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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

Okay, well, I'm planning on buying a new(used) car the first part of next year. I refuse to sell my Jeep, but cannot pay to fill it up every other day. What are everyone's opinions on buying a second car. I want to stick around $500. Think I could find a good running decient MPG(25) for that price? Lot's of people have mentioned police auctions. How hard would those be to buy a car? I know they're open to the public. Also, what type of car should I be looking for? Thanks a bunch!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 08:52 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

I like the chevy Cavilear (sp?) It's a nice little car, got a fiend, his is a '92 w/ 122k or something like that, worth about 500 in kbb, great car, runs good, looks kinda sporty, and still has a ton left in it. As for autions, there are police and also cheritys, I konw someone was telling me about I think the good will one, he was ther 4 91&92 ford toursus went for $50 a peice.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 08:58 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

someone gave me a running Toyota Corolla a few weeks back, it was a 84 I think, white 2 door hatch back, not a bad little car.

I traded it for some beer at a junkyard my buddy works at.

I picked up a 1987 Volkswagan Jetta a few years back, $300, I had to replace a front wheel bearing ( $50 and a few hours) it was a great little car, I bout it at 130K, sold it at 160K ( for $800) it got 28MPG, was zippy as hell, 4 door, rode and drove GREAT, I would buy another in a heartbeat.

the Wife had an older Ford Escort when we first met, it was a way Sub 1000 car, and it was pretty reliable and effecient.

YOu can find something, but youll have to be patient. and check the oil coolant too, all of htese have aluminum heads and can be warped and its not worth the trouble on a $500 car, so be careful


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post #4 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 09:04 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

Just went thru this exact same thing. I have a 45 mile commute EACH way to work and the old 304 in the '7 just wasn't getting it done at 12 mpg. Since it did run well and was dependable I wasn't in a huge rush to find another car, which is nice. It gave me time to look around (It did take 2.5 months though). I finally settled on an '88 Honda Prelude I picked up at a small used car lot for $600.00. It needed a tune-up but not much else. It isn't anything spectacular but it gets the job done and about 22-25 mpg. I considered buying a domestic vehicle since parts are considerably cheaper but for the price range I was looking those vehicles had extremely high mileage and I've found American cars aren't built to last more than 100-150K (usually). The foreign cars have a better track record for being more reliable into the 200-250k mile range (please no flames, I am just expressing my opinion based on my experience, I love my AMC built CJ-7 more than anything built overseas!). The Prelude had about 135k on it. Like I said the parts are a little more expensive but it should last me another 50-75k at least w/out any major repairs. As for advice, take your time, check the classifieds, look out for cars that have been sitting on the local car lots for a while and buy something with the least amount of miles you can for the money you want to spend.
In regards to the police auctions I've been to a couple of these types but haven't had much luck. Great deals can be found but for what your wanting to spend you probably won't find much worthwhile. You usually can't test drive them or anything and you have to have cash in hand or some percentage thereof the day of the auction. Sorry to be so long winded, just thought I could offer some tips. Good luck.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 10:21 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

You cant go wrong with 80s Toyota Pick Ups with the 22R motor. They run forever. mid 80s Ford escorts are pretty ugly but reliable and cheap. Stay awat from mid 80s Buicks with the 6 cyl engines they are notoriouse for overhaeting and ruining the engines, so people will dump them for cheap even though they may look fine.
Good luck

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 10:45 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

I also ran into this problem when I had a commute of 35 mile each way to work this summer and I had just gotten married which meant that any "new" car had to tolerable to the wife. I searched for a month and found a wondeful car. I had a better budget, but where I was from, if it's less than $1000, then it may not have an engine. I paid $2000 for an 85 BMW 325e. The only problems were the paint which is faded and the driveshaft which had a bad u-joint. The guy had taken care of the car like his own child. The interior is great, has a smooth engine and drives wonderfully. I replaced the driveshaft and haven't had any trouble since. I average around 27mpg on highway. My best yet was 30mpg coming across TN at 80 MPH! If you look hard and learn as much as you can before sinking in the money, you'll be better off. I personally would not get a domestic as they don't tend to last. Toys and German cars are the way to go. There are '70s BMWs out there still going strong and cheap. Oh yeah, BMWs have the same following and cataloges as us Jeepers!


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post #7 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2000, 06:59 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

I also have a 87 chevy cavalier ,2.0, TBI, 5 speed.I bought it 4 years ago from a small car lot to teach my daughter to drive ,now it is on daughter # 2 and still running,that says alot right there for durability.but my nervs are shot....LOL....The AC and heater don't work ,and the paint is shot.but it is pretty reliable and gets between 27 and 30 MPG (suprises me every time I check it )depending on who drives it.

I have paid more for my Transmission swap than I have put into that car in four years.Tires ,oil,starter ,alternator, exhaust system all done myself,on the cheap.

I have an insane urge to pick up a Honda CRX for long cruises some of them can get like 40 MPG but they aint cheap.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 12-16-2000, 08:35 PM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

Forget about police auctions, go to the tow yards auction!! ONLY IF YOUR NEAR A BIG CITY THIS WORKS!!!! Where they tow ilegally parked cars. Most of the cars are very good running but the owners cant afford the 500$$ or more storage fee's that the yards impose.
Call a couple of the big tow companies in the phone book and ask about there auctions.
Some yards also fix cars and sell them cheap also.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 12:42 AM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

Check the local self-storage places and tow shops in your area. These companies may be able to sell stuff to satisfy liens.

I don't know about OR but here in NV they post notices of sales in the legal section of the classifieds.

Happy holidays, good luck and find a good one.

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2000, 09:23 AM
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Re: Opinions on buying cheap second car? O/T

I was in the same dilemma, and I found a later 80's Mazda 323. It's a great little car, 38 mpg average, parts are cheap and I got it for $500 with 190K on the clock. It now has 225K on it, and still runs like a top, and I've only put about $500 into it (all new brakes, rotors, drums, bearings, struts, tune up) and I love driving it. Very reliable car, and I'd buy another in a minute. Also great in the snow.

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