It feels and sounds wrong and you still buy it?


Why are there so many threads where someone has problems with a pre-owned vehicle and during the discussion they state that they noticed it during the test drive. You would think that would be reason enough to leave or at least have the problem fixed before buying. And yet they sign an " AS IS " agreement.


Sometimes the “thrill” of buying sometimes clouds our minds and eyes. I got over that a long time ago. I found the “thrill” came with the selling…not the buying.


Some people can’t seem to process the concept of consequences.

I know this guy. Blew up his last engine by not fixing the drain bolt oil leak and letting the engine run out of oil. Car wasn’t worth putting a new engine in, so off he went to buy a new-to-him car.

Bad credit and almost no income, so he went with a predatory loan at some ungodly percentage.

Plunked $2500 over bluebook down on the first car he found that wasn’t a total rolling wreck. I advised him to get a pre purchase inspection. He asked the seller (a buy-here-pay-here sleaze lot) where he should take it for the PPI. Of course, the dealership happens to know of a great, honest mechanic right down the street who promptly takes his money and proclaims the car to be in “near showroom condition.” Except, you know, for the mysterious knocking sound when it’s driven at speed, which he didn’t notice because he only took it around the block. And the missing paint on the hood. And the big dent in the trunk. The list goes on. He throws money at the dealership and only discovers all of these problems after he’s got the car home. Didn’t even notice the missing paint.

“So, why the hell did you face 10 decisions and make the dumbest possible choice at each one?”

“I didn’t want to deal with the hassle, I just had to get it done.”

So he’s now got a car payment that he won’t be able to meet on a car that he overpaid for in the first place and that’s not worth even book value much less 40% over book because he just had to have a car right now even though he lives in a city with one of the best public transit systems in the country.

And this guy’s not alone. There are a lot of people out there like him, which is why it’s so easy to find a sucker to take advantage of if you’re a sociopath.


Well not to get everyone excited but there is a reason people have no money and bad credit and it involves a lifetime of bad decisions not bad luck.


Correct, Bing. I never should have married her… :smile:


I made that mistake once. I bought a used 1955 Pontiac back in 1962–traded in my 1947 Pontiac. The dealer had overhauled the engine. When I test drove the car, I didn’t have a good feeling about the noisy valve train, but assumed the overhauled engine just had to break in. I ignored a couple warning signs:

  1. Why did the engine need an overhaul?
  2. What was done in the overhaul?
  3. 1955 was the first year for the Pontiac V8 engine
    I thought I knew enough about cars at the time to evaluate its condition. I found no evidence of an accident. That Pontiac had a manual transmission and I misrakenly assumed manual transmissions didn’t give problems.
    In the year II owned the car, I had to have the transmission bearings replaced, and had a constant problem with oil not lubricating the rocker arms. One problem starred when the car was new–an oil filter was not standard equipment and my,Pontiac didn’t have one. The overhaul consisted of new rings and a valve job. I ended up having to replace the lifters. Fortunately, I was able to dispose of the car. My dad was buying a car from that dealer and the dealer offered him more for my 1955 Pontiac than for his 1954 Buick. I traded cars,with my dad and the dealer got his Pontiac back.
    I learned to trust first impressions. I should have followed my mechanic’s advice to stick with Fords and Chevys. At that time, parts for Fords and Chevrolets were more available than other makes and almost all mechanics were familiar with their problems in those days.
    I don’t think the dealer I bought the Pontiac from was dishonest. The dealer was the Rambler dealer and the mechanic that overhauled the Pontiac probably didn’t know all the issues with the 1955 Pontiac engine. Years later, I bought a 1961 Corvair from this dealer at a very low price. The engine acted like it needed a valve job. The dealer said that his mexhanics, weren’t familiar with the Corvair engine. At any rate, the first time I drove the Corvair in the rain, I.barely made it back home.All it needed was new spark plug wires.


“Well not to get everyone excited but there is a reason people have no money and bad credit and it involves a lifetime of bad decisions.”

The perfect example of this phenomenon is the proliferation of Rent-to-Own establishments. These places all seem to have the same theme:
No credit?
Bad credit?
No problem!
Take home the 60 inch TV of your choice today, and pay it off monthly!

All too often, it seems that the folks with the least money also have the least will power, and they decide that they MUST have luxury items. When they turn to Rent-to-Own establishments, they eventually wind up paying something like 7 or 8 times the retail price of those goods–if those goods aren’t repossessed for failure to make the monthly payments.

When I was a kid, my parents didn’t have much money, but they scrimped and saved in order to buy what they wanted in the future. Eventually, we got a (used) car. When my mother went back to work, we needed a washing machine, so we had to sell the car in order to buy that washing machine. I’m sure that my father could have bought a washing machine with time payments, but instead, he sacrificed his wheels rather than putting the family’s head in a noose in order to buy that appliance for my mother.

How many people today would do something similar to what he did?
My guess is…very few…and that is why Rent-to-Own places are huge profit centers.


There is a quote from Shakespeare that goes along the lines of “A poor man mounted rides his horse to death.” Someone took exception to my posting that quote a while back and I post it because it seems obvious that for so many reasons a poor person has no alternative but to run out all the use possible from whatever they have in hopes that they can hang on until they win the lottery or a rich uncle in Texas dies. For many it becomes lheir lifestyle as they never recognize or have the ability to house, groom and feed their horse since they aren’t sure of their own next meal or where they will sleep. And why spend your last $10 on oil and a filter for an old beater when 2 tires are slick and the brakes are dragging?

I’ve been broke a couple of times in my life but thankfully never poor.


There’s no question that many people have bad credit simply due to a history of poor money management, but there are also many who are destroyed by situations beyond their control, like major illness, birth of a handicapped child, disabling accident, disabling disease, company bankruptcy, and… yes… even divorce. I would urge you to not judge people too harshly until you’ve “walked a mile in their shoes”.


I’ve bought a lot of vehicles that ran wrong and sounded bad, and I bought them cheap, because they ran wrong and sounded bad. Not so much anymore, but years ago lots of used cars had bad ignition wires, dirty carburetors, stuck chokes, bad points, etc. An afternoon in the yard and they ran fine.

Now I buy scooters and motorcycles that way. It’s really fun to find a neglected vehicle with a bunch of minor issues, clean it up, get it right, and send it on its way. But, if you don’t know anything about machinery, then it’s all just a puzzle. So, learn.


I’ll have to admit that my first car, a 60 Morris Minor was a wreck and I knew it and I bought it anyway. I decided my limit was $250 and when I had that much into it and still had brakes, engine, and transmission to go, I sold it. Luckily the guy who bought it didn’t kill me but he wanted to.


I agree with the same mountainbike. Not everyone who is having to struggle mightily is doing it because they want to as many of them may face situations that are far beyond their control.

Now, the person who is struggling and walks into a rental store to buy a 60" flat screen on terms is another story altogether.


+1 to what both mountainbike and ok4450 stated.
Yes, there are a lot of foolish people who keep those Rent-to-Own centers in business, but there are also a lot of people who are struggling through no fault of their own.

The expression, “one paycheck away from homelessness”, was coined because this type of situation actually is reality for some people.


lot of people who are struggling through no fault of their own

You can tell these folks from those that constantly create their own problems. The folks that are struggling by no fault of their own are carrying cheap cell phones. Old flip phones or cheap pay-as-you-go phones. These people will eventually solve their problems and get back on their feet. Those that never will rise from their situation are carrying the latest smart phones.

I would urge you to not judge people too harshly until you've "walked a mile in their shoes".

Exactly. I’m a little bothered that my story about a guy making bad decisions seems to have sparked a bit of “poor people deserve it” sentiment. Some poor people are poor because they did stupid things. I know plenty of other poor people (some are relatives) who became poor due to reasons you cited such as becoming disabled and therefore losing their job which required physical ability.


I bought (cash) an '85 Accord SEi (their first fuel injected model in the US) in 1989 with 60k miles from a small used car lot.
Everything about it was near mint except the idle speed was “bouncing” every second or two after warm up.
No trouble code on the computer.
Back then I was always looking for a troubleshooting project. Figured at worst it’d need another computer.
The salesman did the usual vamp about it not being a big deal and he’d have their mechanic look at it.
I said knock another $500 off the price and I’d fix it myself.
Had a buddy tech at a Honda dealership check it out.
Turns out the thermostat was missing.
That plus a timing belt and it was good to go.


Point well made, OK4450.
I would add to that thought people who lease luxury cars 'cause they can’t afford to buy them.


Once someone falls over the edge, whether from their own poor judgement or from unforeseen circumstances, it seems virtually impossible to climb back into the mainstream. And we allow predators to lure the unsuspecting to their fall with all manner of marketing of “easy” terms from the smiling faces of seemingly helpfull people in television ads. Rent to own, pay-day loans, check-N-2-cash and we tote the note car lots rob the unsuspecting, financially ignorant of their future in return for immediate gratification. Why should anyone wait? You “deserve” the 55 inch flat screen and the i-phone and the prom dress for your daughter.

We have an economy where the unscrupulous schemers have license to steal from the gullible. And the gullible range from the pay check to pay check poor to those with a nest egg saved from a lifetime of struggling and living frugally. An old friend and fellow shop owner here is now realizing that the annuity that he has poured a lifetime of savings into will pay him a monthly pittance and when he dies any balance will be forfeited to the insurance(?) company leaving nothing for his children and grandchildren. He may be forced to continue as an employee of the business he spent a lifetime building and recently sold to pour the proceeds into the annuity program. It’s troubling that such schemes are legal.


At this point in my life, I’ve realized there are long term thinkers and those that just focus on the short term, or what’s basically in front of them.

Long rangers live below their means, and save for the future. They know how to distinguish between needs and wants. And it’s mostly “wants”.

Short termers have a yard/garage full of “toys”, are frequent customers of “Rent a Wreck/Center”, nothing saved for retirement, and a wallet full of credit cards. Every “want” is a “need”, and simply wanting the thing is reason enough to buy it.

I fully acknowledge bad things happen to good people. But I don’t have much sympathy for people with an Escalade in the driveway and no food on the table.


Don’t get me wrong, I know there are many people out there that life circumstances put them in difficult positions, but . . . We don’t have Fred Thompson to kick around any more shilling those reverse mortgages to the elderly. Now we just have to listen to the guys pushing buying gold and silver. I have never advised anyone to buy an annuity. Makes no sense if you put a pencil to it. I’m still amazed at people who lost homes in natural disasters and didn’t have INSURANCE. A friend of ours lost her husband after an extended hospital stay and she got a bill for 2.5 million. She was going to try and pay it but INSURANCE covered it. I understood I could become disabled so I bought disability INSURANCE to continue my income if that happened. That’s why I don’t get real excited if someone wants to buy an extended warranty. It is simply insurance against a potential loss but at a cost.

I guess since I was a kid, insurance was always something we did to protect ourselves. Sure it costs money but so does food. And what’s wrong with my flip phone?