Before you buy a used car, be wise and do your homework

Before you buy a used car, be wise and do your homework

Hello loyal Beaverton readers

Thanks to all of you who have written in, and called with questions, and comments. I truly appreciate your feedback and support.

Meet Keith

I received a call from Keith, an 80-year-old retired veteran living here in Beaverton. He had been thinking of calling me for over two years and now that he did, he is quite happy and I am happy to have helped.

Cadillac El Dorado

Keith wanted help in selling a Cadillac he purchased from a neighbor 5 years ago. He was really proud of the car but needed something newer and more reliable. He called the right person. I’m not called “The Car Guy“ for nothing!

Check the History

As a rule of thumb, the first thing I do is check a car’s history using Carfax and when we did this on his beloved Cadillac, we found some very upsetting news. Apparently, the car Keith purchased from his neighbor showed that the car had been severely damaged (important information often withheld from the sellers of used vehicles).

In fact, the car had been at a wrecking yard for quite some time until it was sold back to the original owner, Keith’s neighbor. Of course, like many other unsuspecting buyers, none of these things were known to Keith since many used car buyers are swayed by a nice paint job and a kick of the tires.

In addition to the Carfax, we called the Oregon DMV where we verified everything in the Carfax and discovered that the vehicle had been repaired so that it ran and looked good.

No trade in value

Without the negatitive history, the Cadillac would have been worth approximately $3500 but with the Carfax in hand, we found out that the car was virtually worthless. So much so that when we tried to trade it in on the new vehicle that Keith’s wanted, the Dealership would not take it in trade under any circumstances.

Learn from Keith’s story

Keith has enjoyed my BRG column for many years and asked it I would write about his experience to help other Beaverton residents not end up in the same boat. What this all means is that we never know where a vehicle has come from and where it has been until we protect ourselves by researching a vehicle, especially a used vehicle.

I hope this story has been useful in understanding that when it comes to buying used cars, things aren’t always what they seem.

If anyone is looking for a new or pre-owned vehicle of any kind, that is what I do. I can save you time and money, not to mention the heartache of finding out later that you have purchased a vehicle with a bad history!

Got an automotive question? Please contact me at (503) 930-14993 or