Posts Tagged ‘car shopping advice’

88 Percent of Cars Have a Hidden History—Does Yours?

June 12th, 2012
2004 Honda Pilot

Could you spot the $15,000 in damages?

If you knew the car you were about to buy was once melted by fire, would you still buy it?

I’m guessing the answer to that question is a resounding “No.”

However, someone out there owns a 2004 Honda Pilot that had the driver’s side melted away by a raging fire that burned a mere feet from the then-brand-new SUV. The windows shattered, the leather melted, the paint peeled, and every rubber piece of trim and sealant turned to a black mass of burned-out carbon.

That’s exactly what you want to see in a used-car ad, right? Oh, except this car was repaired and re-sold before the damage ever showed up on any reports. After some $15,000 and 12 weeks in a body shop, the car came out looking (if not smelling) completely new.

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Grandma’s Car: The Best Kind of Used Car Available?

May 15th, 2012

2004 Subaru Outback Limited Wagon

A friend wanted to show me her new car.

“It’s a 2004 Subaru Outback,” she said, “and guess how many miles it has on it?”

I looked at the car, which appeared to be in pretty nice shape. No visible dings or dents, clean paint, newer tires. I figured anything under 100,000 miles on the clock would be acceptable. I assumed, since she asked me about the mileage, it must be low. So I guessed low.

“Sixty thousand,” I said confidently.

She shook her head and smiled.

“Nope. Just under 10,000.”

I gasped.

“It was my grandma’s.”

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