good customer purchased a used car with much more wrong with it than he thought, given the price paid for the car.
What happens with free or biased car pre-purchase inspections?
Most shops use the pre-purchase inspection, some being free, to sell work. What they do is scare the heck out of you the buyer, and then you return the car. I explain it this way, if you pay $5,500 for a $5,000 car it had better be in perfect repair and offer the features you are looking for. It should not require any safety repairs and few repairs when looking at the foreseeable next few months. If on the other hand, you pay $4,000 dollars for that $5,000 car you might expect to need to fix something. The question then becomes honestly and with some integrity what are those repairs? So a free pre-purchase inspection showing $2,500 in repairs could be questioned as to correctness. We certainly have been called upon to offer second opinions when it comes to estimates. A customer once put it this way, “They are offering to make my potential used car new”; this is not an inspection, but rather an overstated repair sales estimate.
What should you expect as results of an Automobile pre-purchase inspection?
Those results of the inspection should identify deficiencies as safety, needed near term repairs, and pending future repairs and maintenance. Of course, “safety repairs” are needed immediately. Those repairs identified as, “Needed near term” should be budgeted for, and should be accomplished soon and not be left to pile up and cause other problems or break downs. Finally a pending repair is an identifiable repair or recommended maintenance item that you should also be installed into the budget equation. An example would be the timing belt and water pump repair needed in 15,000 miles.
What is the goal of the Car Pre-purchase Inspection?
The goal for the pre-purchase inspection is no surprises. We had a new customer inquire about an older and marginally collectable car he had just paid $2800 for. He had not had it inspected, thinking it drove real nice! He was having the car towed in after owning it three weeks with an engine problem. The engine developed a catastrophic failure estimated to cost over $3,500. This development may not have been discovered by a pre-purchase inspection, but the poor brakes, front drive axles, and two bad wheel bearings, would have made the $2800 dollar purchase of this $1,800 car questionable. The engine failure problem may have shown up on our internet research. The engine failure was a very common problem area for that particular model vehicle. The customer than not only had an expensive new repair, but also some seriously priced deferred maintenance repairs as well. To repair this car was not fiscally prudent and the car was junked out. Again, the bottom lines no surprises.
We have even more to share with you on Pre-Purchase Automobile Inspection, look for our next blog….Or just call us and we can discuss it further and set up a convenient time for you to drop by with your possible new vehicle purchase.
Clark Automotive Repair Shop Blaine MN
9985 Davenport St. NE
Blaine, MN 55449
Phone: (763) 784-7944
MON – FRI 8:00 – A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
SAT (BY APPOINTMENT ONLY)