Author Topic: What car should I buy?  (Read 3072 times)

chad

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What car should I buy?
« on: October 10, 2016, 12:41:22 PM »
My '95 Camry just went out with a mere 165k miles :(

What should I replace it with? We are a family of four (kids 10 and 12) who drive 10k miles a year. Think we could fit in a corolla or a honda fit? Should I get another camry?

Shwaa

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2016, 12:53:52 PM »
What's wrong with the Camry? Is it beyond repair?  That's incredibly low mileage for a Camry to just "die out".  Does the cost of the fix outweigh the value of the car?  It is an older model though, I guess

chad

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2016, 01:10:44 PM »
The control arm bushings are shot, and the whole arm has to be replaced, which will cost close to $1000. Plus it seems to be leaking some gas somewhere, which is causing my garage to smell like gas. The mechanic couldn't be confident of where the leak was. But it's another issue. With rear brakes soon to need service, and a lot of other little things, I think I'd rather sell than fix at this piont. It's probably worth about $1500 as far as I can tell.

ketchup

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2016, 01:35:47 PM »
The control arm bushings are shot, and the whole arm has to be replaced, which will cost close to $1000. Plus it seems to be leaking some gas somewhere, which is causing my garage to smell like gas. The mechanic couldn't be confident of where the leak was. But it's another issue. With rear brakes soon to need service, and a lot of other little things, I think I'd rather sell than fix at this piont. It's probably worth about $1500 as far as I can tell.
A car's not dead until the engine or transmission gives out (or rust makes it unsafe).  Find another mechanic that can fix your fuel leak (this was about $100 on one of my cars last winter) and replace the control arms (you can probably find someone to do it for less than a grand, or DIY).  The control arms and rear brakes are wear items that will wear out on any car.  And fuel leaks are just a Thing That Happens on a 165k car.  Neither is a reason to condemn it to death.  That's why you bought a Toyota.  It'll last.  My damn '92 Buick lasted longer than that (just over 200k), and my current Hyundai has 251,xxx on it.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 01:37:42 PM by ketchup »

newelljack

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2016, 01:42:03 PM »
I agree with ketchup. Control arms do not spell death. It's not about the repair being more than the car is worth, it's the repair being less than the cost of buying a new car. I assume that your car is free and clear, so use the money you would spend on a "new to you" car and make the repair.

chad

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2016, 02:02:54 PM »
I don't think it would be wise for me to try to fix my car myself. I'm terrible at this sort of handy stuff. I like MMM's attitude about learning new skills, but I think that it can be unreasonable in some circumstances, and I think MMM and other people like him often undervalue a natural giftedness at doing handy DIY stuff. I really don't have that gift.

The mechanic I spoke with today is actually the second mechanic I've tried to find the fuel leak, and he believes it's in a location that requires dropping the fuel tank. So it's going to cost a lot of money to find out whether he's right about that. He wasn't confident, and suggested waiting until the leak gets worse so that we can see actual fuel leaking (right now, it's apparently small enough that it's only vapor leaking out). But screw that--I can't park the car in the garage if it is leaking vapor, and winter is coming.

So if I'm going to keep it, I'm going to pay the guy to go on a fishing expedition, and he may not find it, in which case I'd have to pay him to try something else, etc. From my perspective, this sucks.

Add the 1000k repair (or maybe I could get it done for 800 by some inferior mechanic who I don't trust as much), and add the additional little stuff that needs to be done (maybe another 200), and I'm just feeling like my 21 year old car is not worth this headache and cost.

Anyway, if you guys are not persuaded by that, I'm still interested to know what car you would advocate for a four person family. So maybe you can pretend I don't have a car and I need to buy one for whatever good reason.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 02:35:19 PM »
I think the best deals on cars right now are used electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Since you have a garage, plugging in really wouldn't be a problem for you, and the simplicity of never buying gas is very refreshing.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 02:36:35 PM »
Get the most powerful, best handling, and expensive car you could afford.


ketchup

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 02:37:13 PM »
Anyway, if you guys are not persuaded by that, I'm still interested to know what car you would advocate for a four person family. So maybe you can pretend I don't have a car and I need to buy one for whatever good reason.
Welp, I've said my piece on the premise, but to answer that question:

Another Camry would be fine.  Or really anything from this list: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-people/  It's part of what I referenced when car shopping.  I ended up with an '09 Hyundai Accent (probably slightly too small for a family of four).  For you, I'd look at Toyota Matrix / Pontiac Vibe, Hyundai Elantra, Corolla, Camry, Fit, Prius, Focus wagon, or Nissan Versa.  Figure out what works for you space-wise, and it'd be hard to go wrong with one of those.
I think the best deals on cars right now are used electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Since you have a garage, plugging in really wouldn't be a problem for you, and the simplicity of never buying gas is very refreshing.
This is also possible if it fits your driving needs (range).

Bicycle_B

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 03:18:10 PM »
How about a 2013 Nissan Leaf? 

Seats 4 people, comes recommended in MMM's most recent full article:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2016/10/04/so-i-bought-an-electric-car/

chad

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2016, 03:32:50 PM »
I don't want a leaf. For one thing, I don't live in a state with a big rebate like MMM. For another, from what I can tell, the same deals aren't currently available in my area. It looks like I'd be paying about 18k after rebates, etc. No thanks.

Bicycle_B

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2016, 04:47:22 PM »
I've been checking out Leafs for myself, and also live in no-rebate state.  Looks like a 2013 will run me between 8K and 11k, depending on method of purchase.

Certified pre-owned if you want that, kbb.com says 9k-11k:

http://www.kbb.com/nissan/leaf/2013/sv-hatchback-4d/?vehicleid=384674&intent=buy-used&mileage=31554&condition=very-good&pricetype=cpo

Private party purchase, maybe $8,500:

http://www.kbb.com/nissan/leaf/2013/sv-hatchback-4d/?vehicleid=384674&intent=buy-used&mileage=31554&condition=good&pricetype=private-party&persistedcondition=good#survey

I don't mean to be pushy, just offering info if price is important.  Good luck finding whatever you like!

Jeremy E.

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Re: What car should I buy?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2016, 05:40:21 PM »
I don't want a leaf. For one thing, I don't live in a state with a big rebate like MMM. For another, from what I can tell, the same deals aren't currently available in my area. It looks like I'd be paying about 18k after rebates, etc. No thanks.
Cheapest options:
2013 Nissan Leaf with 40,000 miles for $8k
2012 Nissan Versa hatchback with 40,000 miles for $7k
2008 Toyota Corolla with 80,000 miles for $5,500
More Expensive but still mustachian Options
2010+ Honda Fit
2012+ Mazda 3 hatchback with skyactiv technology
Toyota Prius