‘It’s like an epidemic’: Used car problems cost drivers thousands

CARY, NC (WTVD) – Imagine paying thousands of dollars for repairs all after buying a car. It is the reality that many drivers are facing now with the short supply of used cars in the market.Amanda Outland is one of those shoppers who were desperate to find a reliable car. I finally found one in a used car park and paid over $13,000 for it.

“When I found this, it was kind of the only available I could afford,” Outland said. “I trusted she was in good shape.”However, shortly after buying the SUV, she said, “It started making so much noise, shivering, and loss of power that basically it wouldn’t go up hills.”

After taking it to several stores, Outland learned that the car they just bought needed a new transmission, as well as other repairs worth $8,000 to $10,000.

“What am I going to do? There’s no way you know, I can’t afford to fix it,” Outland said.

Since she bought the car “as is”, the place she bought it from won’t help her.

She was told, “We have nothing to say. I bought it, signed it, and good luck.”

Outland is not alone as troubleshooter Diane Wilson continues to hear from dozens of viewers a month who have recently purchased used cars.

“It’s like an epidemic. We haven’t seen it before the pandemic,” said Steve Sargent, owner of Mr. Transmission in Cary. “I think it’s because there are very few new cars available. Used cars are what everyone is competing for and the prices have gone up.”

Sargent said the main step used car buyers should take before buying any used car, is to take the car to a mechanic they trust and have it checked out.

“Estimate the cost of the repairs to bring the car up to standard and then be able to negotiate, if you like, with a used car dealership to say hi, it takes $1,500 worth of work,” Sargent said. “I’ll give you that number and you can negotiate a better buy.”

After Sargent learned about Outland’s problems buying a used car, he wanted to help her.

“I said I’d do it at my expense to try and help her situation because she has limited money. We put a transmission in it. We put tires on it, new brakes,” Sargent said.

This act was a huge relief to Outland and put it back on the road.

“I wanted to cry when I picked it up,” Outland said.

After going through this ordeal of buying used cars, she now has this advice to others: “Definitely have to look at it and make sure it’s a quality car. I didn’t want to pay anyone to look at it, which seems, you know, silly now, but it would have saved me.” a lot of problems “.

It costs an average mechanic about $100 to go through it and tell you what’s wrong, it’s money well spent if it saves you from buying a car worth thousands of dollars in trouble. Remember that if you buy a car “as is”, the moment you drive the car, all problems are yours.

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