OT Gettting a used car checked by a mechanic before buying it.
On "The People's Court", the judge is always telling people they should
have had their car checked by a mechanic before they bought it.
How many of you think it is worth getting a used car, sold AS IS,
checked out by a mechanic before buying it?
Please say if you have ever bought a used car ASIS, from a private
party (yes or no) and if you did so, did you get a mechanic to check it
out. (yes or no)
and if you did not, did you regret not taking it to a mechanic?
and if you did, was it worth the effort and money? (How much did you
How many think it's a good idea, but too much trouble since many cars
for private sale have no plates and you have to drive without plates or
illegally take the plates from your own car, and ALSO you have to get
someone to take you to the car, then follow you to the mechanic and then
take you home, and then do it all in reverse when he's done with the
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 3:04:47 AM UTC-4, CRNG wrote:
I've never bought a used car. If I did, I probably would take it to a mechanic.
It would depend on the circumstances, how old it was, the cost, etc. If it was
a $10,000 car, I'd definitely take it. I've done a lot of work on cars, so
I can spot the obvious stuff myself. But if I was buying say a used BMW, I'd
take it to a mechanic that has experience with those. They know what typically
fails based on years and mileage for those cars. They have a lift so they can
easily see what I can't. And I think it's worth it for the same reason it's
worth getting a home inspection. It's likely to be free. The mechanic, just
like the home inspector, is likely to find some things that will at
least pay for the cost. And with a used car, I would think they could more
than make up for the cost. The mechanic will give you a list of stuff that
is either bad or likely to go bad soon, that you can then show the seller and
use to negotiate. Even if it's something simple, like it's ready for new
brakes, you're way ahead. It's easier to get a seller to accept that, than
it is your own claims of what you think is wrong with the car, and that's
if you know what to look for and find it.
And if you watch the Peoples Court, there are folks on there all the time
that screwed themselves by not taking the car to a mechanic. The typical
disaster is one that a mechanic would have prevented. Like the car had
the check engine light on, they knew it, but didn't investigate further.
A mechanic with a code reader would be all over that in a minute. But Micky
has a point. It's not always possible to just take the car to a mechanic.
If it has no plates, insurance, etc. But then maybe you just want to stay
away from those anyway......
Yeah. And they always take the word of the seller. Any time I sold a used
car, I disclosed any information I could about it, including any accidents
it had been in, any work I had done and any that I knew needed to be done.
But a lot of sellers are not that honest. Or... A lot of buyers see and
hear what they want to see and hear.
On Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:45:56 PM UTC-4, Julie Bove wrote:
In many cases, it's not even an issue of honesty. The typical private
seller is not a mechanic. They've been driving the car, are used to the
car, have different standards of what's right and not right, etc. They
can tell you it runs great, is in great condition. Then after you buy
it, you take it to a mechanic and find out it needs new brakes, a new
exhaust, etc. Just because the seller didn't know what' wrong with it,
doesn't mean they are necessarily lying or being deceptive, though I'm
sure plenty of them do lie or don't tell you about problems they do know about.
CY: A lot is based on who is the customer. If
said customer is my Mom, I'd want her to take
it for a looking at.
and if you did so, did you get a mechanic to check it
CY: Don't remember ever having a car checked by a mechanic.
CY: I've been doing some car repairs for a couple
decades, so I give vehicles a looking over, myself.
I'm not perfect, but I can catch some of the big
CY: In case of no plates, you hvae to do your own
checking. When Dad died, the customer who ended up
buying did look it all over. No plates, so he had
to go forward and back, and turn the steering, etc.
In at least one other country the motorists' association (generic term
for the equivalent of AAA) has mechanics who will, for a fee, go and
check out a vehicle that a member is thinking of buying and present a
written report (including, I think, an estimate of the cost of any
needed repairs). It's always surprised me that AAA doesn't offer this
Having a car checked out like this should be a while you wait type thing.
Shouldn't really take more than an hour, if that. If it will take longer,
many places in this area will give you a ride to your house or some other
location and then pick you up when the car is ready to go.
I've never bought a used car from a private party but Ive sold a few. One
I was selling a '67 Datsun - now Nissan - station wagon (and glad of it,
hated the thing every day of the years we had it). A guy liked it, said
he wanted his mechanic uncle to check it out. Uncle was nearby so I said
sure. The guy comes back with the car and informs me that uncle said it
needed a new clutch. I went to my desk and got the invoice for the new
clutch I had put in two weeks prevously. Guy bought the car.
So much for mechanics. Then. Now, with computer diagnostics rather than
opinion, I would hope they would be better.
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 8:35:46 AM UTC-4, dadiOH wrote:
What makes you think his uncle was a mechanic, or that there even was
an uncle? I was selling my 3 year old car that had 60K miles on
it. Some bimbo showed up and did the same thing. Said she wanted to
take it to some friend that had a car service place nearby. She came
back 30 mins later, telling me he said it needed a new exhaust. Which
was BS. At 60K miles on a 3 year old modern car? But she wanted like
$300 off and since I had that factored in, expected to have to negotiate,
etc, I just said OK.
and if you did so, did you get a mechanic to check it
Back when I was buying used cars, most ranged from $15 to $150. I knew
they had problems and they were all fixable
Best deal I had was a Pontiac Tempest for $125. Had an easily fixed
distributor problem that the original owner was never able to have
fixed. If drove the car for a year and the guy's wife really missed the
car so I sold it back to him for the price I paid.
The $15 car was a '64 Karmen Ghia convertible. Rebuilt the engine for
$110 and drove it for a couple more years. Body was rusting away, no
heat, leaks, etc, but still a fun car to drive.
If the car was perfect, it would probably not be for sale. Crap shoot
but figure on some repairs
My late father used to say that when you buy a used car you buy somebody
else's troubles. Of course, he was assuming that people don't sell cars
that have nothing wrong with them; he wasn't reckoning with the "must
have the latest" advertisers and their victims.
I had a neighbor like that. The dealer would have the trade in sold
before it was even at the dealership. John got a new Olds the first day
the new models came out.
Last couple of cars I traded were in general good condition, but soon
would need brakes, tires, normal wear stuff. I figured I'd spend about
$1500 if I kept it but instead got a new car and new warranty.
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