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Checking Computer Systems When Doing Pre-Purchase Inspections
Checking the computer systems on today’s vehicles before making a purchase cannot be overemphasized. Almost every system in today’s state-of-the art vehicles has some type of electronic or computer controls to control its operation. Some of these systems are for entertainment or convenience only such as phone and BLUETOOTH systems, Satellite, radio and climate-control systems and ensure that the driver has a very comfortable and enjoyable ride. Other systems however are much more critical to the functioning of the vehicle. Problems caused by a computer controlled brake system, ABS, suspension or engine control system, or engine or suspension system can cause the vehicle to be unsafe if not working correctly.

Car Inspectors’ Diagnostic Software
Car inspection softwarePre-Purchase vehicle inspections performed by Car Inspectors includes check of all vehicle-specific computerized and electronic systems including (but not limited to):
• Engine Control systems
• Transmission and Drivetrain Management
• Antilock Brakes Systems (ABS)
• Traction Control
• Steering and Suspension Control
• HVAC and Climate control
• Control Area Network (CAN) Systems
• Camera systems including Back-Up Camera
• Security Systems
• Radio, Sound and Entertainment Systems
• Navigation Systems
• Phone and Bluetooth
• Body Control Module Systems
• SYNC Systems
• Parking Assist Systems
• Plus many others


Car Inspectors uses PC-based electronic diagnostic programs and equipment which checks each of these systems thoroughly to make sure that the vehicle you’re purchasing will not have any kind of computerized or electronic problems.  The software used by Car Inspectors is able to check all vehicle-specific systems for all vehicle models through 2017 and can read thousands of system-specific Trouble Codes. Car Inspectors is also able to determine the difficulty and cost of repairing any problems, faults and errors found and report them on the inspection checklist and include the cost of repair on the written estimate at the time of the inspection.

Cost Savings of Finding Electrical Problems

The importance of having the electrical, electronic and computer systems of your vehicle checked out cannot be overemphasized. Many times, the vehicle you’re about to buy may appear to operate normally with no symptoms or warning lamps on the dash telling you otherwise. However, if a trouble code was recently cleared by the seller to turn off a warning lamp temporarily (such as the “Check Engine” light for example) and you buy the vehicle, a fault in the Powertrain Management System will eventually re-set the fault and turn the light back on. The result will be that you may be unable to pass SMOG inspection in the state where you want to drive the vehicle. This also means you will be unable to register or have it licensed. The repair of the problem may also cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This is especially true with electronic and computer system failures which are usually much more difficult to isolate, diagnose and repair than simple mechanical problems. Also, many times electronic and computerized problems are intermittent. This means that the car may seem to be okay during the 1-2 hours it is inspected by the technician, but after several hours of driving, an electronic component, computer or a loose or poorly connected wire may vibrate, move or get hot. Cold or wet-weather can also cause intermittent problems with electronic systems which otherwise seem to operate normally. The result may be a system that starts performing poorly or shuts down completely. Car Inspectors by checking any trouble codes which are stored in the computer’s memory is able to determine whether a problem is present at the time of inspection or intermittent, and report the potential of it becoming a serious (and expensive) problem later. The buyer can then make an educated decision of whether to go ahead with the purchase or look elsewhere for a vehicle which doesn’t have possible high-cost electronic problems which will have to be diagnosed and repaired later.


Steve Storey / ASE Master Technician / Car Inspectors

Used Car Inspection Checklist- What To Check When Buying a Used Car

Used Car Inspection Checklist

Are you planning to invest in a used car due to budget crunch and want to make your decision a fruitful one?  Though there are hundreds of things that one should look into while undergoing any such situation, doing a pre-purchase inspection holds the key to the best results. A full-fledged inspection is of great importance at this stage as it will ensure that you put your money in the right direction to get a car that would deliver you peace of mind and not excessive visits to a car mechanic.

Let’s look at various aspects that you should consider while doing a pre purchase inspection of the used car yourself.

1. Overall condition of the body

The first & foremost thing to check is the overall condition of the body. This activity would include: examination of the car’s passenger doors, boot door, hood, checks for dents, rust, and scratches. If you notice uneven gaps between the fender and the door, it simply means that the body was repaired or parts were manufactured locally in a garage. The result may be that it may easily dismantle even in case of a small accident. Another important thing is the aesthetical elements of the car such as color and texture of the paint. This is because no one would be interestedin buying a car that looks worn out from the outside.

2. Check the suspension

A car’s ride is meant to be high on control and comfort and a suspension system in good condition makes this possible. So, while deciding over the purchase of a used car, make sure the suspension system of the car is well maintained so that you don’t feel jerks or excessive swaying on bumpy roads. If not sure, you can ask a mechanic to do the job on your behalf. The primary purpose behind this objective is to be clear about the suspension system of the car.

3. Do check the air conditioning system

For hotter regions, air conditioning is a must. Check for the air conditioning system of the car you’re interested in. Many times buyers don’t get the AC serviced on time and this results in an improperly cooling AC system. So, get it checked out so you can enjoy a cooler car diving experienced with your family.

4. Tires

Even a bicycle runs on tires. A vehicle will give better fuel economy and hassle-free ride if its tires are in good condition. Tires need replacement after a certain distance covered by them, so don’t hesitate in asking the seller when was the last time he changed the tires. Many times tires are the cause behind car accidents; so always look for a car with good tires.

5. Electrical and electronic systems

If you wish to enjoy a safer and enjoyable ride in your newly bought used car, the role of its electrical systems is paramount. From powering the audio system to lighting up the cabin, there is a complex system of electric wires, switches and components in any car. So, get it thoroughly inspected to avoid the chances of an inoperative system or even worse, a short circuit or fire.

Feel free to contact Car Inspectors today for used car inspection service in Los Angeles.