When looking for a deal there are many American, Asian, or European luxury cars that can be had for a fraction of their price from when they were new. Many customers tend to buy from local dealers for the sake of convenience. Buying from a local used car dealer saves time and is convenient as they are usually a short drive from home. Unfortunately, due to city driving conditions used luxury cars from the New York City Metro area always tend to develop problems or need major repair sooner in our experience.
- Suspension Wear- City driven cars see much more abuse to their suspension systems. The car might drive fine during a quick test drive, but a strut or wheel bearing might be one pot hole away from failing. Suspension components tend to last the longest when mostly highway driven on smooth roads.
Depending on the type of luxury car, suspension components might be very expensive to replace. Mercedes Benz and Land Rover have very expensive suspension components their on air ride equipped vehicles. Audi has pricey active engine mounts and control arms. All of these parts will experience accelerated wear and tear on New York City’s damaged roads.
- Body Damage – Cars that have spent time in New York City quickly get their bumpers covered in dings and scrapes by people who have no respect for stranger’s property, or people who can’t drive and park by braille. When you are lucky to find a parking lot most spaces are very cramped and it is likely that if a careless person parks next to you they will dent your car when they swing their doors open.
Bumpers and other body panels for luxury vehicles are very expensive since they have much smaller production numbers than your typical Honda Civic or Toyota Camry. There is a much smaller supply of parts making them more expensive. Outside of large cities you can commonly find cars that are 10 years old in near mint aesthetic condition.
- Engine Wear- Stop and go traffic causes a lot of wear to a car’s engine. Accelerating out of red lights and constant idling of an engine causes temperature spikes which deteriorates rubber components faster. This causes leaks sooner and wears out engine oil faster. Contrary to common sense a higher mileage engine that has spent most of its life highway cruising will be much healthier and last more years than an engine that has sat in stop and go traffic idling for extended periods of time. On the highway engine RPM is more constant with the optimum amount of air flow to cool components. Also an out of state car with higher mileage will be cheaper than a city car with less miles, but a more worn out engine.
- Rust – In New York we get some brutal winters and the City salts the roads any time there is even a slight possibility of snow. This salt gets kicked up and caked to the under body of cars. If not thoroughly washed off, this causes the body to rust and rot. When rust gets bad enough in structural areas of the body or frame, the car can become unsafe to drive. The salt can also rot out fuel lines and even your brake lines causing your car to suddenly lose the ability to stop. This issue tends to be more common in Nissans and some General Motors products, but affects all makes and models of cars driven in New York and New Jersey. This can be avoided by sourcing a car from further south where warmer weather makes snow a rare occurrence and the car isn’t exposed to any salt.
- Transmission wear – Similar to engine wear, transmissions like to sit in one gear at constant RPM. Stop and go traffic makes your transmission work harder shifting through gears to suddenly come to another stop at a red light. This causes premature wear on the gears and clutch packs on automatic transmissions. Also causes them to run hotter which also reduces their service life. As some of us know rebuilding a transmission is not a quick or inexpensive repair. Luxury cars tend to have more expensive transmissions with more gears or of uncommon special designs such as BMW’s DCT transmissions or Audi’s DSG transmissions which are more complicated and pricey to rebuild. In a used car you are better of with a higher mileage transmission that did more highway driving than one that sat in city traffic.
When looking to purchase a used luxury car, it has been our experience that customers that buy an out of state car are much happier in the long term. Regardless of where you find the car you are looking to purchase we always recommend a pre-purchase inspection by us at Tolimas Auto Center to avoid buying a lemon with hidden problems that will cost you thousands to repair right after buying your car.