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Ultimate Checklist for Pre-Purchase Auto Inspections

Buying a used car can be stressful, and if your chosen vehicle has not had a comprehensive inspection it can easily become a nightmare. A few simple questions, a sharp eye, and a trusted professional inspector can make all the difference. Prior to an in-depth inspection, it’s wise to ask the seller a few introductory questions about vehicle maintenance and repair history. Information regarding known problems or previous accidents should be disclosed at this time, including the reason for selling the vehicle. Here is a list of the most essential things that should be checked during a pre-purchase car inspection.

Inspect the Exterior

The paint should be checked for chips, flaking, or discoloration, and it should match on all of the panels. All body gaps should have the correct alignment. The hood as well as the trunk or hatch door should fit flush and open easily. Once done with the body, the glass and mirrors need to be inspected for cracks, scratches, chips, and functionality. See to it that the exterior lights function and are also free from cracks and chips.

Look Under the Hood

There shouldn’t be any leaks or loose and hanging parts, and the muffler, frame, and wheels shouldn’t have excessive rust. The tire treads should be worn evenly and the tire walls should be free of dry rot or cracks. All rubber bushings and gaskets should be free from rot and cracks as well. Radiator hoses should be soft and pliable, and the fan blades undamaged. Battery terminals must be free of any corrosion and residue with functioning clamps. Finally, all fluids need to have been kept full, and the dipsticks should not be discolored.

Check the Interior

While it may not seem very important, the interior should pass the same quality standards as the exterior and undercarriage. All power windows, seats, and mirrors should function smoothly, and all accompanying buttons and switches should be in working order. The key should be placed in the ignition and turned to the accessories function, then the radio should be turned on to check speaker sound quality. With the accessory function still on, all interior lights, windshield wipers, and signal and emergency flashers need to be tested. The heat and air conditioning should be tested, and the blower motor needs to be working at all levels. Make certain all seat belts are in good working order without any fraying or rips. The carpet and seats should be free from any visible water damage. If there is a sunroof, the seals and roof should be inspected for water damage or signs of leaking.

Take a Test Drive

The final part of a pre-purchase car inspection is the test drive. The vehicle should start easily and idle smoothly with no illuminated warning lights. There should not be any knocking or rattling, acceleration should be even, and the brakes should stop the car quietly, without excess vibration. The vehicle should handle well at all speeds up to 60 MPH and there should be no deterioration of performance.

To avoid buying a poorly maintained car, get a used car inspection from Lemon Squad. Our technicians can check the vehicle for a variety of issues. To schedule an appointment with one of our technicians, give us a call at 888-231-7965.

Why You Should Get an Inspection on a Used Luxury Vehicle

Having a certified and knowledgeable car inspection technician inspect a used car before committing to a purchase is the most important thing a prospective car buyer can do. Getting an inspection is especially important when considering a luxury car purchase, as some repairs and routine maintenance on high-end vehicles can be expensive. Luxury and high-end vehicles usually possess exceptionally advanced and complex mechanical and computer-controlled components, so it would be foolish not to have a professional evaluation on the overall condition of such a vehicle. Here are a few of the top reasons to get a used luxury vehicle inspected.

Avoid Getting Stuck with a Lemon

The main reason to get a used luxury car inspected is to make sure the car runs as advertised. Self-inspection of a luxury car or even a long and thorough test drive can in many cases fail to reveal serious underlying mechanical problems. A car inspection technician can quickly identify serious problems with a used vehicle that could be bad enough to dissuade you from making a purchase.

Gain Peace of Mind

Buying a luxury automobile with no inspection could leave you feeling unsettled and uncertain as to whether or not you made a sound purchase decision. Buyer’s remorse is particularly common when it involves used cars, especially if you have no idea about what the true mechanical state of such a car actually is.

Know What You’re Buying

Inspecting a used luxury car can help you understand exactly what you’re buying. An inspection can give you a detailed breakdown on the car in its entirety. With an inspection, you can determine the state of the brakes, clutch, transmission, and other vital components of a car that are most prone to wear and tear.

Find Out When Servicing Is Due

Routine maintenance and required servicing on a used luxury automobile can be extremely expensive, so much so that it could influence your decision to purchase the automobile. Through a certified used car inspection, you can find out when the automobile’s next round of servicing is due, what such servicing will cost, as well as what sort of servicing has been done on the car prior.

Leverage Your Negotiating Power

Once a documented inspection on a used car has been completed, you can use the information to help you negotiate a lower price on the car you’re considering purchasing. For example, if the car’s brakes and exhaust system are due for replacement or repair in the next 1,000 miles, research the price of such repairs and give that as a reason to make a lower offer on the car.

A used luxury car may be a good deal, but to make sure its maintenance doesn’t drain your bank account, get a pre-purchase car inspection from Lemon Squad. We have expert technicians who can check the car for a variety of issues. Give us a call today at 888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment with one of our representatives.

7 Things Used Car Inspectors Aren’t Able to Check

Getting a used car inspection from a professional before you buy is a good idea. A professional car inspection protects you by offering the kind of information you need to determine whether or not a car you’re looking at is worth purchasing. Inspectors check a long list of things relating to the car’s current condition, its value, and so forth. However, there are seven things car inspectors cannot check in the field.

1. Vehicle Emissions

Accurately checking vehicle emissions to ensure they adhere to state standards requires specialized equipment vehicle inspectors typically don’t have access to. Emissions testing is best left to certified garages licensed to carry out the work.

2. Engine Compression

Due to liability issues and the amount of mechanical work involved, it’s not possible for inspectors to check engine compression in the field. Moreover, sellers are not likely to approve such testing even if the liability and labor issues didn’t exist.

3. Anything Requiring a Lift

Because professional car inspectors are mobile by nature, any work requiring the use of a lift is out of the question. Inspectors can take a look at the underside of the car using mirrors and cameras, but what they are able to see is limited.

4. Brake Pad Condition

Professional car inspectors are not mechanics. Therefore, while they can check the functionality of a car’s braking system, they can’t remove wheels and calipers to check the condition of the brake pads. A cursory visual inspection might be possible if the car’s wheels have an open design.

5. Timing Belt Condition

The average timing belt cannot be properly inspected without removing a significant number of engine components. As such, car inspectors generally do not check timing belt condition. Unless a seller says otherwise, the buyer should assume the timing belt has never been changed.

6. Ownership and Lien History

The ownership and lien history of a car is recorded on its title. Mobile car inspectors do not have the means to access state title information in the field, so they cannot verify anything sellers say about ownership or liens. Such matters must be settled between seller and buyer.

7. Engine and Transmission Numbers

Car inspectors do not look for engine and transmission numbers unless they are readily visible. In vintage cars, these numbers are often located in hard-to-find places. Sellers and buyers have to work out between themselves a means by which the numbers will be identified and verified. Car inspectors also do not verify or decode VIN numbers.

Technicians can check a lot of things during a pre-purchase car inspection, but not everything. The inspector’s report is just one resource for determining whether or not to buy a used car. If you need an inspection on a used automobile, reach out to Lemon Squad today at 888-231-7965.

What to Expect When Getting a Car Inspection

What to Expect in a Motor Vehicle Inspection with Lemon Squad

Most states and jurisdictions require inspections to be done to ensure vehicles meet certain standards set by the government. Though most areas require motor vehicle inspections to be done annually for each driver, it is best to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get a more accurate understanding of the state’s law. Most states also have dedicated inspection stations where drivers can have their cars inspected by trusted professionals. You can also get a pre-purchase inspection if you’re thinking about buying a used vehicle and want to make sure it’s in good shape. The mechanics who inspect these vehicles can test for a variety of things. For instance, they can check to see if a vehicle meets safety regulations or emission regulations. Here’s what you can expect if you plan to get a used car inspection.

Safety Inspections

There are a variety of criteria vehicles need to meet to be deemed as safe to drive on public roads. During a safety inspection, mechanics check parts such as brakes and turn signals to determine if the car is safe enough for a driver, passengers, and other drivers on the road.

Emission Inspections

The Clean Air Act was first created in 1970, then enacted in its current form in 1990. The act was created to limit human and environmental exposure to air pollution. Since the creation of the act, the Environmental Protection Agency gained the responsibility of regulating pollutant emissions. Since states experience different pollution levels, some states do not require drivers to have their vehicles’ emissions inspected.

For drivers who live in states that do require emission inspections, also known as smog tests, their vehicles’ pollutant emissions are tested in several different locations of the vehicle. Emission inspection commonly occurs around the location of the catalytic converter, the device that disintegrates harmful chemicals created by an engine. For both of the above reasons, as well as for a variety of other reasons, it’s a good idea to have a used vehicle inspected before buying it.

An auto inspection is not a difficult challenge for most vehicles to pass. Most jurisdictions require inspections to ensure citizens continue to live in a safe and clean environment. Through routine and careful maintenance, you can avoid driving a vehicle that would be deemed as unsafe. If you fail an inspection, you will need to repair whatever parts of the car have failed. Vehicles that continue to fail inspections will be deemed by the state’s DMV as illegal to drive on public roads until they can pass the inspections. In some cases, inspections can be waived. If you get an inspection on a used vehicle and it determined there are a few serious issues, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the repairs to meet your states standards.

If you need to get an inspection on a used vehicle to make sure it’s not a lemon, reach out to Lemon Squad. We’ll send out the nearest technician to inspect the vehicle and address concerns you might have about its condition. Call 1-888-231-7965 to schedule an appointment.

6 Reasons You Should Get Your Vehicle Inspected

6 Reasons It's Important to Get Your Car Inspected in Lemond Squad

Inspections and maintenance involve timely and thorough diagnostic processes that ensure a vehicle conforms to set regulations and maintains optimal performance. If you own a car, you should always take it to a professional for checkups and repairs. Below are a few compelling reasons that should motivate every car owner to take his or her vehicle in for a thorough maintenance and car inspection process.

1. Reduce Pollution 

Pollutants emitted by cars contribute highly to global pollution, which affects the ozone layer. However, if you inspect and repair your vehicle in a timely fashion, it will not emit large amounts of toxic fluids and gases to the environment.

2. Boost Performance and Reliability

If you inspect your vehicle and make the necessary repairs, its performance will be excellent. A well-maintained car is always dependable when you need it. For instance, before leaving your home, you should check oil levels and other vital fluids. These simple tasks can help you prevent the wear and tear of the internal parts of your auto.

3. Get a Higher Resale Value 

When purchasing a used vehicle, customers always check its condition and service history. After servicing your car, keep the records in a secure place, as they will help you prove you have been servicing your vehicle. When potential buyers realize the service history of a used car is perfect, they may make a good offer.

4. Reduce the Risk of Roadside Emergencies 

Inspecting your vehicle regularly can help you discover even the smallest defects and complications that can ruin its performance. It is advisable to hire an experienced mechanic to check your car’s engine and help you determine if it needs repairs or not. Regular maintenance can boost your vehicle’s durability and decrease roadside emergencies that are likely to consume your time when traveling.

5. Increase Safety 

When traveling, safety should be your top priority. If you are driving a vehicle that has engine complications, you could cause an accident, leading to injuries or even death. Many road accidents occur due to engine failure, worn out brake systems, limited tire threads, and other errors. If you have your vehicle inspected before going on a road trip, you will be able to detect and rectify minor and major errors, which will keep you safer on the road and help you prevent accidents.

6. Save Money 

If you inspect and repair your vehicle frequently, you can prevent major engine malfunctions that could cost a lot of money to rectify. Additionally, detecting and preventing large-scale issues early can lower the cost of vehicle ownership.

Don’t hesitate to get an auto inspection for your vehicle if you’re concerned about its performance. Get in touch with Lemon Squad, a nationwide used car inspection provider. Call us today at 1-888-231-7965 to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives.