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#1 of 65 Bad Decisions: Share Your Stories
by Kirstie@Edmunds HOST
Jun 14, 2005 (12:30 pm)
Here's the place to talk about vehicle purchasing horror stories, or just plain bad decisions that you or others have made.
#2 of 65 not-so-smart shoppers
Jun 14, 2005 (12:55 pm)
Thanks for creating the topic, Kirstie! Now, I know that we Edmunds users are far too savvy to have made any bad auto purchasing decisions , but maybe a friend, or a family member has done something that makes you think, "Ooh, this is NOT going to end well..." I know I have a few...
#3 of 65 A quick one to start out:
Jun 14, 2005 (1:07 pm)
My sister-in-law and her husband finally decided it was time to upgrade one of their cars. They have a '92 Nissan Sentra with 140k miles and half a front bumper - and that's their GOOD car. The one they plan on replacing is a Ford Tempo - 'nuff said. A few weeks ago they called me on the phone to ask if I thought a particular car was a good deal - it was a low mile Hyundai Elantra. Knowing their budget (small) and likelihood of keeping the car until it's worthless anyway (extreme) I told them it looked like the asking price was OK, but to MAKE SURE and get a Carfax and have it inspected by a good mechanic. My SIL's ultra cheap husband had a buddy from work "who knows cars" look at it and decided the CarFax was a waste of money because the seller seemed like a good guy.
The first time I saw the car it was obvious it had been repainted, and not particularly well. The screws for the front license plate were painted in place, and there was overspray and orangepeel everywhere. I decided to just keep my mouth shut, since it wouldn't do any good at this point. Some of the comments they've made have had me biting my tongue, though - "every time I look at the car I swear there's a new chip on the front" (um...) "I've never had a car in such good condition before" (well...) "It's making some noise from the front end so we're going to take it into the dealer. It's still under warranty, after all" (uh oh...)
This is NOT going to end well...
#4 of 65 Re: A quick one to start out: [jaserb]
Jun 14, 2005 (1:33 pm)
And it will be your fault when it falls apart, since you recommended it, right?
#5 of 65 1988 Mazda 626
Jun 14, 2005 (4:03 pm)
Back in the early summer of 1995, before the days of common carfax and edmunds, I bought an '88 mazda 626. In retrospect it must have been a salvage title car from a flood, but I knew nothing of that sort of thing then. The seller clearly wanted out, and in retrospect all the warning signs were there. But I liked the car and the price was right (or so I thought). This car had no end of problems.
This car accumulated water in the inside of the wheel wells, and so would have a rank smell. But I bought it during a long dry spell so I didn't get to experience that joy during the inspection. It had other water-related issues.
One morning it poured rain while I was inside working. The afternoon was very hot. I came out at about 5:00, got into the car, cursed the foul odor, slammed it into reverse, and a gallon of scalding hot water poured down upon me. It had been simmmering in the sunroof's cutout all day. My profanity continued for hours.
There were dozens of other little things wrong with it. But the biggest problem was that it's drive train was incredibly reliable and it drove and handled like a champ. I didn't have much money, but could have scraped some together if I had had to. But I didn't _have_ to. It would get me from point A to point B every stupid time.
#8 of 65 It's a tie
Jun 15, 2005 (9:22 am)
Both purchased new. 68 VW, 75 Saab 99 EMS I still shudder when i think about these two turkeys.
#9 of 65 Re: It's a tie [nonjth13]
by kyfdx@Edmunds HOST
Jun 15, 2005 (9:24 am)
Wow... we don't even need details.. we can just use our imaginations...
#10 of 65 first story - my wife's Subaru
Jun 15, 2005 (9:31 am)
Well, this one is pretty short, but its a good lesson for anyone. NEVER buy a car without doing your research.
We were out shopping for a replacement for my wife's leased Mitsubishi Galant, but we weren't positive of what we were going to buy. After trying out a few things, my wife decided she liked a used Subaru Forester. Well, since I never looked at their prices before, I had no clue that the asking price was so ridiculous. So when I managed to get $1K knocked off, I thought that was ok. It wasn't until later that I found out it was overpriced by about $4K.
I'm not proud of that story, of course, but its a cross I must bear.