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  1. #1
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Default Opinions, please and thank you

    Ok, so some of you might know that my car's been in the shop for the last several days to replace a broken timing chain. Well, it was supposed to be a $912 repair. The day I authorized said repair, I told the mechanic that I had called the Chevy dealership and asked them to run my VIN to see if the engine I had was an interference or non-interference. Interference meaning that when my timing chain broke, damage would have almost certainly been done to the engine. Non-interference being the opposite. The dealership told me I had an interference engine, which I relayed to the mechanic. He said he was "pretty sure" my engine was a non-interference. So I said, "Well, I hope you're right, but the dealer I bought the car from...a Chevy dealer no less, would disagree."

    So they did the repair and we found out today that the engine has NO COMPRESSION. So, it turns out I had an interference engine (go figure.) What I have to ask you guys, though, is aside from that *minor* issue:

    We are considering buying a 2007 Kia Rio that has 44K miles on it, and the remainder of a 5 yr/60K bumper to bumper factory warranty. I called Kia to run the VIN and the original in-service date is July 2007. So that means we have 16K or almost 2 years left on the warranty. The catch is that it is listed at $6,900 (dropped from $7,500.) We are going to test drive it tomorrow. If we like it, we'll have a mechanic look at it and then I'm planning on offering 5K in cash if everything checks out.

    I guess I'm wondering what you all think about this. The insurance will be about $100 more every 6 months than my Cavalier is/was, so that's not a big deal. The thing is, only BF is employed at the moment. I did send my resume out to 4 potential employers today after getting the bad news. I've had my resume prepared since we moved to FL, but this is the first I've actually send it out. On BF's income we are able to cover out expenses each month, and theoretically save $200....if the car problems were to "cease and desist." We put over $600 in it a few months back, another $600 or so in it last month, and now this.

    So what would you all do? Would you buy a newer vehicle with lower miles and a warranty for more money, or would you buy an older vehicle, with potentially more miles and no warranty?

    Regardless of which we choose, I am going to have to seek employment. If we ever want to be able to afford to buy a house, it's not an option.

  2. #2
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    I might have missed it in your post but do you have the $ to pay for the Kia and still have a good cushion????

    I also noticed you said only BF is employed. If I did have the $ to write a check for the kia I think I would hold off if I was unemployed unless you have a big Ef and Bf's job is super secure.

    On the Rio. We own a 2002 as dh's commuter car. The car had its' first repair ever at 113,000 miles. It is now at 114,000 and recently needed a new alternator and belts. We have spent a grand total of $660 on repairs since 2003. Not to shabby for a $6,000 car bought in 2003 in my opinion.

  3. #3
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nodmicks View Post
    I might have missed it in your post but do you have the $ to pay for the Kia and still have a good cushion????

    I also noticed you said only BF is employed. If I did have the $ to write a check for the kia I think I would hold off if I was unemployed unless you have a big Ef and Bf's job is super secure.

    On the Rio. We own a 2002 as dh's commuter car. The car had its' first repair ever at 113,000 miles. It is now at 114,000 and recently needed a new alternator and belts. We have spent a grand total of $660 on repairs since 2003. Not to shabby for a $6,000 car bought in 2003 in my opinion.
    Thank's for the input on the Rio! I did forget to mention what our cushion was. We've got 21K as it stands now. So if we were to get the Rio for 5K we'd still have a good amount left over. His job is fairly secure since he's the only person at his relatively small company that can do work on small business servers (computer/IT industry.) He is also working for way below the industry average at the moment. So that being said, I don't think someone is going to take the job out from underneath him by doing the same job for less. It's more complicated than that, so long story short, I'll just say yes; I do believe his job is secure.

    I would love to hold off on purchasing an expensive (to me anyway) car until I had a job, but on the other hand....we've been putting so much money into this clunker that I almost think we'd be better off with a reliable vehicle than a beater. I guess that's kind of why I'm not sure just what to do.

    Edit: I almost forgot; BF wants to part out our Cavalier. We've got a brand new fuel pump, harmonic balancer, 6 month old black "rims," 6 month old tires, and everything but the engine is in working order...whether or not it is new or old. Hopefully we can get a decent amount of money out of it to help pay for the new car. Plus our insurance for 6 months was just paid in July. So the remainder will go towards the new car.

  4. #4
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    That is a nice cushion. I assume debt free also? If so if it were me I'd buy a newer car. Actually we just did a month ago and I'm glad we did

  5. #5
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Anyone else? Surely some of you chatty individuals have SOMETHING to say

  6. #6
    Registered User JanieD's Avatar
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    Have you considered if they aren't willing to take $5000 what your next move would be? Its good to have a plan B & C in case.


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  7. #7
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanieD View Post
    Have you considered if they aren't willing to take $5000 what your next move would be? Its good to have a plan B & C in case.
    Yeah I have. I spend the better part of the day today test driving different cars. I've driven an 05 Chev. Aveo and that 07 Kia Rio that I really like (for the price I'm looking at anyway lol.) I actually drove another 05 Aveo, but I don't trust that dealership any further than I could throw it. However, their Aveo is listed online at $4,995 while the one I test drove at a Chevy dealership is listed online at $6,300 (I think.) So I may be able to get away with an offer of 5K at the Chevy dealership, and I like the people there much better. I'd have to try and finagle (ooh, good word ) a warranty out of them but....maybe doable. So I guess to fully answer your question, our game plan is to test drive a lot of vehicles that fall just out of (less than 7K) our price point of 5K, and try and get the lowest possible mileage on a vehicle we think we can stand to drive for a few years...hopefully several years lol.

  8. #8
    Registered User JanieD's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're on the right track! I asked since most dealerships in my area will only lower the price slightly ($500-700). Could be a difference in areas, models & such. Best of luck find a great deal!


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  9. #9
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Default Update:

    Well we drove the 07 Kia, and don't get me wrong, it did drive quite nice for the golf-cart that it is lol. However, the insurance on the darn thing is higher than most other cars...quite possibly because it's construction is on par with that of a tin can. Also, I changed my search parameters on Autotrader just to see how many of them are on the road and for sale over 100K. In a radius of 25 miles, there is a total of ONE Kia Rio for sale with over 100K miles. In other words, it appears to be a "throw away" car. So, the one we looked at has 44K....I would imagine problems with it aren't too far down the road. So we're going to walk away from that one.

    In other news, I've been test-driving my little butt of the last couple of days. I've driven a couple of Chevy Aveos (also appear to be "throw aways"), a couple Dodge Stratus's...which drove pretty nice actually. I drove a Chrysler Sebring that was a death trap...at a pretty seedy looking "dealer." All of the cars on his lot had the wheel wells spray painted with shiny black paint...to cover the rust I would assume. And some of the spray went over onto the outside of the car...it looked really tacky. I've also driven a Chevy Cavalier through a parking lot that wasn't technically road worthy according to the mechanic at the Nissan dealersihp. The spedometer was not functioning. Plus, it's the same car as I'm replacing, and I'm a little hesitant to get the same engine that we've had so many problems with.

    Last night we drove a 2004 Honda Civic VP with only 66K miles on it. The sticker price is $6990. We REALLY liked this car. Plus, they have such a good reputation of being on the road at 200K. So this morning, I was prepared to call him this afternoon with an offer ($6,000.) However, I ran the CARFAX on it and low and behold...it's been in 3 accidents. They all happened with the first owner within the first 2 years of him having it. Two of the accidents were in the rear of the vehicle, with it being "operational" and able to be driven away from the scene. One of the accidents was FRONT END and left it inoperable. So.....what to do, what to do. I don't think I'll contact him until tomorrow, and that's only if I don't find something else before then. I'll probably mention that I ran the reports and its been in several accidents, at which point I'll then tell him that I'll offer him $5,800, providing it checks out with "my" mechanic. At least I'll be able to tell a mechanic what to look for, where it has been hit, etc. As long as the frame isn't all bend up, causing us to go through suspension parts left and right, I'll *probably* go through with it...if he accepts my offer. The engine really does run exceptionally well, so I'm hoping that the accident that left it inoperable wasn't severe. It may have been something pretty simple (tires touching a bent bumper, lights missing, etc.) but then again.....maybe not.

    On another note, I'll be driving a Toyota Corolla that is for sale in the parking lot here at my complex. It has 165,000 miles on it, but the top end of the engine was just rebuilt at 161,000. The guy is selling it because he needed to get a 4 wheel drive vehicle for his job. He purchased it right after the engine was rebuilt. He has it marked for $2,300 but I got the scoop from the maintenance guy that works here, that he'd let it go for $1,500.

    I'm also going to see a 02 Chevy Monte Carlo with 46K on it, listed for $6,884 at a Chevy dealership. That's today at 3:15.

    Tonight I think we'll be crossing the Sunshine Skyway to go see a 02 Hyundai Accent that has 45K and is listed above bluebook at $6,581. Retail bluebook says it's worth $5,400. So I might have some wiggle room there if we like it. That'll be at 6:45 give or take with traffic.

    Wish me luck!

  10. #10
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    If you feel safe with the cushion and truly feel safe with his job I'd part the vehicle out like he said and go with another car.
    Sounds like it's $100 dollaring you death. In the end you would have probably spent enough on it that you could have bought another one with somewhat of a warranty left.
    You sound very vehicle savvy...I think if you have patience you are going to find an excellent deal/better vehicle...even better than the ones you've described.
    But I'd give up on sinking money in the one you have. It's far more than nickel and diming you.

    Edit to remind you to also check Ebay for some good deals. Close proximity of course. We've bought 2 thru Ebay, well actually found them thru Ebay, contacted seller and bought OFF Ebay...less fees, hence cheaper. One was bought as a clunker when our disaster life happened and one about 2 1/2 years ago that is a fantastic car and about 13 thousand less than a dealership. Just a thought. It's worked for us. And cash for an Ebay seller, off Ebay, does wonderful things to the orginal price.
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  11. #11
    Registered User druthb00's Avatar
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    Default ANOTHER update (WARNING: LONG)

    So, after shopping for a new-to-me car for 4 days....I had all but given up. I was sick of car salesmen...and their bosses. It's funny how you can go into someplace and be basically ignored. But, then when you say the word "CASH" it's like you took a raw steak and dangled it in front of a lion's cage. So, needless to say, I've had each and every salesman I've worked with...and their manager, calling my cell phone for the last couple of days.

    I won't go into more details about the cars we've looked at, because they all either had something wrong (prior front end accident on the Honda Civic) or the price was suddenly higher due to "benefits of buying that car." You know what I'm talking about; stain protection on the interior, Perma-coat (something like that) on the exterior, nitrogen in the tires...blah blah blah.

    So on Thursday afternoon, the mechanic that has our car finally called. It's a $2,700 fix.

    The car isn't WORTH $2,700. So I told him just that. I said, ok, I'll have Justin (BF) call you when he gets off of work. He waited until Friday morning to call. He told the guy that he'd heard what it would cost to fix the car (timing chain, new valves, shaving the head of the motor...pretty much top-end rebuild) BF told him he'd send me down with a tow truck to get it out of their way. When the guy asked him how much he'd originally been quoted to fix the timing belt (by the manager who wasn't there) he told him $912...but there was a discrepancy. I called the dealership to find out of my engine would be harmed if the chain broke (it would) and told the mechanic that BEFORE he started the repair. The mechanic insisted he didn't *THINK* it was an interference engine, and went ahead with the repair. Then, low and behold, there was no compression when he was done. I can't imagine why.....

    So BF told him he thought that we should only have to pay a diagnostic fee, since they improperly diagnosed it in the first place. They could have A: Taken our word that the dealership we bought the car from was correct. OR B: Taken the head off and checked to see if the valves were bent. They did NEITHER before replacing the timing chain. So the guy told BF, "Well, what if I can get this repair done cheaper for you?" BF asked him how much cheaper. The guy said, "Well, I'll try to get you below 2K." BF said, "Ok, call me back if you can do that...but we'll still have to think about it."

    BF then went to work and the guy called me back. $2,044 was the new quote. He said if we wanted, we could come by and the mechanic would show us exactly what was going to be done. I told him we'd come by after 5PM, when BF was off of work.

    So, we went in with the intention of talking them down to $1,850. The reasoning was that we only have our rental car until Monday and so we'd need another week long rental ($200) The guy showed BF what would be done and then BF looked at me, as if to say, "Go for it." I told the mechanic that if the body were in better shape, we probably wouldn't hesitate to do the repair. But we'd already put a lot of money into it in the last few months, bringing it to them for a harmonic balancer and belt tensioner ($650) as well as a new fuel pump ($700 ish) I asked him when the District Manager who gave me the price of $2,044 would be in. He said the next day. So I told him I'd like to talk to the DM before we went any further and that he'd done a good job getting the repair lower, but we'd still like to be under 2K, and preferably at $1,850 to cover the cost of another week on a rental car. He (this guy is the General Manager) then said that I didn't need to talk to the DM, they'd do it for $1,850! I was sooo happy lol. Plus, there is a 2 yr warranty on parts, and 90 days on labor. But because it's such a major/costly repair, he was sure that the DM would give us a longer warranty if we asked.

    We're still going to look for a second vehicle...but slower this time lol. I"m going to try and hold out til X-Mas and get a good deal then.

    And more good news? The company BF works for, the place I've been doing VERY part-time work covering for other employees is going to bring me in with scheduled part-time hours each week...with the possibility to extend those hours based on necessity and performance. I'm ecstatic!

    Full Disclosure: This car was given to me when it was worth about 5K still. So the $3,200 we put/are putting into it over the last few months is reasonable. Had we purchased the car....I may not have gone ahead with the engine rebuild.

  12. #12
    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    Truly, way to go! Ended up at your wish cost and reg job to boot. I'm so very happy for you. The reg job hrs will help tremendously I'm sure. Plus almost $1000 on the car is like money in the bank.
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