Sour Grapes At Nissan of Grapevine

Sometime in June of last year I decided to part ways with the beat up Nissan truck that I was driving. For all intents and purposes, it was a good truck but it lacked a catalytic converter and the air conditioning was out. Given the cost of repairs and the Texas summer heat, I opted to trade it in for something newer. It was the right decision although I reflect upon it with a bit of remorse.  

I took my truck to the Texas Nissan of Grapevine dealership and, where my remorse should of died, it was watered & fertilized to bear fruit presently. I hate the process of purchasing a vehicle and my experience with the dealership (aka TNOG) has only reinforced that hate. I’ll highlight the pain points so that perhaps you can learn the easy way! I was misinformed and worse, lied to, about the 2007 Altima that I purchased from them. As a future buyer, you should BEWARE.   Nissan Grapevine

When I first entered the dealership that fateful Saturday morning, one thing was clear in my mind, I did not have a lot of time. I purchased a dealer vehicle once in the past and I had no desire (or ability) to spend upwards of four hours stretching out the paperwork process. I was very clear with the young salesman Louis (yes, after a year I remember his name) about that fact and he assured me such would not be the case. I have ever learned the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  

Jon’s Law: Never believe a car salesman if he has nothing negative to say

As is customary, I filled out the obligatory “let’s find out what you’re worth” credit check form and I waited. And I waited. And I waited. After 45 minutes I inquired with Louis only to learn that my credit check hadn’t even been run yet. Maybe he was unclear on my “I’m not spending my entire Saturday here” speech? At this point, I told him he could ring my cell when he was prepared to sell me a car, I had errands to run. I promptly left the car lot to attend my agenda.  

I think most car buying customers are willing to play the waiting game because they believe it to be necessary (it is after all a BIG purchase). I also think dealerships like TNOG engage in that process as part of their sales tactics. I am clearly not most customers and thus the look of confusion on Louis’s face when I left confirmed that fact. Unfortunately I was overly sympathetic to the “we’re crazy busy selling cars” speech he gave and thus later that day I came back to the dealership car lot.  

My criteria for choosing a vehicle was as straight forward as straight forward could get. I wanted an as new as possible, low miles, non-light color car that, above all things, was a stick shift (I’m old school like that). Knowing exactly what you want narrows things down pretty quickly and soon I was settled on a 2007 Nissan Altima, silver-grey with about 55,000 miles on it (stick shift of course). The general look & feel of the car was acceptable and so the paperwork began. The problems began right after the paperwork.  

Car dealers are like drug dealers: the product makes you happy for awhile

Before I drove the car off the lot I noticed the tire air sensor was on. “That’s normal”, salesman number two informed me. “We put nitrogen in the tires and the sensor can’t account for that”.  He either bold faced lied or he was blowing smoke up my backside. The sensor should be replaced in the tire having problems though sadly I believed him. My grievances were just beginning.  

Over the next week, my Nissan Altima developed a low grinding noise that took me from irritated to infuriated. My first guess was that the bottom plastic cover was loose and so I began inspecting the vehicle for issues. Suffice it to say I found issues. The air intake vent was not bolted down and the air filter was not clamped shut. After having sat through that ‘our pre-certification check is awesome‘ sales pitch, I immediately became livid. The next morning I drove my Altima back to Texas Nissan of Grapevine and I left my happy pills at home.  

In the service department, it was discovered that the left strut was near death. I began to wonder if my vehicle had been certified at all. Were that my only complaint, it would be enough to remove any beliefs in their integrity as a dealership. When you spend thousands of dollars on something, you need integrity in the business relationship. You require it. My strut was repaired and my gas tank filled as compensation.  

That was less than a year ago. I just recently finished a 1200 dollar repair to replace the radiator, hose, and cap. Additionally, the rear shock absorbers have to be replaced as well. Of course, none of this is covered under the “silver” warranty I was sold. While I might be inclined to believe some parts just aged, the initial lack of inspection on the car leads me to believe otherwise. My next vehicle will NOT be purchased from TNOG.

It’s a sad fact of business that dealerships like Texas Nissan of Grapevine can’t be trusted. In the future, I will take my vehicles to a third party for verification where I can validate the dealer report. This will cost me more time and more money but at least I’ll sleep knowing I have all the car I paid for.

P.S. – I forgot to mention the bubbling paint on the rear side of the vehicle though, according to CarFax, it has never been in a wreck! Maybe just a fender bender but it still irks me that it wasn’t disclosed by the dealership.

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