The Decision

A reader asks: Should we buy a brand-new but old-stock car?

Demand that these procedures be performed

Car-shopping in the Philippines: Is a brand-new, old-stock car a good deal?

I need your advice. My mother is planning to buy an executive European sedan. One dealership gave a "good deal" since it is an old stock (a 2012 model). But are we really getting a good deal considering the car has been sitting in the dealership for two years? What should we watch out for when the car arrives?

They initially offered the unit at P2.6 million. We were able to haggle a bit, so the last price was P2.4 million. I think the unit originally retailed at around P3 million. This is a brand-new, old-stock car.

Thanks in advance and more power!

PS: Please don't mention my name nor the car model.

Dutiful Son


Hi there! If you're buying a brand-new, old-stock unit, it should perfectly be fine considering it has never been used. There are, however, some things I would insist upon the dealership. And these are the following:

* Flush/change the engine oil, the brake fluid and the power-steering fluid. These fluids generally need to be changed regularly regardless of the condition. The brake and clutch fluids, in particular, absorb moisture over time (two to three years is a good window), so they should be replaced even if the vehicle has never been used. The transmission fluid can last much longer so that should be fine.

* Check the car battery's charging capability. As a two-year-old battery that hasn't seen much use, it could already be close to the end of its service life.

* Check the A/C system. Air-conditioning systems house high-pressure refrigerants. Prolonged storage and non-use can make the rubber hoses and seals dry up, crack and eventually leak.

* Check the tires for perfect roundness, and the wheels for alignment. Tires aren't designed to sit still for long periods of time with no load. Six months under full vehicle load--while parked and stationary--should be avoided. Check the tires if they are still perfectly round, have flat-spotted or have simply gone out of shape. A quick trip to a tire-balancing machine will yield the truth. This is important to see because if the vehicle you're looking at has been in prolonged storage, that means it has hardly been used and has just been sitting still.

I hope this helps you out. Lastly, take note that even if your car is a 2012 model, due to production, ship-out and clearing dates at Customs, it might even be a year older than it is purported to be--especially if you count the time from when the car first left the production line. That shouldn't make much of a difference overall, but it only makes checking and fixing the things I mentioned even more crucial.

Insist on having these tests performed. Make sure you are (or a representative is) present when the procedures I listed above are being performed.

Good luck and God bless!

Botchi Santos
Consumer Editor


Artwork by Lloyd de Guzman

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