PPI’s and Forums

I wanted to provide a quick introduction as this is new for me as the shop owner. If this is your first time to our website we welcome you and look forward to meeting you, if possible. If you have been with us before, or have had your car serviced by us then we thank you. We appreciate your business and the trust you have placed in us.

“Blogging “is new to me and my idea here is to share thoughts and offer helpful insight to an independent repair shop. In addition, I hope to keep this blog updated with different topics as frequently as possible. In order to provide you with helpful information you can implement today in the way you purchase a car, I felt as if it was appropriate to discuss PPI’s and the accessibility you have to online Forums.

Prior to the internet existing, PPI’s certainly did exist. However, the PPI was mostly a standard issue based on a shops knowledge and experience servicing that particular model car. I won’t reference a specific model, since a good PPI is helpful whenever purchasing a used vehicle. Factors such as Year, Model and Mileage are a major part of the criteria, as well as the Service History and Invoices. These factors are used in order to determine how in depth the PPI will get.

Here at Game-Face Motorsports we still use these criteria to help our clients determine what’s really needed as opposed to what is not. It is no secret that over time these engines and transmissions have changed. For example, in some cases when opening an engine compartment you can’t see anything that resembles an engine. To add, some models you must open a convertible top, or even remove cooling fans just to get to the top of the engine itself, while serviceability would still require the removal of certain components. Factors as such, play a role in making an in-depth PPI not so affordable and in some cases they will necessitate hours of work, which in return will require the vehicle to be left at the shop for a reasonable amount of time.

Time is of the essence and it often becomes very difficult to coordinate with the seller. After all, you may not be the only interested party. A very important factor to be asked, is if the car in question is on a website auction with timing constraints, a private party seller, or a used car dealer?

A good used car dealer is usually easy to deal with as they are interested in making the sale and are very likely open to your PPI. Beware that there are others that go as far as to play games with the Car Fax and swap a bad Car Fax with a good one. Don’t just assume that the Car Fax being shared is the one for the vehicle you are interested in. When it comes to Auctions and a Handshake, important factors must be considered. Recently we were hired to do a PPI on a very nice car. Time was of the essence since the car
was being auctioned and the auction was coming to an end. A buyer had made a deal with the seller, a “Handshake” outside of the auction itself for an agreed price if in fact the PPI came back positive. As stated, the car was very nice and the PPI was positive so the deal was done, or so it seemed. A few days later I was asked if I had shared the same information with the seller. Standard practice is to share the information with the party paying for the PPI, so I expressed that I had not. Long story short, the seller went back on his word, took the information the buyer shared with him about the PPI and left the car on the auction website, essentially getting the car PPI’d for free. It eventually sold to the highest bidder at the auction.

With the Internet and Information provided instantaneously at our fingertips these days it’s easy to access information on any given vehicle make. What makes them tick, horsepower, torque, fuel consumption etc. An accessible way to find good information is to join a Forum. Which in simplicity is a car club on the internet sort to speak. A place where like minded people go for repair information, driving impressions and the dreaded problems and issues that most cars with miles and years have developed. Some being catastrophic and some easy fixes. All of which are assembled into topics and authored by owners, past owners, some technicians and your resident guru. Discerning reality from hype becomes a challenge not only for the consumer wishing to purchase a used car, but for the shop who is performing the PPI.

As a shop owner we value educated car enthusiasts and welcome their input. The fact that the buyer is paying a considerable amount of money for a car and is doing their due diligence in educating themselves is a great thing. The best advice I can give is to educate yourself to a reasonable point, being mindful that there is a better chance of getting reliable information from a trusted repair facility, rather than a forum expert who in many cases does nothing more than repeat what he, or she has read on the forum.

Be prepared to spend time and money for an in-depth PPI. A seller should have no problem allowing a PPI, as well as participating in the process of the PPI for your purchase. Take a Car Fax with a grain of salt and compare the vin number on the Car Fax to the actual car that you are buying. Remember that not everything about the car you are interested in may be on that report. A Repair facility such as ours cannot PPI a car over the phone. I cannot tell you how many “what do you think” phone calls we get. We are always willing to help over the phone, but we can neither diagnose a problem nor PPI a car by phone. What we can do and do very often is tell you straight up when you drive in whether the car is worth your money for our time, often for free. If your fancy is a convertible, make sure the Convertible Top opens and closes the way its supposed to. Do not settle for an “Oh it only needs this or that
explanation.” We repair plenty of Convertibles, its not cheap and will dramatically affect the bottom line on the car. In other words do your due diligence and use your common sense. Buy the right car and enjoy.



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