Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Used Car

  1. Jun 29, 2006 #1
    I'm looking into getting a car here pretty soon. I've been riding motorcycles for years, rain or shine, and I do miss the comforts of a car. I haven't driven a car since February of '05.
    I don't know anything about buying a used car. I definitely don't want to buy a new car, and if I can help it, I probably wouldn't want to finance a car unless I'm making payments of $150/month or less.
    To tell the truth, I really hate cars and I don't want to buy one. The problem is, I'll be hauling a lot more stuff now and my luggage bags for the motorcycle just aren't going to cut it.
    I'm looking in the price range of $4,000-$6,000. Can anyone recommend something that wouldn't completely break down on me? Any particular makes and models which are more reliable than the rest of the field? I've only purchased a car once (it was new in 2003) but lost it in a divorce. Should there be anything I ought to look out for when buying a used car?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 29, 2006 #2
    I bought the truck I have now from a guy I knew whom I knew to take conscientious care of it, mechanically. This was 7 or 8 years ago. I paid $1000.00 and it's still on the road, though it recently required one major repair ($900.00). It's a 1989.

    The particular make or model may not be as important as how well it has been taken care of.

    With cars, though, there's never a guarrantee it won't break down, new or used.
  4. Jun 29, 2006 #3
    German.. Anything German :)

    Can you get VW Golf's over there? here for $6000 you could get a decent second hand Golf that would last you years
  5. Jun 29, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    When my Nissan Pathfinder failed to pass inspection (the frame was pretty rusty after 17 years!), I immediately started looking for a Nissan pickup. I found one 7 years old for $6000, and have been driving it for 2 years with nothing but basic maintenance. It's got nearly 100,000 miles on it, and the Pathfinder was pushing 200,000 miles when the rust made it unsafe to drive and expensive to repair. I have had very good luck with Nissan products. My pickup has the 2.4 L 4-cylinder, and it gets pretty good gas mileage.
  6. Jun 29, 2006 #5
    Nissan are french owned nowaday :surprised
  7. Jun 29, 2006 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Buy a london taxi (black cab) they are good for 500,000 miles. :smile:
  8. Jun 29, 2006 #7
    Haha, thanks for all the input. I failed to mention that I probably wouldn't want an SUV or truck for gas reasons. I'm enjoying getting 45-55 mpg out of my bikes. At any rate, I do take care of and maintain my vehicles very meticulously. I do the majority of the bike work myself including oil changes, chains and sprockets, valve adjustments, brakes, etc.... Though, I don't know if I'd do the same for a car. I may have a shop work on it if I can't do it myself.

    Any other thoughts? Preferrably small cars.

  9. Jun 29, 2006 #8


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Peugeot 106 Diesel!
  10. Jun 29, 2006 #9


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :approve: I own one, but i do not wash it very often in protest.
  11. Jun 29, 2006 #10


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Wooly, (or anyone), wanna trade up to a 1999 Citroen Saxo VTR? Lovely condition, metallic green.
  12. Jun 29, 2006 #11


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Sorry Brewy, but i only buy another car if the one i have is uneconomical to
    repair, i guess mine is only worth about £100 but it does for me :smile:
  13. Jun 29, 2006 #12


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Tell me where you live and I'll make sure it's uneconomical to repair! :rolleyes:
    Mother just spent £300 repairing the family car, which is twice what it's worth, but they couldn't replace it with anything better for that.
  14. Jun 29, 2006 #13
    best deals are pre-broken cars
    ones the owner has given up on

    IF you can fix it your self and problem is minor

    I got a porsche 944 for very cheap because it wouldnot start
    a simple wire was broken and need only reconnection
    total cost a foot of tape on the spliced wire
    another car a volvo was found with a bad starter that was a quick
    R/R and runs fine

    trick is to listen to the owner carefully and find cars with good service records that have minor problems and make a deal without payment BEFORE
    you try to fix the car so you can walk or run away if more problems are found but close the deal if your repair is quick and eazy
  15. Jun 30, 2006 #14


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Common sense solution is just to start observing how often you see a particular model of older car. It's amazing how many of those old Dodge Dynastys, Plymouth Reliants, etc are still driving around town. You see a lot of old Nissans still going, as well.

    My daughter's first car was an '89 Nissan Sentra that she bought in 2002 for $1200. Standard shift, no frills, still running (power everything is nice, but only till they start breaking). Only repairs in four years were a clutch (once again, she benefited - the clutch was only $400 as opposed to the cost of replacing a clutch on a lot newer cars) and a starter for around $30. Doesn't run nearly as good since she moved out of the house though - I never get a chance to check it out for her and it's gotten to the point that it runs really bad.

    Saturns have pretty good maintenance costs as well, plus low insurance rates compared to other cars.

    I bought a '91 Jeep in 2001 for around $5000. Still runs great. I almost gave it to my daughter a couple of years ago. In fact, actually I did. I had to fly to Ohio so I could take it back. One of those cars where you'd really like to get a newer car, but just can't quite give it up just yet. Maintenance on it hasn't been as cheap, though. The fuel pump died. Incredibly, that's a $500 repair job, since the pump is located inside the fuel tank. Worse yet, the new fuel pump only lasted a year. Since you can actually see where the fuel pump goes into the fuel tank and it's so invitingly available, I had to try replacing the second one myself. That dropped the cost to about a $100. The electrical wires to the pump sit right in the gasoline in the tank, so you feel like you've just assembled a bomb. Makes it kind of exciting the first time you start it up. It adds a couple extra option to 'Yes, it works! :biggrin: ' and 'Damn, it still doesn't work! :mad: '. You also get to say, 'Yes, I didn't die! :biggrin: ' or 'Is it foggy around here or is it just me?' o:) or 'Uh, it's kind of warm around here, isn't it?' :devil: .
  16. Jul 4, 2006 #15
    Thanks for all the help and advice. I think I've found what I've been looking for.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Used Car
  1. Used cars (Replies: 25)

  2. Cars (Replies: 15)

  3. Flying car (Replies: 16)

  4. Buying new car vs used (Replies: 45)