If the person you are buying the car from seems hesitant or refuses to let you take the car to a mechanic on your own, try to convince the seller to come with you to the shop. If they still refuse, best to just move on.

The best way to feel confident about buying a new-used car is to take it to your trusted mechanic and have them get it up on the lift. While many things can be seen by lifting the hood and doing a walk-around, getting the car up on a lift will give you a good idea of the true condition of the car.

We all know that the second you drive that brand new car off the lot, it’s already lost a good chunk of value. Because of this, many people choose to buy used cars instead of new cars. When you decide to buy a used car, it is vital to take the car to a trusted mechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection. Whether you are buying a used car locally or if you decide to buy a car located in another state, a mechanic should take a good long look at the car you are interested in purchasing. Here is what to expect your mechanic to look for when they perform this critical review.

A Thorough Inspection:

Your mechanic will give a solid look at:

  • Tires
  • Frame
  • Suspension
  • Windshield
  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Fluids
  • Radiator
  • Brakes
  • Hoses
  • Battery
  • Body Condition

Your mechanic will also verify all the equipment and options that come with the car. Let’s say that the car you are looking at and it is advertised to have anti-lock brakes unless you are a mechanic; this won’t be something you can quickly verify.

Many times a car will look great and will go for a positive test drive. However, many times there can be hidden problems with the body, frame, or engine that you won’t see or notice until you’ve already signed on the dotted line. A mechanic knows where to look for many of these problems and also can find the engine codes that can reveal engine problems. If a car shows frame damage, it means that the vehicle has been in a serious accident. If it is not fixed correctly, it could lead to a whole list of things to make your car not run properly.

During the inspection, your mechanic will also be able to tell if the car has been properly cared for. If the previous owner hasn’t been keeping up with oil changes or rotating the tires on the car, it’s possible that the car will have problems for you down the road. It’s also possible that the previous owner could have been doing many things to the car on their own, ranging from sloppy bodywork to improper installations of modifications.