mechanic inspecting a pre-owned car
car mechanic inspecting components

A used car is always a gamble – don’t risk thousands of your hard-earned dollars on purchasing a used car without a thorough inspection! Most reputable sellers will allow you to take the car off their premises for an independent inspection (if your seller doesn’t, walk away). Rely on the professionals at Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres for a thorough mechanical inspection and honest assessment of the vehicle -- we’ll make sure you don’t inherit a carload of expensive problems!

Why You Should Get a Professional Pre-Purchase Inspection

A professional Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre used car inspection at our Vancouver locations, as well as many other cities BC and Alberta, comprises an extensive 140-point checklist that will reveal evidence of any urgent and pending vehicle maintenance issues. The up-to-date equipment and tools available in our facilities, and professional detailed mechanical inspections of the car, will reveal most of the issues and fluid leaks that a quick top side visual inspection at the seller’s site may not turn up.

At the end of our 140-point pre-purchase peace-of-mind inspection, our technicians will provide you with a detailed checklist inspection report, along with an estimate for any necessary repairs.

Don’t leave the purchase of your used vehicle to chance. Bring your next hot deal to a Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres garage for pre-purchase inspection by an experienced and professional auto mechanic.


A PPI is an inspection, usually carried out before the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle, performed by a licensed auto technician, who will then be able to provide you with deeper information concerning the vehicle’s aesthetic, mechanical, and safety condition. By providing you with comprehensive information regarding the vehicle in question, a PPI enables you to make an educated decision on whether or not to go through with the purchase, and may even provide you with price negotiating leverage.

A pre-purchase inspection is a comprehensive investigation of the overall aesthetic and functional health of the vehicle you are thinking about buying. It generally consists of, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Overall Auto Body Inspection: Your technician will examine the body of the vehicle, looking for signs of rust, damage, or evidence of a previous accident.
  • Suspension and Tire Tests: Through manual tests, or a test drive, your mechanic will determine the state of your shocks and tires. Excessive bouncing will indicate a major problem with suspension, and uneven tire wear is a sign of alignment issues.
  • Thorough Inspection of All Vehicle Lights: Rear and headlight assemblies are verified, ensuring they function properly, are not leaking, and all other lights are checked to ensure a fully functional system. If your mechanic notices any dimming or flickering, he/she will inform you of a possible electrical problem.
  • Gauge and Warning Light Inspection: Obviously, the vehicle shouldn’t be displaying any warning lights on the dashboard indicator. However, your auto technician will also make sure the odometer, speedometer, and all other gauges are measuring levels correctly.
  • HVAC System Checks: The vehicle’s heater and AC should be in proper working order – meaning the fan should work on all speeds, and the compressor should not be excessively loud.
  • Cooling System and Oil Inspection: First and foremost, your mechanic will check for leaks (the obvious sign of a serious problem). Then he/she will examine each system to ensure that hoses and parts are all in good condition and properly connected, as well as verify that coolant and oil levels/quality are up to par.
  • Engine Tests: The vehicle’s engine will be examined to ensure it runs and idles smoothly. The technician will also be keeping an ear open for “knocking” sounds which could be an indication of sensor or engine problems, and can also hint at poor care from the previous owner – such as the use of low-quality fuel, or general abuse of the engine due to driving style.
  • Exhaust System: Your exhaust system will be thoroughly examined to confirm that there are no major leaks, but also to ensure there are no serious issues. For example, blue, black, or white smoke emanating from your muffler are clear indications of major problems.
  • Brakes and Transmission Inspections: To ensure your safety, your mechanic will test the health of your brake system. This will indicate whether or not purchasing this vehicle will be coming with the additional cost of repairing your entire brake system...which can get quite costly. Likewise, problems with transmission are a red flag because they can be quite costly to replace and, depending on the asking price for the vehicle, it may not be a worthwhile investment. Your mechanic will test the car for smooth, seamless, and noiseless shifting between gears.

The inspection usually costs between $180 - $240, depending on your vehicle, and all of our Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centre locations provide the service. Just visit one of our shops and ask for a pre-purchase inspection from one of our many qualified auto technicians. At the end of the inspection, we will provide you with a comprehensive 140-point check report.