Purchase or Pass?

We have twin sons who are getting to the driving age, so we’ve been looking for another family vehicle. Something that would support their passion for the outdoors while also hauling our family and towing the boat and/or trailer as a back-up vehicle. So, today we went to go check out this beauty — we will let you know in the next post if we purchased it or not. We are posting to help our teens understand the car-buying process and thought we’d share in the event it could be something others might benefit. In the meantime, see what you think and let us know in the comments if what you would have done…. Purchase or Pass?


Here’s the description:


The ad was on Craig’s List and we met the seller at a Publix parking lot. The vehicle looked really nice on the outside and pretty clean on the inside. It smelled strongly of auto freshener. I noticed that the man selling the vehicle kept leaving the doors open.

While my husband spoke with the seller, I climbed into the passenger seat. I shut the doors and checked the AC front and back and then the heater. In checking out the controls, I saw that the temperature button wouldn’t turn at all, so there was no way to control the temp from the second seat. I also noticed that the tray in the front was open and when I closed it, it wouldn’t open again. The leather seats did look like they were in fairly good condition… some wear, but no rips or tears. They didn’t have heated or AC seats like our old Eddie Bauer Excursion used to have so that was a disappointment.

We also quickly learned there was no third row seat. The seller told us that his son used the car and didn’t need to use the third row, so they never put it in. The hitch was damaged and when we asked about the key for the hitch he said he didn’t have one, so that would be a full day to take that off and perhaps involve a weld job. We also checked the tires. They were shiny, but they weren’t brand new as there was some wear on the tread. My husband took it for a test drive and it handled well. We opened our CarFax app and pulled a report based on the vehicle’s VIN. This is the report (we have pieced screenshots together and blurred out the VIN # and those who serviced the vehicle to respect the privacy of those relating to this vehicle.)

Finally, we popped the hood and checked the belts and for leaks. Everything looked pretty good – just a minor crack on the front grill that was cosmetic. The belts were beginning to crack, so it would need to be replaced. As we begin to look at the CarFax Report, we begin to see some things that the seller hadn’t mentioned… What do you notice?


Let us know what you would do, would you purchase or pass? Tell us why!

And stay tuned later for (as Paul Harvey would say) the rest of the story…





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s