A Funny Thing Happened To Me While On Craigslist...

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by therealtonyg3, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. therealtonyg3

    therealtonyg3 New Member

    When I was shopping for my 'Burban, I went everywhere imaginable (friends, car dealers for the used vehicles, used car dealers, wholesalers, etc.) and I decided to peek at Craigslist. That's where I bought my 1991 Chevy Suburban 2500 and I never had a problem with it, so why couldn't lightning strike twice?

    I kept my search to the Tri-State area (DE/MD/PA), but mostly in Delaware (because I wasn't interested in paying transfer tax, or something like that). Of course, everyone who had one for sale was pretty aware of the demand these trucks (Tahoes as well) command, so the prices were well out of my wheel house. As I had just about given up on my search, thats when I saw her! A 1993 Chevy Suburban 1500 2WD, two-tone and minimal exterior damage. As I read the ad, the seller stated that he owned his own shop and had performed numerus services on the vehicle and was selling it for a incredibly low price.

    Being the skeptic that I'd like to believe I am, I called the seller to see if the ad matched the vehicle. He agreed to meet me and allow me to take the truck out for a test drive. Outside of a slight musty smell (like the vehicle had been sitting) and sagging front doors (quick fix with some hinge pins), the vehicle was what he said it was. I knew I had to have it.

    On the day I was to pick up the vehicle, the seller asked my wife and I to meet him at a 3rd party location to do the title work. This is when episodes of "Cold Case Files" or "C.S.I." began to run through my head. It took awhile, but I managed to leave with my temporary title work (and my life!). On the way home, I noticed an exhaust smell, quickly followed by a "service engine soon" light. My heart sank. I had just gotten out of a SES light relationship with my old SUV, only to be thrust into another. Along with the exhaust leak, the vehicle required an EGR valve (replaced), TPS sensor (replaced), headlight dimmer switch (in process of replacing) and diagnosing an oil pressure gauge issue (which I have been frantically searching for the post in this forum!).

    I'm not upset with my purchase for two reasons 1) I am a former mechanic (now service advisor) and I have a few technician friends. Between the few of us I am more than sure I can fix these concerns. If I cannot, then 2) I'll take it to the dealership where I'm employed and have it repaired at a discount. The reason that I share this story is because times are hard and there is no such thing as "disposable income." When shopping for a used vehicle, make sure that you can actually afford to inherit the concerns that come with it. I'm not saying that I am, but I may be better suited than most. And if you must buy from craigslist, always take some one with you. If not for safety concerns, maybe to smack you in the head from buying something you shouldn't have...

    1993 Chevy Suburban 1500 2WD
    "If you're not chasing your dreams, you're just running in place..." Me
  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I bought my 96' know it needed some work. So far most of the work needed has been done and the truck is running great (besides the serpentine belt screeching) got the truck to the point where its no longer leaking any oil. My parents get angry that I've spend a decent amount on the repairs of my truck, but at this point its all about mods and longevity.
  3. therealtonyg3

    therealtonyg3 New Member

    I too, knew going into this that I would have to spend some money to ensure that it is mechanically sound. Its too often that people (younger, that live in my area) want to buy a truck and start accessorizing before they fix any future concerns. What they end up with is a pretty lawn ornament! Good luck with your Tahoe. I will be posting pics of my truck soon.
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Funny thing is I'm only 17, but have spent well over 1,200 on repairs/preventive maintenance on my truck. Most work I do myself and have to save up for/borrow from parents and pay it back. Currently I'm giving my mom money for her credit card so I can buy a bigger alternator and new belt.

    And its true younger people don't know how to take care of cars my friends always ask me when should oil be changed, why is my car making a weird noise, or, the best, can you jump start my car (had to do that today to a newer mazda 3 with custom rims and paint).
  5. therealtonyg3

    therealtonyg3 New Member

    Thats great that you are doing the work yourself! There is no better teacher than experience. When I bought my first car, my very first purchase for it was a Chilton's manual and a tool kit. Years later, after having turned my "shade tree" experience into a career (went to tech school), I feel confident when I climb under the hood and tackle a project. Sometimes I do have to put her in a shop, due to not having a lift to do more serious tasks. Keep at it, you may be inspiring some of your friends to start repairing their own vehicles!
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yah, my friends arn't that handy I live a town that is mainly middle class where most parents pay for their kids cars. Yes, my parents bought my car, but I spend the money for repairs. (on of the first buys for my truck was the manual may get a GM service manual soon)
    I wish I had access to a lift still, need to replace my shocks and its a pain with out a lift.

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