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Old 17th April 2021, 04:42   #16
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

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Originally Posted by cmani0000 View Post
Not all cars bought from Independent owners are good and not all cars bought from dealers are pricey!
I was a victim of getting ripped off by a independent car sale. This is in kiwi land. Never expected it and in some ways, I can't tell if the owner did rip me off or not.

The car was a 2002 2l VW Gold hatch back with 170,000km. This isn't seen as high mileage by kiwi standards. That said, with such mileage, most would look at you as though you are a fool to buy anything other than a Toyota. Anyway I took the plunge and bought it by a bidding system on a website called Trade Me. Its New Zealand's version of ebay and a very good one. Of the many things I have bought and sold here, this was the only disappointment. Before I put a bid, I did personally inspect the car and drive it in the presence of the owner. Everything checked out fine. The car had a clean service history too with most service carried out by VW service centers. It had service history from the past two owners too. The car was so well kept that it even had the original travel pouch kit in the glovebox which includes things like nail cutter, nail filer and a few other things. The body and interiors were immaculate. What could possibly go wrong? Well it did. Just under 10 days into owning the car, one cylinder stopped firing. I had anyway planned to get the car serviced from my Subaru garage and took it there. The spark plug on cylinder 2 was oil fouled. The car was serviced, plug cleaned and put back. Compression was checked and that particular cylinder was found to be slightly lower than the rest but not a total wreck. Keeping my fingers crossed, sadly, did not help. The plug fouled again within a day. Took it back to the garage, mechanic said, don't hold onto to the car as the problem requires dismantling the engine which will exceed the value of the car, by the time they sort out the issue. They cleaned the plug again, put it back and told me to drive it straight to a car auction dealer and sell it. I got a hopeless $1000 NZD for it after paying almost 2.5x that figure. I traded the VW for a Mercedes A170 that had just 95,000km on the odo. This was a dealer buy. 18 months of owning the Mercedes and all is well. Its a nice car and is great for my wife who is still learning to drive. Personally, I hate it cause it looks like a cheese grater but at this stage we can keep only one car. I sold our Subaru as we did not have the luxury of space to park and I wanted to jump back on a motorcycle too.

I made one, two or three mistakes. The first was not engaging a mechanic to inspect the car. I would have done this had there been a hint of any problems but there was none when I inspected the car. Besides, when you are presented with a clean service history, one which was as recent as 6 months, you tend not to worry. The owner was nice too (That is what I thought). The second mistake was not exercising my rights under buyer protection on Trade Me website, the platform I used to buy this car. Even if I did not gain anything out of it, I should have done it. Last, I should have tried to sell the car on the auction site (before taking it to the car auction dealer) where I bought it from by highlighting the faults to the next owner and making some extra money over the hopeless $1000 I made from the sale. It was not enough. I could have easily got more from a private sale.

The above was an experience. That VW drove so well, when it did run on all its cylinders. In fact, it would misfire only in the city cycle. When I took for a 120km highway drive, it was smooth as silk and simply amazing to drive, for its age. The strange thing is, when I went to the car auction dealer to have the car evaluated, it did not misfire.

Our first VW, the shortest car ownership I've had and that unique travel pouch that VW engineers slip in there to surprise you when you are out on a road trip.
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-img_20191107_173558.jpg
Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX-img_20191109_100155.jpg

Just like any other part of the world, there are thousands of options in the used car market. Private or dealer based. I am little more inclined to go via a dealer now as you can also buy a extended mechanical warranty cover from them and they also cover you for about a week to 10 days on the car, in the event you find some serious problems with the car. New Zealand has no car manufacturing so we import all ours cars, new and used. Used cars are 99% from Japan. Many are low mileage, immaculate cars. Off course, the weaker dollar and the fact that we import all of them means used cars cost 2x to 2.5x of what you'd pay in the United States. Its still a heck of a bargain though versus buying new.

Last edited by sandeepmohan : 17th April 2021 at 04:48.
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Old 17th April 2021, 20:41   #17
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
Puzzles me no end how Toyota/Lexus manage to outsell Honda/Acura in every single segment. Looking at your maytes MDX, it has much better interiors than a Lexus and a 3.7l with vtec must be epic.
Agree on the MDX, @sandeepmohan, that it has better interiors. Lexus/ Toyota are a more formidable name than Acura/ Honda. I am myself biased towards T and that's why you'd have seen most examples in this thread from that stable. However, I must admit that the Acura did impress me a lot, and I wish I were there to experience the car first hand. A proper 3 row car loaded to the gills for this money is unbelievable.

Quote:
I was a victim of getting ripped off by a independent car sale. The car was so well kept that it even had the original travel pouch kit in the glovebox Just under 10 days, one cylinder stopped firing.

I made one, two or three mistakes. The first was not engaging a mechanic to inspect the car. I would have done this had there been a hint of any problems but there was none when I inspected the car. Besides, when you are presented with a clean service history, one which was as recent as 6 months, you tend not to worry. The owner was nice too
This was pure hard luck. You were destined to feel like a fool (pardon me ) . Service history was there, the travel pouch was there to demonstrate authenticity, yet you had to experience misfire and loss of face, like what I faced with my Pajero Sport. I was destined to go through this experience, but now, the car runs like a rockstar.

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
Congrats, Mr. X on the Acura. I do have a soft-corner for the Acuras since I had a TL 3.2 for a year.
Thank You @condor; your wishes have already been passed on to Mr.X.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sam264_2000 View Post
Acura won't disappoint you. It is excellent on power, space, mileage and reasonable yearly maintenance costs. I have many fond memories driving the Acura and wishing you the same!
Thank You @sam264_2000, on behalf of Mr.X. I'm yearning to see this car at the earliest.

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Originally Posted by turbowhistle View Post
most of the ads are fake and just to entice you into seeing their more expensive inventory
True, @turbowhistle. I think every market has good players and bad ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmani0000 View Post
Moral of the story - Not all cars bought from Independent owners are good and not all cars bought from dealers are pricey!
True, @cmani0000. While I personally prefer individual sellers, I agree that one must go to the market unbiased, and make an informed choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenerPlanet View Post
some things seem to be repairable/correctable - lug nuts missing or alloy wheels having rust - say, we can choose to go with new wheels; So when do you suggest backing out?
Thank You @GreenerPlanet. Your sixth sense will tell you something isn't right. That's when one must back off.

In the blue ES330, I might have been okay with the car if I'd seen the example in person, because 2 lug nuts and not so great braking can be fixed, but something that affects the integrity of the vehicle eg. flood damage, or a bad shunt, or a bad engine have to be given due weightage for the risk that one carries with such purchases; trade off between risk and upkeep/reward.
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Old 18th April 2021, 00:18   #18
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I made one, two or three mistakes. The first was not engaging a mechanic to inspect the car. I would have done this had there been a hint of any problems but there was none when I inspected the car. Besides, when you are presented with a clean service history, one which was as recent as 6 months, you tend not to worry. The owner was nice too (That is what I thought). The second mistake was not exercising my rights under buyer protection on Trade Me website, the platform I used to buy this car. Even if I did not gain anything out of it, I should have done it. Last, I should have tried to sell the car on the auction site (before taking it to the car auction dealer) where I bought it from by highlighting the faults to the next owner and making some extra money over the hopeless $1000 I made from the sale. It was not enough. I could have easily got more from a private sale.
I, too, did the first mistake for my Subaru. I did a professional inspection - a proper 100 point one - for the civic before taking it but somehow got carried away while buying the Subaru as the owner was a sexagenarian from my city in India. Blindly trusted him (something we should never do in used car market!)

Out of frustration, I was about to do the third mistake when my mechanic quoted $3K for passenger airbag sensor and front suspension replacement. Luckily, did some juggad to fix the airbag sensor. Going to get rid of the car soon, as the suspension noise has started to become annoying.
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Old 19th April 2021, 13:20   #19
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Default Re: Adversity to opportunity during the pandemic | From a new Kia Optima to a used Acura MDX

Congrats on the Acura MDX. As an owner of an Acura RDX, I am pretty happy with the car and overall experience with Acura. Both MDX and RDX are a pleasure to drive.

US used car market is at an all time high right now. One of my friends had his 5 year old Mazda CX5 quote increasing from $12.6k to $13.4k in a month's time. This is the price increase offered by the same dealer. The situation has changed totally with the pandemic as well as new online only players in US like Carvana, Shift etc. Over the years, I have bought and sold multiple cars in the US and India and as cmani0000 has aptly put in one of the earlier posts - "Not all cars bought from Independent owners are good and not all cars bought from dealers are pricey!". Some points I have noted from my own experiences
1. Its always better to transact with a dealer, either buying or selling, if the value of the car is greater than $10,000 dollars in US. Its worth the extra dollars spent at the dealer. Selling to private parties is a huge risk especially in big cities where there are lot of con artists. The money would have been transferred to your account on the day you give the keys only to find the money gone 2 days later with the buyer untraceable. This has actually happened in the place where I live.
2. When buying from a private party, be it in India or in the US, the buyer is solely responsible for getting everything checked with a mechanic, for their own safety. In US, the checks are pretty standardized with 40 point, 80 point etc checks which comprehensively covers all aspects. In India, it depends on the buyer's own knowledge and any known mechanics you can trust. For eg: I bought a Rs.6,50,000 Hyundai from a private party which I found through CarTrade, 3 years back, using my own knowledge of working in an auto plant and the tips from TBHP forum. The car is still in my family and is doing pretty good. All said and done, I was also lucky to an extent in this transaction.
3. The private dealers in both India and US operate in a similar way. I have seen my friend getting a bad car from a private dealer in US and have to go thru a lot of problems later. Even in my case, I was working with a private dealer when I saw the Hyundai I mentioned in the above point. He was showing a similar car which has more miles but was charging 60k more and was not willing to share any documentation of the car, even a photo copy and was not willing to let me take it to the dealer for an inspection. I suspected something fishy and simply stopped interacting with dealer.
4. In US, if a dealer is part of the Costco auto program, they are more reliable than the others. I have checked this with both dealers and Costco and found that Costco does a periodic check on whether the dealers are honoring the Costco discounts and will remove them from the program, if they are not. Since the percentage of cars sold thru Costco program are relatively low, if a dealer is willing to stick with them, it in a way indicates that they are more reliable. Again this is strictly based on my experience.
5. Finally Car dealers can get really nasty in both US and India. The one difference is, in US they deal with you in a more civil way and threaten you with legal consequences where as in India, it can get more physical. So its imperative we check about the dealer thoroughly, before we complete the transaction.
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