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Pre-Purchase Inspection

Purchasing a used vehicle extra steps regardless if you purchase from an individual or a car lot. Close scrutiny helps ensure a better investment. We offer the following guidelines."

First, know your budget and your needs. Until these are addressed every vehicle is a candidate. Because it's so easy to "fall in love" with a car, one must be objective.

Know approximately what it's worth. Most libraries and banks have a used car appraisal guide, Kelly Blue Book a valuable negotiating tool. If you're not familiar with the business end of an automobile, do your shopping with someone who is.

Assuming you'll be looking at a number of possibilities, begin with a chart with which you can list each vehicle's description, pros and cons, and owner's phone number.

Our evaluation includes a number of items:

Visual Examination - Open all doors including the hood and trunk. Check for rust, weld marks, or a bent frame. Examine the muffler, tail pipe and exhaust pipe.

Under The Hood - Check fluids. Examine hoses and belts for wear. We inspect for routine maintenance upkeep of the vehicle.

Electrical System - Starting and charging system, ignition system, fuel system and all accessories such as gauges, radio, wipers, etc. are inspected. We also Check the horn and all lights.

Trunk - Is there a spare tire? Is it usable? Does it have a working jack?

Interior - Badly worn upholstery and carpeting indicate neglect and heavy usage.

Engine - We road test the vehicle for highway performance. We inspect all major on board systems, including cooling system, AC, & engine controls. We also check for unusual sounds.

Drive Train is 1st inspected during road test, then inspected in the shop for potential problems..

Suspension - Front and Rear.

Steering - All front end components are inspected for movement and wear.

Tires - We examine tread and general condition. We look for signs of front end / suspension problems by examining the tire wear patterns.

Brakes - Brake system is physically examined for

Another factor is odometer mileage,

Ask for service records. Many private owners proudly display their maintenance history books as a selling point. A new car dealer may provide this information if the vehicle originally was purchased and serviced there.

When you've narrowed the field and made your final choice, invest in a comprehensive inspection by a qualified technician. If everything is A-OK, you have peace of mind. If there's a problem and you still want the vehicle, you may be able to negotiate repairs and/or a discounted price.

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