So I finally, finally decided to buy a new (newer) truck after holding on to my old tried and true 2005 Ford F150 for years which gave me noooo problems what so ever. Now, if you live in Texas like I do you are bound to have heard and seen advertising for Texas Direct Auto just about everywhere. These guys are great marketers and take advantage of just about all kinds of advertising.
OK, so I needed to sell my old truck and buy a newer model (I like to buy 2 year old vehicles have have had price depreciation but still have factory warranty in place) and Texas Direct got my attention to at least take a closer look.
I saw a few trucks like mine listed on Craigslist for about $9,000-$9,500 that were a little more fancy than mine and in slightly better shape. I took my truck to TDA and they offered me a check on the spot for $8,500 without any obligation to buy a vehicle from them.
I jumped on that offer because I did not want to have to post the classified ad, deal with phone calls, have to test drive with people and take a chance of bringing a stranger into my home and taking their check or cash. Plus those guys listing their truck for $9,000 will most likely end up taking much less anyway.
I went ahead and looked on their sales lot and found many Ford trucks that met my buying criteria, so I test drove them all and decided on the best one….I thought. It was raining and cold outside the day I was test driving the new (2012 – 2 years old) but it only had 12,000 miles on it and the factory warranty is good for 3 years or 36,000 miles.
OK, so I bought this newer 2012 truck and traded my 2005 for $8,500 and within 2 hours I had gone through their finance department and drove off their lot…..even eat lunch in their showroom deli (which was pretty yummy).
So 1 week later I noticed there was not an oil change sticker on the windshield and I looked at the oil drip stick and the oil filter and they did not look brand new to me. Now, I remember the sales guy telling me “we give each vehicle and thorough inspection and change the oil if needed and do any minor repairs before we put them up for sale” he even told me they replace windshields and do minor paint repairs.
So, just to be certain that the oil was fresh and I could document the last oil change I took the truck to my local oil change place and had them change the oil. During the oil change the mechanic came and got me and said “sir, your new truck…the one with the paper license plate has a major transmission leak come and look”.
What? A transmission leak, come on you are kidding right? It drives just fine and I did not notice a leak on my driveway. Remember I checked out the vehicle in the rain after my test drive so the underside of the vehicle was wet, and I was kinda lazy and fast in my inspection. But, sure enough there is a pretty good transmission leak coming from the front of the transmission….not good.
So I can take it back to TDA (which is 1 hour away from me) or I can take it to my local Ford dealer, which I did. They had to overhaul the transmission because it was 4 quarts low and did internal damage to the front pump and over drive clutches. Ford did the work with no hassle and did not charge me, but how strange with such low miles. BTW, this truck does not have a transmission dipstick so you can not check the fluid level.
Last week, I was driving on the freeway and the low tire pressure warning indicator came on the dash. I checked all the tire pressures and they were fine, so I took it to the Ford dealer again and let them look at it. They said BOTH front low tire pressure sensors went bad and they replaced them under warranty. The mechanic said “I rarely see a sensor fail at this mileage let alone 2 sensors”.
So what the heck kind of truck did I buy???? Will there be other issues??
The moral to my story is, its a USED vehicle and people sell used vehicles for many reasons….and sometimes they sell them because they have problems. If you are buying a used vehicle check it out thoroughly with a trained mechanic and if possible buy one with factory warranty still in place.
Is this the fault of TDA, no in my opinion it is not. Should TDA have noticed the transmission fluid leak in their inspection, maybe so but I hate to assume things and point blame on someone when I am not 100% certain. TDA acted as a broker, and in my opinion they really are not responsible for the history of the vehicle they are brokering, that is up to you to investigate.
Now, TDA did charge me $400 (I think it was that much, it was $325 or more) for a “handling and inspection fee” so maybe I could yell real loud and get that money back, but I got a really good price on the new truck and a good deal on the trade in so I am going to let things go and pray nothing else weird happens with this truck before the warranty expires.
Overall – liked TDA price, their trade in price, their sales people, their financing and the ease and quickness of the deal but so glad I had factory warranty in place on this new truck or I would be out $1,800 already.
BUY A USED VEHICLE THAT STILL HAS FACTORY WARRANTY IN PLACE IF POSSIBLE!