Vehicle advise

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Vehicle advise

Postby chris86wm » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:21 pm

For starters, I am a poor college student. I drive a 94 Mazda b2300 pickup (125,000 miles) and I have been having transmission problems for the last week. It takes like 5 minutes for the truck to kick into reverse and second gear is acting up. I took it into a transmission shop and they said that the entire transmission needs to be replaced and estimated the cost to be about $1500 (i wouldnt be surprised if they charged me more).

I am well aware that my truck is a POS and I would be lucky to get $2500 for it in good condition, so $1500 seems like alot of money to be sinking into it.

So I am faced with a decision.

(1)I could sink big money into my truck and hope to god it runs me for a few more years without major problems. Maybe it will be fine for a few years, or maybe it blows up again in another month or so.
OR
(2) I could buy a cheap used car (budget is $2500-$4000)
-Can I get any kind of sale/trade-in value out of the truck?
-Are there any decent cars that fall into this price range?


I must admit I know absolutely nothing about cars so buying a used one scares the crap out of me.
I did some searches on the net and found a few models that may be worth checking in to:
Toyota Tercel, Camry, and Corolla
Honda Accord and Civic

I really dont care what the car looks like as long as it is dependable and gets good gas mileage.

Anybody have any ideas? I could really use the help :shock:
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Postby J2 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:24 pm

a 94 mazda pickup worth 2500? i dont think so....
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Postby chris86wm » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:30 pm

KBB says around $2,000 for "good" condition.....Trouble is the "good" part. Like I said, i know its crap.

I also know i spelled "advice" wrong in the title :lol:
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Postby Solty » Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:49 pm

Being your in college...a 2500 junker may leave u in financial disarray..should it end up being a lemon....

If you feel the truck is still reliable except for the tranny.....suck it up and replace it. If you don't, sell it outrite..maybe get 1000 beans for it. Spend a lil more on a 'dependable' car.....maybe talk with the rents about a purchase for the future. Many new cars are under 15k......and yes..i know...a 300 monthly payment isnt what u want...but if reliable transportation is needed, it may be a viable option.

-MIKE
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Postby AciDBatH666 » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:02 pm

Personally, I'd just get a junkyard tranny for a few hundred, and drop it in myself. But I've got an extensive amount of experience and tools out the yang. So I can do a swap like that for next to nothing and get the most out of it.

A shop shouldn't charge you more than 1500 for a total tranny swap.
Actually, theres a SICK performance tranny shop up near Shreveport. I was going to have them rebuild my next 4L60E for my blazer.
http://www.transmissioncenter.net

Maybe see what they can offer you. They do stock tranny work for a good price. Not sure if they got your tranny, but can't hurt to see what options you have :)
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Postby chris86wm » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:11 pm

AciDBatH666 wrote:Personally, I'd just get a junkyard tranny for a few hundred, and drop it in myself.

Care to work on mine?
Tell ya what......if you do a good job, there's an Aerobie Arrow putter with your name on it ! :lol:


The good thing is that I will have all summer to make my decision. I have two more weeks of school left and then I go up to TN with the parents for the summer. I may look for a vehicle up there while I am there, but the engine in that truck has been very dependable so just getting it repaired will definitely be another option.
Last edited by chris86wm on Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Blake_T » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:18 pm

chris:

nearly all major car dealers will give at least $500 on a trade in, no matter how f'd up it might be.

that should at least work as a point of reference for you. you likely wouldn't get much more than that for it, but as long as you drove it into the dealer, you could get at least that.
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Postby Jerry R » Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:55 pm

I'd probably go the tranny-rebuild route myself, but If you go to a dealership, do your research and be tough. A lot of times they will increase your trade-in value to make a deal. I got $500 bucks for a '89 ford probe with 140K miles, no reverse and a salvaged title (8 years ago). Don't be afraid to walk away, I've gotten my best deals after I've walked out of the dealership and am walking to my car. Good Luck.
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Postby roadkill » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:02 am

If you have any public auto auctions in your area I would take whatever funds you have available (cash) to the auction and see how far your money goes.

I went to a major auto auction (Mason-Dixon) and was shocked to see how cheap the cars went for. There were low mileage cars worth 5500 going for 2500. The cars sold at these auctions are usually trade ins that dealers are getting rid off at any price so they often go for less than wholesale.
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Postby Robbie » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:19 am

carmax.com



I had a great experience with them, and they gave me 2500 for my 99 Jimmy which had some serious engine problems.
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Postby chris86wm » Sat Apr 28, 2007 10:41 am

I appreciate all the help guys.

I was looking around at prices for cheap used cars when I found the Chevy Prizm. Personally I will never buy another domestic vehicle again, but supposedly the Prizm is just a rebranded Toyota Corolla. These things are pretty cheap and you cant go wrong with a Toyota engine.

Anybody ever heard of these or own one?
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Postby Robbie » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:11 am

I think the frame is the same but I doubt the engine is.
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Postby chris86wm » Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:30 am

Robbie wrote:I think the frame is the same but I doubt the engine is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geo_Prizm
"Prizms were virtually identical to Toyota Corollas (aside from small cosmetic differences, a GM Delco radio, and the lack of a front stabilizer bar)"
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Postby zealot » Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:41 pm

i just bought an '04 hyundai accent for 10,900 and with my 'rents cosigning its only 177 a month. i bet you could swing something like that. mine has 40,000 miles with a warranty up to 80,000 (alleviating your concern about buying something new to have it shit on you)
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Postby Eric O » Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:34 pm

I was just in the market for a cheap used car recently. I had it narrowed down to Civic, Accord, Integra, Camry and Corollas after I was done drooling over turbo Supras. Can't go far wrong with any of those. I was prepared to spend up to almost $10k but ended up finding a 97 civic for $4000 that does everything I could ask for in an economy car. Had about 100k mi on it when I got it but it is mechanically perfect, has never been in an accident, and I expect it to go another 100k easy. I suggest going a similar route if you want to keep your initial expense to a minimum while avoiding high running costs down the road.
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