Expert warns to stay away from cars at the dealership that have this tag

@pmoneyy21/TikTok PanuShot/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘It usually means the car has an issue’: Expert warns to stay away from cars at the dealership that have this tag

'most cars at auction are there for reasons'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 17, 2024   Updated on Feb 17, 2024, 2:37 pm CST

If you want to save some money on buying a new car by heading on over to an auction, then there’s a dealership tag you’ll probably want to stay away from, as it’s the kiss of death for vehicles that could leave you with hefty repair bills and a financial albatross hanging off your neck you’d rather just junk than spend any time and cash on fixing.

At least that’s according to auto TikToker P Money (@pmoneyy21) who uploaded a viral clip from the interior of a BMW vehicle at auction. The car is having ignition issues, but the problem doesn’t seem to be with the car’s engine, transmission, fuel line, or anything under the hood. Instead, it appears to be an electronic issue preventing the whip from recognizing its key fob.

P Money highlights this issue as one of the many quandaries auction auto buyers can face when trying to make out like Nic Cage in Gone in 60 Seconds, well, in the spirit of a great deal, anyway.

“If you see a car at auction with this key tag, stay away,” he says in the clip showing off a piece of paper with bold, red numbers on it. This particular tag reads: 9258, and he explains why this particular little detail is bad news for car buyers.

“This key tag right here is from the service department at the dealership. And if a car comes to the auction with this tag on it, usually it means the car has an issue. For example this X7 M50 the keys are in it, I’m trying to start it up,” he says as he attempts to turn the vehicle on. “It says the key is missing.” He shows a message on the BMW’s infotainment system highlighting how the high-price vehicle fails to recognize the keyfob for contactless ignition engagement—a feature offered by a wide variety of vehicles in different price ranges, like the 2023 Kia Rio.

“Make sure you stay away from any car with this key tag or if they have the little tag that goes behind the windshield. This is a major red flag,” he states in the video.

New car buyers may often find themselves tantalized by the prospect of securing themselves a used, luxury brand vehicle for a fraction of what it costs new might think that they’re going to be a baller on a budget.

However, luxury car manufacturers also come with luxury-cost repair bills. Meaning you might get yourself a 5-year-old BMW or Land Rover for the cost of a brand new mid-specc’d Toyota Corolla, but that car might end up costing you double because of all of the out-of-warranty repairs that come with the purchase of said used vehicle.

@pmoneyy21 MAJOR RED FLAG FOR AUCTION CARS #viral #for #foryoupage #fyu #fyupage #trending #bmw #bmwmotorsport #bmwm #auction #tipsandtricks #tips #buying #redflag #stayaway ♬ Never Lose Me – Flo Milli

Users who replied to P Money’s video had a litany of different reactions. One person said that in general, BMW is a brand folks should avoid entirely for car ownership, suggesting it’s more of a lease-then-dump vehicle. “Every BMW has a service issue. They are built to make it through a 36 month 36k lease,” they wrote.

Someone else wrote that the service tag P Money is referencing isn’t necessarily a death sentence for the vehicle. “I worked at a dealership, all auction cars went thru service, pulled fancy radios, and stuff…not always bad things,” wrote the user.

While another person wrote that in general folks should stay away from auction vehicles as more often than not you’re going to end up with trash rather than unclaimed treasure. “Spoilers: most cars at auction are because the dealer didn’t want to put all the money into it that the tech recommended,” they wrote.

However, one person wrote they they didn’t think the tag was a bad sign. “Lmao thats not always the case, u get those usually after a service. Helps the people working know which car is which,” they wrote.

To which P Money responded, “From my experience they usually have some sort of problem.”

Others thing that the problem with the fob is a very simple one. “They key might just need a new battery. I had that issue,” wrote one user.

That was a sentiment echoed by someone else: “What if the key battery is just dead?”

Another replied, “Put the fob on the start button.”

If you are devoted to the idea of purchasing a particular car brand or specific model year due to aesthetics or whatever reason you have for wanting to purchase it, there are a few key things to consider. The first is whether or not you have the personal knowledge of how to work on said vehicle, which, if this is the case, then you’re an expert on the car and you already know what you’re getting yourself into. If you have a relationship with a mechanic or auto worker that you particularly trust and know they aren’t going to price gouge you on repairs and can provide an honest assessment backed up with diagnostics on the vehicle you’re purchasing, then that could be a good resource to have when fielding which used luxury car brands to buy.

Another option worth considering is repair insurance or extended car warranties. While the latter nomenclature is often the subject of memes lampooning cold calls, doing business with a well-reviewed company that will cover the cost of any repairs that arise (make sure you read the fine print to see what is and what isn’t covered) on your vehicle could be worth the monthly premium you’re paying to ensure that you aren’t getting hosed every time you take your whip to the mechanic.

There are mechanics on TikTok who are quick to point out which vehicles are the most expensive to maintain along with the problems that arise with them the most.

The Daily Dot has reached out to P Money via TikTok comment for further information.

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*First Published: Feb 17, 2024, 6:00 pm CST