What is a Pre-Purchase Inspection?

Oct 21, 2019

Remember that feeling when you first bought your new car? Well, new to you. You felt so excited about your cool new whip but also a little nervous because you’ve spent money on a car that was owned by someone else for a few years. The car was super clean, drove great, and was an upgrade from what you were driving before.  You got the report from the dealership that said it was well cared for by the previous owner and everything is up to date. Maybe they even showed you the CarFax report that showed it was never in an accident. They even hooked you up with a free soda or cup of coffee while you were shopping. But there is a sticker on the car that notes “Vehicle sold as-is.” You hope that a reputable dealership wouldn’t sell an old piece of junk. All completely reasonable and very common thoughts.  

However, there is a chance that used car dealership is selling an old piece of junk for cheap. We don’t typically go buy a new refrigerator just because we want a new one. At least most people don’t. We wait until something is wrong with the old one. Why is a car any different? Unless the selling dealer decided to reach into their potential profits and service anything and everything that car needs, it probably still requires whatever the previous owner traded it in for. 

Contrary to popular belief, the dealership does not have to take care of a vehicles’ maintenance before they sell it.  Technically they don’t even have to fix any safety concerns that aren’t already issued out in some recall.  Many dealerships will handle certain items, but they aren’t required to by law.  In fact, they may not even know that there is a problem with the car their selling. They could have easily bought in on trade, had it detailed, and may have stuck it back on the lot that same day.  This is where the “As-is” sign comes into play.  It protects them from having to spend money on major repairs or updates. 

Contact Shade Tree Auto for a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Most reputable dealers will allow an outside inspection to be performed on a vehicle before buying. In many cases, the selling dealer will even deliver it for the inspection. At Shade Tree Auto, we perform pre-purchase inspections and can put the car through the ringer. Inspecting anything and everything that the car is equipped with to ensure it’s safe and worth your hard earned money. 

During a pre-purchase inspection, we will check the cars filters, fluids, tires, brakes, and safety equipment. But we’ll also scan the vehicle for fault codes. Did you know that a modern vehicle can have up to 200 on-board computers?  There can be a lot of hidden data in there that may help you with your decision. We’ll also check all the accessories.  Do all the doors lock and unlock? Do the windows and child locks all work? How about checking if all the spare tire equipment is still in the car, in the correct place.  It’s 90 degrees out that day and of course you ran the A/C on your test drive, but did you check the heater?  Probably not because it’s not at the forefront of your mind.  That’s ok, we’ll check it for you. 

The modern car has so many features and functions, it’s impossible to list them all.  Fortunately for you, we’re familiar with most and we know how they should work.  We can help give you peace of mind before you buy. Not only will we check your car before buying, if we find something that needs attention you walk away with greater negotiating power for the price of the vehicle. Contact us today to learn more about our pre-purchase inspections.