Professional inspection before buying used car

Hi I am thinking of buying a used 1997 Oldsmobile LSS with 105400 miles on it. I had the same car before with a lot more miles on it and because bought it without getting it inspected, I ran into a lot of mechanical troubles with it. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I was wondering where I can get a reliable inspection done.

I have time off only on Saturdays and Sundays, and the dealership body shops are all closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Would it be equally reliable to get the inspection done at a general car repair place like a Midas?

I really believe that you need to think “outside of the box”.
For anything having to do with a 13 year old car, there is no reason whatsoever to take it to a dealership.

Also–I would strongly suggest that you avoid places like Midas, Meineke, Monro, Sears, AAMCO, and all other chain operations.

Surely there must be a few independent mechanic shops in your area that are open on Saturdays–and perhaps even on a Sunday. An indy mechanic is going to charge you FAR less than a dealership or a chain operation, and in many cases they have the best mechanics.

I would never recommend a dealership or a chain shop to perform a pre-purchase inspection. Find a good local mechanic to check the vehicle out. You are certainly doing the right thing in this case because I always advise a pre-purchase inspection of any vehicle. It’s mainly because of your prior problems with your other Oldsmobile.The vehicle you are thinking of buying is 14 years old and mechanical problems are a possiblility even with 105K on the clock.

Thanks for those tips!

The thing is, this place is about 30 miles away from where I live and I don’t know any trustworthy mechanics there. I know one where I stay, but the seller wont come down all the way so I can get the car inspected.

Is there a way I can find a reliable garage nearby?

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I will add that even the most thorough of inspections by the best of mechanics does not guarantee you a problem free car.
The only thing it does is increase the odds in your favor quite a bit.

New cars routinely break down so a collection of well used parts (referred to as a used car) is even more prone to this. There are simply too many things that cannot be inspected and are subject to fail at any time. An inspection can help by determining if the basic building blocks are in good shape and there are varying levels of inspections.

Some inspections are general look-overs and others involved leakdown test, oil pressure test, transmission fluid pressure tests, etc. and the latter are labor intensive; which means much more expensive.

If the seller won’t let you drive the car 60 miles to your mechanic and back, I would run the other way.