Have you ever heard someone say they are gonna trade their car in because it is having problems? What happens to the “problem” car? It gets traded in, where it is then resold or auctioned off. The problem is the car lot had no idea of the history of the vehicle (maybe they did) and it gets sold to you. Your awesome “new” car…..will somebody cue in the “jaws” theme now!
So You bought it and wind up paying MUCH more than you bargained for. I have seen this almost every day in the last 20 years, so I know it does happen.
The best thing you can do when buying a used car is to get a pre-buy inspection by an ASE certified shop. Here is an easy way to see if the seller is trying to hide something from you. Go to a parts store and connect an obd2 scan tool and check the readiness code section of the tool, It will say data like:
Heated Catalyst =completed
Evaporative (EVAP) System=completed
Secondary Air System=completed
Oxygen (O2) Sensor=completed
Oxygen Sensor Heater=completed
EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) and/or VVT System=completed
If you see “not ready” anywhere, understand that memory has been cleared out (usually by some unscrupulous soul), and you will be stuck with big repairs!
Some of these monitors can take over a month of driving to execute the self test before you will see a check engine light. By then it will be YOUR problem.