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Procedure a Car Goes Through to become a Certified Pre Owned

Buyers of pre-owned cars take something of a risk. Individual sellers invariably gloss over episodes in the vehicle’s life that could negatively impact its value, and dealers almost certainly didn’t know about them. “Certified” status changes all of that.

Defining “Certified”

Some factory-authorized dealerships are able to certify pre-owned vehicles on the manufacturer’s behalf. This means that specially-trained technicians inspect every used car thought a candidate for certification, according to a stringent set of tests laid down by the factory. Nissan, for instance, mandates 145 mechanical and cosmetic checks be carried out.

If the vehicle fails any part of the test – if the brakes are below the 60-percent wear mark, as an example – the necessary work is carried out, and the vehicle inspected again. Only when it passes every check is it granted certification.

Nissan Used Cars Philadelphia

The Process

New vehicle dealerships of course take trade-ins; it’s part of the process. Not all such acquisitions are suitable for certification. If a car or truck is too old, has worked too hard, or is in need of a considerable cosmetic make-over, the sales manager and head technician will almost certainly decide on another fate for it; an automotive auction is most likely.

Once a pre-owned vehicle has been deemed potentially worthy of certification, it is delivered to the factory-trained technician. He or she has the factory’s check list, and works from it every time. Like an aircraft pilot preparing for take-off, nothing is done from memory. The technician works from the document every time, physically checking each element of the test after it’s been carried out, either as a pass or fail. The eventual purchaser will be given a copy of the passing test, and can confirm that every single element has been tested and checked.

As noted, if the vehicle fails on any reparable element, corrective work will be carried out. The cost of this work is not passed on the eventual purchaser, who, in less strictly-controlled circumstances, would be footing the bill when the component failed after purchase. Only when the technician can check every element as a Pass will the vehicle be certified.

Elements of the Certification Procedure

The testing procedure can be broken down into six major categories. Elements include, but are not limited to:

Road Test

  • Air bags
  • Body and chassis integrity
  • Braking system
  • Engine operation and performance
  • Gauges
  • Lights
  • Mirrors
  • Seat belts
  • Steering wheel and alignment
  • Transmission (and clutch, if fitted)


  • Alarm, navigation and audio system
  • All knobs and release levers
  • Doors
  • Keys
  • Luggage compartment (including spare tire and tools)
  • Locks
  • Seats and child seating
  • Windows

Under Hood

  • A/C
  • All engine components
  • Electrical system
  • Fan
  • Filters
  • Hoses
  • Power steering
  • Radiator
  • Vacuum and ignition systems

Under Vehicle

  • Brake pads, shoes, calipers, rotors and drums
  • Control arms
  • Driveline
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Struts
  • Suspension
  • Tires and wheels


  • All glass
  • Bumpers
  • Doors
  • Fenders
  • Grille
  • Wheel covers, trim rings and center caps


  • Console
  • Floor mats
  • Glove compartment
  • Instrument panel
  • Seats and head rests (including upholstery and trim)
  • Visors


  • Lube and oil change
  • Filter replacement
  • Fluid replenishment
  • State and local emission and diagnostic codes
  • Fuel tank fill-up

Where to Inspect Certified Pre-Owned Nissans

In the Trenton, NJ – Philadelphia, PA – Allentown, PA triangle, the best place for potential purchasers to inspect certified, pre-owned Nissan vehicles, both cars and trucks, is at Montgomeryville Nissan. Located at 991 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA 18936, this factory-authorized dealership maintains a constantly-rotating stock of certified, as-new used vehicles for your inspection, including the Nissan Murano and the Nissan Rogue. Use the Contact Us facility to learn more about the line-up, or to schedule a test drive.