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buying used

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{Wheels.20.1}: Lyn Norton {itslyn} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:23:43 EDT (8 lines)

allo, i'm looking for some advise.
i found 5spd 95 pontiac firefly 4dr. i think i can get it for about
$2000. i've seen good reviews and some fair..generally it appears
that it wont race uphill and its noisy on the hiway. i want something
that i can learn to work on, great in the city and good for 3-4hr
hiway trecks too. peppy is always good.
any thoughts?
thanks, Lyn

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{Wheels.20.2}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:36:30 EDT (2 lines)

I'm trying to remember which years had which engine. Is it a four-
or three-cylinder engine?

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{Wheels.20.3}: Jack Van Gossen {lowjack} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:44:24 EDT (3 lines)

Older rear-wheel-drive Toyota Celicas can be a good bet for your
requirements, though you may want some other opinions from others
here. I have no idea what a Firefly is - Canadian model?

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{Wheels.20.4}: Lyn Norton {itslyn} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 17:54:29 EDT (4 lines)

i dont know if its canadian or not and u're right, toyota (or honda)
would be the best i'm sure.

jil, it is a 4cyl

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{Wheels.20.5}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 19:50:23 EDT (2 lines)

Yes, Firefly is strictly a Canadian vehicle. It was a rebadge we had
of the Chevrolet Sprint/Geo Metro.

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{Wheels.20.6}: Jack Van Gossen {lowjack} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 19:57:30 EDT (3 lines)

Ah. IIRC those things are like foil origami in terms of body
integrity. Could be why they got 40+ mpg. Plus, having EFI might make
them a bit touchy to work on yourself.

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{Wheels.20.7}: Jil {rabbit} Tue, 14 Jun 2005 20:22:00 EDT (1 line)

They rust something fierce. There aren't many of them left up here.

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{Wheels.20.8}: Lyn Norton {itslyn} Wed, 15 Jun 2005 10:29:28 EDT (2 lines)

good info folks, thanks a lot. i think i'll steer in another
direction :)

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{Wheels.20.9}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 01:41:22 EDT (43 lines)

i say if you buy a new car and your not filthy rich, your a product
of over marketing :-)

we recently purchased a 2001 buick lesabre, with 80k on her, for a
mere 7 grand.  :-)  in very good condition, i might add :-)
that car sold for about 28 grand 4 years ago.  now some might balk
at this, but folks don't forget, cars nowadays are good for at
least 150k.  as long you don't buy some shitty little cavalier or
somethin :-)

where do you find these wacky deals?  :-)  why my advice is just
cruise on over to auto trader online.  and stay away from those
pesky dealerships, unless of course, your just lookin to scam a
test drive.  in that case, by all means, you might even get a free
baseball cap out of it.  but watch yourself, them boys will get you
to pay 150% of what you could get that car for on your own.  :-)

i should add, that all dealers are not created equally.  :-)  we
got our car from a dealer, but it was a small corner dealership.
not a big flashy showroom :-)

now for the mechanically challenged, which i must admit i certainly
am, a good exam from a dealership will only run you about 80 bucks
and it's worth every penny.

one more thing, spend the 25 bucks and get the car fax service.
that way you'll get a title report, which will tell you if the
sweet deal you found, is really a bitter lemon.  folks will take a
wreck and make it look new and make a pretty profit on it.  bottom
line is, these cars aren't worth shit.  when a car is built all
it's parts are designed to fit together, in a very precise manner.
when you bang that car all up, things can get out of whack.  the
result can be a level of safety, in emergency maneuvering, that is
far below what the car was originally designed for and in a crash.
aside from that, tires may wear unevenly, and there's a number of
other things it can effect.  bottom line, car can end up being a
money pit and a death trap.  so steer clear pawdner :-)

other than that, don't be afraid to ask your seller to come down on
their price.  most folks expect this and if they don't, then they
should :-)  in any event don't be afraid yours will get away.  as
they say, there's plenty of fish in the sea ;-)  and cliché's
become cliché's, because they make sense.

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{Wheels.20.10}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 02:03:05 EDT (32 lines)

but how do i choose you ask :-)  well o.k. most folks already know
what they want, but here's my advice on that.  get your hands on
some consumer reports auto issues.  they come out every april and
you can get them for free at your library or you can join consumer
reports online for about 20 bucks a year.  all the other car
services seem like corporate shrills to me, so think of them as
road noise :-)

since you've got an idea of what you like, a mercedes, and how much
you want to spend, nothin, then this should be easy :-)

start by just lookin at some practical choices for what you like.
if your like me, head room will eliminate almost every car you
like, so the decision is sort of made for you.  but most folks
aren't so limited.  so look at safety and reliability.  remember
cars kill over 40 thousand people a year and only 600 of them are
pedestrians.  so driving is probably the most dangerous thing,
you'll ever do.  :-|  of course all we ever hear about is the
drivers, but the reality is, some cars really do perform better in
accidents than others, and the technology is available, inexpensive
and not that complicated.

next thing is reliability, and c.r. has plenty of handy charts to
make that easy to understand and they go back pretty far.  one
thing to consider though in a domestic car, is that parts are gonna
be cheaper and a whole lot easier to find and the labor can still
be
cheaper too.  not to mention, the market dictates what cars
actually
sell for.  so buying a honda or a toyota is never gonna be your
best deal.  my advice, try to buy g.m. and stay away from what's
trendy.  unless of course, fashion is your life.  :-)

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{Wheels.20.11}: Rich Stewart {rastewart} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 11:21:53 EDT (HTML)

Arrrghhgh ... your post nudged me to check out the Saabnet classifieds to see what's doing ... and there's my old car!

"http://www.saabnet.com/tsn/class/9X.html"

Well, not really my old car, but one just like it ...

awww, I want it I want it I want it ......

So much for being practical. ;) But yes, that weakness of mine for old Saabs aside, I quite agree with you, it's hard to make the case for buying new if cost is any consideration at all.

One problem I find is that used cars with stick shift are getting so rare. My last two have been automatic, since I usually change cars when the old one is gasping out its last, and thus tend not to have the luxury of a long search. Seems the more time Americans spend driving, the less they want to be real drivers ...

Still, I really like my current ride--a '91 Mercury Tracer LTS with lots o' miles on the odometer and, apparently, lots o' miles left to go. A stick shift would make it just about perfect. That, and fixing or replacing those stupid motorized shoulder belts. And (since Chicago seems bent on becoming Phoenix with humidity this summer) a working air conditioner.

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{Wheels.20.12}: Joseph Kang {jsk} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 14:02:21 EDT (10 lines)

> One problem I find is that used cars with stick shift are
> getting so rare.

That would be because NEW cars with MTs are becoming so rare.  It's
amazing that even the supposed "performance" or "enthusiast" cars from
most of the major manufacturers come with only an AT or with some
variation of AT with a "manual shift mode".

But, then again, it's hard to use one hand for your cell. phone while
you're trying to shift and steer at the same time.  :-(

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{Wheels.20.13}: Jil {rabbit} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 15:04:18 EDT (10 lines)

<<i say if you buy a new car and your not filthy rich, your a product
of over marketing :-)>>

Yabbut ... as long as I have enough income, I'm buying brand-new. I
just really like being the first person to own the vehicle.
Financially, it's a damn stupid way to do it.

But then I figure, I work so that I can enjoy the money I make. It's
just numbers on paper otherwise. If I get enjoyment out of buying a
new car, then my work has done its job...;-)

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{Wheels.20.14}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 20:41:31 EDT (12 lines)

i suppose, if you like workin :-)

another way to look at that though, is this.  my first choice was a
saab 9-5.  i found i could acquire a 1999 with a mere 140k on her,
for about 6k.  now that baby goes for nearly 40k brand new.  and
you may say, so what, but consider this, i could of acquired a 2001
saab 9-5, with 60k for about the price of new civic value
pack or less.

i've driven civics and they are nice, but a 2001 saab 9-5 is the
finest care i've ever driven :-)  and it is probably the safest car
on the road, in the u.s. and europe :-)

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{Wheels.20.15}: Jil {rabbit} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 21:28:40 EDT (8 lines)

Oh, I won't ever deny that it isn't the smartest thing to do with
one's money.

But then, neither is buying diamond rings, or going on vacations, or
buying big houses or nice cars, or eating in fancy restaurants, or
collecting art, or anything else that people do because they enjoy
it. I like the feel of a new car. I wouldn't go in over my head to
buy one, but if I can afford it, that's the way I'd go.

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{Wheels.20.16}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Wed, 20 Jul 2005 22:38:03 EDT (28 lines)

well, buying diamonds and rings is another huge con of our economy.
go to the mall and pay 3k for a ring you can probably pick up
second hand for 500 bucks.

vacations, well, 3k for a couples cruise, versus a cabin at a state
park :-)  or, if you like crowds, there's always iron man. :-)

big houses.  geez now there's a waste of money if i ever saw one.
work and slave your life away to have some 5 bedroom 4 bath
megalopolis 100 miles from work.  and then, spend the tiny bit of
time you have to spend there, thinking up ways to remodel it

fancy restaurants.  well while it certainly is nice to be waited on
by a nice looking, young person in fine restaurant, with a 100
bucks, a teacher can take off an entire day of work :-)  and spend
it enjoying 9 or 10 hours of the morning and afternoon, as opposed
to about an hour or so in an uncomfortable chair :-)

collecting art.  i can download just about anything that's ever
been arted, for free :-)  there's the library and museums and of
course, there are inexpensive copies, that are just as beautiful as
the original :-)

anything else that people do because they enjoy it.  this is really
the crux of it for me.  let go of the dream of the ring that no one
else has ever worn, in return for 2500 dollars to spend on 5
vacations in a beautiful state or national park, nature wonderland
:-)

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{Wheels.20.17}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 07:38:47 EDT (3 lines)

Ah, but that's the joy of us all being different, Marc. I'd gladly
pay the $3,000 for the cruise; I wouldn't take that money to stay in
a cabin in a park.

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{Wheels.20.18}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 19:07:52 EDT (3 lines)

while i'll buy that rich folks are comfortable with those things, i
don't think that a teacher really enjoys a 600 dollar a month car
payment.  :-)

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{Wheels.20.19}: Jil {rabbit} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 19:38:15 EDT (3 lines)

Like I said, I'd never get in over my head. I also appreciate that
not everyone can afford it. I'm not wealthy, but I'm comfortable,
and so I use the money to bring me pleasure when I can.

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{Wheels.20.20}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Thu, 21 Jul 2005 20:25:47 EDT (4 lines)

but do you get that the economy is geared towards ridiculous
levels of consumption.  hence folks are spending well beyond their
means, if they are participating in the economy the way we're
pressured to.

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{Wheels.20.21}: Jil {rabbit} Fri, 22 Jul 2005 06:41:19 EDT (4 lines)

Yes, I do. I'm not advocating that.

And think about this -- SOMEONE'S got to buy the car new, if you're
going to get it used in the future.

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{Wheels.20.22}: Rich Stewart {rastewart} Fri, 22 Jul 2005 11:43:56 EDT (HTML)

... SOMEONE'S got to buy the car new, if you're going to get it used in the future.

Good point.

So could you make sure to buy your cars with stick shift, heavy-duty suspension if available, not a bunch of fancy options, but a really good sound system? And, while I'm not a fanatic about color, maybe something other than white or silver? Thanks! ;)

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{Wheels.20.23}: Joseph Kang {jsk} Fri, 22 Jul 2005 12:17:14 EDT (5 lines)

Ha!

Maybe that's a point for a new online service.  A matchmaking service
of sorts for people to "reserve" buying a preferred vehicle used once
someone who bought it new is ready to part with it!

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{Wheels.20.24}: Caveat Motor {jaywilson} Fri, 22 Jul 2005 12:30:42 EDT (3 lines)

Matchmaking?

More like an automotive adoption agency.

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{Wheels.20.25}: Marc Damico {barkmoss} Sat, 23 Jul 2005 18:37:00 EDT (3 lines)

hey you know folks in cuba are still drivin around in cars with
fins :-)  we don't really restore and maintain old cars anymore.
it's a become a throw away society :-)

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