Used Car Anarchy

Rum Runner

Rum Runner
5,300
309
Illinois
Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   

 

El Borracho

Verified User
6,664
2,642
Pacific Rim
Interesting issue. Try to find out what the issue was (see below). If you can live with the problem it would be a great deal. I'd figure that some of the problems could be very difficult to fix. The dealer tried but could not with several tries. Like some intermittent electrical connection. Like if it is just the Check Engine light, and you are a gearhead, you could maybe permanently attach a reader to distinguish between the glitch and 'Engine On Fire'.

Should get thousands off. They have already taken a complete loss.

https://lemonlawexperts.com/subaru-repurchase-lemon-law/

https://www.planetsubaru.com/subaru-manufacturer-buyback-vehicles.htm

 
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Ventucky Red

Super Anarchist
11,413
1,213
Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   
Nephew works for Toyota and is the regional manager for warranty and lemon claims for the north east..  I looked at a "lemon law" car a while back and opted not to do it,  as I got the deal I wanted on a new car. 

Tells me you should check why the car was returned and what was done to fix it - there is a record of this and the service manager can pull it..  If it was a contentious check engine light (which is highly unlikely), that will need to be addressed prior to the car being made available as most states will not allow the car due to the smog and emissions laws.   They had a Sienna where this happened and after tearing into it the found a hairline crack in a sensor that was throwing the system off even though the sensor was working properly. Another time it was a bad spring that had a intermittent sticking problem that wasn't allowing something to happen with the timing advance thing-a-majiggy.  They keep some detailed record of this shit to minimize these claims.  This is simple shit that ended cost a couple dozen hours of labor.. but can be a great deal on a car.. 

Also, noted that these car are on consignment to the dealer... what ever they are asking, cut the price in half and start from there..  the dealer has no real skin in the game.

 

#13

Super Anarchist
After 5 months of owning my first 2017 brand new Durango, it's dash lit up like a Christmas tree so off to the dealer it went.  A few days later they said 'good as new', and I didn't even get 3 miles from the dealer before the same thing.  They had it for 5 weeks and still didn't know what was wrong, had replaced almost all of the wiring harnesses / etc. and still couldn't get it to function.  Bought back as a lemon.  So, good luck if you buy it.  If you really know cars and can troubleshoot and repair them better than the dealer, go for it.

Otherwise, seems like you are buying a lemon without a warranty.

Caveat emptor.

 

Liquid

NFLTG
4,585
792
Over there
Check on insuring it too.

I'm looking for a used car and have come across 'salvage titles' that are not collision insurable.

A car with 4K miles, for 1/2 MSRP...??? Dealer said it was front end damage, engine was fine! Yet, the insurance company wrote off a brand new, $30K+ car?

Good deal if you want to race it tho!

 

Orion Jim

Member
292
154
New England
After 5 months of owning my first 2017 brand new Durango, it's dash lit up like a Christmas tree so off to the dealer it went.  A few days later they said 'good as new', and I didn't even get 3 miles from the dealer before the same thing.  They had it for 5 weeks and still didn't know what was wrong, had replaced almost all of the wiring harnesses / etc. and still couldn't get it to function.  Bought back as a lemon.  So, good luck if you buy it.  If you really know cars and can troubleshoot and repair them better than the dealer, go for it.

Otherwise, seems like you are buying a lemon without a warranty.

Caveat emptor.
I once had the “dash lit up like a Christmas tree”. Car ran perfectly up until that moment. Local mechanic said he bet he knew what it was. Had one of his guys remove the MAP sensor and sprayed it with magic dust (an aerosol can of alcohol), reinstalled the sensor and I was back on the road in five minutes. No charge! Actually he more than makes up for it with my daughters POS Hyundai . 
He told me the MAP sensor really should be cleaned every couple years to ensure it never happens again....takes a minute and costs next to nothing.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,641
12,333
Great Wet North
 i'd look to see what hertz is selling off..
Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

Lease returns are another matter entirely - one of the best choices one can make. Guaranteed to have been serviced by the book, relatively low miles,  treated well because of the residual value incentive etc.

 

Liquid

NFLTG
4,585
792
Over there
Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.
What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

I'm looking for a used 2nd vehicle that is an actual car and gets better mileage than my '16 Chevy Silverado...

VW GTI: $8K for a decent, well maintained, older ride (92K miles) and several owners or $17K for a 6 year younger version, 1 owner and 40K less miles on it? Different generations too. Big difference is in infotainment, back up camera, power seats, etc... But they really drive the same!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?

 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,881
1,044
Washington DC
Ya just need to find a little old lady....

we bought my MIL Honda Civic from her 3 years go when she wanted a new one   

2004 Honda Civic 23000 Miles.   Her new civic 2017 has 3000 miles on it.

Or an old man.

my FIl  had a 2012 accord with 35k miles that he just sold before he passed.this year.

head to a nursing home or retirement community  look for the cars that haven’t been moved in a while.  Leave a note on it, ya might bet lucky and fine one that’s someone is willing to sell...

 

Windward

Super Anarchist
4,653
723
Even if it's "thousands off"   for a lemon, any future repair bills or broken down on the side of the road or dead in driveway inconvenience is your problem.

I understand the desire for a good deal... I really do.

The tough lesson to learn on many items purchased is that the purchase price is often not where the cost is buried.  (boats anyone?)

Heck, I would venture to state that buying a car with a color you sorta-maybe do not really like is a mistake.  You will look at it every day and be dissatisfied.  The memory of the $500 you saved will be long gone. 

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
68,641
12,333
Great Wet North
What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?
No I haven't but I've heard lots of stories from people who were.

The 100K marker is a thing here but that's clicks, not miles. Up to around there a car is still newish and has more than that left but is a fraction of the cost of new.

For example - I bought both our current cars (Jag XJR and Range Rover HSE) with about 92K (less than 60K miles) on each. They both looked & drove like new and each cost me less than the original owners paid just in sales taxes.

These days you can expect at least 250,000 miles out of a vehicle if you maintain it.

By then they start getting pretty scruffy even if they are still mechanically sound - lots of road rash, shopping cart dings, worn upholstery, drooping headliners etc.

Those are the reasons I get rid of our cars - usually donated or given away.

 
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IStream

Super Anarchist
10,860
3,040
What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

I'm looking for a used 2nd vehicle that is an actual car and gets better mileage than my '16 Chevy Silverado...

VW GTI: $8K for a decent, well maintained, older ride (92K miles) and several owners or $17K for a 6 year younger version, 1 owner and 40K less miles on it? Different generations too. Big difference is in infotainment, back up camera, power seats, etc... But they really drive the same!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?
It is for VWs. As is age. It's not the metal that gets you, it's the electronics, including the emission controls and fuel injection. Bosch just doesn't make automotive stuff to last. 

 

F_L

Anarchist
830
155
Canyon Lake, TX
Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

Lease returns are another matter entirely - one of the best choices one can make. Guaranteed to have been serviced by the book, relatively low miles,  treated well because of the residual value incentive etc.
Mrs F_L recently bought a 2019 GMC Terrain that was a rental. No issues and it's a pretty nice ride.

 

foamy1946

Member
344
111
The OC.
Still drive my 1966 VW bus part time...260K miles on it that I know of...had it since '74.  Electronics not a problem...set the valves and change oil every 3K.  Built in theft guard...no one under 50 years old knows how to drive a VW stick.

 

Liquid

NFLTG
4,585
792
Over there
It is for VWs.  As is age. It's not the metal that gets you, it's the electronics, including the emission controls and fuel injection. Bosch just doesn't make automotive stuff to last. 
My old timer contractor has working Bosch tools that are older than my first GTI!!!

Shit needs to be replaced on performance cars! It comes with the territory... You want great acceleration and handling, plan to spend more on brakes and tires - more often!

Knowing any car's history is a magic bullet... 'We all' look for the unicorn used car! Any well maintained car can survive long term.

I'm coming to understand this 'VW and electronics' is a worn out trope from the late 80's early 90's for VW and Audi models. 

I've had 2 VW's and 3 Audi's. They all performed past their warranties... My last one was a '14 supercharged A6. I most closely compared that A6 to the BMW 535. It was no contest, the A6 won hands down! The A6 was/is lighter, has more power, a far nicer interior, a real AWD system,  better mileage, better transmission, way more comfy to drive and less expensive!!!

Shit, I can buy a BMW 330i from Hertz for less or equal $ to a comparable VW GTI of the same age...

So, BMW's are good to go past 100K miles? But, VW, no way...???

 
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Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
10,061
3,241
Tasmania, Australia
Still drive my 1966 VW bus part time...260K miles on it that I know of...had it since '74.  Electronics not a problem...set the valves and change oil every 3K.  Built in theft guard...no one under 50 years old knows how to drive a VW stick.
Probably any stick shift.

My youngest daughter says she's the only one in her social group who knows how to drive a manual shift vehicle.

FKT

 

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