Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Help Me Howard: Used Cars
Ever bought a used car? It can be good it can be bad, especially if you buy the car as is. Many people buy used cars and regret it. On woman did and after she called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Some people have a family reunion once a year. Margarets family has it at her grandmothers every day.
Margaret Meachem: "This is where we all come after work, school nieces, nephews and alot of cousins."
A lot of kids being cared for by their grandmother, but Margaret has another concern right now.
Margaret Meachem: "I know I am not crazy. I know this car is doing something."
A few weeks ago, Margaret saw this good looking Dodge Neon at a Hollywood Used Car Dealership. She bought it and drove home.
Margaret Meachem: "So the next day I went to drop my son off to school and as I am backing out the driveway, I put the car in drive, the car is still going in reverse while the car is in drive."
Margaret went back to the dealer.
Margaret Meachem: "And I just asked for my money back. I didn't want anything I just wanted my money back. No it's against the policy and this and that its an as is deal."
Sadly she had bought the used car as is, which Howard says legally can be very bad news.
Howard Finkelstein: "The words as is means you are buying it just as it is with no promises or warranty, and if it breaks down 10 feet from the lot, its your problem. Fortunately, in Margarets case, she got very lucky."
The good news on Margarets paperwork, under as the salesman had written customer has six months warranty on the transmission. The dealer agreed to honor the agreement and sent Margarets car to a repair shop.
Margaret borrowed a friends car to get to work. Then waited and waited calling the dealer each day for two weeks to get her car back.
Margaret Meachem: "Oh we fixing on it we dont know. Nobody can give me information on how long it will take or this and that."
We then called the used car dealer. They told us Margarets car would be ready the next day. Margaret picked it up, but says the transmission was still fouling up leaving her frustrated.
Margaret Meachem: "To the point where I need help. I want my money back."
Well Howard it was as is with a exception if the dealer cant fix it what can you do?
Howard Finkelstein: "First, dont buy a car as is, unless you have no other choice. And if you do buy a used car, make sure you mechanic checks it out first. As for Margaret, she should still take it to a mechanic and see if they believe the transmission can be fixed."
Margaret then took the car to Atlantic Auto Repair, a well respected shop. Stephen Holzman plugged in a scanner and it revealed a wiring problem with the computer that controls the transmission.
Stephen Holzman Atlantic Air Conditioning and Auto Repair: "If the car is driven with this particular problem it will ruin the transmission car within a matter of days or hours."
Margaret called the dealer and let them know what Holzman had found. The car was towed back to the used car dealer. This time they got the transmission working and the car drives great.
Many people who call us after they buy a used car are not happy Margaret got lucky.
Margaret Meachem: "What I have been thru now I would not go and buy a used car. I would rather a brand new car cause I been thru so much. I am happy that it's fixed now."
Patrick Fraser: "Now there are a lot of good used car dealers, but it's like everything you have to find someone with a good reputation who has been in business for awhile. And like Howard says, try not buy as is unless you get the car checked out. Remember the reason they are selling it as is because they dont know if the vehicle will last."
Feeling like you have been used? Ready to trade in the problem? Contact us, we come as is and will break down. Break down your problem to find a solution that is.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com