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Old 11-18-2014, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Washington
479 posts, read 1,800,110 times
Reputation: 251

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I have bought and sold a lot of used cars via private party and have only had two people ask about taking my car to a mechanic (I said yes) and only one person actually did it. The maintenance records usually speak for themselves. I usually spend a fair amount of time looking through the receipts and also follow my gut regarding how I feel about the seller.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,702 posts, read 10,765,304 times
Reputation: 14876
From a private seller I always do.

I can take it to a shop I have done biz with since '88...they
will look at everything but engine stuff....and that's alot.
So it is $25 for my private,' at home shop' guy to hook up the
engine to all sorts of computerized meters...and do an eyeball check, also.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:06 AM
 
3,046 posts, read 2,640,724 times
Reputation: 2122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miss Hepburn View Post
From a private seller I always do.

I can take it to a shop I have done biz with since '88...they
will look at everything but engine stuff....and that's alot.
So it is $25 for my private,' at home shop' guy to hook up the
engine to all sorts of computerized meters...and do an eyeball check, also.
In the old days of the 70's and 80's I took a magnet and warped a pice of cloth around it and tested the body of the car. If it did not stick I knew it was bondo or fiberglass. Some people say never in a wreck I would catch them in a lie.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Southwestern, USA
12,702 posts, read 10,765,304 times
Reputation: 14876
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vannort54 View Post
In the old days of the 70's and 80's I took a magnet and wrapped a piece of cloth around it and tested the body of the car.
If it did not stick I knew it was bondo or fiberglass.
Some people say never in a wreck I would catch them in a lie.
You're so smart.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Eastern PA
1,263 posts, read 4,288,164 times
Reputation: 1154
I always took the used cars I bought in the past to my mechanic. The dealer just let me take the car, but in the one case where I bought privately, the owner was willing to accompany me to the garage and wait there. In the case of the private sale, my mechanic noticed some suspension issues which the owner did not seem aware of and the seller made a price adjustment for me to have those taken care of.

Now that our county in PA has emissions, the inspection is even more critical IMO. I have the mechanic hook the car up to the emissions machine to see if it is throwing any codes or if it has been reset recently. This could mean something very costly such as a catalytic converter or O2 sensors. Again, I would use this as a negotiating point if the rest of the car checked out, but you simply cannot be too careful with used cars.

My son is now a mechanic, so of course I will take him along the next time I purchase a car. I would go as far as to say that no inspection, no sale when it comes to a used car, especially a private sale.
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:12 AM
 
4,429 posts, read 3,115,011 times
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In most states where emissions or inspections are required, seller has to get car passed before being able to legally sell the car
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,990 posts, read 3,092,880 times
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Before you buy a house, you pay for a House Inspection, right?
Of course, this depends on the amount of money in play. If you are buying a "beater" for $500, then it's not worth spending $100 to have it examined.

But if you're buying a $40,000 for $20,000, then $100 is a very VERY cheap rip-off insurance.

RE: How & who?
Google Maps: "Pre-Purchase Used Car Inspection near me"
will list places that specialize in drive-up, do it right now, inspections.
There are even several franchise chains that do only this:
Providing Nationwide Car Inspection Services | Carz Inspection
https://www.carchex.com/car-inspecti...d=1105&paid=23
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,635,498 times
Reputation: 9178
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
How about just getting Firestone's Winter Care Package for $9.99?

$9.99 Winter Car Care Package | fcac-checkup-12 | Firestone Complete Auto Care

They have a complete vehicle inspection included.
Terrible idea. Do you realize that this is just a paid invitation for Firestone to try to sell you $$$ of repairs, most unnecessary?
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Old 11-18-2014, 12:03 PM
 
4,429 posts, read 3,115,011 times
Reputation: 5262
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Terrible idea. Do you realize that this is just a paid invitation for Firestone to try to sell you $$$ of repairs, most unnecessary?
Firestone would probably point out over $5000 worth of repairs. Great idea to get car at discounted rate

"Yeah, your car needs new johnson rods and blinker fluid. And oh yeah, transmission is slipping so we'll need to get a new one in there ASAP?
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Old 11-18-2014, 05:16 PM
 
379 posts, read 240,625 times
Reputation: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by G-fused View Post
I know nothing about cars. I'm considering buying a used car from a private seller and someone said that it's standard to take it to a mechanic to have it checked out before buying and that they would charge something like $100 to make sure it's ok.

I mean I don't get it. Find a car that looks good, find a mechanic that is close by, go to a person's place, test drive the car, if I like it tell him/her that I want to take it to a mechanic, then go to a local one...would they just drop what they are doing and turn their attention to me and do it on the spot?

Is this something people do when buying used from a private seller?
I would definitely do it. I'm in a similar situation, know nothing about cars and I got burned pretty badly last year. Car seemed fine but after a short time it became clear there was a lot of deferred maintenance and it ended up being a money pit. Then you end up deciding whether to put more money in and get some use or just cut your losses and it's not easy.

If I buy another used car I'm definitely, definitely going to get a mechanic to check it out first. Any seller that won't allow this, you just go to the next one. I'm seriously considering buying a new car if I can get decent financing because this experience was so heinous. They always say buying a new car is the worst investment in the world and that's mostly true but if there's ever a time to buy one, it's when you don't know much about car and can't do repairs yourself (which is my case).
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