Category Archives: General

Pre Purchase Inspection of Used Vehicles

vehicle-history-check pre-purchase inspection

Buying a used car is a great way to save money. However, before you make a used car purchase, it is important to know that the vehicle is safe and is not in need of major and costly repairs. By getting a used car inspection you can have a much stronger sense of the shape of your potential used car.

What a Used Car Inspection Should Cover

A thorough check-up examines mechanical, safety, and appearance aspects, such as the vehicle’s:

  • Tires.
  • Frame.
  • Suspension.
  • Glass.
  • Lights.
  • Brakes.
  • Radiator.
  • Hoses.
  • Belts.
  • Fluids.
  • Battery.
  • Body condition.
  • Exterior surface.

 

The best inspections include a road test and a computerized engine analysis. Some comprehensive examinations also evaluate the condition of the instrument controls, pedals, seats, and sound system.

 

vehicle-history-check pre-purchase inspection

 

 Get a Vehicle History Report

Vehicle inspection reports are inexpensive and contain a wealth of information about the used car you’re considering. The most important information you’ll find in any report is

  • Registration records – Know if the used vehicle was imported from out of state (or country). Most importantly, find out immediately if the car is stolen. (Obviously unlikely, but important to know!)
  • Vehicle title / branding (major accidents) – Know whether the car has been in a major accident. At the very least, you should take this into account when considering the purchase price. Also be aware that even if the car has been fully repaired, there may be lingering effects down the road, and its eventual resale value will be impacted as well. Inspection is even more critical in this case!
  • Liens – How would you like to have your new car repossessed to cover the previous owner’s bad debts? If that doesn’t sound like fun, all the more reason to get a history report on the used car you’re considering.

Factory Warranties and Dealerships and the LAW

Do I have to use the dealer for repairs and maintenance to keep my warranty in effect?

 

No.

An independent mechanic, a retail chain shop, or even you yourself can do routine maintenance and repairs on your vehicle. In fact, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is enforced by the FTC, makes it illegal for manufacturers or dealers to claim that your warranty is void or to deny coverage under your warranty simply because someone other than the dealer did the work. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select repair facilities if the repair services are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.

 

That said, there may be certain situations where a repair may not be covered. For example, if you or your mechanic replaced a belt improperly and your engine is damaged as a result, your manufacturer or dealer may deny responsibility for fixing the engine under the warranty. However, according to the FTC, the manufacturer or dealer must be able to demonstrate that it was the improper belt replacement — rather than some other defect — that caused the damage to your engine. The warranty would still be in effect for other parts of your car.

 

after market versus oem auto parts

Will using ‘aftermarket’ or recycled parts void my warranty?

 

No.

An ‘aftermarket’ part is a part made by a company other than the vehicle manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer. A ‘recycled’ part is a part that was made for and installed in a new vehicle by the manufacturer or the original equipment manufacturer, and later removed from the vehicle and made available for resale or reuse. Simply using an aftermarket or recycled part does not void your warranty. The Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act makes it illegal for companies to void your warranty or deny coverage under the warranty simply because you used an aftermarket or recycled part. The manufacturer or dealer can, however, require consumers to use select parts if those parts are provided to consumers free of charge under the warranty.

 

Still, if it turns out that the aftermarket or recycled part was itself defective or wasn’t installed correctly, and it causes damage to another part that is covered under the warranty, the manufacturer or dealer has the right to deny coverage for that part and charge you for any repairs. The FTC says the manufacturer or dealer must show that the aftermarket or recycled part caused the need for repairs before denying warranty coverage.

 

 

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