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Get It Inspected

I know. When you want something you want it now. That very much applies to most of us when we are buying a vehicle. Unfortunately the sales person will take advantage of that by providing quick answers to all the things that get in the way of finishing a sale. Right now!

Most of us would not buy a house without getting a home inspection done. Yes, a house is a much more expensive purchase than a vehicle. A vehicle is probably the second most expensive thing next to a house though.

I am going to tell you that unless you are buying a brand new vehicle you need to get it inspected by a third party. That means not by the shop connected to the dealership but by an independent party that has no connection whatsoever.

Yes, many dealers will tell you all their used vehicles are safety inspected. Let me tell you that a vehicle can be safe and still need a lot of maintenance and repairs. Especially future maintenance and repairs. Especially near future maintenance and repairs.

First and foremost let us talk about brakes. A brake pad (the part that squeezes against the brake rotor to provide friction to stop your car) has approximately twelve millimetres of braking material when new. When worn down to two millimetres it is time to replace those brake pads.

Guess what? Two millimetres of brake pad is just as safe as twelve millimetres. With two millimetres left you need new brakes next month or next week. That will cost you. Two millimetres of tire tread depth is considered safe based on our provincial standards. Driving on rain soaked roads with two millimetres of tread depth is far from safe.

Maybe you will be dissuaded from an inspection by being assured that the vehicle comes with a warranty. Maybe you will even buy that warranty.

Warranties have fine print. Reading fine print is for young people with good eyes and good comprehension. Warranties won't cover everything. They definitely do not cover maintenance of items that wear out, like brakes and clutches.

An independent mechanic’s shop can really give you an unbiased opinion on a vehicle you are looking at purchasing. Even better is finding an independent mechanic that specializes in the type of vehicle you are considering purchasing.

This inspection should include road testing. In this day and age a professional scan tool should be used. Checking for codes throughout the computer network on modern vehicles is a necessary procedure. Great insight into many of the electronic computer systems is available. Looking and being able to decipher the data and information from a professional scan tool can point out current and pending failure of components and systems.

Your potential new machine will go up on a hoist for close inspection. The wheels will come off to thoroughly assess the braking system. Small leaks or weeping seals are not unsafe. Small leaks can turn into bigger ones. Big leaks can be costly.

Don’t succumb to pressure and getting the deed done. Do your due diligence. Get a pre-purchase inspection.

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