buying a *new car - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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buying a *new car

Ok, looks like i'm going to be looking at a new...as in used but new to me , car. My price range only goes to 1500 or so, but i wanted to know some input on an ad in autotrader that i saw.

Saturn 97 SL, has 160k (kinda high seeming), but havent gotten to go and look at it yet. Any comments on how long they tend to live/common problems i should look for on it? Any other manufacturer/model tips would be appreciated, i just dont want to spend money on something that's going to break in the next 5-10k miles. Thx!

- Steve
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Ok...well searching around and seeing that there are complaints time and again of water pump failure, alternators, coolant temp sensors it seems. Personally thats not bad, i've done all that kind of work on my car in shop except the sensor, but sensors cant be all that hard.

I love being in shop, so this is one's a mebbe!

- Steve
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 11:28 PM
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That is a lot of miles. I would try to look for a car just over 100k. Since they have discontinued Cavaliers, you may be able to pick up a 1999 - 2002 for that price range with less miles. Check out cars.com, it will show you dealers and personal seller's cars. This is where I found the lead for my car. Also, if you need a carfax report on any of the cars, feel free to PM me your email address. I have unlimited reports until 11/27, just send me the vin numbers and I will email you the reports.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-14-2006, 11:40 PM
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I wouldn't recommend Saturn, you might want to look for something else.

As far as buying a car in this price range - don't look for $1,500 advertised, look for up to $2,200 with a stick shift and negotiate hard. Last year, when my younger brother came to visit the US, I bought him '97 Pontiac Grand Am coupe (4cyl, stick shift, around 120K miles, in perfect condition and with a small bag of weed under the driver's seat as we found later) for $1,900 that was advertised for $2,500 or so. I sold it in autumn for $1,700 just because I wanted to get rid of it quickly, but I advertised it for $2,200. If you don't know how to negotiate, get someone who does to help.

Also, I don't know your situation, of course, but having bought and sold, owned and even crashed few used cars ranging from $500 to $3,000 I highly recommend to borrow the money somewhere (your bank might possibly give you a small personal loan) and buy a car for around $3,000. While you can get lucky, chances are that for $1,500 you will get a POS that will constantly need small repairs and be a permanent headache. On the other side, for $3,000 you might actually get something decent, drivable and good looking. Plus it should come out cheaper in the long run.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 12:42 AM
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Just from workin on my ex's SL1 i can say STAY AWAY. Try for a honda or toyota, those both are bullet proof makers. Im in the same boat you are....

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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k thanks for comments, i'll look around today too for something better

- Steve
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 07:08 AM
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I would look for a late-90s Ford Escort. Believe it or not, they were very well made. They're also quite cheap these days, and parts are inexpensive as well.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 07:29 AM
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If you can get yourself into a Honda - go for it, but it will be tough to find one for that cheap. They seem to hold their value pretty well, even with a lot of mileage.

If you want less to deal with, try and find a car that's pretty much stripped down - no power accessories or electronics. I tell ya - my boss had this late 80s/early 90s Civic hatchback that I don't even think had power steering. He owned it for more than ten years and I'm pretty sure he only had to replace the muffler on it - other than that, just oil changes and the typical maintenance.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 08:58 AM
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IMO almost any Honda you find for $1500 will be almost completely worn out. Honda's are great cars, and if you had a bit more to spend I'd recommend them. Just not at this price range.

-Mike
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pitbull76
IMO almost any Honda you find for $1500 will be almost completely worn out. Honda's are great cars, and if you had a bit more to spend I'd recommend them. Just not at this price range.
I sold my 150k mile '94 civic for $650. It was a little battered but the owner still has it and it's still running. i'm sure there are other guys like me out there that don't feel like fucking someone over.

Chris
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 09:13 AM
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Big olí fat +1 on used Honda or Toyota, you will have less problems with them in the long run. Negotiating is key especially if you are at a dealer. I bought a 87 Dodge avenger a while back that was stickered @ a bit over $10K for only $7.2K. Always low ball them. There is no reason as to why you couldnít walk out with a $2K+ car for $1.5K. Donít ever be afraid to walk out

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 09:54 AM
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+1 on the walking out. I made this guy an offer once and he didnt even counter offer, so I said thanks and left, 2 days later I get a phone call from him, "ya still interested for $X" If they dont come around, it wasnt ment to be.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 10:23 AM
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Or try nissan. I had a nissan sentra (89) back a few years ago and damnit, the windows didnt go up or down. 2 doors didnt open, and the car was falling apart from rust (Paid $400) for it, but damnit, that thing had 245k on it and still ran strong! i miss the skyline (aka 89 sentra)

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2006, 10:26 AM
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-1 on Honda and Toyota

They are GREAT cars, they DO last long and are cheap to maintain, but since this is a well-known fact they tend to be way overpriced. And if I'm understanding correctly, price is the key factor in this situation.

- Stas

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