Vehicle inspections




Peace of mind.  Just the thought of knowing the used car you are buying for yourself or a family member is a safe, clean, functioning vehicle.  We try to give an unbiased view because you are often looking at style, make, color, and our job is to give you an overall opinion of the condition of the vehicle.  Pre-purchase inspections have become much more important these days, mainly due to the cost of vehicles today and the cost of repairs.

Your Part 

Call us when you are looking to purchase a used vehicle from a dealer or a private party.   Let the seller know you will arrange an appointment time to have the vehicle “checked out” before buying.  A good first sign is when the seller works with the buyer and the shop to get the vehicle in to be inspected.  If the seller refuses or makes it seem impossible, be wary.  They may be trying to hide something they don’t want you to know about the vehicle.

Our Part 

At Combs, our technicians will get the vehicle on a lift and do a complete visual inspection.  We are looking for anything out of place, any wearable parts (brakes) for excessive wear.  We also note visibly new parts, just to make you aware of what may have been replaced already.  We take a hard look at all rubber parts, tires, engine mounts, hoses, bushings and belts.  We will check all the fluid levels and conditions (checking the fluid color to see if they are dirty or burnt).  At the same time we will check for any fluid leaks that may be present.  That may be the most difficult issue to find because most sellers have the vehicle washed and detailed which can make it hard to find any slow leaks.  Our technicians will then hook up a computer scan tool to see if there are any computer data issues, trouble codes, etc.  

All information is documented on your invoice, including estimates for both buyer and seller for any repairs we found are needed.  At that point, the vehicle price can be negotiated between you and the seller.

The inspection is done at that time and there is no way to determine future problems, or in some cases, intermittent problems.  We can only assess the vehicle condition and will give a good or bad report based on current time of inspection.

Our Recommendation 

To be aware of potential problems and have your mind eased on others, we recommend pre-purchase inspections any time you purchase a used vehicle.  We will help you decide based on your driving habits, what are the pros and cons if the vehicle has a minor oil leak for example.  Essentially, we hope to support you in evaluating if this is a good investment for your personal needs.  We are here to hopefully help you avoid disappointments and costly repairs.


Why?  To provide reasonable expertise to validate or dispute suggested repairs.

Frequent Issues 

Warranty and Recalls.  Possibly the most frequent experience we have of this is when a warranty work or a recall has caused you to return to the dealership and then be given an inspection list that would cost thousands of dollars.  This list may be of worn out or broken parts and/or maintenance work.  The dealership will usually provide a booklet explaining the repairs.  Another issue exists if something just went wrong with your vehicle and you end up going to a repair shop nearby that you don’t know.  If you are given an excessively high estimate, it may be worth the towing cost to return to your usual shop.  Unfortunately the implication may be given in either case that the vehicle may be unsafe or falling apart, requiring immediate attention.  

False Information.  The senseless damage to the automotive repair industry’s reputation may be attributed to incomplete or improper inspections, as well as aggressive use of inspections and estimates.  You may be told your vehicle needs front brakes because they are worn down to 2mm.  We have actual experiences where we rechecked the cars and found measurements of 4mm all the way to 8mm.  Take time to consider your alternatives.  Be wary of being compelled into immediate decisions for excessively costly repairs.    

What To Expect at Combs

We ask that you bring in any inspection list, booklet or any recommendations and estimates you were given.  We will go through the complete list rechecking everything.  We try to provide an insider’s look on what is going on…to give you peace of mind that your vehicle is not in such bad shape, or to give you responsible choices and timing on repairs.  We take a no-nonsense approach to letting you know what doesn’t need to be done at all, and we provide estimates for the work we recommend.  We also let you know what needs to be rechecked and may need to be addressed in the near future. 

Combs Auto Repair has been in Scottsdale for over fifty years, including being the oldest auto repair shop in the Pinnacle Peak area.  We value long-term customer relationships and our commitment to service. 

If you need a Second Opinion of any sort on your vehicles, please contact us at (480) 513-2828.  Combs Auto provides professional care for all your vehicles and will keep you informed and updated along the way.  Thank you for visiting


What is On Board Diagnostics (OBD)?

A vehicle’s ability to self-diagnose and provide this information to the technician so that he knows the status of the various components/systems and is able to make the diagnostic connections necessary for repairs.

What we do at Combs

First, we check the basics:  codes, fluids, tire PSI, check for leaks

Next we attempt to duplicate the customer’s complaint.  Some problems are intermittent and hard to reproduce.  Once we have enough data to identify symptoms, we can check our databases and “pull a trouble tree” (a diagnostics flow-chart) to run the needed tests to identify the source of the failure.


Once we identify the needed repair, it is a matter of experience to know the extent of the necessary repairs.  These may range beyond obvious parts and labor to knowing what other seals, gaskets, bolts or other parts are needed to provide the best repair for the vehicle.  The experience level of our staff enables us to provide highly accurate estimates.


The repair itself involves replacing the needed parts, cleaning up the work area and bleeding any needed systems.  We check the torque on needed bolts to ensure proper operation and long lasting repairs.  We retest to verify performance of the replaced parts and test drive the vehicle.  A final recheck is done to see if there is anything else going on that you should know about.  We recheck the vehicle for any codes in the computers and verify the vehicle is working properly.

Complete Inspection

As part of our service, we look over the whole vehicle.  You will receive our notes of upcoming repairs or services that may or will be needed in the future.    

Popular Services

Oil Change & Emissions Test

Time to change the oil… AGAIN?

Tire Filling & Rotation

Do you feel every bump in the road?

Inspections & Tune Ups

Engine problems? Overheating?

General Inspection

The Check Engine Light coming on?

Happy Customers

These guys are so accommodating. I waited for my car and didn’t finish 2 chapters before it was done.
Doug B

I really feel that I can trust Combs to give me honest advice as to what my car needs and does not need repaired! I have moved my service from the dealership to Combs and am very happy!!!
Mark & Nancy D

I went to Combs for an oil change on two vehicles. They did the work in about a hour. As usual they never try to tslk you into more work that you do not need
Jack H

Knowledgeable, Courteous Staff. Honest and fair price for parts an labor.
Rick G

Always friendly, comprehensive in describing the issues, plan and repairs!
Nanette & Steve S

This was a routine oil change visit but I’m always treated as a Valued Customer! Eric and Leo are always welcoming and happy to answer any questions/concerns that I may have! This is part of the reason that I continue to refer friends and clients to Combs Auto Repair!
Benda H

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