Pre-Purchase Inspections

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When should I look at getting a pre-purchase Inspection?

We believe that if you are buying a used car, regardless if it is from a used car yard or a private sale, a pre-purchase inspection should be a high priority!

A car is the 2nd biggest purchase we make, so we want to ensure that when you are buying a used car, you are getting the best quality for your money. Researching and testing are very important before you proceed with such an important buy. Buying a vehicle that has a safety certificate (roadworthy) DOES NOT give you an overall picture of the vehicle’s condition. For example, the vehicle’s brakes may pass a roadworthy, BUT they still may need replacing within 5,000 to 10,000 klms. And this is the same with tyres or anything else that a safety certificate doesn’t tell you! So before you make sure you know all about the car you are buying before you buy it!

So what exactly is a pre-purchase inspection?

Pre-purchase inspections are done by mechanics and it involves physical checks, system checks, engine, and mechanical checks, and sometimes a test drive. They will be checking for unusual noises, movements in the car components, the condition of those components, fluid levels and conditions, and much more. A full Master Pre-Purchase Inspection will go through pretty much every nook and cranny of the car and perform a detailed inspection with a report. They will thoroughly examine and evaluate the vehicle to confirm that it’s in good condition. AND get photos if you can too from your mechanic!

Here is a list of parts that are usually checked during a pre-purchase inspection:

  • Exterior – Windshield, and windows should be free from cracks, dents, or scratches in the body, doors will be inspected to see if they close properly and lights will be tested if they are fully functional.
  • Interior – All seats and seat belts should be functioning. Air conditioning, stereo, heater, door locks, and gauges should be working. The dashboard should also be in good condition.
  • Engine – Filters, exhaust pipes, and the car battery will be checked. The engine should not have any form of leaks, unwanted odors, and any corrosion.  Also checking on the condition of the fluids and if there is a service book to show services have been regular and on time (invoices from previous services are even better because they are proof it has been done because anyone can stamp a logbook).
  • Transmission – Shifting gears should be smooth without any difficulties and transmission fluid should be clean.
  • Suspension – The vehicle should be leveled, doesn’t bounce and no creaking noises.
  • Tyres – Wheel balance, alignment, and any cuts or cracks will be checked. They will also inspect if the tyres are uneven or worn out.
  • Brakes – Should be comfortable and do not make any noises when stepped on. The vehicle should not stop abruptly or slide off when hitting the brakes.
  • Steering – There should be no resistance or noises when making turns and steering should be stable.

You’re probably asking “Do I really need to do it?”

First of all, it’s your right as a buyer to do an inspection first on anything you wish to purchase, regardless if you are purchasing from a used car yard (they might not and probably don’t know the full history of the vehicle) or from a private seller. Pre-purchase inspections will provide you with an accurate evaluation before you go making a huge purchase decision like this. When it comes to vehicles, it is necessary that you know the actual condition so you can be assured that you will be purchasing a safe and reliable vehicle. Knowing the early signs of damages will also help in making sure you don’t end up spending more on repairs than the actual cost of the car.

A pre-purchase inspection is all about assurance. It does come at a cost but it will be very beneficial in the long run.

Should you need a pre-purchase inspection, Ipswich City Mechanical offers pre-purchase inspection.  See below for more info on what is covered in each inspection: