Author Topic: How cheap can I go...car question  (Read 6068 times)

mozar

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How cheap can I go...car question
« on: October 16, 2014, 06:26:05 PM »
Hiya,
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:38:41 PM by mozar »

Holyoak

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2014, 06:30:46 PM »
Curious...  Did the timing belt snap?  If so, that engine is non interference, meaning that no valve-to-piston contact happened.  If so, a new t-belt, idlers/tensioner, waterpump, and perhaps seals replaced = great running car again.  I hope it was not oil starvation, or severe overheat.  Simply my .02 from a former Toyota service employee, trying to save you $$$.

mozar

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 06:59:36 PM »
Thanks Holyoak, that car is long gone. I just put that story in there as an example.

Holyoak

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 07:06:08 PM »
Thanks...  I still drive my 94 Camry (had it since 1997), and believe the earlyish through mid 90's were the best years of Toyota ever.  Might give consideration to a Matrix/Vibe, if you like Toyota.  I have an 2006 5 speed, and they are extremely versatile, good mileage with the 1.8, and reliable.  Pretty safe as well for a smallish car.  Good luck!

mozar

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 07:41:13 PM »
I was thinking of either a Toyota or a Honda, only because that's what I know about. Is it worth it to learn manual? I'm kind of terrified of manual.

Holyoak

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 07:52:54 PM »
Worth it my friend?...  You BET!  Nearly every car/truck I have ever owned has been a manual, and I learned it's magical ways when I was 13, driving a 76 CIVIC in parking lots after Sunday school.  If this 16 y/o kid, and his ham fisted sister and brother can pass a drivers test with this car, YOU CAN DO IT!   MMM has written an article on the subject.  Search it out, and see what you think.  BTW, in my experience with nearly every Japanese brand car/truck manual transmission over many years, it is VERY hard to beat a Honda...  They just get it right!

Learn the ways of a MT, and actually drive a car, not steer it around.

Exflyboy

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 11:01:40 PM »
I paid $350 for my 99 Dodge Neon.. rebuilt the engine and put new synchro cones in the MT (for fun) then drove it 80 miles one way to work every day.

Put about 30,000miles on it before I FIREd.. I still have the car.. and I like it very much..:)

Frank

hexdexorex

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 11:44:33 PM »
Early - Mid 90s toyotas are great cars. Got a 1992 6 years ago and still going strong. Only 170k miles on it though. Purchased for 1800.

Rural

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2014, 03:15:53 AM »
I've been driving my $1200 vehicle 35 miles each way to work for two years now. Previous vehicle (rear ended by an F250 whils stopped in traffic)was $1600 and was going fine on the same commute until the Ford came along. Both of these are Kias, which are much better vehicles than I'd anticipated. The Toyota/ Honda option is even better, though, and learning manual gives you access to used ones that may not have sold because buyers these days can't drive manual.

BooksAreNerdy

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2014, 09:50:24 AM »
Just 3 months ago, we paid $1000 for a 93 corolla with 238k miles on it. Oil is clean every time we check it, no problems so far. The AC even works.

Major bonus, as long as its drivable, we should be able to sell it for what we paid.

It was listed for $1800 on CL.

guitar_stitch

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2014, 09:55:56 AM »
Saturn SL2 with a 5 speed.  Safe, cheap, and reliable.  Oh yeah... 35 MPG.

mrsggrowsveg

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 10:30:29 AM »
Last year we paid $3,000 cash for a '03 VW Jetta TDI with high miles.  It is a fun car to drive and gets 40-50 mpg.  My husband drives it anywhere between 30 and 500 miles per day with his traveling job.

mozar

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 07:09:39 PM »
I finally looked on craigslist and the cars around $3500 look good. I do not have the inclination to rebuild my own engine. Should I worry about rust? How much do you usually negotiate?

ketchup

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 08:00:33 PM »
Bought a landyacht of a 1992 Buick Roadmaster for $700 a few months back.  1999 Chevy Metro for $1000 a few months before that.  I like our total fleet value to be less than I make in a month.  It's comforting.

Paul der Krake

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 08:13:10 PM »
Our fleet consists of a newer car and an old beater purchased for $1200 two years ago. The risk mitigation strategy for driving the beater, relative to the other, consists of:

- slightly slower driving
- staying more to the right on 3+ lane highways (because good luck getting to the shoulder if your engine craps on you when in the left-most lane in dense traffic)
- checking vitals way more often
- keep flashlight and cash in the glovebox
- not driving it in difficult conditions

StangStache

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 09:04:58 PM »
Saturn SL2 with a 5 speed.  Safe, cheap, and reliable.  Oh yeah... 35 MPG.

I'm surprised these cars don't get recommended more often around here.  Both 1.9L engines (SOHC and DOHC) are gas-sippers and near bulletproof (exception: SOHC likes to burn a little oil).  I also love the polymer door panels - helps alleviate some rust concerns with older cars in states with winter.  That's one of the things I miss about Saturn.  Too bad GM ruined the brand. 

Anyway.  Great suggestion that I want to echo.  You can get a nice 99-02 SL1/SL2 for much cheaper than similar era imports.  Get it in stick and you have yourself a reliable gas sipper that's still fun to run around in. 

alsoknownasDean

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 09:12:09 PM »
I'd say it would largely depend on where you live.

Some areas you could probably get a usable car for a grand or less. Others you'd struggle for double that.

For example, any car for under a grand in a cold-climate area is probably completely rusted out.

Another thing to take into account is of course any local regulations regarding second-hand cars. If your area requires cars be tested annually or upon transfer of registration, this may mean that anything below a certain price would need to have additional amounts spent on it to meet the standard.

I've considered going the beater route, and I could get something alright for $2000-2500, but then going to $4000 gets a much better car.

mozar

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Re: How cheap can I go...car question
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 09:24:13 PM »
I live in the
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 12:38:22 PM by mozar »