FAQ About TDT Auto Inspection Services
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions & answers about Test Drive Technologies Auto Inspection Services – If your question is not answered below feel free to send us a note using the contact us form on the right.
Who Will Be Inspecting My Vehicle?
Steven Paul, the president and owner of Test Drive Technologies inspects each and every single vehicle that comes our way. We do not sub-contract out your inspection and we do not use affiliate inspection companies like some other nation-wide auto inspection companies do. This way we can assure you that you will be getting a top-notch quality auto inspection for your money.
Can You Inspect My Vehicle The Same Day?
Sometimes we can & sometimes we can not. If we receive your inspection request & payment before 8 am CST and we can make contact with the seller directly after that we might be able to squeeze it in the same afternoon. If we can not get it done the same afternoon your inspection goes into the first available time slot as long as it is in the local area for that day. Some outlying areas require a few days wait as we drive to all of our inspection sites such as Chicago from St Louis.
When Will I Get the Inspection Results?
All of our inspections are processed immediately when we return to the office that day in the order they were performed. 99% of our inspections are ready for viewing by our clients the very next morning. On the rare occasion it is later that next afternoon but we strive to have your results to you within 24 hours of the inspection being performed.
Do You Perform Engine Compression Test?
No, we are bound by our insurance agreement that we can not perform compression test on vehicles regardless of their age due to risk of breaking spark plugs off in heads. We do however silly it may sound, record HD video the exhaust during start up, engine rev and shutdown to check for blue & black smoke. We are able to see many things from the exhaust such as unbalanced cylinders, burning of oil & excess condensation. If we see anything abnormal we include that in our report. After receiving our report if you are concerned about the engine’s condition we recommend contacting a service center and having the vehicle tested at their shop. But from an mechanical standpoint if you are that concerned about a vehicle needing a compression check, you might want to look at at different vehicle.
Do You Lift Cars Onsite?
YES. We are one of the very few mobile auto inspection companies that still lifts cars & light trucks onsite to fully check the undercarriage. However, not all vehicles can be lifted onsite due to ground clearance, age, overall condition and authorization from the seller. Our lifting technology is pretty simple at this time, we use a jacks and jack stands to get under your vehicle. Soon however, we will have a mobile trailer with a lift system on board which will have the capacity to lift up to 7 tons onsite!
Can the Inspector Call Me From the Inspection Location?
YES! Absolutely. Because Steve is the president and the only one that does the inspections you are able to speak with him before, during and after to go over the report findings. Try getting that out of a national auto inspection company!
Does a TDT Auto Inspection With Any Type of Warranty?
No, We are not in the business of providing warranties. We provide you with an unbiased opinion and report what we see on each vehicle. Our inspection process is second to none on the market but we are not able to look inside of engines, transmissions and axles to see the moving parts so we can not guarantee that they will not fail on you. In an effort to help you see inside of an vehicle’s engine and transmission we use Oil Sampling Services through Titan Certified. If a vehicle passes the Titan Laboratory Oil Testing Process the vehicle is awarded a guarantee of service which provides repair of any oil lubricated part that fails up to $3000. The vehicle is covered for 3000 miles or 3 months from the date of purchase by Titan Certified.
Do You use Diagnostic Equipment on Newer Cars?
Yes, each one of our used car inspections (cars & light trucks manufactured after 1996) are connected to our laptop which downloads quality data so we can tell how the vehicle is performing and spot many future issues.
Can You Provide an Estimated Cost of Repair?
YES, it is including in each of our used car inspection reports free of charge along with what items can be repaired under warranty.
Does Your Inspection Also Include a Valuation or an Appraisal of the Vehicle?
NO. Appraisals and auto inspections are two different things. Although you must fully inspect a vehicle before appraising it we are not in the business of providing dollar amounts to vehicles. We believe that a vehicle is really only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Your best bet is to either hire an appraiser to look at the vehicle (make sure they lift it onsite and note the undercarriage condition) or to research like modeled vehicles onsite and compare prices. The average auto appraisal cost $500, our inspection fees start at $115.
Why is the Cost of a Classic Car Inspection Higher Than the Others?
The average newer used car inspection takes us about an hour to complete once we get the keys and are setup to do the inspection. Most of these vehicles we can get through quickly because they have fewer issues. A classic car inspection however, takes us a minimum of 2 hours to complete and requires special knowledge that many of these other auto inspection companies do not have. We provide you with knowing if a panel has been replaced, if it has the period correct motor, transmission and driveline and we also notate the vehicle piece by piece so you know what you are buying. Not to mention our classic car inspection normally has 200+ photos, high resolution video of the vehicle and we also fully photo document any paperwork that is with the vehicle.
I Don’t Need All the Photos and Video Is the Price Cheaper?
Yes & No. For those that do not need our complete full octane auto inspection we provide lower levels of inspection and we also provide a mechanical only inspection. We no longer offer a “checklist only” inspect as many clients were abusing it and attempting to say we missed items because they did not have proof that it was damaged. All of our inspection come with basic VIN, Mileage and damage photos regardless of the vehicle type. Classic, HD Truck & Luxury Cars do not qualify for the lower levels of inspections do to the complicated inspection process.
Do You Still Provide Inspections in the Chicago Area?
Yes & No. Do to the poor weather conditions in the winter and fall we do not do inspections up north. During the summer months we travel to the Northern Illinois area about twice a month.
What are Steve’s Qualifications?
Steve grew up in a local auto body shop and has been working on vehicles since he was 8 years old. He has served 6 years in the United States Army as a heavy equipment technician, has performed 1000′s of inspections on tractor trailers and construction equipment, rebuilt turbines for the M1A1 / A2 battle tank, was a warranty administrator & purchasing manager for a local trucking company and also has been a lease return vehicle inspector for a national auto inspection company for 5 years. With Steve you are getting top quality integrity, reliability, attention to detail and the love of cars that you need to fully know what you are about to purchase.