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PPI Questions

5298 Views 13 Replies 0 Participants Last post by  Sean Fischbach
Are compression checks REALLY

Are compression checks REALLY necessary?

I mean, if the car's been cared for, it doesn't leak oil, starts and runs fine, pulls strong, and there is no other indications it may be bad, why would you do a compression check?

I you were buying a Honda, would you have one done? Are Ferrari engines less reliable? Are they so fragile that they'll blow gaskets and leak past the rings that easy?

Logic tells me I should have it done every few years if it's always required with a PPI.

I'm just curious b/c I've never heard of doing this to a car before I started to look for a Ferrari. EVERYONE, at least, all the owners say, you HAVE TO HAVE A COMPRESSION or LEAK DOWN question is WHY? If the car is a few years old, why would this be required?

JRV, do you do a compression check on every Ferrari you PPI?

Yes, I know it's cheap insurance, but I just would like to apply some logic here.

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Honda engines don't cost $

Honda engines don't cost $12K to fix once you get them home and find out it's got low compression but you didn't know before you bought the car because you justfied/forgot to have it done because it was only a honda or because it's a honda and they never break...

A PPI on a Ferrari is otherwise known as "cheap insurance".

Or..."it's a Jungle out there and that Ferrari you just bought with that funny noise, just might not be so funny after all.

Regards, JRV
A 1994 Accord is worth about $

A 1994 Accord is worth about $5,000. A 1994 348 is worth more than $50,000. %% wise the cost to rebuild the engine vs. the value of the car is going to be about the same. Yet 99/100 won't have much, if ANY type of inspection done on the Honda, let alone a compression check.

I understand the cheap insurance angle, but again it brings me back to the shouldn't you do this ever 5-years then? Should you do it on ANY vehicle you purchase?

How many PPI's have you had go bad b/c the engine would not hold compression?

Please understand I'm not doubting you, just playing the devil's advocate. I'm guessing 9 out of 10 times the engine is fine, but it's that 1 out of 10 you want to guard against.

That and the fact that MOST owners/buyers put gas in it and that's about the limit of their technical knowledge so when a mechanic says "Compression check" they just write the check, so to speak.

This site however seems to have some pretty hard core tech guys which I LOVE b/c I'm learning a lot - the tuning the Boxer post is fantastic IMO.
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>>I'm guessing 9 o

>>I'm guessing 9 out of 10 times the engine is fine, but it's that 1 out of 10 you want to guard against. <<

Sean, you're talking 25 yr old cars here...imo, anyone that doesn't follow the FIRST RULE of buying a used exotic (get it checked out) is begging for trouble.

Some choose to learn by their own mistakes, some choose to learn by others's a free country.

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I hear ya, and of course there

I hear ya, and of course there is another side to this story.

Found a '77 on e-bay in St.Louis. 1-owner, 62K, buy it now was $27k, staring bid was $23k. No bids for 7-day auction.

Called last week, getting the records but it was well cared for, leather is nice, paint original but in good condition, the usual salesmen stuff..then the good part...

his words..

1. No, I will not meet you on Saturday since we're closed, unless you have a check in hand and are ready to buy.

2. No, we do not bring cars out for inspection. In my experience it never works out for the seller unless some money is slipped under the table (IE pay of the mechanic who's doing the inspection) - WTF??? So these guys that some people trust with their $300k F-40's can't be trusted with a simple mechanical inspection of a 308!!! Also, he says I could have someone inspect it at his place but he generally throws mechanics out b/c they're idiots who don't know what they are doing. This is also where the original question comes from. He says most buyers just hear that a compression check is required and if there's no reason for one, why mess with it...and to and extent he does have a point - but we're not talking about Honda's now are we?

He said their mechanic checked the car and if it needed anything they would fix it.

I think he's just waiting for a less "educated buyer" to come along and sell it to them.
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>>He said their mechan

>>He said their mechanic checked the car and if it needed anything they would fix it.<<

Well just get that in writing for say a period of 30-60 days. He should be fine with that since his mechanic is quite the ace.

Regards, JRV
Yep. I second what JR said.

Yep. I second what JR said.

Have them put that in writing. Then take the car to get a proper inspection and if the thing passes with flying colors you're all set.

Otherwise make a list of every nut and bolt that needs to be replaced and ask them to sort it.


You get it in writing


You get it in writing, and you got a car and a blank check to repair anything on it...
That said, I wouldn't feel conforable with the deal, since they can argue at each of your requests that you are dumb, know nothing of Fcars, and this or that is really fine (right!!...)
Another solution: sign a contract with a period of 3-5 days cancellation provision, and give a personal check. You can do a PPI, and if it fails, you block the check and return the car.

I was fortunate enough with my recent purchase to deal with an individual who went out of his way to accomodate my requests. For example independent PPI 50miles away from home (because I wanted the leakdown done), on a w-e.
Then after a week or so of that, you get a better feeling...
I'm just going to forget t

I'm just going to forget this one.

I've talked with another broker in the area and he knows of and talked with the dealer about the car I'm looking at. He told me he got the same treatment I did, and really it sounds like the dealer can afford to be patient and wait for some uneducated sucker to come along and buy the car for $27,000 with no PPI.

Back to looking.....

In response to your o


In response to your original question, when I was a motorcycle mechanic, we were taught to always do a compression and leakdown test, even on Hondas. Your estimation is correct that it is a simple, cheap (at least on a Honda M/C), effective way to get a quick and dirty assessment of the overall condition of the engine internally. But, even if it is good insurance, most people probably can't get past the marginal utility issue on a $5,000 Honda car. FWIW
Sean: I agree with doing a pr

Sean: I agree with doing a proper PPI, with compression and leak-down tests.... visual inspection for any leaks, seepage......checking the frame for damage........checking every electrical, FI, clutch, suspension, brake, trans issue.......etc, etc, etc,....... And then deducting accordingly. Only by doing all of this will one be insured of a "proper" car.

HOWEVER, reality is different!!!!!!!

This is an excellent example of what someone called "Paralysis by Analysis".....I really like that phrase.

I think that there are a WHOLE LOT more uneducated people (suckers, as you call them) out there looking to buy a Ferrari, than there are educated ones, like yourself. I would rather call them impulse buyers, than suckers. THAT is the problem!!!!!!!....and dealers KNOW this. It appears that the disparity between the knowledge they have, compared to yours, is growing as you acquire even more. Hence, the number in your group will even get smaller, and buying the "proper" car will become much more difficult. I would guess that the seller, in WI (close to me) sold his car to the "impulse" PPI!!!!!!!

When trying to sell my TR recently, no one asked for a PPI......they just wanted the car at the lowest price. I have sold 7 Ferraris over the years of ownership......and not ONCE did I have to get a PPI.

To be honest, if I where to sell a Ferrari, even now, and someone came to me requesting ALL the inspections, etc, I would probably refuse. While I agree this is WRONG, I can't help to think of the hassles involved.....even if I wasn't trying to hide anything. I would rather get the impulse buyer, any day...and what he would pay would probably be more anyway. I would refuse to be nit-picked into a lower price.

As more buyers become educated, and start outnumbering the impulse buyers, only then can we demand PPIs, inspections, etc. However, I don't believe that we are there yet......and probably never will be.

My nephew is going through this very same thing with trying to buy a house in the Chicago suburbs....he analyzes price paid for the house several years ago, allows for appreciation, etc, etc, and comes up with a "fair" market value for it. He then finds that an offer was made $20k-40K OVER this price, by some "uneducated" buyer. Very frustrating, especially since my nephew is in real-estate sales himself (industrial buildings). He agrees that he is getting TOO educated to compete in the housing market.

Just my thoughts!!!!
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How about if I go check the ca

How about if I go check the car out? I can do most of the stuff, put in on THERE lift, look for rust/damage, check over the electronics, make sure all the switches work, etc. I talked with the guy again and he was not to open to taking it out, but said I was more then welcome to go over the car with their mechanic in their facility (although, he probably figures I'm one of those "uneducated" buyers - keep those comments to yourself JRV ;)...of course, maybe he's had a few bad experiences with outside shops and he has a ZERO policy for this kind of stuff.

About the only thing I really could not check would be to tell if it's in proper tune. It may run nice, but that doesn't mean it's not rich/lean.

Then, just have him do the compression check while I stand there and watch him. Yeah, it's MY time, but that is again cheap insurance.
"....not open to taking it

"....not open to taking it out...."???????? You mean you can't even test drive the car? If so, then definitely WALK!!!!!! Don't even bother.

I bought my 88 TR 5 years ago, without a test drive. When I first saw it, it was on a lift at the F dealer, getting the upgraded 512TR rear end in. After finding out who owned it, I bought it on the spot.......STILL on the lift. The dealer knew the owner, and serviced EVERYTHING concerning the car since new (he was their BEST Ferrari customer).

When I was in the market for a BBi last year, the dealer told me about a car they have on consignment, but not on their premises. They told me it was nearly PERFECT. It was to be at a Ferrari event, at some polo club the next day (Sunday). After seeing the receipts on what was done to the car, I made an offer on Saturday, even without seeing the car. Of course, this was contingent on my accepting the car, when I was to see it on Sunday. I went to the polo Ferrari event and saw the car. The dealer agreed to fix some minor issues, and I bought the car on the spot.

BOTH cars took only several weeks to find......and I am, to this date, VERY satisfied with both.

These are examples of where the dealer and I have a very good relationship. They knew me for years, and I have bought from them before. Often times, you just have to go with your 'gut feeling'.

I somewhat doubt that they will do the compression test, even if they have nothing to hide......just my feeling. I would not let someone do a compression test, or leak-down, on a car that I sell, unless it is at a dealer that I TRUST. What if they strip a plug hole.....who's fault is it???????? You would have a hard time proving it.

Inspect the car, with the mechanic, and if you still like it, then agree on a mutual price, BUT make it contingent on a test drive.......they will then HAVE to let you drive it. If you are satisfied with the drive, then pay them. Simple as that.
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?? What happened to my reply..

?? What happened to my reply..oh well.

Yes, they'll let me test drive the car and I would have THEIR mechanic do the test and I would just watch so I can verify what they tell me.
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