Question on buying an 03 Elantra

A private seller has one in exc. condition, for $6K, his pay-off amount. I like the 33 MPG HWY gas mileage....but it is a negative for me that it has auto trans. The Blue Book value for a private seller is
$6700. Its 4-DR sedan, AC, AT. Has abt 87K miles. I see that the value has gone down abt $800 from last years' Blue Book compared to this years'. Would it be a reasonable assumption that it will go down in value another $800 after one year (summer of 2007)? Also, it is being financed by Navy Federal Credit Union by voucher check. I have not had good luck with transmissions.... if it breaks, the car is dead, as there is not $2 or $3 K (or whatever) to replace/rebuild it. So is it possible to buy a waranty for late model cars purchased from private sellers? I am expecting to leave the country in another year, and so will be selling it then. Just need a short-term waranty.
The last question is---does the engine have interference-type valves that damage the motor if the timing belt breaks? Does it need a timing belt change at 100K miles? Is it particularly difficult or expensive on this 2 L 4-cyl engine?
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geronimo wrote:

Auto Elantras seem to struggle to get that kind of mileage. I'll bet that's the best he's gotten, not typical mileage. OTOH, it's not unusual for manual tranny Elantras to exceed their highway rating. My '04 regularly gets 36+ mpg on highway drives @65 mph and I average ~32 mpg overall.

Perhaps, but it's likely to be too expensive to be worth it. Also, private warranty companies have a nasty habit of going belly-up.

Yes.
Yes.
Not particularly. Figure it will cost you ~$300 to have it done or you can DIY for under $100.
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Actually, the timing belt should have been done at 60k. If it hasn't been done yet, you should subtract that from the value of the car. Also, 87k seems like a lot of miles for an '03. Be sure you've also accounted for this in the pricing.
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Brian Nystrom;17969 Wrote: > geronimo wrote:

> (automatic) Elantra driving 60-65 mph. My best (highway) mileage ever > recorded was 38+ mpg at 55 mph under ideal driving conditions. Driving > 70-75 mph drops it down to around 32-33 mpg (highway) on average. City > driving averages around 25 mpg, sometimes a little better.

> will last well into the life of the vehicle if they're maintained > properly. The problem you run into is when they're not maintained > properly or if the transmission design has a history of failure. All > except a few of my vehicles over the past 35+ years have been > automatics, and many of them logged well over 150K miles without any > issues and never a failure. Based on my experiences, I've never had > reason to worry about automatic transmission failure. The same couldn't > be said for the 4-speed stick in my wife's 1980 Camaro. It didn't take > much to toast that puppy. Sometimes it's just a personal preference. If > you're really concerned about the failure rate ask hyundaitech what his > experience has been or check the vehicle service histories complied by > Consumer Reports. Good luck.
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MidnightGray
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On Wed, 3 Jan 2007 23:53:38 -0600, MidnightGray

My wife and I have an 05 and an 03. Both are GT's with auto. We both average 29-30 in mixed driving. About 33-35 pure highway. Hope this helps. We both are very happy with the cars. I personally like the 03 better than the 05. It feels more solid to me.
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A couple of notes on your post:
Over the holidays, I got me a used '02 Elantra. Before I could even begin the look-over to see if I wanted it, the dealership it had been traded to had already done flushes on the tranny, radiator and even brake fluid.
The car had 73,000 miles on it. I had them replace the timing belt (yes, it is an interference engine) before I brought it home. With those miles on yours, I might suggest the same - do it NOW, and then you won't have to worry about it.
I would also recommend an immediate transmission fluid service, preferrably NOT by a fast lube place, unless they can demonstrate that they have truly compatible fluid (read - NOT Dexron-based, even if it claims to be multi-vehicle fluid, unless it is synthetic fluid). The failure rate on these Elantra trannys is pretty low, and keeping up with the fluid is a big key to keeping it trouble-free. If you do this, I suspect you won't have any problems.
You may also wish to do a radiator service of some kind, and that probably CAN be done by a fast-lube place. (Personally, unless a car has anti-lock brakes, I don't see the purpose of a brake fluid flush, especially at the two-year interval suggested by the flush people).
Don't discount taking it to a Hyundai dealer for this work. While there may be a few less-than-good ones out there, my experience has been first rate. They can also run your VIN and make sure there are no open recalls, and maybe even find some additional maintenance history on it for you.
As for value, like almost all cars, it will depreciate. While it's tough to put a number on it for another year, I think $700 or so is a reasonable number. I don't find that troublesome, unless you buy your cars only as an investment. I buy mine to drive them (or in this case, so my kids can).
Have only had my Elantra approximately 7 months, but can tell that those flushes were a catalyst to keeping this thing going long-term. Have had no troubles (except needing new tires, which happens to every car) and don't expect any. Suspect the same will be true for you.
In that vein, I do not EVER recommend a maintenance contract/extended warranty. Not only do the companies that provide them often go belly-up, but the value is poor. On the used cars where it has been offered to me, it would have been cheaper to have the tranny rebuilt or replaced (had that happened) then to purchase those worthless contracts.
Any car that may need that much work just shouldn't be purchased. And any car worth purchasing just won't give you anything close to the problems that would give you your money's worth on an extended warranty.
I say "go for it." But just my two cents.
Tom Wenndt
<geronimo> wrote in message >A private seller has one in exc. condition, for $6K, his pay-off

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