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Full Version: Seeking feedback on the pre-purchase inspection report for a car I'm considering
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Hi all, 
So, I'm seriously considering buying a 2009 GMC Envoy I found and negotiated down to $6k price. I had it inspected by LemonSquad and just received the report.  I'm looking through it now, but thought I'd post the narrative part for you all to offer feedback.  There are a few things in it that I'm concerned about.  If you have questions about specifics in the report itself, let me know and I'll post it.  For now, below is the inspector's overall summary.  Please keep in mind, this would be my very first automobile purchase, so I'm a bit of a fish out of water - AND I need to drive quite a distance with it right away to get back to my storage unit and take care of some things.  

Here's the summary - any red flags that turn you off?  Any things you think are pluses?

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SUMMARY

This 2009 GMC Envoy looks to be a good running and driving vehicle but it has some issues of note. There are minor misc scratches around the vehicle. Normal for mileage and some are too small to see in the pictures. The vehicle shows minor miscellaneous dings around the body. The plastic headlight covers have some age haze. There are scrapes on both the left and right ends of the front bumper. The alignment of the front bumper on the right side is off - there is a gap where the bumper cover meets the fender - see picture. There is a scrape on the bottom of the rear bumper. The steering wheel rim shows wear. The front seats show moderate wear. The driver's power seat switch panel is loose - see picture. The seats show moderate wear. The inner door panels show wear consistent with age and mileage. The interior trim shows normal wear consistent with age and mileage. The center console shows some wear and the radio switch buttons and volume knob are worn. The driver's floor mat is worn quite a bit. The power steering fluid level is low, with no obvious external leaks this may indicate internal rack and pinion seals leaking and will require further diagnosis. One wheel has some curb scrapes and the other three are in good condition. The tires are wearing evenly with tread getting on the low side and should be replaced in the near future. The engine had plenty of power and there were no misfires or excessive smoking. The transmission shifted as designed with no harsh engagement or slipping. The steering was responsive and the suspension was firm and the vehicle handled well. There were no abnormal vibrations or odd noises. The brakes were firm with no pulsation felt. There were no leaks found to the underside of the vehicle but I did note the odor of burning oil, which seemed to be coming from the exhaust system. I hooked up my Scan Tool to the computer system and found no current or pending codes. All of the live data looked good with no issues reported. Overall a decent vehicle. 
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Envoys and trailblazers run the front axle through the oil pan on 4x4 models. It needs physical inspection for leaks if it is 4x4 as well as 4wd high and low engaged.

If its 2x4 its priced a bit high even if sub 100k miles.
(09-27-2019, 10:30 AM)Elbear1 Wrote: [ -> ]If its 2x4 its priced a bit high even if sub 100k miles.

Oh, I should've mentioned it's a 2x4 (RWD) with 94,310 miles.

I'm concerned about the power steering fluid/rack and pinion issue mentioned. Also wondering how much a new set of tires will cost and a good brand to get. As for the oil being low and dirty, the seller says he's changing the oil.

Also, I know the rear bumper was replaced after what the seller calls a "parking lot accident" in 2012. But it makes me wonder what's going on with the front bumper being wonky.

I've only looked up the VIN on vehiclehistory.com, and have not seen the Carfax yet.
Carfax is a gimmick. It only shows what official work or recalls have been done. Anything done by owner or by private shop wont come up. Thing coulda been in a flood and if it werent claimed you wouldnt know.
(09-27-2019, 11:03 AM)CityWoman Wrote: [ -> ]Also wondering how much a new set of tires will cost and a good brand to get.


Go to tirerack.com, discounttire.com, walmart.com or other tire seller, enter your vehicle info or tire size, and they will show a variety of choices at a variety of prices, often with customer reviews.

Beware the cheapest brands, though. They usually wear quickly or have construction problems like not being truly round or the tread separating. Personally, I like the Cooper tires I have on my van now. American made, reasonable price, good tread wear.
(09-27-2019, 11:24 AM)Elbear1 Wrote: [ -> ]Carfax is a gimmick. It only shows what official work or recalls have been done. Anything done by owner or by private shop wont come up. Thing coulda been in a flood and if it werent claimed you wouldnt know.

The seller says it was regularly manintained by the dealer and didn't have the service reports when I first went to look at it, but has since told me he got them (hard copy), so I will be able to see them. I could also call the dealership, as I know which one it is.
Id show guy $5k and pass if he dont take it. A 4x4 is valuble out here.
(09-27-2019, 11:28 AM)MrNoodly Wrote: [ -> ]Go to tirerack.com, discounttire.com, walmart.com or other tire seller, enter your vehicle info or tire size, and they will show a variety of choices at a variety of prices, often with customer reviews. . . . I like the Cooper tires I have on my van now. American made, reasonable price, good tread wear.

Thank you. I was hoping you'd weigh in. I will check those sites out.

What do you think about the rest of the report summary?
Yes good idea to lookup the carfax, although it's not 100% (as "guaranteed") as I found out. I once bought a jeep that I believe was in a flood in Texas, given the drive train and suspension problems I had with it.

I have some misgivings about Lemon Squad given the report, but am not any sort of car expert, so am willing to be enlightened.

What I see in the report is them doing a basic look around to see "obvious" dings on the outside and wear on the inside furnishings. Then they plugged in an OBD scanner, and checked the fluids. Then they took it for a 10-minute or so test drive, to see how it handled, accelerated, and braked. Anybody could do that for a lot less than $149.

What I did not see in the report is evidence of what they claim on the webpage:
- Comprehensive mechanical inspection of complete drive-train.
- Inspection of the steering, suspension, and brakes

Those things would involve some non trivial amount of time to perform adequately. I think what they did was "assume" these things were all ok, based upon a short test drive.
(09-27-2019, 11:31 AM)CityWoman Wrote: [ -> ]What do you think about the rest of the report summary?


It sounds like a solid vehicle. The low power steering fluid could be nothing and it could just mean topping off the fluid once in a while. (A bottle of power steering fluid is only about $2)  Besides, dealing with rack and pinion seals is small potatoes compared to engine or transmission problems you might find in other vehicles.
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