I'm looking for a used car, and when I find one that looks good I'd like to take it into a mechanics for a quick inspection. My questions are (a) aprox how much will this cost (in the US) and (b) do I need to call ahead and make an apointment or do I just show up ? I don't have any experience with this kind of thing, so I'm not sure what to expect.
Well is is a very complex question by does have some guides. First all, make sure you SHOP AROUND. Not only the car but the dealer also. A great resource on used car history is CarFax. Use it BEFORE you buy and used car. All used car dealers are not the same and there are a lot of fly by night used car dealerships in every American metropolitan area.

Second is DO need see if you can take the car into inspection (I would buy a used car without get a third party mechanic to take a look at at first). You then will need to find a place that has a mechanic that would inspect the car. most likely you will need an appointment, unless you personally know a good mechanic. Call around in you area and ask around to you friends if they know any good mechanics you can trust.

Lastly, you get what you a pay for. If the deal is too good to be true, it usually is. Good Luck.