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NMA Reporter 2016-08-19 05:05

Other People’s Lemons…
<b>NMA Article: Other People’s Lemons…</b><br/><br/><p>There’s a lady I know — a neighbor — who was ready to junk an otherwise sound ’90s-vintage Buick station wagon because one day it began to lose power while she was driving and eventually, it conked out by the side of the road.</p>
<p>It wouldn’t restart and she had to have it towed. This kind of thing freaks out people who are not <em>car</em> people. They often assume the worst — especially if someone <em>tells</em> them the worst.</p>
<p>Like this lady’s husband.</p>
<p>He told her “the engine must be shot.”</p>
<p>He’s also not a mechanic.</p>
<p>As it turned out, the only thing that was “shot” was the car’s fuel pump.</p>
<p>But his wife — feeling desperate — was about to call one of those charities that haul away junk cars for free — and give you a receipt for the tax write-off. Which is worth a few hundred bucks, maybe.</p>
<p>Luckily, she has me for a neighbor.</p>
<p>I took a look at the car for her, did some quick checks and figured out the problem with the pump. About $100 for parts and two hours later, the car was running great again.</p>
<p>And definitely worth more than a couple hundred bucks again.</p>
<p>But what if she had thrown the car away?</p>
<p>Her “lemon” would probably have become someone else’s lemonade.</p>
<p>Out of exasperation, impatience and mechanical ignorance people not infrequently walk away from cars that are not beyond fixing — and <em>worth</em> fixing.</p>
<p>This can be a boon to you — <em>even if you don’t actually do the fixing yourself</em>.</p>
<p>Consider, for example, an older car that’s otherwise sound but needs a new transmission. The owner either doesn’t want to spend the money to fix it or doesn’t have the money to fix it.</p>
<p>Because the car is pretty much worthless with a dead transmission.</p>
<p>Many dealers won’t even take a not-operable vehicle in trade — one that has to be<em> towed</em> to the lot.</p>
<p>If they do take it, they’ll maybe give the owner a few hundred bucks. (Here we go again! This seems to be what cars — no matter the make or model or what they went for when they were new — are worth once they’re of a certain age and not running — or driving — at the moment.)</p>
<p>Meanwhile, the owner is reluctant — understandably — to spend possibly two or even three thousand dollars for a new transmission when the car itself isn’t worth much more than that …. even with the new transmission.</p>
<p>So, not infrequently, they cut bait — and walk away from the car (like my neighbor lady almost did).</p>
<p>That’s bad for them — but potentially very good for you.</p>
<p>Because <em>you’ve</em> got nothing invested in the car.</p>
<p>It’s a very different thing for<em> you</em> to buy it (hopefully, for just a few hundred bucks) and then pay a mechanic to replace or rebuild the bad transmission. Because you bought the <em>car</em> for basically the cost of the <em>fix</em> — which is probably a lot less than what it would have cost you to buy the car <em>before</em> it needed to be fixed.</p>
<p>Opportunity knocks.</p>
<p>Same thing goes for cars with croaked engines, too.</p>
<p>An enterprising cheapster should have no difficulty finding otherwise solid (and often, very nice) late-model cars that are being sold for next-to-nothing because they’ve got major engine problems that can only be fixed by replacing the original engine with a new or rebuilt one.</p>
<p>This involves even more money than replacing a bad transmission — and many owners won’t do it for all the reasons just discussed.</p>
<p>But you could…</p>
<p>Sometimes, these problems aren’t even so major. For example, people will sometimes near give-away a vehicle because its engine tossed its timing belt — and they haven’t got the $800 or so it will take to do the repair. A leaking head gasket (or main seal) is another one. It’s a big job, but a job worth doing if the price is right… for the car.</p>
<p>Scan the Craig’s List used car ads — and keep your ears open — you’ll find prospects in no time.</p>
<p>Some people just don’t have the money.</p>
<p>Others just don’t want the bother.</p>
<p>What they do want is <em>cash</em> — and to get rid of the vehicle ASAP.</p>
<p>The cash part especially is key. When you find a prospect — an otherwise sound vehicle in need of something — get the cash <em>before</em> you contact the owner. Then, with cash in hand, go see the owner. He will be very pleased to see cash — even if it’s not <em>much</em> cash. Because, to him, the not-running car is a depressing, aggravating money pit. He wants it gone.</p>
<p>And that can lead to a sweet deal for you.</p>
<p><span style="font-family: 'Georgia','serif'; color: #333333;">Comments?</span></p>
<p><span style="font-family: 'Georgia','serif'; color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: 'Georgia','serif'; color: #333333;"><span style="font-family: 'Georgia','serif'; color: #333333;"><a href="http://ericpetersautos.com/" target="_blank"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #0000ff;"><span style="color: #0000ff;">www.ericpetersautos.com</span></span></span></a></span></span></span></p>
<p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.motorists.org/blog/other-peoples-lemons/">Other People’s Lemons…</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.motorists.org">National Motorists Association</a>.</p>
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