Researching a New Car by Using Automotive Forums - Good or Bad?

When it comes time to buy a new car, many people find an automotive forum to learn more about it. This can be good and bad. Here is what you need to know.

Researching a New Car by Using Automotive Forums - Good or Bad?
When using a forum to research a new vehicle, don’t be scared away.

As you start looking for a forum, it is important to consider where to start. There are thousands of forums out there and they generally break down into a couple of categories. Most forums are either:

  • General – focusing on a large variety of vehicle types and manufactures
  • Specific – focusing on just one vehicle type
  • Sport Specific – focusing on what the vehicle will do like off-roading, racing, etc.

Knowing the forums come with different focuses, let’s look at what you need to know before buying a vehicle.

Forum Focus

Now, there will be some overlap on different forums, but generally each forum will have a specific purpose and the majority of information will be focused on this. For example, if you look at a Ford F150 forum, you will probably see a Ford Mustang section and/or an offroad section. While these sections will have some information, it isn’t the forums main focus and will not be as informative as other forums. Finding the right forum that focuses on what you are wanting to know is the better way to go.

Understanding Forum Problem Posts

Many people get freaked out when they see a particular vehicle has a problem that has a long thread attached to it. The thing to remember is that problem could be talked about on that forum, but no where else. Also, many of those posts on that thread could be not related to the problem. And it is also worth knowing that people like to complain a LOT more than they like to boast. A complain thread will ALWAYS have more posts than a “I love my vehicle” thread.

If you come across a particular issue that concerns you, try looking at a similar forum to see if you can find the same issue coming up. For example, one Toyota Tundra forum has a long thread about steering racks blowing up while a similar forum, doesn’t really have the same thread/intensity about the problem.

Pros of Forums

One of the pros of forums, is that while people will tend to talk more about problems than how well it runs, you can become informed about what types of issues you may want to look for. This can be very handy when buying a used vehicle. Perhaps, you want to buy a Ford F150 with an EcoBoost engine, but you have heard that the charge-air cooler could develop a moisture problem. Now, you know that there is a fix that Ford has created for this problem. Using the used vehicle’s VIN number, you could find out if that repair has been performed. This can really handy when trying to decide on a used vehicle and could give you some leverage with a dealership.

When checking out forums, remember to take everything you read with a grain of salt. They can be a great resource, but it is up to you to decide how useful they are.