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Old 09-18-2011, 07:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default need a car

this is probably the first of many threads about looking for my first car. i feel like it would help to ask around for advice here because a nice slice of my life revolves around snowboarding so my car should have that in mind. plus seeing some threads here i know there are fellow automotive enthusiasts here

my list of wants for the car, going from most to least important would be:
-reliability (if the car breaks down, the 'rents are definitely not bailing me out)
-safety (one of my classmates died an an accident this summer, i watched another get t-boned last week)
-turbo, FUN (i love turbos, and tiptronic transmissions. manual is cool too, or an automatic if there are enough gears)
-awd (i'm on this forum, need i explain more?)
-low(er) miles (i'd prefer to stay below 100k, but if i can get another 100k without the car becoming a mechanical nightmare i'm ok with that)

and i know that everything here screams subaru, and don't get me wrong i love them. however, a wrx is too expensive to insure and i'm having trouble finding one to meet all of my wants. the legacy gt is what i really want; wagon or sedan. but the tiptronics weren't introduced until 2005, and if i want one that new for my price range it would have 150k miles on it. i also want to keep it safe and get side airbags. the 2002 gt limited has side airbags, but no tiptronic option. i would want to get a manual too since the automatic transmission for that generation sucks.

i was also looking at a 2000 volvo s70 with 86k for $5500 on autotrader. it also had an auto, but it met most of the things on my list. but i have watched german cars fall apart many times and that's a huge turnoff. if they were reliable, i would jump on a passat but my brother in law spent 1.5 times the cars value in two years on repairs before selling it. if anyone is going to tell me to get an suv or truck, i want to have one at some point in my life but right now i want to have something fun to drive on the street. the saab 9-3/5's are really nice and thanks to the depreciation value i can afford quite a nice one. but are they reliable enough? also the awd option is really hard to find.

i have $3500 saved now and will buy a car now should the opportunity arise, but if i keep saving i'll have $5000 next summer. given that huge restriction, can anyone suggest any models to look at in my range?

furthermore, if anyone here is selling a car or knows of someone who is feel free to let me know!
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I can vouch for Volvo's, I have a 1994 940 non-turbo I got with 116K for $1000 (minor head leak) and have had nothing but good experiences with it. It's not 4WD of course, but I slapped some high-end all-terrain tires on her and have driven in sketch most people with 4WD would avoid (the car is heavier then shit for a sedan, which really helps in snow. Only issue with Volvos is that if you want a newer 4WD model, they are fairly pricey. If you have the money though, they are a very reliable, safe, and trendy car.

Taken from wikipedia - "Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden's rough roads and cold temperatures. This has become a feature of Volvo products ever since"

I also love that mine has a hatch in the trunk for skis, (and the trunk is so big it will fit 2 156 snowboards)
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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In that price range sometimes you can find a r32 volkswagen or a wrx (maybe a high mile Sti) and Ive seen a few evos go for around 8
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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For $3500 you are correct that any Subaru WRX in that price range is a POS. I just bought a 1998 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon (5-spd) for $4750 at the end of last winter. Only 107k on the clock. Its the 2.5L 4-cyl and gets about 25-27mpg. Its an awesome car if you can get beyond the wagon (I love their wagons & its perfect for extra people / gear storage). That being said, it sits WICKED low to the ground. Now the bad part about Subarus. The year range you can afford they all have the same motors (only difference is a 2.2 or a 2.5). Head gaskets can be a common problem in a lot of them and that is an expensive fix. So if you are looking into a Subaru from 96-02 ask the seller if they have ever had it replaced. If its leaking oil or coolant....walk away, its a problem waiting to happen.

I also have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I picked up for $1600 last month. I have always been a Jeep guy. My last Grand Cherokee I rode until it had 236,000 miles on it and it was still running strong. I dont know how you feel about SUVs, however, if a Jeep breaks....its easy and cheap to fix (most of the time). Parts are cheap, and most of the time you can find a DIY thread online on how to fix most things (within reason obviously). That and if we have another winter in the NE like we did last year, you will be glad you are sitting up high in an AWD SUV.

I actually have a CARFAX account with 2 unused CARFAX uses left on it after I bought my Jeep. I don't think there's a time frame you need to use em by, so if they are still good just PM me with 2 VINS and ill run em for you.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakotaspeir View Post
In that price range sometimes you can find a r32 volkswagen or a wrx (maybe a high mile Sti) and Ive seen a few evos go for around 8
If you can find any of those cars for that price they were beat to shit and somethings wrong with em
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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If you can find any of those cars for that price they were beat to shit and somethings wrong with em
Lol mostly. Crazy deals always pop up here. Not sure about how other places are.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yes Officer View Post
For $3500 you are correct that any Subaru WRX in that price range is a POS. I just bought a 1998 Subaru Legacy GT Wagon (5-spd) for $4750 at the end of last winter. Only 107k on the clock. Its the 2.5L 4-cyl and gets about 25-27mpg. Its an awesome car if you can get beyond the wagon (I love their wagons & its perfect for extra people / gear storage). That being said, it sits WICKED low to the ground. Now the bad part about Subarus. The year range you can afford they all have the same motors (only difference is a 2.2 or a 2.5). Head gaskets can be a common problem in a lot of them and that is an expensive fix. So if you are looking into a Subaru from 96-02 ask the seller if they have ever had it replaced. If its leaking oil or coolant....walk away, its a problem waiting to happen.

I also have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee that I picked up for $1600 last month. I have always been a Jeep guy. My last Grand Cherokee I rode until it had 236,000 miles on it and it was still running strong. I dont know how you feel about SUVs, however, if a Jeep breaks....its easy and cheap to fix (most of the time). Parts are cheap, and most of the time you can find a DIY thread online on how to fix most things (within reason obviously). That and if we have another winter in the NE like we did last year, you will be glad you are sitting up high in an AWD SUV.

I actually have a CARFAX account with 2 unused CARFAX uses left on it after I bought my Jeep. I don't think there's a time frame you need to use em by, so if they are still good just PM me with 2 VINS and ill run em for you.
i wish i was able to find that wagon haha. i like the wagons too, their the ultimate sleeper. my only reason to get a newer one is for side airbags. for the head gasket problem, would it being replaced mean that there is a problem with the car itself and that it's going to need another replacement at some point or are they good for another 80k or so once replaced? is a car with one replaced something to avoid?

jeeps are really cool, i ride around with my friend in one a lot and the rough drivetrain gives them a lot of character. but i'm 16 and want something easier to handle and with better fuel economy. if i ever decide to get a second car, i might get a cherokee. thanks so much for offering to run vin numbers for me too! thats really cool of you and i'll remember that if i find anything that seems too good to be true, haha.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Lol mostly. Crazy deals always pop up here. Not sure about how other places are.
dude i'm in the 518 half the cars i see on craigslist are stolen ricers.
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Old 09-18-2011, 07:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by HoboMaster View Post
I can vouch for Volvo's, I have a 1994 940 non-turbo I got with 116K for $1000 (minor head leak) and have had nothing but good experiences with it. It's not 4WD of course, but I slapped some high-end all-terrain tires on her and have driven in sketch most people with 4WD would avoid (the car is heavier then shit for a sedan, which really helps in snow. Only issue with Volvos is that if you want a newer 4WD model, they are fairly pricey. If you have the money though, they are a very reliable, safe, and trendy car.

Taken from wikipedia - "Their vision was to build cars that could withstand the rigors of Sweden's rough roads and cold temperatures. This has become a feature of Volvo products ever since"

I also love that mine has a hatch in the trunk for skis, (and the trunk is so big it will fit 2 156 snowboards)
once ford bought the company their quality control went to shit though. the 2000 s60 was the last volvo to be discontinued that was not designed by ford. plus the older ones like you said are trendy. all the old ones look so cool.
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Old 09-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My last car was a 2006 WRX STi and it was $3 more per month than my Honda Civic I had before that to insure. Same coverages. Maintenance costs will rape you, though. I don't understand why people want a turbocharged car specifically. However the designers decided to get power out of the engine, how much power they actually obtained is more important than how they obtained it. And in the case of considering design, turbocharged engines have more moving parts and are prone to failure. It's not the casing, bearings or impeller that will fail, likely some small stupid thing like a vacuum line connection for the blow off valve. Subaru, for example, does the boost gauges dealer installed and sometimes the dealers use cheaper connectors which can embrittle and fail causing loss of indication and can lead to blow off valve chatter because of how the lines are routed.

For that budget, I wouldn't say get such and such car, I would say look and find a good example of A car that meets your criteria.

I would say stay AWAY from the R32's, the VR6 is a notoriously failure prone engine because it experiences high secondary harmonics due to the way it's designed. It's a narrow angle V-6 where the centerbores of opposing cylinders actually fall inbetween each other, kind of like the teeth of a zipper. This causes primary imbalances (a rocking couple about the vertical axis) that require balance shafts to correct, inducing a secondary mode harmonic in the engine.

A car that isn't AWD that I would highly recommend are the TDi VW's from the early 00's. Several guys I work with have all sorts of toys, but many of them have a early 2000 Jetta TDi because they get awesome gas mileage and will run forever. The problem with the TDi's are is when something does break, it can be expensive to fix. If you can find one for around $5-6000, you can expect to get at least 275-300k on the original engine block and internals including seals.
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