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Old 10th January 2020, 14:16   #1
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Default Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Hi friends,

After joining Team-BHP, I have come to realize the value in buying a used car. But most of the discussions have been with reference to buying a used MT car.

Now with the market trend and user requirements shifting towards AT, does the same logic still hold true when buying a used car ?

What can go wrong with a used AT purchase:
1. High asking price because of limited options in the used car market
2. Poor FE (compared to MT car with same engine)
3. High maintenance/repair cost (because of manufacturing defect / negligence in maintenance by previous user)
4. High chances of gearbox/clutch related failures (compared to MT cars) because of various reasons (AMT related clutch issues/DCT issues etc)
5. (Please add if I have missed anything)

What do you feel about this ?

Rohan
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Old 10th January 2020, 14:45   #2
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Actually, I would think that generally the risks would be lower than buying a manual car because issues related to driving habits as far as riding the clutch and changing gears are minimized. This would of-course vary from the AMT to CVT to DCT to the good old torque converter (my favourite)

Having said that, the other issues one must look into include:
1) Brake wear because automatics necessitate increase in use of brakes
2) Engine having been revved-up a bit due to spirited driving
3) Whether transmission had prior problems and where it was fixed (FNG or ASS)

Also, I believe that you should look for a car with ABS/Airbags, because gear control is not possible in automatic. My I10 automatic has neither, so we generally use it in the local area, within the city.
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Old 10th January 2020, 16:00   #3
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

I purchased a 2013 i10 Automatic through a known source and till date, there has been no issues that made me regret or feel disappointed in buying the car. I had bought it when it was 8000 kms and now, after 30,000 kms it's still as good as I bought it. As AutoSphere mentioned, brake wear and tear is normal in automatic cars and I have changed the disc pads once. I haven't spent a penny on the the transmission. Prior purchasing the automatic gear car, I had many doubts, but if you know the owner or if the car is referred by a reliable friend/relative who knows the car's history, you can go for it. Further, if the used car is still under Warranty (some like Honda offer 10 years warranty), it will be a great choice.
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Old 10th January 2020, 17:27   #4
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

I hope to live to tell the tale .
I have acquired a 2013 Toyota Corolla Altis in the VL-AT guise just yesterday, on the surface the car looks good. Yes, it has been painted in a few places - bumpers mostly, but overall the car seems to be solid.

Lakozy Toyota too seems to concur, however it needs a new set of rear discs and pads along with synthetic oil, etc. I could have got this done in the after-market but thought let me experience the Toyota care for now. Will share updates in a separate thread shortly.

Here's a pic of the car in all her glory as the older one looks on...

Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?-altis.jpg

More to follow ...
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Old 10th January 2020, 17:29   #5
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Get an old fashioned torque convertor automatic and you'll have no issues if it has been well maintained. As a policy drain and replace ALL the fluids and this includes the expensive ATF fluid for the automatic transmission. Like the bhpian above, I bought a well maintained 2012 i10 sportz auto that'd run just 40k km and was fully company serviced for my wife, and it is fuss free and reliable.
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Old 10th January 2020, 18:42   #6
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

We had picked up a 2011 A-Star AT in 2015 that had run just 11.8k ! The car was a company maintained leased car, and hence had been taken care of completely. It's a 4-speed AT, and the only thing we needed to change were the tyres which we upsized. The car has been doing well, and now has done twice as much as the previous owner had done.

So do a due diligence and go for it. What I have noticed is that an AT car that is maintained at the A.S.S is better. Outside /local garages dont seem to know the intricacies of using an AT.
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Old 10th January 2020, 18:46   #7
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Now with the market trend and user requirements shifting towards AT, does the same logic still hold true when buying a used car ?
Why not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
What can go wrong with a used AT purchase:
1. High asking price because of limited options in the used car market
I can see that your location is Bangalore. Here the entire used car market is overpriced. One main factor is -you would have noticed if you were searching for used car- most of the listings are from dealers who inflates the prices.
Do not rush, you need to be patient to get a good deal

Also, new AT cars cost higher than their manual versions, so similar difference will be visible in used car market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
2. Poor FE (compared to MT car with same engine)
Generally yes. But we buy AT for convenience. So you need to choose your priority - if it is FE, dont buy AT.
There are some exceptions to the poor FE norm. One that I know of is Honda Jazz CVT
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
3. High maintenance/repair cost (because of manufacturing defect / negligence in maintenance by previous user)
DCT - definitely high maintenance
AMT - not sure
TC or CVT - not very high maintenance

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
4. High chances of gearbox/clutch related failures (compared to MT cars) because of various reasons (AMT related clutch issues/DCT issues etc)
I love DCT, but I will NEVER buy a used DCT car. this is my personal opinion. As mentioned in the previous point, DCT also can have higher maintenance.

Go for a TC or CVT to be safe.

Last edited by mxx : 10th January 2020 at 18:48.
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Old 10th January 2020, 19:29   #8
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Like Condor did, I've also bought a used A Star AT with a good old Torque Converter. It returns only 10 kmpl in the city and 15 kmpl on the highway, but it is genuinely fun to drive. It's a 2011 December manufactured model and is still on its original ATF. I'm planning to replace the ATF in 2020 proactively.

For you - a Torque Converter or a CVT is what I'd recommend. Both of these are highly reliable and you can live with whatever downsides they have.
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Old 10th January 2020, 19:29   #9
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

I think it all boils down to the type of gearbox.

A CVT / TC gearbox may just be cheaper to own in the long run from a maintenance perspective (not fuel economy of course), simply because you won't have to change the clutch & flywheel - assuming you've bought a 40-50K city run vehicle.
Similarly, there is less chance of clutch abuse & general abuse because the auto gearboxes won't let the rpm fall too low in any gear / allow the driver to over-rev the engine.

TC is a little more fun to drive and easier to drive in the city as the gearbox allows the car to accelerate better at lower RPMs, and CVT generally gives better FE because they have more gears.

DCT however is a hit or miss. I have had no issues with the DSG in the Laura diesel for instance, but the ones available in the petrol VWAG vehicles, Hyundai's, Fords, Jeeps, etc. don't inspire much confidence.

No comment on AMT - I guess I will find out soon as my cousin is using the Swift ZDi AMT.

Last edited by lamborghini : 10th January 2020 at 19:31.
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Old 10th January 2020, 20:10   #10
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

In a budget of 10 lacs on road, which TC cars can I buy? Priority being safety, a decent 5 seater and need good ground clearance. And should be reliable as I travel with my family and breakdown or niggles will be irritating.
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Old 11th January 2020, 09:27   #11
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Default re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselritzer View Post
In a budget of 10 lacs on road, which TC cars can I buy? Priority being safety, a decent 5 seater and need good ground clearance. And should be reliable as I travel with my family and breakdown or niggles will be irritating.
1) The Ford Ecosport AT. Low on space for the 5th passenger, but high on GC, reliability and performance.
2) Surprisingly, the Ertiga AT (with surplus usable space). Even though it's just a 4 speed AT, someone shared a graph of its gear ratios versus other 6 speed AT gearboxes and the Ertiga's is no pushover.
3) Hyundai Grand i10 AT - you'll get sparingly used 2 or 3 year old models for 4 lakhs easily. This model is better on 2nd row space than even the Nexon and the Ecosport!
4) Used XUV 500 AT models - I hear that its Aisin sourced gearbox is blemishless.
5) Used Creta AT models - good on space, GC, reliability etc.
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Old 13th January 2020, 08:41   #12
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Default Re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

The used car market usually follows the trends of the new car market, hence ATs will only grow in popularity in the pre-owned segment.

I would say that the precautions & checklist remain more or less the same as highlighted in our many used car buying articles.

However, two additional points of contention should be:

1. Reliability. Keep torque converters as the no.1 choice, followed by CVTs. Avoid DSGs & AMTs.

2. See how competently the AT & engine are tuned. Some manufacturers do it really well (Hyundai, BMW etc.), but some combinations are lame (Compass Petrol, Nissan Micra / Sunny CVTs).
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Old 13th January 2020, 08:56   #13
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Default Re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

As everyone mentioned here AT makes a lot of sense buying used but depends on technology you buy.

A regular Torque converter or a CVT makes more sense over an MT even as there are lesser chances for any clutch issues due to wrong driving. You can't abuse an AT transmission as much as an MT.

Ofcourse the ones to avoid would be the dry clutch dual clutch (DSG/DCT). They are notorious in reliability and not worth the risk used.

The AMT's are just poor overall and make no sense when buying used. Moreover the used AMT cars are from 1st gen of AMT's which were pretty sad.

As someone mentioned, a used Corolla 7 step CVT is a good choice so is the Honda City, Brio AT, Creta AT, Verna AT, Baleno CVT etc...

Ones to avoid would be Ecosport DCT, Fiesta DCT, Octavia TSI DSG, Rapid/Vento TDI DSG etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by locusjag View Post
1) The Ford Ecosport AT. Low on space for the 5th passenger, but high on GC, reliability and performance.
Only if this is facelifted model. Pre facelift was 6 speed dry clutch DCT box which was notorious clutch pack failures with judder and gear changing issues.
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Old 13th January 2020, 18:11   #14
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Default Re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

One quick question, is it worth to buy a 2007 Honda Accord 3.0 V6 Automatic, done about 65K...I am getting some deal for arnd 2L, hence, seeking some responses,

I know the Mileage in city like Bangalore would be pathetic, maybe arnd 6-7 KMPL and highways would be around 10 KMPL, but I have been looking for a used Auto Accord or Corolla Altis for sometime and not getting good deals,

BTW, I already own a Brezza ZDI+ AMT and an Alto K10 AMT, so this buy is just to have a fun riding car since I am big time missing my 2011 ANHC,

Last edited by shantanumishra : 13th January 2020 at 18:20. Reason: Added some more info
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Old 13th January 2020, 19:26   #15
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Default Re: Is it a good idea to buy a used automatic car?

A used automatic(esp. CVT or TC) car if maintained periodically is a more sensible purchase compared to the manuals. As they do not respond in a jekyll and hyde manner to the weight on the A-pedal. Aggressive driving style and clutch riding are the primary culprits for gearbox repairs in MT cars.

DSG's and AMT's are another story. They are either a hit or miss.
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