Avoiding Lemons in Columbus
February 2, 2012 5:13 PM   Subscribe

[OhioMechanicFilter] I'm driving to Columbus (and maybe Akron) tomorrow to try to buy a car, since I can't find my dream car in Pittsburgh. Before I buy used, I want to have a mechanic go over it, since I don't know enough to spot problems on my own. Any recommendations of who I should go to?
posted by Metasyntactic to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you find yourself in Akron, go for Akron Auto.
posted by box at 5:20 PM on February 2, 2012

Good idea, in principle anyway.

An inspection should pick up obvious problems like a smokey engine or poorly repaired accident damage. It won't pick up something that is only evident after you have driven a few hundred kms. It won't pick up inherent flaws in the car that only emerge later in the car's life.

Be aware that some shops will also write up EVERYTHING they find that might prove a problem in the future, and the list can be offputting. What they are doing is covering their arses in case something happens and you turn nasty, so if you get a list like that ask lots of questions.

ALL cars have some problems over their lives, what you should be looking at are the probabilities of some problem arising, and the cost to fix.

I presume that if you are looking at a 'dream car', a) you know lots about it and its quirks, and b) you have the appropriate budget. Otherwise, it could end in tears ...

Good luck
posted by GeeEmm at 6:52 PM on February 2, 2012

I refer everybody I know to Chapin's Auto Service, which is a little bitty shop by Morse and Sinclair. It's where I took my truck before I bought it.

Be aware that he's pretty busy, and he works odd hours- he usually opens around 6 AM (!) and closes around 4. So give a call before you come in.
posted by aaronbeekay at 7:44 PM on February 2, 2012

Every used car case I've seen on the various Judge so-and-so shows has been because someone didn't take it to a mechanic first. (I'm disagreeing with GeeEmm and think it's a good idea to take it in.)
posted by getawaysticks at 5:33 AM on February 3, 2012

Evans Automotive on Morse Rd near Easton. Best shop in Columbus.
posted by cp7 at 6:33 AM on February 3, 2012

Thanks guys! Trip has been postponed until early next week, so more recs are still useful.

I am definitely taking any used car I'm serious about to a mechanic ... I have no mechanical knowledge to speak of, and this policy has already saved me from a bad deal once this week.
posted by Metasyntactic at 6:20 PM on February 3, 2012

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