People sell fixer-upper vehicles all the time, using a low price tag to entice buyers to purchase their poorly running or non-functioning vehicles. You consider yourself somewhat of a mechanic, which is why you are tempted to buy a junker car in the first place.
Even if you believe you know exactly what work needs to be done on a cheap car you're considering purchasing, always consult with a professional mechanic before you buy any fixer-upper car. Here are just a few reasons why a quick visit with your mechanic can benefit your car shopping experience.
The Car May Need More Work Than You Think
Perhaps the car you want to buy simply needs a new water pump. This may seem to be the case, but remember this: if a vehicle is driven with a bad water pump, the car can overheat and cause other types of damage, such as radiator issues and engine failure.
Having a mechanic inspect a car that needs minor repairs will alert you to more expensive damage that will be both difficult to repair on your own and costly to have repaired by a professional. Get an overview from the car's current owner of what is wrong with the vehicle. You mechanic can fully inspect the car to ensure the needed repairs match with what the owner is saying.
Just because a car needs more repairs than previously thought doesn't mean you can't buy the vehicle anyway. Simply negotiate an even cheaper selling price with the current owner so you spend less on the car and have extra money for repairs.
The Car May Not Be Worth Its Price
The make, model, year, and mileage of a vehicle largely determine its current value above and beyond its actual running condition. Your mechanic will examine the body and working parts of the vehicle you are considering to give you their professional opinion of its current worth.
You don't want to overpay for a fixer-upper vehicle; having a mechanic with you to help you negotiate a fair price for your project car will make your purchase more successful to you. Have your mechanic give you an estimate for what the vehicle's worth would be if it were in fine working condition; this estimate can help you decide if the money spent on buying and repairing the vehicle will ultimately be worth it.
The Car May Have Deep-Rooted Damage
You never truly know how a vehicle was taken care of by its previous owners before you buy it, especially if the car no longer runs or if it has mechanical issues. Your mechanic is skilled at being able to spot flood, fire, and dust damage that you don't see.
Rust, damaged wires, ruined upholstery, and a destroyed trunk space are all signs of potential deeper mechanical problems, not just cosmetic damage. Your mechanic will tell you if a car is not worth investing in, regardless of its cheap price tag, if it has encountered serious damage.
Buying a car that needs work can be a worthy investment, but only if you know exactly what the car needs to have done and if the will not exceed the car’s actual worth once fixed up. Before you buy any poorly running or non-functioning vehicle, have your mechanic give the car a thorough inspection.
Your mechanic can also repair your new fixer-upper car so it is drivable even before you take it home for the first time. At Redford Auto Repair, fair prices and professional vehicle maintenance are key, along with healthy communication with vehicle owners. Visit our shop today for all your auto maintenance needs.