: Interesting turn of events...



mckellyb
05-10-11, 09:42 PM
I consider myself a pretty good judge of vehicle condition and potential issues, but on the '05 STS N* I'm looking at purchasing this Saturday, for piece of mind, I ran a VIN check on it.

Lookie there...it is a lemon law buy-back after the first 14 months and just shy of 12K miles.

I can see my initial offer is going to drop from what I'd planned, as they claimed to not have the title, yet it's been three weeks, and they didn't disclose this, yet stated the deposit was non-refundable. Um, if you're witholding information, that's not gonna hold up in court, should we have to go that direction.

It's had two other official owners, since the buy-back, the first being a mere 18 months, but the owner immediately prior to now had it for 75K and a few years. One accident appears in 2008, but it must've been pretty minor (center-rear), 'cause all the silver matched like it should, and I looked carefully for that kinda thing. Silver's easy to see repaints, usually. Actually, any metallic is tough to match, from what I've seen.

The true second "owner" was a dealer in Waco who picked it up at auction and it looks like they drove it as a personal vehicle for about six months and 10K miles. Someone wanted comfort, I can see that.

Well...I know I'm much more tolerant than the average auto owner, but is there a way to find out what the actual, true problem was? It could have been something easily-remedied by a dealer who had a clue, or maybe the solution wasn't available until later. BTDT. Eventually figured out fixes, myself. A drag when you're doing it, but it's satisfying feeling when you finally beat the problem.

While I hesitate for just a moment, the car's racked up 16.5K/year for six years...it can't be that unreliable.

FWIW, the VIN is: 1G6DC67A150179685 and the car has always been registered in Texas. I can see via the emissions checks, 2010 was a busy year for it, 25K miles, most likely in n. central Texas. Relatively easy driving...relatively. I hope they were taking quite regular trips to Houston or Austin.

Thanks for any insight, including what it might have been! I'll bring a floor jack and a creeper, if need be, and roll around under that sucker, looking for whatever....

justwinbaby60
05-10-11, 11:17 PM
This vehicle has had an extensive GM service history(the most I've seen for one vehicle),but the good news is that it was covered by a GMPP major guard up to 85k.The vin report also showed that it has 12/200 cat conv warranty.Just based on service history I might be a little leary of this car or it could be a plus because it has had a lot of parts replaced/services done already.The buy back is strange because the car had an ABS module replaced and the car was bought back about 40 miles later,but the date of the module replacement was 1/16/06 and the buy back was 3/28/06.Good luck

mckellyb
05-11-11, 09:30 AM
Whoa, whoa, whoa! There is a memeber on this board who has direct access to GM's records?!

Ultra. Cool.

Now, justwinbaby60...dude...how must I bribe/sway you to obtain said information? I've not yet called a local-to-me dealer, Fort Worth area, 'cause I'm outta town all week. I also figured it'd be just like it was with Mercedes..."sir, we can give this information only to the owner under whom it was registered when completed." Being GM, it may be more along the lines of, "nope, that's not your name. Next!"

"Yo, guys! I own the freakin' car (though not yet in this case)...I want to know what I could be in for." If nothing else, it'll show me what I need to look for/keep an eye on/maybe not be overly concerned about.

So what kinda work was done on it? Just areas are fine, if that's what it says. Sounds like the ABS controller was replaced in order to fix something, but that may not have been what caused the buyback. The mileage/time between the two items seems quite odd. 40 miles in two months? I consider all information useful, even if it doesn't appear so, initially.

\cowboy hat

'Round there-here parts (spit), boy, cars git them kinda miles on 'em even if they're just sittin'...happens when tryin' to corral 'em before a storm.

/cowboy hat

To me, the fact it was GMPP car 'till 85K means it likelly had Mobil 1 more often than not, and it sounds like GM was standing behind it.

/crossed fingers

Also, because nothing appears on the title search during the last owner's timeframe, yet it was covered 'till 85K and they had it a while & drove it quite a bit, this, and I'm not rationalizing, at least not yet, is good. Could be GM fixed the problem resulting in the buyback, but some people are, in all honestly, morons, and cannot change the way they view something which has been a problem in the past.

It does tweak me, however, the place selling it, now, claims the title is "clean", when it'll likley have a big "LEMON BUYBACK" in red lettering stamped on said title.

RippyPartsDept
05-11-11, 10:15 AM
there's more than a few w/ access to GM records... just about anyone at a dealership has access... and how many members work at dealerships?

mckellyb
05-11-11, 10:26 AM
I'm still too new to reply to PM's, so....

Dude!!!!

mckellyb123 AT hotmail DOT com

I need to buy you an adult beverage or two! Oh, NC...I am almost never there. Man.... Well, I do have a two-hour layover in Raleigh, Friday, but that's not particularly helpful.

RippyPartsDept
05-11-11, 10:34 AM
10 posts is the requirement for PM privileges ... you should be able to now

RippyPartsDept
05-11-11, 10:43 AM
check your inbox...

Neutrocuted
05-11-11, 11:21 AM
Be sure to do a good test drive! I'm not talking about around the block doing only right turns, I'm talkin' 'bout gittin' it up to speed, and leave the radio OFF! Also, before you pull the trigger, take it to a trustworthy mechanic for an inspection.

After I bought mine (and not driving it up to speed) I discovered a vibrating hum over 60mph on slow left sweepers... a wheel bearing was shot. After replacing the bearing I noticed the car had 2 other bearings replaced (pop off the hub caps and tell-tale new lug nut bolts come with the new bearings).

After seeing the service history I noticed a strange occurance that happened with both Sigma platforms I've owned. They both had wheel bearing failures after a wheel alignment. My CTS (R.I.P.) came back from the shop after an alignment with 2 roaring bearings. I mentioned this to the dealer and I was almost laughed out of the building. Some of those hacks can be brutal! They get paid by the job and will take every short cut they can.

Sorry about the rant guys!

My point stands, at least a good test drive!

mckellyb
05-11-11, 11:53 AM
Cool!

I'm on my phone, now, but not for long!

mckellyb
05-11-11, 02:34 PM
I had a reply 90% pecked out on my Droid, but NOOOOOOO, I grazed a 'virtual' button, and lost it.

True computer to the rescue!

I think your rant is quite important, actually, 'cause people don't understand what a car can 'hide' over short distances/limited speeds. Even temperature differences are important! Baby beater Benz hid the fact reverse doesn't work when the fluid is hot, because I bought it in January. As a result, I've been very selective about parking for the past two years. Live and learn.

This car, in fact, I will be taking on a rather extended drive on the nearby freeway(s) & cloverleafs, to see if I can find anything. I've driven it only around the neighborhood of the "dealer", mainly checking for rattles/clunks/painfully obvious problems. No warped brake discs, no funny noises, doesn't pull under braking, shifts fine at low speeds, but I'm going to spend a solid hour with it before money changes hands. In fact, I'm bringing a large floor jack, stands, and my creeper, so I can poke around underneath...the important area for long life.

I'll be popping off all the center caps, too! Good tip...wouldn't have thought of it.

mckellyb
05-11-11, 04:54 PM
there's more than a few w/ access to GM records... just about anyone at a dealership has access... and how many members work at dealerships?

Chris, you da man!

I can't figure out why GM felt compelled to buy it back, but I know, quite well, the area where the dealer is located where it was serviced, Sewell Village Cadillac. Close to University/Highland park/north Dallas...that area is chock full of people with much too much money combined with not a lick of sense. I'd not be surprised if the keyless ignition is what put them over the new technology edge.... That, or not being able to figure out how to work the NAV system. They bitched enough about something, and they may have been a "known" person, or a regular customer...no telling. Probably replaced it with an Escalade.

/facepalm

In the last 30-40K miles, new brake pads F&R, a thermostat & water pump (I consider both of these wear items, unlike most folks, 'cause I keep vehicles long enough to usually replace a couple of them...they wear out about every 80-100K, longer if you're lucky), a LF motor mount, it seems like people love to kill the battery in this particular car, and some other minor stuff. Minor in my eyes, like weatherstripping, the trunk latch plate, middle rear seatbelt retractor, etc. I consider the computer reprogramming 'minor', in reality, and this may have been what was the root of the buyback in the first place.

The front tires are nearly new, good Pirelli's, but the rears are shot. I'd put the same size shoes on it, all-around, for tire rotation ease. Um, after I run calcs comparing the sizes to make certain they're very close to the same as OEM.

edit: Woo-hoo! Less than a 1% difference in circumference. Well, that makes my decision easy! $133 each or $197 each. Um...yeah.

My mind has been put, relatively, at ease. Sure, it'll have the pall of "LEMON" over the title, but by the time I move on, it'll be fully-depreciated and have probably well over 200K miles on it, proving, there wasn't anything all that wrong with it.

At least that's my theory...and I'm stickin' to it!

Now, to see if I can find out what it went for at auction. I know where it was bought, and about when.... To the Interwebs! Not likely to be successful, but it's worth a shot. My guess is they paid $8K for it, and the reason no dealer's been able to sell it is because of the LEMON curse. Well, one person kept it a while...but some still think cars go 100K miles, and that's it.

RippyPartsDept
05-11-11, 05:39 PM
glad to help... and good luck...

and it's good to see that some people still know how to make lemonade!

mckellyb
05-11-11, 06:55 PM
Thanks!

Yeah, the car I have, now, kinda soured me, but it was a forced purchase, an E-class replacing an S-class, and since October, I've been going round-and-round with RockAuto about control arms which are flat-out wrong for the 94-95 model years, but they won't own up to it. Spent two days trying to figure it out, so it'd be ready when I started a new job with a 67 mi RT commute. Did all the suspension/front-end but those, and they had me flummoxed, 'cause it was close enough for me to think I totally fubar'd something.

Nope.

The more I think about this STS, thanks to your info, the better I feel about going for it. All vehicles have something, maybe this car already had its problem. Hey, I know what I've done to some of my cars, and I wouldn't want someone else doing it before me.

Plus, it'd be the perfect platform for an LSA transplant, later.

Heh, heh....

chazglenn3
05-11-11, 09:55 PM
And it makes for damned good negotiating power... :contract:

EChas3
05-12-11, 12:17 AM
More thaqn a few owners have forced buy-backs on these cars. Objectively speaking, the Voice Recognition feature does not work (pun intended). Many early cars had issues that good dealers could have solved in minutes; alas good dealers are still not dominant.

Picture the poor schmo that paid MSRP $66k and heard exhaust/trans drone and his dealer said, "I don't herar it." Now, the buyer of the same (now used) car under CPO can say, "Try the exhaust system counterweights or re-program the TCM". A used car buyer can be proud if they end up with a new torque converter. No new car buyer will.

Neutrocuted
05-12-11, 02:39 AM
And it makes for damned good negotiating power... :contract:

Now that's what it's all about. Mine has a "Big A$$" mileage alert on the CarFax report. Probably scared away a lot of prospects. But when you read detail by detail you can see there is a 10 mile difference between reports. It was a clerical error when it went in for service at one point, and corrected 2 days later. But CarFax does not care and spalshes the cars report with a big red warning. But I used it as a negotiating point. They had it listed as an "Internet Special" for $17,999. It caught my eye but it was more than I wanted to spend. 3 days later the price dropped to $15,999 (don't know how long they had it at $17,999 or any other pricing),... hmmm. A week later it was at $13,999. I drove it, discovered some of its issues, negotiated $12,719.

They weren't all smiling faces when I left. As a matter of fact the car had a burnt light bulb and they absolutely refused to even consider replacement. Their only comment was "we sold that car to you at wholesale, it's as-is".

The bottom line is know what you're getting in to. And even if you don't, after you sign the papers you will defend your purchase decision for a long way. You'll say "yeah, it had a couple of little problems but they're all good now!" 'Cause that's what I say!

Most times, you're the ball... but some times, you're the bat, and you're smakin' 'em outta the park!

Good Luck!

mckellyb
05-12-11, 10:31 AM
Now that's what it's all about. Mine has a "Big A$$" mileage alert on the CarFax report. Probably scared away a lot of prospects. But when you read detail by detail you can see there is a 10 mile difference between reports. It was a clerical error when it went in for service at one point, and corrected 2 days later. But CarFax does not care and spalshes the cars report with a big red warning. But I used it as a negotiating point. They had it listed as an "Internet Special" for $17,999. It caught my eye but it was more than I wanted to spend. 3 days later the price dropped to $15,999 (don't know how long they had it at $17,999 or any other pricing),... hmmm. A week later it was at $13,999. I drove it, discovered some of its issues, negotiated $12,719.

They weren't all smiling faces when I left. As a matter of fact the car had a burnt light bulb and they absolutely refused to even consider replacement. Their only comment was "we sold that car to you at wholesale, it's as-is".

The bottom line is know what you're getting in to. And even if you don't, after you sign the papers you will defend your purchase decision for a long way. You'll say "yeah, it had a couple of little problems but they're all good now!" 'Cause that's what I say!

Most times, you're the ball... but some times, you're the bat, and you're smakin' 'em outta the park!

Good Luck!

Score!

I had this happen to me when we moved from Texas to CO. There was a delay, somewhere, and the Colorado registration was less than 100 miles less than the Texas registration, which was older, on my wife's '95 Dodge Intrepid 3.5L. FWIW, that was a great twisty road large sedan. Felt like a car 3/5ths its size.

All you had to do was look at it and realize it was an error with no worth.

Clerical error = $5K savings

Bitchin'! The key is to know how to exploit it. This one, I can hold over their head, but honestly, I don't think it's any huge thing. I know where it was sold, and, well, those who live in that area are rather spoiled.

mckellyb
05-12-11, 10:33 AM
No kidding.

My goal is to let them "make" a few hundred bucks on it, max, and now I know why dealers had such a difficult time selling it.

Fine by me.

One of the owners has been driving it as his DD, so, to me, he's made money on it, already, even if I pay exactly what they did, at auction.

turnne
05-16-11, 09:49 AM
what you are running into is car that a lot of dealers..like Sewell Village Cadillac would not deal with on their used car lot
The thought that the chance to put a ding in their reputation by selling this car on their lot is not worth it
So ..a car like the one you are looking at..because of its history.. gets wholesaled..most of the time to an Independent guy who buys it for a song

As I said in the other thread...its a different set of expectation that you should have a for a non retail sale

If you are willing to live with what that means..then it saved you money


Warren

chazglenn3
05-16-11, 10:10 PM
I found something that may interest you Kelly...check your PM box.

mckellyb
05-17-11, 08:28 AM
Thanks, chazglenn3. I'm trying to do my best to avoid black. It looks GREAT, after it's been cleaned, for about 30 minutes. Then...dust.

There is an '09 Jaaaaag Super V8 in town, 25K miles on it, and I might be convinced to buy a $50K car...maybe...under influence of the correct (incorrect?) drugs...but it's black. Looks great in pics, but I've been down that path, the dark color path, before, and it's a losing battle.

I was looking for silver, but now, it's White Diamond, all the way. Love the pearlescent white! If I can combine it with a light interior, I'm in the bonus!

No kids, no pets, my wife and I are neat, so light interior's not a problem.

chazglenn3
05-17-11, 10:38 AM
I hear you! My car is white diamond with light gray interior. I really like this combo...it isn't as common as the white diamond with cashmere combo.

mckellyb
05-17-11, 10:41 AM
I hear you! My car is white diamond with light gray interior. I really like this combo...it isn't as common as the white diamond with cashmere combo.

Yeah, white/light gray is my perfect combo, but I don't know if I can hold out that long....

turnne
05-17-11, 11:00 AM
There is an '09 Jaaaaag Super V8 in town, 25K miles on it, and I might be convinced to buy a $50K car.



wow...that's the complete other side of the gamut in every way

For some reason I just don't see the same person being interested in the Jag..and the couple of STS's in your market

There is a dealer in your area...Texas Mustang Sales( www.texascarsdirect) that always has an ample of newer Jags for good prices

They are in Dallas near 35N and Denton drive


Warren