Pre-Purchase Inspection: Five Common Issues Discovered

Five Common Issues Discovered During a Pre-Purchase Inspection

Before buying a used vehicle, it’s always a good idea to get a pre-purchase inspection. This simple step could potentially save you a lot of extra money. Here’s a list of five common issues that mechanics discover when performing an inspection.

Trouble Codes
When a vehicle’s onboard computer detects a problem, it will set a trouble code. In most instances, this should trigger the check engine light. Unfortunately, it’s easy for car owners and dealerships to temporarily turn off the check engine light. They simply need to disconnect the battery for a few minutes. This is a deceptive tactic that you must watch out for.

When performing a pre-purchased inspection, good mechanics always use a professional scan tool to uncover any hidden trouble codes. While the issue could be something simple, it never hurts to err of the side of caution. The last thing you want is to have to place an expensive component such as the catalytic converter.

Failing Turbocharger
Many of today’s newer vehicles are engineered with a turbocharger. This feature helps optimize performance without causing reduced fuel economy. However, turbochargers can fail sooner than expected when poorly maintained. The cost to replace one can be thousands of dollars.

This is yet another reason why you should invest in a pre-purchase inspection. Upon taking the car for a test drive, your mechanic can determine if the turbocharger is providing the necessary power boost. A cracked turbocharger can also cause smoke to be emitted from the exhaust.

Bad Sensors
Modern vehicles are designed with multiple sensors, which send critical information to the car’s ECU. If one of the sensors fails, you’re bound to encounter trouble at some point. Through diagnostic testing, your mechanic can make sure the various sensors are properly functioning.

Most sensors aren’t very expensive. The bad news is that some of them can be difficult to replace. This ultimately equates to a higher cost of repair.

Failing Alternator
A vehicle’s alternator is one of the most essential parts on a vehicle. If the alternator fails, the car can only be driven a short distance before it stalls. This component is responsible for powering several electronic parts, including the headlights and your A/C. Depending upon the vehicle’s specific make and model, the cost to install a new alternator can be more than $500.

A pre-purchase inspection will give you an extra degree of assurance. Auto technicians are able to test a vehicle’s entire charging system. They’ll know if the alternator is on its last leg.

Worn Transmission
Far too many drivers in Raleigh have bought used cars that have a bad automatic transmission. Few parts are more expensive to replace. After getting a pre-purchase inspection, you will know whether the vehicle’s drivetrain is in good condition.

Certified automotive technicians are trained to detect potential transmission problems, including harsh shifting and slipping. Even if the transmission is mechanically sound, it could still need a software update.


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