Author Topic: Help me buy a toyota corolla!  (Read 6030 times)

mozar

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Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« on: August 09, 2015, 10:47:22 AM »
If I get this new job I will be looking for a car.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:06:44 PM by mozar »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 11:25:01 AM »
S is the "sport" package. You get a spoiler and some other dubious ricer "improvements".

The first link is a total steal, by the way. Would buy in a heartbeat provided the mechanic doesn't find anything wrong with it.

Zamboni

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 11:42:50 AM »
Haha my last car (not counting current ones) was a 92 Corolla! I feel like we are kindred spirits now.

I can tell you from my experience selling my Corolla that any of these which are priced right will move really fast. Mine was similar to #1 on your list in terms of age and mileage (mine was 125K) when I sold it . . . for exactly $2500. Hilarious! I listed it and had a full price buyer at my house by 10am the same day, cash was in my hand before noon, and I threw my back up list of prospective buyers away and changed my voicemail to say the car was sold. I kind of miss that little car; ran like a top. Good luck in your quest to buy one! The market has tons of choices, but move fast when you see the right deal when the time comes.

That commute sounds horrific, btw, are you going to consider moving?

lbmustache

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 11:59:13 AM »
Is rust a problem in your area (from salt + snow)? If so, I'd get the newer one with more miles, unless the older one was maintained well, garaged etc. Might be worth it to have someone look at it to check for rust.

mozar

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 01:23:26 PM »
Wow 40 minutes is horrific?
So how does taking it to a mechanic work? I might be buying a car in another state, should I drive it back to where I live or try to find a mechanic near the seller (which could be anywhere in the tri state area.)
And is paying cash typical? I don't want to be jumped and I don't have anyone to go with me.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 01:06:29 PM by mozar »

lbmustache

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 01:36:25 PM »

So how does taking it to a mechanic work? I might be buying a car in another state, should I drive it back to where I live or try to find a mechanic near the seller (which could be anywhere in the tri state area.)
And is paying cash typical? I don't want to be jumped and I don't have anyone to go with me.

A seller should agree to a pre-purchase inspection as long as you pay for it. Find a mechanic near the seller: I don't know the laws in your state but I can't buy a car, take it to a mechanic, and then go back to the seller and say "xyz is broken I want a refund."

Cash is typical. Meet in a public place or at a local bank.

mrshudson

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 01:40:27 PM »
Anything after the 1998 model year is fine, because they went from a timing belt to a timing chain, which I believe is important if you don't want to commit to a changeover every 100,000 miles (because it runs expensive - and your Corolla can have a long life when TLC'd for). I myself am partial to the 9th Generation (2003 and over) model years and currently own one, because of the availability of DIY maintenance guides and videos and the abundance of aftermarket parts which sometime work out better than expected at a lower cost.

Find an independent mechanic near the seller who will answer all your questions - introduce yourself over the phone, tell them you are looking to buy, and would need to have an inspection done, and ask for advice. Inform the seller that you would like to take it to a your mechanic prior to purchasing the car. If the seller disagrees, walk away from the sale. To me that's a red flag. Unless I'm buying used from a dealer - and even then ask them pointed questions about maintenance cycles. Do not buy a car which was used as a student driver car, do not buy one that was used as a rental car or was leased - was likely driven around by leadfoots(Trademark phrase :)) Ask the seller if they have complete maintenance receipts - you don't want to find out much later that they went 20,000 miles between an oil change on a Corolla of the vintage you're considering.

In the meantime, go to Toyota Nation website and look at their threads for guides on specific model years so you get educated at a high level, on what are the big ticket maintenance items (e.g., transmission, water pump, engine head gasket), and which ones are minor (e.g., spark plugs, belt tension adjustment, seals, fluids). Learn to recognize problems rather than symptoms. Research, research, research, so you can understand your mechanic's "language".

Good luck, and post specific questions here!

mrshudson

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 01:44:36 PM »
I should have added that find a mechanic you can "connect" with, and won't mind you calling or stopping over again. Read up reviews of mechanics or ask for referrals from friends and/or forum posters, and have that guy or gal be your go to mechanic.

Retired To Win

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 01:45:48 PM »
You're on the right track targeting older cars for your next vehicle purchase.  That being said, I think it's the miles logged by the car that truly are a measure of its "wear age."

Years ago, we totaled a 1998 Subaru Forester that had about 100,000 miles on it.  We took the insurance money, added a grand or so, and replaced our lost vehicle with a 1998 Subaru Forester... that had "only" 60,000 miles on it.  It was a great move and well worth the "extra" $1000 or so we shelled out.

And, yes, we still have that vehicle.  The odometer reads 244,000 miles-plus and the car is still going strong.

Good luck on your purchase!

mrshudson

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 01:50:32 PM »
Agree with the above. Which is why the 1998 Corolla at 115k miles looks like an unusually good deal to me, and the 2004 Corolla with the 179k miles seems like too much mileage to me. For reference a 2003-2004 Corolla's upper mileage limit should be around 120k miles for me to consider it a decent deal.

mozar

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 02:56:40 PM »
Thanks!

mozar

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 03:13:57 PM »
Should I do carfax and get the vin number?

lbmustache

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 05:12:02 PM »
Should I do carfax and get the vin number?

Yes. Carfax might tell you maintenance that has been done (if they did it at a dealer or someone who reports it like Valvoline), you'll know if the car has a clean title and if there were any reported accidents. You can also match the VIN and make sure the car isn't stolen or anything like that.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 06:55:56 PM »
Anything after the 1998 model year is fine, because they went from a timing belt to a timing chain, which I believe is important if you don't want to commit to a changeover every 100,000 miles (because it runs expensive - and your Corolla can have a long life when TLC'd for). I myself am partial to the 9th Generation (2003 and over) model years and currently own one, because of the availability of DIY maintenance guides and videos and the abundance of aftermarket parts which sometime work out better than expected at a lower cost.
Having changed the timing belts on both our vehicles in the last 6 months, I want to start an "aftermarket timing belt to timing change conversion kit" company. :)  One of our cars is a '95 Corolla.  Now that I've done the timing belt once, it wouldn't be a huge deal, but it's not an easy job to DIY, and it costs an arm and a leg.

Full Beard

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 07:54:04 PM »
I had a 2006 Corolla and I think it is the same style and engine as the 2004.  It was a great car and I never had any problems through 86K miles and it averaged about 34-35 mpg.  I probably would still have that car today had it not been for an accident.  Corollas are great little cars for commuters.


Zamboni

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 08:22:05 PM »
Sellers do not want to have huge amounts of cash on them either, so most people will want to do the cash exchange and hand over the title at a bank with the added bonus that the bank almost always has a notary right there to notarize the title transfer. This means you have to avoid the actual buy on banking holidays and Sundays.

mozar

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2015, 08:39:23 PM »
@ Full Beard: do you have a mechanic you can recommend? A lot of the cars I'm looking at are in Northern Virginia. Oh the title has to be notarized? And what does "match a vin" mean? Match it to what?

lbmustache

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2015, 08:50:11 PM »
@ Full Beard: do you have a mechanic you can recommend? A lot of the cars I'm looking at are in Northern Virginia. Oh the title has to be notarized? And what does "match a vin" mean? Match it to what?

Match it to the car. If the VIN on the car and Carfax don't match up that means something shady is going on. Stolen car, salvaged car trying to get passed off as clean (title), etc.

I suggest you look up some articles online on how to buy a used car, for your own safety. I realize you have not bought a car in a long time so I implore you to look up how not to get scammed. For example, a Carfax can come back as "clean" (no accident) but the car could have had a minor/major accident that was repaired out of insurance, thus never showing up on the carfax.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 08:52:36 PM by lbmustache »

MikeBear

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2015, 08:56:32 PM »
Stay AWAY from generation 8 which are 1998-2002 models!

They had a serious problem with burning oil that developed, and Toyota covered it up, and didn't get it fixed 100% until almost 2002.

I owned a 1998 Chevrolet Prizm, which is a Corolla with some Chevy body parts, and I had the oil burning issue. 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles was normal, until it finally went to 1 quart every 300 miles. I then got rid of the car.

The engines in those cars run so hot, they crystalized the oil and it would eventually cause the piston oil rings to stick, and cause oil blow-by. The engine was efficient enough, that you might never even see dark black smoke from the exhaust, until it got real REAL bad.

Full Beard

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2015, 09:32:54 PM »
Mozar, I don't know any specific mechanics.  My family has taken their vehicles to The Tire Shop in Leesburg and they do good work and are fair.  I live in Gainesville now and I've been taking my vehicle to Piedmont tire and auto and I've been impressed with them.  I agree with MrsHudson, try to find an owner with all the maintenance records.  That way you can be more confident the vehicle was taken care of.  I now have a 2013 Corolla that I purchased new and I have all the records filed away for a future buyer.

mozar

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2015, 07:14:14 AM »
Ok, thx

mrshudson

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2015, 10:53:06 PM »
Having changed the timing belts on both our vehicles in the last 6 months, I want to start an "aftermarket timing belt to timing change conversion kit" company. :)  One of our cars is a '95 Corolla.  Now that I've done the timing belt once, it wouldn't be a huge deal, but it's not an easy job to DIY, and it costs an arm and a leg.

Jealous! I have a timing chain. :) Would love to change it - I think the big issue is the belt tensioning bit, which can seem daunting if you haven't done it before.

mrshudson

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2015, 11:13:24 PM »
Stay AWAY from generation 8 which are 1998-2002 models!

They had a serious problem with burning oil that developed, and Toyota covered it up, and didn't get it fixed 100% until almost 2002.

I owned a 1998 Chevrolet Prizm, which is a Corolla with some Chevy body parts, and I had the oil burning issue. 1 quart of oil per 1,000 miles was normal, until it finally went to 1 quart every 300 miles. I then got rid of the car.

The engines in those cars run so hot, they crystalized the oil and it would eventually cause the piston oil rings to stick, and cause oil blow-by. The engine was efficient enough, that you might never even see dark black smoke from the exhaust, until it got real REAL bad.

The Gen 8's  are fine. The oil burning is because of frozen piston rings. Here's a DIY on fixing it for once and for all:

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/131-8th-generation-1998-2002/402362-diy-oil-consumption-fix.html

Oh, and every generation (my own awesome 9th gen included) has an issue that Toyota puts out a TSB about, and a bunch of DIY'ers figure out how to solve it. I could be wrong about this but 80% of all Toyota problems are due to a bad seal or gasket. Keep in mind that every component of your engine that has a fluid in it is prevented from leaking by way of seals or gaskets. If your engine is drinking oil, that is not the problem, it is a symptom of a problem. 80% of the problems can be fixed in a simple** manner, and I cannot translate the joy you get out of understanding, troubleshooting and fixing a problem your car had.

** solution is simple, not necessarily the hours it takes to fix it. That  being said, I have not had any issue that could not be fixed in 2-3 hours on a nice sunny weekend.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Help me buy a toyota corolla!
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2015, 06:30:43 AM »
Having changed the timing belts on both our vehicles in the last 6 months, I want to start an "aftermarket timing belt to timing chain conversion kit" company. :)  One of our cars is a '95 Corolla.  Now that I've done the timing belt once, it wouldn't be a huge deal, but it's not an easy job to DIY, and it costs an arm and a leg.

Jealous! I have a timing chain. :) Would love to change it - I think the big issue is the belt tensioning bit, which can seem daunting if you haven't done it before.
I'm jealous of you!  Timing chains never need to be changed for the life of the car.