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Accelerated Evolution

Adventures In New Car Purchases


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My first rant that is not about a woman, quite the accomplishment; no, please, sit down, I don't need a standing ovation.

We all know how ridiculous and almost frightening it is to buy a car at any dealership, but being born with a silver tongue and a hagglers wit, I thought I was cut out for this perilous adventure.

I was wrong.

I was approved for a large auto loan at a car dealership that is 30 miles away from my house after searching for acceptable rates, and this one seemed to fit. Burlington Chevy was the place, which was affiliated with a VW and Kia dealership, I went in looking for a Mazda6 or something similar: good on gas, manual transmission, and was fast as a 6-cylinder could deliver. I step up to the proverbial dealership plate with my fiancee and "Dave" is ready for us with a curveball aimed right at my feet, he knew what I was coming for and was ready to deliver the fatal blow.

"Sorry, but I don't have a Mazda6 in stick in the color you wanted, but I do have some similar models".

"Similar models" meant higher priced cars. I played the game and agreed to look around with him and we landed on a beautiful '06 Jetta 2.5 (28K miles) with all black leather interior and all the luxury options inside with that beautiful stickshift right in the center, the icing on the cake. We hopped in and told us to come back when we felt like it, which I did. I drove down the highway pounding through the gears and testing everything I could think of. Everything came back clean, and I was pretty much sold, it had the same punch as the Mazda6 I drove earlier that month, plus more options and a nicer interior (which was immaculate).

My Wrangler trade and 16,000$ later, I was driving home in my first semi-new car ever, it was a great feeling. A week later, it would turn to anger and anguish, for a few days before my fiancees birthday, the check engine light came on, oh, I was about to have a shit fit. I called the dealership and they told me to come in ASAP, which I had no time to. I actually didn't have that time until my fiancees birthday, and we were forced to go on that day for I feared the "problem" would get worse. They take the car in and tell me it's a vapor leak in the ECU, and that it's a quick fix, and I would have it back the following day.

They send me to an Enterprise to pick up a car that they were covering for me while the repairs are being done, which was fine because I work a few days a week at a small rent-a-car place in my free time and we always have nice cars ready to rent. To my despair all Enterprise had was a van, a fucking Town & Country. I laughed at the desk rep and told her she was joking if she's making me drive a gas guzzler, because all I needed was a small car. She told me all she could do was take the gas charge off, and that they would have a car tomorrow if I came back in, so basically I wa being told to drive 60 miles on a quarter tank of gas in a huge van. Thanks, asshole.

Lo and behold, the following day Chris at the VW dealership calls me and tells me he's going to need the car one more day, and promised it would be done on Thursday. So I drive all the way back to the Enterprise location and go to get my car they promised me. The fearful smile the girl had at the register when I came in was all I needed to know.

"Um......we don't have any cars, I'm sorry. We won't have one until....I think 5:30, if you want to wait. You should have called"

The time was 3:00.

Haha, right, I should have called to confirm again what you confirmed for me the previous day not even 24 hours ago. I said, calmly, I would wait, and walked next door to the VW dealership because the van had no gas left, the only way I got it back was literally coasting down the 40MPH road at around 30MPH for 30 miles. I went and sat in their waiting room and read my favorite magazine, "Forbes Small Business" (Starting my own business soon, another thread). 5:30 rolled around and my fiancee was already heading home and I was going to be late for no good reason. When I had returned, they had an '08 Sentra ready for me, not a bad ride, but still a very shitty one. I drive the "wonderful rental" home and pretty much eat my dinner with a grimace.

Today is Thursday, they have had the car for two more days than they said they needed it, and Chris calls me at lunch, "sorry, man, ha....ha....I need your car for one more day...uh, I....I haven't recieved the part yet. Um....I'm..I'm really sorry". "Wait, what? You haven't received the part you told me was on overnight shipping yesterday?" "Um...yeah...I uh, tired to go all over to different dealership for you [lie], and I couldn't find the part, I really tried, man [lie]. I just need it for one more day, it will be done tomorrow and ready for pickup at noon, I promise". He told me I didn't even have to call, just had to show up at noon after I was done with work (I work 4AM to 11:30AM M-F).

Alright, so here we are, today, at Friday. I finish up my hectic shift at work and I head straight to the dealer after work, ready to return my rental and get my car which I have only truly owned for a week in two weeks time. I walk in the service department, and the two desk workers there exchange nervous glances because they have learned my face by the amount of times I had already been there. They immediately call for Chris and tell me to wait, and when Chris sees me waiting, arms crossed, with a blank look on my face staring dead at him, knowing that I already knew was was going on, he turned right around and motioned for me to wait one second. He returned from the garage with a faux "Shit, I'm fucked" smile on his face. I step up to him, and even though I'm only 5'10, I tower over him, and he nervously utters..."Um, I'm going to need the car again, for another day, the shipment was missing a valve cover we needed."

Anger turns to rage. I grit my teeth after realizing driving over 200 miles collectively to and from this dealership over 5 days time, I would be making the trip one more time. I started to talk through my teeth, asking how far he was going to push me before a lawyer was going to get involved; every ounce of my body yearned to grab his puny neck and squeeze the life out of it, I had to literally restrain myself during the conversation. He told me it would be done tomorrow, or at the latest, Monday. I stared at him and the the wall for a long while, all the while everyone in the service department is staring at me. He told me he was sorry a million times and I left without saying a word. I hopped in my rental and fishtailed the car out of the lot and sped home, red-lining on the highway in utter rage of how rediculous this all was.

So, I find out tomorrow what the result is, and I will post it here. This is mainly a public service announcement/warning to anyone here who is thinking of buying a dealer car. Although I have the manufacturers warranty, as well as the extended warranty, tires and wheels coverage, and gap insurance, nothing can alleviate the stress of not being able to drive a brand new car a week after you bought it in complete confidence.

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I feel for you man. Sucks that you have to go through this.

One thing that I have learned in the past is to never buy a used car at a dealership. Only buy new. Dealers have the power to Mickey Mouse a lot of things in a used car making it seem like it's new & that it runs fine, but after a few days, you start finding all kinds of random failures in the car. If you buy from a private owner, it's a lot harder for him/her to get the car to run & look like new. You'll immediately know if you have found a good buy or a piece of shit as soon as you see the car. Another thing, German cars can be a real pain in the ass when it comes to electronics. They can be a nightmare. Hopefully these idiots take care of it.

You might want to find a VW forum & post your thoughts on there. I'm sure that a few owners will be able to help you out. As for now, you will have to bear with it until it's fixed. If they keep dicking around, then having a lawyer around will help very much. (^_^ )

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