As Jalopnik’s resident car-buying expert and a professional car shopper, I get emails. Lots of emails. I’ve picked a few of your questions and will try to help out. This week we are discussing whether you should avoid new cars made on a certain day of the week, and ordering a car from a previous model year.
First, does the day a car is made affect its quality?
“I have often heard that you should never buy a car manufactured on a Monday or Friday. Is there any factual (read: proof) of this? And if so, is there any way by looking at the VIN or similar codes to determine what day of the week a car, SUV, etc. was manufactured?
I am getting ready to purchase a new car in 2021, and would like to know if this is a valid consideration.”
I haven’t heard this one in a while, and it comes from a longstanding assumption that workers on Friday are checked out after a long week and not as careful with their assembly tasks. Similarly, the theory was that workers on Monday were still recovering from the weekend and could be a little sloppy. This seems like a myth that was never really substantiated. Here is a forum question from back in the day that gives a very good answer.
The complete manufacturing process for a modern car takes more than a single day (though final assembly is amazingly quick), and if a factory has worker performance issues two days a week, that factory is likely to have issues overall. There doesn’t seem to be any direct connection between the build quality of the vehicle and which day assembly was completed.
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Next up can you order a car that is still for sale but the model year has passed?
“ I’m wondering if it would still be possible to order a 2020 model from the factory through a dealer after 2021 has begun.
This would be for a somewhat higher-end Ram 2500 Longhorn (a version of the Limited trim level), if that matters.”
A dealer may be able to find a 2020 model somewhere in the country that’s close to what you’d like to order. But if there are none in inventory, then a factory order would have to be for the current model year. At this point, that is a 2021 model. There are times when the automaker has shifted to the “new” model year for some vehicles and is still producing a previous version of the car, but if you are seeing the 2021 model 2500 on the configurator, it’s likely that 2020 production has ended.
Got a car buying conundrum that you need some assistance with? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!