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1/16/2020 9:48:49 PM
Posted: 9/17/2009 1:45:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 1:46:31 PM EST by convoy]
Well I need to get a cheap second car for my wife to drive the 2 miles back and forth to work in. I have about $1000.00 to spend on it. I am looking for something made in the mid 90s or so. I am not what you would call an ace mechanic. On my vehicle I check the the fluids, gas it up and everything else I pay someone else to do. What should I look for on a used car? What do I need to stay away from? I am looking at a from what looks like an excellent condition 95 Mercury Marquis right now for 1200 but I think I can get them down to 1000. Any advice? Thanks in advance.
Jim
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 1:56:05 PM EST
Get a 92 to 96 Civic. Your price range should hit a car with 125K to 160K miles. Pull a front tire and check the brake linings. If its a manual shift (it should be ifyou're smart) check the clutch adjustment (all the way adjusted and still catching high = worn out.

Pull the oil cap off while the engine's running and see how much smoke/blowby you've got. Turn the heater on inside the car full blast and smell for a sticky sweet smell that would show a bad heater core. Check the hoses, belts, exhaust, tranny fluid and

MOST IMPORTANTLY the maintenance records.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:00:23 PM EST
Originally Posted By GonzoAR15-1:
Get a 92 to 96 Civic. Your price range should hit a car with 125K to 160K miles. Pull a front tire and check the brake linings. If its a manual shift (it should be ifyou're smart) check the clutch adjustment (all the way adjusted and still catching high = worn out.

Pull the oil cap off while the engine's running and see how much smoke/blowby you've got. Turn the heater on inside the car full blast and smell for a sticky sweet smell that would show a bad heater core. Check the hoses, belts, exhaust, tranny fluid and

MOST IMPORTANTLY the maintenance records.

Thank you. Good advice. The only thing though is that I can see myself suffering a aneurysm or having a stroke trying to teach my wife how to drive a manual shift.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:08:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 2:10:36 PM EST by LarryThePirate]
Originally Posted By convoy
What do I need to stay away from? /quote]
You need to stay away from $1000 cars. If you can't work on it yourself (and it will need work), you'll spend a fortune keeping it running. It may saound like driving it 2 miles and parking it is a good thing, but that's about the most punishing type of driving you can do . She should walk if it's only two miles or get her a nice $300 bicycle. Maybe even look into a 3 wheeled model if she needs to haul a bunch of crap around with her. You'll save money and she'll get some exercise. It's a win-win situation.

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:10:00 PM EST
A piece of shit.

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:10:16 PM EST
Get someone who is mechanically-inclined to look at the car with you.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:10:52 PM EST
Look for a bike. It's only 2 mi.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:16:04 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/17/2009 2:19:12 PM EST by paul_the_welder]
Ok,
When you start the car look for smoke.

If auto, when you engage the tranny in drive or reverse feel for hesitation.

Make sure it drives straight.

Look for uneven tread wear which would mean it needs new struts

look for rust and such

check the oil and see if they give a damn about it.

turn on car and look under to check for leaks.


I bought a 1991 toyota celica about a year ago to drive to work and back. Its been a great car with no problems. I would stick with Honda or Toyota.

make sure to drive the car at highway speeds to check for shaking, alignment, and over heating
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 2:18:15 PM EST
THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR
by The Bottle Rockets


Thousand dollar car it ain't worth nothin'
Thousand dollar car it ain't worth shit.
Might as well take your $1000,
and set fire to it.
$1000 car ain't worth a dime,
You lose your $1000 every time.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a $1000 car?

$1000 car is gonna let you down,
More than it's ever gonna get you around.
Replace your gaskets and paint over your rust,
You'll still end up with something that you'll never trust.
$1000 car's life was through,
'bout 50,000 miles 'fore it got to you.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a $1000 car?

A $1000 car ain't even gonna roll,
til you throw at least another thousand in the hole.
Sink your money in it, and there you are
the owner of a 2,000 dollar 1,000 dollar car.

(guitar solo)

If you've only got a $1000.
You ought to just buy a good guitar.
Learn how to play it it'll take you farther,
than any old $1000 car.
If a $1000 car was truly worth a damn,
then why would anybody ever spend ten grand.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a thousand dollar car?


Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:24:33 PM EST
Originally Posted By Superreverb:
THOUSAND DOLLAR CAR
by The Bottle Rockets


Thousand dollar car it ain't worth nothin'
Thousand dollar car it ain't worth shit.
Might as well take your $1000,
and set fire to it.
$1000 car ain't worth a dime,
You lose your $1000 every time.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a $1000 car?

$1000 car is gonna let you down,
More than it's ever gonna get you around.
Replace your gaskets and paint over your rust,
You'll still end up with something that you'll never trust.
$1000 car's life was through,
'bout 50,000 miles 'fore it got to you.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a $1000 car?

A $1000 car ain't even gonna roll,
til you throw at least another thousand in the hole.
Sink your money in it, and there you are
the owner of a 2,000 dollar 1,000 dollar car.

(guitar solo)

If you've only got a $1000.
You ought to just buy a good guitar.
Learn how to play it it'll take you farther,
than any old $1000 car.
If a $1000 car was truly worth a damn,
then why would anybody ever spend ten grand.
Oh why did I ever buy,
a thousand dollar car?




Well that was discouraging.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:32:56 PM EST
I buy $1000 cars all the time. That's the catch. I go through one every year or so. Still cheaper than buying some $20k car that I can't do maintenance on myself. But that's the rub, on the older 80s to 90s vehicles, I can do a lot of the maintenance myself.

I buy a car for $500 to $1000 and if it lasts me a year, I'm happy. You either need to find a Honda Civic, Toyota Tercel, Mazda Protege, or a bigger clunker like a Chevy Caprice, Ford Crown Vic, full size 2wd pickup S10 or Ranger (manual trans), or a Subaru wagon. These are the cheap bastards I generally look for. The little foreign jobs just seem to run forever, the bigger clunkers are cheap to buy parts for and generally overbuilt so few things break under normal use. Also, Caprices and Crown Vics (if not police cars or cabs) were usually owned by old people who babied the hell out of them for 170k miles.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:42:12 PM EST

goto www.alldata.com and get a report on what are the weaknesses for that specific make and model. Go from there.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:43:09 PM EST
Geo Prizm..............which is a Toyota Corolla rebadged. Dirt cheap and very good cars. Really.


vmax84

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 3:44:37 PM EST
hmm, does it look like this?

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 4:11:24 PM EST
Look for replaced carpeting. Look under the seats for rust. Pull the seatbelts ALL the way out and look for water/mud stains.

These will indicate a flood car, and lots of future electrical and mechanical problems.

If you're not mechanically inclined, have someone look at the hoses and belts. I bought an Olds one time. Had wierd issues with the engine. Found out that the last owner had rerouted some hoses for some reason, making it run like crap. I have no idea how it passed a smog check. I didnt know anything about hoses and didnt notice it during the purchase.


There are places out there that will do a full mechanical diagnostic for you. Thats all they do, is pre sale inspections. Might be worth the $100 or so.
Link Posted: 9/17/2009 4:54:26 PM EST
Thank you all.
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