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Trajan

(19,089 posts)
1. in 96, I bought an 86 Nissan Maxima with 66,000 miles (in better than good condition) for $5500
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 09:25 PM
Sep 2012

I was quite pleased, and the car lasted another 100,000 miles ....

Infiniti is the high end Nissan model .... I am thinking this is a pretty good deal ....

Take him down closer to $5000 .... We're in a marketplace, after all .... If he meets you half way, then it's for the better ....

If you love the car, and they don't budge, have the $6000 ready .... good luck ....

Recovered Repug

(1,518 posts)
2. Take it to a mechanic to get it checked out first.
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:19 PM
Sep 2012

You don't want to be stuck with a problem - known or unknown - later on.

Mopar151

(10,077 posts)
3. See if you can get an oil analasys
Sat Sep 22, 2012, 10:42 PM
Sep 2012

A prepaid kit, you can get through big auto parts chains. From what I hear from my pals in the higher end of the used import biz, bad oil will kill engines like this fast.
Given time constraints and wanting to manage risk, I'd pop for a full oil/filter/fluids service and a state inspection or =, done by a real mechanic, who knows he's checking the car out too. If he does'nt like what he sees, avoiding the headache(s) will be worth the $100 many times over. Your wrench can take the analsys sample then - you'll know in a week or 2 whether it's a keeper or not.

If you have a regular mechanic or shop, take Speedy Sara's advice (hillclimb driver, pro rally navigator, turns her own wrenches on her club racer) "Get a car your mechanic likes and can/will fix!"

Major Nikon

(36,870 posts)
4. I wouldn't recommend this
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 06:16 AM
Sep 2012

A single oil analysis probably isn't going to tell you anything. For one thing, you may not know how many miles it's been since the last oil change. The oil could have been changed 500 miles ago or it could have been changed 5,000 miles ago and without knowing this for sure, you can't really derive any useful information from the analysis. You might see that the engine is making a lot of metal, but engines don't typically do this unless they are poised for something big to happen. So unless you just happen to catch it right before a catastrophic failure, you aren't going to see much. If the car hasn't been driven in a while sometime since the last oil change, you will get flash rust inside the engine which is going to show up as bad on an analysis, but really isn't.

An oil analysis works best if you are having them done on a regular basis, such as every other oil change performed at regular intervals. That way you can look for wear patterns.

I'd rather pay for a good computer diagnostic performed by a knowledgeable mechanic.

Mopar151

(10,077 posts)
6. High oil temps.....
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 08:41 AM
Sep 2012

According to my source, the Toyota Avalon problem carries over to several other makes as well - They should have full synthetic spec'd, but don't, so they will cook dino oil into mud.

Please note that I reccomeded this as part of a very thorough inspection by a real mechanic - and yes, I would go that step to prevent a catastrophe-in-progress. And, sad to say, there are cretins who will buy a nice car like this and rarely./never change the oil. When you buy cars from guys like my friends, this stuff never comes home from the auction with them. If it came in trade, it dissappears....

If you get a clean bill of health on the little darlin', you have a real baseline established, your car is ready to drive and enjoy, and you're not out a dime that you would'nt have spent anyway.

Major Nikon

(36,870 posts)
7. I have no knowledge of the engine in question
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 09:46 AM
Sep 2012

So I'm not questioning this. I'm just saying if you didn't have any historical info to go on, a simple compression check will tell you most of what you need to know. Looking at the plug will tell you if excessive fouling is present. Cylinders tend to be the first thing that wears out on most engines. So you know if the pistons, rings, and valves are good, and you know the engine is not burning oil excessively nor being run too rich or lean. The full analyses machines that many shops have will give you lots more information. Knowing the model history or even better having a good amount of experience on the engine type is invaluable and is where seniority pays off. I don't know if oil analysis can be done on the spot locally in too many places, if any. The only ones I have ever done were sent off and took a week or two at best to get a result. If you can get a pretty quick result back that would be fine, but if you can't, I don't know if too many used car sellers that are going to wait without a healthy deposit.

Major Nikon

(36,870 posts)
5. 75K miles is really just getting broke in these days
Sun Sep 23, 2012, 06:33 AM
Sep 2012

I'm not familiar with this particular car, but some luxury models can be quite expensive to fix what might seem like minor things. A guy I work with bought a used Cadillac and it cost him around $1500 to replace the rear shocks. So it might be worth it to figure out what the high failure items are for this car and what it costs to fix them. Most car models have one or more owner web sites where you can go to ask these kinds of questions and that will probably give you a lot more and better info than you can find here anyway.

I buy Chevys because I generally put a lot of miles on a car and they are relatively cheap to repair.

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