How Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection can save you from buying a physically; fine but dead Car - MechoMedics

Saturday, 20 January 2018

How Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection can save you from buying a physically; fine but dead Car

Hello Readers and passionate Automobile users and Enthusiasts, I just concluded a month long Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection Service for one of my newest client and after concluding the Service I paused to think about some questions and observation made during the service. This is what I will like to share with you:
1. How do I identify an accidented Car and the location of the impact? This for some will be difficult, but all the same, look out for the following things to locate where the accident 'scar' is.
A. Locate any Welding spot on the  chassis or Frame, this spot will usually 'scream' for your attention as it will either be looking bigger than other metal portion closest to them with fresh paint (the paint color will slightly differ from other neighbouring painted metal) overflowing around such spot or an obvious 'brownish' rust.

B. Body Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) or Chassis "C" fault Codes will exist for any deployed Airbag even when covered up by a neat fibre work and  repaint. When I see such DTCs I try to visualize which side the impact took place and if it is the door, Rear bumper, front Bumper, Fender, Boot, I'll see that as with little or no implications. But once the impact is as bad as shifting the Engine Frame and support Beams, Chassis, Transmission, e.t.c., that will be of serious concern and with a collateral damage consequences, I'll consider other options.
C. Missing Label, plastic trims, spoilers, garnishes  and stickers also help in localizing the area of impact. Take for example a driver's door pillar will have 3 stickers: Vehicle Identification Sticker or Plate ( Containing VIN, Date of Manufacture, Plant of Manufacture, e.t.c.), Tire Size and Pressure details, SRS side Airbag Warning information. When I see only 2 or 1 sticker seating in this position I know someone has been there, welding up that region and painting it back into shape, but leaving some clues for an expert to trace what happened. Usually the Vehicle Identification Sticker or Plate ( Containing VIN, Date of Manufacture, Plant of Manufacture, e.t.c.) will be pasted back since it contain information that's most buyers check the year of Manufacture from (I have seen this label reprinted and used to fool buyers to buy older model years as newer models after pimping, I'll give you an insight on that in other articles).
2. How do I identify a flooded Car and the level of damage: this is actually for Pro but I'll give you details on this too
A. Flooded history such as rust will not be visible on alloy wheels but if iron rims are on the wheels that would rust after a salt water flooding. However, since iron rims are not expensive such could be changed and its tell-tail-signs gone with it.
B. Check the exhaust pipes, pots, muffler, e.t.c.  as such will rust after flooding and usually won't be changed.
C. Check the Driver's and Passenger's Seat Rails after removing the trims covering them, if seriously rusted, you can use the height of it rail rust to judge where the salt water level was.
D. Check the Engine Seats, Gear Box, and Brake Booster, if heavily rusted you may consider alternative vehicles, as such is with later implications. However, don't confuse a flood related rust with moisture related rust. Because this cars are parked at the owner, salvage, shipping  yard for a while moisture will cause some metal surface to rust but it will be in small regions and patches.
E. Chassis, Frame and Suspension part rust is a collateral damage. You should desist from buying such.
3. Engine Fault and Emission Problems should be Diagnosed with a Diagnostic Tool especially if the MIL or 'Check Engine Light' is ON. Cars that have their MIL inoperative or blocked should be inspected thoroughly as such lights are major warning indicator and will only be blocked when the fault is serious and can't be fixed due to the expensive parts needed. You can always check the MIL operation by switching the ignition to ON II without starting the Engine; It should light ON for around 5 seconds and go OFF if no DTC; in the presence of a DTC the MIL stays ON (Same for the ABS warning Light).
4. Recalls and Technical Service Bulletins when released will warn about some Brand, model, factory and Serial number that have some defect and the inspection and fix for such would be stated. This was what gave me a clue as I avoided buying a car with A/T shift problem. The factory was the same but I recommended a car with serial number outside the fault specified range.
I'll draw a close on this note. People take risks but when the risk end up biting back it becomes painful. A new car is a major investment. Don't consider what you'll be gaining by using a VPPIS to buy your new Vehicles, but think also of what you'll be loosing if you don't use a Vehicle Pre-Purchase Inspection Service (VPPIS).

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