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Unread 02-28-2013, 01:39 AM   #1
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Question College student buying adivce

Hi everyone. Just found this forum on google and would love some advice.

I'm a 20 year old college student living in Miami. I moved here a while back and rely on the bus for everything but it's time to move up to my first car. I've been doing research online (autotrader, cars.com) but i'm not sure whether to trust the internet. Craigslist has tons of posts so I dont know what to believe is real or a scam

I'm looking for a reliable used car around $2500. The usual specs: won't break down within a week and insurance isn't a pain. Also it has to have an automatic transmission (sorry, I never really learned manual transmission). I've already seen the Car Guy's thoughts on VWs lol so i guess that's out of the question. Maybe a honda or old camry, not sure about nissans. Something that will last me a few years.

Like I said, i'm new to this whole process so any and all advice is welcome.

Thanks a lot.

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Unread 02-28-2013, 01:55 AM   #2
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You'll also want something stupidly cheap to repair and very veeery durable..hmm...is fuel use an issue?
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Unread 02-28-2013, 02:03 AM   #3
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You should be able to find a nice Camry for $2500
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Unread 02-28-2013, 04:15 AM   #4
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If I lived in Miami I'd totally get a Miata lol
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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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Fuel cost isnt really an issue. I dont expect an old car to be too fuel efficient. A camry sounds perfect...if i could find one lol. Not really looking to get something tiny like a miata.

Edit: what do you guys think about a dodge neon?

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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:27 AM   #6
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Neon? No go. The whole car's made of glass.


If fuel use is no big deal then you're open to a whole smattering of stuff that you'd be hard pressed to break if you tried. Any GM pickup with a V8 or V6, a Ford older than 1996 with an I6 or V8, a 4.0L Jeep Wrangler, an ex-cop car, an old RWD Chevy Caprice, all of which will suit your needs if you don't mind averaging somewhere around 12-20MPG combined.
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My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

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Unread 02-28-2013, 09:36 AM   #7
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Thinking more along the lines of a sedan. So no neon. Maybe camry, civic, accord, altima or maxima. Not sure about GM cars

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Unread 02-28-2013, 10:22 AM   #8
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GMs are going to put up with far more punishment than something Asian or european. Tradeoff: Cheaper plastics and worse fuel economy. The important bits are very well built and will last forever.

In that case, yeah, the cars you mentioned will be fine. Just remember to keep that timing belt changed on interval, a lot of them have interference engines and will have a very expensive failure if you let the belt break. Keep the maintenance up and you'll have a car that lasts 20 years. Oh, and if the car's past interval and there's no proof the previous owner changed it? Change the belt ASAP it's probably original and overdue.
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Tired Iron ain't got no time to wear out...

My rigs:

1985 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci OHV inline six | 4-speed OD manual | 310K | No power brakes | Running 100% - It hasn't driven this good in 15 years!

1984 Ford F150 | 4x2 | 300ci six | granny four | 3.55 rear end | 210K | Brakes shot. Rear drums are doing most of the work. Not fit to drive due to that.
1997 Ford Explorer XLT | 4.0L Vulcan V6 | 5-speed automatic | shift-on-the-fly 4WD | 210,000 miles | Running 95% - Needs brakes on all four corners + bald tires
1989 Ford F150 | 300cid six...again | 5-speed | 4x4 | 160K | Needs brakes done as well. Oi!

Last edited by Kenny McCormick; 02-28-2013 at 10:24 AM.

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Unread 02-28-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Grand Prix or other GM 3800 V6 car.
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Unread 02-28-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Ok so how much are belts. I'll post a few cars I've found online in a while. I'm trying to stay true to my 2500 budget.

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