My Craigslist Crapshoot Car search continues.
This is the story of a guy selling a 2006 IS350 for $11K. He lives about 45 mins away from me, so some planning must go into travelling to see the car. Yesterday as I was driving to see the car, he cancelled the meet while I was half way there. Later that day, he tried to reschedule for 8pm in a dark shopping center parking lot, which I declined. So late last night we finally agreed on a meeting this morning at 10am. I decided to arrive early this time, and again he emailed me about a half hour before the meeting asking to reschedule. I told him no, I was already there waiting. So about 10 minutes after we were supposed to meet, and after his second attempt to skip it, he finally showed up.
As soon as the car rolls up, I think I can see why his preferred meeting times are after the sun sets. The car is not in the same shape as the photos. If I had to guess, the photos were from when he first purchased the car a few years ago. The car before me has many more miles of wear and tear than the photos that were posted showed.
There are many visible scratches on the driver, passenger, front and rear of the car. They mostly appear to be rubbing or car vs object rashes of some kind. Fine, itâ€™s got some wear, so Iâ€™ll do the walkaround check out anyway.
I notice that the car is still running, so I asked him to shut it off. He refuses and muttered some kind of excuse that I didnâ€™t catch. I start asking about service history, fluid changes, that sort of thing. He says he *thinks* the oil was changed recently but canâ€™t be sure. He has no service records he can show. He says heâ€™s the second owner and did no mods to the car, but I can see several of them.
The front bumper is falling off on the passenger side of the car. I ask about an accident. He says its probably from parking scuffs. Right, because light taps on a curb rip screws out of things.
The wheels are some kind of oversized aftermarket thing, and they are scraped up on all four corners. I ask if he has the originals, he says no, and that he also asked for them from the original owner, who changed them.
He mentions something about the tires being too big, which looks odd to me because the sidewall profile looks right. Then I look past the tires and see that most of the wheel well cladding is missing from both front wheel wells, and some is missing from both rear wells. I ask about this and he gives me a shrug and says that the original owner said that the wheels were rubbing, so his fix was to rip out the material it was rubbing onâ€¦ not to change the wheels back.
I keep investigating, looking for leaks, oil stains, etc. Coming to the driver side I find the rear wheel and the front wheel are both missing one lug nut each. I ask about this and again get some kind of muttering about the car occasionally shakes, but thatâ€™s just how it is. He then remarks that he had a flat and had to change it, so thatâ€™s probably why the lug nuts are gone.
Finally, I come to the interior of the car. In place of the top of the dash, thereâ€™s some kind of cloth cushion cover thing, spanning the entire dash area. I ask about this and inquire about the melting dash, which is a known Lexus thing. He says no, he doesnâ€™t have this problem, but this was put on for protection. I can take the cover off, he says. I try, but find that thereâ€™s a giant strip of Velcro that spans the entire front top of the dash, door to door, to hold onto this cover.
At this point Iâ€™d had enough, packed up my stuff, and got back in the truck. He asked if we were going to take a test drive and I said no, I wouldnâ€™t drive a car in the condition that this one is in. He wanted to know if I would make an offer on it. I said Iâ€™d think about it.
I did think about it, for about 15 seconds. Thereâ€™s no way I would buy a car that is that poorly maintained with that little care given to it. I now understand why itâ€™s on Craigslist and not AutoTrader or Cars.com