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KWRB
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I know there are a few car guys on here. If like to know if you can tell me anything about this.

I believe there is a requirement that used cars be sold with adequate brakes. How is this defined? My mother bought a new used car and the brakes are shot. Shocker: the dealer offered her a real good deal on a brake job -for them.

I'm going to pick up the car now, and I'd like to have some ammunition to let them know about themselves. It torques me off how they rely on the ignorance of the average consumer to make money.

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In PA, it takes a VERY minimal pad to pass, 2 or 3 /32nds iirc.

What is unsafe is rusty brake lines and we cannot fail a rusty line unless it is leaking! WTH?!

A pad can be down to the metal and stop the car safely.

I tell ANYONE with badly rusted lines it will pass but I wouldn`t drive it out the driveway.

They always choose to have me replace them and I HATE rusty brake/tranny/fuel line repairs!

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7 hours ago, MTO said:

 I HATE rusty brake/tranny/fuel line repairs!

I know the feeling. I get shivers whenever I take a look under my 02 yukon, they are getting bad and I know that once you start you better just plan on doing them all. At least there are kits available that makes it easier.

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Kurt, don't hold me to this, but I thought in NY, all used vehicles had to pass a NYS annual inspection at the time of sale with a new window sticker issued, even if the current inspection was still valid. 

I may be recalling this incorrectly as I usually buy lease turn-ins and they would be due for them regardless.

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12 minutes ago, SAM86 said:

Kurt, don't hold me to this, but I thought in NY, all used vehicles had to pass a NYS annual inspection at the time of sale with a new window sticker issued, even if the current inspection was still valid. 

I may be recalling this incorrectly as I usually buy lease turn-ins and they would be due for them regardless.

You are correct.  Dealer sales AND private sales both are required to get a fresh NYSI (New York State Inspection).  It is a big no-no for a dealer NOT to scrape an inspection sticker off of a trade-in. Even just for said vehicle to sit in the back lot.

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1 hour ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

I know the feeling. I get shivers whenever I take a look under my 02 yukon, they are getting bad and I know that once you start you better just plan on doing them all. At least there are kits available that makes it easier.

Benn there on my '04 2500. I used a SS kit but what a PITA! Extended cab, long bed so long lines to thread. After bleeding you still need to hook a scan tool up for the auto bleed sequence or never  get all the air out of the system.

I ended up doing the fuel and oil cooler lines too; all rusted to crap.

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First off, Thanks to @RichardDSalyer for the suggestion about the attorney general's consumer advocacy office. I fired that bullet in battle today, but we'll get to it. Get your popcorn ready.

Short Version: car was sold with "6mm of brake pads on the front" per their internal inspection report at the time of sale. My mother complained about the brakes since the day she took delivery. Now has "less than 1mm". Car has been driven 5k mi since taking delivery. Salesmen gave her the runaround, then tried to BS me.

 

Long Version:

My best friend is a GM auto tech. He's an honest guy and I give him lots of business and he's always been good to me. Works at a dealership, not the one where my mom bought her car. My mom is/was married. Going through a blind side divorce. A while back, she traded her Cadillac in on an Equinox. It seemed the reasonable thing to do. Lower payment, more reliable car, and the young man at the dealership was "just so nice". She says she "just explained what happened and he was really good to me.". Uh huh. right...

She bought it, and it had 24,500 miles on it. Front brakes measured 6 mm thick in their own inspection report with the car. From the word go, the brakes were squiffy, and they gave her the runaround for a long time about it. Fast forward to today, the car has 29,650 miles and less than 1 mm brake pad thickness. So it's gone through 5mm+ of brake pads in 5k mi and they recommend she get all four brakes estimated at $800... That doesn't add up.

I spoke first to the "really nice" salesman and asked to see the documentation. I was polite and objective. He told me not to worry, that they'd "taken care of that", because he was going to give her $100 off (off of a dealership brake job). I politely said "that's not going to happen, she won't be paying that.". When he asked why, I told him that something wasn't right, and asked to see the inspection report from when the car was sold. He got it, and informed me "when we sold that car those brakes were in great shape -6 millimeters!" as if to say, "See? We're good honest people!". GM's own thickness gauges are Red for Replacement at 3mm and new pads are 9mm. So a whole brake pad's life is 6mm (9-3=6) worth of wear. This car somehow, without smelling hot, without uneven wear left to right, and without excess brake dust buildup, essentially went through an entire set of pads' life in 5k miles? I took some quick pictures of their estimate with my phone and when he realized I was doing this, snatched them out of my hand and said "I didn't give you permission to take pictures! That's our internal document! That's our property!" I asked if I could have photocopies of the reports and he says "I'll go ask". Then all *ahem* heck broke loose. Told me he was being a considerate and great guy and made her a great offer and he didn't have to do that, and that the offer was "now entirely off the table". He made some sort of comment about me being offended at his offer for $100 off the brake job. I told him "I wasn't offended; I declined", and he stormed out... of his own office... It was bizarre.

Then, someone else comes in and escorts me to the general manager's office, where we have the same conversation. blahblahblah... Car was sold with 6mm of brake pad, now has less than 1, only 5k miles. This guy first tries to tell me that driving styles can cause that. I told him no way in the world does anyone manufacture a brake pad that wears that quickly, and I don't care if it's Dale Earnhardt driving. He THEN has the audacity to tell me that the inspection said 6 and by law they can sell a car with 2mm remaining, so it really doesn't matter because they sold her a car with brakes in great shape. I told him that I know GM's standard is 3, I suspect they were at 2, and that the report mistaken. Outright lying is a possibility, but I didn't mention that, as I was trying to offer them an out. I asked him if how, if he sold it with 2mm remaining, original inspect said 6. Then he tries telling me that it's been a few months since she bought the car. Really? He honestly tried to convince me that a brake pad wear is a function of age! I told him a brake pad could be 100 years old and without mileage it doesn't magically wear while sitting; brake pad wear is based on BRAKING, which comes with DRIVING. I couldn't believe this guy. He was grasping at any line of BS he could give me.

I finally said "listen, what gets me here is trying to taking advantage of ignorance. I'm not a fool, but you all really thought you could pull one over on my mother. You succeeded, but then thought you could pull one over on me too. I only want to know if you're going to stand by these numbers. What you stated when you sold that car could not possibly have been the truth. You've said there was neither an attempt to mislead, and won't even concede the possibility of a mistake. I have no interest in wasting your time and I have no interest in wasting mine. If you're going to stand by that, and you're willing to tell the State Attorney General's Consumer Advocacy office the same thing, I'll move on with my day and you can do the same. May I have a copy of the inspection report from when the car was sold?" He says, "we're not going to give away a copy of that". I said, "I think that tells us both what we already know".

Finally, he changes tack and says, he wants to see the brakes himself, and that he'd be willing to go halfway on the cost of the parts and labor, if it's true that they're so badly worn. I'm guessing that's just about their cost, so I was happy that there would be some time spent in the shop today when they weren't making money (on robbing people). He goes and looks at them while we grab lunch. He calls back and says "I can't explain what has happened and I'll do the brakes at half cost".

So in the end, I think that the deal was a fair one, but not after probably thirty attempts to mislead me or play hardball with me and tell me to shove off. So it's not like they did the right thing because they're great guys. They did the right thing because they were confronted with undeniable data and I illustrated exactly how none of their BS explanations held water. It pays to know your stuff and I'm glad I did a little reading at the attorney general's website (thanks again @RichardDSalyer) and exchanged a few texts with a GM tech. However, not every 60 year old woman has a son who knows a little about machines, is good at arguing, has knowledgeable friends, and is so willing to go to battle. Those poor women will get taken advantage of every time and it makes my blood boil. I was wondering why I was still mad even after it was resolved and then I realized I'm not mad because my mom got taken advantage of -she didn't in the end. I'm mad because they would have fleeced her if they could, and they will continue to do it to the very next gullible or ignorant person who walks through that door.

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KWRB -

I have the equipment and space to pull all 4 wheels to take a look at what the dealership did to the brakes, which is what I would do if it were me. If you don’t have a place to do it I’d take it to your friend that works at a different dealership to have the work checked even if it costs a few dollars.

If you think I believe they might have done a shoddy job you are correct - would not trust them.

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2 hours ago, Dave Downs said:

KWRB -

I have the equipment and space to pull all 4 wheels to take a look at what the dealership did to the brakes, which is what I would do if it were me. If you don’t have a place to do it I’d take it to your friend that works at a different dealership to have the work checked even if it costs a few dollars.

If you think I believe they might have done a shoddy job you are correct - would not trust them.

Absolutely! Thank you for the advice; I plan to do exactly that. If they were deceptive before, I'm sure they'll do it again.

I fully expect to have to regrease slides etc.

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7 minutes ago, 1466fan said:

I would be concerned about why there wearing so fast. Got a traverse with 200 000 and haven't touched the brakes and still tons of pad left. 

I don't think they wore that fast. I think there were virtually no brakes on the car when it was purchased and they BS'ed the initial inspection. The State would have determined the same thing, and because they performed their own inspections, it would be a real liability. That's why they relented.

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16 minutes ago, Ihfan4life said:

My wife just bought a new truck there??

Everyone I know has an Alderman story, everyone has had 1 or 2 or 10 bad experiences there, either in car buying or service yet they keep going back.  I don’t get it, I wouldn’t buy a wheelbarrow there, I sure as heck wouldn’t get it serviced there. 

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3 hours ago, vtfireman85 said:

Everyone I know has an Alderman story, everyone has had 1 or 2 or 10 bad experiences there, either in car buying or service yet they keep going back.  I don’t get it, I wouldn’t buy a wheelbarrow there, I sure as heck wouldn’t get it serviced there. 

She’s supposed to be getting some cash for a referral. She told one of her friends about Alderman and they bought a new truck there...?

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17 hours ago, KWRB said:

I don't think they wore that fast. I think there were virtually no brakes on the car when it was purchased and they BS'ed the initial inspection. The State would have determined the same thing, and because they performed their own inspections, it would be a real liability. That's why they relented.

How close are you to Avoca, NY. South Main Auto has a Youtube channel and he is very thorough and honest. Check him out if you have time.

South Main Auto

Below is Eric O's latest video about faulty inspections.

NY Faulty Inspections

 

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20 hours ago, KWRB said:

I don't think they wore that fast. I think there were virtually no brakes on the car when it was purchased and they BS'ed the initial inspection. The State would have determined the same thing, and because they performed their own inspections, it would be a real liability. That's why they relented.

I think he means why did they wear that fast for the previous owner. Im sure they were wore out when your mom got it, but original brakes usually last 50 or 60,000 miles around here. 

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3 hours ago, iowaboy1965 said:

I think he means why did they wear that fast for the previous owner. Im sure they were wore out when your mom got it, but original brakes usually last 50 or 60,000 miles around here. 

That is an impressive mileage for brakes in the Great State of Chloride, er, New York.  New York State loves to apply road salt!!!

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