I hope my story will help in prevent someone from throwing away their hard earned money on a car that is not what it is presented to be.
Like many in today's economy, money for me is tight.
About 4 months ago, I decided to start looking for a reliable used vehicle after my current vehicle's engine finally gave. I did have a particular vehicle in mind and found this vehicle on Autotrader.com at a reasonable price, so I thought.
The car was being sold on Autotrader.com by an internet dealership based in Dallas Tx, called Autonettexas.com. The car looked like it was in good physical condition so I called the number provided to inquire on the specifics of the vehicle. I called the number provided on Auto Trader several times and left messages but never got a reply. This was just the beginning as far as warning signs go, that I neglected to see and consider.
Eventually, after not hearing back from anyone on this car, I looked up the website itself for another number and found one where I finally was able to speak to a salesperson at Autonettexas.com. The sales person's name was "Eddie". I asked Eddie some specifics. The car did have high miles, but he assured me that he had driven it himself and it was in peak physical and mechanical condition. He went on to tell me that it was a new car trade in and had been put through a thorough examination. I conveyed to him that I was interested in purchasing the car but was from out of state and didn't know how to quite coordinate getting the car checked out before I purchased it. Again, he assured me, that it had nothing wrong with it.
The car was, what seemed at the time, priced good. They were asking roughly 1,100 over Kelly Blue Book on it, but it seemed to be asthetically in good shape and with Eddie's assurances mechanically, I remained interested. I felt, if the car was mechanically sound, it would be worth the extra cash.
Still, the amount over Blue book became troublesome when applying for the loan, so I asked Eddie to come down 500 dollars on the vehicle to which he quickly agreed. Another warning sign that I should have recognized, but didn't.
Over the next week, there was a lot of back and forth between Eddie and I about the car, which primarily consisted of me asking questions and getting assurances on the condition of the vehicle. Eddie was always adamante on the condition of this vehicle conveying to me that he was always "straight up" with his customers and would never selll a faulty vehicle. I asked him test all the specifics and to play the cd player, check the stero, I conveyed to him that I was going to take his word for these things. His assurances really helped put my concerns at ease to the point that I felt this car was likely in good shape and the one for me.
I decided to purchase the vehicle on Eddie's word that it was in good mechanical condition. Looking back, I now realize how stupid of me this was and I do take responsibility for this poor decision on my part but I will still tell the rest of this story in hopes that it will prevent others from making the same mistakes I did.
I was purchasing the car from out of state, so, I decided to take a bus to Dallas to pick up the vehicle, then Drive it home which was roughly 600 miles or so. Again, I was concerned taking such a long trip in a newly purchased used vehicle but was again reassured by Eddie that the vehicle was tip top. I planned on getting into Dallas early enough that I could take it to a local Pep Boys or Valvoline just to get a light inspection done just for extra peice of mind. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.
I arrived in Dallas to pick up the vehicle late due to some problems along the way with the bus I was on. It was already evening and I was running out of daylight and needed to be back home by a certain time so I had to leave straight from the dealership. At the dealership, I was very happy with how the car looked. As I expected, it was in good shape, asthetically. I gave it a brief once over, made sure the tires had air, and that the engine light was not on, all seemed good so, I signed all papers and went on my way.
The car seemed to run fine but the minute I put in a Cd, I realized that the CD was not working. This was very disappointing especially since I asked Eddie to specifically test the Cd player. I called Eddie and left a message about it. He wasn't picking up. Ok, so the cd player does not work. That happens I guess, but as I was leaving Dallas the engine light came on. This concerned me ,but the car seemed to be running good and I was behind time wise so I made the choice to continue on my way and hope it was not something serious. I know, stupid, right?
Despite the engine light being on, the car ran good. However, half way through my trip a tire blows. It was the middle of the night and the tire blows!! Ok, no big deal, I get out to put the spare. Well, the spare is flat.
I spent the night on side of the interstate waiting for a tow truck to find me. The tow truck driver didn't find me until early morning and drove me into the nearest small town where I got the tire fixed and was able to do some inspecting on the vehicle. I was shocked at what I found.
The oil was near empty. Normally before taking a long trip I would always check the oil but I truly believed that Eddie and Autonet would NEVER sell anyone a car without oil in it. So in a way, the blown tire was a Godsend despite the fact that they sold me a car with a faulty spare.
I filled the vehicle with oil and went on my way. The engine light remained on.
The car got me home but I was concerned by the engine light so I immediately took it in to get the codes checked on it.
The technition informed me that the car had several codes triggering and would be extremely costly to fix.
All added up, roughly about 2000 dollars plus another 400 to replace the factory stereo/cd player.
I asked the technician why the codes popped up when they did. The technician said it was unlikely that these problems just began on my trip. He went on to say that the engine light can be shut off for a brief period when coding the car but will pop up again in one drive cycle which is roughly a hundred miles or so.
That made a lot of sense, so needless to say, I was extremely disappointed and angry. I felt like I was lie to and taken.
I realize it was my responsibility to check this vehicle out before purchase but It doesn't excuse dishonesty.
Not only did I pay 700 dollars over what this car was worth because I believed it was sound mechanically but I am now looking at thousands in repair costs that must be done.
I called Edde to offer him and Autonet the opportunity to make this right. I asked if we could go halfers on the repair costs, or anything to relieve some of the burden of the repairs that this car, that they sold me, now needs. I really believed he was an honest guy and at the least someone who would not sell me a car in this condition.
He said, there was nothing they could do.
There are many other negatives that I experienced working with Autonettexas.com but I won't go into them. The fact that I feel lied to and am now facing a mountain of costs that I don't have the money to pay is enough for me to honestly say I wish I would have dealt with another company in purchasing a vehicle. I believe now that this company knew of these issues but took advantage by hiding the codes just long enough for me to take the vehicle. This is my opinion as well as the opinion of the technician that is currently servicing the vehicle.
Purchasing a car can be a really great experience. It's a great feeling when you buy a car that you feel you can trust and rely on. I was truly looking for that security but instead am facing high cost repairs and massing new troubles.
If you are considering dealing with this company, take nothing for granted and believe nothing they say. Jmo.