What is a Pre-Purchase Car Inspection?

Car Inspection

Are you in the process of buying a used car? Get a pre-purchase inspection! A pre-purchase inspection is a detailed evaluation of a car’s mechanical, cosmetic, and safety conditions before buying. This inspection is performed by a trained technician to make sure you get an accurate inspection from a qualified professional. 

By getting a pre-purchase inspection on your used car before buying, you will have all of the necessary information to make an informed and confident car buying decision. The checkpoints of a pre-purchase inspection can vary depending on who is performing it. Here is an overview of what SureSale covers in a pre-purchase inspection: 

Under the Vehicle 

The under the vehicle check focuses on frame, structure, suspension, and transmission. The technician will check the suspension system for any leaks and wear, and will check that the axle shafts are operating well with no sign of damage. 

It also includes an assessment of the wheels, tires and tread depth, which is critical to determine the safety of your car. A trained technician will check the tread depth of the tires, search for any dry-rot or excess wear on the sidewalls of the tires, and will confirm that the spare tire and tire repair kit are present and viable. In addition, the technician checks to make sure that the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is functional to alert you when the tire pressure is too low. The technician will even make sure that the tires are the same brand, the rims and wheel covers are in good condition, and that the jack and tools are correct, present, and secured. 

Under the Hood 

Checking under the hood assesses the vehicle’s fluid levels and ensures that there are no fluid leaks and all units are sealed. The technician will also check the belts and hoses to make sure they are free of discoloration and damage. This portion of the inspection will confirm whether or not the air conditioning and heating systems work properly, and if the battery needs to be replaced. 

This is important in making sure the engine coolant reservoir is working and preventing an overheated engine. The under the hood check is also for checking the car’s power steering, confirming that the electrical charging system is working properly, and that the car battery is the proper size. 

Wear & Tear 

Here, the technician will inspect the interior and exterior appearance of a used car. He or she will assess the paint, carpet, door panels, and seat upholstery and will document the vehicle’s quality appearance. This is an important part of the inspection since there could be excessive wear and tear, based on the year and condition of the car. 

Checking the wear and tear will tell you whether or not the car is in poor condition for its age. If a five year old car, for example, is in good condition with some minor wear and tear, that is to be expected for its age and should not turn you away from buying it. 

Interior & Exterior Operational Functions 

The technician will check the interior and exterior lighting to see if repairs or bulb replacements are needed. This includes checking the headlights, brake lights, and reverse lights, which are crucial to staying safe on the road. After this, the technician will assess the mirrors to make sure they are adjustable and not broken. This portion of the pre-purchase inspection is also focused on assessing the functionality of the horn, door operation, windows, and backup sensors.

The Importance of a Pre-Purchase Inspection 

A pre-purchase inspection is a necessary part of the used car buying process. Without it, you will have no way of truly knowing the condition of your car, and could risk overspending on a low quality, unsafe car. Not having this inspection performed could result in your car needing expensive unforeseen repairs, costing up to $600 on average, after driving off the lot. By paying for a pre-purchase inspection upfront, you will be sure that you’re buying a quality used car without having to worry about unforeseen issues coming up after it’s too late.  

Another benefit of having a pre-purchase inspection performed on a car is that it will tell you whether or not any repairs are currently needed on the car. Finding areas that need repairing may give you an opportunity to negotiate the asking price to include money for repairs, or even negotiate to have the repairs done before you buy the car. On the other hand, if the inspection shows that no repairs are needed, you will be even more confident in the quality of the car. 

When shopping for a used car, you may not always be presented with all the facts. A pre-purchase inspection is there to determine any unreported defects, potential issues that could come up in the future, and whether or not the car is worth it’s asking price

Get a SureSale 

With a SureSale vehicle quality report, not only will you get all of the information listed above, but you will also get a vehicle history report and road test. This way, you can be sure that you’re buying a quality used car.