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Old 09-06-2017, 07:35 AM   #81
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... I've only had one "used" car and it actually was a hand me down from my brother, so no I've never ever checked the oil at every fill up. My nissan maxima, had a "change oil" warning light to let me know the 3000 mile mark had been hit.

I now drive a 2012 Infiniti and once again I get the oil changed regularly but do not check the oil every 1000 miles. I'm pulling out the owners manual to see what it recommends. ...
Maybe it's just the way you worded it, but I get the impression you might be confusing the need for oil changes with the need to check the oil level?

Most modern cars have a system to tell you when to change the oil, either a simple one based on miles, or a more advanced one based on how you use the car (number of cold starts, operating temperature, and miles, etc). Oil gets contaminated and it breaks down over time, losing its effectiveness, and needs changing at some point. That's often around 10,000 miles now, so even a little oil usage can get you to being low.

But the oil level can go down, either through leaks (which can be internal and not easily noticed) or through being burnt in the engine (oil flows past valves and/or piston rings). It can happen suddenly in some cases, so you really should be checking every couple of fill ups. Especially with a car that is 'new' to you - you don't know its history.


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I'm pulling out the owners manual to see what it recommends.
That's a good idea, please report back.

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... after this experience, I've got to tell you I don't want another used car.
Well, any 10 year old car can have problems, its just part of the deal. You clearly would have paid more for a new car, not sure any comparison like that is relevant. But it might be that this could have been totally avoided by checking the fluid levels. That might have told you it was using a lot of oil, and you could have gone back and complained before the damage was done. Maybe they would have done something for you, or at least you would know you need to top it off from time to time. It's also possible it could be a relatively inexpensive fix if caught in time (a head gasket, or maybe a single bad valve guide).

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Old 09-06-2017, 07:55 AM   #82
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There was an "oil cooler leak" recall on some of these models. In some cases the leak was quick and massive, hence the smoke, from the oil hitting hot parts and then the engine suffering damage.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:59 AM   #83
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"Certified" means next to nothing.... just another sales gimmick.
This. I've purchased a CPO'd Lexus and a CPO'd Audi.

The Lexus CPO program actually extended the warranty. The Audi program was just slick marketing, and when I had a problem with the car, the dealer refused to do anything. I even complained to Audi US hq and the only response I got was one of those "thanks for sharing your concerns" dust off letters.
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:08 AM   #84
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after this experience, I've got to tell you I don't want another used car.
I think this is a great educational opportunity for a young driver.

My kids all got high mileage, dependable, used cars for their first cars. Before they drove anywhere, we did a quick lesson with the hood open.....here's where you check the level of the coolant, here's how you check the oil level, here's where you add coolant, here's where you add oil, etc. And they also needed to demonstrate they could change a flat tire. They were also required to read and understand the maintenance section of the owner's manual.

I explained this was not a new car and until they became more familiar with the car, the oil and coolant level had to be checked every week. Some cars will use more oil highway driving than city driving and eventually they would learn if oil consumption was an issue or not. After they became familiar with the car, the timing of the checks could become much more relaxed.

They also understood if they destroyed the engine due to lack of maintaining fluid levels, they would either pay for the replacement or they would be learning how to install the new engine with my help.

I believe it's good for young people starting out to know that they don't have to burden themselves with a new car payment. A used car is fine if you don't mind putting forth a little more due diligence and learning a little bit about automotive maintenance.

I believe this knowledge will serve them well in the years to come as they plan for their own FI.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:20 PM   #85
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I believe buying used is better than ever for all the reasons posted above but the sweet spot is 3-5 yrs old. All bets are off over 7 yrs. Good luck with the dealer on this.
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Old 09-06-2017, 12:27 PM   #86
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I believe buying used is better than ever for all the reasons posted above but the sweet spot is 3-5 yrs old. All bets are off over 7 yrs. Good luck with the dealer on this.
Just purchased, of course new should be better. But IMO, over the course of a car's lifetime, how well maintained most likely has a bigger impact than whether bought new or not. Given, of course, that the car wasn't a used lemon in the first place.
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:51 PM   #87
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Ok, spoke with my maintenance "concierge". Engine blown from broken piston breaking through the engine. ***sighs***

gave me two options 1) new engine for 3500 bucks installed with a 1 year warranty.
2) come in and see if they will give me a "credit" toward a new car.

He did say it was not caused by low oil, that there was oil in the car. Said the warranty was only for 2 months or 2000 miles. car was checked two days before we picked up.

not sure which way I'm going to go, definitely value any advice.

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Old 09-06-2017, 04:52 PM   #88
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If you don't mind sharing about how much did the car cost your son?
So this happened on Sept 4 and the car was bought on June 4...so you are at 90 days..thats some bad luck. Did you ask them how the "check" the car...do they run any diagnostics on the engine or just check the wipers and battery?
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Old 09-06-2017, 04:55 PM   #89
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If you don't mind sharing about how much did the car cost your son?
Not at all. 6,000 dollars. we paid for it outright. he's bummed because he's now looking at a car note which he was trying to avoid since he's only working pt
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Old 09-06-2017, 05:08 PM   #90
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Not at all. 6,000 dollars. we paid for it outright. he's bummed because he's now looking at a car note which he was trying to avoid since he's only working pt
Well maybe they will give him a nice credit, if you go with the engine replacement I'd look for an independent garage and a better price.
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Old 09-06-2017, 06:20 PM   #91
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Ok, spoke with my maintenance "concierge". Engine blown from broken piston breaking through the engine. ***sighs***

....

He did say it was not caused by low oil, that there was oil in the car. ...
That's good. But the advice given by many still holds. Check your oil level regularly. Check it often on any car that is 'new' to you. Just because a car isn't using oil doesn't mean that can't change in an instant. Follow the manual.

Regarding that, I'm always a little amused when I hear someone describing something not functioning, and they add "But it was working fine yesterday!". I say "Well, it wasn't broke yesterday! And today it is!".

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Old 09-06-2017, 06:36 PM   #92
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Sorry if I missed it, how many miles did you say were on the engine? Did you get any history on the vehicle? Just trying to think of things that might give you some leverage.
I know buying used isn't very attractive to you after this experience, but would they give you a credit towards a used car with at least 12 months warranty?

Just for research, I looked on kbb.com for used '06 Nissan Altima purchased from dealer with 125k miles and the price range is $33xx to $47xx.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:00 PM   #93
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Talk to the general manager of the dealer. Start out asking for a buyback.

2nd best, If the car dealer will not go at least 50% on the cost of the engine, then have it towed to a good independent shop for a used engine from a junkyard . Shouldn't be over 1K installed. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:11 PM   #94
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This one will be a tough one. Being outside of all the powertrain and other warranties. The best hope is they have a 90 day warranty period.

We had an engine issue on a 2007 Honda Odyssey. It was within the 5 year powertrain warranty. It took some hardball, but corporate Honda eventually agreed to pay most of a new engine. The whole fiasco soured me on Honda. I had the spark plug loosens up and falls out issue. All service was done at the Honda dealer. The solution (before the issue) was to remove the spark plugs and put some lithium grease on the threads. Reseat. Easy job. They never did it or mentioned it should be done.

Oh well..water under the bridge.

I would be prepared to hand them the title and walk away. They may take you up on the donation or meet you somewhere in the middle. Used cars go bad sometimes. Especially 10-11 year old ones. No fun, but it happens.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:15 PM   #95
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Like I said dearlier, used engines are very plentiful for that car and they run $875/with @125k miles. Low mile engines are more like $1,300. All the quality salvage yards can be found at car-parts.com

Labor to replace!the last engine was $700. You should get it done for $1,000 or so.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:15 PM   #96
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New engine as in NEW. Not a rebuild? Also, what constitutes the engine - a short block or new heads and major parts attached to the engine - like a water pump. I know that's a lot of money, but that doesn't sound too bad.

Agree with Lakewood - start with a request to buy back and start over. Maybe they have a similar used car they would swap you. Easier to get a car out of them than cash. Don't disagree with Lakewood except, be careful to compare apples to apples. Big difference between a new, rebuilt and used engine. A used engine may be the best bet, especially if it has low mileage but just know what you're buying.

The main thing is to explore all options before making a decision.

Best of luck. Hopefully the dealer will do you right.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:24 PM   #97
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I would have to sleep on this one, I would see what the deal was , otherwise see if you could get more of a warranty for the 3500(2 years?). Then I would give my child the $3500. Tell him, OK Christmas came early this year. He sounds like a wonderful son, working a job and doing the right thing.
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:26 PM   #98
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Buy a rebuilt engine... not that expensive... maybe can get by with a short block and have them put on all the extras from the current engine...

Here in Houston a place that has been doing business 'forever' has a long block from about $1500 to $2000... but short block is $400 to $500... do not know the cost to have it installed...



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Old 09-06-2017, 07:43 PM   #99
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That's good. But the advice given by many still holds. Check your oil level regularly. Check it often on any car that is 'new' to you. Just because a car isn't using oil doesn't mean that can't change in an instant. Follow the manual.

Regarding that, I'm always a little amused when I hear someone describing something not functioning, and they add "But it was working fine yesterday!". I say "Well, it wasn't broke yesterday! And today it is!".

-ERD50
ain't that the truth. And don't worry, I take advice to heart. will be making it a point to check the fluid levels regularly
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Old 09-06-2017, 07:51 PM   #100
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I would have to sleep on this one, I would see what the deal was , otherwise see if you could get more of a warranty for the 3500(2 years?). Then I would give my child the $3500. Tell him, OK Christmas came early this year. He sounds like a wonderful son, working a job and doing the right thing.
He is a good kid, (for the most part a senior at Temple University here in Philly. He took a year off from school when his dad died, but pretty much a normal young adult.

He's a little slow on the money side of things, I make him participate in his companies 401k plan and he hates it. while he gets the "never leave free money on the table" part, saving for 35 years down the road is just not clicking for him. right now he's just accepting the fact that it's a "mom rule"
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