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Old 09-15-2015, 09:55 AM
 
71 posts, read 77,572 times
Reputation: 30

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I currently drive a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 235,000 (mostly highyway) miles on it. I've never had much trouble with it and it has never left me stranded.
Here are the issues I've had:

-The wheel bearings on both sides had to be replaced twice
-A couple parts of the brake line had to be repaired twice (due to rust)
-The driver side window motor had to be replaced Other than that, just routine stuff (brakes, tires, etc.).

There are some current issues with the car:
- There are four dashboard lights that are always on (service, engine, ABS). I've had those items checked out and they are okay so it is an issue with the lights themselves
- The passenger side window does not roll down.
- It will burn a quart of oil every 2,000 miles or so. - There is noticeable clear coat damage which makes it slightly embarrassing to drive, but there's no sense in giving it a paint job with the high miles on it.

I've been looking around at newer used cars but prices are sky high these days. I'm looking at 12-15K to buy something equivalent to something that I could purchase for 8-10K not all that long ago....a reliable compact car with 30 something thousand miles on it. Of course I would need to go back to full coverage insurance.

There is a car for sale that I found on Craigslist that is the SAME year/make/model/color as my current car (2004) except it ONLY has 55,000 miles on it. They are asking for $3,000. Would I be crazy to consider buying this car? My thinking is that I could drive current car into the ground and then just tow it to my place and then use it for parts while I drive the other car into the ground. It should have plenty of life left in it with such a low # of miles.

I drive 100 miles a day, over 25,000 miles a day. I hate the idea of buying a nice car to beat it up in just a few years. Yet I need something reliable. What would you do?
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Old 09-15-2015, 09:58 AM
 
5,051 posts, read 3,580,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny7214 View Post
I currently drive a 2004 Chevy Cavalier with 235,000 (mostly highyway) miles on it. I've never had much trouble with it and it has never left me stranded.
Here are the issues I've had:


There is a car for sale that I found on Craigslist that is the SAME year/make/model/color as my current car (2004) except it ONLY has 55,000 miles on it. They are asking for $3,000. Would I be crazy to consider buying this car? My thinking is that I could drive current car into the ground and then just tow it to my place and then use it for parts while I drive the other car into the ground. It should have plenty of life left in it with such a low # of miles.

I drive 100 miles a day, over 25,000 miles a day. I hate the idea of buying a nice car to beat it up in just a few years. Yet I need something reliable. What would you do?
Not at all. You know the car and the issues and you should be able to tell if the used car is running well and was treated well.

On top of it all you could possibly get a reliable car for less than $3K (offer slightly less if you like it).
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:03 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,390 posts, read 60,575,206 times
Reputation: 61001
That Cavalier has served you well (I got almost 400K from an 84).

Why don't you just bite the bullet, if it fits your budget, and spend another couple thousand and buy a new car? Used car prices are high right now, for whatever reason, and there's not much of a difference for new.

As to what to buy I can't advise you. The 2004 you're looking at sounds like a good deal.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:08 AM
 
71 posts, read 77,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacanegro View Post
Not at all. You know the car and the issues and you should be able to tell if the used car is running well and was treated well.

On top of it all you could possibly get a reliable car for less than $3K (offer slightly less if you like it).
That's what I'm thinking Never know, current car could hit 300k and THAT care could hit 250k The one drawback is it only gets 30 mpg on highway. The large cars and even some SUV's get that these days. We're talking a difference of $40-60 a month if I'm comparing to a car that gets 36 mpg
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:10 AM
 
71 posts, read 77,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
That Cavalier has served you well (I got almost 400K from an 84).

Why don't you just bite the bullet, if it fits your budget, and spend another couple thousand and buy a new car? Used car prices are high right now, for whatever reason, and there's not much of a difference for new.

As to what to buy I can't advise you. The 2004 you're looking at sounds like a good deal.
We're not just talking about couple thousand. This particular car costs $3,000. A new car is pushing 20K. I could afford the payments but the money saved could possibly be invested or better spent elsewhere. I could even get another used car, like a 4WD to drive in the winter. If you're talking the difference between lightly used and new, that's about a $3000-4000 difference.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
11,155 posts, read 29,319,643 times
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I would suggest maybe looking into a mid-size since you spend so much time on the road OP they get a bit less fuel economy but are alot more comfortable.

I mean $12-$15K put you in very low mileage CPOI 2010-2012 Ford Fusion V6 SEL/Sport AWD


Full Expert Review: 2012 Ford Fusion
No Video Content
What's New for 2012

There are no significant changes for the 2012 Ford Fusion.

Introduction

Two years ago in a family sedan comparison test, we declared: "How about that, folks? The best family sedan can now be found at a Ford dealership."

It wasn't a close contest, as the Ford Fusion received universal praise from us for a well-rounded nature that included an engaging driving demeanor, comfy ride, ample features and a spacious, well-built cabin. Of course, two years can be a lifetime in the car biz, but the 2012 Ford Fusion continues to stand tall as a top choice nevertheless.

It all starts with a vehicle architecture that gives the Fusion a great balance between a comfortable ride and agile handling.

You feel connected to the road, but this doesn't come at the expense of ride comfort the way it can in so many other cars.

The Fusion's interior isn't especially flashy, and its climate controls are mounted too low, but quality is strong both in terms of materials and construction. The spacious cabin is also filled with all the expected bells and whistles in this class, plus a few high-tech extras.

Under the hood, the Fusion is a tad different from its competition. Its base 175-horsepower four-cylinder is pretty much the norm, but there are two V6 engine upgrades available rather than the typical one. The more common 3.0-liter V6 produces only 240 hp, which is considerably less than its rivals.

The Fusion Sport, however, gets a more competitive 263-hp V6 that gets nearly the same fuel economy as the smaller six-cylinder. In other words, if you want V6 power in your Fusion, we'd suggest the Sport.


The 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid, meanwhile, comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor that, combined, generates 191 hp. The EPA estimates you'll get 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, excellent numbers for midsize hybrid sedan segment. The Fusion Hybrid is also notable in that its driving dyanmics are pretty much vice-free; it drives pretty much just like a regular Fusion.

Despite our high praise for the Ford Fusion, we still recommend checking out the new 2012 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Kia Optima; both offer strong value, available hybrid models, distinctive styling and hard-to-beat engines.

Those interested in the Fusion's available all-wheel-drive capability would also be wise to check out the 2012 Subaru Legacy or 2012 Suzuki Kizashi, as neither one requires a thirstier six-cylinder in order to get all-weather traction. Summed up, the Fusion isn't quite the runaway champ it was a couple years ago. But a truly great family sedan can still be found at a Ford dealership.

Source: Used 2012 Ford Fusion Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:21 AM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
45,390 posts, read 60,575,206 times
Reputation: 61001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny7214 View Post
We're not just talking about couple thousand. This particular car costs $3,000. A new car is pushing 20K. I could afford the payments but the money saved could possibly be invested or better spent elsewhere. I could even get another used car, like a 4WD to drive in the winter. If you're talking the difference between lightly used and new, that's about a $3000-4000 difference.
Your high end was $15K:

Shop for a Honda Fit - Official Honda Website

2016 Focus Sedan & Hatchback | Compact Car | Ford.com

2015 Cruze: Compact Car - Clean Turbo Diesel | Chevrolet

2016 Sonic Small Car | Chevrolet
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:40 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,520 posts, read 22,131,339 times
Reputation: 20235
"There are four dashboard lights that are always on (service, engine, ABS). I've had those items checked out and they are okay so it is an issue with the lights themselves"

Really? Hmmm

At any rate, if the car model served you well then why not get another for $3k.
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Old 09-15-2015, 10:53 AM
 
71 posts, read 77,572 times
Reputation: 30
The Fit and Sonic are a little too small and might not fare too well in a collision. Not that a Cav would but for the money would probably look at something bigger. I have looked at the Cruzes, not bad cars, again significantly higher cost than the Cavs were back in the day. How would you compare the Focus to a Cruze?
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Old 09-15-2015, 11:00 AM
 
71 posts, read 77,572 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTOlover View Post
I would suggest maybe looking into a mid-size since you spend so much time on the road OP they get a bit less fuel economy but are alot more comfortable.
I have thought about it, they actually get better highway gas mileage than current compact (34 mpg vs 30). I like the look of the 2013 and 2014 version but a little outside my price range.
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