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So what CAN'T a PPI tell you?

24 April 2000
Gilbert, AZ, United States
As I draw closer to purchasing my NSX, I have a wide range of set ups I am looking at. Some of which even include FI. So knowing that I may end up spending a lot of money on PPI's in the near future, I need to know what a PPI won't be able to tell me.

For FI, do I need to specifically request a compression test in addition to the PPI?

Thanks in advance. :smile:
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I think as long as you find a reputable & trustworthy tech to do the PPI for you, you should be fine. While it is true that a PPI won't reveal everything about a car (particularly those parts that aren't visible without disassembling the vehicle), it will cover the most important areas. If the engine has been modified in anyway, or if maintenance history is questionable, I would recommend having a compression test done. It's cheap, and worth it for peace of mind IMO. Good luck hunting! :)
IMO You should get a leakdown compression test done whether a car is FI or not.
There are a lot of different ways of conducting a pre-purchase inspection. Dealerships have a standard checklist they use for all cars, so that will cover generic items like tire tread depth and brake pad thickness, but not anything specific to the NSX. A compression and leakdown test may or may not be included. A dealership mechanic who has a lot of NSX experience may also check NSX-specific items, like whether the transmission is in the snap ring range, etc, but again there are no guarantees. Body shops are much more likely to be able to detect any prior body repairs. People who are finicky about detailing are more likely to notice specific problems with the finish, interior, etc. No one person or shop is likely to be able to tell you about ALL of those kinds of items. Furthermore, some things, like whether the fix-it thingies have been installed or how much friction material remains on the clutch, cannot be inspected without spending a lot of labor to open up parts that you probably don't want to do unless you're prepared to replace parts once you open them up. Although previous work to address some of those things can also be verified via shop receipts.

I'm not telling you not to do a PPI, because any PPI can provide some useful information. By asking for specific inspections and/or taking it to more than one place (with different kinds of expertise), you can expand the thoroughness of what you know about the car. But it's tough to find out absolutely everything in one or two PPI's. The good news is, if 1-2 inspections tell you that the owner has (or has not) taken good care of his car, it's likely that additional inspections would come to the same conclusion.
I agree with the two posters above^^^^

I think the best scenario would be to get an experienced NSX Tech to have a look at it, then a good body man that is familiar with the car. Watch for body panel gaps, fastener heads with scuffed up paint, overspray under the car etc...

The more eyes looking at it the better.

Service History to me is king though. Even if a car passes all the cursory inspections I want to see that it was properly maintained. That takes all the guess work out of it. Has it had the TB/WP done, How old is the clutch, has the valves been adjusted? Coolant bottle replaced? How often has the fluids been changed? All these would be easily answered.

Once you buy a car you should take off the door panels and lube the window tracks and make sure the fix-it things are installed. Take the CCU out, the stereo and amps and send them to BrianK to have repaired unless they have been done already. After that there isn't much to do besides drive.