I Got the Car Shoppin’ Blues…

So I have a Nissan Versa. It’s several years old, and it’s starting to have issues. 

my cat
The cat isn’t mine, I just share the car with him. 

Like the axle leak the dealership fixed, and now the damn thing squeaks every time I make a turn.

The gas cap is no longer attached to the car, so I’m forever having to drop and dig it out from under the car while I’m pumping gas.

The tire sensor tells me I have a low tire every time I drive a half hour or more. I always stop and check the tire pressure, and my tires are never low. To replace the sensor would cost over $200, which is a bit much for a sensor.

The latest is the air bag sensor light has started blinking. I took the car into the local Nissan dealership and they fixed it free. Except it didn’t fix the problem, and a week later the warning light was flashing again.

Now they tell me the problem is a sensor in the passenger seat, and it will cost $3500 to repair, because the entire seat will have to be replaced. I made the mistake of saying I’d sooner buy another car than pay that much.

That’s when the emails began. Buy this car! New cars in stock! Come take a look!

To say it left a bitter taste in my mouth is an understatement. And, truth be told, it bummed me out, because while I know they’re in the business to sell calls, they’ve always been nice to me.

So I decided to have a look at the competition.

I filled out a request to have them email me info about a vehicle they have in stock. Within 10 minutes they’re blowing up my phone, even though I specifically requested they NOT call me.

So how does a person who wants to be treated with respect and dignity shop for a car?

Maybe by not shopping for a car at all. Maybe I’ll just keep driving the one I’ve got.

Just don’t ask me to give you a ride, unless you’re cool with riding in the back seat.

31 thoughts on “I Got the Car Shoppin’ Blues…

  1. Aargh. Car salesmen are the worst. My tax guy leased a car through a broker. He told her what he wanted to drive and what he wanted to pay and she did all the leg work and delivered the car to his house. No muss, no fuss. I’m tempted, but I have no idea what this service costs.

  2. Seems to go with the car selling business. Aggressiveness and lack of manners. I think car salespeople have LOST more sales by that technique, but maybe it’s an ‘old boy’s business’ where they don’t care, they just keep on doing things the way it’s been done for decades..? Like you, I hang on to my cars as long as possible (at least 10 years) – I’d rather put money into my vehicle than go through the games car dealers play. Good luck!

  3. Always the same story… over and over… I know that, believe me (take to lovely honey-colour-cat and dump the car). But myself I’m driving a almost 14 yrs. old Chrysler PT cruiser and every two months I have to take her to the mechanic. My previous car was a WV scirocco and for 18 yrs. she drove me beautifully around Europe. I had to change it since every two years we have to bring the cars to a special “official-check” and that time the cost to put her in shape was awful height. For me cars are just a way to go around, but I prefer to take the bus or train! :-)c

  4. we made the mistake and talked with a tire service guy about a new car….oh boy… the worst was that they send 87 faxes with pictures and emptied my ink cartridge that way … oh man! how shall I get the money together for a new ride when I have to buy a new cartridge efurry week?… question: will it stop after I bought a new car? then it could be the cheaper way LOL

  5. The airbag thing is quite a problem. We’re having the same issue with our 2007 Chevy Aveo. GM’s famous for this. You wouldn’t even care, except you can’t get a sticker on the car if the airbag warning light is on. GM also recommends replacing the passenger seat. Here’s the thing though. I read the OBD2 codes with my scanner, and had my mechanic do the same. His is a 20,000 dollar Snap-On. Both readers outputted the same codes – and those codes don’t make any sense. Stuff like “replace the battery,” and “replace clock module.”

    I have serviced tons of electronic and mechanical equipment through the years. Really, I fix all my own stuff – and I’ve had 2 successful sole-proprietorship businesses, fixing other people’s stuff. I can safely say that 99% of all mechanical and electrical failures are due to faulty wiring.

    Try disconnecting the cables under the passenger seat, and spraying the connectors with WD-40. A wire brush might also be helpful. After you’ve cleaned all the electrical connections, take the car to your mechanic and have him reset the codes with his scanner. See if that doesn’t fix the problem.

  6. my suggestion is take out the fuses that operate these lights, then put them back in. my brake light sensor comes on periodically and is very annoying, my son-in-law removed the fuse and then put it back in and so far (fingers crossed) it seems to have resolved the problem

  7. We try to keep our vehicles till they’re old and dead. I too hate car shopping. But if it has to be done, edmunds.com is a good resource. Once you know what you want and what you’re willing to pay, look at the dealership’s inventory on their website. Locate the car you want and send them an email offering to buy it at the price your research reveals (subject to your driving and inspecting it). If they try to haggle, just tell them you’ll go elsewhere. Most dealerships now have internet sales departments now, thanks to on-line shoppers. That might spare you the misery of having to negotiate. Good luck!

  8. Only several years? That’s a bummer, I was looking at the Nissan Vera Note when the Mr. bought his truck, now I’m not so sure. Hope some of the fixes here work, god luck!
    My 2005 Corolla is still good at over 180,000 miles, I just had the clutch replaced for the first time this year. Hoping to get another 100,000 miles…Might look at the Prius C when I graduate. 🙂

    1. It’s a good car, but I’m at almost 120,000 and considering what I paid for it, I can expect nothing less. If it was just me I wouldn’t worry, but since I use my car for work, I really don’t want to ignore that problem. I’ll try the fixes mentioned and see if that helps. I’ve also got a call in to the Zone Manager for Nissan thanks to Twitter, so maybe they can figure something out too.

  9. I remember that you once told me that you had a Nissan car and am very glad you like Japanese car! Thank you very much! I have never had a foreign car but people says that if you have a foreign car, it costs a lot when it has a problem…..Does it happen to you, too? Because it is a Japanese car, it costs much more when it gets repaired?

    1. No, because Nissan is a global company with a foothold here in the US. The cost of repairs is similar for US brands. I’m just not willing to pay that much money for a repair to a car when $3500 would make a significant down payment on another car.

  10. We are at the same point – car is an 03 with over 140,000 miles (not km) on it. Plunked €340 into it this week alone, which of course is money we don’t have! Luckily we don’t have the same pushy sales people here, and we’d be buying used again anyway. Irish folk do NOT like being pressured! Seems the US sales force could take a lesson on that.
    I think BITCODAVID’s advice is very sound – try it!

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