Pre-Purchase Inspections – Why It’s Necessary Before Buying a Used Lexus

Published 10 years ago — by Lisa Federico

So you’ve found your dream Lexus. It’s used, and looks like it’s had a few wear and tear repairs over the years, which is normal. Should you purchase it? Not before you obtain a pre-purchase inspection.

Used Car For Sale! Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection First!

Used Car For Sale! Get a Pre-Purchase Inspection First!
Photo Credit: John Lloyd

It’s necessary to get a pre-purchase inspection done before buying a used Lexus because you don’t want to end up with a vehicle full of expensive to remedy mechanical and safety issues that are not evident to the casual eye.

What Is A Pre-Purchase Inspection, Anyway?

A pre-purchase inspection is a detailed report about the cosmetic, mechanical and safety condition of the Lexus you are interested in purchasing.

To avoid purchasing a poorly maintained car or succumbing to other buying pitfalls, Angela Andreola, a luxury vehicle mechanic and licensed used car dealer in Ft. Lauderdale, always recommends a pre-purchase inspection by a qualified Lexus mechanic before purchasing a used Lexus vehicle. "I have saved many buyers from getting into a situation where they have been taken advantage of, and I have made sure their dream vehicle does not turn into a nightmare," says Andreola.

Buying a Used Lexus Long Distance or Without a Warranty

If you plan on buying a used Lexus long distance (located in another city/state) or without a warranty, it is definitely a MUST that you get a pre-purchase inspection. Major risk is at stake if not.

In fact, Andreola has found that so many clients are buying vehicles long distance these days, so she created a service called Ask The Auto Lady to help buyers make sure they are getting what they're paying for.

"The most common mistake buyers make is not having inspection reports and the title work on the car they are looking to buy reviewed by an expert before they purchase the vehicle,” says Andreola. “Buyers need someone who knows what to ask on behalf of them, and that’s what I help to do with my Ask The Auto Lady service.”

Andreola goes on to say, “Sure anyone can do their homework before they buy a vehicle, which is good and part of the process, but there is so much more to make sure the buyer is protected when spending thousands of dollars on a used vehicle."

The seller should be willing to let you have a pre-purchase inspection done prior to buying it, if not, then that is a red flag and they’re likely hiding something from you about the Lexus.

Pre-Purchase Inspection Checklist and Price

Once your potential used Lexus is being inspected by a Lexus service provider, it’s common for a few minor flaws to show up on the pre-purchase inspection. Finding these minor flaws can actually help in the overall price negotiation process if you do buy the used vehicle.

Take your car to a qualified Lexus mechanic before buying.

Take your car to a qualified Lexus mechanic before buying.
Photo Credit: Elliott Brown

A thorough inspection should cover over 125 items in the following areas (not limited to):

  • Overall condition of the Lexus
  • Visual problems with the body and frame
  • Leaks and broken components
  • Engine analysis and problems
  • Road test

The following past problems can be identified by a qualified Lexus mechanic while inspecting the vehicle:

  • Frame damage
  • Poor repair work
  • Car previously owned by a smoker
  • Flood damage

Prices vary from Lexus shop to Lexus shop and are dependent on how thorough of a pre-purchase inspection you choose for your potential Lexus. The more detailed and extensive an inspection, the more it will cost you - but the more it could save you in the long run.

One such example of a past problem that was identified to a potential buyer was for a client Andreola was representing from her Ask The Auto Lady service. “I was reviewing an inspection report that said the car had a strange smell in which the inspector could not identify, but everything else showed up “clean” with the title reports. I called the inspector and suggested he spend a little more time checking for mold and water entry, which is likely to have contributed to the foul smell of the car. The inspector took photos and sent them to me and I was shocked to see puddles of water under the carpeting and green wiring. Sure enough, through another vehicle history report, it was found out that there had been previous flood damage to the used vehicle. My client really loved the vehicle, but took my advice and passed on the purchase. Afterwards, my client found himself another vehicle that he loved even more. So there is a happy ending to the story.”

In the end, it is worth the money purchasing a pre-purchase inspection, in the long-run, to avoid costly repair bills that can add up in the future. So buy your used dream Lexus with confidence, knowing you’ve taken the appropriate measures and gotten a pre-purchase inspection.

Special thanks to Andrea Andreola at ABS Exotic Repair in Ft. Lauderdale for her help in preparing this article.

Find a local, independent Lexus repair shop with Lexus mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.