Car sales expert shares why you should always take 1 penny to dealership

@russflipswhips/TikTok Pormezz/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘This could save you upwards of $1,000’: Car sales expert shares why you should always take 1 penny to dealership

'Going to have the salesman thinking you're a pro.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Dec 4, 2023   Updated on Dec 4, 2023, 11:23 am CST

Buying a car can be a stressful experience. Despite having little idea of how a car works, the average person buying a car can be tasked with inspecting the vehicle, checking all of its functions, and more—all while dealing with people in a profession that has been marked as one of the least trustworthy.

Owing to this, many can feel lost when approaching a used car dealership. Thankfully, TikTok user Russ (@russflipswhips) has created a video showing 3 things one should look out for when buying a car—and one of them involves a penny.

“These little tips are going to have the salesman thinking you’re a pro,” he says. The video has garnered over 742,000 views as of Monday morning.

The first tip, he says, is to bring a penny to the dealership. When you’re looking at a car, take the penny—‘heads’ side toward you, Lincoln’s head turned upside down—and place it into the tires’ tread.

“If the tread does not touch the head of Abraham Lincoln…these tires are worn out and need [to be] replaced for sure,” he notes. This tip alone, Russ says, “could save you upwards of $1,000.”

His next tip involves the car’s alignment. If you’re driving and take your hands off the wheel, the car should continue going straight. If it veers off in one direction or another, the tires need alignment, Russ says.

The final tip involves taking out and inspecting the air filter—which he notes is “not a super important thing to check.” Instead, it proves to your salesman that “you know what you’re doing.” 

Russ proceeds to show how to remove an air filter. If it’s clean, it’s fine—but if it’s dirty, Russ says one can confront the car salesman about it.

@russflipswhips Replying to @zion ✝️ Call me Car Daddy #carbuyingtips #cardealership #cars #girlpower ♬ original sound – RussFlipsWhips

In the comments section, users shared their own tips for buying cars.

“Or take it to a private shop and get a Pre purchase inspection (PPI),” stated a user. “They will do a legitimate check on everything including under and scan codes.”

“The alignment thing is wrong it could also be a brake draging,” noted a second.

“Personally you should check the oil for level,color and for metal flakes,check the transmission fluid for level and smell,if it smells burnt no go,” suggested a third.

“Also frame rust or anything that’s gonna be expensive,” detailed a further TikToker.

In an Instagram direct message exchange with the Daily Dot, Russ noted that his page has other car-buying tips beyond the ones seen in the video. That said, for those seeking an honest dealer, he says that one “can be found through word of mouth and online reviews.”

As far as car inspections go, he says that they’re worth it—if you can get one.

“I think it’s worth it for any car out of warranty,” he stated. “Keep in mind most dealers won’t let you take the car off their lot thought so you’ll probably have to bring your mechanic with you.”

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*First Published: Dec 4, 2023, 12:00 pm CST