Frequently Asked Questions and General Help


The results don't load properly.

Here are a few general things to try when things don't seem to work right. (In fact, these steps can be useful when any website isn't working for you.)

And if none of that works, we have a forum set up where you can search for more answers, or ask your own question. There's lots of useful info there already, and more being added every day. Feel free to post your question there if you don't see the answer already. We check for new posts regularly. Or if you prefer, you can always just email us.

The craigslist results aren't working properly.

The craigslist results are handled by our partner site, You can open them using the orange craigslist button near the top of the results page. Please note that neither SearchTempest nor AutoTempest has any affiliation with craigslist, which is a trademark of craigslist, Inc.

For problems with the results provided by SearchTempest, please check out the SearchTempest FAQ.

Just remember that craigslist only deals in keywords - they aren't a car site. So for example, if you search for a 1998-2002 car, you might also match an ad where someone has listed their ride for $2000. Similarly, "BMW M3" might match "Honda Civic - BMW M3 exhaust tips!!!" or whatever.

To help avoid this, by default we search only in the titles of posts, not the full body, unless you've entered additional keywords beyond make, model, and year. If you find that doesn't give many results though, you can turn off the titles only option once you open SearchTempest.

There's a car missing from the results, but I know it should be there!

First, if it's a craigslist ad missing, please see the missing posts answer in the SearchTempest FAQ. (The craigslist results are powered by SearchTempest.) Keep in mind that craigslist doesn't know anything about cars and model years and such. It's just words. So if you search for a 1990 Toyota Supra, SearchTempest will search for "1990", "Toyota", and "Supra". If those words don't appear in the post, it won't show up. (However, you do have the option to tweak the auto-generated keywords if they don't make sense.) Also, as mentioned above, by default it will only look in the title of the post, not the body.

Otherwise, the most likely explanation is that you've set an option such as maybe max mileage or body style, which is filtering out the result you're expecting to see.

If you still can't find the ad, please feel free to get ahold of us, and let us know which ad you expect to see but don't. We'll look into it ASAP. Please include the URL (link) to your AutoTempest results page, so we can see exactly what you're seeing.

AutoTempest always forgets my search parameters, so I have to enter them again.

AutoTempest should remember all your settings. If this isn't happening, you probably need to enable cookies.


How do I search for a model that isn't in the list?

You can still search for other models, even though they aren't in the dropdown list. Do do so, leave the dropdown set to "Any Model", then type the model that you want into the "Keywords" field below. We realize this is a bit clunky, and are planning to improve it soon.

How come you don't show craigslist and AutoTrader along with everything else?

Unlike the other sites listed on AutoTempest, craigslist and AutoTrader don't have APIs. For AutoTrader, we work around this by simply giving you a button to open the results right on their site, in a new window. That way you don't have to type in all the same stuff again over there. For craigslist it's a bit trickier, since they also don't provide a way to search multiple cities. So we leverage our partner site, SearchTempest isn't affiliated with craigslist in any way, but it's able to show results from multiple cities using some heavily customized Google searches.

Tips and Tricks

Getting the Best Results from Keywords

The optional keywords box will allow you to filter the results for certain... well... keywords.

Make sure you check all the other options first. For example, to search convertibles, it's better to choose the "convertible" body style by setting the Bodystyle drop-down to "Convertible" under the "More Options" pane.

They can be very useful for some things though. ie.

leather black

to get cars with leather interior, black (either exterior or interior - but at least it narrows it down). Some sites (craigslist and eBay in particular) even support negative keywords, so you can eliminate ads with certain words like this:

leather black -smelly -racoons

Open Car Ads in New Tabs

When you find a car you're interested in, rather than just clicking on the ad, try middle-clicking (clicking with the mouse wheel) to open the ad in a new tab. (If you don't have a mouse wheel or middle mouse button, you can Control-click, or Command-click on a Mac.) This will allow you to bookmark the individual ads, grab their links to email them or post them somewhere, or just keep the ads open for reference while you continue to search the listings.

More tips will be added as they come up! And again, if your question isn't answered here, you can check in the forum, or fire us an email!