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Quick car opinion

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by crimson_basser, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Ive been in the used car market the past few weeks, my car having died recently..

    Im not expert, and I figure there are at least a few of you on here who know a thing or two about cars, so Ill throw the details up here and set what you have to say..

    The car in question is a 1997 Toyota Corolla, 1.6 litre engine, 101,000 km (62,800 miles or so) automatic. The body is in very good condition, little to no rust and the interior is in great condition as well.

    The test drive showed the car handled pretty well, accelerated nicely, steered well and the brakes seemed pretty good as well. The transmission seemed to work fine too, switching between Drive, Reverse etc was smooth as well as in motion between speeds.

    We took it to the garage to get it checked out which is where my question lies. The front pipe of the exhaust is leaking, which is a health hazard as the fumes as entering the ventilation system.

    The front left shock needs replacing (not the whole thing, but theres a component thats not in the greatest condition). But with shocks, you gotta switch both. The rear sway bar/link kit needs replacing as well.

    The biggest and most pressing issue however is the gas tank. It is leaking from one of the inner pipes, not a hose. So the whole tank needs replacing, or else I can never put a full tank of gas in. But, who really wants a leaky gas tank? Dangerous? I think so...

    So, all in all the estimate was given at about 1200$-1500$ (were talking Canadian dollars, not that its a huge difference anyways) worth of repairs to take care of all of the above.

    My question is, is it worth while going through with this car, knowing what needs to be done? Obviously, my offer would be considerably lower (at the very most, half of what was being asked) to buy the car at this point, unless some kind of deal can be worked out for the repairs.

    As far as Im concerned, these issues dont make the car UN-DRIVEABLE.. It still drives well, but im aware that any used car is a risk no matter what.

    I know there are probably cars with less issues than this one out there, but for the negotiated price and the low mileage (which is a key factor to me, being on the road A LOT, doing deliveries and other travelling) this car is appealing above most of the other cars Ive seen.

    Would you go through with the deal?
  2. If you can have it for $2000-2500 it is a great deal IMO. Those things drive forever and the only thing that isn't regular maintenance if the gas tank.

  3. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    That's what im thinking... shocks, brakes, rusty exhaust pipes.. all things that happen over time, and it's a 13 year old car were dealing with.

    As far as Im concerned, it would still be a good deal, as I dont feel like any of the repairs are a pressing issue apart from the gas tank and the exhaust pipe... Which from the estimate would run me about 800-900$.

    The asking price was 2900, I was offering 2500 with the intention to settle at 2700 if need be. Now, I dont think I would go any higher than 2000 for it.

    I think I could easily get a few months of driving in before the suspension or sway bar become a serious enough issue.

    Another plus I forgot to mention, 8 tires in good condition.

    The consensus within the parentals, uncle etc is to make a lower offer and see what gives. The car still drives alright, so for the low mileage and decent price, it seems like a good deal still.

    I think ill be taking it for a second test drive tomorrow with my uncle (not to sound like most other people, but he used to be a mechanic, owned gas stations etc) and see what he thinks, with these things in mind.
  4. Can it be certified without doing all the work to it?

  5. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    You mean CAA certified?
    Im not sure...

    Just spoke to him on the phone though, he doesnt seem to want to budge too much on his asking price.. this deal may be going down the drain real quick..
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I wouldn't touch it. It's too rough and there's too much work to be done. Its condition tells me the past owners didn't maintain it well, and chances are that many other things are ready to go. It's also priced MUCh too high for its condition.

    Toyotas are not magical...every decent car on the road will go 150-200K miles if you keep it in good repair. A good Nissan, Ford, Subaru or Chevy will do just as well.

    3 of the last 5 cars I've bought have been in the 95-100K mile category and not ONE has needed the amount of work this one does. And I haven't paid over $5K for any of them.

    Keep looking and get something that has been better cared for. And if you have an emissions test in your area, make it a firm condition of the sale that it pass emissions...or no sale.
  7. i wouldn't PAY $1500 for a 97 corolla let alone pay that to fix one. neeeext
  8. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    With so much wrong no wonder the current owner is unloading it. Who knows what you're going to find when you try to drop the fuel tank.... rotten sending unit, rotten straps, filler neck, fuel and brake lines etc..... Not to mention the rotten front pipe, the struts, links etc.... Car might be worth $500.

    Keep looking.
  9. playinpearls


    Apr 1, 2008
    I'd also suggest that if the exhaust pipe is rusted out in the front, there might be other rust issues with the car as well. This is mainly gonna be caused by salty roads. I think the exhaust pipe is probably just a hint of what else could be wrong... plus i go dave ramsey style....if they dont negotiate, i walk. :D
  10. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    This is a buyers market and there are so many great deals to be had in used cars right now. Pass on this car and any other car that needs costly repairs in order to even be safe on the road.

    Scan the weekly auto trader type papers in your area and you'll have so many cars to choose from you'll have a hard time deciding where to start. :D
  11. Riverrunsred


    Jan 20, 2010
    Central FL
    Don't pay $2900 for someone else's headache.
  12. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    I wouldn't pay $900 for it.

    The only thing that makes the car attractive to potential buyers is the low miles. However, low miles doesn't mean the car (or any car for that matter) was well cared for.

    Mileage to me means exactly nothing. The odometer is usually the last thing I look at when buying a car.
  13. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Mileage is an issue for me, Im going to be driving my car A LOT.
    I do deliveries for my job and average about 120km every day I work.

    Not to mention the travelling I do to Ottawa (200km) and Southern Ontario (500-700km) several times a year.

    But I do agree that there are better cars out there. My budget is limited however, and time is not a luxury. Im currently using my mom's car to do deliveries, which is inconvenient for her, myself and my sister who shares the car.

    Not to mention Im 21 and have had my own car since I was 19, so it's kind of embarrassing using mom's car again..

    I wish I could scope out the perfect car for me, but i cant wait forever to get this done. The longer it goes on, the longer the headaches ensue for the family, and that's not fair to them.
  14. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Don't let this push you into buying a vehicle that you know isn't worth it.

    I speak from experience. I have done this more than once and it has cost me thousands of dollars.

    There are better deals out there. Keep looking.
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York

    You need to be looking for something newer and not some 13 year old ****box.
  16. t bake

    t bake

    Dec 26, 2009
    No, deal as a repair shop forman see that all the time I would have to belive it is a time bomb save up a little moore get some thing needing a little less work IMOM. all used cars will need a little work and or maintance God Bless Gig On!!!
  17. crimson_basser


    Jul 9, 2008
    Endorsing Artist: Spector Basses
    Youre right, but as a young driver I have to keep insurance in mind. I cant afford 100$+ a month for insurance on a newer car.

    I know it's a huge gamble buying a used car, and the older you go the more chance you are that something could go wrong. But 21 is not really an ideal age to be looking for a car either. Im not the kind of person who can and will dump loads of money into driving a vehicle.

    That doesnt mean I dont maintain my car, I just finished replacing the brakes and suspension on my old car less than a month before it died, knowing that it was on it's final leg. Im not about to be out driving knowing that something is dangerously wrong.

    What I mean to say is that I dont have 10,000$ to drop on a few year old car. Nor do can I afford the insurance for something like that. I dont even have 5000$ to drop on a car right now, as Im starting school in September and have that to pay for too.

    All that being said, the search goes on. Im keeping my eyes and ears peeled for possible hits, as well as my family and a few friends.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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