As the 'car guy' at work I got asked to help buy a car.
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Thread: As the 'car guy' at work I got asked to help buy a car.

  1. #1
    I spend too much of my life on FST! Ayada's Avatar
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    As the 'car guy' at work I got asked to help buy a car.

    A guy at work recently totaled his Yaris in an ice storm, and was looking for a replacement. Earlier today he stops by my office and asks me what I think about a 2009 Hyundai Accent. Told him I really wasn't impressed with Hyundais of that era and that if it were me I would look elsewhere. Tells me he couldn't find anything in his price range, as according to him anything above 120k miles is death for a car. I didn't really care enough to argue this with him, but he insisted on me checking out this Hyundai in person. He's sure that I will change my mind once I see it, and he will buy me dinner. Well hey, I won't say no to free dinner especially as I had no food at home so away we went.

    We get there and it's the usual affair with cheap cars: It was a rental, the seats were torn, the radio was punched in, the hood wouldn't open as I believe the cable was torn, dead battery, etc, etc. On the other hand, the body was in pretty good shape and there was a surprising lack of rust to be found.

    But the salesman though. I know, not all salesmen are terrible. I liked the guy who I bought my Focus from, and he will be my go to guy when I need another video. But this guy? A completely different story. Seemed to know a few technical terms, but in general seemed clueless. Said a lot of things that should of turned away most people. Some highlights:

    • Was using a Nokia phone. You know, the old ones that haven't been sold in decades.
    • "Had one of these suckers and it lasted me a good one fifty before the stearing gave out and I totaled it. It's a good reliable car."
    • "You know, this is a real performance engine. Got 16 of them valves in it so it breaths real good. Probably the best engine made out there."
    • "It's got some premium wheels on, certainly nicer than any I've seen" (They where chrome plastic hubcaps)


    Needless to say, my coworker was enthralled. It's got 16 "of them" valves and one similar got all the way to 150k miles before the steering rusted out and slammed it into a wall so why bother test driving the thing? Not like we even could, but that doesn't matter now! Off he goes to sign the papers and I'm left standing there wondering why I even bothered to come. Whatever, not my money and I was still getting free dinner out of it.

    I walk over to Challenger Hellcat they have in the show room to entertain myself, and of course my new favorite person in the world manages to sneak away and find me. Tells me I could lease "this sucker" for only $3,000 down and $800 a month! I mean why wouldn't I? It's got those red brakes, and you know they stop good because of the slots in the disks. It's got two speakers in the trunk. Two! How many does my car have? Only one? Well this is twice that! It's got adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring and some sort of entertainment system in it. You know, all the things you would want a Hellcat for. No mention of the engine at all, because who really cares about things like that? Surprisingly, I turned him down just in time for my coworker to come find me to get the hell out of there. We go to pick up this thing tomorrow, which I am sure will be another adventure.

    TL'DR: I never knew buying an econobox could be so entertaining, but an old guy proved me wrong many times over.

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    I spend too much of my life on FST! MisterNoisy's Avatar
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    When anyone asks me what they should buy without providing any other context, I just say 'Toyota Corolla'. It's a safe, durable car that is generally tolerant of lax maintenance, so it's a safe recommendation.

    Mostly, I find that people are really just looking for validation of the decision they've already made, so I just think of something nice to say and call it good.

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    I'm that guy for computers. Someone will ask what computer they should buy; laptop or desktop? Ram? Hard drive? What's the difference between ram and hard drives? I've learned to not spend a bunch of time looking for an acceptable computer on sale because most people are just browsing and it's a total waste of time. Now I just tell them what to expect to pay, and don't get specific unless they take me computer shopping with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoachRage View Post
    I'm that guy for computers. Someone will ask what computer they should buy; laptop or desktop? Ram? Hard drive? What's the difference between ram and hard drives? I've learned to not spend a bunch of time looking for an acceptable computer on sale because most people are just browsing and it's a total waste of time. Now I just tell them what to expect to pay, and don't get specific unless they take me computer shopping with them.
    lol, me too.. "Find something you like, they all use the same parts inside.." Now if they are really looking for specifics I will go into actual recommendations.
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    I spend too much of my life on FST! Ayada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNoisy View Post
    When anyone asks me what they should buy without providing any other context, I just say 'Toyota Corolla'. It's a safe, durable car that is generally tolerant of lax maintenance, so it's a safe recommendation.

    Mostly, I find that people are really just looking for validation of the decision they've already made, so I just think of something nice to say and call it good.
    That was my recommendation as well, but "they" were all over this magic death mile mark. I agree with you on the validation part, he was going to buy it anyways and just wanted a "car guys" approval. Most of his questions were the "Would you rather have this car or [Insert car here with twenty conditions on why it's bad here]?" The stupid kind of loaded questions where he gets the answer he's looking for.

    Quote Originally Posted by RoachRage View Post
    I'm that guy for computers. Someone will ask what computer they should buy; laptop or desktop? Ram? Hard drive? What's the difference between ram and hard drives? I've learned to not spend a bunch of time looking for an acceptable computer on sale because most people are just browsing and it's a total waste of time. Now I just tell them what to expect to pay, and don't get specific unless they take me computer shopping with them.
    Yep, I get those too. Unfortunately none of them ever have realistic budgets, even with computer parts being so cheap. It's always around the $300 mark. My brother in law pestered me monthly, for three years, about building him a "gaming" computer. Every time I would just give him a budget he would drop it for a few days. Saved me a lot of time as well from looking. Finally my sister of all people got sick of this and just threw money at me. Of course, that was two years ago and he's turned the thing on a couple dozen times at most.
    Last edited by Ayada; 02-17-2017 at 08:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterNoisy View Post
    When anyone asks me what they should buy without providing any other context, I just say 'Toyota Corolla'. It's a safe, durable car that is generally tolerant of lax maintenance, so it's a safe recommendation.

    Mostly, I find that people are really just looking for validation of the decision they've already made, so I just think of something nice to say and call it good.
    Bingo! I do the same thing. I am the "car guy" everyone comes to as well since, unfortunately, 95% of my friends aren't really into cars like me Anyways...They usually have a few in mind and there are a handful of cars I will flat out say no to due to experience and often I find their mind is already made up and things like facts, reason, data, experience, consumer reports, etc. don't mean anything. Luckily my family listens to me and we all have reliable cars (we happily just got rid of my moms garbage 05' Beetle). Friends tend to listen to me as well.

    Had I been in OP's position I would have pleaded with the guy not to buy it. Patience can go a long way to finding a good reliable car in ones price range.
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    My realtor enlists my help every time she gets ready to buy a new car. As her career progresses, she moves up the scale of the cars she buys. She finally dipped her toe into the luxury market with the Audi Q5 she bought 3 years ago. I consider it a fun challenge to keep her on the straight-and narrow in regard to her 'wants', her 'must haves' and things she wants to avoid. Her biggest complaint about the Q5 in the last 3 years is the wind noise around the front of the driver's window, but she complained about that on her Murano, Pathfinder and CX-9, so I may just have to put an earplug in her left ear. It's looking like we're off to test drive a Merc GLE, Jag F-Pace, BMW X5 and Volvo X90 next weekend. Wish I had her transportation budget.
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    Unfortunately I've been asked this question. I have recommended Toyota in general, Civics, base model Focus. I get the funny look because they were wanting something like a new Audi or a Lexus. Some people want to have the high life on minimum wage. Fk my life.
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