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#4331550 - 02/16/17 10:26 PM How to get a good used vehicle?
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 331
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
I may be shopping for another vehicle soon. Since 1984, I have bought a stripped down, new Toyota for cash and driven it 150,000 to 200,000 miles and then sold it. After buying each new vehicle, I started saving for the next one. Fast forward to today, I am married and broke due to prolonged underemployment and rental vacancies. Buying a new Toyota, even a stripped model, is probably out of the question. If I buy another vehicle, it will have to be used.

How can you select a decent used car? My greatest fear is spending 4 or 5 thousand on an unreliable wreck. I am a pretty good shade tree mechanic but always want to learn more.

Thanks in advance for any advice :-)

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#4331553 - 02/16/17 10:30 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Merkava_4 Offline


Registered: 01/30/07
Posts: 17501
Loc: Clovis, CA
All you have to do is research which cars and engines have the best reputation for reliability. The best cars will rarely ever be advertised. Try finding a Buick LeSabre for sale...

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#4331560 - 02/16/17 10:38 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Ramblejam Offline


Registered: 11/05/13
Posts: 3210
Loc: Kentucky
Specifically, what are you looking for?

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#4331561 - 02/16/17 10:39 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
daves87rs Offline


Registered: 02/23/09
Posts: 16981
Loc: Michigan
Depends on what you want.

Small sedans are all the same. Avoid the DCT auto on the Focus, and you should be okay.

You can get a great deal on remaining Dodge Darts....
_________________________
Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Henry Ford

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#4331577 - 02/16/17 10:57 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Rock_Hudstone Offline


Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1449
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Oldtom
I may be shopping for another vehicle soon. Since 1984, I have bought a stripped down, new Toyota for cash and driven it 150,000 to 200,000 miles and then sold it.

I'd suggest sticking with Toyota as that is what you seem to be familiar with.

Used cars are expensive the days, anything decent in the $4-5000 range is going to be about 10+ years old and have around 100,000 miles or more. However, lots of modern cars can go 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. Might take a lot of looking to find something eventually.

Try https://www.carsforsale.com


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#4331580 - 02/16/17 11:00 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Ramblejam]
Oldtom Offline


Registered: 07/05/14
Posts: 331
Loc: Cecil County Maryland
A truck of any brand would be fine. I drive about 6000 miles per year, mostly short trip since my job is only 3 miles away. I have noticed that even badly abused, hi mileage trucks seem overpriced. I may just get an old Dodge caravan and remove all but the front seats. I already have a 2003 Dodge Caravan that runs well and seems easy to maintain.

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#4331582 - 02/16/17 11:03 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Rock_Hudstone Offline


Registered: 11/13/07
Posts: 1449
Loc: New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Oldtom
I may just get an old Dodge caravan and remove all but the front seats. I already have a 2003 Dodge Caravan that runs well and seems easy to maintain.


Caravan with the 3.3L would be a great choice, prices are very reasonable but the 2001-2007 models are notorious rust buckets.

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#4331587 - 02/16/17 11:14 PM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
Get familiar with your neighborhood and start looking around. I have found ripping good deals that way and those cars have been from families with a good understanding of the condition of the car and often times have good records.

I got a usually hated car called a Chevy Shove-it, an often troublesome car. Two daughters learned how to drive with it and for 5 years it was zero problems until the youngest daughter crashed it. This car was from a co-worked that lived near by. His kids told me everything I needed to know beyond the maintenance records.

Anyhow, this system provided me with some good cars, trucks and VW buss's.

A friend in International Falls, Ice Cube Land travels to Arizona and S California when he need a new pick up. He buys a 10-15 year old model, great condition, takes it home, fixes everything and then turns it into rust. And then he repeats the process. When he's done his truck becomes spare parts, not much else is left.

Sometimes the used car you end up driving is the one in best shape at the time but maybe not the best possible vehicle of its type.

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#4331645 - 02/17/17 04:45 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Olas Offline


Registered: 12/11/13
Posts: 3933
Loc: Manchester, England
All cars have problems, you just need to be thorough when doing per-purchase inspection
_________________________
Cable ties should hold it

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#4331655 - 02/17/17 05:24 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Olas]
georgemiller Offline


Registered: 10/30/09
Posts: 188
Loc: New York
1. Have cash in hand.

2. Be very patient. Might take you several months to get car you want. I got 2001 Toyota Camry 60,000 original miles grandma car off Craigslist for 3500. Car was very good condition but took me 7 months searching every day on Craigslist.

3. Must act fast. Once you see car you want, schedule appointment to meet right away. Don't delay 1 day. Don't haggle over price. If car in very good condition these gems only come along every so often. An extra couple of hundred bucks in your pocket isn't worth losing the deal.

4. Patience and ability to act quickly.

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#4331667 - 02/17/17 05:50 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Pop_Rivit Offline


Registered: 02/09/08
Posts: 6367
Loc: Midwest
It really isn't that difficult to find a good used vehicle. Budget less than you actually have available for the vehicle, and if you don't feel comfortable doing an assessment of a vehicle's condition, find someone you trust to do it for you. Once you purchase the vehicle, keep some aside "just in case", and continue to build the maintenance/repair/replacement fund.

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#4331678 - 02/17/17 06:16 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
Rolla07 Offline


Registered: 11/05/11
Posts: 4740
Loc: MTL, CANADA
1) Brand/type of car
2) pre purchase inspection
3) research done on recalls and common failures on that specific vehicle.

Im biased but id buy another corolla any day 2003-2008 model years. Easy to work on and reasonably priced parts and availabilty. A few folks on this form have them with quite high mileage so getting one with 50-100k miles doesnt make it a bad choice. Im of the tye that rather buy used and save the depreciation hit. I bought mine in 2010 with 50k miles for 8500 and spent very little in repairs til now. Buy a 3 year old car with 50k miles and make it last!
_________________________
2007 Corolla Red Pearl 155k miles
PP 0w20 & ST 4967


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#4331699 - 02/17/17 07:04 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
supton Offline


Registered: 11/09/08
Posts: 12004
Loc: NH
Keep looking, and keep walking. I looked at a couple and walked as they didn't seem right. When I found my '99 Camry it had been on CL for at least week, maybe two. Its issue? Seller was honest, and had listed that it needed a paint job. The pics on CL didn't do justice to the amount of clearcoat damage. Most buyers want shiny. When I gave in and looked I found out that it was from down South, and as such... rust free. ! Cosmetic damage rendered the car practically free for the miles it had. Price matched what I was willing to spend--and I had been carrying around what I was willing to spend, so I bought it on the spot.

It does help to limit one's search to a number of models. That way one can learn what the problem areas are. All cars have their problem areas but it's nice to know that model xyz has this really expensive fault problem, while abc might have this cheap failure mode that most owners won't know about--and will sell on the cheap because of.
_________________________
2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 162k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 143k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 183k, his

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#4331716 - 02/17/17 07:28 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
2civics Offline


Registered: 07/12/15
Posts: 360
Loc: Indiana
Any used Corolla or Civic can be a good deal considering the price point and the expected mileage you will get out of them.

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#4331740 - 02/17/17 08:04 AM Re: How to get a good used vehicle? [Re: Oldtom]
KitaCam Offline


Registered: 11/16/12
Posts: 2280
Loc: SunnySouthFlorida
Look for a long maintenance history.
[Recently a neighbor bought a $3500 03 Altima with 127k miles that had FOUR carfax PAGES of dealer maintenance and no repairs.]
Have the car inspected by a mechanic/body shop.
....AND have $500 for the unexpected repair (I mean the previous owner must have SOME reason for selling it, right?)


Edited by KitaCam (02/17/17 08:07 AM)
_________________________
Kitacam is an 05 Camry LE/I4/MT; latest OC: 2/17 @ 142,300....PP 5w-30 with Toyo filter

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