OT Gettting a used car checked by a mechanic before buying it

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On Wed, 17 Sep 2014 06:03:50 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

I used to get broken tvs off the street in NYC and Brooklyn, fix them and sell them. Mostly between 40 and 60 dollars. Usually spent 20 or less for parts, and I enjoyed the fixing. Only sold them because I didn't have space or reason to keep them all.
There were two kinds of customers, those who wanted to dicker and those who didn't. I used to price the tv's at what was fair, but I learned that the first kind would not pay that much. If I did not come down, they would leave. So I raised the price on every TV from then on by 10 or 15 dollars, and then came down that much. One guy agreed to the higher price and after I walked with him the block and a half to the subway, I gave him the 10 dolllars anyhow.
One woman bought three of them and said she was going to sell them to people in her n'hood for more. I don't think they were worth more, She paid with two 100-dollar biils. For some reason I though they were counterfeit. I guess I just didn't trust her. The teller at the bank said, Well, if they are phoney, just deduct the amount from your income tax. I pointed out that I paid 30% so I'd save 30 and lose the other 70. Oh, yeah, she said, never thought of that.
I also learned not to show more than two tv's to anyone, one more espensive than the other. If you show them 3, they get confused and leave witthout buying anything. (If they asked, I lied and said the others weren't fixed yet.)
But everything I sold was at a fair market price.
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wrote:

Oops. You only need a ride for a third of this, home or to your car from the mechanic. You can drive yourself to the place with the car.
Still it's a pain and even moreso when you have no wife.
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micky wrote:

Here if you have insurance for the car, you drive if you have a proof plate is applied for.
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:56:12 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Well I don't go to a mechanic, but one can get advice anywhere and then use his own head to decide if it's good advice.
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2014 13:56:12 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@slp53.sl.home (Scott Lurndal) wrote:

Here's some good used car buying advise from a guest on an "entertainment program." One trick to sell a car with a rod knock if to fill the crankcase with Crisco. Crisco is vegetable oil that's solid until warmed, in case you not familiar it. My mom and grandma used it, or lard, for deep frying. So you want to start and warm up any car you're thinking of buying. Get it hot. Then its simply a case of pulling the dipstick. If the dipstick smells of fried, chicken, shrimp, potatoes, onion rings, etc, walk away from it.
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wrote:

Very important if YOU are not a mechanic, or VERY mechanically inclined.

I've bought many used vehicles privately as is - and I ALWAYS had a me it out - but I AM a mechanic -----

I was buying junk- but getting more junk than I expbought it from a "so-called mechanic" and he either lied through his teeth or he was a very inept mechanic. Yes. I regretted buying that one, but DID own it for 6 years after I fixed it.

Check the car over yourself. Then if you think it is good, get a mechanic friend to look at it. If he says don't buy , walk. If he thinks it could be good, pay to nave it towed to the mechanic who you will have safety it if you buy it. For about $100 you can be sure what you are buying is certifiable. you also may need to be sure it can pass emissions.
I've done the "mechanic friend check" for MANY friends over the years, and as a mechanic did a LOT of pre-purchace inspections. Basically a complete safety check with no parts, and an engine condition check. Paying for an emission test is also good insurance. The cost of the safety checku loose if you don't buy it - and if you do, you needed the check anyway.
There are too many things that can be wrong with a car that the "uninformed" will totally miss - and it can cost you BIG!!
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wrote:

I've yet to see a computer diagnosis that can tell you what condition a clutch is in - - - -
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wrote:

and it turns out to be junk. The "I told you so" s never end!!
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:22:35 -0400, Stormin Mormon

needed virtually no repairs for years. My (wife's) is a 2002 Ford Taurus we bought 2 years ago with 58000 km on it. I replaced the tires this spring, as well as the headlights (yellow and crazed) It has 86000km on it now. The heater control had hiccuped twice in the last 2 months so I popped out the mix door servo and re-lubricated it.
My pickup had 308000km on it and I knew it needed a clutch slave cyl when , plus a windsheild.. That was 3 years ago. Only problems since were "U" joints and a cracked hood in the evap system. - has 326,000km on it now - 17 years old next month.
Youngest daughter's old Neon - bought with almost 200,000km on it and in the first 2 years just needed a rad andt brakes. Nothing in the first year.
Wife's '88 Chrysler, bought with 100,000km at 6 years of age - first required repairs were 3 years later when the cat converter plugged - ended up needing cyl heads replaced. 3 years later front suspension work, and when it was 15 years old, the transmission went bad (actually the differential - but inside the transaxle). Sold it in good running condition at 18 years of age - had to put in a steering rack to certify it for sale,240,000km.
The 85 LeBaron before that was the rainy night special - had more rust than I thought and the engine was totally shot - not repairable. Had to put an engine in it. $1000 car, $1000 engine - went 4 years before the body got too rusty to put on the hoist to fix a brake line.
Then there was the $500 Pontiac TransSport - bought with a blown engine. rebuilt engine for $2800. A year later the transmission cost me another $1000.. All kinds of stupid little things on that van - but it WAS a GM. I got what I bought - a pile of headaches - for $500. I think I drove it 7 or 8 years and put $100,000km on it before the rebuilt engine let go.
Years before I bought a 1980 Tercel with 300,000km on it. Mechanically it needed nothing. Several years later I put a new timing belt and clutch in before a long road trip. The clutch was still in good shape, but since I had it out I put in a new disc and bearing.. 6 years or so without any mechanical failures. Just fiberglassed the back fenders. The car was well maintained by myself for the original owner.
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I've only had a warranty on one vehicle I've ever owned - and it had more work done under warranty in the first 3 months than I've ever had to doin the first year of any used car I've owned except the 2 junkers. That 1976 RamCharger cost me more to own than ANY used car I've owned on a per year basis. With the full equipment package I added, it was a $10,000 vehicle. In a year and a half I traded it for $3500 and an AMC Pacer nobody wanted. (and that Pacer was 100% trouble free except for a steerinng rack bushing.) Even with 0% financing I have a hard time imagining a scenario where I would buy another brand new car, unless I win the lottery - and win it BIG.
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On 9/17/2014 10:38 PM, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

Never owned a Chrysler product. Every car I've owned until recently needed something under warranty. GM pissed me off the last time when they suggested I buy a new car instead of fixing the one I had. So, I took them up on it and bought a Hyundai Sona ta. I've had three of them now and they are the most reliable cars I've ever owned. None have needed anything aside from tires, one got brake pads on one axle.
Meantime, the Buick was falling apart in the driveway. I ended up giving it away.
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On 09/18/2014 12:41 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I had a 1981 Plymouth Horizon. That car had a lot of problems, including:
1. Underpowered engine would die frequently for no apparent reason.
2. Electrical problem that prevented starting every week of so. (It turned out to be a short in the glove compartment; light never went off).
3. Coolant leak that wouldn't show up on leak tests, until someone thought to check the radiator cap.
4. Bent shaft on A/C compressor. It would cost more to fix than in a big car.
I now have a 1998 Chevrolet, which has had very little trouble. Other than tires and batteries, the only major trouble was overheating this year. It needed a new heater hose.
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Nobody ever wants to buy a car from me. I "run them until the wheels fall off" and that really means there is far more wrong than I am ready to fix. People always assume that since I am very good at keeping a car going that I would have a good car to buy but when I sell a car, it is done. In that regard, I prefer to trade them. Those guys are pros and they are supposed to know what they are buying. I still want a low mileage used car, not a new one.
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On Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:38:35 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I had a 71 Gremlin that someone gave me because it needed a clutch and she owed me money (I guess that really meant it cost me $1000 but I had written that off as lost money)
I put in the new clutch, threw a set of tires I had in the garage at it and put 50,000 miles on it with nothing but that #5 plug those 232ci engines fouled regularly. I wasn't even a fanatic about oil changes. After a while I was just cleaning them, throwing them in the glove box and swapping them out. I could do one at a long light ;-)
The tires were mounted on Cragar SS mag wheels off of a GT mustang when I got them so I had a pretty funny looking gremlin
http://gfretwell.com/ftp/gremlin2.jpg
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I've driven Chevy, Pontiac, Buick and Olds for 50 years. With Ford truck, VW Bug and Squareback thrown in. Not a one ever stranded me, but I take care of them. And some "luck" is involved there. I've probably spent less for a lifetime of cars than the cost of one new Sonata. It's how I retired early. But I like "tinkering" with cars. My current cars are a 2003 Impala, and a 1993 Grand Am. The Impala looks and runs like new. The Grand Am runs well, but I have to replace the windshield trim. I'll have a windshield guy come over and do it. $200 if he has to replace the glass. The Impala is by far the most I've ever paid for a car, $8k a year and a half ago. No maintenance so far except oil changes. I don't listen to car salesmen. GM puts out many flawed vehicles. You have to know which to avoid, and which can be fixed. You just didn't want to fix your Buick. So you went for Hyundai. Could do the same with Toyota, Honda. If you're buying new cars probably better value. I don't know how that holds up post-2003. GM used cars have been very, very good to me.
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On 9/18/2014 2:40 PM, Vic Smith wrote:

Years ago, someone commented to me that every Chrysler or Dodge or Plymouth owner has to have at least a couple spare ballast resistors for the vehicle. I repeated that comment to the guy next door, who does none of his own repair. He replied "do you mean these?" and then got two or three ballast resistors out of the glove box of his auto.
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On 09/18/2014 04:00 PM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

Don't know what you mean by "ballast resistor," but I've never had anything by that name replaced in our '02 Chrysler 300M or in the '96 Dodge Stratus before that.
Perce
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On 9/18/2014 4:03 PM, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

In 1974 when electronic ignition came out, they had a porcelean thing with a wire wound resistor, screwed to the firewall in front of the passenger seat. This limited power to the ignition coil, so it would not oveheat if the ignition was on, but car not running.
I don't know if they are still used, or which was the last year.
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micky wrote:

I did not have to buy cars new or old during my working days. Drove company car all those years replacing it every 3 years. At 3 year mark, I often bought the car at book value and passed it to friend and family member. So I always took care of the car I drove very well.
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cars. It is a resistor that goes right before the high voltage coil in the 12 volt wiring. Often it is shorted out by the switch while cranking the engine to give a hotter spark while the starting motor is draging down the battery voltage.
Many that I have seen are about 1/2 of an inch square and about 3 or 4 inchs long.
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