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carfax on a used car.
Old 12-30-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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carfax on a used car.

Well, I've always been on the prowl for a car. I've been passively looking in cars.com, autotrader.com, craigslist, etc.

I found a nice 2000 Solara SE V6 stick shift 87k miles for $5700. Black on black leather, alloy wheels. The seller is a dealer so I dont know the history of the car. It's in decent shape, I need to get a mechanic to look at it mechanically. It has some chipped paint on the front bumper and a little rust and chipped paint on the door edge where you close it. Nothing a little sanding and touch up paint cant fix.

Anyway, I bought a carfax report for 30 days. If anyone needs help researching a car, lemme know I'll put a carfax for you.

The solara feels smooth but I'm not sure of the clutch. When I step on the clutch from second gear, i get a "catch" jump, like I didn't step on the clutch all the way and it caught something... similar to if you clutch in and the engine isn't the right rpms.

Oh yeah, I wonder if I should buy the car. I dont "need" it, but I'd like it. I have an older 4dr 94 Integra with 123k miles stick shift. Sometimes I feel my "image" is hurt with the older car. And thus my career might not go as far. Then again, the solara isn't a new flashy car either. It's another economical car.
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Old 12-30-2007, 06:55 PM   #2
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I love my 2000 Solara SE. Mine is only a 4-cylinder, though.

That price seems awfully low as a dealer price, given that it is a 6-cylinder, and also he has to take his cut out of it. I think you should have your mechanic go over it just to make sure there's nothing wrong with it, and also to assess the problem with the clutch.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:16 PM   #3
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I have a 1999 Solara with 69000 miles on it and a lot of extras moonroof ,upgraded sound ,cd player , automatic transmision,etc. and the book value is only $5600 according to Kelley blue book . I love the car so I'll probably just drive it until it drops or give it to my daughter for a second car .
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:30 PM   #4
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I have a 1999 Solara with 69000 miles on it and a lot of extras moonroof ,upgraded sound ,cd player , automatic transmision,etc. and the book value is only $5600 according to Kelley blue book . I love the car so I'll probably just drive it until it drops or give it to my daughter for a second car .
I just checked Kelley bluebook on a 2000 Solara SE with 87,000 miles on it and a V-6 and manual transmission, and it came out $8620. That was the price for buying it at a dealer, not for selling it privately or whatever. New Car Prices | Used Car Values - Official Kelley Blue Book Site . It might not be a bad idea to have his mechanic check it over.
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:39 PM   #5
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Mine is $5600 for trade in value !
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Old 12-30-2007, 07:41 PM   #6
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Mine still comes in at $5600 not sure what the difference is ?
Probably different input. Where it gives you the choice of three prices, are you looking at "Suggested Retail Value"? Did you put in V-6, 2000 SE, and manual transmission?

Edited to add: Oh, I know! If you put "trade-in value", that is probably what the original owner got from the dealer, not the price the dealer would sell it for. Could that be it?
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:22 PM   #7
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Sometimes I feel my "image" is hurt with the older car. And thus my career might not go as far.
If that's true then my image is dead and my career is going backwards...

Oh, wait, I saved enough money on used cars over the years that I didn't have to worry about image or career.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:45 PM   #8
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What's a 'career'?
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:47 PM   #9
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Hmm!!! I didn't notice that line about image. I like my 2000 Solara, but I didn't realize that it conveys a slick image. After all, I DID just get a promotion last year (probably because of my cool car).

Next time I get into it, I'll have to flick my hair back just so and flash a cool, sassy smile...

Then I'll remember it's over 7 years old!!!
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:13 PM   #10
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What's a 'career'?
A job that has lasted waaaaaay too long!
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:23 PM   #11
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Hmm!!! I didn't notice that line about image. I like my 2000 Solara, but I didn't realize that it conveys a slick image. After all, I DID just get a promotion last year (probably because of my cool car).

Next time I get into it, I'll have to flick my hair back just so and flash a cool, sassy smile...

Then I'll remember it's over 7 years old!!!
Haha...
Not to the extent that, if your agent comes to visit you in a beater, will you be as impressed to have him/her work for you? Well, I'm in consulting and I feel everyone here judges and it's all about perception. So when I give someone a ride they might think that I must not be "good enough" to be paid "good enough" since I don't drive a "good enough" car... then they'll treat me differently. Also, my car may be typical of a youngster's car in HS or college. I am also young, and I have been treated non positively due to my age. So my "youngster" car does not help with that.

Want2Retire, ahhh. I remember someone here always touted about their Solara. That was you! It is a slick car!
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Old 12-30-2007, 11:37 PM   #12
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If that's true then my image is dead and my career is going backwards...

Oh, wait, I saved enough money on used cars over the years that I didn't have to worry about image or career.
You're right. I think you've chosen a good path. hah... Not that I said I was buying a new 335i or something. Now that's a different story. I do really like the e46 BMW 3 series. I can find some decent ones around $12k. I just wanted to upgrade a little higher to a 2000 Solara. Sorta of a in-betweener.
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:51 AM   #13
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Don't put too much faith in Carfax. You can have a car that's been wrecked show a clean Carfax report. Nothing beats a full inspection from a quality mechanic.

I'll give two personal examples. I got t-boned at an intersection in my Subaru. It was low speed thankfully and they were able to repair the car (though it was never the same). The police were called and an accident report was written up. I sold that car about a year later and it still showed a clean Carfax report with no accidents.

I went to buy a used VW Passat and ran a Carfax which came back clean. For piece of mind before I bought it, I took the car to the local VW garage. Mechanic found the front end was replaced with non-OEM parts (hood, bumper, etc) and had other signs of past front end damage.

So I wouldn't waste money on Carfax, spend it at reputable mechanic for a good once over.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:42 AM   #14
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Bought and sold this past Fall myself. Was told by several people, including a used car lot owner I know, that Carfax can tell you if you are getting a bad vehicle but not that your getting a good one. I ran the truck I was buying anyway and found it useful in knowing what part of the country it spent most of it's life.

I bought way below NADA/KelleyBlue estimates and sold my old truck way below (both ended up close to the wholesale price that one of them had as an option). The NADA/KB numbers seem to be inflated from reality for many cars. It gives the dealers something to wave at you.

Oh and the truck was fine and I'm happy with it.

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Old 12-31-2007, 11:32 AM   #15
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I think Edmunds is closer to reality on used car prices: Used vehicles, used car prices, used car values at Edmunds

Plug in your own zip code, but in my zip the values are $5922 dealer, $5074 private party, $4279 trade-in.
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Old 12-31-2007, 11:56 AM   #16
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I think Edmunds is closer to reality on used car prices: Used vehicles, used car prices, used car values at Edmunds

Plug in your own zip code, but in my zip the values are $5922 dealer, $5074 private party, $4279 trade-in.
Yes, Edmunds gives a dealer price that while several hundred dollars higher than the asking price in this example, does happen to be almost $3K lower than the bluebook value.

I think the price (either price) is a red flag to have a mechanic look it over, not to mention the strange clutch behavior. I think it would be negligent not to. YMMV

Another thing is to think about whether or not you REALLY want a super-cool 2000 Solara, or if you want an even cooler BMW or whatever. It might be worth the wait. How about one of those gas guzzlers that are going for a song? Maybe a Lincoln Towncar would be cheap these days if they still guzzle gas.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:03 PM   #17
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I use edmunds pricing for all my standard pricing to base against. With 87k miles, 2000 solara, se v6, leather seats, in clean condition, 20852 zip code, I get.
Trade in - $5232, Private party - $6175, Dealer - $7130

The guy selling is doesn't have a "dealership" himself. I think he works with someone who has a dealer license. He goes to the dealer auctions and gets the car. So he doesnt have any historical knowledge of the car.

The mechanic will look at it for $50. I just hope nothing "bad" is with the car. Regular items that are worn are ok. But I don't want to put tooo much into the car. I assume it will need Timing Belt at this stage. Hopefully the clutch is still good. I'm just not used to a Toyota clutch, or it could be worn. The mechanic should know more than me.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:06 PM   #18
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Another thing is to think about whether or not you REALLY want a super-cool 2000 Solara, or if you want an even cooler BMW or whatever. It might be worth the wait. How about one of those gas guzzlers that are going for a song? Maybe a Lincoln Towncar would be cheap these days if they still guzzle gas.

It's not "super cool". It's just more reliable and more modern. (I think it's cool though). Camrys have good ratings, right? Good reliability, easy to get parts. I dont think it gets bad gas mileage either.

I didn't see a smiley after the BMW... So I guess there was no sarcasm? I'm looking for an "upgraded" car. Doesn't have to be the best car. It does need to be reliable, not under powered, and not too expensive. At this price, this car, and v6, that seems to be it. As long as it checks out mechanically. If not, then I'll just wait.
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Old 12-31-2007, 12:25 PM   #19
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It's not "super cool". It's just more reliable and more modern. (I think it's cool though). Camrys have good ratings, right? Good reliability, easy to get parts. I dont think it gets bad gas mileage either.
My Solara is the 4 cylinder, but it gets better gas mileage than it's supposed to (believe it or not). 30 mpg is not unusual, and when I tried to conserve gas driving back from Alabama after Katrina (when gas was scarce), I got 36 mpg. Camrys have great reliability ratings, and mine has never broken. Once I thought the power windows weren't working, but later I found out that it was a child lock that I accidently activated.

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I didn't see a smiley after the BMW... So I guess there was no sarcasm?
Just an error - - I got mixed up on what you had said. Oops!

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I'm looking for an "upgraded" car. Doesn't have to be the best car. It does need to be reliable, not under powered, and not too expensive. At this price, this car, and v6, that seems to be it. As long as it checks out mechanically. If not, then I'll just wait.
That sounds like exactly what you want and need.

After all this prowling about Edmunds.com and Kelley Bluebook, I'm starting to daydream about trading my car in on my retirement Solara. I'd love to get a brand new one just like this one, but with a SUNROOF!!! (ah!) I happen to really like sunroofs a whole lot, though I wouldn't go as far as a convertible.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:49 PM   #20
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I bought my son the exact same age and make of Solara about 2 years ago. I checked every conceivable thing I could. I paid something like $8,700 total for it, and his car had a little over 100,000 miles on it.
The price is waaaay too low on that car, and it would make me triple check everything out on it. If it smells funny and is too good a deal, it usually is funny. Just my opinion after over 30 years in sales.
And, believe me, I am all for a great deal...but this is just too good a deal not to triple check out.

Here is the info I posted when someone else wrote about buying a used car. Note it is the same car you are looking at. I hope this helps some (ours turned out great considering):

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...tml#post573963
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