The thought of purchasing a used car can evoke mixed reactions. To some, it can be a gamble, which they feel they’ll end up regretting. To some, it’s an equivalent of finding a diamond in the rough. Regardless of which side you are on, there is a good chance that sooner or later most of us would consider buying a used car. It could be a cheaper car for your teenager, or a classic muscle car you’ve always wanted to own or a low-mileage alternative to your current car; at some point purchasing a used car would appear to you like a very intriguing idea,especially when it can save you money on interest and depreciation.
Before you buy a used car, you have to ensure that it is safe to drive and would not require expensive repairs. The car would need to be thoroughly inspected for signs of accident, water and fire damage, improper maintenance, etc. If you want to be sure you are buying a reliable set of wheels, it is best to have a professional mechanic inspect the car to verify all the components of the car are working, to detect defects if any, and to establish that the car is in a good and safe-to-drive condition.
If you know a local mechanic, you can always ask for their help and ask them to accompany you to the dealership and inspect the car on the lot or at the seller’s location. If you don’t know anyone, just know that it’s a very common business and reliable mechanics or automobile repair services shops shouldn’t be too hard to find in your area- search online or ask relatives, friends or co-workers for referrals. Alternatively, if the dealership or the seller permits you to take the car off for an inspection then you can take to any mechanic or car inspection service provider. Most reputable auto dealerships (such as www.houstondirectauto.com) allow prospective customers to take cars off the lot for inspection usually with a salesperson to accompany you to the mechanic or automobile repair center of your choice.
The service of independent mechanics is usually fast and convenient especially if you are buying from a distance, or cannot make it to the inspection or if the Dealer/Seller objects to you taking the vehicle of the lot for an inspection. They would check the engine, transmission, suspension, wheels, and electrical systems of the car, and it’s overall condition and reliability. The mechanic should inspect the car against a checklist and generate a comprehensive report when he is done. Price could range from $99-$175 based on our research.
Almost all Auto repair shops offer pre-purchase inspection services. Mechanics can do a more comprehensive inspection at automobile repair shops due to the fact all their tools, equipment and scanners are easily accessible. With better technology and tools at their disposal they are able to do a detailed examination and inspect the undercarriage for bends, misalignments or frame damage, look for rust holes in the floor pan and exhaust system, evaluate the condition of the tires and shock absorbers, and look for issues with brake cylinders, axles, the radiator, and gas tank. Its best to find a service center that has technicians that are (ASE) certified (Automotive Service Excellence) or any other reputable certification.
A used car pre-purchase inspection can take up to several hours, and the cost usually starts at $100 and can be as high as $200. Before you decide to use the inspection service of a mechanic, examine and test drive the car yourself to ensure that the car is in good shape and in the actual condition the seller or dealer claims it to be; only then it would be worth taking it to a Mechanic for a more detailed analysis.
The inspection report would help you to better negotiate the price for the used car or help you walk away and look for another car. Sometimes it could make all the difference between getting a Lemon and finding a Gem. Good Luck in your used car search!