Buying a Used Car? Look for These Red Flags!

Buying a used car is a great way to save money and take advantage of depreciation but there are inherently more risks involved when a car has belonged to multiple owners.

Honest and Professional Pre-purchase Car Inspection in Melbourne, VIC

We have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We have built a level of loyalty that in the 21st Century is vital. After all, customer service and care is a point of difference.

We hope we are able to help you out with your needs. Our business is also known as Prepurchase Check.


Incomplete Paperwork

Specific paperwork is required to make your vehicle transaction legal. It serves as an agreement between buyer and seller. The correct paperwork ensures that the vehicle you are purchasing is legally registered and in fair condition. This includes a comprehensive service and repair history report.

Whether purchasing from a Dealer or in the private market you should expect to inspect from the seller, the service books and history of the car. A logbook that contains a full-service history with accompanying records and shows the most recent services is like gold when seeking to purchase a car.

Vehicle registration papers identifying the current registered owner or previous owner if purchasing from a dealer to ensure there is the correct legal title. Obtaining a PPSR Report will also identify if the car has been previously stolen, is an Economic Repairable Write-off or still has finance owing on it from the previous owners. Missing paperwork indicates that there may be some issues with the vehicle’s function or road history, so if the paperwork is incomplete, reconsider the deal.

Excessive Rust

Almost anything on a car can be fixed or replaced. The question is, should it be? When it comes to excessive rust, the answer is often no. While rusted out body panels can be replaced, it’s expensive and time-consuming. Rust on the frame means that the frame—the very bedrock of the car—is rotting away. Replacing a car’s frame, even if you just replace part of it, is expensive and runs the risk of weakening the car overall. While some rust is to be expected on a used car, look out for excessive rust with bits of metal flaking off, and avoid cars with rust in key areas. Let’s put it this way: some rust on the floor pan is OK, but if Fred Flintstone could drive the car, you’re better off walking away.

Warning Lights

We’ve all driven around for a week or two with the check engine light on in our car. After all, if the car is running it’s easy to overlook a light on the dashboard. And, sometimes those lights do come on because of a bad sensor or because we didn’t tighten the gas cap enough.

Still, if you’re looking to buy a used car that has a dashboard that looks like a Christmas tree, that’s enough of a red flag that you should reconsider. Sure, the lights could be on for a minor reason (again, that tricky gas cap), but they also could be on because of a bigger problem. If you really love the car, a trusty inspection from a professional inspector like German Precision can tell you if those lights are something to be concerned about.

New or Mismatched Paint

A freshly-painted accent wall in your living room is a good idea. On a car, however, you want all the paint colours to match, and fresh paint isn’t always a selling point. Like new or mismatched carpet, new or mismatched paint is an indicator that repairs have been made, which could mean that the car was in an accident. While some accident damage can be repaired, other accident damage can make owning that car a headache and a seller that’s trying to camouflage accident damage is not someone who you want to deal with.

Take a close look at any used car with fresh paint or paint that isn’t quite the same on all the body panels of the car.

Unlicensed Dealer

If you choose to purchase your next vehicle through a dealer, research the company and ask for proof of licence. Licence credentials ensure that you are purchasing from a dealer that is legally approved to sell you a vehicle. If a dealer is unable to provide you with proof of their licence, do not purchase a vehicle from them.

An Anti-Inspection Seller

Getting a prospective new car checked out by an independent mechanic is just good sense. While you’ll spend money ($250 or so) on the inspection, avoiding a used car lemon is more than worth it. Any upstanding used car seller should consent to have the car inspected by someone you choose. If the seller refuses to let you have the car inspected or insists you use their mechanic find someone else to buy from. Having a car inspected is a routine part of buying a used car, so sellers who refuse it may not be on the level. That’s a deal you can feel good about walking away from.

Smelly Interior Masked by Car Perfume

If a car’s interior is overly perfumed, the seller may be trying to hide mould or mildew smells. The vehicle may not be watertight if there are mould smells inside the car.

There are three common places where mildew smell can originate from:
• Dashboard — where water can build up as part of running your air-conditioning
• Body Leaking — in cracks from weatherstrips around doors and windows
• Leaking Drainage — such as those found in A/C and sunroofs

Alternatively, the previous owner may have been a smoker and caused odour damage to the interior upholstery.

Rectifying smells and damaged wet mouldy carpets and interiors is an expensive exercise.

In general, an excessive amount of air freshener in a used vehicle may be a reason to walk away from the deal.

Pre-purchase Car Inspections in Melbourne, VIC

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: mynextcarbuyingadvocacy.com.au, autoversed.com

Top 4 Car Maintenance Tips for Summer

Aah, summer. A great time to hit the beach and strut your stuff in shorts and thongs.It’s the perfect time of year to take advantage of the season’s longer days by taking a drive along the coast, or through the city. Relax as you cruise along, listen to your favourite tunes and check out the nightlife.

However, before you can enjoy the perks of Australia’s gorgeous summer weather, you’ll need to make sure your car is in good shape. After all, you don’t want your summer plans interrupted by a breakdown, do you?

You can prevent costly car repairs by following these simple summer car maintenance tips!

Cooling System

The greatest cause of summer breakdowns is overheating. The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled about every 24 months. The level, condition, and concentration of the coolant should be checked periodically. (A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water is usually recommended.) DIYers, never remove the radiator cap until the engine has thoroughly cooled! The tightness and condition of drive belts, clamps, and hoses should be checked by a pro.

CAUTION! – Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot – boiling coolant under pressure could cause serious burns.

Tyres

Your safety rides on your tyres – literally. They are the only parts of your vehicle that are actually in contact with the road, so it makes sense to keep them in their best possible condition.

Under or over-inflation of your tyres is dangerous and can lead to excessive tread wear. Check your tyres monthly to ensure correct tyre inflation and adjust the pressure according to the placard on the driver’s door jamb.

Make sure there is at least 3mm of the tyre tread remaining (have a mechanic check if you’re not sure). If under 3mm of tread left, your tyres need to be replaced. Also, ensure your spare tyre is properly inflated and in good repair in the event of a flat.

Fix the Check Engine Light

The most common problem you’re likely to experience is an illuminated Check Engine light.

It tells you your car’s not healthy in one way or another, yet doesn’t provide the exact mechanical issue.

Avoid the urge to ignore your Check Engine light. While the problem could be as minor as a loose fuel cap, it could be a major problem that could cost thousands to repair if not addressed quickly, or worse still, leave you stranded.

Brakes

Brakes should be inspected as recommended in your manual, or sooner if you notice pulsations, grabbing, noises, or longer stopping distance. Minor brake problems should be corrected promptly.

BONUS: Get a Complete Vehicle Inspection

Before you head out on a summer trip, organise an overall vehicle inspection. Get your battery and charging system tested, have all the fluids, brakes and lubrication points checked, and have the steering and suspension components looked over.

Have a professional inspector like German Precision to check all the mechanical and electrical systems to ensure they are operating properly.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: autoguru.com.au, ase.com, exchange.aaa.com

Understanding Pre-purchase Mechanical Inspection

The point of the pre-purchase inspection is to confirm you’re not getting a dud. It’s to confirm the car is going to run, today and into the future. Your inspector will investigate the engine, radiator, battery, exhaust, tyres and body.

They’ll check for oil and coolant leaks, battery issues and poorly done modifications. You need an expert eye on this because even the shiniest car can come with hidden problems under the hood, and usually, they’re expensive to fix.

Here’s what you should run your eye over before you test-drive a car. This is not a substitute a professional mechanical inspection and you should always seek expert advice.

Think of this list as early warning signs – a red flag. If any of these issues present themselves, skip the professional inspection and move on to the next car.

Oil indicators

Oil can tell you a lot about the engine, so check it. If you pull the dipstick out and the oil residue doesn’t reach the ‘full’ marker, or it looks thick and black, this is a sign that the car has not been maintained well. If you look under the oil cap and find gritty carbon deposits there too, you can be sure there has been some engine neglect.

Leaks

Look underneath the car. Look at the radiator. Look at the hoses. Are there any signs of leakage? Cracking? Corrosion? If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some of those hidden problems we mentioned about.

Filters

Look for excess dust, filter condition and clean and or replace filters as necessary. Check airbox seal is intact and closes correctly and all airbox latches and mounting point. Check all intercooler piping for damage & hose clamps. Do a visual check of primary and secondary fuel filters, if the secondary fuel filter isn’t fitted, recommend getting fitted pre-trip.

Windows

Check windshield and all windows and exterior light lenses, both in terms of cleanliness and visibility. Check windshield wipers and washers are operational.

Smoke from the exhaust

Turn the car on. Have someone rev it a few times. Is there smoke from the exhaust? Can you smell anything in the smoke? Either would be bad. Usually, a smoky exhaust indicates an oil-burning engine, which tells you there is a problem to be found.

Who can do my pre-purchase inspection?

All you need for a good vehicle inspection is a qualified inspector like German Precision.

When buying something big like a new car, have it professionally inspected. A pre-purchase car inspection would cost you $250 to $350, and it’s worth every penny.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: justautosmechanical.com.au, carsguide.com.au

Buying a Used BMW: Don’t Skip the Pre-Purchase Inspection

A BMW pre-purchase inspection is important before buying any used car. But when you plan to buy a used BMW, Porsche or another high-performance European automobile, an inspection is even more essential before laying your money down.

Because these vehicles hold their value extremely well, even a used BMW will be an investment. Whether it’s a good investment or a bad one depends partly on doing your due diligence.

Request and review a vehicle history report, but don’t stop there. Contacting a local, independent pre-purchase inspector to schedule an all-important inspection will help ensure that your investment is sound.

Use an Experienced Inspector for Pre-Purchase Inspection

Even if your brother-in-law worked as a mechanic all his life, he may not be the right choice for your used vehicle inspection. Trust this important service to an expert who is experienced with high-performance, European cars.

Beware the seller who demands that you conduct your inspection with his or her mechanic of choice. Go into the transaction with the intention of paying for the pre-purchase evaluation yourself, and hold your ground on using the auto repair expert that you choose.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Tips for Success

If you plan on buying a used BMW long-distance (located in another city/state) or without a warranty, it is definitely a MUST that you get a pre-purchase inspection. A major risk is at stake if not.

If you plan to purchase a used BMW or another European car from a dealer, don’t let that dissuade you from getting an inspection from an independent inspector like German Precision. Don’t agree to have the dealer conduct the inspection.

Beware of Pre-Purchase Inspection Red Flags

Any used vehicle is likely to have a few minor flaws, and the older the car, the more issues you can expect. Depending on your time, budget and willingness to invest, you may agree to purchase a car that needs work. If you want to avoid the hassle, however, you can look for specific red-flag conditions.

If the car’s prior owner(s) did not stay on top of periodic maintenance, safety recalls and required repairs, proceed with caution. Likewise, if the vehicle has ever been in an accident, beware of potential frame damage. Vehicle history reports do not always include major, damaging events. It’s important to look for signs of water damage too.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Checklist and Price

Once your potential used BMW is being inspected by a BMW service provider, it’s common for a few minor flaws to show up on the pre-purchase inspection. Finding these minor flaws can actually help in the overall price negotiation process if you do buy the used vehicle.

A thorough inspection should cover over 125 items in the following areas (not limited to):

• Overall condition of the BMW
• Visual problems with the body and frame
• Leaks and broken components
• Engine analysis and problems
• Road test

The following past problems can be identified by a qualified BMW mechanic while inspecting the vehicle:

• Frame damage
• Poor repair work
• Car previously owned by a smoker
• Flood damage

Prices vary from BMW shop to BMW shop and are dependent on how thorough of a pre-purchase inspection you choose for your potential BMW. The more detailed and extensive an inspection, the more it will cost you – but the more it could save you in the long run.

In the end, it is worth the money purchasing a pre-purchase inspection, in the long-run, to avoid costly repair bills that can add up in the future. So buy your used dream BMW with confidence, knowing you’ve taken the appropriate measures and gotten a pre-purchase inspection.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: bimmershops, wasatchmotorwerks

How to Choose the Right Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection

There is no doubt that when buying a used car it is always beneficial to complete a pre-purchase vehicle inspection. It’s not on any history report and you can bet the seller won’t be willing to disclose any details that can harm his/her chances of selling the vehicle. With so many pre purchase inspectors out there, how do you choose the right pre purchase vehicle inspection for you?

So, when buying a used car you should never assume the seller will disclose any damages or problems with the vehicle. It is important to get the vehicle inspected by a reputable company or inspector which specialises in pre-purchase car inspections. But how does one go about finding and ultimately paying for the right pre-purchase auto inspection? Let’s take a look!

Find a qualified company or inspector to perform your pre-purchase auto inspection.

Qualifications: This is probably the most important item to check off your list when searching for a pre-purchase auto inspection. Call in and ask how their inspectors are selected and what is their experience. Ask what techniques they use to identify any potential problems with vehicles. Strict processes and procedures keep inspections consistent and avoid missing issues which as a result, could end up costing you a small fortune. The correct company should have standardised inspection procedures to keep things consistent.

At German Precision, we have been in the automotive industry since 1984, ranging from apprentice, through to master technician, workshop foreman, controller, service advisor and service manager, in numerous premium vehicle businesses. We provide really accurate inspection reports.

Make sure they are honest and professional.

Transparency and professionalism: First impressions are always important. Read through the website and make sure there is clear language on how the process works and if there are any hidden or added fees. Some companies will even charge you extra for basic things such as phone consultations or answering questions about your report.

Speaking of reports, make sure there is a clear sample of the report on the website as the last thing you need is to pay for pre-purchase auto inspection and never get a report. (Yes, it happens). We provide our customers with leading condition reports that include easy to read layouts and photos here. Make sure the information on the reports covers your needs and provides you with sufficient information to make a purchasing decision so you don’t end up with more unanswered questions.

A great reputation is a must.

Reputation: Reputation is everything in our day and age. Same goes for pre-purchase vehicle inspection companies. Consistent 5 stars reviews across multiple platforms is a great start. This can help you narrow down your search for a reputable company to help with your next used car purchase. You should avoid hiring someone with inconsistent reviews who spends more time responding to negative reviews than actually working.

German Precision has 5-star ratings across the board that speak for themselves. This, among other things, helps build a level of trust from the first interaction. Therefore, we know what it takes to provide and exceed customer expectations. I took the leap to start my own business, in which I can focus my attention to detail, experience, knowledge and level of care, on the subject vehicle, for YOUR benefit.

We hope we can help you out with your needs.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

source: motovise.com

Basic Car Maintenance Everyone Should Know

Most people use their car every day without a second thought. They will get in, turn the key, and head out on their way. It’s almost always the case, unless you are a car person, that you don’t think something is in need of repair till a light shines or a weird noise starts to occur. Afterall keeping up with a vehicle requires some amount of attention.

But what if you could minimize the likelihood of an expensive repair, by doing only simple maintenance items? In this post, we will look at simple car maintenance items you can do that will potentially save you from experiencing a catastrophic event or costly car repair.

CHECK TIRES

Tires are the essential features of your vehicle. They are what makes contact with the ground. Having good tires versus a bad one can make a huge difference. Have you ever experienced a tire blow out, or know someone that has? At high speeds having a tire, the blow can be incredibly dangerous. It can also do much more damages than just having a flat tire. Almost all tire blowouts can be avoided by simply checking your tires periodically, and having them replaced when needed.

A good rule of thumb is to inspect your tires every month for wear, tread, and that they are correctly inflated. The tire sidewall will tell you the max psi they should be filled to. Overinflating can be just as bad as under, so it is best to stay a little below the max. Check for signs damage to the tires as well; if anything looks suspicious, you can take it to our German auto repair shop.

CHECK THE OIL

There is no way of avoiding the topic of engine oil when talking about the maintenance of a vehicle. It is the fluid that keeps everything in your engine working the way it should. Oil reduces the friction of the metal movable parts within, and it an absolute must. Checking the oil isn’t as tricky as it sounds. Most vehicles are equipped with dipsticks that are labelled check oil on them. In fact, the dipstick will also have at the end clues as to if you are low on oil, clearly marked, low. If there is one maintenance item you should routinely do, and be in the habit of doing is checking the oil levels. If you find that your car is consistently low on oil, it could signal a leak or possibly other issues within the motor.

CHECK COOLANT LEVELS

Lastly, make sure to maintain adequate coolant in your vehicle’s cooling system. Each car requires a different type of coolant. BMW recommends the use of their own specially formulated coolant for their vehicles to run at their best. TIP: Use caution when checking your coolant levels. Never try to open the radiator cap if your car has been running and reached it’s operating temperature. In doing so can cause injury. The coolant is a pressurized system. When it is hot, pressure builds, the second you turn the cap it will spray out. At close to 200 degrees, this is something you don’t want touching your skin. Instead, wait until your car has had time cool down or even better let it rest overnight and check before starting it in the morning.

BASIC PREREQUISITES

1. Read The Owner’s Manual

When it comes to vehicles, there is no ‘one size fits all’ prescription. For example, the oil change schedule of your car depends on the type of car that you drive. Contrary to the common misconception, you don’t need to change the oil after every 3,000 miles.

Hence, before everything else, make sure you read the owner’s manual to double-check what your vehicle needs during maintenance. If you don’t, you will probably end up putting the wrong oil into your vehicle’s engine and cause serious damage.

2. Learn The Meaning Of Different Warning Light Indicators

Most modern cars will notify you via warning lights whenever there are some issues that require immediate attention. However, those warning lights will be useless if you can’t interpret what they mean to choose the appropriate course of action. Here’s how it goes:

• Service engine light – You see that little print on your dashboard written “service engine”, “service” or “maint reqd”? When you see that indicator light, it’s a reminder that the recommended maintenance schedule is due.

• Check engine light – Otherwise known as the malfunction indicator lamp, it will tell you whenever the sensors in your engine detect a problem that ought to be fixed. Usually, it doesn’t specify the exact issue but you can consult a mechanic or use OBD2 scanner to find out the root cause of the problem.

• Brake warning light – If the brake warning light indicator automatically turns on, it could mean your brake fluid level is low or the brake pads are worn out. The brake warning light can also activate when you’ve engaged the parking brakes. But just to be sure, you can refer to the owner’s manual.

• Coolant warning light – Don’t wait for a whistle! In case you see the coolant warning light, you should pull over immediately, open the hood and wait for the car to cool down. The coolant light tells you that the engine internal temperature is beyond the limit and if you keep driving you may damage it. Don’t forget: never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot!

• ABS Warning light – Just like the brake warning light, if the ABS warning light flashes, it’s a sign that there could be a problem with the anti-lock braking system. In other words, it could be harder for you to suddenly stop your vehicle in an emergency situation. Otherwise, if both your ABS and brake warning lights are on, you shouldn’t risk driving your vehicle until the problem is fixed.

• Oil Warning light – Once the oil in your engine is lower than recommended, the oil warning light will engage. It could also be a symptom of a bigger problem like oil filter blockage or oil pump malfunction. Mind you, driving your car when the warning light is on can completely wreak havoc to the engine.

• Electrical fault light – Obviously, it means there is an issue with the electrical charging system. You can run a diagnostic to dig deeper into the cause. In most cases, it’s usually the alternator that is misbehaving.

Conclusion

Maintaining a good running vehicle is as simple as checking its primary components. These simple care tasks only take a few minutes and are well worth the time. Many repairs, breakdowns, or troubles can be avoided with proper care.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!

sources: ryangmw, carcarehunt

What is a Pre Purchase Car Inspection?

A Pre-purchase car inspection or a pre-purchase vehicle inspection can help you make an informed decision about the next second hand used car you’re considering buying.

They can help you avoid the disappointment of buying a problem car and save you money on potentially expensive repairs. Consider a car inspection a type of insurance against buying a problem car.

If you have a very limited mechanical or automotive knowledge get some advice. The next car you buy could have potential defects and problems that could cost you a lot of money to repair.

You could also find that there will be further expenses and problems in the future.

Make the right decision before you buy

Therefore, a pre-purchase car inspection can help you make the right decision and help give you peace of mind that any car you are considering buying is in good condition. If it is not a good car then you know to avoid that car which can save money and help keep your sanity.

What is a pre-purchase car inspection?

A pre-purchase car inspection can be conducted on most vehicles that are for sale. Conducted by an independent mechanic, this service can be an inspection of the vehicle’s quality, safety, mechanical and overall driving performance. It may also include an inspection of the car for any previous accident damage, previous panel and paint repairs, maybe even flood damage and hail damage.

There are several types of inspection services depending on your requirements.

Once an inspection has been completed, generally you receive an emailed report outlining the results and should also include a phone call from the car inspector to discuss the report. This can include listing any defects or problems that may have been detected. It may also include a cost estimate of current and future repairs which can have a bearing on the decision to buy a car or avoid the car.

Help with making a buying decision

The information from the pre-purchase car inspection report can be used to decide whether the vehicle is roadworthy and in good condition or whether the price the seller is asking represents good value for money. Remember you should always have the sale in your favour and don’t trust a seller to tell you the truth always base your decision on the car condition.

Shouldn’t you find out about the condition of the car you are about to buy before you buy it?

Pre-purchase car inspections can be insurance against buying the wrong car!

You could also consider a pre-purchase car inspection as a type of car insurance to protect you before you buy a car. This can prevent you from making the wrong car choice and end up with a car that has many potential problems. You could end up with thousands of dollars in repairs simply by buying the wrong car from the wrong seller.

Who should use a pre-purchase car inspection service?

Used car pre-purchase car inspections can be of a benefit to car buyers and at times sellers:

Car buyers

If you’re buying a used car, you must know about the vehicle’s current condition and its future condition. A pre-purchase car inspection can give you a complete insight into a car’s problems or potential problems. With this information about the condition of the car, you can work out whether you are getting what you think you are getting. Without a proper car inspection, you might be to about to buy a lemon (Car with many problems).

Car buyers can use the results of a pre-purchase car inspection to help negotiate a better price with the seller especially if you have a smart vehicle inspector.

Car sellers

If you’re selling a used vehicle, a pre-purchase car inspection can increase your sale price. A good inspection report can prove to a buyer the car is in excellent condition and has been well looked after. Most car buyers want a better-quality vehicle that doesn’t require money to be spent after they buy a car. You may be able to get the selling price you are asking for if a buyer knows all about the car. Alternately it may let you know if the car needs repairs and is the car worth fixing? Will the extra money you spend you to get you a better price? Do you sell the car the way it is?

What does a pre-purchase car inspection include?

The list of items checked during a pre-purchase car inspection is a grey area. It can vary depending on the car inspection service you use and what you do end up getting. It should be noted that some pre-purchase inspection services work on daily quotas and targets. When you must work to KPI’s or daily targets this can reduce how thorough an inspection can be.

Some may claim to “check” hundreds of items during the inspection, but do they?

Generally, it should include inspecting the following items:

Engine – Auto Transmission – Manual Transmission – Clutch – Tyres – Wheels – Brakes – Differential – CV’s – Transfer Case (4WD)
Steering – Suspension – Interior such as seat belts, trims, gauges, mirrors etc. – Air Conditioning – Charging Systems – Cooling System – Fuel Systems

Under Car Components like Exhaust, Rust, Corrosion, damaged components, oil leaks
Exterior including previous panel/paint repairs, body damage, accident damage repairs, dents etc
Checking of Car Computer systems if fitted, operational of accessories items

All car inspections should include a road test when possible to check engine performance, emissions, transmissions, steering, suspension and brakes. If a car can’t be road tested some problems may not be found until a later time.

If you are looking for a professional pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision today!

source: pdsvehicleinspections.com.au