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Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles



  • Hey NOW!!! HA HA! You know I was running errands in an S4 today and the drivers side window started going up and down for no reason. THANK GOD for certification! :blush:
  • Hi!
    I test drove a 2003 Toyota Highlander and returned a few days later and bought it. The salesman proundly pointed out that it was a "Certified" vehicle. I had read the Edmunds info and felt this was a deciding factor in my purchase.

    When I got it home I realized that 1. the manual had disappeared from the glovebox 2. there was no "Vehicle History Report" in my paperwork and 3. the windshield wipers are completly shot (I had not examined them on the test drive). I would like to know when to schedule an oil change, Etc.(I need to prove that I'm maintaining the vehicle to keep the warranty good) but the saleman has not returned my phone calls.

    So exactly what did they do for the "160-point Quality Assurance Inspection" and the $600 'Dealer Prep"?

    Its not like I bought this thing from a guy in a raincoat in an alley. What information/action should I reasonably expect from my dealership?
    Regards, Dee
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Rather than call, pull into the service department and talk to a service advisor. They'll be able to pull up the service history (at least what they did for service). The saleperson would need to go through service to get the info you want, so try going right to the source.
  • i,ve just purchased a 98 mustang, after driving it a few times went to started up the battery light start blinking and the steering wheel stiffing making it almost impossible to steer and the brakes wont stop the car immediately. what might be the reason for that? is it because the battery is dying or dead?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Hi badboymust,
    This discussion is about shopping for certified used vehicles. You are much more likely to get help on our Maintenance & Repair board, and you can get there by clicking on my link. Good luck with your car problems!


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,726
    definitely not a battery problem if happening while car running and driving. if you tell me where you repost, we can discuss it further.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • sdempseysdempsey Posts: 3
    I bought a certified used car. The salesperson emailed the features and they included intermittent wipers and alloy wheels. I asked if the wheels were alloy when I first arrived and they said yes. They looked steel but I believed them. They also said it had intermittent wipers. I specifically asked these questions. The window sticker and the emails sent also stated the features of alloy wheels and intermittent wipers. The wheels are steel and no intermittent wipers.
    I was told the window sticker disclaimer lets them off the hook on these 2 non-existent features. I plan to take them to small claims court. Anyone have any experience with this type of problem?

  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... What is the year, make and model.....?

  • sdempseysdempsey Posts: 3
    2004 Nissan Xterra
  • sdempseysdempsey Posts: 3
    Still wondering if anyone has any suggestions or comments?
  • Hi!
    Thanks for the advice! Actually, as I was leaving for a 6 hour drive, I did a "pre-flight check" (something my father taught me) and the oil was dirty. Hmmm, strange for a vehicle fresh from a 160 Point Quality Assurance Program. :confuse: So I dropped into the dealer's service department on my way out of town. According to his computer records NOTHING :surprise: was done to my Toyota Highlander but a wash and carpet vacumn and a 20 day shuffle around the parking lot. I had him recheck the fluids and told the salesman, the sales manager and the service manager what happened and that I would schedule my car for the proper servicing when I came back to Miami the following week. I'll post the results of my experiences.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Hmmm, strange for a vehicle fresh from a 160 Point Quality Assurance Program. So I dropped into the dealer's service department on my way out of town. According to his computer records NOTHING was done to my Toyota Highlander but a wash and carpet vacumn and a 20 day shuffle around the parking lot.

    I would definitely let corporate Honda know about this.... If this dealer is putting "Certified" cars out there that they're not properly servicing in order to maximize profit, then Honda will be mighty pissed. You could chalk it up to a simple mistake on this car, but if the R.O. was only written up for a car wash, then it seems like their whole process for certifying a car is waaaaay off.
  • Hi!
    Could have been a mistake and the salesman did seem startled. He whipped up a 2004 manual (said it was the same as my 2003 model) for me before I drove away and he had been putting me off before this happened. I printed out the 160 point inspection list from the Toyota site and checked off the stuff I noticed was questionable on my car. I'll take it with me when I go for my service. I'll also take 2 boxes of fresh donuts for the service crew. My moto is "Carry a big stick and a couple of jelly donuts!!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225

    That window sticker shouldn't have listed items that the car didn't have but this can happen sometimes. I think they input the VIN number and they think that's enough to tell them what model the car is. That part is true but there can be equipment differences.

    But, seriously, if those options were that important to you, you should have checked for yourself.
  • 9bj9bj Posts: 1
    Hi! I just need an experts' opinion about my car problem. I bought 1998 Chrysler Intrepid 2 months ago from the mechanic store. It was e-tested and certified. (I'm in Canada) A couple of days ago I noticed that car made ticking sounds when I was waiting for the next signal on the road. I got back home as soon as possible and I found there was smoke coming out of the front hood, and the anti-freeze liquid was spilling right under the engine. I even refilled some anti-freeze liquid and it came down right a way. I went to the mechanic and they recommended to replace the whole engine. Because the car was certified, I would like to know if the seller would've known this will happen soon and just hid the fact from me. And is there any other solutions other than replace a new engine... I really need help...
  • rolexrobrolexrob Posts: 11
    Agreed, I bought my 2001 Sentra XE last April and Carmax did not change the oil either. It was really dirty and they said they changed it before I bought it!!
    Pleasen NEVER buy a vehicle fdrom CAR :mad: MAX!!!
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    what certified means to me?
    in a word it means 'Rip off'

    Especially if the car is still under the manufacturers warranty. It also means you are buying from a dealer which always means you pay a big mark up.

    Certified in my opionion is worth about $100 - cause it's about a hour and a half of a mechanics time going over stuff that is fairly basic.

    As for those who say you could buy a lemon from a private party - well it can happen on a certified vehicle too.
  • jwilliams2jwilliams2 Posts: 910
    As one who has bought several certified cars, I would have to disagree with you. Many certified warranties extend the number of years as well as the mileage. Last car I bought had a 4yr/50k factory warranty, and the certified program took me to 6yr/100k. So at 80k or so, if you have a problem, its covered. I really think that is worth more than $100.
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    what certified means to me?
    in a word it means 'Rip off'

    Yeah, I also disagree.... Perhaps you're looking at different CPO programs than I am, or perhaps you aren't particular well-versed in what they include.

    First of all, the inspection criteria on certified checklists are typically fairly extensive. Every manufacturer uses a different # "points", but they are all more than just a standard state inspection-type-of-thing. Also, if you buy a car from a private party or from a mom-n-pop lot, have they done any of that inspection work? If it's a dealer that doesn't sell/service that make of car, did they really know what they were doing with that "stranger" car?.... Hard to know.

    Next.... Say you buy a 3 year old BMW with 40k miles on it. It'll have 1 year and 10k miles warranty left on it.... If you plan to keep the car for at least another 3 years or 60k, when paying maybe $1000-$1500 in a certified car versus non-certified would be totally worth it, IMO. You get an extra 2 years and 50k miles of warranty. Perhaps you'll never need the warranty... Who knows? But what are the chances you'll pay more than $1000 in repairs on that used car after next year? Pretty high, would you say?

    The other thing, which perhaps you are not aware of, is that many manufacturers have incentive interest rates on particular years and models. On some cars you can get low rates like 0%, 1.9%, 2.9%, etc... That's something that no bank or credit union can match, especially on 3/4/5 year old used cars. There's other things, too, like how right now if you buy a Certified 2003 BMW 3-series, BMW Financial Services will pay your first 2 months payment.... That's something you won't be able to get anywhere else.
  • pupaupairpupaupair Posts: 6
    Ok,Guys, here's what happened.
    I scheduled an appointment to do the certification routine on a Wednesday. I asked for a rental car because it looked like they would have to do alot of stuff (and its part of the warranty contract anyway...A point I had to bring up because the salesman was hesitating about providing one).
    Service kept it until Saturday because they had trouble locating matching tires. The service manager called Sat. morning and said to come get it, they closed the rental office and the service bays at 1 PM. I just made it and like Cinderella at midnight, the rental was whisked away, the service manager smiled as he chained off the bays, told me to get the keys from the desk and waved a hand toward the south side of the dealership. I wandered around until I found the car. It was dirty and dusty from sitting in the shop(I had washed it before I took it to them) and it still didn't have any floormats but it did have a new cigarette lighter, new wiperblades, a working dome light, 2 new tires, clean fluids and a "certified car" sticker on the windshield. Several days later I found the "Certified Check-off list" in the glovebox with all the list's boxes neatly checked off--including the ones noting that the car was washed/polished/carpets cleaned and the floormats in place. Probably wouldn't have been so sad if the carpet in the back didn't still have the little indentations where there HAD been floormats when I had taken my test drive.
    So I'm pretty neutral about the experience. The vehicle is OK. I can wash and vacume my own car. I'll buy my own floormats and buff out the scratches the service manager said didn't come under the program. But the lack of pride in follow-through (when this was a major dealer's screw-up) shows how my future problems will be handled at this dealership. I will always wonder what else was cheerily checked off the list without really being done. Would I recommend buying a "Certified" Toyota to a friend? No. Buy from this dealer? Nah.
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833
    if you're including an extended warranty then that's more than just certified.

    It's easy to figure out just what the cost is for a certified vehicle vs. going out and having a car inspected on your own and buying a warranty on your own - compare that to what the dealers ask, and I think it's way too much.

    When I sold my lexus Es300, the buyer wanted it "certified" by the dealer. For $135, Lexus put the car through a very simple check list, none of which included engine compression. This, they told me, was the same list they use to "certify" their used cars. I thought it provided very little value to the customer. But seeing he purchased my car at a private party price, he did well.

    A friend of mine just purchased a 1 year old Honda - she insisted on getting a "certified" used car from the dealer.
    Actually they call them "pre-owned" (marketing spin). I told her since the car is still covered by the manufacturers warranty, that she'd be better off finding a private party transaction - she could of saved $2,000 in my opinion and still had a car covered under the factory warranty.

    I guess my goal is to avoid the dealer unless I have service that is covered by the warranty.
  • kmaziarzkmaziarz Posts: 1
    I'm new to buying cars so any help is appreciated. I'm looking to purchase an 2005.5 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro, 4 cylinder, 6-speed manual with only standard features. The car is pre-certified with only 4,000 miles on it. I researched many places to figure out the true value of the car (kelley blue book, edmunds, etc.), but if anyone is familiar with what a good starting negotiation price is, I could use the help. Thanks!
  • sayo612sayo612 Posts: 1
    On 5/22/06 I picked up my 2004 certified Yukon XL Denali,however we were sold this vehicle with lots of features including nav. system,dvd system etc...we drove 3hrs to the state of NJ from Long Island NY to pick it up when we were ready to leave we wanted to set the nav. but it would not work,when we asked the the manager he said it did not have a disc and he would try to get one(nothing yet)no wireless headphones,bad tires that their serv. mngr. stated they are not good (shouln't this be covered by my warraty?) and to top if off no registration and plates that we paid for so they could process and their temp registration expired with no extension options.So now I can't drive my car, GMC can't do anything for me and the dealer won't help.
    Who can I contact? :( :mad:
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    My Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School cook book is Green! :P
  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    What's really great is when a customer goes through all the books and takes the Highest number for his / her trade and the Lowest number for the car they want to buy!!! :confuse:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,726
    What's really great is when a customer goes through all the books and takes the Highest number for his / her trade and the Lowest number for the car they want to buy!!! :confuse:

    I've had so many dealers do this exact same thing (offering me the lowest while demanding the highest for the car they are selling) that I can't even remember them all.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • cadillacmikecadillacmike Posts: 543
    It definately goes both ways! I've had dealers try to do it to me many times.
  • aspesisteveaspesisteve Posts: 833

    dealers are notorious for expecting a 20-30% ding below "wholesale" for a trade to "cover" their costs to "prep" the car, when in fact they usually just send them off to auction. The same car will typically wind up on a lot asking 50% above what someone got for it from the dealer.

    cadillacs are probably the worst of the bunch when it comes to depreciation and resale hit when you combine it with the old timer loyal GM buyers who lack modern negotiating skills.

    yes, some buyers will want to pay invoice and get blue book, but most dealers do the opposite for a living.
  • kdkatkdkat Posts: 3
    Hello, I hope somebody can help me. Last year, I travelled 107 miles to get the make/model/color Honda CR-V of my dreams. I located it on Honda's CPO Vehicles WebPages, so I really feel as if I fell under the spell of their corporate marketing strategy, and not under the advertising spiel of any particular Honda dealership.

    I noticed dings in the hood right away, and the dealership made me bring the vehicle back to them for repairs instead of fixing it locally (which would've been a helluva lot more convenient for me, and which would have been more fair, considering I thought they should have caught said dings during the "150-point inspection" process," but I let that slide...)

    During the past 12 months, I've replaced all four tires and all four brake pads. It could be argued that these items are due to driver's habits, so I'm willing to absorb these costs (even though they were supposed to be checked, again, during the 150-point inspection). However, what I find a little hard to swallow is the cost of yesterday's...$689 condensor!

    Yes, my A/C refused to yield cool air even though I had it wide open after work (it's Texas hot around here). So I went to my local Honda dealership for service, and they showed me the problem. My A/C condensor was crushed from a full-frontal road hazard impact; looks like the CR-V was involved in a head-on collision. The freon has been leaking out slowly ever since. A piece of metal has rusted, the coils are crushed in, but a previous owner ever so thoughtfully replaced the tell-tale front chrome grill. How thoughtful of them.

    My question is, how could the Honda dealer who sold me the CR-V have missed this obviously dented-in condensor (well, now that I've been shown it after driving around for half a day in bad Texas heat) after performing a 150-point inspection checklist? With one item which clearly states, "Condensor free of rust and no road hazard damage?"

    I no longer trust the Honda dealer after the paint damage on hood fiasco. Will Honda help me resolve this problem? Has anyone had any experience with them? Does anyone know who to call? Any words of advice before I prepare to do battle? Grrr..... :sick:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 25,726
    Well, to help your situation, I suggest dropping all of your other complaints and focusing on this one. Why? Because everything else you mentioned (except POSSIBLY the brakes) should have been noticed by YOU before buying the car. I'm not saying the dealer is exempt from the CPO duties, but anyone buying a used car should be looking at the tires and the paint. So, in my opinion, bringing those up now may just make you seem like a complainer and a problematic customer, which could very well diminish your chances of getting this problem fixed.

    If the condensor should have been checked, and it wasn't, then you certainly have a valid complaint. If the dealer is no help in this matter, than call Honda directly.

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

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