Which To Buy?

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True enough.

I'll agree with you on this partly. I have a friend who purchased his Nissan within a week of me purchasing my Honda. He does less than 70% of the preventative maintenance that I do and he's had more problems than I have experienced with my last three Honda vehicles. On top of that, three years into our purchases his Nissan has a fair amount of rust on his gas tank and the floor of the car, as well as a number of mechanical failures.My Honda had none of these problems. Preventative maintenance is the key.
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At $5K either a Japanese or American make can be a good deal, but either will certainly need some attention in the years to come. Depending on where you live, it can be hard to find a decent Honda or Toyota for $5K that is less than seven or eight years old. With the American makes 5 years is reasonable.
Definitely ask about specific cars (model and year) on the appropriate newsgroups. The common experiences are going to be typical of what you can expect and you will get warnings to check on various things. Ignore those at your own risk!
One last word - if the engine uses a timing belt (and most engines from the years you are looking at do) expect it to need changing immediately. Unless you can get help from a serious DIYer expect to pay in the $500 range for that.
Okay - my own prejudice... I don't like the reliability of Dodge/Chrysler used cars.
Mike
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wrote:

I have just started looking at prices and looks like she might have to spend more than planned.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Your bias is evident in your use of an ethnic slur in your reply, making your opinion even more worthless than most.
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Whatever. I owned three japanese cars and one american. I like my japanese cars. But I have to give it to the americans that the car was 1. rattle free 2. did not need any major repairs 3. pulled like a locomotive
All three of my jap cars rattle. All three came with wimpy engines and one out of three was a total disaster maintenance wise. So you opinion be as it may I should say that there is a lot of things to like japanese econoboxes for, but reliability is not one of them for sure.
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What were the three Japanese cars and what was the American car? Are the Japs even Hondas? Or are we comparing 80s Civics to an '07 Cadillac or Lincoln?
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02 Legacy with 92k miles to 03 Taurus with 95k miles. The former expired the engine at 166k while the latter made it to the same mileage needing no major repairs. I don't think I spent over $1k over 70k miles of the taurus. Fair enough? With one driven wheel civics are simpler and probably way more reliable than subarus, but still not indestructible as the prices for the used ones would suggest. Repeat after me: used jap cars are WAY overprices compared to the american cars. Ironically, the reverse is true for new cars. I can't think of any american car for under $45k that is a good value when new.
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On Mar 6, 7:57 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

er, 92 and 93: I don't drive THAT much :-)

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On Mar 6, 10:57 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

OK, that cleared a lot up. I agree. Used Japanese cars are overpriced, perhaps due to the stereotype of the American cars. And I also agree with your statement on new cars -- but I do have a soft spot for the big rear-wheel-drive Crown Vics/Grand Marquis. A 1996 Merc Grand Marquis Bayshore is my current daily driver!
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I forgot about those. They probably are indispensible to cop due to ability to withstand abuse better than the japs.
I can't picture cops going over curbs at any decent speed in accord. Not to mention that a police turn in an fwd car would be an interesting feat to watch :-)
But I can't picture myself in a crown vic (except maybe in the back after having too much fun in my jap cars :)
Solstice probably would not have been bad if it were not so heavy. Good enough for midwest I guess.
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new car in 1994. She liked both the Taurus and Honda Accord which cost a bit more, but she told me the Honda dealer told her the Taurus would be worth much less in 3 years. I asked her how long she intended to keep the car, she replied about 10 years. Then I said there will be little difference in value. She bought the '94 Taurus which has served her very well and which she still drives daily.
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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 07:46:16 +0000, who wrote:

1994 Accord EX $2736 1994 Taurus LX $754
These are the current private-party values for those 2 cars. The Honda is still worth significantly more. If she were to trade in her Ford right now, she'd get a paltry $323 for it from the dealer.
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I think she couldn't care less. Old people usually have a good idea how hard money are to get (for most people anyway) and are pretty stingy as a result. For her probably it matters only if she can get another 5 or 10 years out of it. Won't be surprised if she could. Heck, my old boss has a 10 y.o. taurus that was stinking (literally) pretty badly and despite making about $1/4mil (US) a year among himself and his wife he just could not let go. His secretary is driving LS400 though :-D
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On Tue, 06 Mar 2007 19:57:35 -0800, isquat wrote:

There's a maintenance schedule in the book. You were supposed to change the timing belt at 120K.

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Did I mention timing belt anywhere? You think with $10k dumped into the car I would've tried to save pennies on the timing belt?
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On Fri, 23 Mar 2007 17:39:55 -0700, isquat wrote:

Well, most people who kill their Hondas do so by not changing the timing belt when called for. I figured you probably ignored the belt and ruined the engine.
But I now see you came up with a more ingenious way to kill what should have been a bullet-proof car...
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On Tue, 27 Feb 2007 23:12:34 -0800, isquat wrote:

Isn't this an oxymoron?

Bull. I bought a 1995 Toyota Tercel in 2001 for $1400 and sold it in 2004 for $1400 with 130,000 miles on it and PLENTY of life left in it. Car was in near mint condidiotn, it had a dent in the door, ran like a top and got 44 MPG with an AT. I needed to sell it to get the money to buy a Supra. If you look hard and long enough, you can find deals.

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On Mon, 26 Feb 2007 17:17:00 -0500, "DodgeDriver"

Five grand might be enough to lease a base model *new* Civic for three years, full warranty coverage. Or maybe lease a three year old Civic from a dealer for three years, fancy model.
J.
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