A couple is shown sitting in the front seats of a car after visiting a Certified pre-owned Ford dealer.

What Goes Into the Ford CPO Program?

Everybody likes money. More specifically, everybody likes to save money. For many years, used vehicles offered drivers a cheaper alternative to the brand new selections each year. However, there’s always been a stark contrast between new and used vehicles, most notably a lack of included warranties. A newer alternative has since been added to the mix and is the answer to these qualms people have had with used vehicles from the past. Visiting a Certified Pre-Owned Ford dealer should be part of your agenda when you begin shopping for affordable cars, and this is because the Ford Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program is designed to bridge the gap between new and used vehicles.

The appeal of CPO vehicles is clear as day. The idea of purchasing a vehicle with the benefits of a brand new car at a price more reminiscent of your traditional used vehicle is something anyone can get behind, and your local Ford dealership will get a CPO Ford in your hands in no time. Trucks, sedans, SUVs, EVs, and any other kind of Ford vehicle can be found via the brand’s CPO program, so your shopping experience won’t feel limited by any means. There’s a lot to cover with the CPO program, including the lengthy inspection process and the warranties that come with your purchase. Since there’s plenty to discuss, let’s start with the vehicles themselves.

A mechanic is shown inspecting a vehicle.

Inspection Time

The first part of the Ford CPO process is for the vehicle to become Blue or Gold Certified. It’s easier for a vehicle to become Blue Certified because the prerequisites are easier to achieve. For a vehicle to become Blue Certified, it not only needs a clean record, but it must not be any older than ten years, and there have to be fewer than 120,000 miles on the odometer. Vehicles that meet these requirements must then undergo a 139-point inspection to check for any underlying problems before becoming Blue Certified. To become Gold Certified, the process remains much the same, except the difference is the vehicle can’t be more than six years old, the odometer must have fewer than 80,000 miles on it, and a more detailed 172-point inspection is performed.

The 172-point inspection is broken down into several parts. The first five steps of the inspection are to research the vehicle’s history. This includes obtaining a CARFAX vehicle history report, an OASIS service recall history, and more. Points 6 through 22 are related to the road test the mechanic will conduct. During this test drive, Ford certified mechanics check for any discrepancies in both how the vehicle feels to drive and how it sounds too. There can’t be any underlying issues with the road test; otherwise, the vehicle will be dropped from the CPO program if the issue can’t be found and rectified. This road test will also give the mechanics an indication of the health of the brakes, steering, cruise control, and so forth.

After the road test is completed, points 23 through 35 focus on the exterior of the vehicle. Every facet of the exterior is explored, and this can easily make or break a vehicle’s qualification for the CPO program. Any signs of severe damage from the past will disqualify the vehicle, although smaller issues can be sorted out if it makes sense for the dealership to do so. Next, the interior is inspected for points 36 through 88. The inspection covers everything, including seat belts, airbags, air conditioning, speaker systems, the infotainment center, and much more. It’s during the interior inspection when the safety features are tested for functionality, and of course, the seats need to be in great condition, both visually and mechanically.

Point 89 involves vehicle diagnostics, and points 90 through 124 are done under the hood. This part of the inspection involves checking for leaks and examining the fluid levels for the brakes, power steering, transfer case, and so on. The engine is also examined in this portion of the inspection, and this includes belts, wiring, hoses, oil pressure, and other engine-related elements. After the mechanics have checked under the hood, the inspection moves onto either the underbody or a set of tests exclusive to hybrids and electric vehicles. This is separated because hybrids and EVs have some entirely different components than your average gasoline-powered ride. Lastly, points 170 to 172 of the inspection are for convenience, including topping off the tank for the new owner.

Coverage When You Need It

Ford’s CPO program goes beyond the extensive inspection. With your CPO Ford vehicle, you’ll not only have 24/7 Roadside Assistance wherever you are, but you’ll also receive two warranties to keep your car running long after your purchase. The first warranty is a 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty, which could also be considered a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This warranty aims to give you a year to operate your vehicle, and if any malfunctions randomly occur, this warranty will help get your vehicle fixed at no cost to you. Examples of this include a faulty seatbelt, frozen touchscreen, audio issues, power windows not working, and much more. If a mishap occurs, and it’s, unfortunately, your fault, such as pouring a glass of water over the infotainment center because it was thirsty, then the warranty won’t cover it.

Along with the Comprehensive Limited Warranty, your CPO Ford vehicle will also include a 7-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. As the name would imply to you, this warranty deals with everything found under the hood. If any malfunctions occur before the car turns seven years and before the odometer hits 100,000 miles, the Ford CPO program will cover the expenses. Again, if the problem occurred because you threw diesel into a gasoline-powered engine, or vice-versa, then you won’t be covered. Long story short–be mindful, and these warranties will take care of you.

A person is shown smiling as someone passes them a key at a Certified pre-owned Ford dealer.

A CPO Program Worth Trying

The automotive market is larger than ever, and this means there are more drivers on the road nowadays. Of course, the used market is the largest of the bunch, and while it’s hard to dispute that used vehicles are ultimately the better choice for value shoppers, sometimes there can be issues with the vehicle’s condition or past. Those who prefer new vehicles may have a fresh selection to look through every year, but unless someone is leasing out their car, these shoppers are unlikely to get a new vehicle for every release.

CPO vehicles will give you the benefit of getting yourself a vehicle from within the past few model years, meaning you can expect to get a relatively modern feature set, and the same can be said for performance too. For example, if you want an F-150, then a CPO model can get you a powerful 5.0L V8 or a twin-turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine, along with a SYNC 3 infotainment center. Best of all, if you purchase a CPO Ford model, it’ll be as good as purchasing a brand new one, warranties and all, but at a far lower cost. We can’t help but recommend CPO vehicles to any kind of shopper–they’re the perfect choice for virtually any driver, and if you’re purchasing your first vehicle, or even your fifth, CPO programs like Ford’s have created a new avenue for shoppers and dealerships alike.