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Sad Saga about a car: A Cautionary Tale [Update]
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 12:47 pm
Here is the sad and ongoing saga of one woman, and her daughter, who are learning an expensive lesson. Well. It could be worse. It could be more expensive.
But here it is...

My husband believes in only leasing new cars. We both get new cars every 3 years or so.

Eishes chayil that I am, I never insisted on getting a second-hand car, even though I'm sure it's much more fun to drive a used car that has rips in the seats.

But seriously, I know that most people "like us" buy second-hand cars. I did always feel just a bit spoiled that I was always driving a newish car. Even if it was the most basic model. All my friends drive beat up old vans and mine is only slightly dented. How embarrassing. [Sarcasm alert]

His reason was always that he can't afford to get stuck and always have his car in the shop. I get that. I understand that time is money. But I privately thought that his fear of always being in the shop was grossly exaggerated. Everyone else manages, right?

Fast forward to last September. My daughter got a job teaching in a school. While she was still in seminary, we talked about her getting her own car, and paying for it by driving a carpool of kids to school.

I won't get into all the details (mostly because its too frustrating to even think about, let alone recount), but I will tell you that I spent at least 10 hours, sitting by several dealerships to try to make it happen, without success. The first day of school rolled around and she still didnt have a car. So I told her to take my minivan for her carpool and we would get her her own car after Yom tov.

Well. Yom tov came and went and we simply never took care of it. I work from home, so I managed without a car. She took my car every day and returned at 4:30. If I needed a car, sometimes I would take my husband's car, pick it up from his place of work. It wasn't the best solution, but it was basically okay.

Ok , the truth is, sometimes it was not okay. Many times. Whatever. But the months rolled on and we managed. More or less.

By the end of last year, my daughter was very clear that this summer she was going to get her own car for the upcoming school year. She was working and there was no reason for her to keep borrowing my car. She asked for my help, but, remembering my frustration from my failed attempts last year, I kept pushing her off. Also, because I really didn't have the time during the summer to work on it.

(For those of you not in the know, it appears that car leasing has become very expensive, as there is a shortage of cars. Due to covid, of course. )

Finally I told her that I just don't have the know-how to help her. My husband also did not have the time to invest in this. I advised her to ask around, see how her friends managed. After all, she is a working adult now. Independent, sort of.

She asked around and found out that a friend of hers bought a second-hand car from a frum car dealership and was thrilled with the experience. Plus, she mentioned a woman I am friendly with whose husband is friendly with the owner. Whatever. It sounded good.
I told her, go for it. Go meet them, find out if they can sell you a car, even without credit. What the terms are.

She said, "But I thought Daddy doesn't believe in buying second-hand cars?"

I said, "Look, it's very nice not to believe in it. But you are a young girl, just starting out, and you don't have an extra 600 a month, or whatever it costs, to shell out on a leased car. So you can be like all the other young girls who manage to get by with second-hand cars. "

She said, "But I don't want my car to be in the shop every day! What if it breaks down while I'm on the highway?"

I said, "I don't think these cars break down every day. Isn't it true that everyone we know has older cars? Do you see them in the shop every day? No...Sure, it's a risk. But I think it's a very, very small risk."

So said the brilliant mom to her trusting daughter. Or as they say...Famous Last Words.

Tbc
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amother




Caramel
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 12:48 pm
Hello PKL?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 1:16 pm
Part 2.
So, busy young lady that my daughter is, she had a certain window of time that she was able to go to the dealership, which happened to be a time that I could not accompany her.

Ok, so she figured she would be a big girl and do this on her own.

She calls me a while later and says, "MA, I just bought a car! Am I nuts?? I just bought my own car, I can't believe it!"

She was slightly hyperventilating. So, I'm not sure what I was expecting. I think I assumed it would take some time. Not that she would go and just buy the car on the spot. In any case, I congratulated her and told her, no she is not nuts. She is amazing and mature and I'm so proud of her. Look, her own parents don't own a car, and at age 20, she has her own car.

"But what's Daddy going to say?"
Whoops. I just realized that I hadn't talked to my husband about it. Honestly, I thought she was just going to gather information and then we would discuss it. But it all happened so fast.

I reassured her that Daddy would be fine with it. She is an adult and can make her own choices, and I for one thought this was the most sensible plan for the current circumstances.

The agent, a frum(ish) lady, was extremely nice to her. She told her that she is giving her the best car in the shop. An amazing car.

She comes home in a really nice looking smallish car, perfect for her needs. When my husband saw it, he was less than thrilled, mainly because the trunk was very small. When she gets married, how will she be able to travel with such a tiny trunk that could barely fit a suitcase?

Ok, for about a week everything was fine. And then it wasn't. She saw smoke coming out of the bottom of the car. And it had a terrible smell. The smoke was so thick that it obscured her view while driving.

This was on a Thursday night. On Friday, she called the dealership. The lady who had been so nice to her was suddenly not so nice. She said that maybe it happened because my daughter went a few days without driving the car and it's not good for the engine. (What??)

Not gonna get into all the details but it was a shocker to me to learn that the car dealership can sell you a car, and the second you drive off , they have no liability. It's called "As Is" . The Lemon law does not apply. I called a lawyer who deals in this stuff and I was told we have no rights here.

Long story short, the dealer agreed to send a tow company to tow the car, at their expense, and fix it. I was very grateful for that. By law, they did not have to.

Because it's a foreign-made car, it was not so simple to replace the part that needed to be replaced. My daughter kept calling to find out when she could expect to have the car back. (Meanwhile she is making payments on the car. How aggravating is that?)

And meanwhile, guess who was out of a car because she lent hers to her daughter who had to get a carpool of kids and herself to school?

I decided to call the friend whose husband is friends with the frum owner. That was a good move. She gave me the personal number of the owner. The guy was really nice to me. He even knew my husband. He gave me the VIP treament. He reassured me and answered all my questions. He said that he is always ready to help me, even though in normal cases, the owner of the car needs to be responsible for all repairs. He did not charge us to replace the part or for the work.

Another thing I was grateful for is that they gave her a loaner car ( after I kind of made a stink about it). To be sure, the loaner car was horrendous. Every hazard light was on when it drove and the car shook terribly. There was only one door on each side, so if someone had to get to the back, it was a whole to-do. Oh, and the mirrors were smashed.

But it was a car, which would get her from point A to point B, and they assured her it was safe. My daughter was scared to drive it, so, being the nice mother that I am (and maybe feeling just a wee bit guilty), I told her to take my car while I drove the loaner car.

Finally after about 3 weeks, her car was ready to be picked up! Good as new!

I gave her (and myself) a brocha that this car should serve her well for many years to come, and it should never give her any trouble again.

I never claimed that my brachos come true. This one certainly didn't.

Tbc.
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ShishKabob




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 1:17 pm
amother Caramel wrote:
Hello PKL?
yes! Hello as well! One terrific pkl!!
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amother




Garnet
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 1:35 pm
I remember your previous thread. I’m sorry you’re still dealing with the car. I will say that BH we have always bought used cars and have had very good mazel. So some tips in case you or someone else decide to go used car shopping.

First, you should always take the car for an independent inspection before buying. It costs money but it’s more than worth it. A trusted mechanic will be able to tell you so much about the car and will know if it’s a worthwhile purchase and what fixes you should ask the shop to make before you buy.

Second, make sure the dealer you purchase from has a 30 day guarantee. Get the guarantee in writing. 30 days isn’t long but I don’t know of any used car dealerships that offer longer than that. A 30 day guarantee would have put the dealer on the hook in your daughters situation.
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Rappel




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:06 pm
Exactly what garnet said. We've only owned second hand. We find a sales agent with a good reputation, give him our budget, and he finds a good deal for us (no sales lots. Just private cars).

Next step: our favourite mechanic! For about 500 shekels, he inspects the car nose to tail and tells us what we need to know about it.

If everything checks out, then we do the sale and title transfer that week. If not, then we haven't lost anything by checking and making sure it's not a lemon.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:12 pm
amother Garnet wrote:
I remember your previous thread. I’m sorry you’re still dealing with the car. I will say that BH we have always bought used cars and have had very good mazel. So some tips in case you or someone else decide to go used car shopping.

First, you should always take the car for an independent inspection before buying. It costs money but it’s more than worth it. A trusted mechanic will be able to tell you so much about the car and will know if it’s a worthwhile purchase and what fixes you should ask the shop to make before you buy.

Second, make sure the dealer you purchase from has a 30 day guarantee. Get the guarantee in writing. 30 days isn’t long but I don’t know of any used car dealerships that offer longer than that. A 30 day guarantee would have put the dealer on the hook in your daughters situation.


Thanks. I am a novice when it comes to second-hand cars and did not know this.
But when I spoke to the owner, he said that at the time of the inspection, the car could pass 100%. If the part is going to break, it's not something that could be detected in advance. So you won't necessarily gain anything by paying for another inspection. Plus, he has the car go through a full inspection on his shop before selling it.

To my uneducated mind, that doesn't seem to make sense that a car that's about to break should not be detectable. But that's what he said. And I'm very much the type to TRUST those that seem to know more than me.

Second, I asked the owner about a gaurantee or warrantee...he said that it doesn't exist in my state. The lawyer I contacted said the same. He also said that the worst thing we can do is stop making payments. He said to just eat the loss and learn for the future never, ever to buy a second-hand car from a dealer.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:26 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thanks. I am a novice when it comes to second-hand cars and did not know this.
But when I spoke to the owner, he said that at the time of the inspection, the car could pass 100%. If the part is going to break, it's not something that could be detected in advance. So you won't necessarily gain anything by paying for another inspection. Plus, he has the car go through a full inspection on his shop before selling it.

To my uneducated mind, that doesn't seem to make sense that a car that's about to break should not be detectable. But that's what he said. And I'm very much the type to TRUST those that seem to know more than me.

Second, I asked the owner about a gaurantee or warrantee...he said that it doesn't exist in my state. The lawyer I contacted said the same. He also said that the worst thing we can do is stop making payments. He said to just eat the loss and learn for the future never, ever to buy a second-hand car from a dealer.


He can say whatever he likes. Remember he is trying to sell cars, it's in his best interest to push you to buy one of his cars.
We only buy second hand cars. We have a mechanic we trust and he will come and check out any car we are interested in. We trust him to know if it's a good car. Ideally lower mileage (but not too low as that can suggest it's either been changed or barely been driven which can also have issues).
We also look at specific brands-Toyota, Honda etc are more reliable than some other brands.
Do you have to do any sort of checks on the car annually to ensure it's roadworthy? In the UK we have something called MOT, which has to be done each year and the car must pass to be allowed on the road. This is recorded online against the car and you can look it up to see the sort of condition of the car.
Did you find out what the actual issue was and what he did to fix it? Can you ask for a record of the work he did? You can ask another mechanic for their opinion of whether they thought it was an existing issue or a new one. Some issues can develop suddenly, others are less likely.
At the end of the day though it's mazal whether you have a good car that will last you years, or one that spends more time by the mechanic than on the road.
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amother




Garnet
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:49 pm
amother OP wrote:
Second, I asked the owner about a gaurantee or warrantee...he said that it doesn't exist in my state. The lawyer I contacted said the same..
They are not required to offer a guarantee. But if they offer one then make sure you have proof and then they will need to honor it. We only buy from a dealership that offers the 30 day guarantee.
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amother




Garnet
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:50 pm
amother Slateblue wrote:
Do you have to do any sort of checks on the car annually to ensure it's roadworthy? In the UK we have something called MOT, which has to be done each year and the car must pass to be allowed on the road. This is recorded online against the car and you can look it up to see the sort of condition of the car.

In the US those records are not accessible. I wish!
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amother




Clear
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:51 pm
amother Garnet wrote:
I remember your previous thread. I’m sorry you’re still dealing with the car. I will say that BH we have always bought used cars and have had very good mazel. So some tips in case you or someone else decide to go used car shopping.

First, you should always take the car for an independent inspection before buying. It costs money but it’s more than worth it. A trusted mechanic will be able to tell you so much about the car and will know if it’s a worthwhile purchase and what fixes you should ask the shop to make before you buy.

Second, make sure the dealer you purchase from has a 30 day guarantee. Get the guarantee in writing. 30 days isn’t long but I don’t know of any used car dealerships that offer longer than that. A 30 day guarantee would have put the dealer on the hook in your daughters situation.


I second this.

We've only bought used cars.
Several we did not buy after mechanic review or negotiated the repairs (some repairs mean we don't buy, others just need to be fixed).

Sorry about your situation.
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amother




Ballota
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 2:57 pm
Hey Op. Don't beat yourself up. It is all beshert.

We took our second hand car to a reputable mechanic for his blessing.
Since then we already:
Replaced all tires; dh says all cars need new tires every so often, even leased ones
Replaced breaks; dh says all cars need new breaks, even leased ones

We got whopper of a error message. No one could fix it, took it to multiple mechanics, they couldn't diagnose the codes.
First we got scammed and paid $800 to mechanic that did not fix it, told us after he'll help us 'crash the car at night after it rained' bec it is probably the transmission.
Drove to an expert twice, kept car for 3-5 weeks in his lot, gave birth in between, needed car so we picked it up.

Dh said this time we are going to dealership of car. Said he'll fix it for $5k. We paid. After avoiding our calls for 4 weeks, he said he can't. He promised it would be good, at least for a bit. We involved BBB, BH dealership got to the bottom of it and fixed issue. BH BH BH. It is still holding up. It was not the transmission fyi.

We are currently paying monthly fees to car shield, and BH nothing broke since.
https://carshield.com/free-quo.....w_wcB

And yes, Ima Slateblue, it is a major company like Toyota/Honda.....
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amother




Clear
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:03 pm
amother Clear wrote:
I second this.

We've only bought used cars.
Several we did not buy after mechanic review or negotiated the repairs (some repairs mean we don't buy, others just need to be fixed).

Sorry about your situation.



Also, my mechanic says you do need to set aside cash for repairs as things will break. Right now I have Toyotas from 2006 and 2009. My mechanic says to budget $1500 a year for repairs on average and I find he is about right.

(Note I was planning to refreash these before covid hit, but I didn't get to it and now I'm waiting out this shortage as long as I can)
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:11 pm
Part 3.

So finally, my daughter got back her snazzy little car, and I got back my 3 year old leased minivan. (As an aside, I am having heart palpitations thinking about getting a new lease myself. When my daughter came home with her car the first time, glowing from her positive experience, I even had the thought of going that route myself. But of course, that thought was quickly banished when events unfolded as they did.)

Anyway. So things were fine for, say, 3 weeks. Maybe less.
It's hard to know the exact timeline between all the hecticness of Yuntif- Shabbos-Yuntif- Shabbos-Yuntif-Shabbos- Yuntif.

But on an erev shabbos (in which there was another very major event going on on my life on that particular day) her car didn't start. I told her to take my car to get to school. Oh, I forgot to mention that soon after she got her car back, she started seeing hazard lights go on at random times.

So, in the midst of all the craziness that was my life that day, I called Chaveirim to come jump the car. The guy who came said he thought the battery seemed fine because it took very fast. He thought maybe a light was left on.

About a week later, also on an Erev something, the car didn't start again. Again, I had the car boosted, intending to have my daughter take it to the mechanic to check the battery. Again, the Chaveirim guy (a different one) said he thinks the battery is fine. But because it was a crazy hectic day, she couldn't go just then. And then the car wouldn't start again.

Ok. Now it's a week or so later. She knew she had to take the car in. So on the first available day that she was free, she called Chaveirim one more time to come boost it, intending to drive straight to the mechanic. Problem is, the car wouldn't start. Even with the cables. He tried for a while.

Now what? He said the car would have to be towed to the mechanic.

It doesn't make sense, said I, the woman who knows nothing about cars, except how to drive them and to fill the tank. How come the other two times, the car was able to be boosted, and now not? It made no sense to me.

Before calling a tow truck, I decided to ask my neighbor if he could try boosting it. It always pays to engage in magical thinking. Except this time. No magic could get that car to start.

Ok, so now we knew for sure we had to get it towed. By the way, at this point, I contacted the frum guy who sold me the car and told him what's going on.

Over the phone he diagnosed the problem as either a dead battery which needs to be replaced, or a faulty starter. There was a third option, but I don't remember. Maybe the alternator? He said it's a very simple fix.

I am kind of exasperated at this point so I asked him if there's such a thing as selling the car back to him? I told him that I have no time to deal with all this, and I can't keep giving my daughter my car. Also, keep in mind that this was over Bein hazemanim and I had quite a few extra people in the house, and we were down one car. It was quite complicating. So I asked him if he can just take it off our hands and we can be done with it.

He said that he always buys cars but he would not recommend going that route, because I (my daughter) would have to pay all these fees. Instead, he recommends that she trade in the car for another car. Exploding anger At wits end

So, my daughter called a tow company to bring the car to my local mechanic, to the tune of $80.

This was last Thursday. By Friday I still had not heard from them. Then it was Second Days. So finally yesterday, (Isru Chag) we called to find out what the story is.

The mechanic said that they could not diagnose the problem because the car won't start at all. Duh. I had it brought in because it didn’t start. They said it was probably an electrical problem.

So I called the owner again to update him and he basically said the equivalent of, "what kind of incompetent mechanic is this that he can't diagnose a simple problem?"

I mentioned to him that we tried getting the car boosted, to no avail, to which he replied that the guy who did the boosting could have broken something.

Im like, what? Its Chaveirim! They know how to boost a car! He said that with foreign cars, sometimes they don't know what they're doing.

He offered to check the car if I bring the car to his shop. At this point, I don't know what other options I have.

So I called for another tow (this time it was $180, because his shop is much further.).

The tow truck guy just texted me that the car was delivered. So, now I guess we wait to see what the verdict is.

Ok. This is where we are holding.

I take any and all advice that would be helpful to me at the present time.
Please reserve the blaming/bashing for another day. Thanks so much.

Ps. In case you were wondering...
To his credit, my husband did NOT say " I told you so". (I basically warned him not to say it.) Very Happy
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:21 pm
So this is why I haven't replaced my car yet. Sorry for your travails.
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amother




Slateblue
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:22 pm
Have you considered going to someone else to sell the car/buy another one? I'm not sure about this guy you've been using. You may have to cut your losses with this car and just get another.
For future, never just walk in and buy a car. Think it over, have a few different options. It doesn't hurt to look at a few sellers. And get your own inspection by someone you trust. And never take the seller's word for anything.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:22 pm
ShishKabob wrote:
yes! Hello as well! One terrific pkl!!


Hi
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amother




Slategray
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:27 pm
amother OP wrote:
Thanks. I am a novice when it comes to second-hand cars and did not know this.
But when I spoke to the owner, he said that at the time of the inspection, the car could pass 100%. If the part is going to break, it's not something that could be detected in advance. So you won't necessarily gain anything by paying for another inspection. Plus, he has the car go through a full inspection on his shop before selling it.

To my uneducated mind, that doesn't seem to make sense that a car that's about to break should not be detectable. But that's what he said. And I'm very much the type to TRUST those that seem to know more than me.

Second, I asked the owner about a gaurantee or warrantee...he said that it doesn't exist in my state. The lawyer I contacted said the same. He also said that the worst thing we can do is stop making payments. He said to just eat the loss and learn for the future never, ever to buy a second-hand car from a dealer.


The Inspection they do for the car to pass Inspection for insurance purposes and the inspection they do to be honest with you if you should buy the car, is not the same level of Inspection.

Of course a mechanic can look at a part and say, "this is barely ok, it is going to have to be replaced within 2-6 months". The car will still "pass" inspection, but my mechanic will make sure I am aware that this car will require repairs and either factor it into the purchase price or DONT BUY IT.

You didn't know, we all make mistakes.

What I think you should do now? (You did ask for advice) trade it in! By all means! Anything should be better than this one. But get the car Inspected by a neutral third party mechanic. Insist on it!
Just because he's frum, and you know the wife or the friend, doesn't mean he is a honest scrupulous person. It hurts, I know.

Hatzlacha!
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:28 pm
amother Slateblue wrote:
Have you considered going to someone else to sell the car/buy another one? I'm not sure about this guy you've been using. You may have to cut your losses with this car and just get another.
For future, never just walk in and buy a car. Think it over, have a few different options. It doesn't hurt to look at a few sellers. And get your own inspection by someone you trust. And never take the seller's word for anything.


Like I said in my last post, I asked the owner if we can sell him back his car. And he basically said yes, but bad idea.

So as I said, this is an expensive lesson to learn. Or, you can say it's a very inexpensive lesson to learn, considering that we all learned a big lesson. So how much would you pay for such great lesson? It could have been much worse.

But the lessons we learned are all the things that you are mentioning.

Although at this point, I don't see myself taking a chance on another used car again.
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amother




Slategray
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 3:36 pm
amother OP wrote:
Like I said in my last post, I asked the owner if we can sell him back his car. And he basically said yes, but bad idea.

So as I said, this is an expensive lesson to learn. Or, you can say it's a very inexpensive lesson to learn, considering that we all learned a big lesson. So how much would you pay for such great lesson? It could have been much worse.

But the lessons we learned are all the things that you are mentioning.

Although at this point, I don't see myself taking a chance on another used car again.


A bad idea according to whom? Can't Believe It
The man who hasn't shown you in any way that a word that comes out of his mouth is trustworthy?!

Sell the car back to him for the same price.
The taxes and fees should be worth it for you to cut your losses and move on. keeping it and not getting any use out of it and it just draining your wallet, because that's clearly going to happen.
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