So Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed


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Hi,
I am an auto enthusiast with experience in the Auto industry & I am happy to join TAI. This is my first thread & it has a strong purpose -

"Create awareness among TAI members about how the certified used car industry works"

Everybody who wants to own a car & has limited budget thinks of buying a car from his known circle/ from a reputed USED CAR OUTLET that sells Certified Cars.

Here is what you should know, before you venture out to purchase any car from any CERTIFIED OUTLET.

PARENT COMPANY = CAR MANUFACTURER
HONEST DEALER = LOCAL FRANCHISES

Myths:
  1. Certified cars are fully Refurbished
  2. Cars are certified by PARENT COMPANY Engineer
  3. They are as reliable as new cars
  4. Prices are fair for the quality you get
  5. 100% Accident free cars are sold in THE CERTIFIED CAR OUTLETS
  6. many more points to cover

FACTS:
1. CERTIFIED CARS ARE FULLY REFURBISHED BY THE DEALER BEFORE SELLING
PARENT COMPANY specifies its HONEST dealers to refurbish the car before it is put on display. However to save on margins, no HONEST dealer does this, instead they replace only these stuff – Wheel caps, mud flaps, steering grip etc. Seat covers are never changed, spark plugs are never changed, and carpet is not changed. AS LONG AS CAR IS FUNCTIONAL, its aesthetic value is ignored to a certain extent. Accessories are never provided unless the customer is paying a high price for the car/ doesnt negotiate the price quoted.

2.Cars are certified by PARENT COMPANY Engineer
CERTIFIED BY PARENT COMPANY ENGINEER, but he never saw it!
Cars are sourced by SOURCING/Procurement executives, the PARENT COMPANY Engineer visits only once in a fortnight/ a month just to put seal & sign on the certificate (on dealer letter head). He has not seen the car at all! In the companies that I worked so far, the cars sold will get their certificates & warranty booklets only after a month or so from the time of sale.

The procurement executives are trained by the PARENT COMPANY for a couple of days & are let to work with seniors in the field for a few weeks before they are deployed to work as individual sourcing executives.

The risk of bringing a defective car/ cost of misjudgement is borne by the Sourcing Executive & not the company.

3. RELIABILITY FACTOR
Certified Cars are serviced by experienced professionals & as we expect no preventive maintenance is done. For example: If a car to be sold has "disc pads" which can last for a couple of thousand kilometers, they will not replace it, same applies to battery, wheel bearings, clutch plate, pressure plate. However they do replace clutch cable & similar parts which cost only a few pennies.

If there is any breakdown (even on the day of purchase) there is no “FREE ON ROAD ASSISTANCE” offered by the dealer! Unless the customer makes a big argument with Manager/ visits dealership shouting expletives!

The least driven car is still the most reliable car, even if you are buying from the dealer.

4. Prices are fair for the quality you get
Prices are no where near the pricing index provided by PARENT COMPANY! Instead they are decided by sales team leaders/manager. Still further the price is hiked by the sales agent to earn extra incentives!

Typical way HONEST DEALER works –

Buying price + Repair price + Insurance + warranty cost + RTO documentation charges + Margin = Selling cost

Incentives of Sales & Procurement executives depend on the extent to which the buyer is conned. There are different slabs based on which it is calculated.

Example 1:
If net margin to the outlet on selling a car is INR 30000/- the sales agent gets 1000/- as incentive, 1000 for the sourcing executive & rest for the team head/ incharge (around 1000).

Example 2:
If net margin to the outlet on selling a car is INR 55000/- the sales agent gets 1500/- as incentive, 1500 for the sourcing executive & rest for the team head/ incharge(around 2000).

SO EVERY CAR IS QUOTED HIGH PRICE, to ensure the dealership team runs as a well oiled machine. 3/10 cars sold will fetch 20K profit each, the rest will fetch 55K or more on each.

5. 100% Accident free cars are sold in THE CERTIFIED CAR OUTLETS

As per HONEST, any car whose chassy is not welded/altered/cut/replaced either full or partially. Is an accident free car. Which means, if there is a dent on the running board/ floor/roof/pillars etc which can be fixed by using “DENT PULLER” machine it is still an accident free car. Even if all doors are repainted/ replaced/welded/cut it still is a ACCIDENT FREE CAR.

Quality of paint job on CERTIFIED CARS is way too lower than RR (Running repair) customer cars. This is mainly due to use of NON-OEM paints & untrained (but experienced) painters in the RF center. My own company doesn’t use 2K/Dupont/PPG kind of brands they use a local company paint because that company has installed a paint booth free of cost for the company & my dealership pays no money to that company for the paint booth as long as they buy paints from them.

I have tonnes of info to reveal, in the next posts. I am active on other forums hence I cannot post all this data. You can ask me any query, except my identity.

Thanks again to all the readers.

AutoFact
 
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Re: So-Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Hye Autofact, welcome to TAI.

Nice post man, This would definitely help many prospect buyers who are looking out for used cars.

Thanks a lot.
 
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Re: So-Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Welcome to TAI.

Great post, this would be an eye opener for many people. [:D]
 
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Re: So-Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

@Autofact, great thread. Thanks for starting it. If you can, please elaborate on the nnn-point checks these guys talk about. How many of these points are actually useful for a buyer of certified cars.
 

vijay

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Re: So-Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Thankyou for the share autofact and welcome to the forum.
One thing most of the dealers in used car showrooms does and have heard them saying this personally is, what most of the buyers looks is music system,good neat clean car from outside,and should be in runniing state for few kms while test drives.
We purchase used cars, spend some 5 yto 10k and we get 40 to 50 grands more then the seller would expect from his car.
 
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Re: So Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Good one buddy. Hope this will help at least some who are keen on used cars. I always felt it would be better to buy from the authorized dealer itself, if they got a genuine used car outlet. These kind of outlets got engineers who are working with the same cars for years, so better experience. Another main thing is that most of the cars sold by this kind of outlets are the exchanged ones. Anyways, its always suggested to be very keen before buying a used car from any kind of outlet.
 
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Great thread. As a certified car user I am agreeing all of this things and luckily I am not experienced anything fraud as my brother working with a Maruti ASS as he replaced and serviced everything as per the manual before I am getting my car.

and what about the odo? the will break and reset?
 
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Excellent write up Autofact.
Hope this will help most of the TAI members while taking a decision.
And welcome to TAI.

Jeno
 
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Welcome to TAI...

A thread like this was badly needed !

some accounts of fellow members highlight the daylight robbery these people do
 
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Re: So Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Good write up!

I had worked for 2.5 days to be exact at maruti true value . it was when i was mad to work with cars!

That 2 days was enough[frustration] how they used to work.
 
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Re: So Called ‘Certified’ Used Cars – Myths & Facts Exposed

Hey nice writeup, the only thing i do not agree is, you have said If there is a dent on the pillars its a accident free car. But if the car gets a hit at its pillars its generally difficult to get the correct shape back.

Please correct me if wrong.
 
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Really a eye opener post. Autofact reveal more about these frauds. I recently suggested a friend who planned to take a Used car from a Certified dealer in Trivandrum. I believed that those people will check the car thoroughly before delivering. He was not ok with the deal they offered. Hes planning to get a new one it seems.
 
Thread Starter #15
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Replies & more info

Thanks a lot for the wonderful support. Here are my replies. Do feel free to ask more questions [:)]

Hey nice writeup, the only thing i do not agree is, you have said If there is a dent on the pillars its a accident free car. But if the car gets a hit at its pillars its generally difficult to get the correct shape back.

Please correct me if wrong.
Sir, today almost all authorised bodyshops use certain time saving special tools such as "DENT PULLER". Here is a pic of the machine. It uses electricity to get stuck to the car surface & later a small hammering action pulls the dent out. However for this the paint on the dented surface is fist removed & then once the job is done, they grind the surface then putty then primer & finally paint. In such a case the pillar/running board is not cut/welded, so it still qualifies as an accident car (atleast as per the company terms).

Dent-Puller.jpg

a sample pic from google - dented pillar (yes this will be fixed, painted & sold as accident free)

IMG_4443.jpg

Great thread. As a certified car user I am agreeing all of this things and luckily I am not experienced anything fraud as my brother working with a Maruti ASS as he replaced and serviced everything as per the manual before I am getting my car.

and what about the odo? the will break and reset?
There are different ways to alter the odometer, here are some of the most common tricks -
1. Disconnecting speedometer cable from gearbox & using car for as long as the owner wants. In this case it is difficult to check/prove the tampering. So you can depend on other sources such as

TYRE MANUFACTURED DATE: printed on every tyre.
If a 2009model swift shows a meter reading of only 15,000kms, you can have a look at all of its tyres & manufactured dates. If it still has the 2009dates on them, chances of tampering are lower, how ever if it shows something like the below pic, you can drill deeper into the car & ask more questions to get a clearer picture.

In the below picture the number punched is "1111"
meaning the tyre was manufacture in the 11th week of the year 2011

2. Tampering the meters using standard drill gun type machine with adapter cable - In such a case, if it is not done properly, 3 out of ten chances are there that the speedometer needle will tend to rattle/shake (as if it is lose) when you accelerate/brake hard. (this is in case of older cars).

In digital odometer cars a different method is used to do the same task (lowering km reading). In this case the tachometer needle will drop unevenly when you take your foot off the throttle pedal.

Lets say I start the car in neutral & raise the rpm to 6000 & all of a sudden I take my foot off the throttle. the needle will gently roll back to 1000 with one or two short pauses. However this method works only 6 out of 10 times. otherwise we have other sources to check for.

SHOCKER:
3.NO CERTIFIED CAR INSPECTOR/EVALUATOR is trained or given any tool to check the authenticity of the ODOMETER. If you dont believe me, ask the Sales Person to explain you how they source cars & specifically the ODOMETER verification part. You will be surprised.

@Autofact, great thread. Thanks for starting it. If you can, please elaborate on the nnn-point checks these guys talk about. How many of these points are actually useful for a buyer of certified cars.
Each brand has its own no:of checkpoints that they look for.

Example:
TRUE VALUE has a 120checkpoint inspection/evaluator sheet that they usually adhere to while sorucing cars. The customer (SELLER) is allowed to see the sheet only at the time of inspection & not while negotiating or any other time.

HOWEVER THE SHEET IS NEVER SHOWN TO THE BUYER, AS YOU WOULD GET TO KNOW THE EXACT AMOUNT SPENT ON REPAIRS! Thus easy for the customer to judge their margins etc.

The 120checkpoint will cover the vehicle under these parameters
1. Documentation - no:of owners, insurance validity, RC or DRC, LTT paid or not, any loan existing/ closed, NOC from the previous bank/financier etc
2. Body panel damages - includes chassy works/genuity, paint mismatch, repainted surface, replaced doors etc
3. Electrical - working of switches, bulbs, broken/cracked taillights, headlamps, speedo console lights, battery charging etc
4. Suspension - strut leakage, broken lower arms, unusual noise, oil leakage, sagging on one side etc
5. Wheels - Tyre condition, rim condition, wheel cap availability, 5th alloy wheel, stepney status, cracked/aged tyres, thread depth available etc
6. Glass - all glasses for cracks, replaced glasses, windshield scratches, power widnow closing & opening etc
7. Engine & drivetrain systems (Clutch & gearshift) - pressure plate/ clutch plate worn out, engine tappet noise, head gasket oil leak, oil sump damage, clutch release bearing problems, driveshafts etc
8.all rubber gaskets on doors, interior cleanliness, seatcover status, etc & it goes on.

Most of these things are mentioned on the paper, but not really checked. I will post later a simpler clearer way to inspect used cars.

DID YOU KNOW:
  1. For every 100 cars sourced by the professional evaluator atleast 2 will be accident cars
  2. Most of the local (single showroom) dealers depend on these bigger authorised centers for supply of accident cars
  3. these accident cars are later sold off to unsuspecting buyers at marginally high prices
  4. NO TOOL IS USED TO CHECK THE STATUS OF ALTERNATOR CHARGING at the time of inspection
  5. Engine condition is the last thing to be worried about for a Maruti/Hyundai evaluator
  6. An item as silly as windshield wiper blade will not be replaced, unless it is asked for
  7. If the service record shows that the car has been recently serviced for a big bill, then the RF center will not carry out any of those task again, however while delivering the car they will claim to have done all that
  8. Service hostory is only shown & never printed & given to customer (buyer)
  9. Inter changing of Music systems, speakers, LED fittings, mud flaps, exhaust mufflers is pretty common

THE FREE SERVICES OFFER:
Maruti offers 3free services + 1yr/15000kms warranty
Hyundai offers 2free service + 1yr/20000kms warranty

FREE SERVICE - real meaning
Free inspection service, most of the works will be carried out only if it is required. Oil change cost is passes to you only if the oil is changed which will be done only if you have driven a few 1000kms. Wheel balancing & alignment are again decided by the service advisor solely.

Warranty:
warranty usually covers these items

Engine, gearbox, suspension, driveshafts & in some companies even ac compressor. NEVER AGREE FOR VERBAL COMMITMENTS, take it in writing as to what is covered under warranty & what not.

What's not covered under warranty:
All glass, plastic, electrical, rubber items.
Clutch plate, pressure plate, release bearing, clutch cable, pedal
throttle cable, handbrake cable, all fluids, all filters, all brake pads, bulbs
doors, bodyline, hinges, handles, locks, keys, accesories
battery, ignition coil, spark plugs, HT chords, wiring harnesses
rusting, life of welds & many more.


the next post will reveal about loans & the chemistry between banks & the dealerships. till then - a million thanks
 
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