Adventures in car buying, part 3

All right. So we went through the issues I had when I bought the car. And then the struggle to get the car running. We left off with issues regarding the title.

As I mentioned last time, the car still had a lien on the title — something that has to be taken care of before you can sell the car. So after going back and forth with the guy, we got him to remove the lien from the car. Turns out the guy who sold the car also didn’t sign the back of the title properly, either. So had to go back and have it all sorted out. In the great and wise words of my brother, “sounds like he shouldn’t be selling cars.”

But finally, on Friday, after everything was signed properly… I got my registration all taken care of. Real plates and title are in the mail, paper temporary plates are on the car… and I can now drive my car legally wherever I want.

Well, sort of. (I know, I know, the drama!) Remember those extra tires in the trunk that needed to be put on? Yeah. That had to happen before it was really drive able. The alignment was so off, the entire car shook really badly. Unsafe to drive, really. But, that is actually a simple fix. Just takes about 2½ hours at Tire Barn to resolve. Doesn’t take that long to mount and balance two tires, just takes forever for them to get to your car. Only $15 per tire, since I already had the tires.

All-in-all, after the new battery and the tires — and even the stress of dealing with the title issues — this car still is well under blue book value. There’s still a few smaller issues to take care of, but nothing that makes this car undriveable. (The gas gauge isn’t quite sure of itself, and it needs an oil change… oh and still gotta work on the radio. And yeah, it could use some new hubcaps. But, nothing major at all.)

2002 Mitsubishi Lancer

Now this car truly feels like it’s mine. So of course I’ve been spending the past couple days cleaning it up. Got the stickers off the windows, some of the badges off the car (they were falling off anyway), and gave it a good cleaning inside and out. I can definitely say, if you spill soda in the cup holders, don’t just dump a bunch of pennies in there and assume it’ll be ok. That was the grosses thing I’ve had to deal with in a while. Thank the lord for Goo Gone. (Which also helps a lot with remove stickers and badges too.) Oh, and while I’m at tips, use a scrapper and not your fingernail to pick off those stickers… your finger will thank you the next day.

Removing badges from Lancer

Anyway. I feel like I’ve learned a good deal, now, about buying used cars. So I’m going to try in the next few weeks to put together a pdf checklist you can print out or save if you ever find yourself looking to get a used car. Hopefully you won’t have as many issues as I did.