How To Buy a New Car

In a future socialist utopia, a car buyer will be able to confidently walk into a dealership and pay the same price as everyone else buying the same type of vehicle. But, alas, in today’s free economy and capitalistic regime, we must each fend for ourselves at the dealership. And guess what, most folks are paying thousands more dollars than they need to for their new car. That’s because car dealerships are the enemy of the car buyer. Upfront price quotes are often meaningless. Competitive quotes are misleading. Advertised specials are not so special. They just want to get you to the dealership, because once you’re there the real magic begins!

Every step of the car buying process is fraught with danger. You will be misled. You may think you got a great deal while the salesperson is in the other room high-fiving and making “ka-ching” sounds to his colleagues. Some dealership staff come across as cocky, sleazy, arrogant, or just plain “car-salesman-ey”, while others are courteous, professional consultants ready to provide crucial support in your car buying endeavor. But make no mistake, no matter what the behavior and attitude is of the staff, they share one thing in common—they have many strategies to invoke during the car buying process with the singular goal of separating you from as much money as possible. Even the nicest salesperson follows a dealership protocol designed to maximize the salesperson’s cut and the dealer’s profit.

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Warning: Schlage F-series Door Knobs

Here’s a word of warning for anyone in the market to buy new door knobs. We recently replaced the door handles, knobs and deadbolts throughout the house. We liked the look of one of the Schlage designs and bought them all online from a company that also rekeyed the locks to the same key.

Then we installed the door knobs and found that the interior knob is always unlocked to allow free egress at all times. Let me explain what this actually does. When you turn the lock button on the inside, the outside is locked, thus preventing anyone from opening the door from the outside. But with this apparent “convenience” feature, we can still open the door from the inside without unlocking it.

Let me know walk you through a typical day in the Clarke household. A night we check to make sure the doors are locked. Can I remember now whether the door is locked when the button is in the horizontal or vertical position? No, I can’t. But no problem, I’ll open the door again and test to see if the outdoor knob turns. Ok, now I know it’s locked. In the morning, it might be the kids, or my wife or me that goes out the door first. We now have a very important responsibility. Before closing the door, first check to see if the outside knob turns. It doesn’t? Ah, this must be the first person to leave the house today, so we turn it, because otherwise we’ll be locked out. The only problem is that our kids are too young to understand this concept, but they are old enough to play with the little think in the middle of the knob and turn it just for fun.

Schlage, are you reading this? Did you seriously think this was a good idea? Come on!

I would just return them and buy different ones but it took six weeks to get the front door handleset installed due to us a having a thicker than usual front door and Schlage requiring several service calls and three shipments for us to eventually get the parts needed to install the handleset. And now I’ve got most of the other doors knobs installed I really don’t want to return take it all and send it back. Did I mention that I’ve thrown out the original packing and the old locks?

Stay clear of the Schlage F-series locking door knobs.