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April 2020

Pre/Post Purchase Inspections

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If you do not purchase new vehicles, a pre-purchase inspection is absolutely essential. Apart from regular oil and filter services, nothing has the potential to save you more money in the long term. Orient Auto Service recommends it before purchasing any vehicle that is not being sold under the manufacturer’s “Pre-Owned Certified” plan.*  One of the most difficult parts of our job is explaining to a client that they were overcharged, sold an unsafe vehicle, or otherwise taken advantage of. Sadly, when we inspect vehicles that have already been purchased, the majority need at least $1000 in maintenance and repairs.

Our pre-purchase inspection is very similar to the detailed inspection performed by dealers during the manufacturer’s pre-owned certification process. A post-purchase inspection is essentially the same, but performed after the vehicle has been purchased.

Once we have completed our inspections, the results will be provided to the potential buyer that includes a list of needed services, repairs and potential upcoming expenses.

In addition to the Full Vehicle Inspection, Pre or Post Purchase inspections include:

  • Complete Exterior Inspection – Inspect general body condition
  • Complete Interior Inspection – Confirm that the spare tire, tools, interior trim and restraints are present (and in working order), check for mold, headliner condition, all interior controls, gauges, lighting, climate control, etc.
  • Check engine components such as electrical systems (battery, alternator, starter), spark plug condition, visible wiring and connector conditions, check for leaks, check all fluids, engine air filter, etc.
  • Drivetrain and Chassis Inspection – includes bumper to bumper undercarriage inspection, frame, exhaust, suspension, brakes & tires
  • Functional Test of Vehicle Systems – Confirm that the warning lights, controls, infotainment functions, seat controls, switches and other items are in working order.
  • Road Test – Drive the vehicle at a variety of speeds, while inspecting the operation of the engine, transmission, driveline, brakes, suspension and steering.
  • Diagnostic System Test – Communicate with all vehicle systems and check for diagnostic trouble codes.
  • Check all Fluids

Call us with any questions or to schedule an inspection.  503-667-3900

*Many new and used car dealers use some version of the phrase “Certified Pre-Owned”, but an actual manufacturer-certified pre-owned vehicle will only be sold by a dealer of the same make (only Toyota dealers can sell Toyota certified pre-owned vehicles, for example). The certification process begins with detailed inspection. Any maintenance or repairs needed are typically performed before the vehicle is put up for sale. If the vehicle has a “restored/salvage” title or evidence of major collision damage, they are not eligible for the program. The details vary by manufacturer, but certified pre-owned vehicles almost always include an extension of the factory warranty. In rare cases, we have found issues with vehicles from those programs, but they are generally safe to purchase without an independent inspection. Certified vehicles are usually more expensive, but the cost is partially offset by the additional warranty coverage, lack of immediate maintenance and repair costs, and peace of mind.