Final inspection

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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

You shouldn't buy a used vehicle without first having it inspected. One option is taking the car to a diagnostic center that will check virtually every aspect and component of a car. They may be more expensive than an independent mechanic, but they may also be more thorough. An inspector at a diagnostic center will conduct a full inspection of the car and then complete a used car condition report. The report consists of an eighty point inspection of the car including a mechanical check of the engine and drive train. It also includes a thorough examination of the interior and exterior. While a condition report does not certify the vehicle you are buying or provide any type of warranty, you will gain the benefit of an independent opinion from an automobile expert on the overall condition of the vehicle. In addition to or in place of this inspection, it may also be beneficial to have the car checked out by a mechanic you trust. Request a compression test, battery and charging test, frame inspection, fluid leakage inspection, alignment and suspension check, and brake inspection. It may also be helpful for the mechanic to test drive the car to observe engine transmission performance. The mechanic should then print up a detailed statement listing any problems. If you take a vehicle to both an independent mechanic and a professional auto inspector, you will have two reports to reference; Learning as much as you can about the car will help you make a more informed decision when buying.

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