dodged a bullet...

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
went to the dealership, cash in hand ready to buy a car. VW R32 with only 43K miles, one owner, clean car fax. priced a little high but I'm good at negotiating and the car looks super clean in the pictures. seems like a no brainer, right?


I did the initial walk around and seconds in I knew despite the low miles, this car was not treated well. there were normal scratches and things that come with age. however, there were two red flags. one, the tires were really bad considering what car they were on. running tires until they are dead on a honda accord is one thing but it's a whole different thing when it comes to AWD sports cars.

the second was that the front bumper gap on the passenger side did not line up. I got down on the ground and noticed it was not just that it had popped of the bracket but that there was actually bent metal underneath it. on top of that the inner liner of the fender well was all torn up from the tire rubbing. when i said something the employee just said "huh, I didn't notice that."
not the end of the world but no longer worth the asking price because of the hidden damage. probably in the range of $500-$1000 for repair for the bumper but there very well could have been damaged suspension components as well. I went ahead and test drove it anyways just for the fun of it. it was ok. transmission was a little sluggish, and the shock needed to be replaced.

they guy tried to get me to commit to buy before we even settled on a price. I offered $15,500 given the damages but he said they wouldn't budge more than $100 on price. so I left.

tl;dr

just because a car has low miles and no big dents doesnt mean it's in great condition.
 

charlie chitlins

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Messages
3,641
Reaction score
3,542
I used to be all about VWs.
Not anymore.
Too much stuff breaking that should never break.
Anyway...nowadays cars have very engineered crumple zones.
I take care of a fleet of cars and see all kinds of unfortunate shit.
A kid drove over a parking space divider, caused some damage that looked a lot like what I'm seeing above, but the crumple zones were tweaked and it was over $3k to fix it.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
Even without the repairs, VWs are needy.
Ive had a vw before so I know what Im getting into for the most part. they're not as bad as people think if you dont abuse them and maintain them well.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
I used to be all about VWs.
Not anymore.
Too much stuff breaking that should never break.
Anyway...nowadays cars have very engineered crumple zones.
I take care of a fleet of cars and see all kinds of unfortunate shit.
A kid drove over a parking space divider, caused some damage that looked a lot like what I'm seeing above, but the crumple zones were tweaked and it was over $3k to fix it.
that's what the damage looks like. I figured someone either drove off or over a curb or worse the hit something really hard and it bent the control arm causing the wheel to hit and cause the damage.

that said, I would rather have my car crumple easily then have a bad concussion.
 

MooCheng

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2013
Messages
7,448
Reaction score
12,686
its just about ready for the timing chain to crap out, it does on all of them

chains behind the flywheel so its gearbox out
 

Crotch

Cocaine Bear
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
33,098
Reaction score
93,332
its just about ready for the timing chain to crap out, it does on all of them

chains behind the flywheel so its gearbox out
Happened to my wife's Jetta at under 100K. I also had a Passat. Nothign but problems from both of them. Never again. Keeps me from looking at Audi's cause I really like them looks wise. But not happening.
 

Tone deaf

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
37,576
Reaction score
86,785
Good catch on the tires. It is sort of judging a man by his shoes.

$15,500? I'd grab any number of used Mercedes with low miles. I was looking to pick up a lightly used GLK350 (small SUV) as an extra car and for one of my girls to use when she is home from college. There were lots to choose from with less than 75K miles. Most of them were leased and driven by young moms as Mall-cruisers. So, most of them haven't been abused. They can go off road, too (although not many of them go further off road than grass parking lot at the beach).

I also saw two Lexus GX470s (the one that is essentially a dressed up 4Runner). Again, quite often Mall-Cruisers. I came very close to pulling the trigger on one of them. I would have looked at 4Runners, but they can be few and far between.

Around here, if I hear a tweaked exhaust and such, more often than not it is a VW. I'd want a signed affidavit that the former owner/primary driver was not a teenage boy.
 

KSG_Standard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
30,509
Reaction score
46,651
I bought my daughter a Jetta when she graduated from College a couple of years ago. She's had zero problems with hers and she drives the hell out of it. She loves it.
 

jkes01

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
4,064
Reaction score
3,845
I’d be more concerned with what’s behind the bumper and wheel well.
 

Soul Tramp

Speaker Snob
V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
10,217
Reaction score
27,629
Years ago when our daughter went off the college we bought her a new Golf GTI (she insisted). What a disappointing car! In my opinion, the styling, engineering, and assembly were sub-par. The car was noisy, rough riding, and under powered. The only good thing about the car was our daughter loved it. Clearly, I'm not much of a VW fan. They are over-priced and under-engineered.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
Good catch on the tires. It is sort of judging a man by his shoes.

$15,500? I'd grab any number of used Mercedes with low miles. I was looking to pick up a lightly used GLK350 (small SUV) as an extra car and for one of my girls to use when she is home from college. There were lots to choose from with less than 75K miles. Most of them were leased and driven by young moms as Mall-cruisers. So, most of them haven't been abused. They can go off road, too (although not many of them go further off road than grass parking lot at the beach).

I also saw two Lexus GX470s (the one that is essentially a dressed up 4Runner). Again, quite often Mall-Cruisers. I came very close to pulling the trigger on one of them. I would have looked at 4Runners, but they can be few and far between.

Around here, if I hear a tweaked exhaust and such, more often than not it is a VW. I'd want a signed affidavit that the former owner/primary driver was not a teenage boy.

as far as the tires go, it kinda just showed me that the car was most likely neglected and the only reason why it was in good shape was because it was barely used. they didnt have any service records for the car so again, kinda feels like the previous owner just didnt drive it that much so they didnt care about it a whole lot.

I actually really wanted a mercedes but the r32 was my top choice and it seemed too good to be true so I had to check it out. the 4matic amg gla, glk and cla were all cars I looked at. I really wanted a cla hatchback but it's not available in the us.
I currently have a 4runner so im looking for something smaller.

also I share the same sentiment about previous owners. I even said, I dont want a car that has been driven by a kid. modified exhaust is the easiest tell tale sign. even though this was was bone stock I saw the sleazy kid working at the dealership walk by and when they were looking for the keys one guy said "ah geez. I hope the kid didn't take it." pretty much told me all I needed to know. they let the kid take the fun cars for joy rides.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
Happened to my wife's Jetta at under 100K. I also had a Passat. Nothign but problems from both of them. Never again. Keeps me from looking at Audi's cause I really like them looks wise. But not happening.
I blame transmissions prematurely going out mostly on poor driving technique. so many people in automatic cars stop too fast causing the transmission to slam through gears at high rpms then stop suddenly. same with accelerating too fast. with manual transmissions its a bit more obvious when you can smell the clutch burning. transmissions are far from perfectly engineered so unless you operate it carefully, it will fail sooner than later. obviously there are some outliers with poor design but that is less often the case imo. there are thresholds of abuse that these cars can be put through and people generally use those as a guide not realizing that just because they don't push the car to the limit doesnt mean their bad driving cant cause issue. it's the same thing with brakes. people who stop too fast often get warped rotors and claim the issue is the car but it's not.
 

sk8rat

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2014
Messages
10,929
Reaction score
14,634
I’d be more concerned with what’s behind the bumper and wheel well.
I told them there was most likely underlying damage that was going to need to be assessed and would probably cost at least $500 to repair if it is minimal damage. the guys response..."well we didn't want to touch the car because it's so rare and I dont think it would cost that much to fix." :dunno:
 

Crotch

Cocaine Bear
Double Platinum Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2012
Messages
33,098
Reaction score
93,332
I blame transmissions prematurely going out mostly on poor driving technique. so many people in automatic cars stop too fast causing the transmission to slam through gears at high rpms then stop suddenly. same with accelerating too fast. with manual transmissions its a bit more obvious when you can smell the clutch burning. transmissions are far from perfectly engineered so unless you operate it carefully, it will fail sooner than later. obviously there are some outliers with poor design but that is less often the case imo. there are thresholds of abuse that these cars can be put through and people generally use those as a guide not realizing that just because they don't push the car to the limit doesnt mean their bad driving cant cause issue. it's the same thing with brakes. people who stop too fast often get warped rotors and claim the issue is the car but it's not.
Possibly. But after my wife's and then a full electrical and computer meltdown on mine at 40k I'm out. She's had an Acura for 7 years with almost 200 spins on it and oil changes, brakes and tires. Never one repair. And she probably does push it pretty hard driving technique wise. Im not saying don't buy it, I can only speak from my own experiences.
 

LocoTex

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
3,829
Reaction score
10,318
I'll stick with Honda. Mine is a 2000 Accord with over 211,000 miles and still runs like a top.

I hate car payments.
 

jkes01

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
4,064
Reaction score
3,845
I told them there was most likely underlying damage that was going to need to be assessed and would probably cost at least $500 to repair if it is minimal damage. the guys response..."well we didn't want to touch the car because it's so rare and I dont think it would cost that much to fix." :dunno:
B.S. If the core support is damaged, it would cost more than that.
 

Latest Threads



Top