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PPI(pre-purchase inspection)
Posted on July 29th, 2015

This is a sample of the kind of inspection I like to do on used cars before purchasing. You have to know and realize that any used car you get will carry a risk of mechanical or cosmetic problems, and there are no perfect used cars out there. I'm a stickler though, and patience pays off when shopping for a new vehicle.

You can minimize the risk by having a trained mechanic and a trained detailer look at the car for signs of future problems or otherwise undocumented accidents & issues. As I am not a trained mechanic, I leave that up to the experts, but I know what to look for in a paint system. Let's start by looking at the sticker on the car:
I have to call attention to the "fully detailed" addendum on the sticker. This actually causes me more alarm since many dealership detailers are under time and budget constraints to do cars as quickly as possible. They unfortunately do not have access to a lot of the safer or more effective technologies that many modern detailers do, so sometimes harm can be inflicted on vehicle finishes.
Here is our test subject, a 2012 Certified Pre-owned Acura TSX. 
The vehicle looks okay from this distance and camera angle. It's a little dirty, but still not terrible.
Here's where I began to doubt that it was fully detailed.
This is the front of the hood. The paint is actually flaking away from it and there is rust forming, which is inexcusable on a 2012 vehicle. This is likely the result of a poor repair.

Here are some more pictures of damage and defects I found:
This one is particularly problematic because the body lines aren't symmetrical. That means this has been damaged and repaired at some point, as this bumper should be flush with the headlight housing.
I'll finish this up with posting some pictures of other dirt/damage I found underneath my personal lighting at home. This car was not in sufficient shape to warrant a purchase, as many of the damage could not be fixed unless completely repainted. This car was advertised as a CPO and completely detailed - it was anything but. I also found signs of repair because the paint levels varied so wildly. In some places it was more than four times as "thick" as others. Something just wasn't adding up.
There was also a leak on the interior. I think the repair would have been okay on this by clearing out the drain from the sunroof, but it wasn't worth undertaking something like that for a car that is advertised as CPO. 

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