Need advice on retired police car

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Hi everybody,
I am thinking of trading my aging 95 Neon for a 98 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. 82,000 miles, there was another couple who bought it off
auction then traded it in for another car. I do not know who had the car before them (I believe a local police department or highway patrol (which doesn't narrow it down) in North Dakota).
I have a couple of my friends who are police officers telling me to stay away from retired cop cars, but I wish to ask you if anyone knows if they are reliable or if they will need frequent repairs.
The dealer is asking $6990 for it.
Thank you for your advice!
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asdf wrote:

buying a used police car is like a crap shoot... it depends on how and why the govt. agency got rid of the car.. some places replace their cars every year and some dont.. some replace when they have too much mileage or they go by the amount of money spendt on the car for repairs.......( here is a good example if the car blew the transmission and was involved in a bad accident and they spendt too much money on the car then its on to the auction block... the repair was made, but how good is the repair??.... the people i know that bought old police car, junkers... found out that the engine(big ones, and they most are big) will drink up gas from one service station to the next... remember police cars were not made to be an economy car.... the parts are in most cases to repair them more costly, bigger brakes, suspension... so take the advise of your friends and let it walk.... that way you wont be here putting up a post of an ex-police car for sale)..... hope the helps.
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Crown Vics have a good reputation, and the engine is practically indestructible. Be aware that it's a rear-wheel drive vehicle; not necessarily the best choice for snowy winters. The 98 year model had significant improvements in brakes, suspension and a couple other items, compared to earlier years, so it seems a good choice. The Police Interceptor is essentially a stripped down civilian version, with some minor improvements to cooling and such, to allow high speed pursuits - 99% of the parts are shared with the civilian version, so they are inexpensive and readily available. Buying a retired police car is a gamble, though. It may be in perfect condition, or might have been badly abused, gone through a few accidents, etc, etc. If you are considering buying it, have it thoroughly inspected by a professional. And even so, the price you offer should reflect its past. Go to www.crownic.net and ask there. It's a site dedicated to Crown Vic enthusiasts. By the way, if you are interested in this model and would rather have a nice interior, cruise control, softer ride, and some other amenities instead of a speedometer which goes to 180MPH or so, you may want to take a look at a civilian version. It's going to cost you more, though.
Good luck,
IK
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Rear drive is absolutely one of the best for winter driving. FWD are for those with out driveing skills.

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(snip)
What I don't get about RWD is if the front wheels lose traction and the front moves a little to the side (maybe you were already in a turn), then the rear wheels may still have traction and push you into even more of a turn, maybe a spin, which you can't stop by steering into it (what I'd do in a FWD car) because you steer with the now-tractionless front wheels. That is, it seems like you can get into a situation where you still have propulsive traction but not directional traction, a combination which increases the curvature of the vehicle's path. Short of just braking and praying, is there anything you can do if that happens?
So, that's why I'd thought RWD was worse in winter. I'd also assumed that the front wheels would naturally have better traction anyway with the weight of the engine being at the front. Why is RWD better for winter driving? I'll happily admit that there is much about driving that I have yet to learn, and I'm eager to avoid accidents, so this is a genuine enquiry.
-- Mark
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those
Where feel is all about. You ought to be able to feel what the car is doing. Beyond that, you use the rear wheels to make the turn when the fronts do not. A spin in a RWD car is far more predictable and controllable than a FWD car.

More options in a RWD vehicle because you can use the rear wheels to turn. Not true in a FWD vehicle.

With a FWD you have no options, not so with a RWD.

Only under some circumstances.

That is something you have to learn. No body can teach you from a ng. suggest you take driving lesions from a school that specializes in that type of driving.

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Mark Carroll opined in

I'm with Thomas... while FWD is superior for traction -esp for inexperienced drivers- and perhaps doesnt get in trouble QUITE as fast, the RWD DOES give you more options once wheels lose traction.
A larger RWD car works better for traction. Mustangs not so good... but thats fun too.
Sometimes it's hard to find a course that will give you practical experience in getting the feel of the car in extraordianry circumstances..
_Back in the day- it was common to see kids and not so young in empty parking lots covered with new snow/ice practicing skid control under the guise of having fun. Well, that too.
IN today's world.. LAWYERS and greedy "liberal" minded people* have made this difficult.
But sometimes you can get away with it
*There are no accidents, everything is SOMEONE ELSES fault.
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I've never driven a RWD in the snow but it is alot of fun to screw around with a FWD in snow

inexperienced
give
experience
parking
this
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What make you think that? I drive my Mustang GT convertible year round, here in the mountains of Pa.
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

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Actually you implied Mustangs were 'not so good...' I was simply pointing out that I don't find that to be the case. The only time I ever had a problem getting to work over the mountain around here in winter was with the two FWD cars I once owned when the weight shifted to the rear and I lost traction and watched the RWD cars go by. With the first car I attributed it to the fact it was a small light Corolla. When I had the same problem with a bigger Accord I went back to RWD V8 Cougar and I have never purchased a FWD car again. I never did like the way the FWD cars were all over the place in rain to begin with. ;)
mike hunt
Backyard Mechanic wrote:

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Thanks for the replies! I guess the answer is to look for a facility that offers skid pan training and try it out.
-- Mark
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A bunch of states in the north that use the CV all year around will disagree with that statement.
mike hunt
IK wrote:

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asdf wrote:

Something smells a little fishy, but who knows for sure? Most police vehicles are driven way over 100K before they trade them off (or haul them off wrecked). I find it kind of odd it only has 82K unless it was a unmarked car. Is there plugged up holes all over it where there removed the police accessories? And even then, its seems odd they would get rid of a usable car with that low of mileage. Mr Hunt might disagree, but he is always saying here he has seen them going 200K or so and be serviceable. I sure would like to know what the real story is on why it was auctioned off with that low of miles. Maybe a car fax report and a call to the agency that was the prior owner? Maybe it was not a cruiser, but just a public agency?
BOB
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Actually, I was reading an article in the Sunday paper 2-3 weeks back about how the Ohio Highway Patrol used to consider 80,000 miles the service life of a cruiser but due to the state's budget crunch, they've recently raised it to 90,000 miles.
wrote:

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You have got to be kidding, Interceptor easily average 75K a year. Any state that BUYS them on the east cost, that I know of, or we service keeps them for less than 300K or five years WOF. If the do turn them sooner, they are turn key leases. Even those are mostly three years leases not one.
mike hunt
Sideshow Bob wrote:

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Well, that what was written in the paper. Here's a link to Ohio's current surplus auction inventory list. Note that most of the Crown Victorias have less than 100K.
http://www.gsd.das.state.oh.us/surplus/veh.htm

about
life
raised
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Plus there's an auction this Saturday. Several Crown Vics available.
http://www.gsd.das.state.oh.us/surplus/auction0809.htm

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(snip)
Mmmm. Occasionally you get fairly old ones with low mileage, too, that go cheaper than the newer ones. Mine was seven years old when bought at auction and had still done less than 100K.
-- Mark
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I said five years or 300K WOF. (Whichever Occurs First.)
mike hunt
Sideshow Bob wrote:

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(snip)
Did you even look at the page he mentioned? The second line's a good example - a 2001 Crown Vic that's done 102k. At a glance I saw three 2001's that had done under 100k.
-- Mark
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