Right now, it’s 2:24 in the morning, and I find myself unable to sleep – I slept for about an hour when I awoke in a start from a fairly detailed and highly erotic dream featuring a very large and hairy wolf-spider that had the face of my seventh-grade math teacher. As usual, when I can’t sleep, I decided to look at some of the Terms and Conditions a human person, non-spider, might encounter when looking to buy a vehicle from a Certified Pre-Owned Ford dealer. You no doubt already know that I think Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) models are great, but what I enjoy most about them is the extensive legal documentation that accompanies them.
As soon as I started looking at some of the fine print that most of you will ignore in your race to sign whatever paperwork is waved at you to allow you to break free from a five-hour stay at a car dealership, I knew I’d found something special. I mean, there are Terms and Conditions, and then there are Terms and Conditions! Here are some of my favorites that you might not realize apply to your CPO Ford.
Fuel, Oil, and Wipers
One of the features that Ford brags about is that all of their vehicles sold as part of their Blue Advantage program (what they call their CPO models) include, “A full tank of fuel, fresh oil and filter, and new wiper blades.” That seems all well and good, who doesn’t want a full tank of gas and freedom from worrying about an oil change for a while? But if you look deeper into what they offer, that’s not all you get for free…
Their website has a small “7” next to the line about the tank of fuel and other things, but when you look, it’s very hard to find what note that “7” points you toward. I did some digging and managed to find the following: “See dealer for details; also includes a full ashtray, glove compartment with three-day supply of shredded cabbage, and a hornet nest beneath the rear seats.” Now that I see everything you get, I have to vehemently congratulate Ford on the real value of these models.
The Greasy Exclusion
A quick glance at Gold Certified models available as part of the Ford Blue Advantage program reveals that they all must meet certain requirements: less than six years old, fewer than 80,000 miles on them, and pass a 172-point inspection. That’s not much different from many other CPO programs, so I imagine most people will stop reading there. Doing so is a terrible mistake.
You see, the additional details indicate that every vehicle has to have never had a grilled cheese sandwich eaten inside of it in order to pass certification. For some people, this is going to be a good thing – you’ll have the confidence of knowing there won’t be the tell-tale greasy fingerprints that reveal the presence of a grilled-cheese aficionado. But for my money, I want to know the person who owned my car before me shared my values, which means a mutual love for speeding down the freeway as the sun rises, going about 84mph while shoving the liquid gold of a freshly grilled cheese down my craw!
You might also notice that every Gold Certified model includes 24-hour roadside assistance, which seems great. It’s important to note, however, that this is directly tied to the powertrain limited warranty, so you only get this service as long as the warranty is in effect. Furthermore, the roadside assistance has to be provided by (according to Ford’s terms), “A large man of nearly inhuman proportions, wearing a crimson hood fitted so that no part of his face may be visible, and wielding an axe designed with a single purpose: to shed the blood of the innocent.” Now they’re speaking my language! This is the sort of thing I usually pay extra for, and I might just be willing to forgo the knowledge of a previous owner who shared my love of a well-grilled cheese just to meet this large, unsavory fellow. Well played, Ford, well played.
Editor’s Note: We’ve, as of yet, been unable to locate any of these specific terms and conditions on Ford’s website. Based on our initial research and talking to several local car dealerships, these are all supported by Ford and at least colloquially enforced. We recommend anyone with a new Ford to consider these conditions and the impact that a single Panini, patty melt, or similar sandwich might have on the long-term value of their vehicle as a trade-in. Thank you.