Weird selection of used cars, all spider-free 2015.04.29


A few months ago, I took my Buick Lucerne back to the dealership for repairs, one of the millions of vehicles recalled for ignition issues. I’d had none of the problems reported by a few owners and my car received the prescribed updates in just a few minutes. Except for having to take a few keys off my key chain, it’s barely worth mentioning the experience. Owners of Suzukis, however, got to participate in the strangest auto recall I’ve ever heard about.

Last fall, a problem with spiders—yes,  spiders—prompted Suzuki Motor Corporation to recall nearly 20,000 cars. Owners of some 2010 to 2013 mid-size Suzuki Kizashis were told that a fuel vapor vent could possibly be clogged by spider webs, shutting off the air flow. In that case, the gas tank could deform, potentially cracking, leaking fuel and possibly catching fire.

So why are spiders attracted to the Kizashi? And has anyone ever seen one of them on the road? (the Kizashi, not the spider) I don’t really know what the car looks like, so I probably wouldn’t recognize it if I did see one, especially since this area isn’t a hotbed for Isuzus in the first place. 

You’d probably be happier with a most likely spider-free used car and I just happen to have a fresh selection of interesting ads for you to choose from. How about, for instance, a 2003 Cadillac CTS, just $6,850? It has leather seats and is loaded with options, including an onboard navigation system. Wait a minute, according to the seller, the onboard navigation is really a “map in the glove box.” I guess that’s why it’s only $6,850.

If you’re really on a budget, there’s a 1972 Plymouth Scamp, complete with slant six engine for only $1,800. It runs, “but is tired,” not surprising for a car over 40 years old. Perhaps it needs a long nap.

Another car has apparently had lots of rest over its lifetime. The owner of a 1974 Lincoln Mark IV says it has only 15,100 miles and the original Michelin tires are still on the car. Really? The tires are over 40 years old? I’d be afraid to even take this one for a test drive. Rotten tires exploding at highway speeds aren’t my idea of fun.

Another seller has a 1971 Jeep pickup with “patina out the ying yang.” Actually, patina is something you see on old furniture on “Antiques Roadshow.” What old Jeep pickups have is called “rust.”

A company in Saginaw that specializes in repossessed cars has several for sale that make me wonder why they don’t just take them directly to the scrap yard. For instance, who might possibly want a 2002 Pontiac Montana van with the following features: “check engine light is on, service engine light is on, engine makes noise, possible rod knock, ABS light is on, brake light is on, bad brakes, bad rotors, bad struts, battery is dead, trans. gets stuck in first gear, shifts hard.” And after all that, “going to be a great deal for the right buyer.” I don’t know who that might be, except for someone willing to tow it to their back yard and convert it into a chicken coop.

All of their vehicles aren’t that bad, though. They also have what seems to be a pretty nice 2011 Chevy Malibu, except for the bad transmission. “Reverse only,” the ad explains. “It starts and runs well and drives fine in reverse.” Do you suppose your local police would mind if you drove it backwards all the time? If they don’t care, you’d still probably need weekly neck adjustments from your chiropractor.

If you’re worried about adding to your bills, a few sellers are open to trades. Someone with a 1965 Ford Mustang states “Interesting trades considered,” adding that “a nice plow truck could work!”

One dealer used to advertise that they would take lawnmowers, tractors, motorcycles, diamonds, houses and horses in on trade. Several months ago, they announced that due to supply and demand, they now had enough horses.

I think they’re joking. They recently changed their ad to state that they had the greatest prices and the rudest salesmen. I never met any of their salesmen, but a private seller of a 1974 Dodge Challenger is leading the rudeness contest.

His ad concludes with the sentence, “Come with cash, don’t call with 1000 questions.” He doesn’t sound very friendly. I think I’d rather have an Isuzu, spiders and all.