Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Trials and Tribulations of Buying a Car

 Around a month ago, my grandson was in what we thought was a minor fender bender. He was turning left. The lady on the other side of the street was turning right. 

My grandson turned left and stayed in his lane. The lady turning right did not stay in her lane, she turned into my grandsons lane. His right front fender connected with her left rear fender. Spun her right around. 

After, he drove to work but his right front tire was rubbing the bumper. He had it towed to a repair shop. Insurance found him not at fault.

The repair of his car was more than the value of the car, so they gave him a check for 4 grand, and kept the car.

He is borrowing my truck to get back and forth to work, griping all the while because he doesn't like borrowing a vehicle. And i tell him to return my truck and let insurance rent him one. He shuts up.

We have been searching for a 2000 to 2003 vehicle that doesn't have a metric crapton of miles on it. Jesus H Christ, you would think these vehicles are made out of gold. Trucks with 300,000 miles are going for up to 10 grand! Holy Crap! And some of these trucks were made in 1988.

Cue up yesterday. (Here in california we have a smog program. Cars that are bought and sold have to pass a smog test before the state of california will grant you leave to pay the exorbitant registration theft package so you can drive your vehicle on the roadways. No smog certificate, no registration.)

My grandson finds a 2000 dodge ram 1500, with only 150K miles. Goes to look  at it, it is dirty as hell, has a busted up left rear panel.

Runs and drives okay, so he tells the guy he will take it if it has passed smog. Guy says it has passed smog and he has found the paper certificate. 

This morning he comes gets me so i can drive my truck home after he buys the ram. Get to the guys house, start to do the title transfer, and i ask the guy if i can see the smog certificate. He says no, it hasn't been smogged yet. My grandson stops counting out the money and tells the guy, You told me it passed smog already. The guy comes out with a 12 inch piece of exhaust pipe and says i thought you would just put this on and go get it smogged yourself! Really? WTF?? You actually trying to pull this crap?

Cue up frustration on both our parts, we leave, and start searching used car lots on the way to my house. No joy there. Start searching craigslist and facebook marketplace. Find a few here and there. Then we found a 98 ford expedition with 200k miles for 3500. Pictures show an extremely clean vehicle. Grandson texts back and forth with the kid, who is helping his parents sell it, arrange a time to go see it. They are a 1 hour drive from us.

Drive down, look at it, very clean drives well, some details that need to be sorted out, but nothing major. Talking to the lady that owns it and ask about smog. Oh yes, it has been smogged, but will need to be smogged again when registration is due in nov. Ok, not fun, but it has been smogged, we will take the vehicle.

Her husband is there, very nice guy, we hit it off great. Grandson is counting out the money, husband says, So. You Guys Are Going to Smog It Yourself, Right?

What? You said it was smogged? Yes, back in Nov. Here in calif. the smog has to be within 90 days before registration or you can't register it. Well fuck me runnin! You said it was smogged! Stop the money count for the 2nd time today! Arrangements are made, they will smog it tomorrow, will try for the 3rd time to Git Er Done!


  1. What a nightmare.
    This is why I count myself extremely lucky to have found an 89 Chevy Pickup with 146K on it, a brand new rebuilt tranny and an engine that had been put in with 80 K on it for $3,00 around here.
    These things are going for 5K worn out.
    Older trucks are even more ridiculous. Mid 60's to late 70's Ford and Chevy era trucks are going for 5K too and you know they need going through front to back.
    Good luck!

    1. Thanks Phil. You are right, the cost of the 60 and 70 era trucks are ridiculous. Hard to fathom why everything is that expensive.