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Buying a used 2008 Nissan Altima


I enjoy the show and since I have no idea regarding cars, would like to post a question and get some suggestions.

I have looked at a 2008 Nissan Altima 2.5 S 4 dr (private seller). e’thing looks good but I have read that I should do an inspection. What are the steps to be taken in this process and what should I look out for?

I went to a Nissan Dealer (service dept) and got info regarding “Buyer’s Inspection” and they gave me a checklist but how do I make sure or know that they actually do the desired inspection as I am not buying from the dealer? whats preventing from scamming me?

Any other thoughts?



If you don’t trust the Nissan dealer you can take the car to an independant mechanic for an pre-sale inspection. A dealer’s service dept. wisks the car away and you can’t “witness” the inspection and talk to the mechanic who does it. At an independant garage you can get to do both and therefore stand a better chance of getting more valuable information.

You can have a pre-purchase inspection performed by an independent mechanic. You don’t have to go to a dealer.

Who services your car now? Take the Altima to the same mechanic. Tell the mechanic, dealer or independent, what you’re doing. The mechanic will know what to look for.

Expect to pay the mechanic for his/her time.

If you do not have a regular mechanic, now might be a good time to start cultivating a relationship with one.

Hi UncleTurbo/mcparadise,

Thanks for your replies. Currently I am driving a Honda Civic and want to upgrade. I do know a Honda mechanic but he does not work on anything else than Honda. I do understand that they charge for the service dont mind paying for the inspection as long as its done right as its a small investment…

Do you know any good mechanics for Nissan in Dallas :slight_smile:


Check out “The Mechanics Files” on the Car Talk home page for recommended mechanics. You can search by zip code and make of car.