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$3000 for an '00-ish car. Go! by thesameguy
Started on: 11-26-2013 06:34 PM
Replies: 27 (487 views)
Last post by: mmeyer86gt/gtp on 01-26-2014 10:50 AM
thesameguy
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Report this Post11-26-2013 06:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
A friend is having a car crisis, and I am going to try to help her out. I have about three grand to put into this. I need to produce a car that can be reliable for six months to a year - we can re-evaluate next summer. Reliability, safety and fuel economy are the three major requirements in order of priority. It needs to be an automatic, it should be an OBDII car (minimizes smog hassles), and as much as I tend to prefer European cars, it's helpful if this one isn't one as parts and service may be a problem where she is. I have about three grand to throw at this problem, which I think is doable. I've got a couple ideas, but I'd really be really interested in any commentary on turn-of-the-century GM offerings... Maybe w-body? I was originally thinking about an Alero or something as they had great reliability, but their safety record is terrible.
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Report this Post11-26-2013 06:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Ford Focus.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post11-26-2013 07:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Yeah, that's on my list. Unfortunately finding DOHC cars with an automatic transmission at this price point is rough around here. Most of the automatic Focii for sale are the SPI/SOHC motor, and I just don't trust them. Spontaneous, catastrophic valve drops are no fun. But a Focus, Corolla, '97-'98 Volvo 850/V70, and possibly an XJ are all up for consideration. It just seems like full size cars from the General are a very good value, which is why I am looking into them as well. A Buick Century or Regal seems like it'd be a good buy.
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craigsfiero2007
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Report this Post11-26-2013 07:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for craigsfiero2007Click Here to Email craigsfiero2007Send a Private Message to craigsfiero2007Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Avoid a SPI Focus, lots of expensive problems. How about a Honda Accord or Civic or maybe a CR-V? Maybe a Subaru? Usually reliable but parts are pricey. A 2000's Grand Prix can be had for under $3k, maybe a GTP even.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post11-26-2013 07:35 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Hondas carry a freaky price premium around here, so they are probably out. Plus, I live in the junkyard capital of the world (I think ) and an intense number of Hondas are salvaged or rebuilt vehicles - I just don't have the time or interest to figure out which are which. Easier to just not shop. Subaru is a possibility, but they tend to get terrible gas mileage and, at ~15 years old, develop head gasket problems. If I found a nice one it'd be okay, but given my compressed timeline I'm trying to focus on cars that have the fewest congenital problems. The attraction of the w-body is their very solid engine and transmission. It's not ideal but totally acceptable if random stuff stops working, as long as it can get her to and from work every day... drivetrain reliability is paramount.
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Report this Post11-26-2013 09:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Two days before Thanksgiving is a terrible time to buy a car.

Found a nice looking '97 GTP coupe I am going to try to check out tomorrow. Anyone have any advice on problem spots or things to avoid?
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Report this Post11-26-2013 11:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for KhwClick Here to Email KhwSend a Private Message to KhwEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
You might consider a Dodge Neon. They got decent mileage and being an American made car, they probably would sell for less than a foreign car (except maybe Hyundai or Kia). Plus the 2000 up models were all 4 door, so while the SRT4 is a popular street racer model, the others aren't as much. If you went pre 2000, 95 and newer were are OBD2 and you can get them in 2 or 4 door. We had a freind who got her car repossesed and we bought a 95 Neon so she had a vehicle to drive while she made payments to us on it. Of course we offered to buy it back if she decided to buy a different car within a year.

We also owned a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville with the 3800NA. It got mid 20's for mileage with mostly city driving. Very comfortable car and except for the car stereo being wired into the computer, I loved that car. We traded it in on a 2002 Mazda Protege5, which is also a very nice vehicle with closer to 30 mog mostly city driving.
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craigsfiero2007
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Report this Post11-27-2013 07:29 AM Click Here to See the Profile for craigsfiero2007Click Here to Email craigsfiero2007Send a Private Message to craigsfiero2007Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Two days before Thanksgiving is a terrible time to buy a car.

Found a nice looking '97 GTP coupe I am going to try to check out tomorrow. Anyone have any advice on problem spots or things to avoid?


Drive it and make sure the transmission isn't shifting hard or shuttering. Ask the owner how long they have owned it and about maintenance performed on it. Make sure the Supercharger is working, you will notice if its not. Ask about the Supercharger Oil, if its been changed or even checked. If you do get the car, I would change the Supercharger Oil ASAP, most owners don't know about it so it goes neglected. Make sure the Wheel Bearings are not shot. I check the HUD to make sure it still works, just because I think the feature is neat. I miss my 02 GTP.

[This message has been edited by craigsfiero2007 (edited 11-27-2013).]

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Report this Post11-27-2013 10:06 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Probably too late, but I would look for a Toyota or Honda for this person. They are reliable. GM cars of that time period seem to have tranny issues. I had to have two trannys rebuilt in GM FWD cars.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post11-27-2013 12:50 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by craigsfiero2007:


Drive it and make sure the transmission isn't shifting hard or shuttering. Ask the owner how long they have owned it and about maintenance performed on it. Make sure the Supercharger is working, you will notice if its not. Ask about the Supercharger Oil, if its been changed or even checked. If you do get the car, I would change the Supercharger Oil ASAP, most owners don't know about it so it goes neglected. Make sure the Wheel Bearings are not shot. I check the HUD to make sure it still works, just because I think the feature is neat. I miss my 02 GTP.



Unfortunately there is about no history on the car. It was purchased from the original owner just a month or two ago with the intention of being given to a teenager. They had some second thoughts about giving such a sled to a kid and are selling it on. Or so the story goes. It could of course also be that they discovered some terrible problem and are getting out while the getting is good. The car looks incredibly clean, but who knows about the mechanicals... Like I said, I just need 6-8 months from this car, and by then we can have something more appropriate lined up... it's just an emergency right now. Upside of the interim car being a GTP is that after 6-8 months I could have a 3800SC for the Fiero.

This is the ad:

http://sacramento.craigslis.../cto/4170079798.html

The only thing that really gives me pause is the black spoiler... what's up with that?
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craigsfiero2007
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Report this Post11-27-2013 03:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for craigsfiero2007Click Here to Email craigsfiero2007Send a Private Message to craigsfiero2007Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:


Unfortunately there is about no history on the car. It was purchased from the original owner just a month or two ago with the intention of being given to a teenager. They had some second thoughts about giving such a sled to a kid and are selling it on. Or so the story goes. It could of course also be that they discovered some terrible problem and are getting out while the getting is good. The car looks incredibly clean, but who knows about the mechanicals... Like I said, I just need 6-8 months from this car, and by then we can have something more appropriate lined up... it's just an emergency right now. Upside of the interim car being a GTP is that after 6-8 months I could have a 3800SC for the Fiero.

This is the ad:

http://sacramento.craigslis.../cto/4170079798.html

The only thing that really gives me pause is the black spoiler... what's up with that?


The Black Spoiler appears to be Plastidipped, maybe they told the kid he was getting the car and he plastidipped the spoiler. It looks like it was taken care of. It also appears that the previous owner had the Supercharger possibly rebuilt or just decided to paint it or powdercoat it, if you look in the last picture of the ad you can see the snout of the Supercharger, those are usually grey not red. It has roughly 157k miles on it and it don't look it, so the Previous Owner took pretty good care of it. $2800 ain't bad for it, considering where you live and its a great candidate if your friend gets another car in 6-8 months, then you can just swap the motor into your Fiero. Did you drive it or at least ride in it?
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Report this Post11-27-2013 06:29 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I haven't gone to look at it yet... I was planning on doing that this afternoon, but that didn't work out so it's looking like Friday, though this evening is possible - been having problems coordinating a time with the seller. It does look really nice though!

I had my eye on a Volvo V70 but the seller isn't available til the weekend. Trying to take a look at a W124 Benz. Yes, these choices are all over the map, but there is method to my madness.
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Report this Post11-27-2013 06:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AkursedXClick Here to Email AkursedXSend a Private Message to AkursedXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Crown Vic Police Interceptor. You should have no issue finding one for under 3k. They run forever and most maintenance parts are dirt-cheap.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post11-27-2013 06:57 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Isn't fuel economy pretty abysmal on them, though? Like, even worse than the aforementioned GTP?
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Report this Post11-27-2013 07:01 PM Click Here to See the Profile for AkursedXClick Here to Email AkursedXSend a Private Message to AkursedXEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Isn't fuel economy pretty abysmal on them, though? Like, even worse than the aforementioned GTP?


A quick browse of fuelly indicates ~20mpg average for a crown vic and ~24mpg average for a GTP. So, yes.
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Report this Post11-28-2013 11:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for carnut122Send a Private Message to carnut122Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
How about a Saturn?
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Report this Post11-29-2013 08:58 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Its a shame that I didn't see this sooner. I just sold my 2001 Grand Am with 80,000 miles on it and it was the best car I have ever owned. I let it go for $1,000 to a friend and he is really enjoying it. Use Cars.com to find used cars in your area.
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Report this Post11-29-2013 09:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by AkursedX:


A quick browse of fuelly indicates ~20mpg average for a crown vic and ~24mpg average for a GTP. So, yes.


My Crown Vic is a P73 with the 2.73 rear end... Averages 24mpg with a high of 28mpg recorded on a single tank of fuel. Not bad at all, and comfortable as hell.
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Report this Post11-30-2013 01:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for pontiackid86Click Here to Email pontiackid86Send a Private Message to pontiackid86Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Caviler, Neon, Sunfire, any early 00's Hyundai, Eclipse, Aveo,
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Report this Post12-02-2013 12:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for BlacktreeClick Here to visit Blacktree's HomePageClick Here to Email BlacktreeSend a Private Message to BlacktreeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
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Originally posted by carnut122: How about a Saturn?

My thoughts exactly. A couple years ago, I was able to find an '01 Saturn SL1 for $1400. Not sure about your area, but around here the '02 and older Saturns go for around $1500-2000. The fuel economy is good. They're easy to work on. Parts are cheap and plentiful in the salvage yards. And they're pretty reliable. They're also not very popular with ricers. So you have a better chance of finding one that hasn't been hacked up by a previous owner.
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thesameguy
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Report this Post12-02-2013 07:46 PM Click Here to See the Profile for thesameguyClick Here to Email thesameguySend a Private Message to thesameguyEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I actually got her a Saturn a few years ago - the car she had before this one - but she's a tall woman (5'10" or more) and getting up there in years. The Saturn was small and low, and increasingly difficult for her to get into and out of. A newer econobox would probably be fine as modern cars tend to taller, but older econoboxes make for rough entry and exit. That's the appeal of a full(er) size car, even if there's a mileage hit that comes with it. Also, I'm a little particular when it comes to vehicular safety - I would not want to put someone into a car that might subsequently lead to their injury... that goes double for an older person who might not bounce back like a younger one. That has nothing to do with Saturns as they were reasonably safe cars, just a side note.

The immediate crisis is past - a crap shop diagnosis lead to panic. I was able to fix the car over the weekend (nothing but a failed ignition coil), so it's good for now. Still, having driven it I'm not sure how long for the world it is. It actually goes quite well, but the transmission has a gnarly cold 3->2 downshift. It's only when freezing cold - once warmed up it's fine - but still a point of concern. I'm going to keep looking, and maybe find something I can drop off in a few months. A little time to find just the right thing is helpful.
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Report this Post12-10-2013 11:04 PM Click Here to See the Profile for xquaidClick Here to visit xquaid's HomePageSend a Private Message to xquaidEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:
The immediate crisis is past - a crap shop diagnosis lead to panic. I was able to fix the car over the weekend (nothing but a failed ignition coil), so it's good for now. Still, having driven it I'm not sure how long for the world it is. It actually goes quite well, but the transmission has a gnarly cold 3->2 downshift. It's only when freezing cold - once warmed up it's fine - but still a point of concern. I'm going to keep looking, and maybe find something I can drop off in a few months. A little time to find just the right thing is helpful.


If you are still in the market I am dumping one of my 2 cars.

Details

I put more money into this car than what I spent on it. I have a folder with about half an inch of documentation/records for every maintenance work performed. Owned it for 15 months/10,000 miles and repaired everything that it needed!
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[This message has been edited by xquaid (edited 12-10-2013).]

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Report this Post12-18-2013 07:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for fastblackSend a Private Message to fastblackEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by pontiackid86:

Caviler, Neon, Sunfire, any early 00's Hyundai, Eclipse, Aveo,


Cavalier/Sunfire - Only if it's a 2.2, no 2.4's...the water pump WILL go out on the 2.4 and you WILL NOT want to mess with it
Neon = Never Ending Ongoing Nightmare
Hyundai - ehhh, maybe
Eclipse - Hells no
Aveo - Waste of money, may as well buy a cavalier/sunfire

I would steer away from Alero's and Grand Am's of that age, I love those cars but reliability seems to be hit or miss with them. I would keep looking for a Grand Prix but shy away from the GTP's. It's been my experience that GTP's seem to get beat on worse than Civic's. If you want 3.8 SC look for a Regal GS, pretty much the same thing as a GTP but old ladies seem to be nicer to cars Can't really go wrong with any Buick for that matter, danged good cars. While you are looking at W-Bodies you may as well look for Impala's with the 3.8.
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Report this Post12-24-2013 09:37 PM Click Here to See the Profile for CoFieroGtSend a Private Message to CoFieroGtEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by thesameguy:

Two days before Thanksgiving is a terrible time to buy a car.

Found a nice looking '97 GTP coupe I am going to try to check out tomorrow. Anyone have any advice on problem spots or things to avoid?


I was going to say GTP! For 3 grand or less its a great choice.

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Report this Post12-24-2013 10:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for DburgerSend a Private Message to DburgerEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
VW Golf/Jetta mk4 2.0

[This message has been edited by Dburger (edited 12-24-2013).]

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Report this Post01-14-2014 01:28 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Blacktree:

My thoughts exactly. A couple years ago, I was able to find an '01 Saturn SL1 for $1400. Not sure about your area, but around here the '02 and older Saturns go for around $1500-2000. The fuel economy is good. They're easy to work on. Parts are cheap and plentiful in the salvage yards. And they're pretty reliable. They're also not very popular with ricers. So you have a better chance of finding one that hasn't been hacked up by a previous owner.


We paid about 3k for a 2000 Saturn SL 5 speed, because it has only 80k miles on it, and gets almost 40 mpgs.
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Report this Post01-21-2014 01:31 AM Click Here to See the Profile for weaselbeakClick Here to Email weaselbeakSend a Private Message to weaselbeakEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Get a Sunfire or cavalier, or the last year or so of the Escort. Immediately swap in a new timing set and water pump, and sleep good not worrying about it. You might check the banks for repos and estate cars. I bought my 97 Grand Marquis, looking and smelling brand new, from an estate. It was a little old lady's car, had leather interior, brand new rubber and 88K on the odometer. Licensed, titled and taxed for 1700. It just turned 218K and I could still get a grand out of it.
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mmeyer86gt/gtp
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Report this Post01-26-2014 10:50 AM Click Here to See the Profile for mmeyer86gt/gtpClick Here to Email mmeyer86gt/gtpSend a Private Message to mmeyer86gt/gtpEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
97-02 4cyl camry dont get the v6. Little maintenance lots of leg room and easy to work on and buy parts for. I have had mine since 2000 and i now have 210k miles and no major problems a couple small oil leaks that took about 2 hours to fix but the cost of the seals were under $15 each. Cant get much cheaper when it comes to reliability.
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