Looking a gift-horse in the mouth


Old 10-20-04, 05:44 PM
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Looking a gift-horse in the mouth

Someone I know is offering a '96 Grand Am, 3.1, 204,000mi for the price ($400) of the new (2500mi) tires. It passed emissons 6 months ago and will not have to do that again for 18 months. It starts and runs well, everything works. The clear coat is very rough in spots. I'm happy to grab the car as a winter ride but I have some questions.</p>I found this sight earlier today and there seem to be folks here who are very knowledgeable about GM products
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Old 10-21-04, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
96 Grand Am

Old 10-23-04, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 539
I would say....

as long as you get a good title and the tires are worn evenly, mileage makes sense for the car, and maybe a "Carfax" history report (about $20), I would probably go for it.
If there's something about the car that is making you wonder or question then I would take it to a mechanic for inspection. If it's the sale, owner or car itself that is not sitting right, doesn't make sense, or is setting off alarm bells (quiet or otherwise) then I would walk away.

Good Luck!
Old 11-02-04, 09:21 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 388
For $400 if the car can survive a test drive of 30-45 minutes, there's not much else to worry about. If he put new tires on it recently, it was probably running well recently. Does it shift ok? Does the engine sound ok?

Find out how it starts when it is dead cold. When the motor is cold, take the oil cap off and the coolant resevoir cap off. As long as they are oil colored and coolant colored, the engine is probably good enough.

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