The simple answer to the titled question is to ensure you don’t buy a lemon, but it is much more than that. We here at Mike’s Auto Service & Repair believe that every vehicle owner should drive a safe and reliable automobile; some sellers aren’t quite as concerned about you and your safety. They just want to offload the vehicle. Enter the pre-purchase inspection. Your insurance policy that you’re buying a car that will be fun to drive instead of stalled on the side of the road.
It’s Worth the Money
To bottom line it, a pre-purchase inspection of any used car is worth the money, even the dealer has certified it. Most people don’t know they have this option prior to purchasing a vehicle, but they do. Some don’t want to spend the money on it, but they should. Even more fear the dealer or private seller will hassle them if they ask for an inspection, but here’s the deal on that. If they fight you on it, there’s a reason, so move on to the next vehicle on your list.
Who Should Inspect the Vehicle?
A qualified mechanic should inspect any used vehicle you plan to buy. You don’t want to trust the pre-purchase inspection to a novice or your friend who tinkers with his cars on the weekends. A pre-purchase inspection should look at everything, including the body and undercarriage. You might think all you need to check is the engine, but body and undercarriage inspections reveal whether the vehicle has been in a previous accident and help prevent costly unexpected repairs.
Things Included in the Inspection
Obviously visual and diagnostic checks should be included in the pre-purchase inspection. If the vehicle is newer, the mechanic can hook it up to a diagnostic system check computer to get readouts of the health of all of the vehicle’s systems. If it’s older, the mechanic will have to rely on experience, so make certain to hire a qualified mechanic who’s worked on automobiles for years. Experience counts, as the mechanic knows what to look for.
The inspection should also include a comprehensive test drive that takes the vehicle on all different terrains. This is the only way to tell if the vehicle handles stop-and-go traffic, open highways, and bumpy, rough, and mountainous driving. If the vehicle can’t handle it, the mechanic can isolate the issue and help you determine whether it’s worth fixing or whether you should look for another used car to purchase.
Don’t run the risk of purchasing a used vehicle that has fire, flood, or frame damage or was never properly or shoddily maintained. Call Mike’s Auto Service & Repair in West Springfield, MA, at 413-737-7806 to schedule a pre-purchase inspection of the used car you’d like to buy.