Author Topic: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?  (Read 2943 times)

MoStache

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Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« on: June 12, 2017, 12:18:47 PM »
Or maybe my Highlander already is a "beater"?  lol

I have a 2006 Toyota Highlander, V6, AWD, Limited with 240k miles.  It runs beautifully but I only have about 3mm of tread left on the tires and the suspension probably needs some work (maybe new struts).  The body is in fair condition - no rust but a couple of significant scuffs and scratches on the front and rear bumper.

It occurred to me today that perhaps I could sell the Highlander for about $3k and then buy an old Corolla for $1k or less.  You might be wondering why I would bother with all of this for $2k - see my case study:  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/case-study-i've-hit-rock-bottom-(financially)/.  I've never bought or sold anything on Craigslist before (let alone a vehicle) so I don't really know what I'm doing.  Just a theory I thought I'd throw out to see if it made any sense.  If I could net $2k on this deal and come out with a car that has better tires than mine it would help me a ton right now!

BTW, I came up with my estimate for my Highlander based on the below.  Please do chime in and share what you think I could get for it (or suggest how I can figure that out in advance).

Highlanders:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6168695369.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6172557219.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/cto/6136951801.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6139470697.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ram/cto/6131856805.html

Corollas:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/cto/6171170894.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/cto/6170559578.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6163665033.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/ank/cto/6152944683.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/cto/6173134077.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6172648188.html
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/6141677556.html

MayDay

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 12:35:54 PM »
I didn't read all the Corolla listings, bit we sold our old Corolla for 1k about 8 years ago in Mpls.

That thing had so many things wrong with it, we were shocked people were clamoring to buy it, and that is with us fully disclosing the problems.

So I would be very wary.

AZDude

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 01:32:49 PM »
I would say no, unless you are desperate for the money or really hate the Highlander.

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 02:03:00 PM »
The chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires are slim...the chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires that does not have $2k in work waiting to be done are even slimmer.

In this case, the devil you know is likely better than the devil you don't.

You could try to find a decent set of used tires to keep you going for a little while - just check the date code and make sure you aren't buying something that's unsafely old. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

For example:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wto/6128109355.html

MayDay

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 02:08:26 PM »
The second listing:

"269,00 miles uses some oil"

LOLOLOLOL 

Let me pick myself off the floor.

That vintage of Corollas burn oil like mad and its just a matter of time before the whole engine goes.

(The one we sold was a 99 and it burned oil like crazy, which I disclosed and someone still bought it!  Don't be that guy.)

ChpBstrd

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 04:12:05 PM »
I would think more about the future liabilities of a worn-out SUV versus a subcompact. Tires will cost at least a grand, vs. $500 for a subcompact. Insurance and gas will cost more. Suspension is more complicated. You have six spark plugs and wires to replace instead of four, not to mention 24 vs 16 valves to stick, leak, or break. Your transmission is probably 4wd and will cost more to rebuild. Everything costs more.

If your total cost of ownership for the next year is expected to be over $4k, you might actually save money spending more on a car. A Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Chevy Spark or similar might be had for $3k with half the miles, twice the mpg, and half all the other expenses.

Edmunds TCO is a great resource. It won't try to calculate the ownership costs of beaters, but you can still see a pattern in the late model cars, where old subcompacts cost less to buy and operate than old SUVs.

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2017, 10:24:34 PM »
I would think more about the future liabilities of a worn-out SUV versus a subcompact. Tires will cost at least a grand, vs. $500 for a subcompact. Insurance and gas will cost more. Suspension is more complicated. You have six spark plugs and wires to replace instead of four, not to mention 24 vs 16 valves to stick, leak, or break. Your transmission is probably 4wd and will cost more to rebuild. Everything costs more.

If your total cost of ownership for the next year is expected to be over $4k, you might actually save money spending more on a car. A Nissan Versa, Honda Fit, Chevy Spark or similar might be had for $3k with half the miles, twice the mpg, and half all the other expenses.

Edmunds TCO is a great resource. It won't try to calculate the ownership costs of beaters, but you can still see a pattern in the late model cars, where old subcompacts cost less to buy and operate than old SUVs.

No..., no, they won't. I paid $526 for the 32" Goodyear all terrains on my full size SUV. There's no need whatsoever to spend $250/each for Highlander tires (other than to unnecessarily inflate the cost of ownership, anyway). I have a lot of complaints about this post - it comes across as general SUV-hatred without having knowledge of the vehicle. How is suspension on a Highlander more complicated than on a car?  The 3MZ-FE engine in the 06 Highlander is coil on plug (no plug wires at all).  Yes, 6 spark plugs are more than 4.  The service interval is 120,000 miles. Denso Platinum spark plugs are $2.14/each.  This means, at an average of 10,000 miles a year (a reasonably high estimate for a Mustachian?), they will need replacing every twelve years with a cost differential of $4.28. That's 36 cents a year in additional spark plug costs.  Monroe struts for a Honda Fit are $93.79 on RockAuto. Monroe struts for a Highlander? $82.79.  Want to go no-name cheap? Honda Fit - OSC, $59.79.  Highlander - OSC, $51.99.

Tires?  4 for $309 plus shipping (with a 65,000 mile warranty) for a Highlander.

The cheapest tire I would consider running for a Fit is indeed cheaper, at 4 for $217 plus shipping. Note the significant tread life hit, with a 40,000 mile rating (loss of 25,000 miles, actually making the cost per mile higher).

Anecdotal, but still..my dad gave my brother his 2002 Highlander last year.  It is north of 300k miles and is still chugging right along.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 10:48:28 PM by JLee »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2017, 12:12:28 AM »
So you're driving around in a rollover-prone vehicle on tires with no tread left in them?

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2017, 12:25:07 AM »
So you're driving around in a rollover-prone vehicle on tires with no tread left in them?

https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=163&

Quote
In most parts of the world, tires are considered to be legally worn out when they reach 2/32" (approximately 1.6mm) of remaining tread depth. U.S. law requires tires to have easy-to-see Tread Wear Indicator bars running from one side of their tread design to the other when the tire's tread has worn down to the minimum legal limit of 2/32 inch.

However, in spite of the legal minimums, Tire Rack recommends that drivers expecting to experience wet conditions consider replacing their tires when they reach 4/32" of remaining tread depth. Tire Rack's tests have shown how shallow treads reduce wet braking traction and increase stopping distances (see more at: Measuring Tire Tread Depth).

If the tires measure exactly 3mm, they are 0.17mm past the TireRack recommended replacement threshold for wet driving and 1.4mm away from the minimum dry tread depth requirement.

So, no - the OP is not driving around on tires "with no tread left in them."

MoStache

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2017, 04:52:33 PM »
The chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires are slim...the chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires that does not have $2k in work waiting to be done are even slimmer.

In this case, the devil you know is likely better than the devil you don't.

You could try to find a decent set of used tires to keep you going for a little while - just check the date code and make sure you aren't buying something that's unsafely old. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

For example:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wto/6128109355.html

Thanks so much for your help!  Having given it a bit more thought it does seem like a dumb move to sell a perfectly good car just because I need tires.  However, upon further inspection I'm down to the metal wire on one tire and another has a nail :/

Those tires you found on CL seem like an incredible deal!  What's the cheapest way for me to get used tires installed?

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 05:01:53 PM »
The chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires are slim...the chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires that does not have $2k in work waiting to be done are even slimmer.

In this case, the devil you know is likely better than the devil you don't.

You could try to find a decent set of used tires to keep you going for a little while - just check the date code and make sure you aren't buying something that's unsafely old. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

For example:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wto/6128109355.html

Thanks so much for your help!  Having given it a bit more thought it does seem like a dumb move to sell a perfectly good car just because I need tires.  However, upon further inspection I'm down to the metal wire on one tire and another has a nail :/

Those tires you found on CL seem like an incredible deal!  What's the cheapest way for me to get used tires installed?

Find a little hole-in-the-wall tire shop. It should be between $10 ($10-15 = Arizona industrial area no-name shop) and $20 (more normal) per tire to get them mounted/balanced. You may have to pay a couple dollars per old tire for disposal fees, unless you want to keep them and plant potatoes in them or something.

MoStache

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 05:17:42 PM »
The chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires are slim...the chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires that does not have $2k in work waiting to be done are even slimmer.

In this case, the devil you know is likely better than the devil you don't.

You could try to find a decent set of used tires to keep you going for a little while - just check the date code and make sure you aren't buying something that's unsafely old. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

For example:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wto/6128109355.html

Thanks so much for your help!  Having given it a bit more thought it does seem like a dumb move to sell a perfectly good car just because I need tires.  However, upon further inspection I'm down to the metal wire on one tire and another has a nail :/

Those tires you found on CL seem like an incredible deal!  What's the cheapest way for me to get used tires installed?

Find a little hole-in-the-wall tire shop. It should be between $10 ($10-15 = Arizona industrial area no-name shop) and $20 (more normal) per tire to get them mounted/balanced. You may have to pay a couple dollars per old tire for disposal fees, unless you want to keep them and plant potatoes in them or something.

I found this:  https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wtd/6178098064.html

Any thoughts?

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2017, 06:27:52 PM »
The chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires are slim...the chances of finding a sub-$1k car with good tires that does not have $2k in work waiting to be done are even slimmer.

In this case, the devil you know is likely better than the devil you don't.

You could try to find a decent set of used tires to keep you going for a little while - just check the date code and make sure you aren't buying something that's unsafely old. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=11

For example:
https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wto/6128109355.html

Thanks so much for your help!  Having given it a bit more thought it does seem like a dumb move to sell a perfectly good car just because I need tires.  However, upon further inspection I'm down to the metal wire on one tire and another has a nail :/

Those tires you found on CL seem like an incredible deal!  What's the cheapest way for me to get used tires installed?

Find a little hole-in-the-wall tire shop. It should be between $10 ($10-15 = Arizona industrial area no-name shop) and $20 (more normal) per tire to get them mounted/balanced. You may have to pay a couple dollars per old tire for disposal fees, unless you want to keep them and plant potatoes in them or something.

I found this:  https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/wtd/6178098064.html

Any thoughts?

Hard to beat for $160 installed.

MoStache

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2017, 02:14:19 PM »
Hard to beat for $160 installed.

I'll definitely go for that set of 4 at $160 all in if he still has them when I'm ready to pull the trigger.  If he only has pairs of tires is it ok to put two different pairs on an AWD vehicle?

JLee

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Re: Should I sell my 2006 Toyota Highlander and buy a beater?
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2017, 03:00:19 PM »
Hard to beat for $160 installed.

I'll definitely go for that set of 4 at $160 all in if he still has them when I'm ready to pull the trigger.  If he only has pairs of tires is it ok to put two different pairs on an AWD vehicle?

You generally don't want to mismatch tires - actual size can vary across brands (despite being listed as the same size) and with AWD you want all four tires to be the same size (within a small margin).