Airport Auto Sales Complaint - Used Car Dealership ripoff....or AS-IS sale justified?

Review by Jay8383 on 2010-03-08
KILLEEN, TEXAS -- I brought a 92 Civic from a used car dealership alittle under a month ago for my job so I can have a simple car to drive to work and back home...I test drove the Civic and it seemed fine..no leaks, no crazy noises from the engine, everything seem to work fine except the instrumental panel lights and the car door locks which is pretty minor to me.
So I brought the car AS-IS for $2300..he even showed me the Blue Book price and it was the right price.

25 days later these are the problems I have been having with the car:

Coolant Leak from behind the engine.
Timing Belt is cracked.
Radiator fan don't work.
Car shakes(almost a jerk shaking) when in Drive and Reverse but is fine in Neutral and Park.
Car will crank BUT won't start...fuel isn't even getting to the fuel filter(this happened TODAY at work).

TODAY I called the used car dealership where I got the Civic from and told him(the manager) to give me a refund because EVERY SINGE car in that lot is the dealership's responsibility and they should know what is wrong with every car on the lot and TELL the customer the defects or or anything that's wrong with the car.....When I brought the car..he didn't tell me anything like that..he said the car is good and rides good.

YES..I know was an "AS-IS" buy BUT if the dealership told me what was wrong with the car ..then I would have had 2nd thoughts about buying it. Yeah I could have brought it to a Mechanic...but it was low on gas for some reason....maybe that was a trick so I won't have enough gas to get to a Mechanic and back.

Anyway I called the Dealership and he didn't wanna give me my money back....So I told him.."Ok since you won't give me my money back..or I'll just print 2000 fliers with a picture of my 92 Civic with a list of what's wrong with the car, your dealership's name, address, phone number and how long I had it(less than a month) & give those fliers out in front of Wal-Mart and Target..sounds good?".
He said I was talking crazy and the fliers are stupid and I could hear he was nervous in his voice....But I told him "Whatever I put on those fliers is gonna be true and stating the facts so it's not crazy or stupid right? and it's way too easy to do."
I also told him I would talk to a Lawyer as well...that's when he hungup.

Only thing I did wrong was TRUSTING an car dealership and not taking the car to a Mechanic..it's a hard way to learn but it's the dealership's responsibility to know(or have a list) of what's wrong with EVERY CAR on THEIR lot.

Is this True or not?

Did I do the right thing calling them up about the Civic and what I would since they won't give me a refund.
Comments:13 Replies - Latest reply on 2010-03-09
Posted by Skye on 2010-03-08:
What are the laws in your state? As is means as it, which you already know, unless they specified a warranty of some type.
Posted by Johanna on 2010-03-08:
As-is means As-is. If I were buying a car like that I would have gone ahead and put a few gallons in the tank so I could get it to the mechanic to find out what was wrong with it. It would have been a few dollar investment that would have likely saved you thousands.
Posted by Skye on 2010-03-08:
Posted by GenuineNerd on 2010-03-08:
Those kind of problems are what you'd expect from an 18-year-old car. Hondas are for the most part, good cars, but even they won't last forever. The cracked timing belt and coolant leak means it is time to change both the water pump and timing belt...a common Honda maintenance issue. And have your mechanic check the other issues as well. You bought this car as is...it's not the dealer's responsibility unless the car was sold with a warranty or service contract.
Posted by Critical_level2 on 2010-03-08:
I agree with clutzycook, you should have spent $5 or $10 out of your own pocket to put gas in it. IT would have saved you from making a $2300 mistake. I am sure they new what was wrong with it, but come on, you are buying a $2300 vehicle, not a $23000 vehicle. You should know there are going to be some issues with it. Buying a used vehicle is buying another persons problems.
Posted by goduke on 2010-03-09:
In TX as-is is as-is. Couldn't hurt to see if the dealer would do something, but you are pretty much out of luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-03-09:
"Only thing I did wrong was TRUSTING an car dealership and not taking the car to a Mechanic." That is a very big "only thing." You learned an expensive lesson here and your experience reminds us that car dealers are in the money making business, not the honesty business.
Posted by Jay8383 on 2010-03-09:
I know I could have put some more gas in the car and brought it to a Mechanic. But I was thinking.."If I put some gas in the car..they'll think that's a way of me messing with the car..next thing ya know I HAVE TO buy it or something."
Yeah..I know it's just gas..but anything put IN THE CAR before I buy it might be my responsibility. It's like taking a dog for a walk from a pet store..feeding him some dog food..and some how the owner of the store knows you fed the dog something..so now he asks you if you fed the dog..(you say "YES")..now you have to buy the dog because who knows what kind of food you fed him.
Posted by Pepper on 2010-03-09:
so you're saying they would have forced you to purchase the car if you had put enough gas in it to get it checked out?

you could have always have said, "i want to get this car checked out first"

and if they said no, you could have said "no sale"
Posted by redmx3racer on 2010-03-09:
The belt you can see without removing any parts is not the timing belt. You would have to take the engine apart (in laymans terms-I'll spare the details) to see the timing belt. I'm guessing what the OP is seeing as "cracked" is the serpentine belt, which is not expensive and not a hard fix.

18 year old car, sold as is-this is about what I would expect. Sorry OP, but I think you are out of luck on getting the dealer to cover anything for you.
Posted by Slimjim on 2010-03-09:
Yeah, the car is ancient by standards and was an entry level car to start with. Be thankful the issues are minor. At that age, it could be a lot worse, including the timing belt, which isn't what is wrong with yours if you can inspect it without taking the timing cover off.
Posted by spiderman2 on 2010-03-09:
Jay, I'm sure you wouldn't be the first person to ask them if you could take the car to have your own mechanic look at it so I doubt they would have forced you to buy the car if you put gas in it. If you asked, they may have even put some in it for you. Don't bother trying to pass flyers out at Target or WalMart either, you are going to get kicked off their property really quickly if you do that. They frown on people doing stuff like that at most retail stores. You learned an expensive lesson... as is means as it is when you buy it. There is no warranty. An 18year old car is bound to have issues. You want a new car, buy a new car.
Posted by Jay8383 on 2010-03-09:
Redmx3racer...I took off the valve cover to see where that coolant leak was coming from..and discovered the timing belt was all cracked up.
I got 3 certified mechanics that work at my place of work(no..they don't do mechanic work now) and they say replacing a timing belt will cost more then $200..BUT if you replace yourself then it'll take a while to do. It might be just a belt to some but according to my 3 co-workers you have to line the belt up just right for it to be installed properly..it's so difficult that my co-workers wouldn't even do it on their own..(not unless it's a job).

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