buying an older vehicle?


Old 03-10-07, 01:32 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 276
buying an older vehicle?

I am trying to find an old vehicle to purchase to travel back and forth to work each week. I drive 400 miles in one week. I don't care what it looks like cosmetically. I am thinking a Mercedes diesel from the 80's. All 400 miles are highway miles. Any suggestions on a vehicle you would recommend or what I should be looking for?

I would like to spend less then $5K ...and it can look horrible for all i care.

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Old 03-10-07, 01:59 PM
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toyotas have earned a good rep for running forever.

Honda's also enjoy a pretty good rep as well.

Personally I would stay away from the Benz's. They generally have the most hight tech stuff on their cars which means big repair costs when they break. As well, because of their lower production numbers, parts are generally more expensive and sometimes harder to come by.

I have also seen way more rusted MB's than I think there should be for the price they charge for new. Don't know if you live in the snow belt but up here I would look very closely for rust on an MB.
Old 03-10-07, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 276
Thanks for the info. I live in Austin, Texas. Not too much rust on our cars here, but you never know where the car comes from on a lot. They tend to mix it up.

I guess I thought a diesel engine would last for 300,000 miles versus a toyota or honda engine. Is there any truth to that?

I wish I could find grandma's car that didn't use it much but it is 20 years old car. HA. I am sure everyone would like that. Have no idea where to find those except be the first to get the paper at 6:00a.m.
Old 03-10-07, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sw FL
Posts: 2,122
depends on maintenance My 95, Toyota t100 with v6 is at 205k , running great 300 wouldn't surprise me

wife drives a '84 BMW 733i we paid 1500 for it 3 years ago , body is poor interior fair but it runs SWEET , fun dependable car had 156 on the odometer when we bought it , still does odometer is broke , its got to be well over 200k

one key is a mechanic you can trust to advise you

(we bought the beemer from our long time mechanic , he knew the car older man kids made him stop driving , it had been well maintained )
Old 03-11-07, 06:24 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 276
Your exactly right about the maintenance. I have a Ford Ranger 1992 in the garage with over 200K on it and it runs fine. Problem is that it used to be mine, I gave it to my brother in law for his business, and he loaned it back to me to help me out. I want him to have it back though. It has no door handles to get out of it which I could purchase..but I gave it to him in 2001 and I want him to have it back.

How do you find a mechanic you can trust? I end up taking it to the dealer for diagnostics and then figure out if I can do it myself. Had one guy that ownes a transmission shop help out with our F250 4X4 when we replaced the transmission with a Banks system. Talk about a bad Ford transmission.

That Ford only has 60K on it now, and is a 2001. Never driven hard and always maintained mechanically. At 30K miles transmission problems, Ford dealer fixed it under warranty. Next time about 50K miles tranmission problems and Ford dealer said over five years too bad. Read up and learned Banks was the way to go if I wanted it to last. That is how the Ranger ended up here for months to save up for the 1K extra money I needed to buy the Banks stuff. It was about 3K if I remember right for all the stuff from Banks and paying the transmission guy to help out when we got stuck.

Austin being a student town there are not a lot of places that I trust. Maybe up north in Round Rock or Georgetown for a mechanic. Not sure. Even my brother has lived here 23 years and knows no one reliable.
Old 03-12-07, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rocky Mountain Foothills
Posts: 549
We are contemplating a more fuel efficient car down the road and hear the Jetta Turbo diesels can get 45mpg. Find a biodiesel station and you save even more $$. Don't know about maintenance though.

Older Subarus and small Hondas get great mileage and are reliable (avoid Subaru Outback years 97-2000 due to head gasket issues).

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