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Thread: Do you speak Used?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Do you speak Used?



    Do you speak Used?

    "Used," of course, is the international language of the used car classified ads. Those fluent in Used can decipher the critical modifers and clauses that sellers use to convey subtle details about the condition of the vehicle they're trying to sell -- or unload, as the case may be.

    Those who don't speak Used can get into real trouble -- just like the ignorant Americano who doesn't know the difference between "Hombres" and "Senoritas" when it's time to hit the bathroom South of the border.

    Here, then, is a practical guide to Used:

    "Must see to appreciate" -- What a brutal life this car has suffered.

    "Runs real strong" -- For a car with more miles on it than Elizabeth Taylor.

    "Program car" -- Former media test car subjected to more repeated floggings than a prisoner at Gitmo.

    "Clean" -- Recenty washed by sulky teenager

    "Concours condition" -- Waxed (and dipped in Armor All) by sulky teenager.

    "Rebuilt engine" -- New spark plugs and a can of "Motor Honey."

    "Body solid" -- The car needs a new engine or transmission.

    "Illness forces sale" -- I'm really sick of this car.

    "Selling for a friend" -- The car was bought at a fleabag auction and the seller hopes to turn a fast buck by selling it to you for $1,000 more than he paid for it.

    "A true classic" -- An old, tired, high-mile car one step away from the crusher.

    "Loaded" -- The engine's shot, but the car has AC and power windows.

    "Need a little work" -- Bring a tow truck.



  2. #2
    DonTom
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    "Do you speak Used?"

    No, here they often use the words "pre-owned".

    -Don-

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Do you speak Used?"

    No, here they often use the words "pre-owned".

    -Don-
    Don't you just love euphemisms?

    "Used" is so honest, so direct - which is probably why one doesn't seei t much anymore....!

  4. #4
    TC
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Do you speak Used?
    A car salesman told me off the record last week that a 1 year old car with less than 20,000 miles was the best buy.
    He said he never buys a new car.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by TC
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Do you speak Used?
    A car salesman told me off the record last week that a 1 year old car with less than 20,000 miles was the best buy.
    He said he never buys a new car.
    It is - and he's right!

    Let someone else eat the mark-up.. and the depreciation, too!

  6. #6
    mrblanche
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by TC
    A car salesman told me off the record last week that a 1 year old car with less than 20,000 miles was the best buy.
    He said he never buys a new car.
    I would go along with that, especially if you know how to shop.

    One financial researcher said about 10 years ago that never buying a car newer than 2 years old when you could actually afford a new car would make it possible, if you invested the difference, to retire 5 years earlier.

    A great book: "The Millionaire Next Door"

  7. #7
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Of course the problem with buying used is that you are stuck with the selection of used inventory in your area. And in my area the used car dealers shun anything that isn't an SUV or a 4-door automatic. Looks like most of the manuals, performance cars, and coupes get shipped out to TX and MO.

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterdecibel
    Of course the problem with buying used is that you are stuck with the selection of used inventory in your area. And in my area the used car dealers shun anything that isn't an SUV or a 4-door automatic. Looks like most of the manuals, performance cars, and coupes get shipped out to TX and MO.
    True - but it is sometimes just as difficult to get the color/options, etc. you want in a new car, too.

    Unless it's a very low-volume car, usually, it's not all that hard to find what you want - provided you don't have to have it today (or even this week).

  9. #9
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche


    One financial researcher said about 10 years ago that never buying a car newer than 2 years old when you could actually afford a new car would make it possible, if you invested the difference, to retire 5 years earlier.

    A great book: "The Millionaire Next Door"
    Then again, one could invest the difference in an Enron and be worse off.

  10. #10
    mrblanche
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Then again, one could invest the difference in an Enron and be worse off.
    Let me make this perfectly clear...

    Anyone who invested much in Enron was not listening to anyone who knew anything about it, and that includes the employees!

    On the other hand, I have taken a few "fliers." And Dottie bought Merck the day they announced the withdrawal of Vioxx. She bought it for $33, and it's at $52 now.

    On the other hand, she owns several others that have taken tumbles, including a home builder.

  11. #11
    DonTom
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    "It is - and he's right!"


    That depends!

    If you know how to fix the minor stuff and plan on keeping the car until it's junk, then, IMO, one year old is way too new to be considered a good deal.

    Five years old does well with me. Even if I were a multi-millionaire, I just am not the "look at me, I have a new car" type. I don't mind working on newer cars. But these days, it takes about $400.00 worth of books to cover just one year and model, especially if you need to fix "check engine" light type of problems which we must do here in CA.

    -Don-



  12. #12
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "It is - and he's right!"


    That depends!

    If you know how to fix the minor stuff and plan on keeping the car until it's junk, then, IMO, one year old is way too new to be considered a good deal.

    Five years old does well with me. Even if I were a multi-millionaire, I just am not the "look at me, I have a new car" type. I don't mind working on newer cars. But these days, it takes about $400.00 worth of books to cover just one year and model, especially if you need to fix "check engine" light type of problems which we must do here in CA.

    -Don-


    I'm the same way.

    I think I'd feel weird actually owning a new car - whether it was paid-for or not!

    Besides, I just like balky old machinery... it's a challenge!

  13. #13
    mrblanche
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    I can usually find a pretty good used car when I need one, often for not much money, but I struck out last year and ended up buying the Cobalt for less than I paid for a used Lumina 6 years earlier.

    I had a Taurus all lined up for $1,000, but when I started it up to go have it checked out, the Check Engine light came on. It was probably only an oxygen sensor, but that's an automatic fail on the the inspection and if you can't get it inspected, you can't drive it in this county.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    I can usually find a pretty good used car when I need one, often for not much money, but I struck out last year and ended up buying the Cobalt for less than I paid for a used Lumina 6 years earlier.

    I had a Taurus all lined up for $1,000, but when I started it up to go have it checked out, the Check Engine light came on. It was probably only an oxygen sensor, but that's an automatic fail on the the inspection and if you can't get it inspected, you can't drive it in this county.
    Yep; same in most VA counties, too.

    Though here in Floyd, we have no emissions tests... thought I'm sure the influx of "city boys" is going to change that. McMansions are already popping up. The plague apparently is unstoppable.

  15. #15
    DonTom
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    "It was probably only an oxygen sensor",

    I doubt it very much! I have fixed countless "check engine" lights and not a single one has been because of an 02 sensor.

    Even a transmission problem can give a check engine light! So can about a thousand other things. My last two were from no secondary air injection (smog pump problem in my 1999 Mustang ) and the one before that was the "electroinc PCV control module" (I forgot its exact name) crapped out (in my 2002 Mustang). On the 2002, I made the mistake of fixing it myself and spending $55.00 to do so. I then forgot about the CA five year smog warranty.

    And the one before that was in my 1997 Jeep, for a bad gas cap gasket! (only in CA models--it does a pressure test in the gas tank as you drive).

    A common failure to get in some automatic trannys is a CV clutch (or whatever it's called) slipping--giving a check engine light which has nothing to do with the engine. I had that one in Tommy's old Junky 89 Caddy, which was the biggest piece of junk we ever owned--but it had a great 4.5L engine, never gave a single problem in more than a couple of hundred thousand miles. But just about everything else broke countless times!

    -Don-





  16. #16
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "It was probably only an oxygen sensor",

    I doubt it very much! I have fixed countless "check engine" lights and not a single one has been because of an 02 sensor.

    Even a transmission problem can give a check engine light! So can about a thousand other things. My last two were from no secondary air injection (smog pump problem in my 1999 Mustang ) and the one before that was the "electroinc PCV control module" (I forgot its exact name) crapped out (in my 2002 Mustang). On the 2002, I made the mistake of fixing it myself and spending $55.00 to do so. I then forgot about the CA five year smog warranty.

    And the one before that was in my 1997 Jeep, for a bad gas cap gasket! (only in CA models--it does a pressure test in the gas tank as you drive).

    A common failure to get in some automatic trannys is a CV clutch (or whatever it's called) slipping--giving a check engine light which has nothing to do with the engine. I had that one in Tommy's old Junky 89 Caddy, which was the biggest piece of junk we ever owned--but it had a great 4.5L engine, never gave a single problem in more than a couple of hundred thousand miles. But just about everything else broke countless times!

    -Don-




    Hell, just get behind the dash and pull out the little bulb that lights the "check engine" thing - and you're done!

  17. #17
    mrblanche
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    And I have only had one Check Engine Light that wasn't, ultimately, the oxygen sensor, although it listed several other problems first.

  18. #18
    DonTom
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    "Hell, just get behind the dash and pull out the little bulb that lights the "check engine" thing - and you're done!"

    The first thing they check here in CA is that the check engine lamp is on with ignition on and engine not running.

    In CA, they made it almost impossible to cheat on a smog test. They even have us now randomly go to "test only stations" where they are NOT allowed to fix any problems--only test and send the info to Sacramento.

    My Jeep just got hit with that last month. Then had a CA plate. But instead of that, we registered it in NV, which is where it is now. Here in CA, the smog test costs about four times what it does in NV and is a hassle. The Jeep probably spends as much time in NV as CA anyway, so it's a perfectly legal change.

    The law states where it is mostly parked is where it should be registered.

    -Don-



  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Do you speak Used?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "Hell, just get behind the dash and pull out the little bulb that lights the "check engine" thing - and you're done!"

    The first thing they check here in CA is that the check engine lamp is on with ignition on and engine not running.

    In CA, they made it almost impossible to cheat on a smog test. They even have us now randomly go to "test only stations" where they are NOT allowed to fix any problems--only test and send the info to Sacramento.

    My Jeep just got hit with that last month. Then had a CA plate. But instead of that, we registered it in NV, which is where it is now. Here in CA, the smog test costs about four times what it does in NV and is a hassle. The Jeep probably spends as much time in NV as CA anyway, so it's a perfectly legal change.

    The law states where it is mostly parked is where it should be registered.

    -Don-


    Glad I live elsewhere!

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