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Old 22nd July 2012, 21:06   #1066
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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any particular reasons to look for such a high mileage car? it would be tough to sell it later on. with that kind of money (4-5k), you can buy 2002/2003 Accord with 110-120k miles on it, OR you may look for an Altima.
The car was with my other colleague before and was brought by the current owner who is another colleague of mine. I see the car daily and travel in it almost everyday. So it is a case of a getting a known devil over an unknown Angel. Also this being my first car ever, I am not willing to take any risks since a couple of my friends burnt their hands on a 2001 Chrysler Sebring sometime back. This was even after doing checkup at Pep Boys.

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i think, the paid check ups (pep boys, or firestone) are not that exhaustive, they are more cosmetic and have check lists (20-40 points) wherein they'll check the level of fluids, thread on tires, condition of brakes, etc. most of which one can do by himself. however, if you have a friendly independent mechanic, he may be of great help in evaluating the car.
i bought four cars in US and got only the first one checked by firestone and the car turned out to be faulty (was buring 1 lire of engine oil per 300 miles).
I have had those experience myself even though not first hand. But I have read reports of Avalon going for 250K+ miles with just regular maintenance and Toyota's reliability was also a factor in it.

I don't have much contacts here, but I will do a checkup before buying it.


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do some research and find out common problems on that vintage avalon and make sure the car you are looking at is free of them.
1st Generation (1995-1999) - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Thanks for the link. Will browse through and find info related to the common issues in the car.

As a final word, I have to say this. There are two Mazda 6's for sale (one at 90K and another at 132K (V6)). But this car feels more rigid, well built and comfortable than those.

The ICE is also awesome
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Old 22nd July 2012, 21:28   #1067
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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As a final word, I have to say this. There are two Mazda 6's for sale (one at 90K and another at 132K (V6)). But this car feels more rigid, well built and comfortable than those.

The ICE is also awesome
toyota and honda engines last forever, and any day a better buy compared with mazda. mazdas may not give you engine troubles but the auxiliary system keep on failing for cars of that mileage.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 21:53   #1068
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hello BHPians,

I am looking to buy a Toyota Avalon '99 model (158K miles) from a colleague. He is pricing it between good and fair KBB value and comes to around 4.3K.

Anything particular to check with the car? Should I go to a service center (like Pep Boys) and get it completely checked before buying?

I have traveled in the car quite a few times and it is a well maintained car with an odd dent in a couple of places.

I love the car for its space and ride and hope that it is reliable since it is a Toyota. This will be my first car in the U.S.A.
Also get Edmunds appraisal of that car. It will be lower than kbb. Then ask him to come to middle pricing of both the website.

I think you should not pay more than $4k for this. Considering it has good condition of brakes, tires, suspension, AC, steering and engine. Please also check when the timing belt was last changed. This is the most frequent repairs on toyota's of that time and it costs around $300-$400 depending on shops. Obviously it is good to do research on this car and see what other problems are common.

The good thing is with regular maintenance it will be a reliable ride for sure. So its not a bad choice and since its coming from a known person, you should have little problem using it.

Just as a pointer, Most Avalon XLS from dealers in sacramento are going for $4500-$5000. I don't see why you should pay similar price when buying as a private party. Check other avalon's on sale in your area to give you a brief idea of what they are selling for. On kbb(sacramento) for Avalon XLS, it shows $4300 as good price and 3800 as a fair price. I guess if he comes in middle, $4k seems reasonable.

Last edited by chevelle : 22nd July 2012 at 21:59.
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Old 22nd July 2012, 23:22   #1069
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Also get Edmunds appraisal of that car. It will be lower than kbb. Then ask him to come to middle pricing of both the website.
I live in Dayton, Ohio. I did the Edmund's appraisal too but there is a vast difference in price between the two levels of condition of the car. On a 'clean' condition, the rates are higher than what is quoted currently.

The car is mechanically sound atleast from what I can see and experience by riding in it.

The rates here in CL are more than what is quoted by my colleague. I will do the checkup and reduce the rates further if there are some things which needs immediate attention.
Thanks for all your inputs. It is helping me a lot although I am very poor at negotiating
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Old 23rd July 2012, 00:17   #1070
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I live in Dayton, Ohio. I did the Edmund's appraisal too but there is a vast difference in price between the two levels of condition of the car. On a 'clean' condition, the rates are higher than what is quoted currently.

The car is mechanically sound atleast from what I can see and experience by riding in it.

The rates here in CL are more than what is quoted by my colleague. I will do the checkup and reduce the rates further if there are some things which needs immediate attention.
Thanks for all your inputs. It is helping me a lot although I am very poor at negotiating
You can forgo 100-200 bucks for the piece of mind you get by buying from someone known. This is especially true when buying from private party as most of the times you don't know what you are getting into. So if the car is something you have been acquainted with, let go of couple of hundreds and have fun. That is much better than repenting later buying other car that will give more problems.

just my 2 cents as always.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 11:44   #1071
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@Schumifan,

There isn't a sure thing in this life, especially when it comes to automobiles not Toyota, not Honda, not anything. When it comes to cars, it all depends on how the car was looked after. If the car was abused or not maintained properly, it doesn't matter what make the car is, it's going to give trouble in its latter years. All well cared cars nowadays will do 250K miles easily, but your ancillary systems such as A/C, fuel pump, may be the electronics will either fail or require maintenance.

Pick a car with decent history and expect some maintenance expenses for older vehicles, no matter what make the car is. It wouldn't hurt to do a little bit of research on how expensive the parts are for the car you're buying. All the best.

Last edited by VLOCT : 23rd July 2012 at 11:49.
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Old 23rd July 2012, 23:01   #1072
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@SchumiFan, your handle seems to contrast your choice of vehicles, but lets keep that for a razzing later

As for the vehicle, go with your gut feeling. Buy if you get a good vibe. If the current owner seems to have kept her well and it seems good to you too, then go for it. Just keep in mind , as vloct rightly says, anything that has put 150K miles on it will come with its share of tertiary expenses. Consider them as your duty towards the vehicle of that age and wear.

See if the current owner has kept a maintenance log on the vehicle. That will help you decide the status of the car. From the description you give it seems this car may only need scheduled maintenance and the occasional unexpected repair here and there.

Spares for the 99 Avalon should be available without issues. There are many of these cars still on the road.
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Old 24th July 2012, 09:59   #1073
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Thanks Chevelle, VLOCT and NinadJoshi for your inputs. Yes my handle and choice of vehicles don't exactly match. But then I admire Schumi on TV and I would be driving this in my life, real life. So it is better to go with the popular choice

I am still in two minds about the vehicle (Avalon) even though I know it quite well and love it for what it offers. The Mazda 6S at 132K (2005 model) is also tugging a bit at my heart. This being my first car ever, the decision is even more tougher.

Will go through the pros and cons of the cars once more before making a decision. Budget will also play a major part in the decision, so I will do the research to know what I am getting into and buy the one that is best suited for my needs.

My daily ride is around 1.3 miles (yes, it is that close and I walk to office) but it is summer and the heat is taking a toll on my body. I am more of a winter guy and loved the last winter here in the U.S.A.

The roads here are also pretty inviting to drive with a much disciplined traffic compared to India.
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Old 27th July 2012, 08:19   #1074
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Hey guys,

Need your help. The time has come for me to pick up a new car. I have been using a 2002 Accord MT for the past 2 years and have not decided whether am goin to keep her or not.

Am looking at something in the 25-30k range. Not to keen on the regular choices like Accord, Camry, Altima n stuff. Want something which has a better road presence and preferably American. Currently sold on the Charger sxt blacktop edition.

Open to new suggestions as well. No coupes.

Thanks

Adi
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Old 27th July 2012, 09:01   #1075
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Open to new suggestions as well. No coupes.

Thanks

Adi
What are your requirements? You are looking for a Sedan? For your budget you have a ton of choices, used/new, Sedan/Coupe/Convertible/SUV etc.
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Old 27th July 2012, 10:13   #1076
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Thanks Chevelle, VLOCT and NinadJoshi for your inputs.

I am still in two minds about the vehicle (Avalon) even though I know it quite well and love it for what it offers. The Mazda 6S at 132K (2005 model) is also tugging a bit at my heart. This being my first car ever, the decision is even more tougher.

My daily ride is around 1.3 miles (yes, it is that close and I walk to office) but it is summer and the heat is taking a toll on my body. I am more of a winter guy and loved the last winter here in the U.S.A.

The roads here are also pretty inviting to drive with a much disciplined traffic compared to India.
For 2005 mazda you are considering, it has considerably higher miles for year. It is almost 19k miles a year which is high. So it will have higher wear and tear. Do consider that before taking the plunge.


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Hey guys,

Need your help. The time has come for me to pick up a new car. I have been using a 2002 Accord MT for the past 2 years and have not decided whether am goin to keep her or not.

Am looking at something in the 25-30k range. Not to keen on the regular choices like Accord, Camry, Altima n stuff. Want something which has a better road presence and preferably American. Currently sold on the Charger sxt blacktop edition.

Open to new suggestions as well. No coupes.

Thanks

Adi
In your range, not considering the regular choices you have following options for a new one since you have mentioned new and not pre-owned.

Acura ILX
Acura TSX
Buick Regal/Lacrosse
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler 300
Dodge Charger
Ford Fusion
Ford Taurus
Mazda6
Volvo s40

If you are open to pre-owned, you can get SUV/Sedan from luxury brands like at a great price. Say a 2009 335i sedan/G37 Sedan or Acura TL or Audi A4.

So do throw a little bit more light on your requirements, your priority for a sedan or suv, new or pre-owned.

My pick from above list - 300, TSX, Taurus, Charger if you want a full size sedan. Fusion if you want something like accord/camry.

Won't consider Mazda6 bcoz new one is about to come out. No volvo since i don't like anything about that brand except safety features. No ILX because it is a civic in disguise. Regal/Lacrosse are boring to drive. Just my opinion. YMMV.

Hope this helps.
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Old 27th July 2012, 10:27   #1077
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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For 2005 mazda you are considering, it has considerably higher miles for year. It is almost 19k miles a year which is high. So it will have higher wear and tear. Do consider that before taking the plunge.




In your range, not considering the regular choices you have following options for a new one since you have mentioned new and not pre-owned.

Acura ILX
Acura TSX
Buick Regal/Lacrosse
Chevrolet Malibu
Chrysler 300
Dodge Charger
Ford Fusion
Ford Taurus
Mazda6
Volvo s40

If you are open to pre-owned, you can get SUV/Sedan from luxury brands like at a great price. Say a 2009 335i sedan/G37 Sedan or Acura TL or Audi A4.

So do throw a little bit more light on your requirements, your priority for a sedan or suv, new or pre-owned.

My pick from above list - 300, TSX, Taurus, Charger if you want a full size sedan. Fusion if you want something like accord/camry.

Won't consider Mazda6 bcoz new one is about to come out. No volvo since i don't like anything about that brand except safety features. No ILX because it is a civic in disguise. Regal/Lacrosse are boring to drive. Just my opinion. YMMV.

Hope this helps.
Thanks a ton for the reply.
I am looking for a full size sedan but not something like the regular Hondas and Toyotas which most of the desi's pick up here. And definitely not a pre owned.

The 300 and the charger are almost the same but the looks of the charger do appeal to me a lot. Not sure bout the Buick and but i heard the Impala is nice to drive as well. Need to start taking test drives soon.

Adi
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Old 27th July 2012, 12:30   #1078
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@aditya,

For 25-30k range, the choices are tremendous. You first have to nail down exactly what you want.

New or Used
Sedan or SUV (since you mentioned no Coupe)
Family or Performance Sedan
High Performance, Higher Maintenance
Greater Reliability, Moderate Performance
Higher Performance, Higher Insurance (usually)
Higher Performance, Big SUV - Higher Gas costs

Don't get carried away by the thought of acquiring a car. I know, it's difficult but, cars are typically a bad investment. That's why I insist that one sit down and be brutally honest with oneself about his or hers driving habits, before plunking down a good chunk of money. There is no point in buying performance vehicles if it's always going to be driven at 70 mph in a straight line. It's just a waste of a lot of hard earned money considering the high cost of insurance and gas for such cars.

If you can, head down to one of the premier auto auctions such as Mecum, when it comes to a town near you. You get amazing cars for real good bargains. That's my plan for my next car. But then I'll be strictly looking at pre-'72 American Muscle only. However, these auctions have a wide variety of cars for sale and they usually will only accept good quality cars for sale.

Good hunting. Cheers. Keep us posted.
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Old 27th July 2012, 13:55   #1079
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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The 300 and the charger are almost the same but the looks of the charger do appeal to me a lot. Not sure bout the Buick and but i heard the Impala is nice to drive as well. Need to start taking test drives soon.

Adi
keep in mind that the steering of 300 feels very light (at speeds of 80 mph too). i drove a 2011 300 hemi on a 2000 mile trip and that was the ONLY thing i did not like in that car.
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Old 27th July 2012, 18:38   #1080
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by aditya.86 View Post
Am looking at something in the 25-30k range. Not to keen on the regular choices like Accord, Camry, Altima n stuff. Want something which has a better road presence and preferably American. Currently sold on the Charger sxt blacktop edition.

Open to new suggestions as well. No coupes.

Thanks

Adi
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I am looking for a full size sedan but not something like the regular Hondas and Toyotas which most of the desi's pick up here. And definitely not a pre owned.

The 300 and the charger are almost the same but the looks of the charger do appeal to me a lot. Not sure bout the Buick and but i heard the Impala is nice to drive as well. Need to start taking test drives soon.

Adi
You are where i was nearly a month back! I too was sold on the Charger SXT and was not too keen on a Honda/Toyota.

Since you want a new full size sedan withn 30K, you have only the following:
Chevy Impala
300
Charger
Taurus
Intentionally not listing Hyundai here

The Impala loses out in the looks department to its peers. But has a pretty decent V6. The Taurus crosses the 30K mark once you spec it out. The SHO variant (with sport tuned suspension) actually starts at 39K!!

You are right that the 300 and Charger are almost the same. They are like sisters where 300 is the elder one and hence more sedate and calm looking whereas Charger is the younger sister just waiting to unleash its next mischief.

Also, since its almost the end of 2012 model year, you will get some good deals from dealers anxious to empty out their inventory. On the downside, you may have to roam around a bit before you find the car that you want, unless you are willing to be more flexible with what color, what trim etc you want. I am not sure how much discounts you will get once the 2013 models start rolling in.

Cheers
Amitoj
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