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  #1  
Old 03-10-2006, 11:32 PM
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Crooked Car Salesmen

I thought I'd share a funny story about a car saleman I dealt with one time. About 4 years ago I was interested in a 1993 Mercedes 300E that had about 150,000 miles on it. It was for sale at one of those tiny little dealerships that only consisted of the owner, a secretary, and one salesman.

I told the owner that I was interested in the vehicle and asked him if I could have a pre-purchase inspection performed at the authorized MB dealer. Much to my surprise, he agreed. So I'm sitting in the MB dealer and about an hour later the inspection is finished and the service consultant walks up to me with a BIG list of things that were wrong with the car. The car needed nearly $3,000 of work. The head gasket was blown (the tech at the MB dealer said it was obvious that the seller tried to cover it up by wiping off all the oil), the emergency brake didn't work, etc., etc., etc...

So I drive the car back to the little two-bit car dealer, show him the list, and tell him it needs almost $3,000 of work. Obviously the guy looked absolutely shocked like he had no idea that anything was wrong with the car. So he calls up the MB dealer I took the car to and asked for the prices of the parts that would be needed to fix it. He gets off the phone and says, "Those prices they quoted you are the retail prices! I tell you what. If you buy this car I'll fix everything on this list for $100." He then says, "As far as the emergency brake goes, do you ever use it? I don't know about you, but I just put my car in park. I never use the emergency brake." I said I'd have to think about it, walked out, and never went back.

Now that I look back at the situation it makes me smile. Isn't it illegal to sell a car without a functioning emergency brake? On the check list in the window it listed that the brake was functional, so that was obviously a lie.

Of course the prices the MB dealer quoted were retail! Why wouldn't they be? If I had bought the car I would have had the repairs done by the dealer anyway. Who in their right mind would have trusted this guy to perform the repairs? Even if he had attempted to do them, which I'm sure he wouldn't have, he probably couldn't have done the head gasket job correctly.

All I can say is that I'm SO glad that I paid the $100 to have the inspection done at the MB dealer. In the end it saved me a lot of money. Crooked salesmen...I tell you.

Does anyone else have a funny story you'd like to tell about a salesman trying to rip you off? It's amazing some of the BS these guys try to sell you.

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  #2  
Old 03-11-2006, 06:09 AM
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No story like that from a dealer, but a private sale. Before I got my 300SD I was looking for a MB for a while. I came across one on the internet somewhere. (classified ad)

The guy described it as "the creme de la creme". The picture looked incredible! He also described as not a scratch, purrs like a kitten.

My bro-in-law and I drive the almost 2 hours to look at the car. I couldn't believe what I saw. There was a scratch on every body panel down to the metal. I was touched up with one of those small bottles with the little brush. Needless to say it looked like ****. As I started it he told me that it was his father's car and that his father was dying in the hospital. We discovered that the exhaust needed replaced along with alot of other things. The motor shook violently and we concluded that the head gasket was blown due to the white smoke from under the car that never went away. I was looking in the glove box and found receipts from past repairs and there were names on them. 3 different names! None of them was the same name this guy gave me for his father. He started at like $4,000. After we saw everything that was wrong with the car I wanted nothing to do with it. My br-in-law was still haggling with him as I was walking away. I heard him say "how much will you give me" When we left he had him down to like $1500.

Funny thing about the story. As me and my br-in-law walked around the car the guy was real shaky and never let either one of us walk behind him. Just weird.
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  #3  
Old 03-11-2006, 06:33 AM
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Here's a little secret, every car that goes to a new car dealership for a PPI needs 3k worth of work. They put every nickel and dime thing they can imagine on the report. Why? Because they want you to buy a car from them. They want you to think "hmmm, if I have to dump 3k into this old used car I may as well buy something newer and use 3k as a down payment."

Plus, they don't want to not list something and have you come back and accuse them of missing something. So they err on the side of caution and list everything.

And no, it isn't illegal to sell a car with a broken E brake.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2006, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koop
Here's a little secret, every car that goes to a new car dealership for a PPI needs 3k worth of work. They put every nickel and dime thing they can imagine on the report.
Yes........I can certainly imagine that it's almost impossible not to run up a $3K tab at the dealer. All they need to do is find a few items on the front suspension and they are immediately at $1.5K. Typical brakes with rotors and hoses will tack on another $1K. The odds and ends that don't work properly (CCU or blower or tach or clock or rear defroster or cruise, etc.) will easily add another $1K. And, they haven't even lifted up the hood yet.........

My SDL is a reasonably good vehicle. The costs to fix the punch list at the dealer would have been well over $8K.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2006, 09:52 AM
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When we sold Rovers and Audi's we never let cars go to a place that sold cars for a pre buy inspection. Every time we did we had the same experience "this cars messed up and the dealer says it needs 3 grand to fix" then they would leave never to be seen again.
In colorado all the factory safety appliances need to work for a legal car sale.
That head gasket reminded me of something. If a series 1 discovery ever finds it's way to a landrover dealership they try to sell head gaskets. Every rover with a so called bad head gasket turns out to be an intake manifold gasket leak which is about 1/3 the price to repair and it's just an oil leak. It's an english car for christ sake! I wonder about these so called dealer TECH'S I think they are just flat rate parts changers.
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2006, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koop
Here's a little secret, every car that goes to a new car dealership for a PPI needs 3k worth of work.

I bought my 400 by use of the web and phone from a small lot in Rochester. I had the car sent to a mb dealer in Rochester, where they did a ppi and checked a couple of other items at my request. The the report indicated the car needed only the tires and belt tensioner. They missed the rot in the muffler, but given the rust belt location, that wasn't surprising....
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2006, 02:04 PM
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$ 3,000 too little

Hi everybody. I am new to this forum, but I think anybody who things $ 3,000 is too much to spend on a 12 year old MB with 150,000 miles on the clock at the DEALER is naive. From my own 30 years MB ownership experience that is relatively nothing. And no need to call the use car dealer CROOK for selling an old car, it is up to the purchaser to decide what he wants and how far he wants to go to rebuild such an old car.
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Old 03-13-2006, 02:15 PM
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I once stopped to look at a 300TD that was at an estate sale. It was rough and looked like a flood victim but the seller/representative kept going on and on about how well it had been maintained and that the tranny had 'just been resealed'. "Really", I asked, "what shop did the reseal?"

"The Mercedes dealer, of course. Only the best maintenance!" He chimed as I opened the hood. Despite the fact I'd driven up in a near-cherry 300D, the dope continued to prattle on about the preferential treatment this beater had received until I reached behind the oil filter housing and pulled out one of the top tranny mount bolts that had never been tightened after the hack job on the tranny.

Stopped him dead in his tracks.
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Old 03-13-2006, 03:52 PM
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Stopped in a local XYZ car lot "we finance type" last year to look over a gas 126. He had to jump it to get it going - but continued to tell a story that his preacher drove this car, etc, etc. He stood outside the driver door while I fiddled with the electronics. The ACC didn't blow cold and I asked him about it; he said it was just low on freon. When inspecting under the hood I noticed the compressor was gone I never did bring that to his attention, just left
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2006, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exeuro
Hi everybody. I am new to this forum, but I think anybody who things $ 3,000 is too much to spend on a 12 year old MB with 150,000 miles on the clock at the DEALER is naive. From my own 30 years MB ownership experience that is relatively nothing. And no need to call the use car dealer CROOK for selling an old car, it is up to the purchaser to decide what he wants and how far he wants to go to rebuild such an old car.

I agree, the used car dealer is not at fault. He's selling "Used Cars".. Key word here. You can find something that "could" use replacing on almost every car over 5 years old. The key here is to negotiate a fair price or walk away.

Not a car story but a good one.

I had a guy come to my business to quote me on a new phone system. He quoted me around $14,000 and I was going to give him the job. He also happened to be in the cell phone business and quoted me $25 each for new batteries for my Nextel phones. He brought me the "new" batteries the next day and a bill for $75.00. I then removed the batteries from thier non OEM package and noticed that they were all beat up. I showed the guy all the scratches and wear spots and he insisted they were new, he just charged them up for me. I put the batteries in my phone and they were all dead!
To sum things up, I told him he was full of ****! Not only did he not sell me his junk bin batteries, he also lost the job on my phone system! Idiot.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2006, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX76513
The ACC didn't blow cold and I asked him about it; he said it was just low on freon. When inspecting under the hood I noticed the compressor was gone
At least he was honest; with no compressor in place (and the hoses dangling), it would be low on Freon, right?
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2006, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
At least he was honest; with no compressor in place (and the hoses dangling), it would be low on Freon, right?
He would be right........ I guess he was a very honest person and have judged him wrong
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Old 03-13-2006, 05:42 PM
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I remember I looked at a 300SD about a year ago for a forum member that lived about 2-3 hours away. The owner talked it up and down, claimed it is a fine rust free example. When I looked at the car, well lets put it this way. I wouldn't have taken it if he handed me the keys, call the junker and drive that poor rusted beat thing away.

I would have been pissed if I drove 3 hours to see that trash pile.

I think when it comes to selling cars people get stupid. The S320 really pissed me off as well. I asked the guy point blank, where are the dents, what is the service history, and are their any problems. He said no dents body perfect, dealer serviced, no problems. When I got their the drivers side mirror was broke, and the car has about 12 dents in it. No service records and the CE light was on! I felt like saying to the guy dude do you think I'm stupid? This happend with an S420 as well, worst POS I have seen dealer claimed it was mint.

I trust no one when I am looking at a car. I assume they are lieing like crazy to me until they prove otherwise.

However I did call on a 350SDL that I honestly think the owner was one of the most honest guys you could by a car from. Realistic price, he said flat out it burns 1 quart of oil every 1k miles and he couldn't figure out why.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2006, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Leo
At least he was honest; with no compressor in place (and the hoses dangling), it would be low on Freon, right?

..........very low.

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