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Used car buying tips
2 day | t1

Posted on 07/10/2011 10:03:54 AM PDT by CGASMIA68

Never purchased a used car. Looking at an 07 accord exl, 57000 for 12000 private owner at a garage Price looks in line with vehicle. I know about car fax and will pay to have a Honda dealer look at it but before I get that far; How can a novice tell if the engine is the original and what else should I keep an eye out for? Thanks in advance


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: automobiles; usedcars
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1 posted on 07/10/2011 10:03:55 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: t1b8zs

Pay a mechanic you trust to evaluate it! Best money you’ll ever spend.

Also, vehicles have records of reliability. Look up the year and specific model on the ‘net.


2 posted on 07/10/2011 10:10:39 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: t1b8zs

At 57K miles the engine is almost certainly original. Check to see if the owner has done regular oil changes. If there is an oil change sticker on the windshield compare the information on it to the current date and mileage.

Look under the hood and check for paint overspray. Also look to see if all the original stickers are in place under the hood - if you don’t see the stickers it is a good indication that the vehicle has been wrecked and repainted. Look to see if the paint on the hood and fenders matches the rest of the body - slight variations can mean a paint job and that usually means the car has been wrecked

Make sure the title is good - a reconditioned or salvage title indicates the vehicle has been totaled in a wreck and rebuilt. It is always best to stay away from those cars.

If all that looks good and your mechanic checks it out it should be OK - good luck


3 posted on 07/10/2011 10:16:55 AM PDT by slumber1 (Don't taze me bro!)
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To: t1b8zs

Car Fax is next to useless. If you don’t believe me check their own warranty. A trusted mechanic is the gold standard for used car buying.


4 posted on 07/10/2011 10:25:49 AM PDT by Cyman
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To: t1b8zs
I know about car fax and will pay to have a Honda dealer look at it but before I get that far

That's a great start.

Look for fluids that are "too clean". Not always a bad thing, but sometimes you may want to look a bit more at the vehicle. Look at the oil dipstick. See if it has a varnishing down at the end. This can indicate that the vehicle ran very hot at some point. When test driving, don't simply go around the block. May sure that the temperature gauge rises to operating temperature.

I was looking at a car with my brother, and after letting it cool off, removed the cap, and the anti-freeze was white. Indicative of cylinder head gasket failure or cracked engine block. Oil and water mixed, creating an emulsion. Check the tailpipe as it is running. Say goodbye if you see thick white smoke. Same with thick, bluish smoke. That's oil. A little blackish, gray smoke can simply mean that it needs a tune up.

Have a friend watch your tailpipe as you drive by. If he/ she observes a surge of bluish, black smoke, valve guides are probably worn.$$$$

5 posted on 07/10/2011 10:29:19 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: t1b8zs
Say goodbye if you see thick white smoke.

That's anti-freeze.

6 posted on 07/10/2011 10:31:45 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: slumber1

Just because a fender has a slight variation in color doesn’t mean the car has been in a major accident.
I would guess probably 80% of cars have had some sort of body repair in their lifetime.


7 posted on 07/10/2011 10:32:49 AM PDT by donhunt (I am sick and tired of those bastards insulting and lying to me.)
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To: t1b8zs

Why do you want to pay that much for a 4 year old with 57k
A quick search of all sedans on auto trader and I found 2010s with 25 to 35 on them for that much.


8 posted on 07/10/2011 10:34:04 AM PDT by omega4179
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To: t1b8zs

I can get you a Friends and Neighbors discount for a Ford product. All I need is name, address and the last four digits of your social. Get you a pin number you take to your dealer. Might be as good a price as buying a used car.


9 posted on 07/10/2011 10:34:04 AM PDT by KYGrandma (The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home......)
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To: t1b8zs

(1) Why is the owner selling it? Listen for the story, half the read is in the telling, half in what the story is.

(2) Was the owner a smoker? Bad if so. Smokers tend to abuse cars.

(3) As everyone else said, have a trusted mechanic check it out.

(4) If you don’t have a trusted mechanic use a reliable chain shop, e.g. Pep Boys.

(5) You want a mechanic who knows that model and year, and who is able to identify body work.


10 posted on 07/10/2011 10:37:08 AM PDT by bvw
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To: omega4179

You found Hondas or Toyotas, or what?


11 posted on 07/10/2011 10:38:30 AM PDT by bvw
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To: t1b8zs
FWIW, Consumer Reports sez:


12 posted on 07/10/2011 10:39:24 AM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: omega4179

whats your zip....I plug in zips around the country and they all vary the $$$$$$


13 posted on 07/10/2011 10:42:35 AM PDT by CGASMIA68
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To: t1b8zs

14 posted on 07/10/2011 10:45:12 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: t1b8zs

If you have time and know a mechanic you trust, just tell them what you are looking for. They often have people bring in their cars for a check-over just before they sell it. If they know what you are interested in, they can act as a buying service.


15 posted on 07/10/2011 10:45:16 AM PDT by Stegall Tx (Joined the Obama economy on 19 March, 2010. Found part-time work on 12 Feb, 2011.)
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To: t1b8zs

When you find the right vehicle, religiously change the oil. Many people put this off, don’t. I own a Grand Am with 150,000 miles, and it doesn’t use a drop of oil. They are known for being unreliable. Runs like a top. I would trust it going cross country.


16 posted on 07/10/2011 10:47:53 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: Cyman

“Car Fax is next to useless.”

X2.


17 posted on 07/10/2011 10:48:03 AM PDT by Proud2BeRight
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To: Lancey Howard

Something tells me to avoid this guy...


18 posted on 07/10/2011 10:50:30 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: slumber1

What? You don’t want to drive down the street sideways?


19 posted on 07/10/2011 10:57:32 AM PDT by Domangart
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To: bvw

Smokers tend to abuse cars ??????????? WTF


20 posted on 07/10/2011 11:02:11 AM PDT by UB355 (Slower traffic keep right)
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To: He Rides A White Horse

We have 4 vehicles with over 100K and one that probably has around 300K but the od hasn’t worked for many years. We put Slick 50 in everything when it gets past 50K.

My husband is bad, we change the oil every year or if we are going on a long trip. We’ve never had to replace an engine.


21 posted on 07/10/2011 11:02:20 AM PDT by tiki
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To: He Rides A White Horse

I’ve never seen completely white AF before. Looking for a 2nd-hand car is a full-time job, and most people are too busy to rid their weekends just to talk to the previous owners selling the cars, and I’ve had my take on owners go on and on why they have to sell the car.

Most BS you. You have to possess common sense if the owner lies to you. I found that 40-ish older women drivers take better care of their cars (even if the color of their cars annoys me).


22 posted on 07/10/2011 11:02:27 AM PDT by max americana (FUBO NATION 2012 FAK BARAK)
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To: UB355

A smoker smoked out, I gather.


23 posted on 07/10/2011 11:03:20 AM PDT by bvw
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To: t1b8zs

Buy a Certified Pre-Owned vehicle from the dealer. Comes with a warranty. Never been disappointed with the two BMWs I’ve bought via CPO.


24 posted on 07/10/2011 11:04:57 AM PDT by Poundstone (A recent Federal retiree and proud of it!)
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To: t1b8zs

Be sure to find out if the timing belt has been replaced — Accords need to have this done around 60,000 miles.


25 posted on 07/10/2011 11:06:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: t1b8zs

If you have a mechanic you can trust have them give it the once over. This will usually cost you a little bit (good mechanics don’t work for free) but if they warn you even one stinker that pays for a lifetime of these checkups. If the seller is at all honest they’ll be more than happy to give the car to your mechanic, if they are at all reluctant move on to the next car.


26 posted on 07/10/2011 11:08:02 AM PDT by discostu (Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn)
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To: t1b8zs

Look at the seller. Is he the original owner or is this a used car lot? If he is the original owner and a “FR” type (i.e. conscientious & honest) that counts as much as the CarFax or mechanics eval.

A good mechanic can tell if the car has been neglected, in an accident or seriously abused. A good owner makes a difference in how the car was treated.

Honda Accord is a good car. We bought our first Honda, a used 2004 CR-V with 53K in 2007. We now have 161K. A/C compressor died and we changed the rear diff fluids, but other than that, nothing but oil changes, plugs at 100K and put gas in it. BTW, we checked out the original (only) owner.


27 posted on 07/10/2011 11:12:14 AM PDT by BwanaNdege (For those who have fought for it, Life bears a savor the protected will never know.)
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To: t1b8zs

Carfax only has dealer maintenance information. Any work the owner had done at non-dealer garages doesn’t show up.


28 posted on 07/10/2011 11:21:06 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." - Bertrand de Jouvenel des Ursins)
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To: bvw
(2) Was the owner a smoker? Bad if so. Smokers tend to abuse cars.
29 posted on 07/10/2011 11:28:08 AM PDT by calex59
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To: t1b8zs

Always, always, always leave dealership after you view.

Leave premises, get cup of coffee. Something. Anything. Leave the dealership and think.

Even if it is for 10 minutes. leave the proximity of the vehicle, salesman, etc.

IF the deal is perfect, leave for awhile. If it is the last one, leave for sure. Then...

If you buy it and are happy, shut up. Everyone will pick the deal apart. Just buy it and be happy. It is nobody’s business what you paid and how deal structured.

(did I mention the fact that you must leave the dealership?)


30 posted on 07/10/2011 11:30:04 AM PDT by Dryman (Define Natural Born Citizen)
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To: tiki
We have 4 vehicles with over 100K and one that probably has around 300K but the od hasn’t worked for many years. We put Slick 50 in everything when it gets past 50K.

I let the guys at Jiffy Lube take care of the oil, just not worth the time, and they put in the 'older vehicle' oil. I asked them what the difference was and was told that it was the equivalent of putting a quart of slick 50 in it.

You sound lucky.Owners manuals suggest 7,500 miles, and while the oils today are far superior, I change it around every 4,000 miles, to remove particles and dirt, that sort of thing. I guess that you are not putting too many miles on them (between changes).

31 posted on 07/10/2011 11:33:16 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: max americana
I’ve never seen completely white AF before.

Looked like milk. Oil and water do mix under some conditions. I looked at my brother and told him to say goodbye. I have to say I have never seen that again.

32 posted on 07/10/2011 11:38:08 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: He Rides A White Horse

Usually the high mileage oil has additives to keep the engine seals flexible or even swell them a little. Nothing to do with Teflon crap or whatever dubious ingredient Slick 50 has.


33 posted on 07/10/2011 11:40:57 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: t1b8zs
Now days you can get an OBDII tester for next to nothing. find one that works on Honda and learn how to use it. Or buy the on advertised on TV. Show up and ask if you can plug it in. The owners behavior will tell you a lot. Might save you the cost of a mechanic. Learn to read o2 sensor data(very easy). At 57k miles most likely the sensor are lazy. Cost about $100 each to replace and there are three or four of them.
34 posted on 07/10/2011 11:41:13 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: steve86
Usually the high mileage oil has additives to keep the engine seals flexible or even swell them a little. Nothing to do with Teflon crap or whatever dubious ingredient Slick 50 has.

Yeah, I could see that. I probably don't need it, but if no harm no foul,(high mileage oil).

35 posted on 07/10/2011 11:44:15 AM PDT by He Rides A White Horse ((((unite))))
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To: martin_fierro

Toyota and Honda paid off CR a long time ago. It is BS.


36 posted on 07/10/2011 11:47:10 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: central_va
Toyota and Honda paid off CR a long time ago. It is BS.

Toyota and Honda don't have to pay anyone off. Their reputation for quality and reliability is set in stone.

Funny how the Toyota "recalls" were at the height of UAW "stimulus" theft and "Cash for Clunkers."

I wouldn't buy a Big 3 (an outdated term these days) product for anything.

37 posted on 07/10/2011 11:57:47 AM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: buccaneer81

What toyota and honda do is sell cars with top of the line struts and brakes, which are normal wear items. On those cars they last about 100K. The other manufactures sell cars with OEM struts and brakes that only last 50K. So the others buyers get pissed that they have to spend money on their cars at 50K. But the Toyota and Hondas don’t, the perception is that they are better when in reality you paid heavily for those little upgrades.


38 posted on 07/10/2011 12:05:03 PM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: bvw
(2) Was the owner a smoker? Bad if so. Smokers tend to abuse cars.

That's an interesting observation. I'd love to see the data behind the study that lead you to that conclusion. I'm sure you're not just making it up, or going by anecdotal evidence. I'm also sure you'll be kind enough to post a link to that study?

39 posted on 07/10/2011 12:05:28 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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To: t1b8zs

From a former car salesman. The best advice I can give everyone is:

1. Buy a NEW car. (Don’t worry about trade in value (depreciation), drive it until someone wants to pay you cash for it).

2. If you must buy a used car, only buy one you can pay cash for. Car payments AND repair bills are a killer.


40 posted on 07/10/2011 12:06:59 PM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: Cyber Liberty

I’d be foolish to answer your query, because you preloaded it with anti-wisdom.


41 posted on 07/10/2011 12:08:20 PM PDT by bvw
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To: He Rides A White Horse

After some of the horror stories I’ve heard, I wouldn’t let my car get anywhere near a Jiffy Lube.


42 posted on 07/10/2011 12:12:54 PM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: bvw

IOW, you have no proof. You have a bias... OK fine, just so we know. Speaking of “smoked out...”

The Al Gore of used cars, if you will. I’m fine with that if you are. When presenting a query becomes “anti-wisdom,” you’ve arrived.


43 posted on 07/10/2011 12:14:52 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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To: faucetman

Car payments ?


44 posted on 07/10/2011 12:17:34 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Eh ?)
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To: central_va

I have three Toyotas, one over 200K miles, one over 170K, one over 90K. Original engine and transmission on all of them. I’ve owned Hondas and Acuras with 200K+ lifes.

I’ve also owned cars and trucks from Ford, Old, Chevy, GM, Subaru, VW. Not to mention a number of other brands which were more hobby than transportation.

There is simply no comparison between the longevity and low-maintenance cost of Hondas and Toyotas in engine, drive train, wheels and suspension and any other model, imo. Those two brands are at another level.


45 posted on 07/10/2011 12:18:08 PM PDT by bvw
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To: Fresh Wind

Why, ah nevah heerd nuthin’ so perposteruss. We ‘uns heah at Jiffy Lube is ex-spurts! Ah demands a apollygee! Twinkie


46 posted on 07/10/2011 12:18:47 PM PDT by Twinkie (For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13)
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To: t1b8zs

You can run the vehicles VIN and get it’s service and accident history. Actually I would have the dealer do it so as not to waste your time. If the car is a good buy the dealer will be happy to show you the report.

Having a qualified mechanic check it out is also a good idea.

One thing to look out for is where the car came from and/or was driven. If it came from a state or area that’s had a lot flooding I would be wary of the car.


47 posted on 07/10/2011 12:19:17 PM PDT by dools0007world (uestion)
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To: central_va
when in reality you paid heavily for those little upgrades.

Paid heavily? Let's see...

A new Camry with moonroof, XM radio, hands free phone, and alloy wheels for $24,975.

A new Impala WITHOUT any of those options for $25,230.

A new Taurus WITHOUT any of those options for $26,640.

That's a no-brainer. Better car, lower price, and not a dime of my money to Obama's UAW thugs.

48 posted on 07/10/2011 12:19:29 PM PDT by buccaneer81 (ECOMCON)
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To: Cyber Liberty

Like I said you were already waiting behind the door with a spiked bat ready to swing. Swing it madly all you want slugger!

Smokers abuse cars.


49 posted on 07/10/2011 12:19:29 PM PDT by bvw
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To: UB355

The poster of that idiotic remark got outed down-thread as not being able to prove that claim. Ha!


50 posted on 07/10/2011 12:20:13 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (Oh, well, any excuse to buy a new gun is good enough for me.)
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