Have you found a used car that you believe meets your needs? Or one you’ve completely fallen for? To top it off, though, there’s a pit in your stomach because, well, it’s used. There’s no warranty and probably very little documentation of regular maintenance. You’ve heard horror stories from friends who bought cars they thought were a good deal. Then, they quickly found their savings account being drained because the brakes went bad or the fuel injectors clogged or, well, you name it.

We’d like to recommend a pre-purchase inspection before you drop your hard earned cash on that potential lemon. At McCormicks, we don’t want you to end up with a headache and offer free pre-purchase inspections. That’s right, free. As in no cost to you. Here’s what our  inspection looks like.

What our mechanics look at

First, we visually inspect the car. We cover the entire vehicle from front to back, top to bottom. We make note of anything that may be a concern. Next, we take the car for a short test drive to listen for noises and try to determine if there are issues with braking, steering and suspension. Once we’ve driven, the vehicle, we inspect the following items:

  • Wipers/washer fluid operation

  • Alignment/suspension issues (shocks, struts, chassis, steering components)
  • Heating and cooling system
  • Horn
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • Glass, mirror and body damage
  • Engine oil quality and level
  • Air filter and cabin air filter
  • Leaking fluids coming from the engine, transmission, power steering, differentials, brake fluid, coolant fluid system and any other items that may leak
  • Drivetrain including axles, driveshaft and u-joints
  • Brakes and tires (visual inspection)
  • Exhaust system
  • Belts, hoses and spark plugs

Basically, we do the same inspection that any car receives when it visits us for service.

What to expect when you bring a car in for a pre-purchase inspection

Inspection can take around 90 minutes depending on the quality of the vehicle. The worse the condition, the longer we will take, but usually we’re done in about 90 minutes.

What to expect when you bring a car in for a pre-purchase inspection

A pre-purchase inspection can take around 90 minutes depending on the quality of the vehicle. The worse the condition, the longer we will take, but usually we’re done in about 90 minutes.

Why we offer pre-purchase inspections

We want to make sure that you are not buying someone else’s problem vehicle and that you will have a safe and reliable vehicle that fits your needs. We do not want you to purchase a vehicle that is going to need thousands of dollars in repairs right away. If you do want to purchase the vehicle and it needs repairs then we offer an estimate for the repairs that were noted and will be more than happy to take care of those items for you.

Our main goal is to have a happy customer and help you feel confident in the purchase of the new vehicle. We know your vehicle is a large, long-term investment.

What if the car needs work?

As stated above, we provide you with a full estimate for the repairs that need to be made to the vehicle if there are any. You can also use this bit of information to help negotiate pricing with the seller.

For example: If you’re looking at a vehicle and the seller is asking $7,500 for it but it needs $3,000 worth of work, the vehicle is obviously not worth purchasing at the full asking price. We can help you with how to approach the seller and help you make a deal on the purchase. We will also pull a NADA value on the car to make sure that what you’re getting a fair deal.

We make it easy

You’re busy. We know it. Carving two hours out of your day to bring us a car and have it inspected can be a hassle. We’re fine if you drop it off and head back to work or home or shopping. We’ll communicate with you by email, text or phone to help you understand where we’re at with the inspection. And sometimes, we can arrange for you not to come by at all. We can sometimes get the salesman at the dealership to drop off and pick up the vehicle for the purchasing customer. We really try to help make it easy on you.

We do believe a pre-purchase inspection should be a requirement for anyone buying a used car. It sure can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. And if you run into a seller who’s not willing to do a pre-purchase inspection, well, we recommend you walk away from that car and find another one to suit your needs.

We make it easy

You’re busy. We know it. Carving two hours out of your day to bring us a car and have it inspected can be a hassle. We’re fine if you drop it off and head back to work or home or shopping. We’ll communicate with you by email, text or phone to help you understand where we’re at with the inspection. And sometimes, we can arrange for you not to come by at all. We can sometimes get the salesman at the dealership to drop off and pick up the vehicle for the purchasing customer. We really try to help make it easy on you.

We do believe a pre-purchase inspection should be a requirement for anyone buying a used car. It sure can save you a lot of headaches in the long run. And if you run into a seller who’s not willing to do a pre-purchase inspection, well, we recommend you walk away from that car and find another one to suit your needs.

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