On Site Pre-Purchase Inspection Service - ZHP
Hey guys.... some of u may already be helping me with a purchase of a ZHP... since I may be buying one from somewhere remote out of my location, I was thinking of getting someone on craigslist who knows about ZHP's to go inspect for me for a fee.. of course I would have to test him over the phone on his knowledge etc...
But I just found an alternative... anyone used this service I just found:
inspectmyride.com ? It seems exactly what I want but the only bad thing is, it is mostly cosmetic, and they wont even test drive it if the weather is bad or some other excuses. I am thinking this is better than nothing, but I dont feel great about it, and not sure if they are even sending an appropriate mechanic on site.
This actually came from a link of an eBay listing for a ZHP in Jacksonville, FL, and the guy even uploaded a video which was nice. It would have been better if when he shut off the radio so we could hear the engine if HE shut up so I could hear it. Also he talked about Xenon lights and failed to turn them on when he did his walk around, but I guess not a big deal. It has a lot of miles but it sounded good from what I could hear.
If this is no good, anyone know of a good way to search for someone who will do an inspection at a remote location professionally? I'd just hate to drive or fly to a place only to find the seller "neglected" to tell me something that may cost me a lot of $$$ in the future.
ANY other suggestions or something you have done that worked would be appreciated. Thanks!
If it were me, I would rather pay my money to a shop that specializes in repairing BMWs, someone who can distinguish the sound of a failing VANOS from the sound of a loose heat shield, and will run a compression check and look at blowby. The problem is that someone has to take the car to that shop.
I have looked at a few used cars, and I have helped friends and relatives look at a few used cars. I always found that after I had looked at a car and left, I always thought of something else I should have checked. Finally, I generated a checklist so that I would not forget anything. This checklist is only superficial stuff. The owner will be really uncomfortable if a stranger starts pulling off engine covers and removing coils and spark plugs to do a compression test.
What to look for on the Test Drive:
[ ] City street handling
[ ] Highway handling
[ ] Two-lane road handling
[ ] Excessive body lean
[ ] Body motion control
[ ] Vehicle directional change with changing throttle
[ ] Noises with changing speed, direction, or bumps
[ ] Noise
[ ] Acceleration
[ ] Idle
[ ] Hot restart without stalling
[ ] Visible Sludge under valve cover
[ ] Stored Computer Codes
[ ] Signs of oil leaks
[ ] Modifications and 'performance' parts.
[ ] Belts, hoses, clamps, inc. heater hoses
[ ] Ease of operation
[ ] Vibration through steering wheel
[ ] Road feel
[ ] Loosness when moving or stopped.
[ ] clunks or pump whine
[ ] Clutch feel
[ ] Smooth gear changes
[ ] Noise
[ ] Cruise control
[ ] Parking brake
[ ] Brake pedal pressure
[ ] Brake pedal travel
[ ] Stopping gradually
[ ] Stopping suddenly
[ ] Antilock brakes
What to look for on the Interior:
From the Driver's Seat:
[ ] Do ALL warning lights illuminate?
inc. air bag, check engine, maintenance, ASC,
[ ] Seat controls
[ ] On-Board Computer Display
[ ] Instrument panel clarity/illumination
[ ] Tilt/Telescoping Steering wheel
[ ] All four electric windows (full up and down)
[ ] Sunroof fit and function
[ ] Water stains around glass and sunroof
[ ] Age of map in NAV system
[ ] Other Power accessories (wipers, etc)
[ ] Mirror controls
[ ] Radio, cassette or CD player and speakers
[ ] Heater, air conditioner and ventilation
[ ] Remote trunk and fuel-door releases
[ ] Horn operation
[ ] Interior dome light
[ ] Wiper/washer system
From the Passenger Seats:
[ ] Seat controls
[ ] Strap handles
[ ] Reading lights
[ ] Seatbelt operation
[ ] Folding rear seats
[ ] Rear Seatbelt operation
[ ] Rear defogger
[ ] Visor vanity lights
[ ] Glovebox
[ ] Cupholders
Look for quality of:
[ ] Upholstery
[ ] Headliner
[ ] Fit of interior panels
[ ] Trim and moldings
[ ] Dashboard
[ ] Carpet and mats
[ ] Window Tint
What to look for on the Exterior:
[ ] Paint
[ ] Rust spots
[ ] Tire tread wear
[ ] Bent Wheels
[ ] Damage beneath car (if visible)
[ ] Rusty Exhaust
[ ] Missing plastic shields beneath
[ ] Body-panel dents
[ ] Fit of trunk, hood, and all doors
[ ] Seals around doors and trunk
[ ] Evidence of rust or damage around frame
[ ] Paint overspray around doors, trunk, hood
[ ] Moisture in headlights and tail lights
[ ] Smoke from the tailpipe
[ ] Free flowing exhaust
Check the trunk for:
[ ] Key for Tire Locks
[ ] Spare tire
[ ] Jack
[ ] Lug wrench
[ ] Tool Kit
[ ] Carpeting and trim
[ ] Trunk light
[ ] Secure latching
Try keys on locks and latches:
[ ] Doors
[ ] Glovebox
[ ] Anti-theft system
[ ] Gas cap
[ ] Trunk
[ ] Trunk release/catch
[ ] Hood release/catch
[ ] All four door latches/locks
[ ] Headlights
[ ] Parking lights
[ ] Reverse lights
[ ] Brake lights
[ ] Taillights
[ ] Hazard lights
[ ] Turn signal lights
[ ] License plate light
Do you think an indy who does PPI will take a list like this and go thru each? I bet almost every single one of them will charge extra but if I really like the car, worth it for another 30-60 minutes labor?
Anyone have an opinion on this service? Doesnt seem like its cosmetic only, even though their web site sucks.
I have paid for a pre-purchase inspection twice. Neither shop showed me their checklist. They just wrote down anything they found wrong on a work order form. Both times, they pronounced the car to be in good shape, and for the most part, both cars were in good shape. I know they check compression, battery condition, transmission operation, look for bent wheels and evidence of poorly repaired collision damage. They look at brake condition and check oil and water for evidence of neglect.
Manolito, Im going to take your pre purchase check list and turn it into its own thread if you dont mind.
Go for it. Right next to looking for sludge under the oil cap, I would add
Check motor oil - clean amber, dirty black, or milky (evidence of water)
Check coolant - rusty? milky? (evidence of oil) or swirls of black or red oil?
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