Buying from your ex is a bad idea.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | May 01, 1991

Dear Tom and Ray:

I recently purchased a used '87 Toyota Camry from my ex-husband. After having the wheels aligned, I noticed that the steering wheel was not straight--that is, the steering wheel is turned a few inches to the right when the wheels are pointing straight ahead. The mechanic told me that he couldn't correct this because the wheels had been so badly out of line. Should I rely on this response, or pursue it further?

RAY: First of all, Bobbie, we always recommend against buying used cars from used husbands. On the evolutionary ladder, ex-husbands are just a few rungs above used car salesmen with white belts, white shoes, and plaid pants.

TOM: Second, you got lousy advice. Your mechanic was either uninformed, or a little too anxious to get home to his Stratolounger that night.

RAY: It's true that the steering wheel can get off center after many alignments, but straightening it is a piece of cake. Even my brother can do it.

TOM: All the mechanic has to do is remove a nut on the steering column, take the steering wheel off, put it back on so it's straight, and replace the nut.

RAY: I would take your EX-husband's EX-car to to someone with a little more EX-perience. Centering the steering wheel requires no great EX-pertise, nor is it an EX-pensive job. I'd say you have grounds for action here, Bobbie. It's time to make this guy your EX-mechanic.

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