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      11-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
AllBlackBimmer
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buying a used car - help...

Obviously not the first time I bought a car, however will be the first time buying a car from a "ma & pa" dealer. Very small dealership.

Looking at a '99 subaru for the winter.

What should I look for as far as a "bad dealer". I know these things are very subjective, but what are some clear cut signs that I should turn and run away.

Selling a 99 subaru for about 2g's - very good pricing for that car - and obviously no warranty so I could buy it, it blow up, and that be the end of it.


How to decide to buy a car from a "small" dealer (alawys bought cars from a big-time used car lot, or directly from the manufacturer such as my nissan and BMW)


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      11-30-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
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Ma and Pa dealers vary even more than big-name ones. You see the real honest workers but also the real sawdust-in-engine-sleaze types in this sort of market. If you can, search them on Google and some local reviews might come up.

The most popular used dealerships are popular for a reason, ask if anyone you know has experience with this dealer.

Another good indicator is the type of cars they deal in. If you see more newer or more higher-end cars there is a good chance that the dealer tries to make this reputation for themselves... They usually won't sell you a beater and risk losing that premium image. If you see a bunch of Monte Carlos on 22" wheels, it may be a different story.

Look for damaged body panels. If you see very few of them or none at all around the lot it is likely that the dealer is carefully screening the cars that they take in for issues. As always look under hood and test drive with the radio off.

Hope this helps!
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      11-30-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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Take the car to an independant mechanic and have it checked out. Compression test/leak down will tell the story on the motor. Up on a rack will show if it has been in any serious accidents. Do not take the word of any dealer large or small when it comes to used cars.
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      11-30-2011, 12:46 PM   #4
AllBlackBimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver-Bolt View Post
Take the car to an independant mechanic and have it checked out. Compression test/leak down will tell the story on the motor. Up on a rack will show if it has been in any serious accidents. Do not take the word of any dealer large or small when it comes to used cars.
This is what I was going to do but...

The small dealer I'd be buying from is about an hour away - yea, you can see where I'm going with this. I would have to find an indy shop by them - that I could trust, etc etc. Does seem to be the right way to go..

about how much would a regular shop charge for a compression test, etc?

I took BMW's word since it was a CPO
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