Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Success at the car auction

Last Saturday, Stephanie and I wenT on a whirlwind auction tour. The first stop of the day was at George Roman's Auto Auction. I usually try to attend all of the car auctions for a couple of reasons. One very good reason is every now and then a car (or truck) will sell for a reasonable price. A second is the auctions are a lot of fun.

This particular truck was towed in. For the most part tow vehicles are a huge gamble. Typically they are wrecked beyond driving, or they have some horrendous mechanical problem. This Nissan would turn over but once it was started it would immediately stall out whenever the gas pedal was depressed. This made it impossible to drive.I gambled.

A few years back I had another car that did the same exact thing. The darn car would start and as soon as you tried to put it into drive it would stall. I fixed it by replacing the mass air flow sensor. It's a $100 part that anyone with a screwdriver can fix. In absolute terms I didn't know that this was the problem but I took a chance.The gamble paid off. I paid $1,150 for the truck and after paying for it I tested the air flow sensor.

Bingo!!It ran fine! Now I know that I'll be spending several hundred more to get the truck just right, but where can you buy anything for that much money. The trick to buying cars at auction is patience, observation and a little luck. Patience means passing on a lot of cars before the right one comes along. Observation, look carefully at every car and be willing to bid on the best one. Luck, pray that you were right about the first two.

This is about the 20th car or truck that I have bought at auction. I've had a few that we're bigger pains in the @&/es than they were worth. But, because I paid so little for them I've never lost any money. Often I've made pretty good money on them. So give the car auctions a try. They are like a box of chocolates Forrest.

Oh yeah, it's a 4x4, automatic,a/c and a little on the dirty side.

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