Author Topic: Advice for super car headache  (Read 3066 times)

lilmisssunshine

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Advice for super car headache
« on: February 05, 2017, 08:15:43 PM »
I previously owned a Honda Element that I paid off (I was so happy), but my now ex boyfriend convinced me to sell the paid for Honda Element and get a used Ford Explorer. He claimed that Fords were so much easier to work on. Problem is, as it turns out, he apparently did not know anything about fixing a car and I know nothing at all. And now at this point, my ex and I are no longer together, so I am a girl who knows nothing about cars all alone with the shittiest Ford I ever imagined.

This Ford is so unreliable it leaves me stranded (I believe the engine is flooding), and I cannot seem to solve the check engine light issue so I cannot get it inspected or registered. I took it to the shop and got an estimate to put over 1k of repairs into it, and of course they told me they did not know if it would fix the problem if I spent 1k on it or even solve the check engine light issue. I am afraid the Ford may be a money pit. To make matters worse, I have to drive to appointments for a living and I need a reliable car.

I am toying with the idea of going to Car Max to just get something that is new to me (used car) with a warranty since I need something reliable to get to work in and I know nothing about cars. It pains me that I paid off my Honda and am now stuck with this lemon of a Ford and now I might need to make payments again just to have a reliable car. I know it is cheaper to fix the Ford that buy something else, but I am afraid it will be a continuous money pit and cause me problems with work.

If there is anyone who knows about cars, I have the details from the estimate and can share them if anyone can give me advice as to whether I should just fix the Ford Explorer or just take the loss and move on to buy something else.

trashmanz

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 08:27:49 PM »
Year and milage of the Ford?  Sounds like you should just get something more economical, if even just for your own mental well being. 

I was expecting a question about a "supercar" from the title :P

lilmisssunshine

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 08:30:38 PM »
LOL I suppose I could have worded the title better, trust me, the Ford Explorer is anything but a "super car."

It's a 2001 Ford Explorer.

lilmisssunshine

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 08:31:17 PM »
oops and 178k

Another Reader

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 08:42:03 PM »
A 2001 Ford Explorer with 178k miles is not a car to put a lot of money in.  In your shoes, I would dump it ASAP and purchase something more reliable.  Consider it an expensive learning experience about selecting boyfriends and move on.

lilmisssunshine

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 09:15:08 PM »
Would you suggest in shopping for a new used vehicle that I make reliability a deciding factor since I know little about cars? I'm weighing several factors such as overall mileage, gas mileage and also considering a warranty. I have read reviews that say the warranty can be worth it and other reviews that say to just save the money you would have paid in warranty into an account and keep it for future car troubles.

Another Reader

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2017, 09:28:17 PM »
You really have to be careful with used cars.  Even that "certified pre-owned" with the high price and the warranty may not be what it seems.  You are not knowledgeable about cars, which makes it easy for you to make a mistake buying used.  I don't know how long you owned your Element or if you bought new, but I'm a believer in buying new, treating the car well, and driving it for as long as it meets your needs and is reliable.  That's especially important if your job requires meeting clients and a lot of driving.

In your shoes, I would look at a new Corolla or Honda Civic.  The car market in the SF Bay Area is very competitive and you can get substantial discounts from list on both models.  Discounted new prices are often not much higher than the price of a two year-old car and the financing is better.  Other areas of the country seem to support higher new car prices.  Pay the thing off, maintain it well and drive it 150,000 miles.

Mrtreasuretoupee

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 02:01:30 AM »
If the Honda was paid off then you can't really be upside down on this car (unless ex BF did some weaseling as suggested above). It is time to move to another car based on age and mileage (and make). It sounds like you have learned a lesson about letting people talk you into things but without knowing all the details its hard for us to tell you what to do.  Assuming you are not upside down, save up some money and use the ford and get a used reliable brand car.  I'd recommend having 50% down and no more than a 4 year loan.

lilmisssunshine

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 11:13:41 AM »
Yea the ex was a bigger and more expensive mistake than the car. My mother and I already figured buying another car would be cheaper than the ex, LOL. Only reason I mentioned him was to explain why I am in this shitty car now.

So as a general rule of thumb for the future, should I assume that when a vehicle is over 150k and it needs expensive repairs its just better to let it go at that point? I am also assuming this would mean I would need to find the lowest mileage vehicle as possible for a replacement in order to get the most bang for the buck.

acroy

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 11:51:44 AM »
whoof, terrible. Feeling sorry for you! I can almost guarantee, it is not worth throwing money at the Ford. An '01 explorer with 178k on it is a 'fully depreciated asset' - which is a nice way to say 'scrap'.

I may get face-punched for this, but my advice to folks who:
-make decent money
-actually need a car
-are totally non-mechanically minded
Is to buy a new, cheap, decent car.

This means Nissan versa, chevy spark, ford fiesta, etc.
Reason for this:
- qualify for the cheapest loan (normally 0%)
- build credit
- dead reliable
- there's a zillion Versa, sparks, Fiests etc out there, so service is cheap too.

You might be a candidate for a Nissan leaf? electric car. Plug it in. Almost maintenance free.

Good luck!!

Mrtreasuretoupee

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 12:17:21 PM »
Yea the ex was a bigger and more expensive mistake than the car. My mother and I already figured buying another car would be cheaper than the ex, LOL. Only reason I mentioned him was to explain why I am in this shitty car now.

So as a general rule of thumb for the future, should I assume that when a vehicle is over 150k and it needs expensive repairs its just better to let it go at that point? I am also assuming this would mean I would need to find the lowest mileage vehicle as possible for a replacement in order to get the most bang for the buck.

The mileage isn't the only thing to consider.  Someone could buy a well maintained honda with 150k with highway miles and it could be a great car, or you can get a poorly maintained ford with 60k and city miles that is a piece of crap.  Generally the newer/lower mile car will have less maintenance cost. A brand new car with a bumper to bumper warranty will have little to no maintenance cost for a few years anyway.

I think as a general rule a you either pay alot for a new, low maintenance car.  Or a little for a used higher maintenance car.  If you are not good at fixing/maintaining/diagnosing, or are not willing to pay for little things like tires, brakes, wipers, new water pump, battery, ect.... Then a new or much newer car is what you want.  Replacing parts on an old car can get expensive when things hit you all at once but I also feel that all in all a very used car with higher maintenance costs will still be less than a higher monthly payment for the newer car (like more than $400 or $500 car payment).

lilmisssunshine

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2017, 12:18:14 PM »
I agree with you on those types of cars and I have found several that would be great. But for my work and the area I am in, I need an SUV or a truck, which is why I was wondering whether I should make low mileage the deciding factor and also wondering about a warranty. I would buy a cheap car in a heartbeat if I didn't need a truck or SUV.

Another Reader

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2017, 12:27:24 PM »
The 2017 CR-V is a new model.  As a result, in many places the 2016 models are heavily discounted.  Still going to be over $20k, however.  Would the HR-V work?  I assume that the hatchback pseudo wagons like the Mazda 3, the Hyundai Elantra hatch, or the Toyota IM won't work.  If they would, that's the cheaper way to go.

ltt

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2017, 12:28:32 PM »
I say buy a good used Toyota Corolla, and I have no mechanical ability.  You want to buy something that will get really high mileage over the long-haul, and a Corolla should get to, at least, 250,000 miles.  However, to be fair, we are thinking of purchasing a Chevy Spark.  It looks like they've got some decent reviews, don't cost a lot of mileage and would be good for our child to drive to school and back. 

My number one rule about F*rds from seeing others who have driven them, is that I do believe that they make a really great pick-up truck.  I, personally, would not purchase one of their cars.

trashmanz

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2017, 04:17:32 PM »
I agree with you on those types of cars and I have found several that would be great. But for my work and the area I am in, I need an SUV or a truck, which is why I was wondering whether I should make low mileage the deciding factor and also wondering about a warranty. I would buy a cheap car in a heartbeat if I didn't need a truck or SUV.

Can you clarify why you need a SUV or truck for your work and area? 

Cassie

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2017, 04:40:52 PM »
WE always buy a used pre-certified car with a warranty with low miles from a dealer.  For us it has been cheaper then a new car and we usually drive them  to about 200k at where it usually gets to be too expensive to fix them.

MicroRN

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2017, 04:55:38 PM »
Do you need to haul heavy or just bulky?  A minivan with seats folded/removed will hold an amazing amount of stuff.  I used to have a Dodge caravan, and I think I could fit more inside it than I can in a Suburban.  Downside of a minivan is they are not so good if you need to haul a lot of weight. 

And yes, I'd ditch the current vehicle.  I generally drive vehicles into the ground, but they have to be reliable.  One that keeps leaving me stuck or with expensive repairs has to go.  There are plenty of older but reliable vehicles out there. 

lbmustache

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Re: Advice for super car headache
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2017, 05:14:13 PM »
I agree with you on those types of cars and I have found several that would be great. But for my work and the area I am in, I need an SUV or a truck, which is why I was wondering whether I should make low mileage the deciding factor and also wondering about a warranty. I would buy a cheap car in a heartbeat if I didn't need a truck or SUV.

You probably don't need a warranty on a lightly used reliable car, especially if the 3yr/36k mile warranty is still in effect. I don't know what your budget is. On the smaller side: Honda HR-V, Subaru Crosstrek. A little bigger, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester.