Author Topic: Car question  (Read 1476 times)

frenchfryguy

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Car question
« on: April 09, 2019, 05:28:35 PM »
Hello all. Quick intro I’m a 28 year old male starting out his mustachian journey.

About 56k in networth and that’s just lazily following advice read here years ago. One of my long life dreams was to take a car into the high mileage club of 200,000 miles and beyond but so far I’ve had nothing but major car trouble blues.

Current situation: I own a completely paid off 2010 Volkswagen GTI (expensive car to maintain I know). The motor has a known issue that caused it to fail at only 72,000 miles

Needs a new motor costing in total of $5000 (3000 engine and 2000 labor)

I’m on the fence about this, I’m thinking 5000 is enough to find a cheaper alternative.

I’m eyeing a 2006 Acura with only 93,000 miles on it only $5300



Just want some advice here so my options are:

1. Fix motor ($5000)
2. Buy a different used car and get rid of the headache that is Volkswagen
3. Buy a CPO or new car and never have to worry about mechanical issues again
4. An unknown option given by a more wiser mustachian

Would love some advice about this as right now my mind is set on just fixing the motor and hoping I can ride this thing to at least 100,000 miles club
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 05:33:31 PM by frenchfryguy »

Dave1442397

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Re: Car question
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 05:51:48 PM »
I wouldn't sink $5k into a 2010 VW. I really like the GTI, but after keeping track of issues on the VW forums for a few months, I decided to stick with Japanese cars.

Acura had issues with their automatic transmissions on various models over the years, so check the car forums for whichever car you're looking at to see if it could be a problem. I would also take it to an Acura dealer and have them do a PPI (pre-purchase inspection). That'll run you $150 or so, but it's worth doing.

For $5k, you could get a fun car like a Miata (manual) that'll be cheap to maintain and can easily hit 200k miles. If you need four doors, buy a Toyota Corolla or Camry. If you want luxury, you could get an older Lexus ES 330 in that price range, or even a Toyota Avalon. There's also the Toyota Solara, which is basically a fancy Camry and can be had as a convertible.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Car question
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 06:19:55 PM »
$5000 seems high.  Have you had the work quoted by a few different mechanics?

frenchfryguy

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Re: Car question
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 06:50:16 PM »
Thanks for the replies guys

The Acura I知 looking at is a stick shift. Acura forums turn up minor common issues like bad o2 senors, which I値l take over complete engine failure any time


The first mechanic had my car for 10 days, changed so many parts out and still could not figure out why I still had a my low oil pressure light on. Second mechanic was able to identify the jumped timing belt issue notorious to these engines (unbeknownst to me, I did research but this never turned up). I値l have a third opinion just to have peace of mind.

The engine is the most expensive part, if the diagnosis is correct I知 still looking at a major repair

Cars worth $6-7000 in good condition to a private seller. 

use2betrix

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Re: Car question
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 07:42:54 PM »
Your best choice will be with Acura/Honda or Toyota/Lexus in my opinion. While the miles are good, I would be prepared to replace longer term wear and tear items that are costly with any higher mileage car. I.e. Struts, timing belt/water pump, etc.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car question
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2019, 07:54:39 PM »
I wouldn't sink $5k into a 2010 VW. I really like the GTI, but after keeping track of issues on the VW forums for a few months, I decided to stick with Japanese cars.

Acura had issues with their automatic transmissions on various models over the years, so check the car forums for whichever car you're looking at to see if it could be a problem. I would also take it to an Acura dealer and have them do a PPI (pre-purchase inspection). That'll run you $150 or so, but it's worth doing.

For $5k, you could get a fun car like a Miata (manual) that'll be cheap to maintain and can easily hit 200k miles. If you need four doors, buy a Toyota Corolla or Camry. If you want luxury, you could get an older Lexus ES 330 in that price range, or even a Toyota Avalon. There's also the Toyota Solara, which is basically a fancy Camry and can be had as a convertible.
Good advice here.  The Acuras you want to avoid are the 2000-2003-ish models with the V6--those are the years when Honda/Acura had issues with their transmissions.  Their 4-cylinder vehicles did not have the same issues.

I have a couple thoughts to add:
1) If you're looking for a smallish car, it's hard to go wrong with a Corolla or Civic.  If you're looking smaller, the Fit or Yaris.  Bigger/more luxurious?  Dave's advice above is good.
2) It's worth the time to start learning how to repair your own car.  The good news is that 1) parts are cheap, and 2) if something breaks and you fix it, you don't have to worry about replacing it again for another XX,000 miles.
3) $5,000 can buy you a lot of miles with a reliable car.  I paid $4500 for my Corolla 16 years and 140k miles ago.  Yeah, yeah, that was a long time ago, and it's harder to find a Japanese(-brand) car with <100k miles for <$5000, but it's still possible.
4) Older cars *do* require more repair (beyond normal maintenance)--in the last few years, I've replaced a radiator ($60), some ignition components ($90), an exhaust pipe ($80), and the headliner ($50).  Those costs are just for the parts--I had accumulated the tools over a number of years, and did the repairs myself.  The good news is that those are things that should be good for another 100,000 miles.

frenchfryguy

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Re: Car question
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 02:07:29 PM »
Thanks for all the advice guys. This decision weighs heavy on my mind but slowly coming to a decision

So I put the car up on Craigslist for 4K with the engine issue and I got 5 replies in less than 24 hrs

So I’m thinking with the 5k I was going to drop into the car and with another 3-4K from selling the old one I got plenty to find something decent or a down payment on a used car

I’m leaning towards an older car because that’s the only way I’m going to learn to turn my own wrenches. These newer cars can be intimidating to work on

I just want to join the 250k miles club one day and a VW is not going to take me there..

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car question
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 03:48:33 PM »
I知 leaning towards an older car because that痴 the only way I知 going to learn to turn my own wrenches. These newer cars can be intimidating to work on

I just want to join the 250k miles club one day and a VW is not going to take me there..
If you're looking for a smallish sedan in the $8k range, You can easily get a Toyota or Honda with well under 100k miles for that kind of money.

One thing that's probably worth pointing out:  when buying used, unless the seller has maintenance records, there's always some level of risk pertaining to how the vehicle was maintained.  A Lexus or Acura, being a luxury car, is more likely to have been well maintained.  In any case, you should consider taking it to a trusted mechanic for a thorough inspection before plunking down your cash.

AlotToLearn

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Re: Car question
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 05:21:51 PM »
Don't sink the money in the engine. I made that mistake years ago, and looking back I wish I had not.

BicycleB

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Re: Car question
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2019, 05:37:10 PM »
I idly shop for Prius via Craigslist every once in a while (idly because my pre-Mustache midlife crisis VW runs like a top so far; haven't sold yet, not really going to any time soon). I really like all the 2006-2010 Prius models that I've driven. Tons of them in my city for around $5k, some with healthy miles (90k-120k). Really low maintenance costs on average, as well as great fuel efficiency. They don't seem to depreciate much either. Great bargains as far as I can tell, relative to the other options mentioned.

A young friend of mine just finished his master's in enginering, is going into the Navy. Manly, thoughtful dude. Happy Prius driver.

Some Prius threads/articles:
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/which-used-prius-to-buy/
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/20/toyota-prius-ass-kicker-or-trouble-maker/

Prius also appears on the good old Top 10 list (safe to get a few years more recent...)
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/

@sol, where is your thread about your Prius purchase?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 05:57:36 PM by BicycleB »

Ecky

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Re: Car question
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2019, 08:56:52 AM »
I'm of the opinion that Honda makes (on average) the best engines, but not necessarily the best cars. The K series 4 cylinders found in many Acuras and higher level Hondas starting in the 2000's are absolutely bulletproof.

Different engine, but I just rolled past 300,000 miles in my 2000 Honda Insight and have never had any mechanical issues beyond a leaky clutch master and a wheel bearing. Maintained costs face been virtually zero.

frenchfryguy

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Re: Car question
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2019, 02:01:37 PM »
What do you guys think of these options

Toyota celica 2003- $3900 80,000 miles

Acura rsx 2004 $5000 105,000 miles

Honda civic 2010 $6300 65,000 miles

Mazda3 hatchback 2007 $4500 90,000 miles

All stick shifts

nick663

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Re: Car question
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 02:22:15 PM »
I'm of the opinion that Honda makes (on average) the best engines, but not necessarily the best cars. The K series 4 cylinders found in many Acuras and higher level Hondas starting in the 2000's are absolutely bulletproof.
They're good but I disagree that they're bulletproof.  Early K20A3's had camshaft galling/oil consumption issues and I've seen a surprising number of spun bearings on later model K20's.

Dave1442397

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Re: Car question
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2019, 03:02:54 PM »
What do you guys think of these options

Toyota celica 2003- $3900 80,000 miles

Acura rsx 2004 $5000 105,000 miles

Honda civic 2010 $6300 65,000 miles

Mazda3 hatchback 2007 $4500 90,000 miles

All stick shifts

I've always liked the RSX. Maybe you can talk them down to $4500.

If not the RSX, I'd probably go with the Civic, just because it's so much newer than the Celica, although Scotty Kilmer is still driving his '94 Celica, so it should be a decent car for the money.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1xvqh6E-V8

BicycleB

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Re: Car question
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2019, 03:23:12 PM »
The Civic sounds best.

Good job finding so choices with low mileage for their years. Likely all good values relative to most cars.

PS. I know very little about Acuras.

six-car-habit

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Re: Car question
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2019, 05:52:05 PM »
  " 3. Buy a CPO or new car and never have to worry about mechanical issues again"

  Until the warranty runs out........

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Car question
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2019, 10:20:24 AM »
What do you guys think of these options
Civic all the way.

AlotToLearn

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Re: Car question
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 12:51:42 AM »
Of those options Civic. Personally I would keep looking.

gooki

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Re: Car question
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 02:20:53 AM »
Civic or the Mazda.

My 2004 Mazda 6 stick shift is up to 400,000 km and going strong.

Home Stretch

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Re: Car question
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 02:13:47 PM »
If it's not on your radar, one car I have owned for years and been very impressed with is the Lexus CT 200h. The 2011/2012 models are starting to get below $10,000 - in fact I see one on AutoTrader right now for $9,500 with 85k miles on it, and one near me on CL for $6,500 with 155k. Super comfortable/quiet/luxury experience, gets 40mpg on regular gas all the time, and it's got the practicality of being a hatchback. I happen to think it looks really cool too. Oh, and Lexus reliability, which is even higher than Toyota reliability. We've had the car from 70k miles to 120k over 5 years and the only unexpected maintenance we had was $1000 for a new water pump - so, $16/mo in maintenance. Oil and tire changes are cheap too since it has economy-car sized tires and a Prius engine that doesn't take too much oil. Worth mentioning it shares the entire drivetrain with the Prius, so it's dead reliable but much more comfortable and nice than a Prius on the inside.

Sorry for going on a tangent about my own car, but I think they are getting into a reasonable Mustachian price range and I can't say enough good things about my ownership experience.

From the list you already provided, hands down the Civic. Super reliable, cheap to maintain, and the low mileage is going to be really nice.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 02:18:14 PM by Home Stretch »

nick663

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Re: Car question
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2019, 09:16:33 AM »
Only thing I was disappointed with on the CT200h was the back seat.  For a 5 door hatchback the rear seat is quite small so if you plan to use it to haul adult size passengers be sure to check that.

In the context of cross shopping with an RSX though... it's probably fine. :)