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Old 08-12-2013, 09:41 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Default Car Suggestions

So, I need a car. My current car has lots of issues, and I don't want to shovel money into it just to have more issues pop up. It's had a history of overheating many times, so it's just a matter of time until something major fails.

I'm looking for a used car for no more than $1600ish (my brother's willing to buy my current car as a fixer-upper for $1000 and I get $600 excess financial aid next month).

Requirements:
Room for dogs. Ideally a wagon or small SUV. A van would be fine, too.
Runs well (enough to travel a minimum of 3 hours one-way for dog shows...ideally good enough to drive across the country when I move!)
Decent gas mileage. I currently get less than 15mpg and it's ridiculous. I may have a 2-hour roundtrip commute to school if I go to WSU-Vancouver some day.
Reliable. Very reliable. I want to be able to have this car for a while.


I know my price range is severely limiting, and I can go up a bit, but I want to get a car as soon as possible before my current car is totally ruined - raising my budget means waiting longer.

So, suggestions? I'm just looking for make/model/possibly year for a starting point. Also, any ideas where to look other than Craigslist?

TIA!
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Old 08-12-2013, 09:52 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Here are just a few I found poking around. Good? Bad? Things to be wary of? Any of them to JUMP ON NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN?

98 Toyota 4-Runner http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/3997161774.html

93 Toyota Previa http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/3964639036.html

00 Hyundai Elantra Wagon http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/3944029506.html

98 Taurus Wagon http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/3992855998.html
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:02 PM
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meepitsmeagan meepitsmeagan is offline
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Jeep Cherokee sport/classic. The inline 6 is fantastic and run foreverrrr, they are super hardy and light. If you can find a clean one, you are in good shape. I've had both automatics and a manual. I'd get another manual in a heartbeat. Get decent milage (if you aren't lifted running 33's). Just an all around great vehicle. They made over 2 million, so parts are readily available. Look for rust in the rocker panels and the door corners.

The back lays down and you can fit a decent sized crate in there (probably a 32"), a bike, ect.

Yeah. Jeep it all the way. Lol.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:58 PM
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Hillside Hillside is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meepitsmeagan View Post
Jeep Cherokee sport/classic. The inline 6 is fantastic and run foreverrrr, they are super hardy and light. If you can find a clean one, you are in good shape. I've had both automatics and a manual. I'd get another manual in a heartbeat. Get decent milage (if you aren't lifted running 33's). Just an all around great vehicle. They made over 2 million, so parts are readily available. Look for rust in the rocker panels and the door corners.

The back lays down and you can fit a decent sized crate in there (probably a 32"), a bike, ect.

Yeah. Jeep it all the way. Lol.
I fit a 36 in crate sideways in the back of my Cherokee, no problem with the backseat up. With the seat down, I also fit a 30, but I never tried anything larger, pretty sure another 36 would fit.

Man do I miss that truck. ( Had to sell it when I got laid off a couple years ago. It was a 2000 and worth a decent amount.)

In general, I would go for a Jeep if you are in that price range, unless you can do what my friend Luke did and find a mid 90s subaru wagon for sale that was barely driven by a little old lady who just wanted to get rid of it. All Luke had to do was put wiper blades on and he paid 2000 bucks for that car. I was SO jealous.
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Old 08-13-2013, 12:52 AM
mfan mfan is offline
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I have a '99 Toyota 4Runner and a friend has a '98 4Runner. I love my car. You can fit two bigger crates (two 36s or a 42 in the back and a 36 sideways behind the front seats). I've never had any problems with it besides the normal tire change, oil changes, etc.

I don't get great mileage but it's decent enough for a car of that size. Right now, I get about 16-17MPG city, 20-21MPG highway.
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  #6  
Old 08-13-2013, 01:48 AM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Quote:
Right now, I get about 16-17MPG city, 20-21MPG highway
I'd be okay with this. It's better than what I get now, and at one point I was considering a conversion van, which gets MUCH worse than that. I can deal with this as long as the car freaking runs.


Quote:
Well you saw what I just picked up for $1000 lol.
I know and I'm SO JEALOUS lol. That's actually what prompted me to take a peek at CL today


Quote:
A Civic, if you can find it, I would buy. A 4Runner I would also get - but expect that you'll need to put some cash into it.
This helps. I mean, ALL of this helps, everything everyone's said, but...yeah I can live with a sedan if it runs. Gavroche's isn't showing/trialing anymore except for lure coursing, and Logan can be put in a soft crate at shows, so crate space isn't absolutely mandatory, it would just be nice.


Quote:
Do you have any car knowledgable people who can go look at cars with you?
My little brother is going with me, but...I had to retrain him from buying a Sunfire with a blown headgasket last year because OMG IT HAS A TURBO AND IT'S A CONVERETABLE And then he drove his own $500 Sunfire to death after the thermostat failed - it overheated and he just kept driving until he blew the head gasket. And then drove some more. So...depends on your definition of knowledgeable


Quote:
I'd be most interested in the Taurus I think since it sounds well cared for and has a newer engine.
I'm really eyeing that Taurus. I used to have a Taurus sedan and I LOVED that thing. And then some asshole ran a red light and killed it My brother's girlfriend has a Taurus sedan and it runs well too, and it's late-90s. But I also had a Sable (Mercury's taurus) and it was a piece of junk and I WAY overpaid for it. I emailed the guy about the Taurus and he said "nothing major except a/c doesn't work, should be able to drive anywhere." Of course I know people can hype up their cars, but I think it may be worth a look. A/C doesn't matter much longer at the moment, so I can save up to have it fixed. Or get it fixed with my excess financial aid.


Quote:
A loan on a nicer car is a far better idea.
Quote:
Is it at all possible for you to wait until you have more money, or to take out a personal loan with your bank and be able to buy something nicer?
Quote:
If it's at all possible to budget for a monthly payment, I would strongly consider it. $3000 over a year is $250 a month, interest at a bank on a personal loan will be pretty low so not much higher than that. If that's too much you could potentially stretch it out over two years even...
A loan is pretty much out at this point. My credit is shot...as in, planning to file for bankruptcy shot. And then my stupid Caliber was a voluntary repossession, but a repossession all the same. I've also had AWFUL luck with car loans. My first car loan, for my Taurus, it was totaled after 6 months and I was out several thousand dollars because I didn't have gap insurance. My second one was for my Sable, and that car lasted a year and then died, so then I got the remainder of that loan put on my Caliber loan. My Caliber was awesome for 2 year, and started to go downhill the third year. And then by the end of the third year it was also dead dead dead without putting several thousand dollars I didn't have into it (hence the voluntary repossession). I still owe a few thousand on my Caliber, so technically I am still making car payments. On a car I don't have anymore. My Caliber was only 5 years old. My Taurus was 2 years old. My Sable was I think a 2001, so it was only 6 years old. And that's sort of why I want an older car. New ones have been shitty in my experience (except my Taurus. I LOVED MY TAURUS. WHY DID YOU SQUASH IT YOU STUPID BITCH. I'm still not over it.)


My older brother has a Jeep of some sort, and has had Jeeps in the past. I don't think he's had any trouble with this one, but I know the last one he had fuel pump issues. Don't know if that's common or not. I also don't know what kind of jeep it was.

It might also be worth mentioning my standards for "Can drive to dog shows" are probably lower than average. I mean, my Caliber had a freaking wheel FALL OFF on the way to a dog show, and I had a bad feeling the whole time that something was going to happen because it was making bad noises. But I still went. I do have roadside assistance that guarantees me a tow home if worst comes to worst, and my brother would come rescue my sorry ass out of Nowhere, OK if I needed it. I mean, it would be very nice if I could stuff everything I own in my car and drive to the west coast when I move, but I know in reality that won't happen (I wouldn't even have trusted my Caliber for that). But...driving 30 minutes to the stable without overheating would be lovely.

I could pour the $1600 into my current car, but I honestly don't think it would help much.

What I REALLY want is a Honda CR-V or Element. But that's out of the question for $1600


Thanks everyone for all the input! I really do appreciate it, even the parts I don't want to hear
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  #7  
Old 08-13-2013, 02:56 PM
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Romy Romy is offline
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An upper 90s saturn, they come in wagon form too.

Mine is an SW1. I bought her for $2000 cash, with 75K miles on her. She is THE BEST CAR IN THE WORLD.

She gets 30 MPG in the city. On the freeway I've gotten a range from 35-45mpg. It seems to depend on the quality of gas and how much of a leadfoot I am. She likes Chevron and Safeway brands the best.

I've only had to do one major repair on her. She's a manual transmission and something in the linkage came apart. I opted to get an entirely new transmission + new clutch since things were getting worn anyway. It only cost me $1200 for labor AND parts. <3

Other than that, absolutely zero problems with her. She's compact but has tons of space for kids and dogs. I regularly transport two borzois and two children strapped into bulky child seats in mine. Squeezing in a third isn't a big deal either. If I'm dog sitting Bella she just squishes between the kids in the back seat, lol.

This car is seriously never allowed to die.

ETA: This isn't her, but it's her exact twin. You can see the awesomness. She has over 170K on her engine now, and I wouldn't hesitate to drive her to Tennesee and back. I'd buy roadside assistance first, but still.

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Old 08-18-2013, 11:36 PM
Saeleofu Saeleofu is offline
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Maybe? http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/4010743198.html

And I love the picture on this one. It looks fake! lol http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/4009073033.html

http://wichita.craigslist.org/cto/3973625827.html

Clearly I'm in a Jeep sort of mood tonight.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:06 PM
ruffiangirl ruffiangirl is offline
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We have a 99 Taurus wagon and that thing is great on fuel, and parts are super easy to find because it was the same for just so long. We tend to swear clear of imports just because the parts are usually more expensive and harder to find.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:41 PM
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Beanie Beanie is offline
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Is it at all possible for you to wait until you have more money, or to take out a personal loan with your bank and be able to buy something nicer? I'd be concerned that $1600 will just buy you another fixer-upper, or worse, something that will literally blow up on you shortly. A friend of mine bought a car for $1500 and the engine blew up I think a month after he bought it... maybe even less than that. $1500 completely wasted.
I wouldn't consider a $1600 car very reliable nor something you'd expect to have for a long time - and I wouldn't buy it hoping to be able to drive it 3+ hours to dog shows and not have to worry about it failing and leaving me stranded somewhere.
Even $5000 is going to be able to buy you a far better used car.

If it's at all possible to budget for a monthly payment, I would strongly consider it. $3000 over a year is $250 a month, interest at a bank on a personal loan will be pretty low so not much higher than that. If that's too much you could potentially stretch it out over two years even...
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