Best used car

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  #1  
Old 02-27-11, 08:53 PM
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Best used car

Hey all - I am considering purchasing an older used vehicle to drive in lieu of my 96 Yukon. She's got 164k miles, 4x4 and uses about 16 mpg. So it would be beneficial to find a vehicle with better gas mileage and I will keep my Yukon for winter driving and excursion.

Would purchasing one from a dealership give me any benefits, outside of extended warranties? Not looking to spend over $3,500. Any input would be helpful.. =o)
 
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Old 02-28-11, 06:50 AM
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Best would be whatever you (or your mechanic) feels good working on. $3500 won't get a lot normally, but you might find an older (10+) well maintained car for that.

I'd look at things like accessibility of filters, belts, and plugs...as well as availability from a local parts store. I have a Suzuki Verona that I'm pretty happy with, but they only sold them here for 2 yrs!! Many parts are dealer only, and with the economy, dealers aren't as prevalent as they once were.

I'd stay with a 4 banger manual trans in either a Honda, Ford, or Toyota
 
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Old 02-28-11, 07:16 AM
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Thanks Gunguy45, I thought a foreign would be a better choice since they seem to last a lot longer than American in general. Didn't think about manual verses auto, I assume less of a cost to repair. Appreciate the info. BTW where in Arizona are you located? I moved from Payson in 2008.
 
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Old 02-28-11, 08:38 AM
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I remember when you said you moved in a past post. Somewhere in WA state now IIRC? I'm in Kingman.

As to the foreign vs domestic...I'm not so sure of that anymore. There's no reason why a Ford Escort or Taurus shouldn't go 200K if properly maintained. I'd try to find something near the end of it's lifecycle, before they made major engine or design changes for the nest year. That pretty much means all the bugs have been worked out. I just listed those 3 brands since they produced so many vehicles, they are likely to be commonly available and parts are plentiful.

And yes..I think a manual would normally be cheaper for repairs. Of course you have maintenance parts replacements (clutches for instance) that you don't with an auto, but I think most people just don't think about an auto the way they do a manual. They don't interact with it as much so they ignore it until it fails. Oh it slips...I'll just gas it more. Hard shifts...I'll just be "easy" on the throttle. With a manual, you won't put up with grinding gears or a balky shifter very long before getting it looked at. See what I mean?
 
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Old 02-28-11, 10:23 AM
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Just to throw in a comment from personal experience, it'll be unlikely you'd find one at a dealer for $3,500, and even if you did, it won't have any warranty, it'll be AS IS (well 30 days tops).
Private or a used car lot is probably your only option.
 
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Old 03-01-11, 09:53 PM
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Thanks for that info Shadeladie.
 
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Old 03-08-11, 08:37 AM
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good luck finding anything at a dealer under $5k. I have always bought used out of the classifieds and have always been happy with my cars.
 
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Old 03-11-11, 04:02 AM
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Chilly, if you can find a car that doesn't incorporate a timing belt, you will be better off in the long run. The car you buy for $3500 will (guaranteed) need a timing belt replacement ($400-600) so figure that in. You don't want to find out about timing belts while the engine is running. My 2001 Volvo S80 is sitting waiting on a $2000 valve job because of timing belt failure. Look for one that utilizes a timing "chain". Saturn is one. My wife recently bought a Mazda tribute and it has one.
I use Auto Trader. Not sure if it is nationwide or not. But classifieds in one form or another are your best bets.
 
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Old 03-15-11, 09:14 PM
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Thanks for that information. I've used Auto Trader before, will check and see if they have it here.
 
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