OT Buying a used vehicle

Page 2 of 3  
On 2/17/2014 12:09 PM, KenK wrote:

The last two cars I traded were in great condition with no problems at all. I just wanted a new car. The buyer of those cars got a nice car with no dings.
Car I traded in 2006 probably went straight to the scrap pile.

Repo is a crap shoot. If it is only a year or two old it is probably in good shape. If the owner could not make the payments, he surely could not afford oil changes on a regular basis either.
Try the yellow pages for dealers, maybe give Avis or Hertz a call as they are a couple of the big lease outfits.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 02/17/2014 11:09 AM, KenK wrote:

Best thing to do is have your mechanic check the car you are considering. The small amount of money you pay him may prevent a costly mistake. If the seller does allow you to have your own mechanic check the car...then bypass him and go onto the next.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You may need to find a new mechanic. Some mechanics will lie --gasp!-- to you cuz they're too damned lazy to look for the parts and/or don't wanna be bothered. I jes changed mechanics for that very reason. Have you looked for the parts, online? I've got a '91 Toyota pickup and have no problem with parts. Same with the '87 Honda Civic I had before. Sucker had 250K miles on it and still got 30mph. I shoulda kept it.
As for a newer car, look for unpopular choices. Many years ago I bought a green plymouth 4-dr in mint condition for peanuts. Everything worked perfectly and it was an excellent car. But, who wants a green 4-dr? I did. I'd suggest an older Buick. Them old geezers knew how to care for a car. Also, half of Asia is still driving around in those ancient Toyota vans, the kind with the motor between the seats. Don't tell me parts are unavailable. ;)
nb
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/17/2014 12:16 PM, notbob wrote:

OTOH, we've had a difficult time finding certain parts for my mother's '93 Mazda sedan. Oh, they can be found - on special order, for a vastly inflated price. There's not many in the junkyards to pull parts from, either.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I had a few Buicks. The last one was falling apart in my driveway and I gave it away with 125,000 miles on it and a list of things wrong with it. It was the last GM car I owned.
Every Buick I've owned needed warranty fixing from the first day. I've had three Hyundai and none have ever been in for any type of repair.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, February 17, 2014 1:44:47 PM UTC-6, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Most people have excellent opinions of used Buicks...ours' is an '01 with low mileage and gets about 34MPH hwy. Not bad for a 3.8L at 65MPH. Just some brake work is all I've done in the 8 yrs we've had it. I also have a '95 Saturn that is all original except for alternator, belt-tensioner, water pump, and a couple batteries. Never blew any bulbs of any kind!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/17/2014 1:44 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote: ...

OTOH, I (and Dad ahead of us) have had probably easily a dozen Buicks going back to the first 1960 "bug-eye" LeSabre and every one has been very serviceable for the era...(expectations in 1960 were night and day compared to now and have evolved over time between).
Currently have an '11 Lucerne and a '10 Enclave having traded the past LeSabre for the Lucerne at roughly 150k simply 'cuz there's no large body comparable in production any longer...it was still a very functional car w/ the only work ever done to it other than PM was the replacement of those two little plastic lines between the water pump and the block/heater assembly on the later 3800 engines.
I like both very well altho the Enclave AWD is much less fuel-efficient (altho it was purchased for the express purpose of muddy roads in wet weather for the missus and for her to run field errands w/o having to use the 4x4 which she doesn't like because she's so short that getting into it is a chore w/o a ladder). It's a very good vehicle for the purpose w/ 20" rim and resulting clearance but while it drives very well on highway I'd not recommend it for that purpose unless they've improved economy significantly. A better axle-ratio could do wonders for that it would seem...
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/17/2014 3:03 PM, dpb wrote:

I'd be driving a Lucerne if GM treated me better when the heated seat of my 01 Lesabre broke while over the miles and under the time of the 3 year 36k mile warranty. They wanted $672 for seat bottom replacement instead of replacing the $15 element. Heated seat brake lines transmission rebuild climate control both rear window lifts (propped them up with wood sticks) steering wheel radio controls wheel bearing ignition problems rotors probably more that I missed in five years and 125,000 miles.
Thinking back, my '91 Regal was probably the best of the bunch in spite of AC repaired 4X under warranty, 2X after and I gave up, water pump, rusted gas tank assorted rear brake problems.
No more GM for me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

OTOH, I bought an '84 LeSabre in '91 at about 53K miles, and sold it ten years later at 211K, still running strong. The only really significant repair was a transmission rebuild at about 150K.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or you may need to be less paranoid.
My son bought a 1993 Ford Probe -- which is mechanically identical to a Mazda MX-6 -- in 2007, and by 2010 we were starting to have some trouble finding parts. Rebuilt the transmission in 2011, and needed to replace a spacer ring in one clutch assembly -- had to order the part from a dealership 800 miles away, and it was literally the only one available anywhere in the United States.
Based on that experience... I have *zero* difficulty believing that the OP's mechanic is having trouble finding parts for a Mazda that is by now 27 years old.
Why do *you* doubt that?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

An 88 Mazda was pretty well the last of the real mazda trucks - and at their BEST they were trouble. Parts will be scarce for sure - I'd believe the mechanic.

Toyota and Mazda are two different animals - and parts in Asia and parts in the USA are also totally different situations with an asian vehicle.
But +1 on buying something that is not in high demand - a big old buick or plymouth with low mileage in good shape can be a VERY good choice for an older person who does not do a lot of driving. Easy to get in and out, parts readilly available at reasonable cost, easy to fix, reliable - Even an ex police vehicle can be an excellent buy - very well maintained - and dirt cheap. Get a detective's car and you often get a VERY low mileage vehicle that has been lightly used. A friend bought a 6 year old crown vic - detectives car - with something like 100,000km on it for under $5000. It was picked up at a local police auction by a dealer friend for him.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Ken,
Not sure I understand your problem. You need a newer truck. There are lots on the market. You have a competent mechanic who is willing to give some trucks the once over. So find a few candidates. Go and "kick the tires". If you like a truck, give the owner a REFUNDABLE deposit. and drive to your mechanic. Ok, you have the asking price and your mechanic's report. Now go and negotiate a selling price. Don't forget your deposit.
Dave M.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 2/17/2014 11:09 AM, KenK wrote:

If you want to find a repo, I'd first ask a loan officer at your bank if they ever do private sales on repos, and then ask the same of the largest bank in the area. If they do it, they'll probably put you on a notification list or tell you when the next sale or auction event will be scheduled.
The car rental agencies sell their rentals after a couple of years. From them you can get a decent deal on a clean car with full service records.
You can also look for off-lease vehicles at a local dealership.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
KenK;3199642 Wrote: >

>

>

> another.

Here are two guaranteed ways to avoid that problem.
Go to several car dealerships and pick out one or maybe two vehicles that meet your needs.
When the salesman comes out and offers to make himself useful, you tell him "I'm looking for a GOOD used vehicle. I'm interested in this car here, but I don't want to buy it unless I'm convinced there's nothing seriously wrong with it. I want the name and phone number of the previous owner so I can talk to them to make sure there's nothing seriously wrong with it before I buy it.
The salesman will hem and haw and mumble something about privacy laws preventing him from giving you that info, but then he'll tell you to wait while he talks to his manager. Tell him you're busy, but give him your business card or name and phone number so that he can get back to you. He needs time to phone the previous owners to make sure they're OK with him giving you that info.
The sales man has nothing to lose by giving you that information because he knows there's no chance that you'll buy the car if he doesn't, but a good chance you will if he does.
And, the previous owners have nothing to gain by lying to you because they've already finished their business with that car dealership. Even if the car dealership gave them a good deal on the car, they'll feel an obligation to tell you the truth about the car.
In my case, I bought a 1982 two door Toyota Corrola in 1985. The previous owners were a married couple and she was expecting a baby. So, they decided to trade in one of their cars to get a 4 door station wagon that would make it easier to both buckle the baby in it's car seat and have room for a carriage for the baby in the car too if they're going somewhere like to a shopping center or something so they don't have to carry the baby everywhere.
Try this. You'll find it works well.
Another good idea if you want another truck is to phone your local city government, gas utility, electrical utility or phone company and ask who to contact to find out when and where they auction their old vehicles off.
Businesses like gas companies need both cars and trucks for their employees to use to drive around reading gas meters and locating and marking underground gas pipes. They have their own mechanics that do regular maintenance on all their vehicles, and you can be sure the vehicle is being driven by an adult in a reasonable manner. If the vehicle needs a new engine or transmission, it's fixed as long as it's part of their active fleet. They won't say "Let's just auction this one off early." because that means one of their departments will be short a vehicle until the next vehicle purchase. So, you know the vehicle hasn't got anything wrong with it unless it happens on the way to the auction yard.
Typically, cities and utilities will buy new vehicles every year and auction off their oldest ones at the same time. Here in Winnipeg, both Manitoba Hydro and Manitoba Telephone Systems keep their vehicles for 8 years before auctioning them off and buying new. The City of Winnipeg keeps theirs for 10 years before replacing them. They figure that's about the time frame you can depend on a new vehicle before you have to start spending money on repairs. But, that would mean you'd be getting a 2004 or 2006 vehicle compared to your old 1988. And, there's still a lot of miles left in an 8 or 10 year old car that's not been driven abusively and has been properly maintained.
--
nestork


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You have a GREAT mechanic!! :)
I agree generally with trader about a repo. There are always exceptions but if someone was irresponsible enough to have a car repo'ed I'd be worrying about how it was treated. Ditto if the repo was due to a financial bind.
I used to share your worries with used cars but the last two we've had have been used, from new car dealers. One was two years old, the current was one year old. The first had a tad less than 30,000 miles when we purchased, the current had a bit under 20,000. Both were way less than when new; the current one by close to 1/3.
I'm no mechanic but it is obvious that cars are lasting MUCH better than they were even 20 years ago. You didn't indicate a price range but I'd be looking at used cars from a new car dealer because - guessing here - if a car they took in trade was junk they would auction or junk it; if they keep it to sell they are to some extent putting their reputation on the line even though they may not be dealers for that marque.
--

dadiOH
____________________________
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm 67 and I've had a car since I was 18, but I've only bought 6 cars in my life. ** I've kept each one 7 years, except the next to last which I kept 9 (and this one which I've only had for 2) They are all about 7 years old when I buy them, except the last one was 11.
I always allow 1000 over the purchase price for repairs. Maybe i'm lucky, but with only one car*** have I spent the money. To the best of my recollection, I've spent less than 100 dollars on repairs the first two years I've owned any of these cars. And though I do many of my own repairs, I don't remember any of them needing anything either. I used to drive about 10,000 miles a year. The current and previous car, it's down to 5000.
I've upped the 1000 to 2000 for the latest car and cars to follow, but I didn't have to spend much on the latest car. Though the door lock fob receiver broke after 22 months. New would be 300 or 400 plus labor. The one I got on ebay for 40 dollars seems also to be broken (because there is no way to test it if the car battery is gone when the car is towed in or if the fob is separated from the car. Or if they could test it that's probably one thing they don't test.
**The first 3 cars were free from my mother (for one summer) cousin (6 months) and brother (about 4 years) .
***That car didn't shift into high gear but the car was so powerful I didn't notice it^^. I should have and it cost almost 1000 to have the transmission repaired (30 years ago, not replaced, but the repair lasted 6 years.) . But I would have had to buy the car even if I"d noticed becaue it was the only full size Buick convertible for sale in about 14 counties of NYC and the surrounding area.
I used to check the car somewhat thorougly myself. I'd try to get there when the engine was cold so I could see how it started cold (All but one car was from a private owner. On one occasion, I had to make an appointment when to be there, and he smiled as he told me he started it up for me. Next time I told the new and used car dealer not to start it and he didn't. Of course it was an August afternoon in S. Carolina so it wasn't exactly cold out. ) I look for drips and leaks. I used to run my finger inside the exhaust pipe to look for carbon, but I'm told that since cars have had catalytic converters, there won't be any, even if the car is burning oil. So I don't do that anymore.
I drive it in every position the automatic transmission has, counting how many times it shifts A 3-speed transmission in high should shift twice. A 4-speed, 3 times. In "2", it should shift once. I move the shift lever down one notch while driving to see if it downshifts, as it should. I start in low, 1, and go faster than the normal shifting speed, and see if it stays in first until I move the shift lever to 2. It should shift right away. Then I keep the car in 2nd until it's going faster than it would normally be in 2, and then I move the shift lever to 3. It should shift right away. Same wth high or overdrive.
I definitely take the transmision dipstick out and make sure it doesnt' smell burnt. I'm told if it smells burnt, it will need a new or rebuilt transmission, even if it's working well now.
I check if it's an interference engine, one in which the pistons will hit the valves if the timing belt breaks. I don't want one of those. Get a non-interference engine, With one of those, if I don't get around to changing the belt when I should and it actually breaks., I'll be stuck somewhere maybe, but other than an extra towing fee, and the inability to shop for the best price, the repair won't be any bigger than if I had repaired it before it broke. This has only happened to me once, when my mother was in the car. I had just taken her to a dentist appointment, and the dentist left about 30 minutes after my car broke in his parking lot. I asked him to take my mother home, about 3 miiles, and I stopped a tow truck at a red light and he towed me to my favorite gas station for less than it would have cost if I had called him, And the repair was the regular price. It could have been a lot worse, but it wasnt.

The economy has hurt people who lost their jobs, those who didn't get wage increases they would have otherwise, and those whose profits depend on customers they don't have so many of. That might be 50 percent of the population, but a lot of people are either in businesses or industries that are recessiion-resistant or they're not but they've kept their job and either got the wage boost they expected, or didn't but it's not enough to change their standard of living. ,
One car I bought was from an interesting family. Mother, father, shiftless son (it seemed) and pregnant daughter who had gotten pregnant from her boyfriend and then they broke up and she moved back with her parents. (Okay, maybe it was her husband but she still moved back home) The father told me that they had 5 cars for the 4 of them, and everyone wanted to drive the convertible so they were selling it. Huh! That the one they should keep if everyone wants to drive it. I was sure he was lying and I'd find reasons to regret buying the car, but it gave me no trouble and no expense but gas and an oil change in the first two years.
One problem with an old car might be that repairmen try to sell you things you don't need. That's why I almost never take my car to a repairman. Read my thread, Problem with vintage oil furnace starting, and you can see more of the same personality.

I think so too.

You may well have gotten a good deal on this one, but I would think they sell repos at the market price like everything else. In addition, people who are about to lose their car may not take as good care of it as others do.

Stainless Steel. I didnt think one could get by on that.
I'll never have a new car. You lose thousands of dollars the moment you drive it off the lot.

He offered. Take him at his word. It means you'll have to take the car for 2 or 3 hours instead of 30 minutes when you test drive, but plenty of sellers will do that. Tell him before you drive out there that you have to have the car long enough for your mechanic to check it and that he can't just drop everything to look at the car so he has to have 2 or 3 hours or whatever he says. . Most people selling a car don't get more than one customer in the middle of a day, If it's a lot, they couldn't care less if it's gone for 3 or 4 hours. (I only drive convertibles and I have found very few at lots. Usually it's private owners. )
Oh yeah, the guy with the bad transmission. He told me he was selling his car for his son, who had a new job in Kansas and wouldnt' need a car. I guess he was going to take the Kansas subway, which goes just about everywhere. Maybe he meant that the job provided a car but he didn't say that. Anyhow, it was his way of saying, I don't know anything about the car and if it breaks tomorrow, don't blame me.
But I don't ask sellers what condition the car is in. It will just make liars out of them and make me mad if they lie to me. I look at it, see if I can find problems, dicker a bit, and if I bothered to dicker, I'm probably going to buy it. I want just what I want and I already know from the ad in the paper if it's what I want . And if the guy won't come down on the price, I'll probably pay what he asks. What's your best price? Is an easy question to ask, and the one time I tried it, I saved a little bit of money.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Yeah, same goes for oil dipstick. They'll use Crisco in engines. Dampens the sounds of a rod knock. If it smells like fried chicken or shrimp, walk away.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I've got two years more of ownership than you. I've had at least 26 cars in that time and hope to have maybe two more. Cheapest one I bought was $15 in about 1975. I had to put $100 into it though as it did not run.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

With respect to buying from private parties, I'd agree that's probably true.
However, I've bought at least five used vehicles from new-car dealers, and have yet to get a stinker. They've all been good, and one was spectacular -- another might have been, eventually, but it didn't live long enough: my son totalled it when it was still relatively young. By contrast, out of seven or eight used cars I've bought from private sellers, I've had two stinkers, and two more that were so-so.
Obviously new-car dealers take stinkers as trade-ins from time to time, but for the most part, they send the stinkers to an auto auction or a junkyard right away, and keep only the good trade-ins on their own lots. They don't want to ruin their reputations by selling stinkers, you see.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Any information is handy, but not all repairs are entered into the system. Dealer service is likely reported, but not a little shop. Good thing to know if applicable, when was timing belt replaced. I did find that when I bough a Subaru.
Greg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.