I hope this is the right place to come [Advice on buying a car]

I have posted on other forums without a response, even though I just posted last night. I am urgently looking for opinions asap.
I don’t mean to make it a book but I am going to act on this situation tomorrow, before I make the best or biggest mistake of my life!

here it goes:

he other day I test drove a 2008 MDX from a private party. It was just a color that I wanted for the interior and exterior. Very clean, seemed to check out, there was alot of rust inside the front wheel but the guys that were with me checked it out for flooding, I guess it was ok. When I test drove it, I was ready to go to the bank!

The mechanic showed up there to look at it for me, she was telling him and my ex husband, how she unhooks the battery every night. Mechanic said it was no big deal all you have to do is unhook the Bluetooth. That is also what was making the airbag light go off. He said if this is the one you like, buy it!

They wanted full private party price. The exterior/interior shape was well worth it but I didnt fully understand this battery issue. Once we got to the bank, I told her I was going to have to think about it overnight.

In the meantime my friend was sending me a Carfax on my phone. He says it was 2 owner vehicle, bought in Texas, that there was no maintenance records on it as far as oil changes that’s no big deal because the first owner could have took it to a Jiffy Lube, the alternator was already replaced once and it’s already gone through two batteries. Honda took it in as a trade but didn’t resell it even though they should have been able to make good money on it, instead they sold it to auction because they recognized this issue and didnt want to sell it to their customers making them unhappy, complaining and risking their dealership reputation. The current owners bought it from a dealership 10 months ago in a nearby city. He does all his own maintenance for oil changes, ect and never had to take this one in.

I felt like I had to give her an answer right away so told this sweet couple that I could not buy this vehicle as is, I don’t think anyone would buy it having to unhook the battery every night. I said I would consider it but I will not commit to buying it even if it gets fixed. Not realizing all they had to do is unhook the Bluetooth because of miscommunication between me and my mechanic. So I’m panicking thinking that there’s something beyond the alternator it’s making it burn out trying to keep the battery charged. Electrical issues can become big future headaches and a financial drain. If not the whole computer.

I started searching online and I found out that Honda has his lawsuit against them over this issue in the older models. Apparently I went too far with it, otherwise Honda would have done a recall on those vehicles.

So now I need to decide if I want to buy this car without the Bluetooth feature. It seemed to be a great car and its making me especially sad to let this one go, but then they ALL make me sad to let go, lol. This one was special because it was so clean and perfect colors in and out. I don’t know how long it will take me to find the right color with the right interior again.

Any advice would be apreciated. I want to know if anyone else has had this bluetooth issue, and if unhooking it was the success of their remedy.

If I do turn it down, I wonder how long it will take me to find a good one again. Its not just one year or one model this happened to. Or just wait til I have more money and avoid them all to get newer then 2008!

I texted them this morning and told them I found a Youtube video on how to unhook the bluetooth module, so we can see how the battery reacts. They seemed happy to get the advise and did it right away. Said it was a piece of cake. We are both anxious to see if this took care of the problem. Has anyone had this problem themselves with a bluetooth, or airconditioner component slow drain the battery? If so was this the entire remedy to fix the problem. As I know it happens in BMW’s and Volvo’s too. If it hasn’t happen, how would you rate your built in bluetooth device? Is it worth waiting for another car that has it, working and functionable, maybe settling on a different color car or maybe even paying more by waiting and finding the final sale at a dealership instead of a private party price. Lots of questions!

If i dont buy their car, I may be able to offer to buy their tires if they still have them when I get my new MDX! :stuck_out_tongue: LoL thats just silly!

Since the OP is looking for advice, let’s move this to IMHO. Title edited to indicate subject.

General Questions Moderator

I thought that is where I am. I am not sure I understand. Is there a board topic that this would fit better? Im sorry, new just signed up but I am not new to MB’s at all, Just been awhile :slight_smile:

update: I get it now. never mind. I see you added to the title. Thanks!

I may be misreading, but I hear…

  1. Rust
  2. Electrical problems
  3. Dealer passed on the “quick fix” and dumped the vehicle to auction
  4. Full market price for an object with many issues

I don’t see a deal I would find attractive, unless there is a “rest of the story”.
Good luck, I know buying a car can be stressful.:cool:

Was this your mechanic or the seller’s?
I’d say run away. Modern cars don’t rust(especially in Texas) and don’t go through alternators and batteries like that.

Yeah, I totally get that! That’s why I opted out, I didn’t want to take on someone elses headache but really I am thinking if this is a fix for the battery issue, it’s a diamond in the rough! It ran so smooth and perfect. They were such nice people and really seemly as honest as anyone can. She didn’t want to pressure me at all into buying the car, she wanted me to be sure.

I have just heard this happening with other cars too. I want to see it again and point out the rust that I saw the first time, see if it is something that was missed. Apparently the rest of the car was just fine. It is over 10 years old, don’t they all have rust around the wheel. There was no flood damage on the carfax. It came from Texas. Someone said never buy a car from Texas, and honestly I have noticed they are cheap there, cut have no idea why.

I just have a feeling about it, or am I being wooowed by the cleanliness of the vehicle, what I loved about it. I feel like it is a good purchase because the price lowers my payments in half from what other cars I have looked at in that year at dealerships.

So nervous. The mechanic reassured me it is a solid vehicle and I trust him. He is a huge Acura/Honda fan as he owns an Acura car and rebuilds Hondas. They are all probably a little older then this but he knows his stuff. He has a business.

Also the only rust I saw was in the front wheel. I would have to see it again to be sure. I have seen so many Acuras in the last month I am going bonkers and hate letting any of them go. lol

Run away. I think it’s been wet. Remember all the flooding in Texas through the last few years?

They are unhooking the battery to clear the trouble codes, the check engine lights, etc. Once you buy the car you will find that the battery does not need to be unhooked but after a few drives your dash will light up like a Christmas tree. Will not pass DEQ inspection, if you have that in your area. Probably a hurricane damaged car.

yeah, I agree with the others. rust on a car less than 10 years old which spent much of its life in Texas? Run.

flood, collision, few possibilites. It may look nice but it sounds like there will be many hidden problems you’ll find sooner rather than later.

To clarify, you originally posted this in General Questions, which is our forum for factual questions. I moved it to IMHO, our forum for opinions and advice.

Prior poster said:
They are unhooking the battery to clear the trouble codes, the check engine lights, etc.

They are unhooking the battery to prevent it from dying after a whole day without use. Not knowing about this well know bluetooth draw issue.

Me; My mechanic did a diognostic on it with a device and there were no red flags.

PP: Once you buy the car you will find that the battery does not need to be unhooked but after a few drives your dash will light up like a Christmas tree. Will not pass DEQ inspection, if you have that in your area. Me: we dont, and he unhooked the bluetooth so it should be fine. It has passed every other inspection in the past.

PP: Probably a hurricane damaged car.
Thank you for your input, (and everyone else too) after reading this I looked up Hurricanes and floods in Texas for the years the car lived there, Now that is very vague information but I think it checked out. Nothing major in the area it appeared to live in. This couple wouldn’t have been able to happily drive it for 10 months if it was hurricane damaged.

Anyways, I am not ignoring everyones advise. I had already made an appointment to visit them tomorrow and check it out again for a afternoon stroll of curiousity. Yes, it’s sounds very weary. I should run. The owners sound like they have alot of confidence in it. They just want a truck. I probably wouldn’t have believed them did that’s why they were getting rid of it but I already saw the paperwork in her car from her coming back from Toyota looking for a Tacoma.

Thanks for your advise!

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Five-year life for a battery? Ten-year life for an alternator? Those sound normal to me.

We bought a car last year and looked at a lot of rustbuckets, That’s where you lost me. That alone would disqualify it. I don’t think it would be a smart decision to buy this car. The right one will come along.

seconded. from the other side f the pond but some things are the same anywhere. There’s always another car without any issues especially if it’s full book value.

walk away

I’m not sure I follow this.

Are you saying that if the car was parked for an extended amount of time, the previous owner had to: pop the hood and disconnect the (I would imagine) red cable from the battery terminal THEN when preparing to drive the car, had to redo this procedure again in reverse. Like every day?

Yeah, I’d have to say that’s a deal breaker and something definitely doesn’t sound right.

Would Bluetooth even sap enough power to kill a battery after 24 hours? I never touch the stuff so I don’t know but I thought it was just a signalling thing, roughly analogous to a TV remote with its minimal power needs.

If the only rust you saw was “inside the front wheel,” it was likely just the bare iron parts of the brake rotors that get swept by the brake pads. This can develop after just a few days of non-driving. Most cars can get it, but some wheel designs make it easier to see. It used to bug the heck of of me with my Mustang.

Yes it can, and its a known issue with many make and models of todays cars. I talked to friends at work that happened with the friends Volo and another friends BMW but it’s not always the Bluetooth that causes it can cause it by air conditioning too. I don’t think many people really knows about it though. The people I talk to you had no idea what was going on, they just knew that they had battery issues of slow draining batteries, and that’s what it is. There’s some components can draw from the battery if they it has a faulty off switch or something, then slowly drain it out. It doesn’t do it from day-to-day most people drive their cars day today it’s only if they let it sit for a while.

The owner of the car took the Bluetooth module out yesterday morning, then last night left the battery plugged in and started it today and it started fine it did not die.

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Sorry, I work in electrical engineering in the auto industry, and there’s no car company in existence which would consider an overnight battery drain acceptable. Absent user error like leaving the lights on.

Sorry, I work in electrical engineering in the auto industry, and there’s no car company in existence which would consider an overnight battery drain acceptable. Absent user error like leaving the lights on.

Edit: you say they removed The Bluetooth module? So this is some third party plug in device they were using? Ok, that’s different then. Those indeed can run the battery down if they don’t shut off when they should. Never mind what I said above :slight_smile: