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Pre-Purchase Inspections: What has been your experience?

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Pre-Purchase Inspections: What has been your experience?

 
  #1  
Old 01-07-2019, 07:14 PM
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Pre-Purchase Inspections: What has been your experience?

Trying to get a sense of experiences that buyers/sellers had with PPIs on their cars bought sight unseen.

I realize this experience is all over the board, especially with not-common vehicles and ones where specialists are few and far in between:
  • What was the car?
  • How much did you pay for a PPI?
  • Was the PPI you got thorough enough?
  • What was the PPI missing?
  • How did you find the dealer/shop/person that did the PPI?
  • Did it include photos?
  • Did you get undercarriage photos? Are these important to you?
  • Was a compression test included/important to you?
  • Did the PPI include a paint reading / do you care about one?
  • Did you trust the PPI?/ did you buy the car because of the PPI?
  • Have you ever gotten a PPI ahead of selling a car?
  • What do you think is missing in the process of getting a PPI (as a buyer or seller)?
  • How would the experience of buying a car far away be improved to you?
  • How much was cost a factor in the PPI (buying or selling)



Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
 
  #2  
Old 01-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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I think this all can vary depending on how good of a PPI shop you find and how much you are willing to pay to have them check what you want. In general a PPI should help you mitigate the risks of buying a used car so it is a really good idea. A PPI can cost 200 to 300 from what I've seen. Pay them to do an oil change and tell them to cut up the oil filter for you. If you are doing sight unseen I'd request some really high resolution pictures.
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 02:56 PM
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I've done this a few times, I'm no expert, but I'll pass on my experience. The Porsche PPI was more than twice as much the one I had done on a Subie STI, and it cost about $250 with no leak down or compression testing, if my memory serves That included a printout of the DME with hours, overrevs, etc... a test drive, and LOTS of pics. My advice on the PPI is: 1) remember that the PPI itself is just one of many diagnostic tools, it's not a guarantee, but just more information to tilt the odds in your favor; 2) call and chat with the shop first, if they give you time on the phone, are enthusiastic, and willing to make the time to accommodate the work then move forward, if you feel that they are going through the motions and or acting like they're doing you a favor to look at it, then find someone else. You really want someone engaged and willing to use independent judgement, not a shop tech ticking boxes and billing time. The deliverable on the PPI isn't tangible, it's all about how carefully and critically the inspector both examine the car and reported back to you and your only feel for that will be in a phone requesting the service; 3) pictures during the PPI (i.e. taken by an neutral party) are one of your best assets in the process; and 4) the PPI is limited, so understand what they are able and not able to learn from an hour or two with the car (in my experience they're pretty darn good at rooting out physcial/accident damage; on the flip side, finding all of the niggling little things that can fail on a used car takes more than two hours, so the PPI is less effective for that; also, I have found that outside of dedicated mark specialists, a mechanic doing a PPI has a hard time detecting less obvious mods like say a short shift kit or suspension mods. Something else I learned is that detecting a tune is beyond a simple run of the DME, i.e. a regular DME scan does not necessarily detect the presence of aftermarket tuning.

Good luck!
 
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:38 PM
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I had great luck with a PPI on the first Turbo I strongly considered. PPI on a stock 30K mile 2003 turned up a coolant leak (oil cooler or maybe it was a coolant line) that necessitated an engine drop. Seller didn't want to fix the car or negotiate on price, so I passed. Seriously glad I did, ended up with a solid car that had just odds and ends on the PPI like CV boot, axle seal, etc. Seller took care of the $1300 punch list and I bought the car (not sight unseen though, I flew down to San Diego to eyeball and drive the car). That was 4 years ago.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:31 AM
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Ha! You guys are doing much better that I did... I asked for a PPI and the dealer basically did a safety check. I wasn't impressed!
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:48 PM
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I didn't bother with a PPI when I bought my turbo. Didn't trust the P-Service mgr/mechanics, based upon their lack of knowledge, e.g. they weren't aware of coolant pipe failures, DME results, and the comment that the brake fluid doesn't need to be changed even though they hadn't a clue when/if it ever was changed. I checked everything twice before buying and lucked out.
Had a PPI done on an old Targa that I was interested in at a local indie, report was pretty good except for engine. I passed on it, turned out to be just bad wires, missed out on that one. PPI was about $350, the leak down test that was another $150-200.
If you want a 2nd set of eyes find a good indie, many P-Service depts are only familiar with new model cars, not the 14 yrs old ones..
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:27 PM
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if you need a pre purchase inspection. go to any porsche shop that doesnt call them that.
 
 
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