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  • Stew

First Used Car Salesman Experience Looking for a Sprinter

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

After looking all over the internet for a used van to buy and convert (see "the search") I eventually found a van not to far away in Connecticut and since I was going there anyway I went to check it out.

This was my first real encounter with a used car salesman that gave me "a used car salesman" story. The used car lot was an half paved half unpaved lot off a main strip in central Connecticut, a 4 hour subway and bus ride from Brooklyn. I went into the front office and inquired about the van, a 2006 white dodge sprinter, and a friendly man said "Of course, let me go make sure it's ready". After waiting about 5 or so minutes I went outside to see the van and as I walked up to it I could hear the fairly distinctive noise of an a aerosol spray can. Looking at the van and smelling the paint fumes I quickly realized the man had been spray painting over the rust stains on the van. What the hell. I would much rather of seen the condition of the rust because it didn't look too bad but was now obviously covered in bright white spray paint standing out from the faded white van.

Upon further inspection of the van there were numerous other issues. None of the doors closed properly or required slamming closed to engage the lock, an safety concern for street parking in New York City. There was a small hole in the floor inside the cargo area of the van revealing the grass and mud underneath he van. The fuel cap didn't latch closed and flapped open in the wind. The windshield had a minor but noticeable crack across it. I looked under the van and it did not appear to be too rusted but there was severely frayed cable, I'm not sure what it connected too but I doubt it had much life left in it.

I decided to take the van for a test ride so I could have something to compare to in the future (I had pretty much decided I didn't want this van at this point). The van seemed to run okay but the steering felt extremely heavy. Maybe this is true with all older vans maybe not but it didn't feel right as if the power steering needed some attention. The car salesman asked me to make an offer and since I didn't want to offend him with an offer well well below the online price I told him I had a few others to look at first.

Overall a good learning experience to see what a used car salesmen will try and do to hide flaws in a car

and also to test drive my first sprinter.

Having a fun used car salesman story. 10/10 would recommend.

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