How to Maintain Your Vehicle

A Guide on Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspections

Pre-purchase inspections help prospective buyers to ascertain the condition of used cars they intend to purchase. Below is a comprehensive guide on pre-purchase vehicle inspections. 

Who Conducts a Pre-Purchase Inspection?

Ask a skilled and qualified mechanic to inspect the car. If you chose to inspect the vehicle, you might miss out on small problems that might significantly affect the functionality of the vehicle. Inquire about the mechanic's specialty. While it may be easy to inspect small cars, it may be a bit challenging to inspect trucks, SUVs, hybrids and electric vehicles.

What Does the Report Entail?

Engine. The mechanic will inspect the engine for leaks and ignition problems. He or she will check vehicle service reports to determine the longevity of engine components such as the injectors, timing belts and water pump. He or she will also check serpentine belts for signs of wear. Metal chippings in the engine oil could indicate severe wear of the crankshaft and pistons. 

Body. Dents, signs of filler and uneven body lines are signs of accident repair. The mechanic will also check structural components such as the frame and cross members for signs of cracks and rust. 

Electrical unit. The window controls should be fully functional. The inspector will also check the AC for blockages. He or she will conduct a computer diagnostic check to ensure all vehicle sensors and fuses are functional. For electric vehicles, the inspector will check the longevity of the battery. For instance, how many charging cycles are left on the battery? 

Tires and Suspension. The inspector will check how long the tires have been in use and approximate how much longer you can use them. Uneven wear on the tires is a sign of balancing and alignment problems. He or she will also check the condition of suspension elements such as the springs, shocks, bushes and tie rods.

Interior. Other than the condition of the seats, the inspector will also conduct a test to ensure the vehicle does not leak water during rainy weather. It happens if the car has a sunroof or if door frames have been adjusted. He or she will also conduct a pest inspection.

What to Do After the Inspection

The mechanic will recommend the various repairs you should consider. Vehicles with severe problems in the engine, electric and transmission systems may require a total overhaul. The mechanic may declare the car damaged beyond repair if the repair costs exceed the vehicle's market value.

Vehicle inspections will help improve your confidence when purchasing a car. Engage a qualified mechanic and use the recommendations on the inspection report to ask for a discount.