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Help on making a car decision

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  • Help on making a car decision

    I (used to) drive a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix SE.
    Recently, my ball-joint on the front passenger side crapped out on me. A few months earlier the same side had a tire-rod end problem that also incapacitated the car.
    My questions are:

    1) Should I scrap the car? Both handles have broken off as well, the A/C is leaking somewhere undetectable, and there are a few other problems that add up to be a headache to me.

    Sort of a side question to this too: If I do scrap it, I need a new car. Are there any recommendations for used cars out there?

    2) Keep the car I have now and put the work into it. It's reached 175K though and I for-see a lot of these problems occurring in the near future.

    Any help you guys could be would be immensely wonderful :)

  • #2
    Re: Help on making a car decision

    That's a tough call. It will almost always be cheaper - talking dollars only - to keep a car running than to buy a new one, but it's a lot more work. And then there are those few big-buck problems - transmission, engine internals, etc - that might hit and put the lie to what I just said (I did say *almost* always...).

    The stress and trouble of dealing with breakdowns and repairs is worth a lot, if you can afford to trade cash for reliability.

    It's been a long time since I've been left stranded by a breakdown, but I've been there.

    A Pontiac with 175k - I can see how it's hard to keep putting money into it.

    If you can afford it - I'd say replace it.

    There are still some great deals on new cars, and the Korean imports (Kia & Hyundai) have gotten a lot better. I'd go for an inexpensive new Kia if you can afford it.

    I know it's about as uncool as it gets, but they have are decent cars and have a great warranty. And you won't have to worry about a breakdown for years.

    Good luck!


    • #3
      Re: Help on making a car decision

      +1. IF you have the money, I'd scrap and get a new car.

      Not necessarily a brand new car, though; There are a great deal of reliable used cars out there for a reasonable price. Older (early 90's and older) Mercedes are comfortable, inexpensive, and are generally built like tanks. I'd probably go with an old E-class diesel if I needed a used car on the cheap. less than 20-year-old examples can be found for under 6k.

      Hondas are generally reliable as well, but be sure not to buy one that a 16-year-old has dumped miscellaneous AEM parts into.

      If you like to buy American, get a used Police Interceptor. It won't be nearly as efficient as the above options, but it simply won't quit. And if by chance it does, parts are beyond dirt-cheap.
      Member of IPT, U-G, BG, PTP, WHAT, DMN, BitMe, Fux0r. Comcrap 22/5 Businessclass.


      • #4
        Re: Help on making a car decision

        I would have to say get a new car if you can afford it and will have to go with a Honda as they are reliable and also inexpensive to repair, and if you are going to go Korean go Hyundai


        • #5
          Re: Help on making a car decision

          Everything in the replies above is absolutely correct........ Given the age and mileage of your ride, it is time for you to upgrade if you can afford it or get a loan.

          That is not necessarily the case if you can do the work yourself.... Having to pay a mechanic shop to do work, is in of itself, not very good marginal value for your spending dollar with most cars and yours falls into this category now. (I cannot see your Pontiac, but I am assuming that it is not a "creme puff" given your apprehension of future problems). It is always a bit subjective to repair older rides that have been "babied".

          I know for a fact that Toyota and Honda make the best cars, so look into a corolla, camry or accord, civic if this suits your taste. Parts will always be available many, many years from now for these models...... I would stay away from any Mercedes though as parts for these cars are overpriced and most independent auto shops don't know how to work on any drivability issues with them. You need Mercedes proprietary scan tools to properly do this kind of work.
          Last edited by SierraTango4; July 18, 2011, 02:29 PM. Reason: more info


          • #6
            Re: Help on making a car decision

            Thank you all for your insight!
            I've been really busy the past week trying to sort this out and ended up junking my car for $400. It took the guy forever and a day to get the poor car up on the flatbed and boy was it sad to see it go. (It was my first car D:) But it's nice to not have my complex on me about having a busted car sitting in their parking lot.

            I will definitely check into Toyota/Honda. I've heard a lot of good things about Civics. The only thing is, I don't have any credit, being a poor college student and finding a loan would be a predicament.


            • #7
              Re: Help on making a car decision

              Yeah like a lot of people have said I would look for a honda or toyota. My cousin bought a 2002 civic for 1500CND and its working great. So not super recent and not super old too, still in good shape for a couple of years.

              So I think something like this would be perfect for you, a good cheap car who can offer you a couple of good years (and easy to find repair parts if needed). At a price like this you could probably be able to buy it without a loan if you can't have one.

              Good luck finding a new car!


              • #8
                Re: Help on making a car decision

                I would get a 240sx but that is not necessarily the "best" if you are going to replace it.


                • #9
                  I would also get a 240sx


                  • #10


                    • #11
                      Hello! I think car questions are always difficult. I remember the case when I lost my car key and I didn't know what to do. Fortunately, my friend advised me to use auto locksmiths and I found a way out quickly. This was quite helpful because I was lost and I couldn't have done anything smart by myself


                      • #12
                        Quite interesting answers! I also want to buy used car for my son. Now we have two cars, Chevrolet and Volkswagen. By the way I want to ask how do you clean your cars? I'm tired to go to the car wash services and pay money for this. How about pressure washer? I thought about this when read reviews on Cleanup.Expert site. Can you share your experience?


                        • #13
                          Take Ford Focus and that's it. Good car. Been driving it for a while, I have.


                          • #14
                            I used to own a classic car too but I won't say that it was a positive experience. The amount of technical problems you have to deal with is just crazy. A Locksmith in Tucson was the most popular phone number on my contact list lol. The car just refised to open once in a while and it was amazingly annoying. And the cost of maintanance is just nuts.