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Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles

this is now the discussion area for the topic he
started in Smart Shopper Certified Used Vehicles
(Topic #234)

Questions about any used makes/models are welcome


  • Does anyone have experience with "Auto Nation" warranties on used cars? How do these warranties compare with a dealer's warranty?
  • Snap_dragon, I believe that AutoNation offers a 99 day / 3,300 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty from the date that you purchase your used vehicle. AutoNation also offers a 7-day / 300 mile, money-back guarantee if you are not completely satisfied. You can purchase an optional service contract through AutoNation, but this does not cover parts replacement due to what they call "normal wear and tear."

    AutoNation has a one-price, no haggle policy on all retail purchases. Buying from AutoNation costs a little more than if you bought your car from a lot or from an ad in the paper, but they are very selective about their vehicles. All of them must be less than 5 years old and have less than 75,000 miles. They are all put through a comprehensive 165-point certification that is performed by an ASE-certified technician.
  • sue1sue1 Posts: 2
    This doesn't appear to be a very popular topic area but I'll ask my question anyway.

    I have a 1987 Toyota Celica with 136,400 miles on it. The brakes are bad. The left blinker is troublesome, but works with effort. There is some rust but not a huge amount. There is a pretty significant dent on the right side by the back wheel. The tires are good, not great. The engine is great, but there may be a slight oil drip. The windshield is full of little pock marks. Am I forgetting anything? Oh yeah, there are a bunch of really cool bumper stickers on it.

    I'm picking up a new car tonight and asked the dealership what they'd give me for my Celica. At first they said $250. "WHAT???" Then they said $300. I asked a friend of mine who knows cars and who knows my car what he thought it was worth. He thought maybe $400 and he said he'd give me that for it. It sure seems like this car is worth more than that but I have no idea how much more.

    Edmund's doesn't price cars as old as mine. The Kelley Blue Book lists $830 as a trade-in price for my car in fair condition. I consider my car less than in fair condition, but not almost $600 less! The Blue Book for buying my car is about $3,200 but that's for a car in excellant condition sold by an outfit that has spent the time and money to recondition it.

    My dad says I should be able to get $900 for it but that's based on his gut and his being my dad and not wanting me to sell it for a penny less than what I can.

    So I don't know where to get a fair value assessment for my car if I were going to sell it myself. Aside from advertising it and seeing what offers I get, is there an easier way? Please hurry, my friend is waiting!
  • sue1sue1 Posts: 2
    I just realized that maybe this is the wrong place to seek this information. Where better is there?????????
  • You actually should post your question in the Edmund's Smart Shopper's Conference. This would be a much more appropriate forum for this sort of question. Please click here to go there: Smart Shoppers Conference.

    Your Host
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    Toying with the idea of dumping the Integra and
    getting the 328i an older sister (Literally older).
    Just starting shopping for a coupe and haven't
    gotten serious yet. Tried to find out from BMW
    USA's website what you get for certified pre-owned
    car, but their site doesn't list any details at
    all, even in the owner's circle. Can anybody tell
    me what kind of a warranty you get (say on a 97
    coupe with 50K miles) that is certified? Any
    opinions as to whether it's worth the money they
    want for certifying one? What about an aftermarket
    warranty instead? How are they on bang-for-the-buck
    as a substitute? Something nice about having the
    dealer hold the warranty I think...
    I'd appreciate any comments..... Thanks
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    I appreciate this very much. I went to the BMWUSA site, and even joined the "owner's circle" but couldn't find the details of the certified pre-owned package that you have so graciously printed above for me. My error obviously. I did request the information by mail, but didn't want to wait for the info.

    It seems like a reasonable enough warranty plan, although I haven't done any price shopping to see how much extra they think it actually adds to the value of a car.
  • Lokki, I'm glad that this is what you were looking for.

    Smart Shoppers / FWI Co-Host
  • brucec35brucec35 Posts: 246
    The BMW certified used cars seem like solid cars, and the warranty is solid too. My only problem with them was the extremely high relative cost of the car you had to buy to get this benefit.

    I purchased via a private seller a '97 540i auto with 66K miles, solid maint. records, new tires, newly serviced, etc, etc, and its own transferable aftermarket warranty. So far, it's been a great car, and the warranty company didn't balk a bit on the one minor repair (slight leak in valve cover gasket) we used it for. It also quickly paid on the previous owner's one problem, a guage cluster that needed replacing due to a lcd that quit. In fact, they paid the mechanic BEFORE the work was even done on my repair.

    Why am I saying all this? Well, I paid $30,900 for this car. Comparable models(17" sport wheels, prem pkg, leather, cd changer, etc) with extended warranty at BMW dealers were hovering around 38-40K. Add in sales tax of $2700 or so , and you can see that you'd easily have another $10,000 invested in a comparable car if bought at a dealer. $10,000 makes quiet a "rainy day" fund for future repairs, especially when you realize that I won't even need that fund until after my 100,000 mile (and very comprehensive) warranty runs out in about 3 years. Invested at 12%, I'll have about $14,000 more to play with at that time. That's close to 50% of what the car cost me!

    The reasons why for this huge price difference:

    1. You are NOT gonna find a "deal" at a BMW dealer. They know the market well, they know what they need to make in profit, and you will never find a seller in a hurry at a dealer.

    2. Sales tax. On private sales here in GA, you avoid sales tax. Can't do that at a dealer.

    3. Businesses have to make money. Private sellers usually just want a little more than they'd get in a trade-in situation. The retail/wholesale spread on a car in this class can be $6,000 or more. Try to find a seller who just wants to beat what a dealer will give him in trade. It takes time, but it can happen.

    4. Private sellers are rare who can pay cash for a $30,000 plus 3 year old car. Most people selling cars in this class have trouble finding qualified buyers. If you can show up with cash(or a pre-qualified loan), you can save money. Dealers, on the other hand, can finance just about anything through their own financing arms, so they take riskier buyers in exhange for a higher initial price.

    So, in my opinion, check around and shop carefully before considering a certified BMW.
  • someyaksomeyak Posts: 19
    what 3rd party warrenty company did th eprevious owner (and or course you) use?
  • I recently purchased a 97 BMW sedan CPO with 25,000 miles...The car has a 5-speed stick and is immaculate inside and out...Thus far, I have been very pleased with this vehicle...For a 4 cyl.with manual transmission it is very responsive...Its not a 6 cylinder, but it was 5,000.00 less in cost...I have come to the conclusion that you can only go so fast, then you get into trouble....If there are any potential BMW buyers out there looking for a great car at a reasonable price, look at the 318I...Look for a stick only....Same dimensions as the 328I without the added cost...Once consumers educate themselves and drive both there's not that much difference between the two, other than maybe ego...........
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I did test the 318 vs the 328, and also bought a '97 CPO car, and 328. There was a little bit of wear but they are fixing that, and the car has been immaculately maintained. Yes, i could have saved some money by bying from an individual, but not that much, really, and I got a special interest rate through BMW-fs, and a good trade-in too, so the gap between this car and an non-cpo one is narrow enough to where a few small repairs will make it up, and I already have a few. It seemed like a good gamble for peace of mind, roadside assistance, and a ( supposedly ) carefully checked over car, too, though they seemed to have missed a few things. But they will tighten all that up for free. My monetary mistake was probably in trading in my old car, i possibly let maybe as much as $1500 dollars slip away there compared to if I just bargained on the BMW, had fixed up the old car and sold it. Maybe though. $1500 might be quite optimistic. I had let that car get very run down and there were a lot of broken things on it, so actually i may have done very well. It saved me the hassle of fixing/selling it , trying to park 3 cars in my 2 car area, and potentially not getting that $1500 anyways. I might have just broken even, and done a lot more work.

    As for the only advantage of the 328 over the 318 being ego, i think there's a little sour grapes there, the 6 is smoother, easier to use with manual tranny because of the extra torque an rotational mass, and for me gets great mileage ( as good as my 1.9L saturn ) because i'm almost always in the motor's comfort zone, while I used to flog that 4-cyl. Plus, you know, it's faster. :) But the 318 is a fine car too, I'm not knocking it, and I feel fine to recommend it to a person who doesn't want/need the extra power and smoothness. But I wanted a car faster than my old saturn i traded the bmw in on. Plus i never seemed to see a 318 with all the options i wanted, leather, sunroof, etc.

  • abealiabeali Posts: 13
    It was interesting reading those comments about the BMW certified Pre-Owned cars. I have visitied enough BMW dealers in the last 4 weeks to finally become convinced that these certification are not worth the ink they are written with. The CPO however is most certainly a big execuse to jack up the price of two and three year old cars to almost 85% to 90% of brand new cars!! Worst yet, after my eyes became trained at picking up on the little things with repeated visits, I am sure that this certification process is not all that it is trumpeted up to be. Sure they do an oil change and give the car, the engine and the carpet a good scrub and a waxing, but I don't think they do much more than that. I know from Car Man's previous post that the certification doesn't cover the air filter, but 3 out of every 4 cars I inspected at half a dozen dealership had badly clogged air filters and an air intake housing full of debris in that very clean engine compartment. At one well known dealership in Los Angeles, their 98 CPO 528IA was missing a hub cap, the tools in the tool tray in the back, the floor mats which were supposed to be stashed in the trunk, and the owners' manual. I just don't think that a thorough inspection costing the dealer a couple of thousands should consistently produce such substandard results. I have really been a big fan of BMWs and have owned them before, but something strange is happening with BMW dealerships lately. They are becoming too arrogant in my view, and there are just too many other choices than to keep going to them. I certainly agree with the previous post that a private purchase from a current BMW owner is much more advantageous. I am considering such car at this time, plus other "luxury Sedan" brands where the dealers are willing to work with you. Lexus is certainly one of those .... just a smattering of thoughts on my disappointing experience with several BMW dealers. I feel that if these guys want my business, then they can start pricing their cars fairly, and they can quit acting as if the supply of BMW-hungry instant yuppie Internet millionaires will never dry up!
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    My 328 was a few thousand more than i could have gotten a similar car from from a private owner, it's true. But for that premuim i got a few benefits:

    1) BMW warranty with BMW dealer service, roadside assistance, etc. I was nervous about getting a second pricey euro car, and this helped a lot. Since the warranty is through BMW i trust them to care about the car more than a 3rd party warranty shop, and use OEM parts, etc.

    2) A checked-over car ( though this was not all THAT great, it seems )

    3) They gave me a good value for my trade, which saved hassle and made the loan smaller.

    4) I got financed with a special CPO rate that was substantially better than other used car loans i could have gotten.

    It is nice to go the the dealer, find a car i can be quite confident in ( warrantry/inspection), have them accept my trade, and finance me in an hour, and i'm out the door with a car. This saves a great deal of time and hassle. If you count the good financing i got, this convienence really didn't cost that much.

    Yes, i did "leave a little money on the table" but i already did that when I got a BMW as opposed to a chevy metro, right?

    But i am not tied to the program, and if i get another BMW i might use it, might not. The extended warranty is not quite as good as the OEM one, but it does cover the major components, at least.

  • My oh so courteous BMW Salesman said BMW produces 80-85% of its perceived demand for BMWs. The last 15+% is satisfied by the re-leasers. This insures the profitability of the leasing programs. His quote,"Usually its the 3rd driver that actually "owns" the car." BMW leasing 'owns' the bulk of the prime used cars and thus drives the resale price. They can tweak the system throughout the process. last year, he said BMW offered early termination to 3 year leases to satisfy their overall business model. If you have an oversupply of 2000s because of a HP upgrade in the 2001 model, just drop a note to your 1997 lessors at 30-31 months saying we'll let you out of your lease with no penalty if you'll lease a 2000. Oh yeah, a new BMW lease EARLY!! Where do I sign up? They have great repeat leases, and everyone is happy, except for a cheapskate like me who thinks a BMW is overpriced.:-( But at least I see they own the whole game. Nice car, too.
  • Also, my experienced independent BMW mechanic purchased a CPO 7-series which (after the first rain) leaked in the trunk. He then realized it had been in an accident!

    I've found Weatherford BMW in IPO-Ground-Zero Northern California to be the epitomy of arrogance. They steered me to 92s & 93s when I asked to see a $20,000 vehicle, when BMW's own CPO website can turn up at least a few 97s at $19999.

    BMW ownership has almost become conformist. AFter 10 years of enjoying my (2nd owner) private-import BMW (it has made it to 205,000 miles), I'm moving on to a less arrogant marque with a rarer model (selling only 1,000 month in the US) that reflects my own personal passion for individuality.
  • lokkilokki Posts: 1,200
    What is a "a less arrogant marque with a rarer model (selling only 1,000 month in the US) that reflects my own personal passion for individuality"?

    You can tell us.....
  • We bought a 97 318ti about 6 mos. ago from Century West BMW in North Hollywood. 11,000 miles on it. Asking price was $20K, bought at $17,800, about halfway between KBB wholesale and retail. Reasonable to me, at least.

    Brought it in twice for service. First time to deal with an over-sensitive motion detector. Second time for a loose heater control cable and a warped glove box door that closes but won't stay properly locked. They fixed the control cable, special ordered the door, and washed my car before they gave it back. No charge, no hassle, no attitude for buying the cheapest bimmer on the lot.

  • I purchased a pre-certified 740iL in November 1999. The car had 45k miles on it when bought and now has 75k. I believe the car has been in for repairs almost every month.... thank god for the 100k warranty. Without it I estimate I would have paid between 6-7k in the first year alone. Imagine the dread I feel with the 100k mark quickly approaching. I've talked to BMW North America.... false sympathy and excuses,"After the warranty period your on your own". DOES ANYONE HAVE A SUGGESTION ON WHO I CAN GO TO FOR SATISFACTION????? DESPERATE IN HOUSTON
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Sorry about your plight....but if BMW is honoring the warranty, I don't see what complaint you have against them....a used car is "buyer beware". I don't mean to be at all unsymphathetic, but had you investigated the repair record on this model you may have been warned off prior to purchase.

    Now that you own it, you have to make the best of it unless you wish to pursue costly litigation on some legal ground that is beyond the scope of the Board or the people who give advice. We aren't legally capable, so....

    I'd say just stick with it, get them to replace as many parts as possible, and bail out with some warranty still left (I presume it is transferable), so you'll have a sales tool of sorts.
  • If BMW is repairing the car under warranty, you really have limited legal reprieve. If you are so worried about ownership after 100K, there's an easy solution: sell the car. No biggie.

    You ARE on your own after the warranty expires. So since your car seems like a real nightmare, just get rid of it and move on. When you buy a car with 45K, particularly a technical marvel like the 740iL, you have no control over the first owner's actions. They could have beat the heck out that car, and now the wear is starting to show.
  • q45manq45man Posts: 416
    Did a study of Maintenance and repair cost of Flagships for Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, vs 740 models during extended warranty period say 60k -100k for 94-95 models they all averaged between 0.10 and 0.22 cents per mile if every thing was repaired.
    Our experience with repairing over 4300 customer vehicles [Lexus and Infiniti] in Atlanta in the last 5 years indicates they typically run about $3,000 per +- $500 per year or 15 cents per mile which ever is greater [roughly 5%/yr of NEW purchase price]. With LS400 being consistently the lowest!!!
    Luckily the extended warranty period gets rid of early failed components and leaves the transmission as the most expensive component to fail.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    those are interesting stats, thank you. They sound about right. For your info, Ferrari costs are about $1 a mile, and a Rolls-Royce perhaps .50 cents per mile. I don't think you could run a luxury car any cheaper than you can with a Lexus, I'd have to agree.
  • madfootmadfoot Posts: 5
    I found a GREAT deal on a '98 Honda today and I'd love to buy it, but this dealer is giving me the heebie-jeebies.

    He said it is a certified pre-owned Honda, and that it has 35,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty. Is this possible from a run-of-the-mill used car lot? Do I have to ask to see something, to prove it's certified, and if so, what do I ask to see?

    Also, when I take it for a test drive/inspection, do I get, like, a certificate?

    Help. Pleez. The car's a cutie.
  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    A shop can open up and set up a certification for used cars and they would be certified. Would that mean anything? Probably not.
    Used cars that are manufacturer certified may be a little more reputable, but understand that the certification is only as good as the place giving the certification.
    Remember, the dealer that is certifying the used car is also the dealer who is trying to sell it.
    Something to think about.
    Personally, certified or not, I would have an outside source check out the vehicle.
  • madfootmadfoot Posts: 5
    Oh, no doubt--I'm taking it to a mechanic tomorrow.

    But what about this mythical warranty? He said it was a Honda warranty, for their certified pre-owned cars. What should I ask to see?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    Can mean anything.

    If it's a Honda certified used car it's for real. That car had to go through a very intense inspection in order to be Honda Certified.

    The warranty is for real.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ....... That word, is now the new.. "cure all"..phrase.....

    Believe me ...I'm not trying to defend ..or knock any stores..or manfacturers...I'm a dealer, so I have heard, or seen it all ---- I feel -opatience- is just giving some good advice ......

    I have friends that are Toyota, Ford, Acura, Subaru...etc dealers ..and some are absolutly the best --- and some ..aren't so good --- But, I feel that is just good advice to have the vehicle checked .....

    When I go to one of the auctions ...--- I have the vehicles checked and "certified" cost me $275 to have the wheels, brakes, transmission, compression, computer and a diagnostic done --- but, it does cover that vehicle --- and that just makes me feel.. very comfortable --- if it fails ..the auction buys it back........

    I hope this helps....

  • 0patience0patience Oregon CoastPosts: 1,712
    As was said, if the warranty is in affect, then it is good.
  • jelliot2jelliot2 Posts: 17
    She seems to be implying that the car is not on a Honda lot. Does Honda allow Honda certified cars to be sold by non-Honda dealers?
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