1 2
Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
6/22/11 5:37 p.m.

After reading about the GRM Porsche's demise thanks to a failed PPI, and my own issues with a Post Purchase Inspection (to be fair, GRM's was done by a friend and my car was a sub-Challenged priced POS), and reading about dozens of others all of the time, I'm starting to think it may be a scam.

I brought mine to a Porsche shop (there was a 76 911 and a 71 914 2.0 in there with a Corvair Corsa 'Vert and a early Boxster) and they did some weird things, like tell me the fog lights didn't work (they just didn't turn the switch on). The only "major" issues they found were the RF ball joint, a leak in the rear diff/transaxle, and an INOP rear wiper, all of which I knew from the test drive. Did I really need to pay somebody to tell me that?

Now I know there's at least 1 good PPI story here (Woody had one that found missing head studs), but GRM's PPI didn't catch theirs.

Anybody else have experience or opinions on this one way or the other?

Woody
Woody SuperDork
6/22/11 5:45 p.m.

I thought that the PPI that found the missing head studs was almost too thorough. They listed everything on the car, every tired blower fan, every suspension joint, shocks, A/C, switches, etc. It was almost disheartening. It made me think that every car would be rejected. But I guess they justified the expense. The guy who did that one is an incredibly well respected Porsche shop owner, though.

Graefin10
Graefin10 Reader
6/22/11 5:56 p.m.

I did several PPIs for customers over the years of owning a shop. I was thorough and I think I can safely say in every situation the charges were beneficial to the buyer.

One in particular comes to mind was a guy who was looking @ a freshly painted 69 GTO. It was painted in a horrible non original color of green and it was a bondoed up rust bucket. The seller had about 10 GTOs and about half of them were for sale. I pulled my customer aside and told him that whatever he did DO NOT BY THE GREEN ONE. Instead, I steered him to a decent but unrestored 66 convertible. It was a good driver with a 4sp. that he bought for $1500 less than he was going to pay for the 69. He called me the next day to thank me again for my services and to let me know how much he was enjoying his car.

Do people get ripped off paying for PPIs? Sure they do! PPIs on homes also. It depends on the person doing the inspection.

familytruckster
familytruckster New Reader
6/22/11 6:09 p.m.

Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
6/22/11 6:25 p.m.

As Graefin says:

"...it all depends on who does it (the PPI)".

If you go to the search function above and look for comments about CPO vehicles, you will also find several "horror" stories.

I've looked at several cars over the years that had "things" wrong with them, and managed to miss a few obvious faults. The Capri I bought about 10-15 years ago had a burned out headlight which I thought was a bad bulb. I didn't mention it to the seller. Unfortunately, what it really had was a burned out/faulty headlight relay. It didn't cost much to fix, but it was not easy to find THE part needed to fix. The Mercury dealer in my city said the part number on the relay crossed to something else entirely and no, they had no idea what the correct part number was.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
6/22/11 6:35 p.m.
familytruckster wrote: Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

Oh my Monster, do NOT get me started on the scam that is Home Inspection! If I ever find the slimeball that did ours I'll probably break both of his legs.

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
6/22/11 6:59 p.m.
Javelin wrote:
familytruckster wrote: Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

Oh my Monster, do NOT get me started on the scam that is Home Inspection! If I ever find the slimeball that did ours I'll probably break both of his legs.

No joke.

I'm spending $1k to repair a roof that didn't have felt layed in the valleys!!!!!!! And they aren't legally binding, what's the point! ARRGGHGHHH.

z31maniac
z31maniac SuperDork
6/22/11 6:59 p.m.
Javelin wrote:
familytruckster wrote: Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

Oh my Monster, do NOT get me started on the scam that is Home Inspection! If I ever find the slimeball that did ours I'll probably break both of his legs.

No joke.

I'm spending $1k to repair a roof that didn't have felt laid in the valleys!!!!!!! And they aren't legally binding, what's the point! ARRGGHGHHH.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim SuperDork
6/22/11 7:38 p.m.

I've learned the hard way that spending time (preferably a lot of time) selecting the right bunch of people to do a PPI on your car (in my case, my 911 Targa) can easily save you money and aggravation. But I didn't find out that the supposed 'UK specialist' I hired had a bit of a reputation for having a couple of people doing PPIs for him that probably need guide dogs to find their way around.

That little lesson cost me $5k minimum plus the PPI fees, but the guy who owns the company yelled at me for free for taking the car to an "expensive shop, I could have hooked you up with someone cheaper"[1].

[1] The guy who did the work to fix the 'little oversight' is a well respected 911 restorer and only does the work one way - the right way.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
6/22/11 7:42 p.m.

the one on my 85 911 was very helpful and actually saved me some money. The one I didn't have on my first 87 944 Turbo.....well that one cost me...

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
6/23/11 5:42 a.m.
Javelin wrote:
familytruckster wrote: Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

Oh my Monster, do NOT get me started on the scam that is Home Inspection! If I ever find the slimeball that did ours I'll probably break both of his legs.

+a million

Woody
Woody SuperDork
6/23/11 5:58 a.m.

In the 911 world, a PPI includes, at minimum, several hours and removal of the valve covers and subsequent oil change (10 quart minimum). Unless one well known PCA member is selling to another well known PCA member, the seller may not be all that receptive to a potential buyer / stranger doing it himself.

foxtrapper
foxtrapper SuperDork
6/23/11 5:58 a.m.

Any inspection is only as good as the inspector. Be it a car or house (or boat, plane, etc).

If you let a car or house be "inspected" for you by someone the seller steers you to... So be it, you get what you get.

Hire someone yourself to do the inspection, you'll likely get a different result.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
6/23/11 6:15 a.m.
Woody wrote: In the 911 world, a PPI includes, at minimum, several hours and removal of the valve covers and subsequent oil change (10 quart minimum). Unless one well known PCA member is selling to another well known PCA member, the seller may not be all that receptive to a potential buyer / stranger doing it himself.

I went the "known PCA member" route and bought unseen based on the price and sellers reputation as a PCA chapter president and seller of decent cars in the past. 23k later I've only replaced an oil cooler (own damn fault) and rebuilt a master cylinder above normal maintenance but... 23k hard miles is near time to pop valve covers for an adjustment.

Over the winter I'm going to pull the motor/trans for a complete maintenance update. It is so easy to get them out that I see no good reason to lay under the car struggling with valve covers and so on now. I'll set it on the workbench and go over everything at once.

Maroon92
Maroon92 SuperDork
6/23/11 6:40 a.m.

One of our biggest services at the shop is the PPI. We have a tech spend two hours going over the car with a fine toothed comb. We had a guy come in with an immaculate 968 cab. The body was perfect, the interior was perfect, and the top was perfect. Everything underneath was less so.

We told him it would be about 8000 dollars in parts and labor to get it back to perfect mechanical condition (at the very least, it needed a new steering rack and a T-Belt W-Pump job.)

He bought the car anyway and scheduled the maintenance because it is so hard to find a car in that type of shape. It LOOKED like it had just rolled off the assembly line.

akamcfly
akamcfly Reader
6/23/11 7:40 a.m.
familytruckster wrote: Yeah, my home inspection was a joke. Sure as hell was a scam by the Realtor to get some kickback $$. They missed everything. That was a learning experience.

Same here - they missed EVERYTHING

Woody
Woody SuperDork
6/23/11 7:42 a.m.

Many home inspectors around here guarantee their services Unfortunately, what that means is that if they miss a $20,000 problem, they will refund your $299 inspection fee.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
6/23/11 7:44 a.m.

I skipped the home inspection last time. I knew there was a lot wrong with the place and intended to gut it and start over anyway. But other inspections in the past have shown the importance of getting the right inspector. For a $5000 car, I would not bother and just expect something to be wrong. For a $100,000 car, I want it stripped to the block.

docwyte
docwyte Reader
6/23/11 8:34 a.m.

I had a PPI and bought from a known Rennlister and still spent thousands of dollars taking care of issues, ultimately replacing the blown motor with an LS1.

The PPI shop was a Porsche indy shop, I called and told them what to look for, they said it was all good, get the car home and every known 944 fault I told them about was there.

That led to a very angry phone call from me to the PPI shop and a partial refund.

Strizzo
Strizzo SuperDork
6/23/11 9:17 a.m.

i'll say again that it depends on the inspector. my home inspector went through everything very thoroughly, and found some things wrong that the seller fixed. i recommended the same guy for a coworker that was buying a house, and he ended up finding foundation issues which led to her moving on and buying a different house. the realtor wasn't at all happy about that and tried to get her to use a different inspector that wasn't so "dramatic" for the second go-round. she didn't

speedblind
speedblind Reader
6/23/11 10:55 a.m.

I always get a PPI - for $150, it's cheap insurance. Do they always find everything? Of course not. You're looking for a major reason to say no to a car, in my opinion, not stuff like replacing a hose or two. And +1 for finding a shop that deals in the car you're buying and being very clear about what you're looking for. If the car's for track use, they shouldn't waste time testing things like the sunroof or seat heaters.

Last car I bought came back from the PPI with ~$3,500 worth of required maintenance - essentially all suspension bushings, etc. Parts wise it wasn't very much and I figured I could do everything myself. Turns out the bushings are more than servicable, so maybe they were trying to drum up a little business. The didn't catch a coolant link coming from the hoses under the intake manifold, though.

Vigo
Vigo Dork
6/23/11 12:49 p.m.

As a mechanic, i would never pay money for one. Does that answer the question?

93gsxturbo
93gsxturbo HalfDork
6/23/11 12:58 p.m.

I have enough invested in my personal knowledge, skill set, and toolbox to never pay for a PPI. I suppose if I was lacking those things, I would consider it.

The only thing I take when I go buy a car is a friend with a good set of eyes, a flashlight, and a stack of benjamins.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
6/23/11 1:05 p.m.

The PPI is bandied about as a requirement when buying a higher-end car, and is very associated with Porsche's. I have performed my own PPI's on all of my purchases as a mechanic, but that's something I think every GRM'er on here does.

I'm talking about the whole she-bang thorough shop-specialist inspection that would literally tell you everything, and hopefully uncover (or confirm as OK) the nagging particular issues with that make/model.

For example, on the A/C 911's (and 914-6's), pulling the covers and checking the head bolts/studs would be a requirement. On a 944/924S I would expect a timing belt inspection.

A good PPI should do things that we as home mechanics can not, such as leak-down tests, bore-o-scopes, and frame-alignment checks.

My issue is I think that the majority of places are charging the full-monty PPI price for a sub-standard looky-loo. My shop did no compression test or leakdown check, did not inspect the timing belt or balance belts, and generally did a poor job (IE - It leaks. Duh? Leak from what gasket!). I am finding evidence that this is the standard PPI behavior now, even from shop specialists (again, mine was a Porsche/classic sports car shop).

Cotton
Cotton Dork
6/23/11 2:31 p.m.
93gsxturbo wrote: I have enough invested in my personal knowledge, skill set, and toolbox to never pay for a PPI. I suppose if I was lacking those things, I would consider it. The only thing I take when I go buy a car is a friend with a good set of eyes, a flashlight, and a stack of benjamins.

As do I, but sometimes I tend to wear rose colored glasses when I really want a car and a 2nd opinion from a pro is a good reality check, especially when repair costs can add up so quickly. Do I get a PPI on a 78 Trans Am or a 20 year old Suburban.....uhh hell no, but just about anything from Germany you can pretty much bet I will.

Also, in the case of my 911, the seller would not budge on the price....at all. However, he was more than happy to drive the car 2+ hours to the shop of my choice for a PPI. When the mechanic came back with a list of repairs that totalled around $500 the seller agreed to drop the price $250, so we would basically split the repair bill. That paid for the PPI, left me with an extra $100 in my pocket, and gave me some peace of mind.

On the other hand, the PPI on my BMW k1200s from a well known BMW dealer was a joke, so picking the right shop is an absolute must.

1 2
T6iLnZ3hbrduKgNxe7esCX8FsHJ2grvm