Professional Experience

With over 25 years industry experience in the motor trades not just limited to being a licenced Motor Mechanic working in various Mechanical Repair Workshops as well as a previous RTA Examiner over the years. I have also worked in the Panel Beating, Spray Painting, Auto Dismantling, Towing Industries with firsthand experience in full car restorations which include complete rebuilding of the vehicle including bare metal resprays to performance modifications, body and engine conversions so the experience for conducting Pre-Purchase Vehicle Inspections is based on actual hands-on experience and knowledge gained over the years not just reading about problems or pretending to have experience.
One basic area that needs to always be addressed is the basics of mechanics when diagnosing problems although some problems may be obvious more complex problems can be a process of elimination to determine the exact problem. The use of various diagnostic equipment can also help in shortening the process if you have that equipment and with today’s cars, it is a necessity as time is always a factor along with the complexity of computer systems, electrical systems, braking systems and even the different procedures for the actual repairs are vastly different to older days of “simple cars”.
So when is comes to a “general” person buying a car they may very well be out of their league without the skill and ability to able undertake more complex inspections that can be difficult apart from the general overall appearance and some obvious cosmetic wear and tear so the importance of firstly understanding the operation of motor vehicles along with having the correct diagnostic equipment and knowing what to listen for, look for and feel for can usually only come with knowledge, experience and a familiarity with associated problems of particular makes and models.
As an example, BMW’s, Audi’s, Mercedes and some other European cars have similar problems that all seem to occur around the same amount of km’s (60,000) when brakes and disc rotor usually need replacing but some of these may also need suspension bushing also replaced which has caused the tyres to wear prematurely and also have developed the “factory standard oil leak”. I call it the factory standard oil leak as it just seems that these types of the vehicle always have oil leaks, not all but most whether it’s the engine or the transmission it’s some of these common problems that you get familiar with to be looking for and usually expect these problems when inspecting these types of vehicles, nice to drive but not to fix can also be costly if the previous owner is passing the problems on to you and this can include dealerships.
As I mention in one of the other blogs (car buying tips) passing a “pink slip inspection” does not mean the car doesn’t need repairs it is just saying the ‘basics” are acceptable for the vehicle to be on the road but if the vehicle you are considering buying is less than 5 years old it does not require a “pink slip” or yearly inspection and a lot of these cars fail to be serviced or repaired properly unless the owner is consistent with having the vehicle regularly serviced and maintained.
Having a pre-purchase vehicle inspection can alert you any significant problems before you a vehicle and one thing I do hear from people and dealers is “it has factory warranty” my view on that “big deal” having warranty on vehicle from a factory is one thing getting it checked is another and then getting it approved to be fixed is another.
From personal experience one of our 3 cars we use for our other business (Penrith Driving School) the air conditioning packed it in, the car was just at 2 years old with around 45,000 kms. It took 2 weeks 3 days (17 days) just to get into the dealership for them to look at the car, we had to leave the car there for 3/4’s of the day. We then got told we don’t have the parts we need but they have been ordered so you’ll need to come back next week and leave the car with us again (the whole day this time). So from our perspective 3 weeks of having to use a car for driving lessons without the air conditioning (Late November) losing almost 2 days of business is not very good and you can’t go somewhere else to have fixed unless you pay so you just have to wait.
Smaller problem but some dealerships can run you around for months before even looking at your car which can be a major inconvenience if it is the family car but it’s just take a number, and we’ll call you as there is no priority and given that most dealerships are “multi franchised” the waiting time is a lot longer.