Should You Have the Used Car You’re Considering Inspected by a Mechanic?
Buying a used car is always a tricky proposition. On one hand, you want the car to be reliable and to provide you with years of low-maintenance driving. On the other hand, you want to spend as little money as possible.
One of the things few people mention when it comes to shopping for used cars is the importance of having a good mechanic conduct a pre-purchase inspection. Many people avoid this step because they want to save money. What they don’t realize is that spending a little on a pre-purchase inspection can save them thousands of dollars down the road.
The pre-purchase inspection can be as intense or brief as you want. If you simply want to make sure that the car you’re considering is road-worthy, you won’t spend a great deal on the pre-purchase inspection. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s been perfectly maintained and will provide you with years of use, you may want a more intense inspection.
The main thing the mechanic looks for during the pre-purchase inspection is that all of the vehicle’s functions are working properly and that the seller is properly representing the vehicle. In addition to making sure that the brakes, belts, and tires are in good repair, the mechanic sill also looks for potential problems with the frame and engine that you might not have noticed during the test drive.
During the inspection, the used vehicle will be hooked to the computer system so that the mechanic can see if there are any trouble codes that could indicate serious but hidden electrical and mechanical issues that will make you reconsider purchasing the vehicle.
Pre-purchase inspections can reveal some pretty important information about the vehicle that you simply wouldn’t have noticed on your own. Perhaps the most important thing your mechanic will tell you is if the vehicle has been in a flood. Recently, there has been a surge of vehicles that were flood-damaged in hurricanes that were then shipped to other states where the flood damage was hidden and the vehicles sold as sound. It wasn’t until months later that the owners started encountering the mold and electrical issues associated with flood damage.
Another thing the pre-purchase inspection will reveal is any shoddy mechanical work that was done to disguise a problem but which would later cost a bundle to fix. Not only will your mechanic see the issue, but they can also provide you with an estimate for future repairs.