I am not the best person to go to for advice on whether or not to purchase a car. My latest experience has taught me that. Until September 23, 2010, I drove a 2003 Dodge Neon. Unfortunately a car accident destroyed the car and my hopes of driving anywhere anytime soon, until I met the man who sold me my newest car.
I located a car in the local paper that was a 1993 Toyota Camry XLE. When I called the owner of the car I was told that it had a great engine and was wonderful on gas. The only problem with the car was the bumper; it had been damaged in an accident. This did not bother me as long as the car ran well and had good gas mileage.
I drove to the lot where the car was located and noticed that the drivers’ side door handle was missing but of course that could be fixed. When I started the car I did not notice any strange noises or smells so I decided to buy it. Boy was I wrong. I had to get the inspection sticker changed so I stopped by a local mechanic shop and was told it could not be inspected because there were no windshield wipers, the headlight was out and the horn was broken. Not only that but they could not change the oil until the valve cover gasket was replaced because it was massively leaking oil. My day only got better.
I drove next door to Wal-Mart and asked the technician to put on new windshield wipers and change the headlight. Two hours later I was still waiting and soon found out why. The car had an alarm that I did not know about and the mechanic had set it off. My new car was in theft mode and would not start. He not so politely told me that they were closing and I needed to push the car out of his mechanic bay. The guy that sold the car to me pulled the fuse to the alarm and finally the car was able to be driven home. I thought my troubles were over.
I noticed as I was driving home that the speedometer did not work. No matter how fast I drove, I was only going 20 mph. I decided to call a friend and have him completely look at the car and the news was not good. The valve cover gasket needed changing, the door handles had been ripped off, the antennae was gone, the fuel door was ripped off and the list goes on and on. Needless to say my car is parked and in pieces while he fixes what he can.
The lesson I learned from this experience is to always take someone that knows about cars with you to shop for one. Do not ever take word of mouth from someone selling a car. If you do you could be in the same situation I am in now.