Home » What Was The Most Ridiculous Thing A Car Salesman Told You? Autopian Asks

What Was The Most Ridiculous Thing A Car Salesman Told You? Autopian Asks

Aa Salesman Ts1
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When you go to a dealership to buy a car, you expect the salesperson to be an expert in the vehicle you want to buy. Want to tow a 6,000-pound trailer while carrying your whole family? The sales staff should be able to tell you if the SUV you’re looking at can handle it. But not all salespeople were created equal. What’s the most ridiculous thing a car salesman told you?

For me, this answer is pretty easy. My parents have finally decided to replace the 2011 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 that they use to tow a 6,292-pound, 35-foot travel trailer. On the surface, this seemed fine. The 4×4 SUV could tow 8,000 pounds and had a payload of 1,564 pounds. The camper hitched up to the rear was a 2007 Thor Adirondack 31BH, a 35-foot trailer that weighs 6,292 pounds empty and 7,600 pounds loaded. On paper, that sounds great, right?

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

In practice, it’s different. The Suburban does an ok job when it’s just my parents and myself. The Vortec 5.3-liter Vortec FlexFuel V8 (320 HP/335 lb-ft torque) gets the job done, but you have to wring it out to get to and then maintain the speed limit. There isn’t much power in reserve for passing, hills, or more weight.

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This is demonstrated well when my brother piles his four kids plus him, his girlfriend, and a bunch of gear into the Suburban. The engine may have been near its limit before, but it practically wheezed under the higher loads brought on by a camping trip with my brother’s family. The Suburban also handled much worse with the trailer on the back. The trailer suddenly felt like a boat anchor trying to drag down the Suburban with it.

The problem was clear to me. Everyone was paying attention to just the trailer’s unloaded weight, never payload or anything else. The 2007 Thor Adirondack has an unloaded hitch weight of 736 pounds. Now, trailer manufacturers don’t just publish that weight for nerds like me. Tongue weight subtracts from your tow vehicle’s payload. You don’t need a physics degree to understand this. Something has to carry that 736 pounds, and it’s the tow vehicle. At the same time, the tow vehicle can carry only so much weight. The 2011 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 4×4 has a payload of 1,564 pounds. Take that 736 pounds away and guess what? Now you’re left with 828 pounds to play with. My brother’s family eats up that whole number before they add a pound of luggage and toys.

2015 Gmc Yukon Xl Denali
GMC

Unfortunately, my parents somehow managed to buy a worse vehicle for the job. They just brought home a 2015 GMC Yukon XL Denali 4×4. The EcoTec3 6.2-liter V8 under the hood makes 420 HP and 460 lb-ft of torque at roughly similar RPM ranges as the old Suburban’s engine. That’s good. What was bad was the 7,900-pound towing capacity and the 1,492-pound payload. So, now my brother’s family will begin to overload the SUV before they even finish piling in.

So, what gives? How did my parents mess up? I had a discussion with the salesman and he used some really fuzzy math. See, he said payload no longer matters when you hitch up to the trailer. He told me the numbers that mattered were towing capacity and GCWR, which he said were 8,100 pounds and 14,000 pounds, respectively. Since my family’s trailer weighed just 6,292 pounds of the 8,100-pound tow rating, that’s 1,708 pounds they could use for other stuff. Add in what he said was the SUV’s 1,500-pound payload rating, and you have 3,208 pounds that you can put in the SUV. He then told me that my brother’s family can’t weigh 3,208 pounds.

Problem is, that’s 1,708 pounds of free towing capacity. That’s weight for the trailer, not the interior of the tow vehicle. Your payload doesn’t double because you’re towing a lighter trailer.

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Chevy

Sadly, I somehow encountered even worse advice. Another salesman at another dealership tried to sell my parents a Chevy Equinox, saying one of those can tow 7,000 pounds. An Equinox really tows around 1,500 pounds.

Maybe, I haven’t encountered the worst advice out there. Has a salesperson told you something even more ridiculous?

Top graphic sales guy: adobe.stock.com/pathdoc

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NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
3 months ago

Had an ’07 RAV4 V6 AWD Limited that I would regularly get serviced at our nearby Toyota dealership in Burnsville MN. Really flawless car outside of the known water pump issues ($700 at 96k miles for me). Well very shortly after the water pump replacement (and a full points inspection giving everything green from the service department), the dealership called to say they wanted to do an estimate for trade in because of our loyalty and the high demand for the type of vehicle. I was curious what they would offer, so I took it back in and spoke with the sales manager who had called and they took it back to do an “inspection”.

They came back with a laundry list of items needing to be fixed (exhaust rattles, struts are going out, tires are 50% worn) and gave me a near rage inducing offer of…. $6200 (they were going for ~$13k at the time for similar trim/miles/year). I just said, hold on, went to the car and got the 2 week old report from his service department that included exhaust, suspension and tires (75%+) green ratings. I basically said, you are literally wasting my time and trust in your business and perhaps we should get your manager and the service department manager in a room because one of you is lying about the inspections on my car. He squirmed at that comment and said something like, not everything is always caught on those inspections, which I said you have 3 things that are different… that’s straight up someone not doing their job. I’m not selling my car to you when I can get twice the money selling it myself, and given the quoted “high demand” shouldn’t be an issue. Ended up with an apology for the time wasted, a free oil change coupon and a handful of carwash tokens for their on-site carwash. Idiot.

Kyree
Kyree
3 months ago

Maybe it was the time my best friend and I went to test-drive a new 2017 Volt LT, as he was planning to buy one, and the salesperson told him:

a) that he’d been employed at The Olive Garden until a few weeks prior

b) that he was working on an air-powered car, but had to keep it a secret, in case Big Oil decided to have him bumped off

c) that “Most cars are a front half and a back half welded together, but not Chevrolets; they’re one piece.”

What a clown. That last one was really funny, especially because it was GM who introduced a three-section frame with its GMT800 trucks.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago

I got one for ya! Not necessarily a rediculous thing, but a rediculous chain of events. Just a heads up, this is gonna be LONG, but ill try to make it short as possible. The takeaway is that sometimes its not necessarily underhanded tactics, its straight up just underinformed salespeople/managers.

I have to preface this by saying my sales manager (lets call him Bill) is a stand up dude. Im talking one of the kindest souls ive ever met. There was nothing underhanded here, just a terrible mistake in judgement.

Okay: so, customer calls in, wants to lease a wrangler. Shes had 2 before, including her last one, a JL, so shes extremely familiar with the platform. However, the only wrangler that will lease for the payment she wants is a 4xe hybrid.

Now, I’m the resident hybrid geek AND Jeep nut at my store, and my ears perked up with anticipation. The 4xe is my chance to SHINE, I ordered one the day they came out with it, bought one, and lived with it and learned every tip and trick. When someone wants a demo on a 4xe, you may as well be talking to the guy that designed the thing. Plus, I’m a straight up hillbilly and speak fluent redneck, so convincing right wing climate change denyer types why they WANT a PHEV is a great point of pride and duty to me.

Because of this, 90 percent of 4xe inquiries at my store get sent my way. Unfortunately, this has a bit of a negative affect, in that some of the other older sales guys at my store havent really taken time to learn much about them other than how to plug them in and run them.

My fellow salesperson, we’ll call him Hank Hill, being one of them. In this case, the customer belonged to Hank Hill, because he answered the phone when the customer (lets call her LuAnne) called looking for a Jeep lease.

The customer was a very sweet young lady from up Cleveland. I wasnt there for the whole thing; but eventually My manager Bill led her to the 4xe as the solution. Now, Bill leases a 4xe himself, but is not a car enthusiast at all. He took a wrong turn on the way to selling Bibles door to door and landed at a car dealership. Still, this all kind of went on in the background for me, as it wasnt my customer or deal. We did paperwork via mail and had drivers deliver her car to her, at her request.

Now, what SHOULD have been done was a facetime call from the salesperson to explain all the features of the Jeep, ESPECIALLY since this is a plug in hybrid were talking about. This didnt happen, because Hank still uses a flip phone and thinks “facetime” is something a young couple does on thier wedding night.

Fast forward a few days later, LuAnne calls in, and I answer the phone to find a very distraught and frustrated young lady with a multitude of issues.

1. She was told she didnt need to drive the Jeep as a hybrid, as it could run on gas. This lef to her getting about 15-16 mpg in cleveland, as the Jeep wants to charge its battery when depleted. (Bill had told her this, as thats how he drives his, because hes too lazy to plug it in or pay attention to his mileage)

2. She was told this when she explained that she lived in an apartment complex and didnt have access to an outside plug, except a tesla charger nearby.

3. She attempted to plug in her Jeep, by plugging into a tesla charger. This did not work.

4. When she realized that wouldnt work, she tried to use her Jeeps “charger” and this didnt charge her Jeep. It didnt charge her jeep, because, and im not making this us, she had plugged the powerbox outlet system into the jeep. The powerbox is an accessory that has 4 power outlets to run equippment off the jeep. She used this because it was the only accessory she could find, and was not told that her included charger was under the cover in the trunk.

So, an absolute customer service nightmare because of a couple good guys that didnt do thier true diligence to make sure they were selling the customer a vehicle that would work.

After this was all brought to the attention of our General manager, We are now ordering her a non hybrid Wrangler and are about to be absolutely MARRIED to a lightly used 4xe high altitude.

This all could have been avoided, but weve caused a great deal of stress to a customer, and blackened our own eye in the process, and it all could have been prevented or fixed simply with a few correct decisions.

Ya hate to see it!

Last edited 3 months ago by H4llelujah
Kyree
Kyree
3 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Shame on Bill!

At least you all are doing right by the customer, since she was misinformed. Many dealerships would just say “You took delivery of it; you own it” and go on about their business.

I appreciate that.

I would hope this also spawns mandatory training for the other salespeople on the 4xe products, because it isn’t fair for you to have to shoulder the burden of being the only person who knows anything about them.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

It did, it is never going to happen again. To Hanks credit, he DID call the customer the day after delivery (stellantis COMMANDS this, and if we fail to do so and the customer says so on the survey, we essentially lose 100 dollars on the spot.

In hanks case, he called the following morning, and she was very excited, and had no questions for him. I assume she hadnt driven it yet. Still, no excuse. You HAVE to educate your customer, its a matter of safety to do so.

Dave mid-engine
Dave mid-engine
3 months ago

Used car dealer told me he has his cars repainted at “wholesale” prices. After I bought one, it turned out that what “wholesale” meant was that he buys the most basic of spray-overs, as my paint started flaking off in sheets a few months later.

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
3 months ago

Back in the early 90s when I worked for my father on his BHPH used car lot, we’d “shine up” a car at the local cheap-o paint place with a “scratch and shoot” paint job for around $150 if I remember correctly. For a few extra bucks we could have some extra masking done. If we didn’t we’d get back a basically monochromatic car where everything that wasn’t window glass or signals was painted whatever color they had extra of. Door jambs, and other “hidden areas” were not painted, unless copious overspray counts.

Prep was basically a quick wet sandblast to get the big chunks of whatever off and roughen things up a bit. There was truly BAD paint jobs, but they were shiny for at least a few months. So yeah, “wholesale” paint.

VanGuy
VanGuy
3 months ago

I’ve only ever bought one car and my dealership experience was…okay. But there was one quasi-concerning “what’s this problem?”

Test-driving the 2012 Prius v. As I occasionally did, at a particular stop I just pushed the brake pedal all the way to the floor (after I had already reached a complete stop…not like slamming the brakes).
The traction control light blinks multiple times, and it gives me a double beep. I don’t remember exactly how the salesman reacted, but it wasn’t knowledgeably. Regardless, the light came off and stayed off as soon as I hit the gas next.

Here, this Prius v, of all vehicles, has a feature where you can push the brake pedal down all the way and it holds the brake for 3 seconds or until you push the gas pedal, whichever comes first, for starting from a stop uphill. But I didn’t learn that til I looked it up later.

Rare, honest case of “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”.

Either way, as far as “it’s a job” is concerned, I suppose that would’ve been a fairly specific feature for a salesman to have known about on a (at the time) 7-year-old used vehicle whose model had been discontinued for 2 (even if it was a Toyota dealership…).

Paul B
Paul B
3 months ago

“I don’t know” when asking something about the car without a follow up of “let me find out”.

It’s your f’n job to know what you’re selling.

Aaron
Aaron
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

I’d rather have a sales person say “I don’t know, let me find out” rather than pulling something out of their rear end to give me an immediate answer. If the average car dealership probably has a dozen or more models with hundreds of feature/option/package/trim level combinations possible, that sales person has a lot more to remember than I do, who just spent the past month obsessively researching a couple models and trim levels.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

Okay Karen. Glad I’ll never have to help an arse like you ever again.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

Yeah, it’s annoying to deal with someone that doesnt know thier product, but at least they either were trained or just had the honesty to tell you they didnt know, instead of trying to make something up.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
3 months ago

I was an orthodox Jew for 20 years (still Jewish, just not as religiously observant now). I was talking to a salesman (can’t even remember what I was looking at) and he saw the yarmulke on my head. He said he used to keep a yarmulke in his desk drawer and pull it out while negotiating with someone over a car. He’d put it on his head and say “would I be dishonest with you?”

He told me this and started laughing. I laughed uncomfortably and never went back there.

Kyree
Kyree
3 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Ooh, that’s pretty fucked up. Also, why did he think it was prudent to share that with you—a Jew—as a funny anecdote?

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
3 months ago
Reply to  Kyree

In his twisted mind, he was connecting with me. I’m Jewish and he did something vaguely Jewish. Not sure what planet he grew up on.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
3 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

At least he didn’t keep a Gaza Strip in an old band aid box. /s

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Col Lingus

Gauze was invented in Gaza (named for qazz, the Arabic word for silk), so he very well might have.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Does that make him an unorthodox jew?

Ben
Ben
3 months ago

This is kind of the opposite of what is intended, but the thing I heard from a salesman recently that stopped me in my tracks was “You should probably have a bigger truck to tow that.” I’ve never heard an RV salesman make a reasonable recommendation about a tow vehicle. It’s always “Oh yeah, your half-ton can tow that 40 foot fifth wheel! Just throw some airbags on it and you’ll be fine!”

I’m sure there was plenty of BS being spouted there too, but that’s like background noise at this point. An actual honest salesman though? Now that is noteworthy!

Joseph Kadzban
Joseph Kadzban
3 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Ben, are you Mercedes’s Dad?

Ben
Ben
3 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Kadzban

Definitely not. I would know better than to tow with some of the setups her parents have. 🙂

Pneumatic Tool
Pneumatic Tool
3 months ago

This was about 30 years ago…we were newlyweds and looking to buy a new car together. We didn’t have kids yet, so we figured that a two door was the way to go (dumb decision, but that was discovered later). I thought that an Olds Achieva (don’t judge…I was an Olds man as a 24 year old). The V-6 coupe had the best combo of looks and equipment for the price – the mid package S-Coupe with alloys was what I was after.

Went to the local Olds dealership and they didn’t have one, but promised they could get one from “their network”. They wrote down everything we wanted, and gave them a couple color / interior options. About a week later, they told us that our car had arrived, and that it was ready for delivery. When we got there, we were greeted with a rental spec 4-door, 4-cyl. in white with a red interior. Literally nothing we asked for. Worse yet, it had apparent paint damage that looked like marks from an overzeaolus snow clearing. They acknowledged the mistake, and vowed to make it right on the next one. They didn’t get the chance.

We went to another dealership the next day and found the exact car we wanted. Sidenote; three years later, we became parents and regretted the coupe, but it was a good car and served us well.

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago
Reply to  Pneumatic Tool

You wanted an Achieva. They got you an Unda Achieva. If you gotten the SCX version, it would have been the Ova Achieva.

Ryanola
Ryanola
3 months ago

I was told by a GMC salesman that the steel on the GMC is thicker than the steel used on the Tahoe since GMC is higher quality. Exactly how dumb are people??

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

People say the wildest stuff about GMC vs Chevy. We’re fifty years in and people still haven’t figured out that theyre exactly the same vehicle, made in the same factory, by the same people, using the same parts.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I currently switched jobs form a Subaru to a GMC dealer and you are spot on. A lot of GMC buyers wouldn’t be caught dead in a Chevy

Angel "the Cobra" Martin
Angel "the Cobra" Martin
3 months ago

Two instances stand out. Test drove a Mitsubishi in the 90’s and I mentioned that it had a lot of torque steer and the salesman told me the tech could fix that.
The second and way worse was when I was helping my sister get a Bolt. Went to look at a used one at a Jag dealership and the salesman told us that the battery is a wear item and they need to get swapped out every three years. I asked him if he was referring to the high voltage battery or standard 12 volt battery. He said the main HV battery. I told him that’s great as the Bolt has an eight year warranty. We will get at least two new batteries. Salesmen are a joke.

Loren
Loren
3 months ago

Re: trailer towing, add the fact that the hitch weight is ‘way back off the end of the bumper where IMO it affects the vehicle handling by around double what it would over the rear axle, then add the polar moment of inertia factor of the trailer and imagine yourself in some accident-avoidance maneuver where you had to suddenly swerve yet maintain control. I credit my old crew-cab dually with actually saving a life in such a situation once, not mine but the idiot I would have t-boned. Please have your parents go get a 2500, there’s no way I’d haul that trailer at highway speeds with a half-ton anything. Or at least get a set of spring bars for the hitch.

With that, I had to argue and argue with a salesman pushing a payment plan, when I was there to pay cash. I finally told him that I understood it was OK to up the price a little as I knew that meant they’d be getting no cut from a loan. He firmly stated that his dealership never ever took any benefit from a car loan.

BTW the most honest/real experience I ever had with a car dealer was in trying to help a friend buy a car when she was utterly convinced she needed something twice what she could afford. The salesman laid out a whole life budget for her, and the space where car payments should fit in, and she got so mad she stomped out. While I was impressed-as-hell with the guy. Galpin Ford, some years back.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

Agreed, that is a whole lot of trailer for a half ton anything. Maybe with a weight distributing hitch.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  Loren

Good to know that the site owner hired at least one honest sales person!

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago

I may have told this before, but I challenged a car salesman at a Lincoln-Mercury dealership to an actual death match over what he told me.

It was the early 90’s, and I was at a Lincoln-Mercury dealership in OKC. I was talking to a salesman about the new Continentals. These were the ones on the stretched Taurus platform. Front drive, V6. All of them.

I mentioned to a salesman that I didn’t really like them that much since they were FWD. He informed me they were, in fact, RWD. I disagreed. He told me Continentals always had been and always would be RWD. I pointed out that there was no differential in back. He told me I didn’t know what I was talking about.

I proposed a test. We would get two Continentals and put them side by side. One would have the front wheels jacked up and the other would have the rear wheels jacked up. I would lie down in front of the one with the front wheels in the air, and he’d lie in front of the one with the rear wheels in the air. Put bricks on the throttles, throw ’em in drive, and the survivor wins.

He did not take up the gauntlet, disappointingly…

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

This is an amazing story

StillNotATony
StillNotATony
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

I am a very excitable person. I can really go off with all kinds of bad ideas, if you wind me up. If Torch and I ever collaborated on a project, I can virtually guarantee batteries will get chainsawed.

Kyree
Kyree
3 months ago
Reply to  StillNotATony

That’s hilarious and—as someone who lives in OKC and who has bought at least one FoMoCo vehicle—entirely believable. A lot of the Ford dealers here are clowns.

Jack Swansey
Jack Swansey
3 months ago

Before I bought my TL Type-S a couple years ago, I test-drove one at an AutoNation Lexus dealer here in SoCal. It was by far the cheapest car on the lot, and when the dealer rep pulled it around, it had peeling clearcoat, absolutely terrible aftermarket wheels, and was making a funny sound. I made the appointment before they even had time to put photos on the website. Immediately knew that wasn’t the car, but popped the hood anyway…

There was an honest-to-God supercharger under there.

Tried asking the salesperson about it but she just said “we don’t offer a warranty on any aftermarket parts the vehicle might have” and went back to looking at her phone. Did not care at all that some schmuck who didn’t know what to look for might unknowingly buy a car with aftermarket forced induction.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Swansey

I would bet big money she also had no idea what was on it

Sarah Blikre
Sarah Blikre
3 months ago

Nothing outrageous but I have a couple.

I was shopping for a Mazda5 in 2018 and I found a 2007 for sale with 110k miles for $5k. That was about blue book value at the time, but it badly needed tires and shocks and had obvious repairs from a front end collision. I figured about $400 for some cheap tires and maybe $200 for shocks, so I said I’ll pay $4400 for it and ignore the body damage. They said that’s what they paid for it so they refused. I don’t know if that was true, but I was thinking if you paid $4400 for this you’re stupid. I ended up buying it at $5k because it was still somehow the best deal in the county and I wasn’t looking at any other models at the time.

The other was a couple years ago when I bought my 2008 Odyssey. It was advertised at $5900 with 172k miles. It was in immaculate condition, very well maintained by the previous owner. I wasn’t even going to try to negotiate because I though the price was fair. $5900 plus let’s say 10% for tax so $6500 plus doc fee of probably $300 so grand total $6800. Easy. Then they came back with an out-the-door price of $7500. Wtf? I asked, where is this extra $700 coming from? “Oh that’s our anti-theft service.” What the hell is an anti-theft service? I was getting worried they hacked apart the wiring to install some bullshit. “No it’s like an insurance policy that pays you if your car gets stolen.” Um, come again? I don’t think you know what anti-theft means. I got them to take it off after some arguing but I was dumbstruck they would try that shit on me.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Blikre

Why stress about theft, when you can get anti theft after the theft?

Maymar
Maymar
3 months ago

Perhaps less dumb and more a sly way to eke out a few more bucks profit, but between my new car and some of the quotes my father-in-law recently got for a new truck, the dealers had a fuel charge tacked on that in no way reflected the cost of a tank of gas, although pointing out a charge that reflected tank capacity x price of gas didn’t get a fight.

Drew
Drew
3 months ago

Recently? A Kia dealer trying to sell me a service loaner EV6 told me that the EV6 was replaced by the EV9. I told him the most I would expect to pay after my trade was 19k out the door, and he came back with a sheet that he said was 19k. I look down and it’s 19,999 (plus tax). I walked out right then. The manager called and wanted to make it right, and I told him the new deal I would accept was a new one in the color I wanted for that price. He said he’d try, but I know it’s not happening.

When I first got a smartphone, I was at a used car dealership and pulled up KBB values, and the guy told me that the KBB website didn’t take into account market conditions (sort of true, but his pricing was not reflecting a market trend). He also wanted to take my trade that day and “look into” a really rough rattle in the exhaust of the car I was interested in. If they couldn’t fix it, they’d find me something else. That one was more than walking out. I was telling him what a scam it sounded like as I walked out past other customers.

Of course, I’ve also had the lies about how well-maintained cars are (“no, I don’t think the car that’s got heavier-than-legal tinting, fancy racing wheels, and a racing seat was driven hard”), how reliable cars are, etc. But those are typical.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
3 months ago

1999 Mercury Mystique
My dad was told by the salesperson that if he didn’t go for the V6 then he wouldn’t be able to drive through the mountains because it didn’t have enough power.

He ignored that advice and got the 4cyl 5MT and that car lasted us 350,000kms with many trips through the Rockies.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  Ecsta C3PO

Wow…it’s been a long time since someone’s brought up a Mystique here, and one with a manual too. I’ve always felt the Contour/Mystique twins were sadly underappreciated here in North America.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

We were very happy with the quality of that car, as a kid I liked that the dash light brightness dial looked like a mini oreo.

Allegedly it lasted it’s whole life on the original brake rotors and clutch (even with me learning stick on that car).

Red865
Red865
3 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

We had one of the 1st ones. 1995 V6 with 5spd, 4 wheel disc, split port induction. Serious torque steer though. Couple of months in, rear caliper has slight leak. Took several months to get a replacement rotor since parts service wasnt set up yet. It was a blast to drive. Sold it many years later at 180k to a high school kid. Got a call couple of yrs after that from a towing company to come get our car. Somehow title was never transferred??

Red865
Red865
3 months ago
Reply to  Red865

caliper, not rotor!

Red865
Red865
3 months ago
Reply to  Red865

Forgot, when we bought it, we wanted the Mercury version, not the Contour version. They keep going on and on trying to sell us the loaded Contour on lot. They finally did transfer the Mystique we wanted from another out of state dealer.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Red865

Why the Mercury? A rare obsession, perhaps something for our intermittent Mercury Mondays.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
3 months ago
Reply to  Red865

Great story, esp. as you rarely hear about people owning a Mystique (I had a few friends with Contours), much less the V6 with the 5spd.

To me, they get the same cool points as the concurrent Mercury Cougar, as even then, it was odd that the uplevel version of a given vehicle could be had with an manual.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago

Fifteen-ish years ago I learned that Saabs still used the same oil filter that had originally been adopted with the introduction of the V4 so I decided I wanted to visit a parts department to get the genuine branded item, particularly since (1) even at that time it looked like the marque might not be around much longer and (2) I’d been told by a club member that the filters were of good quality and not expensive.

I drove my somewhat crusty 96 V4 (with, admittedly, wheels):

https://live.staticflickr.com/2819/9399174487_dd0329d052_c.jpg

to the dealership and parked it. As I was getting ready to walk to the parts department a nearby salesman came over and looked at the car in obvious confusion. He then read the grille badge. After a moment he turned to me and said, with no particular emotion but simply as a statement of fact, “That’s a Saab.” I agreed. He walked off.

To be fair, he was correct. I didn’t feel that I needed to be informed of this, though.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Harrell

Salesmen’s reactions when faced with old and obscure cars of their brand are always completely unpredictable, ranging from fear that you might be looking for parts to complete lack of interest to maniacal excitement.

Mike Harrell
Mike Harrell
3 months ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

I was expecting anything from enthusiasm to incredulity to dismay but, after he had gone to all the trouble of inspecting the car, I wasn’t prepared for an indifferently delivered factual observation. Silent indifference, perhaps, but not that.

By the way, to finish the story, I bought four oil filters. They were fine.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
3 months ago

I was interested in buying a USED car off of a new car dealer lot. the car, (a 1979 Lincoln Mark V, Bill Blass edition), did not have a price on it .

I kept circling the car looking for the price when I spotted a greasy Used car salesman out on the lot and I summoned him over to the car and he asked me if I was interested in the car and i said “yes, what is the price?” He asked me what I felt comfortable with for a monthly car payment. I again asked what the price was and he responded “What kind of monthly payment are you looking for”?
I said, “let’s go talk to your manager” And so we walked into his managers office and I said to the manager “I’m done playing games, what is the price of this car?” The manager turned to his salesman and said “Where did you find this guy?” and the salesman said “He found me!”

Needless to say, I left the dealership

And I still despise car dealerships to this day! ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆)╭∩╮

Last edited 3 months ago by Shooting Brake
Red865
Red865
3 months ago
Reply to  Shooting Brake

Have left several small car lots that would never tell us the price of the car!

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
3 months ago
Reply to  Red865

This was a large and well known (a Dodge dealer) local to me that advertised heavily on TV back in the day!

Clark B
Clark B
3 months ago

Never really had any bad advice from salespeople, but I’ve had salespeople say things like “you know more about this car than me, so I’ll just be quiet now” while on a test drive on more occasions than I can remember. In fact, I can’t remember a time when a salesperson told me something I didn’t already know about the vehicle in question. I’m not a walking encyclopedia or anything, but I do my research before going to dealerships, whether it’s for me or helping someone else pick a car. Oftentimes this means you can skip their usual sales pitch and get right down to business.

Aaron
Aaron
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

For me, the salesperson is mostly there to supervise while I do the test drive.

Ricardo Mercio
Ricardo Mercio
3 months ago
Reply to  Aaron

That’s why you bring a partner and test drive small cars, the salesperson often won’t accompany you.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

On the test drive of my wife’s Sienna, she dipped into the throttle and we could hear the VVTI phase over. “That’s the variable valve timing”, I said.
The salesman slumped down in the back seat and muttered something like “Oh, great, another genius”.

Holly Birge
Holly Birge
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

I just recently had a kind of funny experience at a Subaru dealer that is sort of related. I went in and test drove a new Crosstrek. I was able to go out by myself which was great. I came back and he asked me how I liked it. Told him that this was the first Subaru I’d driven since the 90s that I liked. He asked what Subarus I’d driven, and I mentioned driving my friend’s 91 Loyale wagon with a 5 speed in a pouring rain storm and how good it was. He says, “I’ve not heard of a Loyale”. Starts Googling — “oh, those are cool”. So I start talking old Subarus since I love talking old Japanese cars. Every time I mention a model, he starts Googling. Some great quotes,

“they made an Imprezza Outback?”
“what’s a Subaru XT? You mean we got those in North America! Now I want one”

And my favorite was he was saying how he thought the Baja was under appreciated when it was new and I commented how it was the successor to the BRAT.

Really nice guy and thinks that Subaru needs to offer a history class to its sales force.

And I gave him my order for a Crosstrek Wildnerness. Hats off to Jim Pattison Subaru in Victoria BC for being no pressure and very transparent.

Austin Thomason
Austin Thomason
3 months ago

Test driving a 2015 Tacoma. 4 cylinder, 5 speed, base model except it had 4WD. Pulling up behind a car in the parking lot, the salesman said “I bet he’s pretty intimidated having your big truck in his mirrors.” I rolled my eyes and saw a UPS truck in my mirrors, which I pointed out was much bigger and taller than the Tacoma we were driving. He didn’t try to make the Taco seem intimidating after that.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
3 months ago

I am losing money on this deal. No, if you were losing money you wouldn’t be talking to me.

Renescent
Renescent
3 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

Unless you’re going to pull out the auction paperwork, I’m going to call BS.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
3 months ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

I’ve worked at two dealerships. One (relatively) honest and one very not. The honest(ish) dealership did genuinely lose money on some cars. That said, they’d been in business for 60 years due to reputation, so it worked out for them

Thiagohpc
Thiagohpc
3 months ago

Does used car salesman count?

Once upon a time I was looking for a cheap Civic for reliable transportation, and foolishly went to the used car lot from a Honda dealer. He had two cars available: one overpriced 4 year old manual with a clearly repainted front end and very very worn sterring wheel and shift knob, but with only 30 thousand miles on the clock. Allegedly.

The second car was a bit more interesting: fully loaded, one year old, brand spanking new with 6 thousand miles on the clock and a not-horrible asking price. I started to look around the car, poke and prod to understand why that seemed a nice deal on a car still under warranty.

I asked the seller point blank if this car had been crashed, and he tells me with a straight face “no, never, this car is perfect!” as I notice that the missing rear badge was placed upside down to the lower corner of the driver’s door. That model year only had badges on the back. None on the sides.

Walked out and never entered that dealeship ever again.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago
Reply to  Thiagohpc

I always vaguely wondered why repainted cars always have the badges all over the place – is it because they bondo the holes and have to make new ones?

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
3 months ago

(Back in 1991 after looking at a brand new Escort GT for ~$15,000 and a 2-year-old Probe GT for $16,000)
Me: It’s either this or a used Taurus SHO.
Salesman: You can’t AFFORD an SHO.
A week or two later I bought a 2-year-old SHO with 22,000 miles for $9k and drove the crap out of it up to 150,000 miles before selling it. It was an excellent purchase for a recent college grad, and served me with camping, road trips for two couples, solo road trips, and hauling concrete blocks. (The stone shop called it “The Taurus 1/2 ton”.) Good times!

Fordlover1983
Fordlover1983
3 months ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

I really hope you took the SHO by the dealership to show to the salesman!

SlowCarFast
SlowCarFast
3 months ago
Reply to  Fordlover1983

Nah! Even in my twenties I didn’t have time for that crap!

Danger Ranger
Danger Ranger
3 months ago
Reply to  SlowCarFast

I had a dealership IGNORE me completely because I showed up in my old Audi with a squeaky flywheel after doing a drywall job at a buddy’s house. After they told me they didn’t have anything I could afford, I showed the 10k in cash I had on me, and my pre-approval from the bank, and left. Don’t judge!!!

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