Pre-Purchase Inspection – Don’t get stuck with a “lemon”!

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Wouldn’t it be nice to know more about the used car that you are considering purchasing? Are you getting a reliable car at a reasonable price or are you buying yourself a set of problems? We can help you be a more informed used-car buyer!

Before you buy a used car, either from a dealer or a private party, bring the vehicle in for a Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) by one of our ASE certified technicians. You will get a full report on repairs and/or maintenance that will soon be required on the vehicle.   A PPI will help you negotiate a fair price and put you in a great bargaining position, since you will be more informed on the facts of the vehicle.

You will get a report that details the following:

  • Maintenance items: A complete list of items that are recommended by the manufacturer that will be coming up due in the future, allowing you to plan and budget for these items.
  • Brakes, belts and hose condition: When is the timing belt due to be replaced?  Each manufacturer has specified intervals for replacing the timing belt that are based on the number of miles on the vehicle and/or the age of the vehicle. To replace the timing belt and the associated components can cost anywhere between $900 and $1200.
  • Fluid condition and leaks: A complete check of all of the vehicle’s fluids to check for contamination that will require completing a flush. We will also inspect for any fluid leaks, minor or major, that might require significant costs for repair.
  • Body damage: Inspection for whether the car has ever been in an accident, repaired, or if it has rust damage.  Damage to the body or suspension can significantly decrease the value of the car, and may require further repairs.  Simple curb hits can bend upper or lower control arms, affect the hub assembly, and/or numerous other parts that may not be readily visible without getting the car up on a lift.
  • Brake condition:  Are the brake pads worn, requiring replacement soon? Have the rotors been overheated due to prolonged braking, or worn out due to metal-to-metal contact?  Solely replacing the brake pads can cost around $200 per axle; whereas, if the rotors need to be replaced, it can add an addition $150 to $200.
  • Inspect frame, shocks, struts, and axles: Shocks and struts are important parts of the vehicle, and can affect the stability, handling, and overall control of the vehicle. They wear out over time and can leak as they get older. When replacing the shocks or struts, an alignment is also required.  This repair can cost anywhere around $300 to $1000 per axle.
  • Tire life: Will the tires require replacement soon?  Are they safe?  Does the car need an alignment? The tires are the only point of contact you have with the road and serve a great importance in the safety of the vehicle. A proper alignment will decrease wear and extend the lives of the tires.
  • Engine code checks: These can reveal engine/transmission/emission control problems and their conditions. Codes can be read by our diagnostic code reader and can give you a snapshot of unresolved problems.

Be an informed consumer!  A PPI is well worth an hour or two of your time, and for about $150 or less (money that you may even save in your negotiation), you can buy with confidence and be steered clear of a “money pit.”  Schedule an appointment for a vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection in Colorado Springs with your Honest Accurate Auto Technician for the vehicle you are considering. Knowledge is power…gain important information before you make that used car purchase.

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