There are a lot of things to consider when you buy a car. What make, what model, what colour, how many seats, the fuel economy, and where to buy it from. But those are only the trivial considerations, the really important questions can only be answered by the experts. Things like the safety of the vehicle, if it has been in an accident before, and if it performs well in crash tests.
When purchasing a vehicle you should strongly consider investing in a Pre Purchase Inspection (PPI) report. This report will help you to narrow down the best vehicle to buy. When there are so many used cars out there on the market, it will help you weed out the lemons!
Let’s look at this service in greater detail…
When Do You Need One?
A pre-purchase inspection does not come free, so it is best to only have one conducted on serious purchase prospects. You can do a bit of DIY work beforehand, to see if it is actually worth buying the car in the first place. Check these things…
Look for signs of leakage corrosion or damage
A recently cleaned engine could be a sign of good maintenance or trying to hide something
Check the oil – if it is thick and black it may not have been maintained well. If it is low on oil then there could be an oil leak or a consumption problem
Rev the engine, give it a good go, as a worn engine will smoke at higher revs
Look for obvious rust patches
If the vehicle passes all of these DIY tests and you still like the look of it, then it is time to invest in a PPI.
What Can A PPI Tell You?
Because a PPI test is undertaken by a certified professional, you can be sure of the results you receive from it. They will…
Run Diagnostic tests on your compression and head gasket
Check to see if there is evidence of recent panel work, corrosion or vehicle stripping. Any of these things could mean that the car has been damaged in the past.
Verify there are no leaks from any part of the vehicle – the engine, drivetrain, or cooling system
Test the battery life
Check the electronic diagnostic system for any warning lights or faults
Complete a road test to check the transmission, driveline and brakes
A Word Of Caution
A PPI is a great way to weed out an obviously bad car. But the tester can only look at the car in front of them on the day. If any issues arise later down the track, they cannot always be predicted at a PPI. They can, however, highlight the things they see to you. Aspects that might be of concern, or the potential for future issues.
A PPI tester cannot definitively tell you whether or not you should purchase a car. That final decision and responsibility rest with you.