Author Topic: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?  (Read 3270 times)

jgs

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I'm looking at purchasing a 2003 Ford Focus wagon. It has about 86,000 miles and is up for sale at $3,500.

The seller told me that he purchased it from a shady dude and that he heard rattling when he first bought it. He looked under the car and saw that the connector (front crossmember?) was just tied together and the original piece was missing. The seller is a welder who has some car know-how but isn't an official mechanic. He welded a new front crossmember on and it looked pretty solid to me. The seller also told me the car has had a few "fender benders" to the left front bumper.

Would those details deter you from buying this car? I'm going to do a CarFax and everything, but this seemed like a pretty good deal.

surfhb

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2015, 10:16:07 PM »
That's really not that great a deal for a seriously salvaged vehicle with a questionable history when you can get a 2003 Civic with a clean title and the same mileage for about $4500-$5500

ender

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 06:40:45 AM »
Yes, they would deter me, you can find used vehicles similar to that with more miles for about the same price.

My 2005 Focus wagon is probably only worth marginally more than $3500 even if the condition was bette. Lots of cosmetic damage I can't be bothered to repair since I'm driving it till it falls apart. If it was in great condition it's still hardly worth that much.

Wagons aren't the most moveable vehicles in general since they have a stigma with them (at least in the US, not sure where you are). 

Mileage isn't the only factor, unless you plan on driving the car 50k miles in the next year and even then, it'd likely all be highway. Age affects things too, just because a car is low mileage doesn't make it an auto great buy - especially when it's obviously has questionable past and isn't even that great of deal.

jgs

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 07:00:08 AM »
Thanks enderland and surfhb! So the car actually does have a clean title... But does that make it all the more suspicious?

Also, I'm in the Denver area and the vast majority of cars I've looked at (I could be missing something!) in the ~$5,000 price range usually have about 130,000 miles. I drive about 10,000 miles per year, so I was hoping for something less than 100k miles... BUT this car does have a questionable past.

jgs

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surfhb

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2015, 09:41:55 AM »
Thanks enderland and surfhb! So the car actually does have a clean title... But does that make it all the more suspicious?

Also, I'm in the Denver area and the vast majority of cars I've looked at (I could be missing something!) in the ~$5,000 price range usually have about 130,000 miles. I drive about 10,000 miles per year, so I was hoping for something less than 100k miles... BUT this car does have a questionable past.

If insurance would have got a hold of it, it'd be salvaged for sure.   

Forget the under 100k mileage at this point.   That car is a 100k mile vehicle for all intents and purposes.  Now, if you do your due diligence and have patience, you can a fine vehicle under 100k for a good price.   I just sold a perfect 2007 civic with under 70k for $7900 and friend just bought another civic with 60k for $4000 from some old lady.   

Are you in a hurry or does spending a little more hamper your budget or future FI plans?   If the answer is no then I'd spend a little more time or money getting something you know is tip top.   

You'd be shocked at the good deals out there if you spend the time looking.   People get into financial binds, the elderly stop driving, ect.    There are people who make lots of $ buying and flipping cars because those deals exist :)

Btw.....what's up with the seller not mentioning the MAJOR frame issue in the ad?!   Jeesh!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 09:55:04 AM by surfhb »

PatStab

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2015, 10:11:35 AM »
No, I would not.  Some states would have an issue with it.

jgs

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 10:59:23 AM »
Thanks enderland and surfhb! So the car actually does have a clean title... But does that make it all the more suspicious?

Also, I'm in the Denver area and the vast majority of cars I've looked at (I could be missing something!) in the ~$5,000 price range usually have about 130,000 miles. I drive about 10,000 miles per year, so I was hoping for something less than 100k miles... BUT this car does have a questionable past.

If insurance would have got a hold of it, it'd be salvaged for sure.   

Forget the under 100k mileage at this point.   That car is a 100k mile vehicle for all intents and purposes.  Now, if you do your due diligence and have patience, you can a fine vehicle under 100k for a good price.   I just sold a perfect 2007 civic with under 70k for $7900 and friend just bought another civic with 60k for $4000 from some old lady.   

Are you in a hurry or does spending a little more hamper your budget or future FI plans?   If the answer is no then I'd spend a little more time or money getting something you know is tip top.   

You'd be shocked at the good deals out there if you spend the time looking.   People get into financial binds, the elderly stop driving, ect.    There are people who make lots of $ buying and flipping cars because those deals exist :)

Btw.....what's up with the seller not mentioning the MAJOR frame issue in the ad?!   Jeesh!

Thanks again for sharing this advice. I will pass and wait for a better deal! After running my own Carfax, it showed the car was totaled, something the seller said was not the case!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2015, 11:08:11 AM »
Thanks enderland and surfhb! So the car actually does have a clean title... But does that make it all the more suspicious?

Also, I'm in the Denver area and the vast majority of cars I've looked at (I could be missing something!) in the ~$5,000 price range usually have about 130,000 miles. I drive about 10,000 miles per year, so I was hoping for something less than 100k miles... BUT this car does have a questionable past.

If insurance would have got a hold of it, it'd be salvaged for sure.   

Forget the under 100k mileage at this point.   That car is a 100k mile vehicle for all intents and purposes.  Now, if you do your due diligence and have patience, you can a fine vehicle under 100k for a good price.   I just sold a perfect 2007 civic with under 70k for $7900 and friend just bought another civic with 60k for $4000 from some old lady.   

Are you in a hurry or does spending a little more hamper your budget or future FI plans?   If the answer is no then I'd spend a little more time or money getting something you know is tip top.   

You'd be shocked at the good deals out there if you spend the time looking.   People get into financial binds, the elderly stop driving, ect.    There are people who make lots of $ buying and flipping cars because those deals exist :)

Btw.....what's up with the seller not mentioning the MAJOR frame issue in the ad?!   Jeesh!

Thanks again for sharing this advice. I will pass and wait for a better deal! After running my own Carfax, it showed the car was totaled, something the seller said was not the case!

Sounds like the seller left out that he is also a shady dude.

caseyzee

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Re: Buy Used Car (2003 Ford Focus Wagon)??? With repaired body frame damage?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 01:36:44 PM »
A good body guy can make frame damage good as new.  A shady non-certified welder, probably not so much.  I would pass.