Lies a Dealer Told Me


Original poster
Lifetime VIP Donor
Nov 19, 2011
Portland, OR
Due to popular demand, here ya go. Please keep it to the lies, and no discussion, to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio and keep the thread interesting. "Like" a post instead of responding to it with single-word replies, please?

Biggest whopper I was told:

You know how dealers love to trap you by stealing your keys after you let them test drive your trade in? I never trade in, so they're thwarted in that tactic.

So after an hour of negotiating with the local scumbag GM dealer who has the vehicle I want, and getting it close to the price I'm willing to pay (about $10500 off of $42K list, well under invoice with rebates), the sales guy needs "approval" for one last demand I had. We wants me to sign a written offer note AND give him a credit card or my license before he will take my offer to the manager around the corner. That ain't happening. No essential documents ever leave my wallet to go out of sight. Not for a purchase offer, not to be copied, not to be "lost". After going back and forth for ten minutes about how the manager won't take my offer "seriously" if I didn't cough up my license, and my accusing them of not trusting my word that the offer is honorably made, the sales idiot comes up with the "big lie" of invoking the government in this transaction:

I need your license because it's a "Homeland Security" regulation.

Like I was about to be groped by the TSA to buy a fucking CAR!?!?!?!?!?

I pounded the table, and DEMANDED he get his manager and the dealership's highest ranking owner's rep into the office RIGHT now or I was walking out and blogging about it.

After a few more minutes of pretty one-sided ranting about unethical invocation of unseen government agents who would not approve of their agency's name being dragged through an invented need at some runty-ass GM car dealership in Carlsbad, CA, I got the Roadiemobile for the price I wanted.

Except for ONE warranty repair (new fan clutch at 33K miles), they never saw the vehicle again.


Dec 4, 2011
Waxahachie, TX
This story does not come from a dealer, but from a performance car center that I was going to have remove the resonator...

I was only looking to remove the resonator and put on a 90 degree pipe and a tip. The guy that owned the shop took one look at my TB and said that the can on the back was the muffler and the resonator was under the passenger side of my truck. He quoted me over $200 to remove the muffler and resonator, and move the "muffler" from the back to where the "resonator" was. He then quoted me another $75 to put a 90 degree pipe and a tip on.

I politely informed him that the can on the back was indeed the resonator, but being only 19, I obviously know nothing... He finally agreed to take off the "muffler" and weld on a pipe and tip for $150 and I promptly left...

I went to another shop and they removed the real resonator and welded on a 90 degree pipe and a tip for $55...and I love it!
Dec 4, 2011
Bill this could get to be a very entertaining and useful learning tool.

Always remember they are the CAR SELLING BUSINESS. They want to sell you a car, if you leave without one, they FAIL

A few years ago my son found the vehicle he wanted and after some negotiation we settled on a price. I then sent him to a local bank for a small loan, they researched the vehicle for liens (found none) and cut him a cashiers check for the agreed upon amount.

Arriving at the stealership we went a MANAGERS office and he wrote up the paperwork. After I looked it over I noticed the price was different than the one we had agreed upon(and what the check was made out for). He stated the difference were Administration Fees. I asked him what he was administering. He said check the vehicle for liens (done by the bank before the loan), get the tags( that is for you American guys, up here they are plates), and a few other things that made no sense like writing up the paperwork.

As a point of note in Canada there is no Title transfer so we don't have to go to a government to buy a vehicle, just to buy the plates and register the vehicle.

When I explained that the bank had done the check, and the license agency was across the street, he said that they charge this fee on all purchases. I asked him to return the check to us and we would be leaving.

Needless to say we didn't get the check back and he muttered something about the salesman having to take less commission. Like I care if the sales guy gets less money since all he did was drive the vehicle from the lot to the shop to get the compression checked. All other dealings were with the used car sales manager.

This has become one of my most favorite negotiating tactics. Put the check in front of them and if they don't, won't, can't deal ask for it back and walk away.

We have actually walked away from a deal over a $1.00 per month difference. The next dealer we walked into gave us the same deal we wanted without asking.

Good luck to fellow GMT owners and have fun dealing, just remember you have to be prepared to WALK AWAY.


Dec 4, 2011
In the late 1990's, when GM compact pickup's were all the rage (haha), I was in the market for either a Chevy S10 or GMC Sonoma. My first stop was a large volume GMC/Pontiac dealership in Clinton Township, MI. The sleazeball rep in new car sales sat me down at his desk and discussed the variants among these two brands. I remember him using the phrase "build quality" a least a half dozen times as he convinced me that the GMC model was worth it's weight in gold. "High caliber components" along with GMC's unmatched reputation should be a "no brainer". I did buy into his lies (blame it on naivety) as I almost gave him a deposit. Something, though, pulled me away from his desk, and made me want to drive a mile down the street to their "far inferior" competitor. I did ... and the rest is history. The next day, I was the owner of a shiny new Chevy S10 ZR2. 12 years later, the GMC dealership continues to be on top of my DNP (do not patronize) list.

If my memory serves me, Roadie made mention (on the OS) of a similar interaction that had no regards for scrupulosity. Would love to hear about it again.


Dec 4, 2011
Went several years ago to buy the wife a new car. Found the exact car she wanted and test drove it. Went into the office and while she was in the bathroom the sales guy brought out the paperwork. $800+ per month. I just told him to wait on her. She flipped out. On top of all of the other items they were charging us they wanted %10 interest on the loan. The salesman got the finance manager who walked and looked like he was on triple steriods. I let him and the wife go at it for about 10 minutes then I got tired of listening and jumped in. I said heres the deal. I don't care about the monthly payments. I will give $30K drive out and %2 interest end of story! He looks me in the eye and says "maybe you folks just are NOT ready to step up to a luxury sedan". I just said thats it. We got up to leave and the guy says wait a minute. I have a car that was damaged on the truck. We put on a new bumper but I can't sell it as "new" I asked what color is it? He said gold. I turned around and left. Went to another dealership and bought the exact same car for the deal I wanted with no hassle. Just depends on the particular stealership


Dec 4, 2011
My dealer implied that my 30ish pound type R Sub woofer was the problem for the rear lean on the air bags. I laughed and said it weighs like 30lbs if that caused it you can just have the thing back. It was fixed an hour later and the sub still hasn't made my truck lean. lol


Nov 20, 2011
I have been buying and trading vehicles for 50 years; all, but 3 (a Ford, a Mazda and a Datsun truck) were GM cars and trucks.

I could fill a book with poor service and poor salesmanship stories.

However, I have one feel good story.

In January '09, we bought a "left-over" '08 Saturn Astra (a rebadged Opel Astra) for my wife.
Believe me, the stories you may have heard about Saturn are true. By far, the nicest, most professional group of automotive people I have ever dealt with.

And, here's the story. After calculating the price, adding in the things she wanted, registration and tags, etc, the price was almost $19,200 the sales lady said "oh, $19,000 is close enough". Who does that, a sales person lowering the price with out discussion?

The sad thing is, the Saturn division closed a few months later.


Dec 3, 2011
~2002'ish, I went to a Chrysler dealer in Mt. Clemens called "Parkway Chrysler". Im posting the name b/c there are a lot of members on this site from my area.

I was looking at a new Jeep Liberty. I had them appraise my 2000 Jimmy as I would be trading it in for the Jeep. Well the salesman was a real jerk to begin with, treated me like an idiot. Im a bookkeeper for my employer so I know a little about finance. He would not tell me how much my truck was appraised for he would just keep explaining how interest works. I kept on saying to him "thanks, but I got that down. How much are you giving me for my 2000 Jimmy?" Again, he'd explain interest rates. Finally I stood up and said "Im done here, wheres my truck?"

He says "we lost your keys". :mad: :mad:

I stepped aside and discretely called the Sheriff, stating they were holding me against my will and a possible auto theft has occurred. As soon as the Deputy pulled in to the lot, they mysteriously found my keys. :eyebrowhuh: I very well knew that "losing the keys" is a technique some shady car salesmen used and that they probably thought I'd just sign on the dotted line. The Deputy took all of my info & account of what happened but I dont know if anything came of it...


Dec 7, 2011
Bought my wifes 04 pacifica in 05 used with 13k. Went to Mr. HUUGE dealer, I hate that guys adds.

First car we needed to purchase on credit in over 10 years, actually at the time I didn't owe anybody any money. Told the salesman "We won't make a deal without GAP insurance" Made a deal for a good price, no deposit on my end, i refused. Salesman had the the next 2 days off.

We went to every other dealer in the area to find a better price, couldn't do it. We did however find one with more options for the same price but 4k more in mileage. Lets make a deal, it's 9:30 at night so they gotta call the banks etc etc. Well my luck this guy has the next day off too. I call the second dealer about noon and they don't have an answer for us on the loan, by 5pm still no answer. Next morning I call, "well sir we can't get you financed for this vechicle" I said ok, as I had a deal at dealer 1.

I go to dealer 1, they tried to screw me out of gap insurance, I walked out, got back in our car and started driving away, the salesman and manager are screaming for me to stop "you would loose this deal over Gap insurance, "hell yeah, I told you I wouldn't buy such an expensive car without it" we will make it right". They did, took them awhile but they did. (my wife really liked this car).

Ok so now my wife has her pacifica. I get a call from dealer 2 salesman who informs me that they never ran my credit, the owners wife wanted the car. These people make me sick. And on top of all of that, 3 other dealers where we looked at other pacificas called within a week asking if we were still interested in their car. I told them " look when I came to you looking I told you the deal I had, the price I had and that I was buying one that week, it's done, and don't expect to see me again"


Dec 4, 2011
I was looking for a Sienna for my wife. At the time, Toyota was offering a $1000 off incentive. I was told that this offer only applied to people that paid for their car in cash. No financing, no leasing, just cash. After calling him a liar, I walked out.


Dec 4, 2011
Ottawa, ON
Brought in our '08 Montana SV6 for some warranty work. Needed a new rear wiper motor (seized) and clunking in front (end link). Also asked that they look into why it takes so long to warm up (20~25 minutes of highway driving) and since I purchased the extended "bumper to bumper" warranty when we bought it new (base warranty is now expired), asked they look into wind noise from the sliding doors. No problem for the wiper motor and end link. For the warmup issue, they can't determine if it has an issue or if it's weather related. The wind noise was there but the cost to repair would be prohibitive. Told that this was not covered by extended warranty as it is considered as "trim". Asked if the trim was between the two bumpers and I was told that this is a term used by the sellers and that it is not a real term they should be using. So I was SOL for getting this fixed. Oh well. Go to the counter for the final tally and the keys, handed a bill for $170. Asked why I'm being charged for warranty work, was explained that there was a $70 for the diagnostic for the warmup issue and another $80 for the road test and check for the wind noise.

Geez, I would have appreciated being advised that if nothing was found that I would be charged and that the "trim" was not covered BEFORE I authorize the work. He tried to appease me by giving me a bottle of silicone conditioner for the weatherstripping. Pffft!


Dec 16, 2011
A few years ago, an unnamed Chevy dealer refused to perform a recall repair on the steering rack of my Sunfire. The reason, I had non-factory (or equivalent) rear brakes (drum to disc swap).... despite me stating that rear brakes had nothing to do with the steering rack.

The Pontiac/GMC dealer down the road had no problem performing the repair.

A year ago, I took it to another Chevy dealer for an alignment as they had a rack that was suitable for Corvettes whereas the local tire shop wouldn't touch it due to low ground clearance.

"Your front rotors are on backwards." hmm... Straight vane rotors don't have a preferred rotational direction. They "fixed" the issue w/out my consent and proceeded to charge me for the "repair". Yeah, that wasn't happening.

Word of advice, if you have aftermarket parts keep on your toes.


Supporting Donor
Dec 3, 2011
Brighton, CO
This is a bit longer of a story... But here it goes.

I woke up one Saturday Morning, and was headed out the door to go test drive a Saab 97x Aero. Hopped in my Tahoe, and started it up, for the first time since I have owned the truck, the motor was not knocking. I looked at the wife, and said "come hell or high water, this truck is gone today". Went back inside my house to do a final check for a truck I had been looking for, but unable to find, a GMC Envoy XUV V8. Low and behold, a dealer fairly close to me had one. So instead of going to test drive the Aero, I went to Behlmann GMC/Pontac/Buick, test drove the XUV. It drove out great, but I could tell it had problems.

So we head in, and start working out the deal. They were wanting 17k for the XUV :eek: . I was NOT going to that much for it, when I could get the Saab, newer, for about the same price, and with lower miles. I then told the salesman that I needed to borrow his keyboard, so I could check something. I pulled up KBB and NADA, and showed him that the XUV was worth no more than 11k. He talked it over with his sales manager, and came down to 13k. I said I wasnt sure about the price, and was there a way I could take it home for a little bit longer test drive. They agreed, but I couldnt come back until 5 days later because the finance department, a 1 man operation, would be out until then. Hey that works, gives me a chance to see fuel milages going to and from work, and go over the truck with a fine tooth comb. I come back the following Thursday, preying the my Tahoe would not be knocking, and it was (DAMNIT!) :mad: . But they werent there to hear it :yes: (yay for small miracles), and they had already done a trade in test drive the previous time in. I told them that the truck had some repairs needed for me to even consider purchasing it, and to pass a state safety inspection. Stabilizer links were knocking, wheel bearing was screwed up, and the speakers were blown/not operational. He looked at me like I was full of sh**, and asked me how I knew that. Told him it could be my ASC Certification, or my 2 years of employment at GM, as well as the noise the truck was making when driving.

They had their shop do a check on it, and sure enough, the truck had the problems I was complaining about. But they were still unwilling to budge off the price. I told them I needed the keys back to my Tahoe, as they werent getting any of my business, and I had to get to work. Keys? What keys? You didnt leave any keys with us? Uhm, my Tahoe, that you test drove the last time I was in. They then told me that they had forgotten to include the trade in price into the final deal, and could I hold on while they rewrote the deal. OK, sure.. hurry up man.. I gotta get to work in a hour. They came back, showed me the new deal, which I read over line by line. They were going to give me 3k for a truck worth 8k on the KBB Black Book. I stood up, and said VERY loudly, "Are you fucking nuts? this is a rip off, my truck is worth more than this, give me my god damned keys, and I will be calling the BBB on you!"

Well.. The sales floor had about 20 other customers, and EVERYONE was looking at me, and the salesman/manager. "Sir, you need to lower your voice, your truck is old, and has high miles on it." Again in a loud voice, "My truck is not old, and it only has 99k miles on it, either rewrite the deal, or quit calling me, and every other person in this showroom stupid, give me my keys now, or I will be calling the police!" 5 people walked out of the showroom floor at this point. Manager, giving me the worst case of stink eye, said lower your voice, and give me 2 minutes to rewrite the deal.

Well he came back, the price was still about 300 more than the XUV was worth, at 11.3k, and they had doubled the value of the Tahoe to 6k, still about 1700 under priced, but way better than the original 3k. He looked at me, "this is the last price, no warrenty, no fixing of any problems, take it or leave it." I looked over at the wife, my temper still clearly in my face. She says "Lets go, did they bother giving you your keys yet?" I am just about to scream to the manager to get my keys, or I will be calling the police.... but before I can, The Sales Manager says, as calmly as he can "And I will also give you a 3year 36k mile warrenty for Half Price." :thumbsup: This sealed the deal for me. I still lost about 700 bucks on the deal, but it made it so I could get everything I found wrong with the car fixed on someone elses dime. :wootwoot:

So I sign the papers, transfer my plates, and blaze out the door (at this point I am late for work). Still a little fuming, but I no longer have a Truck that knocks all day and night long, thats their problem now.

Someone from the dealer has the Audacity to call me up the next day and ask me if the saleman and manager had done everything to earn my business, and was my transaction pleasant... WOW! Someone has some really big balls.. "Let me put it this way, So I dont yell at you, and call you every name in the book, lets just say, I gave my business to a dealer that was no where near of deserving of my business." And I hung up. :hissyfit:

If you want to buy a car/truck in St Louis, Stay away from Behlmann Buick/GMC. They will try to rob you every way they can, and do it in your face. I should have walked away, but, its what I was looking for, and built almost exactly as I wanted (I wanted a NAV System). Sometimes you have to suck it up.. But done be afraid to get mad, and to walk away. I would have walked away.. But that warrenty has paid for itself 3 times over (alternator, Idler, water pump, stabilizer links (4), tires, struts, wheel bearing, and some other items, plus taking it in for a G80 replacement next week).

I love this XUV... Will drive it until it dies probably..


Mar 27, 2012
They did all four brakes, 2500 miles later I have no rear brakes, emergency brakes do nothing except a nice clicker


Feb 3, 2012
My stealership experience was also unpleasant to say the least. I was looking at purchasing an 03 Envoy XL SLT fully loaded. After searching hell and high waters for the right Envoy I was getting extremely irritated and discouraged. After driving nearly 5hrs in one day to look at a few private dealers trucks and stealerships only to find Envoy's that weren't going to work at all(I'm picky). So after a long day of car shopping we get home and hubby has like 25 minutes to shower and get ready to go to work. While he is getting ready I jump online to a website of a dealership who promised to approve any line of credit(Not a buy here pay here either) I decided to check their inventory and low and behold there was the truck of my dreams. So I talked the babysitter into watching the kids a little longer so I could make the 4hr round trip to the dealership. By the time I get on the road it's dark and I HATE looking at prospective vehicles in the dark because so much can be hidden and missed, especially on a black vehicle. So I make the 2 hour drive to the stealership and they already had the Envoy waiting for me which kind of pissed me off because they had the time to do what they needed to hide whatever needed and could be hidden. I test drove the hell out of it, and while I was driving it another guy was test driving the POS Rendezvous I was trading in for credit on the new truck. I took an additional 45 minutes to pop the hood and listen(noticed the tick from fan clutch but didnt know what was causing it until I came here). I noticed the front fender had some damage which would require a new fender, I also noticed that the butt part of the heated seat on the drivers side was not working, blown heating element, and I noticed that the memory seat lights and a few lights on the radio didn't work very well either.

Afterwards I went back in ready to haggle the price, I will NEVER pay anyone what they are asking for a vehicle, even if it's new. I sat down and the salesman tried telling me the listed price for the truck was $14,500 when the internet listed it for $12,500. I went in knowing what I was going to pay for the truck, and what I wanted for my Rendezvous. I told the salesman up front that I wanted my car keys back, he asked me why. I told him it was just in case I needed to just walk out if my deal wasn't going to be met. He handed me my keys back. He told me the asking price was $14,500 and I told him I should be quoted the $12,500 price as I inquired about the truck because I found it online and that was the listed online price. So he said okay without even blinking an eye. Then I told him I wasn't paying the $12,500 and he stopped dead in his tracks and told me he wasn't sure he could go any lower. I said okay If your not going to try then I might as well be going home, it's 9pm and I have a 2hr drive home. He then asked me what price I had in mind. I told him I wanted no less than $4k trade in value for my rendezvous(it was worth more like $5 bucks). I then told him I refuse to fill out any paperwork on anything until my offer is accepted. So I offered $10,000 which is what my husband and I agreed upon paying, with a $4k credit from the buick bringing my total price to $6k. He went and spoke to his boss, took him about 20 minutes and then he came back with of course a counter offer of $11k and agreed to do $4k credit on the buick for a grand total of $7k. I said no, go back and tell him $10k and he went back to his boss, was there for about a minute before he came back shaking his head no. I said okay I guess I will go down the road to such and such (their rival dealership) and get their 05 Envoy for the $10k they were asking for it, total lie!!!!

So he said to sit tight and let him see if he can talk his boss any lower. I said okay. He came back with another no, and a sheet of paper with all the issues the buick had stating that he was giving me 3x more than what it was worth due to all the issues. So I sent the salesman back with my notebook and my list of all the things wrong that I noticed on the Envoy. The salesman went back and 10 minutes later came back with $10,900. I told him I was no longer wasting my time. As I was walking out the door the salesman's boss came up to me and sure can haggle a mean deal. He looked at me and said $10,850 final offer..Really??? I asked if he was stupid! I told him $10k with a $4k trade in on the buick, and that was my final offer. I got in the buick closed the door and was getting ready to drive off when I heard a knock on my window. I looked over and it was the salesman. He handed me the keys and said the Envoy was mine for $10k if I was still interested. I wanted to cry lol. I got out of the buick, filled out some paperwork, got approved but my income wasn't high enough for the payments that they had given me, so hubby had to come in the next morning and vouch for me. We drove through a freaking ice storm 2 hours away in a POS rendezvous back to the dealership, hubby running on 2 hours of sleep if that(he gets off work at 6am) to fill out the rest of the papers....ONLY to find out that because my income and credit sucked the bank wanted to install a GPS tracking device in it and I couldn't take it home that day. I was LIVID!! They swapped my plates from the buick to the voy and told me to drive the buick home on dealer plates....I told them okay BUT, since you now have dealer plates on the buick, you can fill it up so I can get home because I was supposed to be driving my envoy home not this POS.

AND, I was not driving another 2hrs to the dealership to pick the envoy up, so it was going to be delivered and it was going to be delivered with a full tank of gas. They bitched about it but they took us to the gas station and filled up the buick so we could get home as hubby had to be to work. 2 days later my envoy was pulling into my driveway, and before I handed the buick's keys over to the driver I checked the gas and it had a full tank like I wanted. So I handed the keys to the driver and told him..Oh you might want to put gas in it...It's on empty and I doubt you will make it the 3 miles to the highway lol.

I ended up paying $10,000 with a $4,000 trade in on the buick, bringing the total to $6,000. BUT the GPS tracking device cost me another $500.00 so technically I paid $6500.00 My payments are $301.00 a month which is only $1.00 more than what I wanted to pay monthly...but I think Phantom is worth that extra dollar!!!

But like others have said, ALWAYS be prepared to walk away. Do extensive research on any vehicle your interested in, come up with a comfortable price BEFORE you go to the stealership, and a comfortable trade in if your trading a vehicle in, and don't back down. The worst thing that will happen if you walk away would be getting the car you want for what you want but at a different dealership!

I bought my truck a Mcgrath Auto in Cedar Rapids....I would buy from them again, only because I already know that eventually they will get weak in the knee's and give in to my price.


Nov 20, 2011
Will, my latest story is not a lie, just a very hard to believe story.

The lower driver's door hinge needs to be replaced on the Avalanche, a few warranty miles still remained when I dropped by the dealership a couple of weeks ago.

They had to order the part. Called last week, the part is in, made an appointment for Tuesday morning.

Got there early, the customer service guys were not in, I left the keys with a body guy and went for coffee.

Thinking I'd be looked after right away (I was the 2nd guy in line when the door opened), I went back around 10 am, trucks still parked where I left it.

So, I went inside to inquire about the wait, "oh", said the customer service guy, "it will be 2, or 3, days"

2, or 3, days I said, it's only a hinge, "well, we have to paint it", he said.

Paint it, why wouldn't you have it painted before I got here?

"Well", he said, "you might not show up, and then we'd have a black hinge that we couldn't use"

To which I said.......... it's free, why wouldn't I show up?

So, I have an appointment for next Tuesday, they said they would paint it this week, let's hope.

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