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7th_Sephiroth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:48 PM
Original message
need some tips on purchaseing a used car
how do i avoid a lemon with verry little money (about $1500) and still get something sporty (i'm looking at a 1990 plymouth laser and an 82 toyota supra right now)
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BlackVelvetElvis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Do some research
start here: http://www.edmunds.com /
Are you planning on buying privatelly or from a dealer?
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. Get a vehicle history report...
on any car you're looking at from Carfax ( http://www.carfax.com ). That way you can find out if the vehicle's ever been wrecked and the seller isn't telling you...

And, since you're looking for something that will be reasonably reliable, my advice is to look at either a Honda or Toyota. Either of those are generally good for in the neighbourhood of 300K miles if properly taken care of...
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7th_Sephiroth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. i'm TRYING to get something a little sporty
thats why i'm leaning twards the supra
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pagerbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Is that a must-have or a would-be-cool?
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7th_Sephiroth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. well, i dont want a station wagon
or a mini van
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. I would check Consumer Reports
They not only rate new cars, but also older models. I don't know if they go back that far, though. :shrug:

If you have a mechanic that you trust, I would have him go over the car. Nothing like expert advice and this will not only keep you safe, but could help you avoid an expensive repair bill in the future. :-)
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leanings Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
5. 1500 and sporty?
Hmm...problem is most sporty cars have been sportily driven. At 1500 they're probably a little ragged.

Ask for maintenance records. If the owner has them it will show you what work has been done to the vehicle and will give you a clue as to the responsibility of the owner. If the mileage is over 125k or so the vehicle may need a timing belt soon, an expensive proposition. Water pumps also tend to go first on engines; see if that's been replaced. Look for any parts under the hood that appear newer than others.

Avoid high-mileage cars with original turbos or superchargers. Those were options on both of the cars you've mentioned and they don't tend to last nearly as long as the engines.

If you're seriously considering buying it, take it to a mechanic and spend the $50 or so to get a good and thorough look-see.

Good luck!
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7th_Sephiroth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 03:33 AM
Response to Reply #5
10. in all honesty
i'm not looking for a car that will last years and years, i just really need one to last like a year and a half until i have some steady work underneath me
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solinvictus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Some things to check yourself
1) When the car is running, hold a white piece of paper to the exhaust pipe to check for any oil or coolant spots. If the car's been reasonably maintained, it should be fairly clean. Any tangible oily or wet residue is bad news. Also, hold the paper on the end of the pipe. If the car sputters, that's a problem as well with the valves.
2) Check the fluids. If the oil smells overly burnt (you'll know, it's a pungent smell) or if it seems to have water in it, avoid. Also, by all means take the car for an extended test drive (25-30 minutes). Once you park it, kill time with idle chat to let the car cool a bit. Then smell around for any sweet smells. That'll be a coolant leak. Again, bad news.
3) Ask, ask ask about the timing belt. I'm not certain if these cars have belts or chains, but verify. If a timing belt goes, on some models it'll bend the valves and cost lots of $$ to repair.
4) Check and feel the hoses and belts. If the hoses feel brittle, oily, or if the rubber powders off, their old. Ditto for the belts. The belts shouldn't have a lot of play in the tension.
5) Look thouroughly under the hood. If you see oil around the rear of the block, it could be a rear main seal going. If it's an automatic, ask about the frequency of service on the transmission as they'll go bad. If the transmission fluid smells burned, it's not a good sign. Look for wetness at the bottom of the water pump. Ask about the replacement of electrical parts (starter, alternator, electronic ignition, etc).
6) If it's a standard shift, test the clutch. Take the car to an empty parking lot. Depressing the clutch, engage first gear while holding the brake on. Release the clutch slowly while holding the brake with your other foot. If it tries to go, the clutch is about shot. If it kills the engine, then you're likely OK.
Again, take it for a pre-purchase inspection. It's worth the $$ rather than losing your $1500 on a lemon. Again, I'd say Honda or Toyota.
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7th_Sephiroth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 03:20 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. yeah i have some mechanic friends
that are toyota freaks, they will take the supra's engine apart and put it back together for $100 and will only really charge cost for any new parts, both these cars are on the lots of respectable dealers, i checked them out myself
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jukes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 06:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. supra
japanese cars come equipped w/ little japanese leprechauns that do repairs while you sleep.
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