Buying a used car is always a bit risky; you never know what surprises might be hiding under the hood or chassis. That’s why it’s smart to get a thorough vehicle inspection before making a purchase. But not all inspections are created equal. Here are three key questions to ask first to ensure the vehicle inspection provides maximum insight into the car’s true condition.
1. What Systems Will You Inspect?
First and foremost, you’ll want to know exactly what systems and components the mechanic will inspect so that there are no unpleasant shocks later. At a minimum, you’ll want them to thoroughly inspect the engine, transmission, drivetrain, brakes, steering, suspension, electrical components, and emissions. You may also want to request that they look over the air conditioning, heating system, and power accessories like windows and locks, which commonly have issues in older cars. The more boxes checked, the better picture you’ll have of what you’re getting into with the car.
2. Which Fluids Will You Check?
Many common vehicle problems can be detected through fluid checks long before total component failure occurs. Therefore, make sure the vehicle inspection includes the examination of all major fluids, including engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. Check fluid levels indicate leaks as well as condition, which can reveal issues like oil burning or contamination. You want fresh fluids that meet factory specifications, not heavily worn or compromised fluids needing immediate replacement.
3. Will You Road Test the Vehicle?
While an inspection performed on a lift can catch many mechanical issues, it’s important that the vehicle also be driven on real roads, not just revved in neutral. A test drive allows the inspector to check functional items like steering, acceleration, and brakes in realistic conditions. They may detect vibrations, odd noises, or balance issues you’d never notice with stationary testing alone. Don’t be afraid to accompany them on the road test if possible so you can provide a second set of ears and eyes.
Getting a car professionally inspected is one of the smartest things you can do to help you determine the condition of the vehicle and what repairs may be needed in the near future. But not all inspections give you the complete picture. Asking the right questions beforehand ensures the vehicle inspection is comprehensive and provides detailed findings, so you know precisely what condition the car is in and what to expect down the road. Additionally, be sure to check maintenance records. According to MyCarNeedsA.com, a used car with a service history is 23% more valuable than one without regular maintenance. Call Myers Automotive today to schedule your vehicle inspection or any car maintenance or repairs you may need.