PSA: Please get a PPI on all used purchases

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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
So there's a lot of "I'm shopping for a used...." so I figure a lot of people will see this.

Please spend the $79 (Firestone) to $200 (dealer) to get a pre-purchase inspection on any used car purchase, even if it's a dealer CPO. Something as simple as them checking your battery to find out it only has 25% life left will save you $150 in additional negotiated savings on your purchase price if the car need a new battery. Most of us know someone that bought a used car and less than a year down the road it needed some maintenance, even if it was just a normal wear and tear item. Heck, a good shop will check everything including if it needs wiper blades! - that could give you a $20 savings right there that helps absorb the cost of the PPI.

A good PPI doesn't just check the normal things you'd think of like brake wear, but also thing you may not think or know about - has it been re-painted, does it steer straight, is the alternator putting out the right power, are the hoses soft and pliable, are rubber bushings and gaskets should be free from rot and cracks, the heat and air blower motor needs to be working at all levels, - you get the idea - things you may not notice until you've had the car a month.

Yes, you can go online and get a checklist, but are you going to check the output of the alternator or determine if 2 of the 6 battery cells are bad? A good shop can do a more complete inspection and give you a printed report. Again, can easily save you 3x in negotiated saving.
 

Turborascal

Contributor
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2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature; 2019 Mazda MX-5 30 AE, RF, #150/3000
Excellent advice.

A few years back I negotiated for and was ready to purchase a supposed CPO Porsche.
A PPI by an independent shop discovered a leaking rear main engine seal and a defective wheel angle sensor.
When the dealer wouldn't budge on the negotiated price I walked away ... and avoided over $1500 in repair costs.
 
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Phoenix
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2020 CX5 signature
My neighbor's problem just reminded me of a major PPI point.... her daughter's new-to-her 2016 Ford Edge was throwing a CEL intermittently. Turns out there was some vacuum/hose/fuel pump problem - $1000 fix with labor after having to drop the tank. A good shop, maybe not a $39 scan tool, can read history for past CEL's on the computer. Oh, and she had some oil pump leak or something. When I was younger I didn't want to 'waste' the $79. Amazing how we get smarter.
 
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