9 Steps That Ensure the Quality of a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes

August 24th, 2016 by

Pre-Owned Mercedes

Buying a pre-owned vehicle can be a great way to extend a limited budget, to add a secondary vehicle or to upgrade to a better model without stretching the budget too far, but with standard pre-owned models, there is a chance that the vehicle you choose could have some minor issues, or even major mechanical problems.

By choosing a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz, however, much of that risk is eliminated. A Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz offers similar quality and performance to a new model, at a significantly lower price. Only the best pre-owned vehicles qualify for the Certified Pre-Owned program, and they cannot be older than 6 model years or have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. They must also pass a rigorous inspection process, which covers more than 160 individual points of concern. Once certified, they are covered by a one-year extended warranty, which takes effect at the end of any remaining factory warranty.

Here are just a few of the steps that a pre-owned Mercedes-Benz must pass in order to be recognized as a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz:

1) General Inspection

During this step in the process, the overall quality of the car is ascertained, looking for any obvious structural defects or damage, appearance issues or other problems. The mileage and the history of the vehicle are verified through dealer information sources and third party providers. The maintenance history of the vehicle is scrutinized, and the dealer makes sure that any warranty or recall work has been performed as required. Documentation such as the owner’s manual, maintenance records and warranty booklet are collected and verified, and all primary and spare keys are verified to work properly. Finally, electronic diagnostics are used to evaluate the vehicle’s initial condition.

2) Engine Compartment and Fluid Checks

Each fluid required for the proper operation of the vehicle is inspected to make sure it is at the proper level and in good condition. This includes the engine oil, transmission fluid, rear axle fluid, front axle fluid, transfer case oil, brake fluid, clutch fluid, engine coolant, power steering fluid, windshield washer fluid and level control oil. In addition, the performance and condition of the battery is verified, and the function of all mechanical linkages, such as throttle cables or steering controls, are inspected and tested.

3) Engine Mechanical Inspection

In this step, many of the mechanical systems necessary for the proper performance of the engine are examined. The fuel and air filters are checked and replaced if necessary, the belts are inspected, and the refrigerant level in the air conditioning system is verified. The spark plugs are examined and the ignition system is tested. The fuel injection system is tested, and on models with over 60,000 miles, a dynamic compression test is performed to ensure the engine is mechanically sound. Vacuum pump operation is verified, and the boost pressure from the turbochargers is measured. The engine and transmission mounts are inspected for wear, and the dust filters for the heating and ventilation system are replaced, if required.

4) Electrical System Inspection

During the electrical system inspection, all the fuses are inspected and replaced as necessary, and the dash instrumentation is checked for proper operation. The heating and cooling system are inspected for problems, and the mirrors are checked for proper operation. Mechanical and electric seat adjustments are verified to work correctly, and in-seat heating and cooling systems are inspected. Internal lights, switches, indicators and electronic locks are tested, and electronic systems such as the stereo, speakers, DVD and navigation systems are verified to be operating properly. Exterior lights and the tire inflation system are also tested, as well as the horn, windshield wipers, defrosters and windows.

5) Undercarriage and Drive Train Inspection

During this step, all the undercarriage and drive train components are inspected for wear and damage, including the exhaust system, the brake system, the drive shafts and the axles. The tires are inspected for wear, as are the rotors and the brake pads. The ball joints, wheel bearings and bushings are checked for excessive play, and all component supports are inspected. The steering system is also inspected and the alignment is checked.

6) Body Inspection

In this step, both the chassis and sub-frame are checked for structural problems, and the overall condition of both the exterior and interior is ascertained. Window and door glass is inspected, and the proper operation of all doors, locks, hinges and safety systems are verified. Headlight, tun signal and parking light lenses are inspected, as well as their frames and trim. Body panels are inspected for problems, as well as all internal body panels, dash panels and trim pieces. Seats, seat belts and head rests are verified to operate correctly, as well as sun visors, vanity mirrors and other accessories.

7) Road Test

The vehicle is then taken on a long road test, including both city and highway driving. The performance of the engine, transmission, suspension, braking and exhaust components are evaluated, as well as the air conditioning system, heating system, and in-dash instrumentation. Any abnormal vibrations, noises or other problems are noted, and features such as cruise control, navigation systems and communications systems are tested.

8) Post Road Test Inspection

Once the road test is complete, all fluid levels are checked again, and the vehicle is inspected for fluid leaks and other problems. The climate control system is also thoroughly evaluated, and any problems are noted for further inspection.

9) Appearance Inspection

Once the car has been verified to work properly both mechanically and electrically, and all major system components have been inspected, a final appearance inspection is performed. The entire interior and exterior is inspected and thoroughly cleaned, including the upholstery, trim panels, carpeting, seat covers, floor mats, trunk mats, head liner, door handles, contact surfaces, buttons, knobs, steering wheel, windows, mirrors, trunk and engine compartment. Dings, dents and scruffs are taken care of and the exterior is washed and waxed.

Once the inspection process is complete, you can be sure that each Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz will live up to the high quality and reliability standards demanded of the Certified Pre-Owned program. A Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz is a great value, and will perform exceptionally well for many years to come.

 

Sources:

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/cpo#waypoint=cpo-benefits&!layout=/cpo/overview/benefits

http://www.mbusa.com/mercedes/cpo#!layout=/cpo/overview/certification&waypoint=cpo-certification

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