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You are always taking a risk when you buy a used car. You usually do not know what the vehicle has previously been through or how it has been treated by previous owners. You would like to assume that you can trust the person that is selling you the vehicle to tell you all the correct information about the car. However, the truth is that they may not really know much about the car or they may intentionally not tell you the facts you need to know.

It is really up to the buyer to try to sort out any issues with the car so they can make an informed decision. There are always the Car Fax Reports that may be useful in disclosing if the car has been wrecked or if the vehicle has been in a flood, two important facts in making good car buying decisions. However, even these reports are only as good as the information that was put in the reports and falsifying these reports are not uncommon.

So what is a buyer with limited mechanical experience to do? The best advise that I can give you is to take the vehicle to a trusted mechanic that can do a Pre-Purchase Inspection on the vehicle before you buy the car. Most dealers will be happy for you to do this. If for some reason the dealer will not allow this, then this throws up a RED FLAG and should make you ask yourself "What are they hiding?". A vehicle that is being sold by a dealer with NO WARRANTY also lets you know that this may be a risky vehicle.

A Pre Purchase inspection will not guarantee that all possible issues that a vehicle may have are identified during this inspection. All that can be determined is the condition at the present time and identifiable possible needed repairs in near future. What a Pre Purchase Inspection does do is give you lots of information about the vehicle that will help you make an informed decision and possible information to help you negotiate the price of the vehicle. It is better to spend a little money up front to find out the issues rather than taking a gamble and finding that you are faced with major vehicle issues that you did not expect.

Our Technicians at Paul's Automotive Service & Repair are highly trained to identify problems that the vehicle may have. There are several levels of Pre-Purchase Inspections that we can do. The first type is a quick overview that we do--a 27 point inspection involves putting the car up on a lift and eyeball everything to see if there are any obvious problems. This takes about 30 minutes and we offer this Free to our previous customers and a minimal charge for others. A more thorough Pre-Purchase Inspection, which we recommend, can also be performed. This inspection involves removing the wheels, test driving, looking for past or present computer codes, and more indept inspection of all systems. This type of inspection takes approximately one hour. 

For more information check out the article on the 10 things you need to get checked before purchasing a vehicle.