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Jackie Winters Auto Inspection

By Suzanne O'Connor

Since our daughters ride and our “hauling stuff “ car got totaled last month, it was time to go used car hunting. For 2 weeks, we search private party cars, independent car lots and big dealerships, websites, recycler classified etc. Car shopping on any level, whether new or used is a buyer beware situation.

First we had to do our homework on websites like Edmonds.com, KBB.com, Cars .com and publications like Consumer Reports and others. We read reviews, both professional and private party. Look for complaints, recalls etc.

We got approved for a car loan before we shopped, to give us some wiggle room in what cars we could look at. Bank and Credit Unions generally have lower rates than dealerships. We got our loan at 2% from SCE Credit Union.

Do not believe that a Carfax report gives you an entirely accurate accounting on a used car’s history. A used car should be inspected by an independent, experienced mechanic. So after narrowing down our search to a few cars we liked,  we called in Jackie Winters.

Jackie Winters has been in the car repair and evaluation business for decades having worked for Cadillac for many years and last 20 doing car inspections and working for Lemon Law lawyers. He doesn’t work on Exotic cars…Lamborgini’s, Porche and the like. But if you’re looking at imported or domestic, truck, sedan, SUV, van, or sport car and don’t want to buy new, have Jackie check it out for you.

Jackie Winters will go out to the car (s) you’ve chosen and do a through inspection of each car and give you the lowdown on any potential problems for $100 each car inspection. Jackie checks out each car completely from bumper to bumper… He gives it a full computer scan and personally checks out the front end, back end, engine, transmission, fuel systems, brakes, hoses, belts, electrical and cooling systems, accessories… the works. He test drives it, sometimes twice and then gives you a written evaluation. He also will take pictures. Since he does not have a repair shop, you know his recommendations are not biased. We’ve used him numerous times before and he has always been spot on.

This time, using Jackie, we saved ourselves a real potential headache. A 2002 Subaru Outback that only had 68,000 on it was originally our first choice as a safe ride for our kid. It looked nice and clean, drove fine, had a clean title, clean Carfax and one owner. After Jackie inspected it we found out the car had had extensive body work, an indication of a car accident that had not been reported. It also had not been properly maintained with extensive oil and dirt build up, old dirty filters, old worn belts and a cooling system that was held together with string and tape… really.

Without his report we would have purchased that car based on the low mileage, clean Carfax and clean exterior. We would have been saddled with extensive car repair bills and possibly a full engine overhaul.

We settled on a 2006 Subaru Forester with 97,000 miles on it. Jack gave the car a thumbs up but asked the dealer to replace the front tires and repaint the bumper. Because we knew about Jackie before we went shopping, we were not afraid of buying from a small independent lot or private party. Money well spent!

The same year and model car with more miles was $13,999 at a local Car Max lot. But with the freedom of hunting in off the beaten track places, we found it at $8800…. A $4000 savings!

Our new vehicle is still a used car, but by using Jackie we have, more than likely, avoided a “lemon”... and avoided the hassle and costs of constant car repairs. Thank you Jackie! We would never buy any used car without his expertise!

Jackie Winters Auto Inspection (800) 700-0109.
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