Pre purchase auto inspection…the good the bad and the ugly

I am a firm believer in used vehicle inspections, my biggest concerns are with shops, that do work, if you don’t find a shop that has a common sense mechanic, and doesn’t have an agenda to simply create additional work.  My first choice would be to have someone do the inspections that does not do any mechanical work.  I feel they are the best and there are several around Portland, as I am sure everywhere.   With business being slow, very easy to spin off new work from a vehicle inspection.  Here is a perfect example, I sold a very nice Subaru to a lady, she had one of the local inspectors come do an inspection, (one of the do no work guys) he gave the car a passing grade, she decided she wanted some new tires so headed off to Les Schwab, they of course did their normal so called inspection, and promptly told her, she needed about $1,200 to $1,300 of struts and brake work done. She came back and complained to me, I told her, I don’t think it needed that, and gave her the money back. When I called and inquired about the work and why so expensive, I was told, for them to do a brake job and warrant it, they have to replace everything with BRAND NEW…hence the extravagant cost. I than took the car to my mechanic and later to Oregon City Subaru, my mechanic said it could use some front brake pads, they weren’t down to a non-safe level, but while he was opening and looking we might as well put new pads on, the rotors and every thing else looked good. So he put pads on for under $60. I than took the car to the Subaru dealer to have them look at the struts, Les Schwab said they saw a little oil residue on one of them and they should all be replaced. The Subaru shop laughed at that, when they saw them, and told me, one hard bump in the road could cause a small seepage of oil…or it could have came from road debris, but none of them needed replacing as per the real Subaru dealership. So once again, recommendations, ruined a sale. Most often when a normal consumer hears a recommendation, they take it as “You must do this…NOW”..which is exactly what some shops and dealerships want you to think…this does nothing but make them more $$$$$$

For 2 other examples of similar problems Read my blog about: Oil Seepage vs Leakage.. and dealership recommendations for service.

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