Geo Prizm advice

Messages
472
Location
Cleveland, GA
Ok guys and gals. Gas is killing me (along with everyone else). I got a 2004 Tacoma 4wd Double Cab that gets 16.5-18.5. Commute to work is about 240 miles a week. Also my fire station is in a terrible part of town. Vehicles getting broken into happen often, and always seeing "day laborers" walking around them at 2 in the morning. Having something a little less attractive might be a plus. I am looking at a 1994 Geo Prizm within the next 10 days if it doesn't get sold. It is about 200 miles away and this is the earliest that both our schedules workout. Owner is 2nd owner. Bouth it in 1998 with 45k miles. The car has the 1.6L 4cyl, 5 speed, 115k miles. OCI was 3-5k at Chevy dealer. Timing belt replaced at 60k. Owner has replaced starter, alternator and door handles. All of these are common for this car. Have seen a picture, and it looks good for it's age. States that their is no front end noise that might indicate CV, etc. going bad. Owner states that the car gets 38mpg on highway. I'll be ecstatic if it only gets 35mpg. I am gonna take it to either the Chevrolet or Toyota dealership in the town when I go look. I had a 1995 Corolla and it was a good car. This car is basically a Corolla in GM clothing. Hoping to stretch another 100-150k miles out of this car. It's due for another timing belt change at 120k miles and it'll need 2 tires within 5k miles as well. Insurance is gonna be less than $120/ year. Owner is asking $2300, but kbb lists private party at $1750 and Nada at about $2500. Would be pleased to get it for $1800 if all checks out. Does anyone have any knowledge about this car or any advice?
 
Messages
189
Location
Raleigh, NC
Its a good basic car. Just make sure if you do get it to replace the water pump and cam/crank seals when the timing belt is done. Other then that there is not much to it. Which is good and bad depdning on how oyu look at it. But if all you want is soemthing basic, I say go for it.
 
Messages
30
Location
Central Indiana
I had a '90 I sold 3 or 4 years ago.I had it 6 or 7 years and it had nearly 200,000 on it.Other than normal upkeep I spent nothing on it.I kept the oil changed and until the day I sold it it never usded a drop of oil between.Mine had the same 1.6 5spd with ac and my mileage was always between 35&40 mpg.I'm 62 and have never owned a better vehicle.By the way I never changed the timing belt either.
 
Messages
22,188
Location
Colorado Springs
I've got a 94 Corolla with the 1.8L. Other than the fact that it won't get out of it's own **** way with a tailwind, it's a great car! Mine only gets about 35-36 mpg on the highway; about 34 in town.
 
Messages
541
Location
Virginia
Like Boxcar I had a 1990 model. 1.6 w/5spd. I ran the crap out of that car. Redline every day (not much power in them). Changed the oil every 3-5000 @ Jiffy Lube. I put a starter and alternator on it. Got 40mpg regularly. Never used oil and the oil looked like new with 5000 miles on it. I sold it at 140k to an ex-nephew-in-law. Last time I saw it it had 180k w/worse treatment then I gave it. Great car!
 
Messages
36,423
Location
ME
 - I had this little guy about a month; was going to give to brother in law but he didn't want it and it was a bit knackered so I sold it in the pennysaver. Check the struts, drive axles and radiator thoroughly; any clunks from the front end when accellerating need investigating. Interesting factoid, in 1990 at least, prizms had rear sway bars when corollas didn't. [I dont know] If you lose a driver's inside door handle the passenger rear handle is the same part number, only upside down. The junkyards were ALL out of this body style... they crushed 'em all... but they had plenty of your body style still. The oil filter is easy to reach from above and in front-- but it's very near the hot exhaust manifold.
 
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