I have found a web site to help anyone who is researching cars before you purchase. The way I found this site is not as important as what it has, but my woes are explained briefly at the end of this post. The NHTSA describes itself as: "NHTSA, established in 1970, directs highway safety and consumer programs and is dedicated to achieving the highest standards of excellence in motor vehicle and highway safety. And for more than 30 years the agency has set the standard for safety, helping consumers find safer cars with its 5-Star Safety Ratings."
What I found is that if you search the year, make, and model, you will see a list of components that people have complained about. Some of the entries for my car appear to be entered by mechanics who care about their customers and the auto industry. My search included what I have found to be very common problems with the kind of car I drive.
So before you buy, go there and research your prospective purchase. If you do, you may avoid some frustration and expense. I would not have bought the car I have, if I had seen the available information this site has on it.
Here is the link to the search page in the complaint section of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website:
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/complaints/index.cfm NOTE: Click the "Search Selected Type" under the left side of the box in the middle of the page that has "Select the TYPE of Search". This will start the search for year, make, model, and components.
How I got there: I had my vehicle inspected. It passed, but it overheated while it was idling waiting for me to pay the inspection fee. The friendly mechanic "tested" "a part" for free while I looked on, and then he said, "...this is a very common problem with this car." Interested in verifying what he said, I searched the net. In less than an hour, I found hundreds of descriptions of my problem. In one of the forums I found the link to the NHTSA web site. On that site I found exact descriptions of the problem(s) that I have had in the last few years. Although I am frustrated that my current car has "common" issues that the dealer must have known about, I am pleased to know I can research my future purchases more completely.
Heath Coker, Associate Broker
Robert Paul Properties
www.CapeGroup.com / email@example.com
508-274-5613 Licensed in MA
Its a beautiful day on Cape Cod!
@CapeGroup Skype: heath.coker