Don’t Buy Until You Push Every Button

Posted: January 2, 2016 in Articles

The accident that I was involved in totaled my car, and after my car refused to start on Christmas Eve, I decided to let it be towed away. In addition, I’m due $2500 for the insurance. If I had opted to fix my old car, it would have wound up costing me more money than I was willing to see go. All in all, I guess things worked out for me. Of course, I’ll have to buy a new car. My savings, combined with the $2500 check, give me about $5500-$6000, which means a nicer car than my previous one.

Yesterday, I found a nice-looking 2007 Chevy Monte Carlo LT for about $5000 after a few hours of looking (for whatever reason, I want a Chevy more than any other kind of car). If you want to see what that model looks like, here it is:


Today, my dad drove me out to the car dealership which is an hour away. I know that’s a long distance, but I was pretty excited about the car and was naive enough to think that  I would buy it on the spot. I was in for a number of surprises.

First of all, I discovered that rust had eaten away portions of metal around the rear tires. A possible reason for this pretty severe rusting is that the previous owner lived up north where there’s a lot of salt on the roads every winter. Don’t get the wrong idea here! I was aware that there was rusting, but the picture I saw didn’t do the real thing justice. Although the salesman claimed that it was a $100 repair, I was not entirely convinced especially since there was rusting on both sides of the vehicle.

Since this car is a two-seater, my dad was curious to find out how hard (or easy) it was to access the back seats. He reached for the lever that controls the angle of the seat and as soon as his hand touched it, it fell off.  He was able to get it back on no problem, but that was still a little offputting. I got the idea that the previous owner must have been rough.

I asked to test drive the car, and I immediately loved how it handled. I was used to my old vehicle which was a tiny 4 cylinder sedan. By comparison, it felt as though I were driving a boat or a spaceship down the road. It was incredibly fun. My dad said there was bumpiness, almost as if there was a flat spot on a tire, but that soon went away and I was never sure if I felt it or not. I honestly don’t know what that was all about.

All in all, I enjoyed the test drive. Unfortunately, someone left the heat on in the car, and it started to get uncomfortably warm. My dad started pushing buttons, trying to turn it off, when all of a sudden there was this loud, repeating clicking noise. It sort of resembled machine gun fire. At one point, I imagined I was in a helicopter.

It turns out that this clicking noise most probably occurred because of a broken actuator. Whatever it was, there were too many problems with this car for me. I couldn’t buy it. The broken actuator came as a surprise to me, because there was no mention of it in the car description. In fact, I would never have discovered it had my dad not tried to turn down the heat. I don’t know if the car dealer was aware of this problem or not, so I won’t say.

The lesson to be learned here is that when looking for a new vehicle, always make sure to check every possible aspect of the car before spending your hard-earned money. Push every single button, pop the trunk to make sure it’s completely dry, pull levers, open compartments, take a look at the engine, and if you like CDs, make sure the CD player works.

The dishonest car dealer stereotype seems to have been true in my case; don’t take any chances!

by Dink


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