Automotive Deal-breakers

jasonof2000

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Unfortunately I think my mother will have difficulties in selling her 306 just for that reason, its ash-tray is currently full of my brother's cigarette butts. I just about gag whenever I have to move it to get my car out in the mornings. The smell will never leave. Having a automatic gearbox in a car that I see far more commonly as a manual (a rare case here) may count in it's favour, however.

It's bad enough having the smell on his clothes when he sits in the passenger seat after I pick him up from work. Washing the seat-cover every-so-often seems to work at removing any residual smoke smell seems to work for the moment, however.

My co-worker got a nearly new Yaris (he cares more about MPG going to and from work than anything else) really cheap because the owner was a smoker and he was sucessful in getting the smoke smell out but it took time and effort. He borrowed my Bissel Little Green shampooer, took out the seats and went to town on everything including the head liner with it.
Between that and liberal use of fabreeze the car doesn't smell like smoke any more.
 

SirEdward

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My co-worker got a nearly new Yaris (he cares more about MPG going to and from work than anything else) really cheap because the owner was a smoker and he was sucessful in getting the smoke smell out but it took time and effort. He borrowed my Bissel Little Green shampooer, took out the seats and went to town on everything including the head liner with it.
Between that and liberal use of fabreeze the car doesn't smell like smoke any more.

Well, yes. There IS a sure way to take off the smell of cigarette from a car, without swapping any piece, but it involves disassembling the interior and carefully and properly wash any single piece of it, possibly even the internal part of the bodywork. Works fine and you don't need Febreeze, only much time, a service manual of the car, some mechanical skills and tools, and a serious DIY attitude.

Well, you'll have to swap the ashtray cup anyway.
 

Lastsoul

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A friend of mine told me the previous owner of his car was a smoker, but car had gone through "ionizer treatment" (I really don't know proper term in English) which had removed the smell completely. I don't know how effective it is when done professionally, but at least the car doesn't smell at all.
 

NecroJoe

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... including the head liner with it.

That's a very important part. A friend of mine did a deep-clean on his car, and it smelled exactly the same (well...not exactly...now it smelled like old cigs and carpet shampoo) but when he did the headliner, it was a night-and-day difference.
 

NecroJoe

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When the salesman says "Before I let you take the wheel, I'll give do one circle around the block so you can see what I'm doing to help drive smoothly." These included things like shifting the automatic gearbox into neutral at every stop sign and reving the nuts off it before shifting it back into drive at about 2800rpm or else the car would stall, and showing me how to tighten a screw, with the car's key, inside the center console where a household doorknob strike plate was used as a sort of washer to keep the broken-off armrest/storage unit from coming loose while resting your arm on it, and tapping the brakes 2-3 times before applying them when you actually mean to. Or needing two people to extent the "automatic" retractable car antenna which would retract on it's own when the car was shut down, but would require someone holding down the button while someone else pulled on the antenna to raise it.
 

rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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When the salesman says "Before I let you take the wheel, I'll give do one circle around the block so you can see what I'm doing to help drive smoothly." These included things like shifting the automatic gearbox into neutral at every stop sign and reving the nuts off it before shifting it back into drive at about 2800rpm or else the car would stall, and showing me how to tighten a screw, with the car's key, inside the center console where a household doorknob strike plate was used as a sort of washer to keep the broken-off armrest/storage unit from coming loose while resting your arm on it, and tapping the brakes 2-3 times before applying them when you actually mean to. Or needing two people to extent the "automatic" retractable car antenna which would retract on it's own when the car was shut down, but would require someone holding down the button while someone else pulled on the antenna to raise it.

Haha, believe me, if I were to sell my hunk o junk, i'd be doing every trick in the book, (neutral at stoplights, warming it up to get rid of the death rattle, etc.)
 

jasonof2000

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Well, yes. There IS a sure way to take off the smell of cigarette from a car, without swapping any piece, but it involves disassembling the interior and carefully and properly wash any single piece of it, possibly even the internal part of the bodywork. Works fine and you don't need Febreeze, only much time, a service manual of the car, some mechanical skills and tools, and a serious DIY attitude.

Well, you'll have to swap the ashtray cup anyway.

While the previous owner being a smoker would be a deal killer for a regular car if it was something special that I was interested in the fact they are a smoker would just give me reason to push for a lower price. Besides as we've seen from two episodes of TG:UK it is probably a good idea to strip down and steam clean a used cars interior anyway.
 

ninjacoco

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Haha, believe me, if I were to sell my hunk o junk, i'd be doing every trick in the book, (neutral at stoplights, warming it up to get rid of the death rattle, etc.)
I'm tellin' ya: LeMons/ChumpCar forums.

Shirley, someone wants to run a cheapo SL...
 

MacGuffin

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Cheap-looking interior and lousy seats.

If I'm gonna spend hours in there, I don't wanna feel appalled by what I feel and look at. Apart from that, I'm open to anything.

But over the years I learned to never buy a used car from private or from one of those used car places by the side of the road. Go to a brand dealership instead. They offer good warranty conditions these days and can organize the car you want by searching their countrywide database.

If I were looking for a new car, I'd have a try on getting my hands on a W211 Mercedes E420 CDI from the last batch they made. I like the looks of both outside and inside more than the current E-Class and all the troubles the W211 had, were sorted out in the end. The temptation of getting a 313 HP V8 diesel is very strong :think:
 
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rickhamilton620

has a fetish for terrible cars
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I found one: sub boxes taking up the entire trunk. A factory installed or small aftermarket one mounted to the trunk sidewall is fine. Ones that destroy any hope of actually using the trunk or folding down the rear seats because they're in the center of the trunk is not. Sadly I've come across many good choices on CL that I dismissed due to this issue.

Cheap-looking interior and lousy seats.

If I'm gonna spend hours in there, I don't wanna feel appalled by what I feel and look at. Apart from that, I'm open to anything.

I'd like to say I'm the same but I'm driving a failturn with a hard plastic dashboard constructed seemingly in segments (the lower portion is foam backed vinyl for knee/leg protection), with backache inducing seats that have the bare minimum of adjustments. :p

Honestly strange that I chose it as I'm usually nitpicky about interior quality. I think the price is what swayed me.
 

Lastsoul

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Cheap-looking interior and lousy seats.

If I'm gonna spend hours in there, I don't wanna feel appalled by what I feel and look at. Apart from that, I'm open to anything.

But over the years I learned to never buy a used car from private or from one of those used car places by the side of the road. Go to a brand dealership instead. They offer good warranty conditions these days and can organize the car you want by searching their countrywide database.

If I were looking for a new car, I'd have a try on getting my hands on a W211 Mercedes E420 CDI from the last batch they made. I like the looks of both outside and inside more than the current E-Class and all the troubles the W211 had, were sorted out in the end. The temptation of getting a 313 HP V8 diesel is very strong :think:

I agree that buying from those "junkyards on the side of the road" is generally a bad idea. But buying from private is IMO not a bad idea if the seller has had the car for many years or even better if he/she is the first owner. You get to know what kind of person has lived with the car, if the knows/cares anything at all about the mechanicals, where the car is parked etc, how well are all documents organized (naturally not a problem if you buy in Germany :p) and you can always politely ask the reason for sale. My friend imported two Accords to Finland for a profit and both of those came form private sellers who wanted to buy a house, so the bank had said the car must go. That's pretty good indicator that they're not dumping a lemon away. That was important, because huge repairs would've destroyed the profit.

Of course you're not going to get any used car insurance from private sellers, but you get the car cheaper, because dealers have to take their own share.
 

Martin.H

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I would never buy a car that doesn?t feel right. I know it probably sounds stupid but bear with me. I have tried many cars in both my summer work and at dealers etc. and some cars just doesn?t give me that fizzing sensation that the Captain speaks of. I worked at Volvo Cars this summer driving cars for the OSD and I tried every car they currently offer, both brand new and cars that have been driven for some 1000 miles. Because every car actually felt nice to drive, comfortable to sit in and not too expensive to equip I was sold; a Volvo is probably what I will buy as soon as I have graduated. Please don?t make fun of me:cry:

And it?s the same story with BMW, everytime I step into one it feels perfect. The quality is spot on, the seats are comfortable and the driving experience is really good. Shame about the price though which is ridiculous as soon as you spec it as you want it, Strangely I can?t say I feel the same about Audi. I know I will probably never own one and it?s because of the feel when I get into the car. You sit too low, very often everything is boring black and already dusty in the dealership.
I won?t think of what that will look like after 150000 km. I guess I am spoiled with nice bright interiors but that is what I like.

Other dealbreakers for me are:

- No sunroof, I need to have it
- Black paint with black interior, I don?t want to pass out during summer
- Japanese brand, not enough to put me off but most of the Japanese cars I have been in have felt boring and cheap
 

Lastsoul

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I agree about BMWs. I have never owned one and I rarely drive them, but every single time I've felt at home. Pedals, gearchange and steering just work. And differences in basic ergonomics are suprisingly same in E30 and E90. Basic controls have same kind of feel (as long as the car has power steering). No I'm not going to say E90 can match the feel of the road of E30, but you can still sense some basic dna which is in both of them.


As for the Japanese brands, I know what you mean. I used to hate them before I had any experiences. Let's face it, things like Auris, Corolla and Avensis are boring. Many years ago I got to drive IS200 and I realized it might have a Lexus badge and PR shots are from a beige car, but it was never designed to be a Lexus. It's Toyota Altezza and it was Toyotas JDM rival to E46 BMW, and in that class handling and other things matter. So the end result was maybe extremely underpowered and bit cheap inside, but the straight six howled in a way you knew the engineers wanted you to hear it and it was extremely good to drive for a family sedan.

At that point I realized Japanese manufacturers make dull daily driver's for people who don't care about driving. They want reliable, comfortable enough cars to move from A to B. That's most of the Japanese cars. But when they do make a car that's targeted for a more serious driving they do know how to do it extremely well. The difference to European manufacturers is, that companies like Ford make all of it's cars so that they're nice to drive for what they're, then other companies do cars that are fine, but don't even try to set your pants to fire. There's a general philosophy behind the whole model range. Japanese on the other hand may build the most boring moving shed ever made to transport people and on the next day they can build one of the greatest driver's cars ever made. Just look at Nissan Europe's models. 370Z and GT-R share their place on the line up with the most utter crap ever made.

Today some Japanese manufacturers have a bit more European philosophy, like most of Mazda's models are actually pretty nice to drive etc, but the point of the story is, don't make general assumptions based on badge or country it's made/designed in. Every single manufacturer has made utter crap and most of them have had their moments of glory as well.
 

prizrak

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I found one: sub boxes taking up the entire trunk. A factory installed or small aftermarket one mounted to the trunk sidewall is fine. Ones that destroy any hope of actually using the trunk or folding down the rear seats because they're in the center of the trunk is not. Sadly I've come across many good choices on CL that I dismissed due to this issue.
I would be weary of getting anything with an aftermarket subwoofer. They usually require aftermarket amps and a decent amount of wiring to power them (usually will have to run a line straight to the battery terminal), there are just too many possible ways to fuck it up.
 

GRtak

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That is only for the super huge, I have more money than hearing or brains subs.
 

Martin.H

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I agree about BMWs. I have never owned one and I rarely drive them, but every single time I've felt at home. Pedals, gearchange and steering just work. And differences in basic ergonomics are suprisingly same in E30 and E90. Basic controls have same kind of feel (as long as the car has power steering). No I'm not going to say E90 can match the feel of the road of E30, but you can still sense some basic dna which is in both of them.


As for the Japanese brands, I know what you mean. I used to hate them before I had any experiences. Let's face it, things like Auris, Corolla and Avensis are boring. Many years ago I got to drive IS200 and I realized it might have a Lexus badge and PR shots are from a beige car, but it was never designed to be a Lexus. It's Toyota Altezza and it was Toyotas JDM rival to E46 BMW, and in that class handling and other things matter. So the end result was maybe extremely underpowered and bit cheap inside, but the straight six howled in a way you knew the engineers wanted you to hear it and it was extremely good to drive for a family sedan.

At that point I realized Japanese manufacturers make dull daily driver's for people who don't care about driving. They want reliable, comfortable enough cars to move from A to B. That's most of the Japanese cars. But when they do make a car that's targeted for a more serious driving they do know how to do it extremely well. The difference to European manufacturers is, that companies like Ford make all of it's cars so that they're nice to drive for what they're, then other companies do cars that are fine, but don't even try to set your pants to fire. There's a general philosophy behind the whole model range. Japanese on the other hand may build the most boring moving shed ever made to transport people and on the next day they can build one of the greatest driver's cars ever made. Just look at Nissan Europe's models. 370Z and GT-R share their place on the line up with the most utter crap ever made.

Today some Japanese manufacturers have a bit more European philosophy, like most of Mazda's models are actually pretty nice to drive etc, but the point of the story is, don't make general assumptions based on badge or country it's made/designed in. Every single manufacturer has made utter crap and most of them have had their moments of glory as well.
I agree completely. I have also had some nice experiences with Japanese cars. One of my friends used to own a Nissan 200SX, EU-Spec, and it was very good to drive despite only having 168hp. One time we took some old winter tires, pulled out the studs and stuck them on the rear axle. Then we went to a big parking lot and were sliding about the wholenight. That was probably the most fun I have ever had with Japanese cars. I have driven some since, like some EVOs but they haven?t been as much fun since you see and know that the car will be fun to drive. The 200SX looks boring and the interior is a joke but the mechanics are just superb. The feel that you are really driving something much nicer than you anticipated is hard to beat.

I try to approach every new car I drive with an open mind but it is hard when you are young and dumb and used to drive some kinds of cars.
 
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Wallio

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I'd buy a modded car since I mod myself and can tell if its done right. Here in the US since smoking is far worse than abortion/pedophilia/murder/rape all rolled together, you can steal cars from smokers. Use $35 of the money you saved to rent a steam cleaner, and done! No smokey smell.

The ultimate deal breaker for me is any ad with FIRM after the price. Seller clearly has no idea how the game is played. $5000 FIRM! You want 5k? list it at 6500 and let him beat you down, dumbass. I walk whenever I see FIRM.

and "serious inquiries only" always gets me too. Who are you to judge whether I'm serious or not. I was serious, til you copped an attitude.
 

Blind_Io

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How is "firm" a problem? If the price is fair then it shouldn't be an issue, I've listed items for sale with a "firm" price. It actually tends to go fairly quickly because people know there won't be any bullshit on the price.

Why overprice an item just to negotiate down? I've been known to walk into those situations and say, "You listed it at $6,500, a fair price is $5,000. Let's avoid the hassle and just pretend that I offer $4,500, we haggle for a bit and end up at $5,000. That way we can get on with this."

I've never had anyone make a big deal out of it.

As for "serious inquiries only" - I can completely understand why people do this. When I've sold motorcycles I always end up wasting my time with people who want to trade me a POS car, or a broken washing machine, or painting services (when I'm living in an apartment). Or people who don't have a license to ride, but want to see what a motorcycle "is all about" or other bullshit.

I will almost always tell prospective buyers to show up with cash in-hand before we even look at the item I'm selling. You want a test drive? I keep your ID and the cash until you come back; you crash it or damage it in any way, you bought it.
 
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Wallio

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Well in my experience the vast majority of the time (not always though) the price is anything but fair. The seller is sick of people telling him its a rip-off and gets pissy. Besides, no matter what you're going to hagle over a sale. Everyone does. I don't think anyone, ever, has paid the list price (whatever it is) for a car without at least trying to beat the guy down. Hell, we do it for new cars for god's sake! So by putting firm, you're saying "take it or leave it" which just isn't the way it works.


EDIT: I just thought of another thing that usually kills the deal. The seller saying "So what are you going to do with the car?" Sorry, but that's none of your concern. I hate sellers who pick and chose buyers based on some holier than thou principle. If you are selling a rocket and I buying it for my 16-year old and you think its too fast for him, ok cool I can deal with that, but these people who think their car shouldn't be daily driven and won't sell to people who "won't use it for pleasure" are just insane.
 
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