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




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 9:18 pm
amother Darkblue wrote:
I must be crazy. I would much sooner have my DD21 drive a newer car and drive the old one myself. I would be so worried about her if it broke down with her alone on the side of the road. I wouldn’t even want her to have the stress of being late for work. Me they are not going to fire. Nobody is kidnapping me ( and they would return me in 15min. if they did.)


You aren't crazy. I appreciate what you're saying.
Remember, in my naive view, I didn't think there was any real danger in getting a used car. I thought my husband's caution was overkill.
Of course, now I see it differently.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 9:21 pm
synthy wrote:
I feel so sorry for you! But I'm glad I read this. DH and I have been on the fence about getting a car (we don't have one yet) and he wants a pre-owned while I'm scared.


I'm so happy to hear this. So my writing this out was not just cathartic for me, (and entertaining for Pumpkin,) but possibly helpful to you as well.

Of course, not saying not to get a pre-owned car, but just not go into into it completely blindly like I did.

That's why I am calling this a cautionary tale.
Hatzlacha on your decision!
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amother




NeonGreen
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 9:28 pm
I just want to put this put there as well, things happen to new cars too. We leased a brand new car a few years back, within 6 months the car had major issues. A part from underneath detached while driving among other things, it needed a new transmission and I don't remember what else. Basically it was a huge headache. We were out of a car for weeks while they got the parts to fix it and we had to pay a nice chunk out of pocket too for a car we didn't even own!
I'm not saying don't lease. I'm not saying don't buy. Just know new cars can have major issues too.
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amother




Obsidian
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 9:41 pm
Dear Mrs. PK,
I wish you were friend in real life (maybe you are). You are fun, realistic, willing to laugh at yourself, and a baalas middos.

We have only bought used cars and B"H have had a lot of mazel bli ayin hara. As others mentioned, we always take the car to our own mechanic to check for any major flaws. We also ask for the CarFax report which notes if the car has been in a major accident. If the answer is yes, it is immediately disqualified by us.

I will admit that the most recent car we bought was different. It was during the height of COVID and used cars were impossible to find. We found a place about 45 minutes away from our house that had a couple of options. (via a comprehensive internet search). In a completely non-Jewish area. The dealer had close to 800 positive reviews on google and all of them noted that they are incredibly honest and accommodating at every step along the way (even post purchase).

We drove out there and test drove a car. We read the CarFax report (which was provided by the dealer as soon as we started discussing the car). We met with the owner who told us that he is very picky about what cars he will buy to sell. He travels all around the US to find cars that he feels are only good quality. We felt he was very honest (and his 800 reviewers confirmed this).

We still took a chance. Didn't have time to have another mechanic look at it. Interestingly enough, there were 2 almost identical cars on the lot. We test drove one and came back to the dealer. They told us that another couple had walked in shortly after us and were also interested in either of the cars. We were so sure they were pressuring us and making up this "story." But they weren't! There was another couple test driving the other car at that exact moment. The dealer told us that we had first dibs on either one since we had arrived first.

Sure enough, as we were talking and discussing with ourselves and the salesman, the other couple was sitting on the other side of the room waiting for us to decide, and they bought the one we chose not to take.

The car, along with the other used ones we have bought, is B"H holding up beautifully.

I hope to hear your happy update soon!
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amother




Amber
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 10:22 pm
Car salesmen are notoriously excellent at manipulating people into making dumb decisions. You have to have that in mind when going to a car dealership - they are the enemy and are likely scheming to get you.
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amother




Clear
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 11:44 pm
Just grasping at straws here.....I know you spoke to a lawyer about your legal options, did you speak to a toen to see if from a beis din perspective whar your options are- maybe thus is a mekach taous?

Also, I agree with those who say to cut your losses and sell back. What was the seller willing to give you? Really he should refund everything, but if you're out your title fees, etc you'll swallow it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 11:51 pm
amother Obsidian wrote:
Dear Mrs. PK,
I wish you were friend in real life (maybe you are). You are fun, realistic, willing to laugh at yourself, and a baalas middos.

We have only bought used cars and B"H have had a lot of mazel bli ayin hara. As others mentioned, we always take the car to our own mechanic to check for any major flaws. We also ask for the CarFax report which notes if the car has been in a major accident. If the answer is yes, it is immediately disqualified by us.

I will admit that the most recent car we bought was different. It was during the height of COVID and used cars were impossible to find. We found a place about 45 minutes away from our house that had a couple of options. (via a comprehensive internet search). In a completely non-Jewish area. The dealer had close to 800 positive reviews on google and all of them noted that they are incredibly honest and accommodating at every step along the way (even post purchase).

We drove out there and test drove a car. We read the CarFax report (which was provided by the dealer as soon as we started discussing the car). We met with the owner who told us that he is very picky about what cars he will buy to sell. He travels all around the US to find cars that he feels are only good quality. We felt he was very honest (and his 800 reviewers confirmed this).

We still took a chance. Didn't have time to have another mechanic look at it. Interestingly enough, there were 2 almost identical cars on the lot. We test drove one and came back to the dealer. They told us that another couple had walked in shortly after us and were also interested in either of the cars. We were so sure they were pressuring us and making up this "story." But they weren't! There was another couple test driving the other car at that exact moment. The dealer told us that we had first dibs on either one since we had arrived first.

Sure enough, as we were talking and discussing with ourselves and the salesman, the other couple was sitting on the other side of the room waiting for us to decide, and they bought the one we chose not to take.

The car, along with the other used ones we have bought, is B"H holding up beautifully.

I hope to hear your happy update soon!


Wow! This is a great story. I wish I had heard this before letting my dd jump into the current situation. But there was PRESSURE, and PRESSURE often leads to making poor decisions. I would ask you what dealer you used, but chances are high that it's not anywhere near where I live.

Also, we can be friends, but we are both anonymous, so we wouldn't know it if we were. Wink
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 20 2022, 11:58 pm
amother Clear wrote:
Just grasping at straws here.....I know you spoke to a lawyer about your legal options, did you speak to a toen to see if from a beis din perspective whar your options are- maybe thus is a mekach taous?

Also, I agree with those who say to cut your losses and sell back. What was the seller willing to give you? Really he should refund everything, but if you're out your title fees, etc you'll swallow it.


No, I did not speak to a toen. Not sure how I feel about doing that.

I asked the dealer about selling him back the car and he said "we always buy cars..." but we didn't discuss specifics. I kind of wanted to see what the (first) mechanic would say before making any drastic decisions. Turned out the mechanic could not get the car to start at all, and it's back in the seller's shop now.

For now I'll see what happens tomorrow. If they can get the car to start, I would probably bring it to my own mechanic to give it an inspection. Once I know what I'm dealing with, I can make a smarter decision. (With the help of all of you Imas, of course. You ladies are awesome:)
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:03 am
amother OP wrote:
No, I did not speak to a toen. Not sure how I feel about doing that.

I asked the dealer about selling him back the car and he said "we always buy cars..." but we didn't discuss specifics. I kind of wanted to see what the (first) mechanic would say before making any drastic decisions. Turned out the mechanic could not get the car to start at all, and it's back in the seller's shop now.

For now I'll see what happens tomorrow. If they can get the car to start, I would probably bring it to my own mechanic to give it an inspection. Once I know what I'm dealing with, I can make a smarter decision. (With the help of all of you Imas, of course. You ladies are awesome:)

Sell it to him fast before he changes his mind. Eat the cost of the fees and may it be a kapara. No other mechanic/car sales place will buy it once they take a look under the hood.
I'm so sorry for what you and your dd are going through!
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:15 am
ra_mom wrote:
Sell it to him fast before he changes his mind. Eat the cost of the fees and may it be a kapara. No other mechanic/car sales place will buy it once they take a look under the hood.
I'm so sorry for what you and your dd are going through!


You know what I worry about?
Even before he got the car today, he insinuated that someone may have broken something while trying to jump the car. (Why did the car need a jump the first place?). Then, after he got the car, he insinuated that someone may have broken the key and messed with the computer.

I have no way to prove that those things didn't happen. So what if he agrees to buy the car, but gives me much less than the value because he will claim that I caused the car to be broken?

Again. I still view him as an honest person. In my eyes, he still has a chezkas kashrus. Call me whatever you want, but there's still that belief in me that it was possibly all in good faith.

But at the same time, I now know that I need to be careful and not take anything at face value. There no excuse for stupidity. I can't say that I didn't know anymore.

So If it happens that he would try to fleece me because I "broke" the car, I would need to figure out how to protect myself by bringing in a third party.

Hopefully I will be wiser tomorrow.
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naturalmom5




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:18 am
amother OP wrote:
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



Quick stupid question , why dont you have AAA or a rider on your insurance that covers several free tos a month, with an old car its vital
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ra_mom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:24 am
There's a reason used car salesmen have such a bad rap.
https://www.carthrottle.com/post/trBkWR/
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amother




Ebony
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 2:08 am
Here’s a good story and some hope for you all:
We bought a major lemon two years ago. It was the type of car we wanted for a great price. We actually drove off right away to get there before “another potential buyer” (huge red flag, I now know).
The body was great. He probably painted it and cleaned it before he sold it. We’re practically used all of our money for it.
Turns out, he was using it as a RACING car. He “upgraded” tons of engine parts to up the performance. He for sure played with the odometer (we naively thought it only has 100k miles on it).
We replaced EVERYTHING: radiator, fan, thermostat, catalytic, tires, 4wd, brakes, windshield (It came cracked), we even replaced the engine!!! Here’s a crazy one, he sold us the car without headlights!! They just weren’t there!! Our theory is that he added aftermarket headlights and then took them out to save for himself.
We even spent $1000 on a mechanic that scammed us and fixed nothing when we got stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Two years and thousands of dollars later, and tons of mechanic visits, and way too many days in the shop, our car is great! It’s the perfect size for us, it’s comfortable, and it’s incredible in the snow (lots of snow here, so that was a priority).
B”H, love our used old lemon car. Although it was a huge headache.

Hope your story ends well!!
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 2:30 am
I'm really sorry yiur DD and your family had this experience.
It's a great learning experience for her and the rest of your children.
My parents and I have bought many used cars in America.
You have an independent mechanic do a full check on the car before you buy it.
You never trust the salesman, jewish or not. Never. Never.
You do research on the make/model. Don't buy a car whose parts are hard to get or expensive to replace.
I don't think you have to swear off of used cars forever. Just be smart about it.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 9:34 am
naturalmom5 wrote:
Quick stupid question , why dont you have AAA or a rider on your insurance that covers several free tos a month, with an old car its vital


Not a stupid question. In fact, Mr. Frum Owner of the dealership asked the same question. Answer is that I never needed to pay for an AAA membership. We even removed roadside assistance from our insurance policy a while back because we never needed it with our leased cars. Whe my daughter bought her car, she just added her car to our insurance plan.
So Mr. Frum owner said that with a used car, it's imperative to get AAA.
Yes, we will be adding it, thanks.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 9:36 am
Thank you essie14, amother ebony, and all the helpful Imas who took the time to read this, advise me and give me chizzuk from their personal stories.
Much appreciated!
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amother




Quince
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 11:46 am
Sorry to hear about this saga.

In our younger years my DH and I have made some rash, not so logical, car buying decisions. Mostly from private car owners but also once from a dealer. We were so inexperienced at the dealer, we both laugh at ourselves now. How cute we were and so trusing and the interesting cars we have had! We have learned but it is so tempting and hard to resist with all the pressure at the dealership.

For reasons you have just demonstrated we generally only buy New since we can afford it and will keep the cars for years and years, always doing proper timely maintenance. In the long run we get our moneys worth.

We are in the same predicament now with our DD. She needs a car and we are paralyzed by the crazy prices. We have never leased before because we always were not so thrilled about the fees but I've heard that for people who don't have the cash or unable to afford being stuck without a car because they will miss work, lease is the way to go.

I would consider going to a dealership for a certified used car and would get extended warranty but these days used is just as expensive as new.

Also, we have AAA. It's very reassuring to have though sometimes it takes a long time to get a tow-truck. We did have the good fortune that my kind in-laws paid for AAA in our younger years with our interesting cars. We used it! BH we haven't needed their services for a while. My DD is free on our AAA account by the way.
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amother




Lightpink
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:45 pm
amother Obsidian wrote:
Dear Mrs. PK,
I wish you were friend in real life (maybe you are). You are fun, realistic, willing to laugh at yourself, and a baalas middos.

We have only bought used cars and B"H have had a lot of mazel bli ayin hara. As others mentioned, we always take the car to our own mechanic to check for any major flaws. We also ask for the CarFax report which notes if the car has been in a major accident. If the answer is yes, it is immediately disqualified by us.

I will admit that the most recent car we bought was different. It was during the height of COVID and used cars were impossible to find. We found a place about 45 minutes away from our house that had a couple of options. (via a comprehensive internet search). In a completely non-Jewish area. The dealer had close to 800 positive reviews on google and all of them noted that they are incredibly honest and accommodating at every step along the way (even post purchase).

We drove out there and test drove a car. We read the CarFax report (which was provided by the dealer as soon as we started discussing the car). We met with the owner who told us that he is very picky about what cars he will buy to sell. He travels all around the US to find cars that he feels are only good quality. We felt he was very honest (and his 800 reviewers confirmed this).

We still took a chance. Didn't have time to have another mechanic look at it. Interestingly enough, there were 2 almost identical cars on the lot. We test drove one and came back to the dealer. They told us that another couple had walked in shortly after us and were also interested in either of the cars. We were so sure they were pressuring us and making up this "story." But they weren't! There was another couple test driving the other car at that exact moment. The dealer told us that we had first dibs on either one since we had arrived first.

Sure enough, as we were talking and discussing with ourselves and the salesman, the other couple was sitting on the other side of the room waiting for us to decide, and they bought the one we chose not to take.

The car, along with the other used ones we have bought, is B"H holding up beautifully.

I hope to hear your happy update soon!


Can you name the dealer and salesman you bought from?
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 12:49 pm
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notshanarishona




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Oct 21 2022, 4:52 pm
amother OP wrote:
Yes that's what I want to do as well.
But I would have my daughter get a new car. I don't think I could handle the risk of a used car again. Especially since I clearly do not have the right connections/experience. I can ask a few people their opinion, but if everyone tells me something else, I'll just get confused. My daughter already spoke to someone (a good family friend) who said he will help her with it.
Regarding declining the charges, I thought about that, but the lawyer I spoke to strongly advised against it. He said it's a terrible idea.
She paid the deposit with her debit card, and is in contract for the next three years to pay the rest.


Not all used cars are the same, their is a world of a difference between a 2020 car with 20,000 miles and a 2001 car with 180,000 miles. Your thinking is very black and white that you dealt with one dishonest dealer and made the mistake of not getting a second opinion and some form of limited warranty and therefore you can never buy a used car again. Most people survive just fine on used cars. Just do your homework next time, especially with current costs of leasing.
A debit card is very different than a credit card.
Also maybe ask a rav if you can spread your experience with the dealers name, any dealer who sells a car that lasts less than a month and refuses to refund in full should be out of business.
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