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Unread 12-13-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default Student needs help looking for a car

hey everyone i was looking at buying a car in the future and i would like some help.
I am 16 years of age and when i turn 18 ill be going to university and i need something to comute with.
I have a very small budget, realistically, including taxes and everything would be ~1200 bucks.
I have no knowledge what so ever about cars, but i learn as i go, i built a computer by doing that and look where i am .
For the car, is there a specific make or model to watch out for? I have ~1-2 years to find the right car so there is no rush, i just wanted to start my knowledge base now. I was looking at some cheap cars like cavaliers and civics/integras, something like that, im not too too particualar about looks or performace. (however a 04-05 mustang cobra with a kenne bell supercharger with a high-lift cam and borla stingers would be nice)

The main reason for this thread was:
to ask, what should i be looking for when it comes to car?
1) trannie, manual or automatic (i don't care, open to try both)
2) what milage is too high?
3) what cars have been prone to die?
4) what will i be looking at interms or maintance costs, other than oil, and fuel?
5) any specific brand good, honda or saturn etc.

Thanks again, i am eager to learn and i will do some lurking around this forum to see what i can learn about what basic parts and maintance strategies involve.
(tight for money, going to be studying computer hardware engineering and tution is $12000 a year)
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Unread 12-13-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
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A domestic car will most likely be cheaper in the long run to repair and such

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Unread 12-13-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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just stay away from ford.
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He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
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Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 12-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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1. Either. You will probably want to start off with a manual though simply so you don't have to learn later. An automatic is very simple while a manual is slightly more complicated but lets you have more control over your car and is generally considered more fun.

2. Depends on the engine, car and how it was treated and maintained. 200,000 Miles (321868 KMs here in Canada.) is definitely near the point something is going to go unless it's been repaired in the past. You should aim for a car with less then 250,000 KM, which shouldn't be hard for $1200.

3. Mistreated ones. There really aren't any cars which are known to die. Generally people are just biased. Though newer Ferraris and Lamborghinis seem to have a tendency to catch fire and older ones have a tendency to overheat.

4. Depends completely on what comes up. You can never really know though but I'm far from the best person to answer this. Since my Camaro hasn't needed anything more then an oil change.

5. Hondas and Toyotas are generally good, mostly the ones from the 80s (Which is all you'll get with this budget.). Fords and Chevys are a toss up but I can really only speak for the V6 in a third gen Camaro. Which wouldn't still be here if it wasn't decently reliable while my parents 87 Bronco has been nothing but trouble.

If you're just looking for a car purely based on it's reliability then a Honda Civic would do fine. Plenty of them for under $1200 in your area on craigslist.
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Unread 12-13-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fear of Oneself View Post
hey everyone i was looking at buying a car in the future and i would like some help.
I am 16 years of age and when i turn 18 ill be going to university and i need something to comute with.
I have a very small budget, realistically, including taxes and everything would be ~1200 bucks.
I have no knowledge what so ever about cars, but i learn as i go, i built a computer by doing that and look where i am .
For the car, is there a specific make or model to watch out for? I have ~1-2 years to find the right car so there is no rush, i just wanted to start my knowledge base now. I was looking at some cheap cars like cavaliers and civics/integras, something like that, im not too too particualar about looks or performace. (however a 04-05 mustang cobra with a kenne bell supercharger with a high-lift cam and borla stingers would be nice)

The main reason for this thread was:
to ask, what should i be looking for when it comes to car?
1) trannie, manual or automatic (i don't care, open to try both)
2) what milage is too high?
3) what cars have been prone to die?
4) what will i be looking at interms or maintance costs, other than oil, and fuel?
5) any specific brand good, honda or saturn etc.

Thanks again, i am eager to learn and i will do some lurking around this forum to see what i can learn about what basic parts and maintance strategies involve.
(tight for money, going to be studying computer hardware engineering and tution is $12000 a year)
1) Just a matter of preference.
2) Usually rule of thumb is 200k miles. However some cars will keep ticking long past then.
3) Lots...just think of it this way: If you still see a lot of 'em on the road, they're probably reliable. Ask us if you need opinions on a specific car.
4) Could be a lot, could be nothing. Luck of the draw.
5) All companies have good and bad cars. Personally, if i were you i'd look into Cavaliers. Cheap and trusty and reliable. No frills, gets you from point A to point B, and gets good gas mileage to boot.

Definitely stay around CarForum. You'll learn a lot from listening to us talk.
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Unread 12-13-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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theres a lot of Focus's and it sucks, so #3 is void there wierdo.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 12-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #7
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A Honda or Toyota would be a good bet. One from the mid 90's. Just make sure you find one that's been treated right. Even a Cavalier would be a good start, engines are strong, but they have a lot of other issues.

A mid 90's Japanese car can easily go over 200k miles.
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Unread 12-14-2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of the fast responses everyone, you guys have been a great help. I have done some talking with a friend from school who bought himself a 1994 integra about ability to get parts/milage and reliablilty and it looks great.
(his brother LITERALLY owns 3.5 240sx's, i mean, the front half of a car, cut by a sawzall. Just thought i would throw that in)
I also did some talking to my mother unit and she brought up the fact that my grandpa has so sickness (think it's alzheimers) but he is in the very early stages and within a year or two with not be able to drive. He owns a mid 90's saturn (don't know the model off hand) and the car has not been abused + is manual.
So im thinking.....I may be able to work up a deal with him later on. Ill look into this
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Boys, let us have a moment of silence in remembrance of his clutch.

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Unread 12-14-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluffenstein View Post
theres a lot of Focus's and it sucks, so #3 is void there wierdo.
Yours sucks. I've heard of good Focuses
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Unread 12-15-2009, 12:49 AM   #10
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I started out on a 5-speed 1995 200SX-SE 1.6L. When I wrecked that, I got the Ford pickup in my sig, also a standard. Loved 'em both. Both have their low points, both their highs.

IF I had them both sitting side-by-side and I had to choose, I'd go for the F150. Easier to work on, being RWD and 24 years old, and parts are cheap as hell being a Ford. I'm also quite fond of it's engine, seems to be better built internally. To top it off I actually fit into the damned thing, something I struggled with in the Nissan. My head hit the roof alot , and the pedals were far too small/close together for my size 11 feet to fit between easily. I can still remember when I locked up the brakes going for the clutch pedal, firewalling both at once, shortly after getting the car.

I did love the cornering and braking that little 200SX had, tho. Fun fun.




OP, sounds like that Saturn would be the best thing to learn on. Cheap, manual, and not horribly raped before you get your mitts on it. Goferit.
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