Author Topic: What would you guys do? Car content  (Read 5197 times)

mtn

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What would you guys do? Car content
« on: January 26, 2016, 09:21:26 PM »
Wife's car was totaled. She gone. (The car. Not the wife. I like her.) We're in a rental through Friday. I want to buy a car and have the keys in my hand by Saturday. And yes, we need a car; public transit is not an option.

We were going to buy her brothers old car, a Solara (Camry), but we can't get it to pass emissions. The shop can't get it to pass since they can't get the monitors to reset to actually see what is wrong (it sat for 7 months since it failed emissions the last time), and the timing belt has not been replaced... ever? With 200k miles, it is a ticking time-bomb. So I'm not going to be throwing money into it, especially since the interior is... well, it isn't a pleasant smell. That car is still something that I'm going to try to fix, but I can't count on it and we need a car soon. So, that means that we *might* have a backup beater--probably about a 60% chance of it--but we can't count on it.

So we're looking at other options. We've narrowed it down to a few. What would MMM do? And don't say Corolla.   
*Buy a niceish Acura, Lexus, or Infiniti for ~$6,000-$8,000 (may be financed because we can get 1.4%, but we have the cash for it) and keep it for 3-8 years as the wife's daily driver. 
*Buy an older 4WD/AWD SUV (4Runner, QX4, RX300, Pathfinder, Highlander, or maybe a Tahoe) that will get us through September before we get something else (likely something like the above) and the SUV is relegated to beater with a heater status. We'd be spending between $1,500 and $4,000, cash.   
*Buy a $1,000-$2,000 car, and run it until it dies for as cheaply as possible. This would be a Camry/ES300, Accord, Taurus, etc.

I'm leaning towards one of the last two options. I'd rather take a while longer to get the nice car that we're going to hang onto and the wife will drive for a few years. MMM thoughts?

lakemom

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2016, 06:30:31 AM »
Option 4

Go to Budget (or other discount chain) and rent a car on your own dime for another week (or month) and take your time to find and buy the "right" car the first time around.  The rental will be cheaper in the long run than a beater that nickels and dimes you to death putting more pressure on you to find the 'good' car.

ender

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2016, 06:36:06 AM »
So we're looking at other options. We've narrowed it down to a few. What would MMM do? And don't say Corolla.

Guilty conscience?

Quote
I'm leaning towards one of the last two options. I'd rather take a while longer to get the nice car that we're going to hang onto and the wife will drive for a few years. MMM thoughts?

What does your wife want? None of these options are super financially preferable in my opinion.

You could also buy the $1000-2000 car and begin looking for a good deal on your other options. Trying to buy a used car on a specific day isn't really the best idea if you are looking to save money.

GuitarStv

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2016, 07:50:37 AM »
Why not pay a little bit more money for something like a newish used corolla?  You'll get better mileage than an SUV, you'll be able to pick it up cheaper than a luxury car, and it'll be more reliable than a beater.

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2016, 08:03:10 AM »
No Corollas! We just came out of a Corolla. I hated it with a passion, she's grown up from it.

Besides, you really can't get a Corolla much cheaper than the "luxury" cars we're looking at. We got $6000 from insurance for the totaled Corolla, which was an 04 with 130k miles. We're looking at 04-10 Acura's with similar mileage that are in the $6k to $8k range.

The desire for the SUV is driven by the fact that we live in Chicago where the roads are... questionable, and she works at a hospital. AWD/4WD would be nice to have. Aside from that, we do tow a boat in the summer. Not enough to make it drive our decision (we borrow a parents car for a week currently), but it is enough to be a contributing factor.


mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2016, 08:04:00 AM »
Option 4

Go to Budget (or other discount chain) and rent a car on your own dime for another week (or month) and take your time to find and buy the "right" car the first time around.  The rental will be cheaper in the long run than a beater that nickels and dimes you to death putting more pressure on you to find the 'good' car.

An option, but one that we're tired of. (We're doing it currently, were planning on having the BIL's car by now).

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2016, 08:06:14 AM »
So we're looking at other options. We've narrowed it down to a few. What would MMM do? And don't say Corolla.

Guilty conscience?

Quote
I'm leaning towards one of the last two options. I'd rather take a while longer to get the nice car that we're going to hang onto and the wife will drive for a few years. MMM thoughts?

What does your wife want? None of these options are super financially preferable in my opinion.

You could also buy the $1000-2000 car and begin looking for a good deal on your other options. Trying to buy a used car on a specific day isn't really the best idea if you are looking to save money.

My wife has no clue what she wants. So far, I've heard the following:

The ES is too big
The Solara is just right (SAME SIZE!)(We're looking for one, but she's picky with it)
The Forester was great, she loved the visibility... buttt its a boring car, and she doesn't like a hatch (wants a trunk where people can't see in)
She loved the Mazda3 hatch! (wait... didn't I just say... nevermind)
The TSX isn't nice enough (but the Forester, Mazda3, and Solara are)
The TL, that is the car for her! (I'll just ignore the fact that it is the same size as the ES)
We're young, we should get something impractical! (Hates every 2 door I've showed her other than the Solara)

Since then she's decided she doesn't like the TL but does like the TSX. The Mazda3 she goes back and forth on hourly. If she knew, or didn't care, this would be a LOT easier.

Le Poisson

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2016, 08:14:22 AM »
What are Chicago's emissions laws? How much for the BIL's car?

Here's my thinking - around here you can get a 10 day permit for a pittance, the idea being that it allows you to put a car on the road for long enough to get it through emissions. If you can borrow or buy the other car for the duration of the permit you may be able to extend your buying period without paying as much as you would for a rental. I assume that brakes, windshield wipers, frame and other safety systems are working and the only issues with the beater car are related to the emissions system.

This doubling of the buying period will allow you to hold out on something better, or at least better define what you want.

If this is your wife's car, let your wife buy the car she wants without you. Don't try to figure out whats best for her. Be hands off and tell her to come find you if she needs your help. As long as you guys are being honest about budget and needs, she will be able to make her own choice, be happier with it, and take better care of it in the long run. Let her stress and decide and when she has her car picked out, she'll let you know what support she needs - be it negotiation/paperwork, mechanical inspection, licensing, etc.

Loads of women buy cars without needing a man there to help. Sadly it took me a while to figure this out.

MayDay

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2016, 08:38:18 AM »
Getting a cheaper car now and replacing soon sounds like a huge waste.

Take the time to get the right car.

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 09:11:33 AM »
What are Chicago's emissions laws? How much for the BIL's car?

Here's my thinking - around here you can get a 10 day permit for a pittance, the idea being that it allows you to put a car on the road for long enough to get it through emissions. If you can borrow or buy the other car for the duration of the permit you may be able to extend your buying period without paying as much as you would for a rental. I assume that brakes, windshield wipers, frame and other safety systems are working and the only issues with the beater car are related to the emissions system.

This doubling of the buying period will allow you to hold out on something better, or at least better define what you want.

If this is your wife's car, let your wife buy the car she wants without you. Don't try to figure out whats best for her. Be hands off and tell her to come find you if she needs your help. As long as you guys are being honest about budget and needs, she will be able to make her own choice, be happier with it, and take better care of it in the long run. Let her stress and decide and when she has her car picked out, she'll let you know what support she needs - be it negotiation/paperwork, mechanical inspection, licensing, etc.

Loads of women buy cars without needing a man there to help. Sadly it took me a while to figure this out.

BIL's car is essentially free. Emissions laws here are generally pretty easy IF the OBDII readers can actually read the car. They can't right now. Unfortunately, we cannot get the month-long registration on it since it has been done before in BIL's ownership.

And I respect that women can buy cars on their own. Most women can. My mother certainly can. My wife cannot, at least not yet. This is an area where she is really not comfortable. Sure, she could buy a new car on her own, but a used car is a different ball game. Also, it is "her" car, but we are a one car family for now.

MountainFlower

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2016, 09:26:14 AM »
Well, we just test drove the new Honda HRV.  It is AWD, gets decent mileage as it is a 4 cyl, actually fit my 6'4" husband and wasn't crazy expensive for a new AWD car.  If you plan to keep it forever, maybe it's worth considering.  It also had decent clearance and we had no problem getting it to 80 mph with 2 adults and 2 kids in the car on the I-70 mountain corridor out of Denver, which is a steep grade.  The thing rocked. 

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2016, 09:41:44 AM »
Well, we just test drove the new Honda HRV.  It is AWD, gets decent mileage as it is a 4 cyl, actually fit my 6'4" husband and wasn't crazy expensive for a new AWD car.  If you plan to keep it forever, maybe it's worth considering.  It also had decent clearance and we had no problem getting it to 80 mph with 2 adults and 2 kids in the car on the I-70 mountain corridor out of Denver, which is a steep grade.  The thing rocked.

The thing is, we wouldn't keep it forever necessarily. We live in the city now, and park on the street now. In about 9 months, we'll be in the suburbs hopefully with a garage. We don't have kids now. In 2-4 years, we will have at least one kid (hopefully. Life can be cruel). We only have one car now. In 9-16 months, we'll have two, if not three (ignore that third one--that is my hobby and doesn't come into this discussion).

The car that makes sense in 3 years *might* not make sense now. Which just makes this even more difficult.

neo von retorch

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2016, 09:49:22 AM »
So you are planning on getting an $8000 (Japanese luxury) car to last you 4 years? And how many miles will it be driven?

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2016, 10:28:44 AM »
So you are planning on getting an $8000 (Japanese luxury) car to last you 4 years? And how many miles will it be driven?

$6k-$8k, $8k is the absolute top of the budget, of a Japanese psuedo luxury car (Sorry, the TSX is not a Luxury car--it is a European/Asian Honda Accord).

It would last 4 to 8 years. What is wrong with that? I'm really not one to hold on to a car for too long. I get bored. That is why I buy cars that are 10 years old and already depreciated significantly.

We'd be driving it about 10k miles for the first year, then that would drop down to about 5-7k for the next 2-3 years.

Le Poisson

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2016, 10:42:42 AM »
In our family - momma has been very happy with her Sienna minivan. Its not to my taste, but she loves it. 6 cyl engine means it can tow about 3500 lbs (you need to be careful of model year for tow ratings on them). It may be big for city life today, but it is a good family vehicle and the stowable seats mean its great for Home depot runs. Around here, these really hold their value.

We bought the CE - base model in order to avoid a known sliding power door issue with a $4000 repair price. Only feature we miss is roof racks.

While minivans hold a certain image in the states, I don't think the label applies as strongly here. I appreciate their versatility, not getting stuff wet in a truck bed, and lower costs compared to many SUV's out there.


mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2016, 10:59:44 AM »
In our family - momma has been very happy with her Sienna minivan. Its not to my taste, but she loves it. 6 cyl engine means it can tow about 3500 lbs (you need to be careful of model year for tow ratings on them). It may be big for city life today, but it is a good family vehicle and the stowable seats mean its great for Home depot runs. Around here, these really hold their value.

We bought the CE - base model in order to avoid a known sliding power door issue with a $4000 repair price. Only feature we miss is roof racks.

While minivans hold a certain image in the states, I don't think the label applies as strongly here. I appreciate their versatility, not getting stuff wet in a truck bed, and lower costs compared to many SUV's out there.

I wish I could get her to be ok with a minivan. Been fighting that battle for 7 years now. I think the minivan is the most versatile vehicle out there. She just can't get past the image.

When kids come, I think I'm going to get one for myself--of course, I'll also have a Miata or E36 M3 if that happens--and I kind of expect that she'll steal it.

neo von retorch

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2016, 11:09:17 AM »
I made no judgements :) Just trying to get an idea of "cost per mile", as I think that's one way you can compare the vehicle choices you have.

I owned a 2004 TSX and a 2008 TL-S and I currently own a 2006 350Z. I am not looking down on you from a holy place! (I do, however, mostly drive my 2008 Fit Sport, as the cost per miles is usually two dimes rubbed together.)

Le Poisson

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2016, 11:11:44 AM »
I made no judgements :) Just trying to get an idea of "cost per mile", as I think that's one way you can compare the vehicle choices you have.

I owned a 2004 TSX and a 2008 TL-S and I currently own a 2006 350Z. I am not looking down on you from a holy place! (I do, however, mostly drive my 2008 Fit Sport, as the cost per miles is usually two dimes rubbed together.)

I owned a 1999 Volvo C70 a bunch of years back, and the cost per mile was about two Benjamins rubbed together.

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2016, 11:31:19 AM »
I made no judgements :) Just trying to get an idea of "cost per mile", as I think that's one way you can compare the vehicle choices you have.

I owned a 2004 TSX and a 2008 TL-S and I currently own a 2006 350Z. I am not looking down on you from a holy place! (I do, however, mostly drive my 2008 Fit Sport, as the cost per miles is usually two dimes rubbed together.)


Got a question--how would you compare the TSX and TL in ride quality? We test drove a 2010 TSX (second generation) and a 2007 TL last night. I was astounded, the TSX was wonderful, from the passenger seat it felt great and my wife loved it. The TL felt harsh, maybe even harsher than my old Miata with coil overs and Koni's. I did not take a look at the wheels/tires though.


neo von retorch

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2016, 11:39:20 AM »
It's a little weird. I drove a few TSXs, and they were all consistent and excellent. I drove two TLs before finding the one I bought; one was really unpleasant (and automatic), the other was fun (6 speed but non-S, 125k miles on it) and I ended up buying my TL-S a few hours later... it was fantastic, though it had a noisy strut which was replaced under CPO warranty, and then no issues at all. Personally, I'd choose a TSX over a base trim TL. Especially if you're attempting some simulation of frugality :) But really it's just a "younger" car - tighter, lighter, easier to drive. The TL-S was more like a tank, but I don't recall any harshness, just heaviness. It still went around turns like hell, but not with the lightness of a TSX. As a Miata driver, I'd imagine it'd be your preference! (And I think the base TL is tuned for an older crowd, but I don't think they tuned it as well as the TSX for a balance of handling and comfort.)

SandyBoxx

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 11:42:41 AM »

...The Forester was great, she loved the visibility... buttt its a boring car, and she doesn't like a hatch (wants a trunk where people can't see in)
She loved the Mazda3 hatch! (wait... didn't I just say... nevermind)...

...Since then she's decided she doesn't like the TL but does like the TSX. The Mazda3 she goes back and forth on hourly. If she knew, or didn't care, this would be a LOT easier.

Mazda 3's come with a cover for the back that lifts and lowers with the hatch- most people remove it, but if privacy of contents is a requirement for her new-to-her vehicle, the Mazda 3 accommodates (and is really fun to drive.)  Throw a rack on the roof with a Thule box, and we have been more than fine for space with our 2 kids and dog (this includes long distance hauls and camping trips.)  It has been an awesome car in the 10 years we have owned it, and in our transition from childless couple to 2 kids and 2 medium dogs! :)

Just an anecdote to add to the confusion!

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 11:51:23 AM »

...The Forester was great, she loved the visibility... buttt its a boring car, and she doesn't like a hatch (wants a trunk where people can't see in)
She loved the Mazda3 hatch! (wait... didn't I just say... nevermind)...

...Since then she's decided she doesn't like the TL but does like the TSX. The Mazda3 she goes back and forth on hourly. If she knew, or didn't care, this would be a LOT easier.

Mazda 3's come with a cover for the back that lifts and lowers with the hatch- most people remove it, but if privacy of contents is a requirement for her new-to-her vehicle, the Mazda 3 accommodates (and is really fun to drive.)  Throw a rack on the roof with a Thule box, and we have been more than fine for space with our 2 kids and dog (this includes long distance hauls and camping trips.)  It has been an awesome car in the 10 years we have owned it, and in our transition from childless couple to 2 kids and 2 medium dogs! :)

Just an anecdote to add to the confusion!

That's what I said!

Unfortunately, the 3's are mostly out just from exhaustion. They seem to have been ridden harder than other cars in general, and they rust pretty badly. We were all set to buy one from a friend of ours before he backed out of the sale--that would have mean this thread not exist.

ketchup

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2016, 12:10:40 PM »
The desire for the SUV is driven by the fact that we live in Chicago where the roads are... questionable, and she works at a hospital. AWD/4WD would be nice to have. Aside from that, we do tow a boat in the summer. Not enough to make it drive our decision (we borrow a parents car for a week currently), but it is enough to be a contributing factor.
Just get a FWD car with snow tires.  I live in the Chicago area and there's been maybe one day in the last 15 that a FWD with snow tires wouldn't have been sufficient to commute to work.

It sounds like your wife *really* doesn't know what she wants.  Nail down the type of car (FWD sedan, gigantic SUV, Geo Metro, etc.).  Sounds like you're already shooting for Honda/Toyota (Acura/Lexus), and it's hard to go wrong there.  You just need to figure out what kind of car you want.

Myself, in your situation I'd probably get something between your first and last option: a nice-ish (we may have different standards) Accord/Camry for ~$4,000.  A cut above what you feel is a beater, but nothing extravagant.

Le Poisson

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2016, 12:13:49 PM »

...The Forester was great, she loved the visibility... buttt its a boring car, and she doesn't like a hatch (wants a trunk where people can't see in)
She loved the Mazda3 hatch! (wait... didn't I just say... nevermind)...

...Since then she's decided she doesn't like the TL but does like the TSX. The Mazda3 she goes back and forth on hourly. If she knew, or didn't care, this would be a LOT easier.

Mazda 3's come with a cover for the back that lifts and lowers with the hatch- most people remove it, but if privacy of contents is a requirement for her new-to-her vehicle, the Mazda 3 accommodates (and is really fun to drive.)  Throw a rack on the roof with a Thule box, and we have been more than fine for space with our 2 kids and dog (this includes long distance hauls and camping trips.)  It has been an awesome car in the 10 years we have owned it, and in our transition from childless couple to 2 kids and 2 medium dogs! :)

Just an anecdote to add to the confusion!

That's what I said!

Unfortunately, the 3's are mostly out just from exhaustion. They seem to have been ridden harder than other cars in general, and they rust pretty badly. We were all set to buy one from a friend of ours before he backed out of the sale--that would have mean this thread not exist.

I was avoiding talking hb's since you said they're out, but if she likes the 3's, take her to Chev dealership to test drive a Sonic, both as an HB and as a sedan. I got mine last winter - a 2012 with 20,000 km on it for just around $8,000 plus taxes = $10,000 out the door.

I like what GM did with the Sonic to replace the Aveo - its a completely new car. The engine bay has tonnes of working space so you can DIY most of the car, and everything is independant and modular to make the car very Mod-able. In a stick shift, its pretty fun to drive. the inaugural year (2012) was pretty feature heavy in order to make the new model more marketable. So far we've had no issues with it.

By getting the Sonic, I was able to get the best of both worlds - cheap and small, but new and nimble. Maybe its not perfect for your wife,. but for us it works great with 2 kids and Bernese mtn dog. Also the trunk in it has the fold down shelf for hiding stuff, plus a false floor (for hiding more stuff?)

http://www.sonicownersforum.com/forum/

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2016, 12:15:39 PM »
The desire for the SUV is driven by the fact that we live in Chicago where the roads are... questionable, and she works at a hospital. AWD/4WD would be nice to have. Aside from that, we do tow a boat in the summer. Not enough to make it drive our decision (we borrow a parents car for a week currently), but it is enough to be a contributing factor.
Just get a FWD car with snow tires.  I live in the Chicago area and there's been maybe one day in the last 15 that a FWD with snow tires wouldn't have been sufficient to commute to work.


In general, I'd agree with you. But she works at a hospital. Not a doctor, but she should be there even in the bad storms. If she isn't she gets vacation taken away and her record is dinged. Last year she had to take the bus in the snow. Twice. Back then, it was a 40 minute commute by bus (10 by car). Now, it is 2 hours each way.

If she had days when she could work from home, we wouldn't be having this discussion. But you can't administer a tube feed on a burn victim remotely.

Trust me. I drove a Miata with snow tires year round for 4 years in Chicago and Peoria. For me, I didn't need AWD. Does she need it? No. But there are times when it is nice to have.

2Saving4Life

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2016, 12:20:05 PM »
I'd go for the BIL's car.

Try to get an emissions waiver, here's some info http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/air-quality/mobile-sources/vehicle-emissions-testing/faqs/testing/index .  Last time I did this was in WA state and I needed to spend $150 at one of the emission places registered auto repair shops. 

Looks like you might need to spend $450 in your state but if the car is free, sounds like a deal.

mtn

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Re: What would you guys do? Car content
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2016, 12:31:45 PM »
I'd go for the BIL's car.

Try to get an emissions waiver, here's some info http://www.epa.illinois.gov/topics/air-quality/mobile-sources/vehicle-emissions-testing/faqs/testing/index .  Last time I did this was in WA state and I needed to spend $150 at one of the emission places registered auto repair shops. 

Looks like you might need to spend $450 in your state but if the car is free, sounds like a deal.

It might be $450. But we can't get to that point until we get the monitors to reset.

But then we'd still be a week out (another $150 in rental cars) and have paid $600 for a car that smells like monkey butt, and is still a ticking time bomb for the timing belt.

Trust me, we're trying with this car. It just is not something that we can count on (much like him, now that I think of it)