Hi All.... I have made no bones over the last 28 years about "American" cars only. So it's been a rough wait to find just the right vehicle for myself on my budget. I've also scrimped and saved and thought I had enough to venture out and test drive a nice, older, used, low-mileage vehicle. So off we went Friday. The body was decent. The mileage was about average (did air math), the interior was clean considering someone detailed it - it still came out nice, and it had minor things wrong for being 10 years old, but fixable. We drove it, I listened for bumps, whirrs, the usual old car noises - nothing major. Then I asked if I could take it to MY mechanic. Same man I've had the last 15 years. They said "Of course." I gave a deposit, wrote on the check [refundable pending mechanic inspection] and left. I called my mechanic this morning. I had the vin# and was going to purchase a Car Fax. He said not to waste my money. I was surprised. The $30.00 you spend ONLY covers REPORTED accidents. Say you get in a fender bender, and the frame is bent and Joe blow says his Dad is a body repair guy and doesn't report it to Car Fax, does a so-so body job and the frame isn't pulled out correctly and now the car 'looks' good to the naked eye, but dog tracks? Your alignment will never be right. WOW - who knew. It won't tell you if it's been in Louisiana in a FLOOD....either. So instead I took the car in to my mechanic and had a total stem to stern inspection up on the lift, in and out all buttons and gizmos horn, everything looked at with a trained eye and hooked up to the computer...and GUESS WHAT? He charged me $37.50 for 1/2 and hour and GUESS WHAT? That $2300.00 SUV needs over $3000.00 worth of parts and work - (and that's if I go and get the parts out of a junk yard) with his labor. The 4x4 didn't work in low, the rear main seal leaked, the transfer case seal leaked, the oil pan gasket leaked, the serpentine belt had a crack in it, the module for the door switches was bad, the head light was broken, the drivers mirror cable was broken, the cruise control module was on warranty from the dealer but never installed - so that said SOMEONE never took care of their vehicle. The brake fluid was low, So low it was OUT, The steering column needed replaced, the tires had been rotated, but the rear ones leaked, and were bald, the windshield was cracked, and minor little things - but to fix the 4x4 alone was over $1000.00 so....add it all up - and oh - the little key fob for in and out of the car to lock it? didn't work either - they had a tester for that too. So for $37.50? I saved $2300.00 on my car and $3k in repairs that would have been needed in less than 6 months. Just thought I'd pass that info on to anyone that thinks about buying a used car. I mean I can't afford the $40 right now either - but to think that I'd be in the hole for $3k in the future just makes me so happy knowing I did something smart - Just had to share.