'As-is' Cars

I understand that as is cars are yours (with all their faults) ones you drive off a lot.

But i wonder if there is anything you can do regarding a dealer who promised you that everything is alright.

I’ll bought a car (Nissan) which was actually fine. We drove it and i had visually inspected the car.

After 2 weeks the radiator failed and leaked, then it popped out that the breaks needed to be replaced and now i discovered that one motormount has to be replaced.

I had the car checked again by a different mechanic and beside these issues, everything is alright.

Is it legit to write a bad review on BBB, since the dealer is deaf or do i have to take it as it is.

Never buy a car without a check from a independet mechanic. Thats the true lesson i learned.

As is, is just what it states. These are usually older cars, 5 years and up, and/or high mileage cars. Due to mileage and age anything can go at anytime. If the car came with a warranty you’d likely have to pay more to buy it.

In your case even an inspection may not have picked up the radiator was soon to fail. It certainly would have given you the condition of the brake pads and most likely would have also uncovered the need for a motor mount. If you had an inspection the dealer could have repaired these items, given you a greater amount off the price of the car, or said take it as it is.

You have to expect some “reconditioning” expenses when you buy a used car. If you can’t handle that then the choice is to buy a new one. After these repairs if your Nissan is as solid as the mechanic says you should have a good car. You don’t seem to have a major fault like a blown head gasket, warped head, or junky transmission.

Find out whether your car has a timing belt or not, and if it is an interference motor. With used cars you can’t tell if the timing belt has been changed in many instances. If you don’t know you need to assume the original belt is still in there. If the car has 80K miles and is 6 years old you are going to need a timing belt soon if the motor has one.

“As is” means “as is.” If you agreed to buy a vehicle “as is” then you bought it the way it was. Anything it needs after you bought it is your responsibility.

Dealer promises are worthless. Always have been. Always will be.

I’ve bought quite a few “as is” used cars. I always set aside money after the purchase for repairs that may need to be made. “As is” means that you are essentially on your own. You can’t expect a used car to be perfect(new cars sometimes have problems as well).

In 1955, my dad bought a 1954 Buick from some friends who sold the car because they were going to Australia. The original owners loved the car and it was meticulously maintained. It was the newest car my parents had been able to purchase. The second day my parents owned the car, the fuel pump failed and the car coasted to a stop. My parents admonished my brother and me not to say a word to the people we bought the car from, because they didn’t want their friends to feel bad. One outcome of the event was the car quit on a Sunday just outside a small town not too far from where we lived. A friendly farmer towed us to a little garage in the town. Tt turned out that the proprietor of the garage was a top rate mechanic and my Dad found a wonderful place to have his cars repaired and did business with this mechanic as long as he was in business.

I sold a car that I had meticulously maintained to person in my building that wanted a car. I had replaced the master cylinder a year before I sold the car. I had all the service and repair records. This colleague had to replace the master cylincer again within the year and went around telling people that I sold him a lemon.

The point is that things go wrong with used cars. “As is” cars can be good buys, but be ready for a few repairs.

as far as the timingbelt, i got told from the dealer (its a Nissan dealer) that this engine has a timingchain and does not need to be replaced.
It has already a 100K miles, but everything else works on the car and i have not noticed anything else.
No, dont get me wrong. I dont expect a perfect car. Its just that i got promised (well trust a dealer) that there were no major issues. so yes, the radiator might be bad luck. I actually love the car, it drives nice and its in a good condition and i hope to drive another 100k on it.
But i got me a haynes guide just in case :slight_smile: And some issues i can repair myself too. At least if it not a major interiour engine issue.

@ triedaq That was a real touching story. I really was.
its sad, that your story had a sad ending.

My expierence was not that bad and (like i mentioned) i think the car is overall in a good shape.
The one thing that soured the experience was the fact, that i went to a big dealer in hope for more honesty. Well, i’ll guess i do the dealer wrong, but i felt i had could also the car somewhere else and had the same outcome.
Perhaps i hoped for to much. Not sure.

Anyway, so far i feel good about the car. And i have to be honest in saying that it was the car i could afford. A new one would be nice, but that would be to much for my current budget.

Legal type questions are OK. Become the judge in court. He knows that “as is” means that something is likely to be wrong with the car. Why would a car with 17,000 miles on it be without a warranty expressed or implied? The answers are so simple but the explanations are quite long.

The car is a potential junker. That’s why the dealer doesn’t do any checking if the car is running alright. What that means: They don’t want to know about it or be responsible for it. A buyer shouldn’t want problems either and should let the seller share some of the burden.

If you don’t mind problems, at least get the car for as little money as possible, like $5,000 less than an ideal price on a good vehicle with some sort of warranty. Don’t start with the high price either.

Most 100,000 mile cars are sold as is anyway. Your maintenance problem experience is only slightly below average.

My first car was an “as is” car. The dealer priced the car at $100 and I talked him down to $75. Obviously, you don’t get a warranty on a $75 car. I knew going into the deal I had to find a couple of tires for the car. The cluster gear in the transmission was worn and it made a terrible noise as I would start out in first gear. However, the $75 car (a 1947 Pontiac that I bought in 1961)did make the 350 mile trip from my home to the university where I did my graduate work. I ran the car for a year with careful driving and keeping the oil level up.

Another “as is” car that I bought was a 1968 AMC Javelin in 1971. At this time I had finished my second round of graduate school and needed a car to get out of town. The dealer originally thought he should have $1650 and my worn out Corvair. This was in May and the odometer registered 33,000 miles. I rummaged through the glove compartment when we were checking the car out and it had had a state instpection in February and the odometer read 55,000 miles. I knew that the car needed of tires. I showed the dealer the inspection record and offered him the wholesale price of $1200 and my Corvair which was completely shot. He took the deal. We drove the Javelin 5 years and 100,000 miles beyond what was on the odometer. At this point I sold the car for $600.

There are good buys to be had in older “as is” used cars. I would much rather buy an older “as is” car for cash knowing that I may have to make some repairs than purchase a newer or new car and pay interest on a loan.

If you are not satisfied with the car, then complain to the BBB or any other organization that accepts such complaints. It seems to me that the dealer should have checked the brakes, at least, and replaced them. I would register a complaint.

Did you talk to the car dealer about these issues? He might (or might not) reimburse you for some of the cost. If not, tell your friends not to go there. If you tell enough people, it could cost him hundreds of thousands in business. 10 cheap cars is over $100,000.

“complain to the BBB or any other organization that accepts such complaints”

The BBB–which is a private organization that relies on dues from member businesses–has NO regulatory or punitive power, unlike a governmental organization such as the Office of Consumer Affairs. The fact that they accept dues is–in the opinion of many folks–a perfect example of the concept of Conflict of Interests.

Additionally, since the BBB is a profit-making organization, some local franchise owners (Yes, they sell BBB franchises) actually charge a fee to file a complaint.
By contrast, the Office of Consumer Affairs in any jurisdiction will take your complaint with no fee.

What does the BBB do after you file a complaint?
If the offending business is a current dues-paying member of the BBB, then it is asked (note:–That is asked, rather than ordered or compelled) to communicate with the complaining party and to satisfy their complaint. If this “member” business does not satisfy the complaint, all that happens is that this failure is logged on the company’s records. Repeated failures may (note:–That is may, rather than will) result in that company being refused membership renewal. However, since these BBB franchises do not want to lose the annual dues from a business, this is an absolute last resort for the BBB.

If the offending business is not a dues-paying member of the BBB, then all that the BBB will do is to list the complaint on their records. You will be informed that they have no authority over non-member businesses, and no attempt will be made by the BBB to contact that business.

By contrast, the Office of Consumer Affairs will warn businesses that failure to satisy valid complaints can result in a legal action being filed in court against the offending business. This legal action is done through the District Attorney or Attorney General’s office, depending upon whether the Office of Consumer Affairs is run on the local, county or state level in your jurisdiction.

About a year ago, Smart Money magazine ran an expose of the BBB, and the magazine reported that few people have actually been helped by this “Old Boys’ Club”. When they asked the national BBB management for comments, the national management conceded that many people had not been helped by their organization, and that much house-cleaning of local franchises was necessary in order to make the BBB into an effective organization.

In short–don’t waste your time (and possibly your money) on filing a complaint with the BBB.

There are other organizations that accept complaints. A web search will turn up a few. But that’s piffle. The most important thing is to alert your friends, neighbors and colleagues that the car lot sells garbage. I said that already, but it apparently bears repeating.

As is is as is, but if your state requires a safety inspection then the motor mounts and the brakes (depending on the problem) would not have passed. Therefore if the car had passed the safety inspection then those items were either missed or ignored. If the dealer sold you the car with with a passed safety inspection then I believe the dealer needs to correct the problems and nothing more. All this depends if your state has safety inspections.

It also depends on how extensive the inspection process is in your state.
In NJ, the inspection merely consists of checking lights, wipers, brakes, and emissions.
And, the brake test is a “functional” test at very low speed that can be passed even with brakes in poor condition.

While I know that some states do require that the car be put on a lift for checking of steering components, motor mounts, suspension, and brake hardware, not all states do testing of this extensive a nature. And, apparently, some states have no car inspection at all.

Illinois has no safety inspection at all but certain large cities have emission testing.
Missouri has a state wide safety inspection which checks suspension along with the others you mentioned and more and certain area have the emission testing.

IMOO, I wish Illinois would drop the emission test and start a state wide safety inspection. It would be more beneficial to the safety of people.