Monteros on craigslist

fugitive

Master of Escape
2003 Mitsubishi Montero XLS 4WD - $2999 (YORBA LINDA - Orange County)
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/cto/6035245752.html
Just an FYI:
I texted Ed about this Montero on March 8th.
I asked if it had been smogged within the last 6 months and has the timing belt ever been changed.
No reply as of March 14th
My experience with no replies to a basic tech question is a seller looking for a non-informed buyer. (red flag)
I contacted Costa Mesa Mitsubishi Service dept (referenced in ad). The rep didn't get too detailed but did say that the timing belt has never been replaced (171K miles). When I asked about regular maintenance, he said the car has been in for problems (check engine light or codes), but the preventive maintenance history was not impressive.
Running the VIN show it was made for the Caribbean market. It may have been later imported to the US. I don't know if that would create any issues with smog, insurance, or title.
This one looked too good to be true. (and probably is)
 
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TheMole

Adventurer
Just an FYI:
I texted “Ed” about this Montero on March 8[SUP]th[/SUP].
I asked if it had been smogged within the last 6 months and has the timing belt ever been changed.
No reply as of March 14[SUP]th[/SUP].
My experience with “no replies” to a basic tech question is a seller looking for a non-informed buyer. (red flag)
I contacted Costa Mesa Mitsubishi Service dept (referenced in ad). The rep didn't get too detailed but did say that the timing belt has never been replaced (171K miles). When I asked about regular maintenance, he said the car has been in for problems (check engine light or codes), but the preventive maintenance history was not impressive.
Running the VIN show it was made for the Caribbean market. It may have been later imported to the US. I don't know if that would create any issues with smog, insurance, or title.
This one looked too good to be true. (and probably is)
Sorry to hear, but thanks for the update so that others are informed!
 

fugitive

Master of Escape
After 9 months of searching I thought I found the one! Monty Corona, CA

1998 Gen 2.5 in apparently excellent condition. Only 137k miles.

00D0D_dn2rFYSqClI_600x450.jpg

I contacted the owner, exchanged several texts, phone calls, and emails. Seemed like a nice guy initially.
He tells me it's in excellent condition, all the maintenance is done. "You won't find another one like it!"


Sweet! I was willing to pay asking price if it all checked out. I don't' mind paying a premium for condition and rarity. Before making a 4-5+ hour round trip to Corona to test drive and purchase, I contacted him to make sure he had a current smog certificate in hand. In CA the seller is required to have smog certification, within last 90 days, to complete a sales transaction.

Well, then the story suddenly changes "Uhh, the Montero has been flashing a check engine light for a couple of weeks". (Red Flag #1). He knowingly and intentionally withheld critical information. (Red flag #2) My trust is wavering.

He says it will pass smog, and if I buy it he will get it fixed. (WTH?).

I informed him, that in CA he is responsible for smog certification before the sale. Even if the tailpipe passes, you can't have a check engine light. The computer will be throwing codes. Any engine codes and you will fail the smog. No smog, no sale.

He essentially says, he won't smog or fix it till someone buys it. (red flag #3) Three strikes, you're out!

I know people in CA (a family member included) with older cars that passed at the tail pipe, but couldn't clear codes. After too many dollars spent troubleshooting and replacing parts, they cut their losses and scrapped them. No smog, no registration! I wasn't going to pay this deceptive guy $6300, then get stiffed if he doesn't get it fixed and smogged. That's just dumb.

I politely emailed him "I'll pass, thanks". His response was a juvenile attempt at a personal put-down to me. (Classy fellow!)

The biggest liars in my adult life have been those selling used cars and folks in the Real Estate business. This tool was both. I should have just run screaming in the opposite direction as soon as he told me.

BTW this clown has another Monty on Craigslist. https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/5995336071.html Caveat Emptor!

00606_6jwsuLIEpNY_600x450.jpg

Personally, I don't like the way he does business. I don't trust him. And he's just plain rude when he doesn't get his way. I could not in clear conscious recommend him to a fellow Expedition Portal brother.

The very best liars are usually friendly, charismatic, and believable. No matter how good the story, take everything you are told by a seller with a grain of salt. If you are unsure, ask for paperwork or proof. Be a skeptic not a rube.
 
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fugitive

Master of Escape
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fugitive

Master of Escape
Car Buying Tips

I'll share some humble wisdom learned from my last 9 months of Monty shopping.

I search using Cars.com, Craigslist, Auto Trader, and Car Gurus. Aside from craigslist, you can usually get the VIN directly from the website, and sometimes they offer a free Carfax report (Sweet).

The pics on most car sites are low-res. I ask if they can send the original pics to my email address. You can get a much better look with hi-res pics on a big screen.

I always ask for the VIN, then run it through "Vehicle History" https://www.vehiclehistory.com It's free and helpful. If they refuse to provide a VIN, it's a scam.

If you are a serious buyer, pony up and order a Car Fax report or subscription. The Carfax info has saved me from numerous buying mistakes. I always ask how long they have owned the Monty. The Carfax will help me verify if I'm dealing with a flipper or someone trying to unload a recently purchased lemon. (They say they have owned it for 5 years, but Carfax says they bought it last month).

Sometimes Carfax offers unlimited reports for 60 days ($99). The kicker is, it is unlimited reports for license plates, but only 5 reports for VIN. Since most of the folks on craigslist have plates, this has worked out OK.

I make sure the person selling the vehicle matches the name on the title. This reduces scams or curbstoning.

I don't even look at cars from "rust belt" states anymore (check your Carfax!) or heavily salted roads (Including Utah). They always tell me it's clean. I always find nasty corrosion when I inspect the undercarriage. It is common for cars to be auctioned in rust/salt states, and then brought to CA to be sold. Don't be fooled.

I always ask if the timing belt has been done, and do they have the records. About 50% of the time they say the timing belt has been done. So far 0% of the time do they have the service records to prove this. (Smells of bad fish to me). Without proof, I always assume the work was not performed.

In CA, I insist on clean title and smog certification in sellers hand before making the drive to see the rig. If you buy without the smog cert, you get stuck with paying for the repairs to pass, or have to take the seller to court to get him to pay. Just get the smog cert before buying!

In a perfect world I would have the rig inspected by a competent mechanic, with experience in that model, before purchase.

The very best liars are usually friendly, charismatic, and believable. No matter how good the story, take everything you are told by a seller with a grain of salt. If you are unsure, ask for paperwork or proof. Be a skeptic not a rube.

The last 9 months shopping have been a frustrating gauntlet of liars, lemons, idiots, and scams. Hopefully I can help save a fellow ExPo from some unnecessary grief.

Happy Monty Hunting!
 
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MrGalantguy

Mitsubishi Loyalist
You pretty much nailed it on the head Fugitive. Finding a Montero like a Gen 1 or 2 / 2.5 is hard because of the limited amounts available and even more so finding one in decent condition. They are not like Civics and Camry's where you can find them at every street corner...so searching for one is very hard. Just my luck before I bought my Sport I was looking for one and I couldn't find one and kinda settled for a Sport. Soon as I bought my sport a few months after I found a few Gen 2's that didn't last too long. Now that I sold my Sport...I can't find a decent Gen 2.5 for the life of me. I have been looking for a few months now..and I have run into scams, liars, and extremely egotistic arrogant sellers.

I am still searching...and hoping to find the right one for me.
 

Swank Force One

Adventurer
What is the right one for you? We may be selling one of ours shortly. Unsure yet if it will be the 20th Anniversary or the 98 (would prefer to sell the 20th Anniversary). Also more than happy keep an eye out for anything as well.

Worth mentioning that i ended up buying both of mine in California.
 

fugitive

Master of Escape
I can't find a decent Gen 2.5 for the life of me.
I have been looking for a few months now..and I have run into scams, liars, and extremely egotistic arrogant sellers.
MGG, You got that right. I feel your pain brother. :iagree:

That last putz with the Gen 2.5 was a real piece of work once he was exposed. The biggest liars in my adult life have been those selling used cars and folks in the Real Estate business. This tool was both. I should have just run screaming in the opposite direction as soon as he told me. :ugh:

I had figured it was just a So Cal disease, but I'm guessing this nonsense has spread coast to coast.

After 9 months, I'm taking a break from looking. Too frustrating. Good luck in your search.
 
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