Pre Purchase Inspections
Are You Worried That Buying A Second Hand Car Could Cost You A Whole Lot More Than You Can Afford?
Even if your second hand car comes with a roadworthy certificate and warranty, there’s no guarantee that expensive service and repair bills aren’t lurking around the corner. Roadworthy certificates are a basic safety inspection that render a vehicle safe for road use, and warranties do not cover general wear and tear such as tyres, brakes, belts or hoses. The only sure fire way to guarantee peace of mind is to have us perform a thorough pre purchase vehicle inspection.
Our Incredible Guarantee (that no one else offers you)… If You Have Car Problems Within 12 Months Of A Pre Purchase Inspection At Carite Auto Repairs, We’ll Fix It For Free**
Why Should I Get A Pre Purchase Inspection?
- A roadworthy certificate is a Basic Safety Inspection of a motor vehicle that renders it Safe For Road Use. A roadworthy certificate does not let you know how worn the components of a motor vehicle are, its a basic pass or fail test where the requirements to pass are to meet or exceed the manufacturers minimum specification.
- Even the best, top of the range, platinum plated solid gold warranty, does not cover general wear and tear items such as tyres, brakes, belts or hoses.
- Aftermarket vehicle warranties do not cover head gaskets, which are the most common cause of engine failure.
- Cars somehow seem to have a way of knowing when the warranty period is over, because you can almost guarantee a minor fault wont turn into a problem until the warranty runs out.
- A thorough vehicle inspection and report along with a written quote for all required and up-coming repairs can be a valuable bargaining tool when negotiating on the price of your new vehicle.
What’s Covered In A Pre Purcase Vehicle Inspection?
- Tyre condition inflation and wear pattern.
- Brake operation and condition report including handbrake, brake pad and rotor thickness, brake fluid condition,fluid leaks, hoses and lines, ABS operation.
- Steering and suspension check for play, wear in bushes/ball joints/tie rod ends, shock absorber condition, rack/box for play and leaks, pump/hoses for leaks, deterioration, fluid condition.
- Cooling system for leaks, hose condition, coolant condition and correct operation.
- Belts for deterioration, tensioner and idler pulleys for noise/wear.
- Timing belt history/due date.
- Service history for maintenance records/missed services.
- Engine condition including engine noise, smoke, leaks, correct operation/performance, compression test (may be extra cost if manifolds etc require removal for access to spark plugs)
- Transmission and final drive for noise,correct operation,smooth shifts, leaks, fluid condition and levels.
- Exhaust system for correct operation, leaks and corrosion.
- Electrical components, lights, horn, washers, wipers, power windows, central door locking, SRS systems, scan PCM for fault codes.
- Underbody check for damage, corrosion or previous repairs.
- Body inspection for visual damage, paint matching, evidence of previous repairs, corrosion, general condition.
- Interior for correct operation or doors, windows, seats and restraints, heating system and a/c, instruments and guages, audio system, interior lighting, general wear and condition.
- Road test for correct performance and handling, noises, wheel alignment, brake pedal and handbrake travel and operation.
Here’s an example of exactly why you should get a pre purchase inspection “before” you buy a used vehicle.
In Australia the minimum tread depth of a tyre is 1.5mm across the entire treaded area of a tyre. If a safety inspection is performed on a vehicle and all tyres are at 1.8mm, the car is considered to be safe and therefor the tyres will pass a roadworthy certificate. Needless to say if you bought this car you would be up for 4 new tyres almost immediately and with the cost of tyres on some cars today, particularly Four Wheel Drive Tyres and Run Flat Tyres fitted to some European vehicles, you could be up for an extra couple of thousand dollars before you know it.
Now worn tyres are generally easy to spot if you know what you are looking for, but what about something more conspicuous like the brakes for example.
Lets say that the manufacturer of a motor vehicle specifies 1mm as the minimum brake pad thickness and 22mm as the minimum brake rotor thickness, and the brake pads and rotors are even just slightly above the minimum specified thickness’. The brake components would also be considered “safe” and can not fail a safety certificate. That’s not to say that they don’t need replacing in the immediate future at a cost of possibly several hundreds of dollars.
Or even worse…. What if there was a slight oil weep from the rear of the engine. A weep differs from an oil leak in which a weep is an oil stain, is not wet and does not drip. This particular weep does not cover any engine mounts, suspension bushes, brake components or hoses and technically does not render the vehicle unsafe in any way and therefor rightly passes a safety certificate. It just so happens that in a few months time this weep turns into a leak, a rear main oil seal leak at that. This would mean that the transmission would have to be removed to replace the seal. On some vehicles this can be a major job costing several hundreds of dollars. Lets just say that when you remove the transmission you discover that the clutch is about 70% worn. Since the labour cost to remove the gearbox is so large, you would be mad not to replace the clutch while the gearbox is out, to save going through the exercise again in another few months time. Only problem is the cost of some late model clutch kits (particularly dual mass flywheel type units where the flywheel is prone to failure and is unable to be machined), can be in excess of $1500.
Now imagine that you just traded your trusty old faithful in for the above vehicle. You’ve done everything right, researched your car, bought from a reputable dealer, and paid extra for warranty.
But still, your beloved new $20,000 baby soon turns into a $25,000 nightmare, and all of a sudden paying a couple hundred dollars for a thorough pre purchase inspection sounds like a pretty good investment.