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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-11-2005, 04:09 PM   #81
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
Heh. I've never been a fan of German automobiles. Although BMWs and Mercedes may be fun to drive and "status" cars, they're expensive to maintain. I don't know why anyone would buy a VW when they can get a far more reliable and inexpensive to repair car from Honda, Toyota, Nissan or even Jeep.
Well, I won't do it - again!
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-12-2005, 02:34 PM   #82
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Laurence
Well, I won't do it - again!
So what have you decided to get?
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-12-2005, 04:16 PM   #83
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
So what have you decided to get?
Ah, we've got some time to decide, but basically we have a short list at this point:

Used Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe
Used or new Honda Civic
Used from rental agency Chevy Cobalt

A lot of cars fell off the list because of what you said in the other thread. 5 year old Honda Accords/Toyota Camrys are still way to expensive for that much mileage (I don't care if the engine will run forever - the hoses, belts and pumps won't!). We like the extra space afforded in the Matrix/Vibe without sacrificing gas mileage, but they haven't been out too long. Honda Civic is the default choice, and rental places are selling Cobalts for 12k in what I consider near new condition.

We have 5 months to decide (that's when the owner of the Cavalier needs it back) but we'll scoop up any good deal we see at any point.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-12-2005, 04:51 PM   #84
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Laurence: Here's another twist: Years ago, I read an article (while waiting for my car to be fixed) regarding what Honda was doing about reaching a lower price point for their cars. Since Japan had a shabby reputation for products (1960s), they decided to over-engineer all the parts. For example, starter motors should be used 30,00 times over 100,000 miles of driving. Honda built them to last 60,000 starts, which brought their failure rate over the first 100,000 miles down well below 1%. They over-built, and reaped huge rewards for doing so. The author said that they are not so over-built now days.

The article mentioned that the first thing auto makers squeeze when times get tight are all the add ons from suppliers, the gaskets are cheapened, the suppiers are expected to make starter motors at half price, supply cheaper air conditioners, plastic bearings in the transmissions, etc.--which all in there turn break down quicker. These things are where most of the breakdown expenses come from. The engine blocks stay the same.

Mercedes and VW are now facing the consequences of their cheapening cycles, and they will improve over time. Japanese manufacturers seem to do things right from the get go. American manufacturers live in their own little world of "price is everything." They only improve things when the consumer says "I've had enough." I think Ford dropped their "Quality is Job One" motto right after sales picked up a little. Watch for hints of this cycle before choosing a car.

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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-12-2005, 06:02 PM   #85
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by MasterBlaster
Some people have, like you, noticed that late model used Japanese cars are no bargain. Therefore some advise against them. Others have noticed how American iron drops like a rock the fiirst few years.

Therefore, in my opinion Japanese cars have their best value bought new and American cars have their best value bought one to 3 years old.

Out in my neck of the woods the volume dealer is selling base Camry's for $16k and LE Camrys for $16.6k.* If Camrys sell used for what Accords do then I calculate that these cars only drop around 7 percent a year. That may be pretty hard to beat.
I think this analysis is right on. My car that was just totaled, an Acura Integra GSR, cost $21,000 new in July 2001. I am getting $16, 400 for it from insurance. Roughly $1000 a year for a very nice car.

Although I do not recommend this method of selling a car.*

Buy American used, popular Japanese cars new.

Mikey
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-14-2005, 08:17 AM   #86
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

As far as I know, starter motors are often out-sourced, as are other components. I used to have an '89 Gran Fury police interceptor that used a lightweight starter so save a couple pounds. My mechanic told me it was the same starter that went on a Honda Accord. That Fury used to eat the damned things regularly...not because it was a crappy part, but it was a part engineered for a lightweight 4-cyl, and it just couldn't handle 318 cubic inches of unbridled Fury. (sorry about the pun...just couldn't resist )

The biggest advantage to that lightweight starter was that it brought in big bucks for the part supplier. The labor to replace it was no more than any of the older Mopars I've had, but the cost of the part was about 3 times more!

Another area where I've heard parts are often out-sourced and shared is air conditioning components. I believe my Intrepid uses the same air conditioner compressor as some Hondas.

It's a global economy these days, and when you pay extra for Honda or Toyota "quality" you might actually be getting some of the same components that you'd find in a Ford, GM, or Mopar product.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-15-2005, 08:29 PM   #87
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Quote:
Originally Posted by cj
Two thoughts:
My brother bought a brand new (bare bones) Hyundai Elantra for under $10K about a year ago. I thought he was nuts (a Hyundai??) but right after he bought it there was an article in a reputable publication (I forget where) that gave the Elantra really good marks. I had to admit to him that maybe it wasn't such a bad decision. He's had good luck with it so far. I still don't think I'd buy one, but just wanted to offer that up.
I have been driving a Hyundai Accent now for nearly four years. Frankly, I am impressed. It is cheap, few features, and it would crumple like aluminum foil in an accident, but it has been reliable. No problems so far.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-17-2005, 08:27 AM   #88
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

How about a Toyota Corolla. These last forever. I just replaced mine at 210000 miles only because I was tired of the same car
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-17-2005, 11:58 AM   #89
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

I am still driving my Honda Civic after 12 years. No major repairs. Just maintenance. I do not have a long commute to work and don't have to go on freeways. My DH drives the SUV Lexis. The Honda has been very reliable for me. All freeway driving is done in the SUV though.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-17-2005, 12:19 PM   #90
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Ginger
I am still driving my Honda Civic after 12 years.* No major repairs.* Just maintenance.* I do not have a long commute to work and don't have to go on freeways.* My DH drives the SUV Lexis.* * The Honda has been very reliable for me.* All freeway driving is done in the SUV though.* *
I haven't been that lucky with my Honda Accord (almost 12 years old now). Maintenance has been rather high this year, but if averaged over the life of the vehicle, it works out to be ~$250 a year (at least that's how I console myself after a few large checks written in the last few months). I could probably continue to drive it for another few years, but I think it's time for a newer vintage vehicle that's a bit more fun to drive.

Gotta keep up my mack daddy rep.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-17-2005, 10:56 PM   #91
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Does that include insurance?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
I haven't been that lucky with my Honda Accord (almost 12 years old now). Maintenance has been rather high this year, but if averaged over the life of the vehicle, it works out to be ~$250 a year (at least that's how I console myself after a few large checks written in the last few months). I could probably continue to drive it for another few years, but I think it's time for a newer vintage vehicle that's a bit more fun to drive.

Gotta keep up my mack daddy rep.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 12:31 AM   #92
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by maggieddd
How about a Toyota Corolla. These last forever. I just replaced mine at 210000 miles only because I was tired of the same car
Great car!!! Mine has 180K on it now (1996). Bought it used for $7K with 36K on the odometer. No problems. Always did the regular oil changes. Probably needs to get a tune up, must be at least 50-60K since the last one.

I bought a low mileage well maintained Honda CRV two months ago. It is supposed to be a good reliable vehicle. A friend moved overseas and was selling it dirt cheap. It is still sitting in the driveway, never touched it or even drove it to test it out. Don't even know how to drive a stick any more. I will start using it when my beloved Corolla decomposes from old age - hopefully that will be a long time from now.

Vicky
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 09:11 AM   #93
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by vic
Great car!!! Mine has 180K on it now (1996). Bought it used for $7K with 36K on the odometer. No problems. Always did the regular oil changes. Probably needs to get a tune up, must be at least 50-60K since the last one.

I bought a low mileage well maintained Honda CRV* two months ago. It is supposed to be a good reliable vehicle. A friend moved overseas and was selling it dirt cheap.* It is still sitting in the driveway, never touched it or even drove it to test it out. Don't even know how to drive a stick any more. I will start using it when my beloved Corolla decomposes from old age - hopefully that will be a long time from now.

Vicky
My Corolla was 11 years old. No problems at all, except that my door handle broke off once
Awesome car.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 09:44 AM   #94
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

I made the final $347.66 payment on my 2000 Intrepid back on 11/24/04. It was nice to not have a car payment anymore, but I was worried about driving something modern that was this old. Old cars from the 60's, 70's, and even 80's are usually no big deal, because they're usually pretty cheap to fix, but modern cars can be scary.

Anyway, since then it's needed...
New rear brakes/turn rotors/adjust parking brake/check front brakes: $207
Windshield wipers: $22 (Intrepid wipers are hard to find...had to go to the dealer)
New battery: $74 (old battery still worked fine, but was getting old and I was about to go on a trip)
Fix stripped oil pan (my fault...damn aluminum pans ) $121.

So basically, I've had to put about $424 into it over the past year, plus a few oil changes. Not bad for a Chrysler! And beats the hell out of $347.66 every month for a car payment!
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:03 AM   #95
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Andre1969
And beats the hell out of $347.66 every month for a car payment!
That's the ultimate truth when it comes to cars. The logic I've heard is that you should drive a car until the maintenance costs begin to approach a monthly car payment. At which point you simply buy another low-mileage, reliable car. Rinse. Repeat.

OTOH, there is an inconvenience component, as well as a safety one, to having to get monthly maintenance done.

Thoughts?
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:08 AM   #96
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
That's the ultimate truth when it comes to cars.* The logic I've heard is that you should drive a car until the maintenance costs begin to approach a monthly car payment.* At which point you simply buy another low-mileage, reliable car.* Rinse.* Repeat.

OTOH, there is an inconvenience component, as well as a safety one, to having to get monthly maintenance done.

Thoughts?
hmmm, that's strange, I have never owned a car that in a span of 5 years (or whatever your pay off time is) would need a maintenence costing anywhere close to the monthly payments.
Granted, I've never owned a domestic vehicle.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:13 AM   #97
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

My 2000 Chev pu has required no maintenance yet... 60k mi

Well, except I had to replace the console because the latch broke... $300+
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:26 AM   #98
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by maggieddd
hmmm, that's strange, I have never owned a car that in a span of 5 years (or whatever your pay off time is) would need a maintenence costing anywhere close to the monthly payments.
Granted, I've never owned a domestic vehicle.
Agreed, if you chose wisely. As a general matter, if you buy a low-mileage car that's 3 years old with 30-40k miles, you're likely to start encountering higher maintenance costs when it reaches 8-10 years old. Exactly when maintenance will approach a monthly car payment is anyone's guess. However, once you start shelling out $100+ a month (usually amortized from a larger one-time payment), and then add in the inconvenience and safety factors, you're going to start looking at replacement vehicles.
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:37 AM   #99
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

Years ago I bought a 1979 Chrysler Newport for $250 from the junkyard, which still ran pretty well. I thought it only had 130,000 miles on it. But when I saw the title of the previous owner, I saw that he had bought it in 1985 with 105,000 miles on it. This was late 1996. So either that car was driven another 25000 miles over the course of 11-12 years, or it was more like 230,000.

That sucker ended up costing around $900 to put through inspection. It needed new tires (I got junkyard tires cheap), new front brake pads and rotors (those big old heavy 1-piece expensive rotors). It also needed 4 big bushings that separated the subframe from the body (Chrysler was a pioneer of unitized construction, but that has both good and bad connotations) and some other things.

Well, soon after I got it on the road, the tranny quit on me. That was another $650. The parking brake went bad. I think that was around $100. The steering column actually BROKE! That was around $350. The starter went bad on it too. Power steering pump went bad.

Then my Mom gave me an '86 Monte Carlo with around 179,000 mostly highway miles on it, and I didn't drive the Newport that much. Until the Monte got T-boned. Then I was back to the Newport. One night the water pump went bad, and I said that was it. I'm not putting another dime into it, and I'm getting something else! Looking back, I wish I'd just paid the $300 or so for the water pump.

I ended up selling it for parts, and got around $300 for it. In total though, I'd say I sunk around $2400 into that car (once I back out the sale price). I had owned it for about 2 years (bought it in late 1996, sold it in late 1998) but had only really driven it for about a year. Didn't put it on the road until April 1997, go the Monte in March 1998, and then didn't drive the Newport much after that until the water pump went out a few months later. Then the thing sat around most of the summer and fall until I finally sold it.

I thought it was really sinking me financially, but I still managed to get 18,000 miles and a year of service out of the car for $2,400, or about $200 per month. Not really bad, I guess for a high-mileage domestic picked up from the junkyard! So it seems to me that a car would have to become VERY unreliable and before it became cheaper to buy a newer one. I'd guess eventually you'd just get to the point that the body integrity was so bad that it became unsafe to drive, or something got rusted out so bad where part of the suspension connected, that it just wouldn't be worth it to fix.

If I had just gotten that water pump fixed, I probably could've gotten many more years out of that car. But I just wanted something that was newer, lower mileage, with more options, a working a/c, and a nicer stereo.

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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style
Old 11-18-2005, 10:44 AM   #100
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Re: Finance car advice - ghetto fabulous style

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Originally Posted by Andre1969
But I just wanted something that was newer, lower mileage, with more options, a working a/c, and a nicer stereo.
That's probably what most car decisions come down to in the end, and is the decision I'm facing right now (although it has a working a/c and an Alpine MP3-capable stereo I picked up for $100.
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