After driving a 20-year-old car around, wondering if it was gonna die on me, I finally decided to buy a new car.
This blog isn’t about the car (which is cool!), it is about a device the sale representative tried to sell me; and I very nearly bought it.
The device is called an Electric Rust Inhibitor, or Electronic Corrosion Module. I’m sure there are other names, but I’ll stick with the first one, or ERI for short.
The idea is that this small device is hooked up to your vehicle’s battery and sends a mild electronic current throughout the metal structure of your vehicle. In doing so, it inhibits/ prevents rust from forming, and slows any current rust from getting worse.
When the sale rep told me about this, I had heard of it before and agreed to have it installed as part of my down-payment on the car. Now, I like to think I’m not a blind shopper, especially when it comes to large/ important purchases. I did some research on the kind of car I was looking at and saw the good reviews it got, so when I did take it for a test drive, I had a basic idea of what to expect and look for. Having heard of this ERI, and wanting to protect my new car, I agreed to the installation.
But once I got home, the idea of this device got me curious. So I looked it up.
First thing the next day, I called to make sure that the ERI was NOT installed.
When I Googled the device, the majority of the pages that came up didn’t speak favorably about it. An article from the Globe and Mail was particularly insightful…
“Electronic rust protectors (ERI) will eat a hole through your wallet and probably won’t protect your vehicle any more than it’s protected already, according to the Automobile Protection Association.
Dealers charge as much as $800 for the quickly-installed device, which normally retails for as low as $150.
The consumer watchdog doesn’t recommend the devices, which are based on the concept of cathodic protection used on the submerged parts of bridges and boat motors. Those devices only work when the metal is submerged in water.”
The second page I read was from Canadian Tire, which had the same device the sales rep had told me cost over $800, on sale for $150.
Now that is some fucked up shit right there.
Of course, there are some people who will say the device works. One of the comments supporting the device mentions that the owner washes his vehicle twice a week. The next comment suggests the guy washing his vehicle that often is probably why corrosion on his vehicle is non-existent.
If people are willing to try this device, go right ahead! But I think it is probably better to pay a couple of hundred bucks than $800 or more.
As for the sales rep, he may believe the device works, or he may be just a sales guy trying to wring as much money out his customer. Either way, when buying a new vehicle, don’t just settle for what the people selling you the vehicle say. After all, they are trying to make money off you, and in some cases, they’ll do whatever they can to do so.
Do your research. Talk to a mechanic you trust. Do more research. Most importantly, never be afraid to say no. If you aren’t sure about something, and they keep pressuring you, get up and leave. If you have serious attitude, make sure you tell them, or better yet the manager, why you are leaving. This may be a hassle, especially if you found a vehicle you really like. But if they are treating you poorly now, when you haven’t even bought anything, imagine how bad they’ll treat you later on if you do.
As a consumer, you have the power. If they treat you or other customers poorly, word of mouth will get around, especially with social media.
Thankfully, my experience was good. After I mentioned I didn’t want the ERI, the sales rep was cool about it, and understood the negative feedback about the device. So it all turned out good and I got a new car.
All’s well that ends well.
But personally, don’t waste your money of an ERI. Give your vehicle an under-coating and wash it regularly and all should be good.