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Feb 06, 2006 (10:05 am)
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#2 of 222 How to Misrepresent a Vehicle
Mar 06, 2006 (1:40 pm)
Recently I purchased a BMW from Modern Infiniti of Greensboro, NC. After buying the car, I found out that the dealer had lied about the condition of the vehicle. I want to share my story so others can avoid these cars.
The number one thing that I have seen all dealerships do with used cars is clean the floor mats and put them in the trunk. 99% of the time they put them in the trunk. They put them there for 2 reasons.
Reason # 1: The interior of the car will look cleaner and newer because the actual carpet may have always been covered by a mat.
Reason # 2: The mats are only clean on the surface. Just kick or beat the mat and you'll see how much dirt comes out.
The next thing I noticed was the the entire interior was covered in glossy goop. This is to cover up ground in dirt, imperfections, and stress marks on plastic and leather. It also can hide color fading.
The dealership also cleaned the top side of the engine and covered the entire engine compartment with the glossy goop. Once you steam clean or thoroughly wash the compartment, you will see all the oil leaks and dirt that the gloss is hiding.
One other thing. Not even a mechanic can spot this one. If a car has had a particular type of oil (either mineral or synthetic) in its engine its whole life, you need to continue using that same type. Otherwise it will cause leaks. The problem is, you will have to put the oil on the stove and see what temperature is boils at to know what kind of oil it is. Modern Inifiniti of Greensboro NC and its ugly sister's store in Winston-Salem do not carry the synthetic oil that my car drank for the first 127,000 miles of its life. They instead used mineral oil, which after driving the car for a couple thousand miles shows up in the form of leaks. Every seal CAN leak because of this. Fortunately I only have to replace 4 seals which take 8 hours to do. ($1121 worth)
Finally they lied about the car. They said the car had never been in accident and they verified that with a paint meter. Well it turns out that the guy was full of it. The car had been in an accident.
Please add to this. I have more to come.
#3 of 222 Re: How to Misrepresent a Vehicle [f_1]
Mar 06, 2006 (2:38 pm)
Ok I won't respond to the first bit of your post because it may or may not be true. We do not clean our floormats then put them in the trunk but I guess someone some where might.
I will comment on the second part about the syn vs conventional oil. What you said is frankly just untrue. I ran a service shop that did about 50% of its revenue in oil changes for several years. When I left to start my new job in sales I would say close to 20% of our oil change customers used synthetic of one form or another. Mostly amsoil but some other brands too. I had people that changed from one type of synthetic to another then switched to conventional then switched back to another kind of synthetic. Changing type of oils just does not matter one bit. They even make semi-synthetics that are as little as 10% synethetic or as much ast 25%.
Now if you run convetional oil in a car for a long time, say 100,000 or so miles, and then put synthetic in it you could have leaks. What would happen is the syn oil would clean out all the sludge that had built up in the engine from the conventional oil. If that sludge was blocking up some cracks in the original seals then you could have leaks form. There is also a danger when putting synthetic oil in a high mileage motor that the sludge will lock up an oil pump or block the pickup tube. I have put synthetic in cars with as high as a 120,000 miles after using coneventional the whole time. I did do an engine flush and pull the pan to remove any sludge that had been knocked loose. I have had people that were using synthetic for 100,000 or more miles and just decided it was not worth the expense anymore switch back to conventional with no problems.
What happend to you was just a coincedence. The car had 127,000 miles and just about needed seals anyway.
#4 of 222 Re: How to Misrepresent a Vehicle [british_rover]
Mar 06, 2006 (4:31 pm)
Mobil One's website says you can go back and forth and even mix the synthetic and conventional oil. Their only warning is that you reduce the effectiveness of the synthetic by doing so. I have to agree about the "goop" though most dealers use on the engine and inside. Last used car I looked at from dealership my foot kept slipping off the brake pedal because it was everywhere. I'd rather they just wash it with soap and water and wax it. Then I can see how it's going to look when I actually own it.
#5 of 222 Re: How to Misrepresent a Vehicle [f_1]
Mar 06, 2006 (7:26 pm)
First, I'm going to guess this is probably your first car.
Reason #3 floor mats go in the trunk - if a car is left open and unattended at all, people steal floormats.
Unless it is a marginal used car lot, all used cars undergo the 'cleaning' that you saw. Interior carpet and cloth seats are cleaned with strong, commercial grade cleaner and interior plastic or leather surfaces and underhood rubber items are treated with 'ArmorAll' type liquid. The motor is washed with solvents, mainly to remove any oil leaks. They are USED cars. These treatments are to optimize their appearance. And, yes, to hide wear.
Changing types or brands of oil will not significantly increase leaks. In the 'olden days' there were detergent and non-detergent oils. On high milage cars previously run on non-detergent oil, changing to detergent could, in some cases, cause problems - sludge breaking loose, seals leaking, etc. But currently, it would be very difficult to find a quart of non-detergent oil. Most oils are about the same, and carry the same API certification codes. Unless someone made a distinct point to shop around to find the very cheapest re-refined oil. The car leaked oil for the previous owner, the dealership cleaned the motor to remove the oil stains, and after a few miles after purchase the leaks again became apparent.
If the dealership didn't give you a WRITTEN statement that the car had not been in an accident, then as the famous saying goes 'Their verbal statement isn't worth the paper it's written on.'. I'll bet on a 127,000 mile vehicle, you got a piece of paper with AS IS written in very, very large letters on it.
#6 of 222 Re: How to Misrepresent a Vehicle [f_1]
Mar 06, 2006 (7:46 pm)
This point from British Rover does make sense:
Now if you run convetional oil in a car for a long time, say 100,000 or so miles, and then put synthetic in it you could have leaks. What would happen is the syn oil would clean out all the sludge that had built up in the engine from the conventional oil. If that sludge was blocking up some cracks in the original seals then you could have leaks form. There is also a danger when putting synthetic oil in a high mileage motor that the sludge will lock up an oil pump or block the pickup tube.
I'd say that's accurate. However, I would not want to switch between conventional and synthetic oils -- once you go with one, you should stay with it, due to the sludging factor and its effect on seals after switching, as you referenced. And some cars should never be run on regular oil, no matter what.
Here's a theory about what may have happened: Your car may have obviously had a bad motor, so the dealership and/or the prior owner may have run some sort of stop-leak product in it for a time to conceal problems before switching it to the cheap dino oil.
Generally speaking, when I buy a used car, my first act is to change all of the fluids, unless I have a set of records that I believe makes it absolutely certain that they were changed recently enough that I need not change them again. New oil and coolant are relatively cheap, and I consider replacing these a cost of doing business.
And buying a well-used luxury car is really a serious gamble. I know it's tempting because they seem relatively cheap, but consider what incentives the seller has (whether dealer or private party) to conceal major problems that are even more costly to repair than they would be on another car.
Sorry to hear about your problems, I hope your next purchase goes more smoothly.
Mar 07, 2006 (3:17 pm)
Summed things up pretty well.
Switching oil won't cause problems. I use "cheap" dino oil and see little use for synthetics.
When I get asked if a used car has ever been in an accident, I always respond..."probably".
I will let them know that we have no way of knowing if a car has ever had body work done. Most cars on the road that are five years old have had **something** touched up.
A bump on the bumper will cause paint damage so that could be called "an accident".
We show Car Faxes and inspect for signs of a bad accident when we detect this we will wholesale the car.
#9 of 222 millenium toyota - Hempstead New York
Mar 30, 2006 (11:49 am)
Millenium Toyota in Hempstead Long Island are a bunch of liars. I got the bait and switch today as well. Told me they had "any" color 2006 camry LE at 9:00 am this morning. I made them swear up and down and guarantee the price. When I got there at 9:15 this morning, amazingly, there was a "problem" with their computer and they had NO 2006 Camry's. They have a horrible reputation and deserve to be shut down.
#10 of 222 Re: millenium toyota - Hempstead New York [reechz]
Mar 30, 2006 (5:47 pm)
Interesting. Did they claim not to have the vehicle because they didn't want to be held to an agreed price?