Duluth Auto Repair

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Why are Pre-purchase Inspections Necessary?

I know in the busy world we live in today many people don't even think twice about getting a pre-purchase inspection before purchasing a vehicle. We are going to show you why it is not only helpful but VITAL to have a pre-purchase inspection(PPI) before even thinking of purchasing a vehicle from a dealership or independent seller. Here are the answers to some questions you may have:

Why Should I Get One?

A pre-purchase inspection is a vital step when buying a used car in the used car buying process that many people unfortunately skip. It helps you determine if the car is right for you and also may give you some negotiating power if the mechanic finds some issues that need to be addressed. A good inspection may cost, but is well worth the cost – it gives you added peace of mind and may save you money on unexpected repairs! Nearly all auto service facilities, from chain repair stores to dealerships to independent garages, offer some type of pre-purchase inspection. We found that the going price is about $120, roughly the cost of an hour's labor for a mechanic.



What Is A Pre-purchase Inspection(PPI)?

A pre-purchase inspection is a detailed assessment by a qualified individual to determine the cosmetic, mechanical, and safety condition of a vehicle before completing the purchase.

What to look for?

Buying a car can be an overwhelming experience, and buying a used car requires extra vigilance and preparation. Focusing on five important physical categories before purchasing your next used car will help ensure you cover all of the most vital areas - and getting the best price. These five categories are:

  • Exterior
    • Inspect the underbody
    • Inspect the outer body
    • Inspect the exterior lights                                                                                                    
    • Inspect the mirrors
    • Inspect the doors
    • Inspect the interior
    • Check for frame damage

  • TiresIt is important to check the condition of the tires. This will allow you to understand not only how much life is left, but it also tells you if the car has suspension or alignment problems. 

  • Engine and Transmission
    • ​Make sure that the hood opens and shuts properly
    • Visually inspect engine
    • Check the engine fluids
    • Check the engine belts
    • Start vehicle

  • Interior
    • ​A/C
    • Radio
    • Sunroof
    • Seat adjustments/ Seatbelts
    • Windows
    • Carpet
    • Dashboard and center console

  • Steering and Suspension​- Now it is time to test drive the car. You will want to drive the car not only on city streets, but also on a freeway to get a good feeling of how the car handles at lower and higher speeds. 

As a general rule, research the price of the car you're interested in so you know how much it should cost. Look at the range in cost for cars that are in very good condition and for those that are in poor condition. This way, you'll begin your search well prepared and with a good understanding of how much the price can fluctuate depending on the condition of the car.

Contact our experts for your pre-purchase inspection today at 770-495-7881.