Drive Shafts Industry Tricks
Dealing With The Dealer Consumer Tricks
Consumer Driven Deals
Auto Consumer Resources
Grand Theft Auto: Industry Cases
Last VW Mistake
Other Car Not A VW
True Costs of Driving
15 Sec. Car Deal Lecture
Eco Orgs & Auto Industry
- Uparmoring Car
Deals - Do-It-Yourself Troop Support
Tell Car Makers To Make Cleaner-Air Vehicles
Ford Motors Company to Get it's Gas in Gear
- Lemon "Proofing"
Cars and Auto Deals
[Yeah, sure, dream-on!]
Cars cannot be completely lemon proofed. Deals, ditto!
be completely lemon proofed. This is why we have token consumer
protection and "Lemon" laws, usually watered down to
protect the industry from the pressures for the consumer driven
car deal. Thus, the importance of dinging the dealer and manufacturer
on price / profit up front on every deal, including so called
"value priced" or "no-haggle, er., no-dicker"
- Watch for
the following signs of sour citrus on new or used car lots (Times are tough so everyone's
diversifying into the produce market these days - and often lemons
resemble automobiles, and they don't always come in yellow or
displaying low mileage (odometer readings may be rolled back -- its
illegal in most state but its easy -- its (conservatively, we
believe) estimated that odometer fraud costs consumers in the
US over $10 billion annually. Ah, good old predatory capitalism
at its best.)
"executive car" or "demo" (may be damaged
or repaired or may actually have been an abused rental unit)
will not or cannot show you the repair orders or identity of former
shipped from out-of-state or received in trade from another dealer
having been driven by corporate executives. Often these cars
have been used and abused as rental cars. The corporate executive
representation is often (mis)used to give cachet to the deal
and to make consumers believe they are getting a better vehicle
(and deal) then is in fact the case.
The auto dealer is not on your side...is not a friend, but rather
is an adversary, your opponent (not an enemy?) in the economic
tug-o-war in the so-called consumer driven marketplace...(MCM;
Master of Consumer Management...?)
- Get as
much pre-deal information as you can possibly obtain...then wait, wait,
wait....don't do it...walk, walk, walk... the best car deal is
the no-deal deal. Anything else is a big mistake. One's only
hope is to minimize the costs of the mistake.
a title search
(make the dealer provide it, then verify it in detail). Try to
have the seller provide this as the seller is in the best pre-deal
position to obtain vehicle documentation. Do not buy vehicles,
new or used that the seller cannot or will not provide ownership
documentation on all prior owners. Distrust and verify.
- Check with
or repair shop(s) where repairs were made
- Call the
local Dent Doctor and ask if it has worked on the vehicle
original and subsequent owners directly and inquire about past repairs,
mileage and use, and subsequent purchasers, etc.
manufacturer's warranty in your name immediately.
- Avoid AS-IS
and dealer warranty deals
manufacturer's warranty with purchase (in writing, for what its worth).
Recently (2002) consumers have complained about warrenty service
being scheduled months away, requiring consumers to pay for warranty
service by an independent mechanic.
- Have the
vehicle checked out and verified by an independent mechanic/repair
shop, and body shop not affiliated with the dealership, and factor
these costs into the final deal price, including deals from so
called national car deal chain lots
- Be particularly
watchful on "private" sales conducted from the side of the curb
or vacant lot. often these vehicles (deals) are sold by "dealers"
posing as private individual sales, and they frequently involve
laundered or salvaged vehicles of less value and worth (this
is what is known as curbstoning)
all dealer paperwork
with closing the deal (most people forget this most basic of
guerrilla car consumer self-defense maneuvers,) including warranties
before dealing, and review them very carefully away from the
dealership or seller -- take them home with you and look them
over with a friend or lawyer. If presented new, different, or
"remembered" or "forgotten" paperwork during
deal closing, W A L K !!!
- Buy quality
rated makes and models of vehicles with proven maintenance "track"
records, and consumer satisfaction records. Don't pay extra for
recommended buys. Cars should be recommended as a matter of course.
- Intellichoice of Campbell, California provides ratings
of vehicles based on seven or more pricing and consumer value
factors including maintenance costs, gas mileage \ vehicle price,
and resale value. Consumer Reports rates new vehicles (new model
year released in October of the previous year,--it may be worth
waiting for Consumer Reports to test drive and evaluate the vehicle
before buying) in its February through April issues. Try to avoid
relying on any single source for car deal evaluations or ratings,
and be particularly careful of advertising paid "trade"
magazines of journals.
Mechanics Magazine publishes Car Smart around the first of every
year, with reviews of most new cars from the perspective and
objectivity of a publication which accepts advertising from the
auto industry. Other sources of auto product quality and value
are available from accessible sources, such as Consumer Digest,
Motor Trend, and Car and Driver, etc.. Check out your local library
for free information if you believe a few bucks in this regard
is not the best investment you'll ever make.
from the dealer a
copy of a log of the names and phone numbers of all service or
test drivers of any new vehicle with mileage on it which you
intend to buy, including delivery driver uses of the vehicle.
Test driven or trucked vehicles may have been damaged or not
broken-in properly which may result in additional maintenance
for retooling prematurely pitted, worn or gouged brake rotors
or other hidden damages or defects or repairs. Obtain the name
and address and phone numbers of all trucking or delivery companies
and drivers having transported the vehicle from factory to the
dealer. Check vehicles over carefully and have them inspected
by independent body and paint and repair shops. Vehicles shipped
by truck, test driven, detailed, or displayed on a dealer's lot
are subject to being dinged and damaged from random vandalism,
from disgruntled consumer retaliation, and flying debris from
passing automobiles, etc.
- Make a
your personal transport and vehicle needs and wants regarding
a particular vehicle or personal transportation in general. Include
price, dealer demeanor and style, model, year, reliability, color,
options or features (list these). Rank your needs and wants and
weigh variables on a general need or want scale of 1, 2, 3, (1...10),
or low, medium or high, or similar rating scheme personalized
to your particular tastes or circumstances. A simple "plus"
and "minus" checklist is better than no checklist in
objectifying major purchase decisions. Writing it all down helps
to keep the important aspects of a deal or vehicle in perspective.
A simple "plus" or "minus" listing or comparison
between brands or models may also help in deciding upon one model
or make over another.
- Check with
your local Dent Doctor or mobile dent service to verify any repairs
that may have been performed on the vehicle you may buy--they
may have the information on file. Watch for poor repair work
where clear-coating is covered over with paint without re-clearcoating
on new and used cars. Vehicle trucking companies and dealers
may try to hide damages and hide repairs to inflate or puff up
the value of a vehicle. This is why some dealers don't tell consumers
about damages, defects or repairs on new vehicles.
a consumer favorable lemon law into any new car deal or lease. Make the deal
conditional upon the dealer and manufacturer guaranteeing the
replacement of the new vehicle based on your expectations of
its serviceability -- what's acceptable to you and what do you
expect of the new vehicle -- to be mechanically defect free for
the life of the loan would be a reasonable expectation. Remember
that anything in writing by the dealer is likely not worth the
paper its written on, as consumers usually are on their own in
enforcing lemon laws and warranty issues after sale. Use the
value of your consumership in leveraging a better lemon law that
likely is on the books in your state. Consumers have a reasonable
right to expect that a product marketed for personal transport
will operate as intended. If it doesn't, then it should be repaired
or replaced by the dealer or manufacturer, no questions asked.
bumper rating sticker on new vehicles...? No deal...!!!" (2.5 miles per hour rating,
you call that a bumper?) Hell no, no bumper, no deal! (Pick-ups
are often sold without bumpers, although they likely will be
presented for test driving fitted with bumpers. Is this mis-representation
or just the industry's idea of customer service? What are bumpers
for anyway? Cheap bumpers are another way for manufacturers to
pass hidden costs downhill to consumers. A little extra in bumper
reinforcement and protection would save consumers considerably
in lower insurance premiums and deductible expenditures for major
damage caused from minor impacts. Ding, ding, ding...
- See related
AutoBuyology pages and other informational references and resources
for additional information which may assist you in thinking about
lemon-proofing the Great American Car Deal.
- If you
should find that the vehicle you bought is a lemon and are unable
to resolve the problems with the dealer and the manufacturer,
check the, "Lemon Book," by Ralph Nader for strategies
in recovering the deal. Also check with your State Department
of Consumer Affairs or Department of Motor Vehicles to see if
they have assistance programs in dealing with unserviceable or
"lemon" vehicles and lemon dealers. Also check for
consumer and related information published by the National Consumer
Federation, Washington, DC. Generally, lemon laws only apply
during the warranty period of the vehicle, and require the vehicle
to be unserviceable for a specific period of time before replacement
or other settlement is required. Even when the requirements of
the lemon law are evident, it may be difficult to obtain replacement
or settlement from some dealers or manufacturers. Can you blame
them, if they can get away with it? Wouldn't you?
long are we going to put up with this abysmal abuse of the marketplace by a third
rate industry represented by a very small minority of voters?
How long are you going to permit your government to favor this
industry over consuming families?
writing a letter to your local, state and national government representatives
demanding stronger lemon laws and comprehensive auto consumer
protection legislation. A Fair Car Sales and Service Practices Act would
be a good first step in cleaning up the Great American Car Deal. How much longer are we going to permit
our government to coddle the automobile industry to the detriment
of our families, to our health, safety and general welfare? An
average lifetime of car ownership costs equal or exceed the median
price of an American home. We regulate the real estate industry
for minimum standards and competency, why not the auto industry,
which has a major effect on the health of the American economy
and on the welfare of family budgets.
industry will argue that regulation results in added costs to the consumer (any excuse will
do), but incompetence and sham in the auto industry is far more
costly to America's families and values. A level playing field
between consumers and dealers, and minimum standards in auto
sales and service practices would benefit the industry, consumers
and our economy.
With The Dealer
Hidden Profit$ | Consumer
| Car Consumer Resources
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Reasons" | Lemon
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Costs of Driving |
15 Sec. Car
Deal Lecture | Parallel
Parking | Test-I-Moanials
Emptor - Tricks of the Great American Car Deal ©
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Give Good Karma
What's In You?
GOT ASTHMA? Yet?
GOT WAR FOR OIL?
GOT TOXIC LOADING?
GOT GLOBAL WARMING?
GOT EXPENSIVE FOSSIL FUELS?
Have you told your auto maker, or the
auto industry to make more efficient and cleaner-air vehicles?
to copy and post). Have you asked others if they have? It wouldn;t
kill you to do so! It may even help prevent or reduce asthma
and global warming.
Help Save Your Breath, Life, Money &
breath, life, money and planet you save may be your own.)
Air, Planet, & People: To Save Y'our Breath, Lives, Money
Tell Car Makers To Make
Jump Start Ford For A Cleaner-air Future
2 Jump Start Ford
NHTSA to Improve Fuel Efficiency of SUVs
Car Makers To Get Their Gas In Gear Flyer 2-up
Save Your Breath, Life, Money
& Planet Flyer 1-up
Be A Fossil Fool - Fossil Fools Day
Save Your Breath, Life, Money & Planet (The breath, life,
money and planet you save may be your own.)
Literacy & Self-help - Auto Consumer Resources List:
Support - Up-armored Car Deals
Real Conservatives Conserve (The money you save
may be your own.)