Due to the fact that all auction inspection sheets are written in Japanese, its our job at SASTRAD to tell you about what the inspection sheet says.
There are some very important points on the sheet:
The interior condition is mentioned using a letter grade: A is the very best, like-new condition. B is very good for its age, with no issues, just some wear. C grade is average for its age, showing some wear for its age and perhaps no other issues (unless mentioned on the inspection sheet). The D and E grades mean some interior issues like burns on seats, big rips on the seat covers, holes in the dashboard, interior components missing or broke, etc. We strongly recommend not bidding on a vehicle with a D or E grade.
Also mentions on the inspection sheet are:
- rust on chassis (this is common comment for vehicles older than 10 years).
- corrosion on locations not covered by the vehicle diagram, such as in wheel wells, on the chassis, etc.
- wear and tear on the inside of the vehicle. Inspectors seem to like this comment, but we judge this against the overall grading of the interior. If the comment on the inspection sheet says wear and tear, then that, as we know it, is a general comment and not specifying a particular problem. When the inspector mentions a specific issue, like wear on the seats, but the vehicle kms are low, then we know the inspector is just mentioning that the seat doesn't look new.
- lens or glass cracks are commented on.
- engine oil that can be seen on the engine, or leaking. We've noticed this "engine oil can be seen" as a common comment for German cars (I don't know if the inspectors are bias toward Japanese cars...). Also, older vehicles tend to have this comment. We've bought vehicles with this comment and brought them to our yard for inspection only to find the engine was just dirty. We do have to take this comment on a case-by-case basis.
- dents and scratches, particularly scratches on alloy rims. This is also a common comment, as most cars do that this sort of issue.
- unusual engine noise is always commented on. This issue is easy to detect and a symptom of engine issues.
- dashboard lights like "check engine" or the SRS or Airbag sensor lights are on, the inspector will make that comment.
- electrical issues like windows not moving, sun roofs not opening properly, antennas not retracting, interior lights not coming on, etc, are mentioned.
- tires are sometimes mentioned (studless).
- if there is white smoke that is a symptom of an engine problem, the inspector will comment on it.
The inspector cannot mention how the vehicle drives. In fact, even at the auction, buyers are not allowed to drive the vehicle until it is bought. Transmission issues could be found after the purchase, and while that has never been a problem so far, it could happen.
SASTRAD recommends focusing on grade 4 vehicles or higher. In the case of mini trucks, a 3.5 or higher is fine, as long as the inspection sheet for a 3.5 mentions no mechanical issues.
If you have any further questions please contact us to discuss!