$295 For The Air In The Tires (Not A Typo)

Walking thru a mall today, saw a new car displayed (think it was a Kia Forte) This narrow paper was displayed next to the Monroney Sticker. I took a picture of it because I didn’t think anyone would believe this. Since I’m not technologically savvy enough to transfer the picture from my phone to this board, I’m going to copy it verbatim:

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price $22,895.00
Dealer Installed Options

Custom Pinstripe 195.00

Lifetime Nitrogen Tire Inflation 295.00
Constant tire pressure
Smoother Ride
Improves Steering
Better Braking
Lowers Fuel Cost

Market Adjustment 895.00

Wheel & Decal pkg 2495.00

Dealer Processing Charge 199.00
(Not required by law)


*SELLERS ASKING PRICE                                         $26,974.00


This is exactly how it looked except the word Lifetime was underlined.

Now that I think about it, this whole list is just basically pure profit for the dealer. The only thing on this list that is a tangible “thing” is the pinstripe, and that is 5 or 6x overpriced. As comedian Lewis Black might say, “its as though they thought we’d grown up sitting on a nuclear reactor, and now we’re just slabs of meat with eyes.”

I’m not in the market for a Kia Forte, but if I were buying any vehicle and the dealer put a list like this on the contract, I’d get up and walk out. Matter of fact, not only wouldn’t I pay these items, I’d make him take OFF 295.00 AND 895.00 from the price as a penalty for insulting my intelligence, and as for the 2495.00 “Wheel & Decal pkg”, well, I’d tell him, have the car sitting on blocks when I come to pick it up, I’ll bring my own “wheels & decals”. Good Lordy Lord! Is it any wonder the more new cars I see, the more I like my '93 Ford Festiva with 200k miles? So if I have an $800 - $900 repair bill every 6 months or so, at least I’m getting some VALUE for the dollars I spend AND I’m putting money into the local economy; as in, the mechanic lives in my community and can feed his family on the money he earned repairing my car.

I’ll tell you something. Doesn’t matter what Donald, or Hillary, or Jeb, or Bernie, or Barack, or the Koch bros, or Geo Soros says or does. If we have a critical mass of people in this country who are willing to pay $295 for “Lifetime Nitrogen Tire Inflation” and don’t realize that they are being ripped off, then this country is doomed.

P.S.- Is it any wonder that car dealers have a reputation as thieves and crooks?

Ah, it changed my formatting when I posted it. The prices were “right-aligned” the board took out the spacing when I posted it. I don’t know how to fix that, but I’m sure you all get the point. Thoughts anyone?

Interesting conclusion. I agree.

As regards the details:
Constant tire pressure
Smoother Ride
Improves Steering
Better Braking
Lowers Fuel Cost
All I can say is… yeah, right.

Ye gods and little fishes.

When I was car-shopping a few years ago, I noticed at one dealership that EVERY car in their lot had an extra sticker on the window, next to the required Monroney sticker. So, I asked a salesman, “Is it possible to custom-order a car at this dealership without the dealer-added equipment?”. When he answered, “no”, I think that I broke a few track & field records as I dashed to my car and drove away.

IMHO, only a fool buys a car from a dealer that adds mandatory low-quality “accessories” worth–at most–$50, yet charges whatever the traffic will bear for that useless crap. You can always discern these dealer-installed accessories, as they include fender-lip moldings that don’t actually cover the entire fender lip, and “body-color” side trim that never exactly matches the actual paint color.

Crap…pure crap…

I was actually having kind of a bad day until I saw this. My printer ran out of ink yesterday and I discovered to my dismay that Office Depot and Staples no longer carry the cartridges, so I had to DRIVE clear across to the other side of town to a store that has them rather than order online and wait “3 to 5 business days” for my ink for something I needed to print yesterday.

So when I saw this, first I laughed (heartily), then I realized, “hey, they’re SERIOUS”, then I walked back and took the picture to show my friends, then I thought, “hey, I’ve got to post this on the CarTalk forum, talk about a conversation starter!”

'Cause soon I’m going to have to sit down with some sociopath car dealer and buy a vehicle. I almost bought a new Honda Fit last year, but a family situation derailed that before I actually sat down to hammer out the price.

Since then my situation has changed, and continues to change, dramatically. So I don’t want to make any BIG purchases, like a vehicle, until I get some grasp on what my future looks like.

Thanks for the laugh!

If we have a critical mass of people in this country who are willing to pay $295 for “Lifetime Nitrogen Tire Inflation” and don’t realize that they are being ripped off, then this country is doomed.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, most people in this country don’t have $295 to waste on compressed air. So we’re doomed that way, too. :-/

When I was looking at new cars I noticed at one of the dealerships, all the cars on the lot had this line on the sticker:

ADP $2,500

ADP?? ADP? The amount varied, car to car, from $500 to $3500. I’m wondering what ADP means, since it seems quite expensive. Some kind of Automotive Detailing Process or something? Very labor intensive?

So I ask the salesman, who replies “Oh, ADP means Additional Dealer Profit”.


It’s outrageous how we are so easily schmoozed out of our money by talented marketing in comparison to being averse to paying a reasonable tip for excellent service when appropriate.

People that don’t study car pricing aren’t prepared for these shenanigans. A little time on line checking out real option lists on comparison sites like KBB, Edmunds, or NADAGuides will clearly show factory options and no dealer add-ons. Comparing stickers in on-line dealer inventories can show the same results, as well as showing the dealers that pad the price. A little on-line shopping can keep anyone off the lot of a crooked dealer.

Yeah, but just because they can get away with it doesn’t make the dealers offering these “deals” any less crooked. If I’m dumb enough to walk down a dark urban alley, that doesn’t absolve the mugger from his actions.

I used to have doubts about courses colleges offer in “critical thinking”, believing that solid foundations in math and physics would automatically result in critical thinking tools. But over the years I’ve recognized that there are a great many people who will always struggle with technical subjects and will never automatically think critically. Perhaps I was unfair to the courses. Perhaps critical thinking can and should be taught.

Some automobile sales men are so gullible they believe whatever the sales pitch is to sell such things and $295 nitrogen for the tires.

Rod, you make a good point. I haven’t met many car salesmen with advanced physics degrees… {:- /

What exactly is the “Market Adjustment” charge of $895 all about?

They made it up. Along with all that garbage about the nitrogen. {:smiley:

Seriously, they’re probably selling better than their allotment can provide, so they added some to the price. Legal? Yup. Ethical? That could be a very lengthy debate. Cars in high demand are commonly bumped up in price until the market for them stabilizes. In 1982 I wanted to buy a new Accord 4-dr sedan, but there was a minimum 6-month wait… and an upward cost adjustment. I bought a Civic instead.

My local Ford dealer charges $89 for Nitrogen fill for the tires. I thought THAT was funny! $295 is hilarious! People don’t usually become salesman because they are really good at science…

THIS is the state of science education in the American education system. The 2 things we don’t teach worth a hoot in school these days is science and math. That’s why people will pay $295 for Nitrogen fill for their tires on a credit card charging 24% interest.

@“the same mountainbike” This is almost as bad as the situation right after WWII when new cars were scarce because production of cars for domestic use ended in February of 1942 and production didn’t resume until late 1945. I remember my dad telling about dealers wanting cash under the table as well as the retail price for a 1946 car. 1947 and 1948 models were in short supply. Many of the new csrs, sold were loaded with dealer added accessories like for lights, outside sun visor, bumper overrides, etc. However, today with an ample supply of cars, I can’t imagine a person wanting a Kia Forte so badly that they would pay,an,additiomal, $895 rather than find am equivalent vehicle in a different make.

This brings me back to my premise that automobile manufacturers would be offering a distinctly different vehicle lineup if the buyer were required to make a 20% down payment on a 24 month note.

I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate and say that the dealers who do this are not crooks. Nothing is being hidden; it’s all laid out in the open with a lot of fluff.

With the internet, there is no excuse whatsoever for any potential car buyer to not spend 10 minutes of time reading up on some of this stuff; especially when they’re considering forking over double-digit grand money on a car.

I would also wager that almost every salesman honestly believes nitrogen is greatly beneficial and will do everything promised.

The BG rep laid the sales pitch on the total fool and tool of a service manager where I worked. The SM honestly thought that every one of those BG products was the miracle in a can for any problem so he made it SOP for every car through the door to get the whole 9 yards BG treatment.

I’ve never heard of a “market adjustment” charge. Maybe a certain model is more popular or more popular in one area as compared to another so they raise the ante on it.
Again, with the internet info available (as in I ain’t payin’ it…) the consumer should be informed and walk.