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Voiceless
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Hey guys, so I'm planning on buying a car in the next 6 months or so. I will be purchasing a used Subaru WRX (somewhat like the one in my avatar) either from a dealer or a third party. I'm just wondering if any of you have experience buying used cars. When I go to look at a car, what should I be sure to look at while inspecting it? If I do find something, how do I try and get the seller to bring the price down? Also, I hear 100k miles on a Subaru isn't bad. Can anyone confirm this? I'm trying to find one for around $7k - $8k. It's a long shot, but I think I'll be able to find one if I search thoroughly. If anyone knows any deals on a WRX in the Chicagoland area let me know :p
 

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Your best bet would be to get on a message board geared towards the WRX. Like many cars, Im sure the WRX has its own little ailments, so current owners would know what to look for better than we would.

...but I can suggest to look at some of the basics:
-rust on the body and undercarriage
-check the oil and look under the oil cap for a light brown buildup. This would indicate that water may be mixing with the oil which would be a blown headgasket(more common with forced induction engines) or the engine was overheated and it cracked the cylinder head. THe WRX is turbocharged, right?
-look over the suspension for worn parts. Tie rods, ball joints, ect.. Also since the WRX is AWD, youve got more moving parts that could need replacement.
-a tell tale sign that the car may have been driven hard is to look at the carpet behind the accelerator pedal. If its worn, then the pedal spent alot of time against the carpet(ie:someone drove it hard)
-if its an automatic, check the transmission fluid and smell it. If it smells burnt, the last owner probally didnt change it too often. Also, be aware of brand new fluid. The last owner may be trying to cover something up. New fluid will smell burnt if the clutches in the transmission are badly worn.
 

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100k miles on any car is enough to cause significant deterioration. I'm not a mechanic or any kind of expert on cars. I just don't think I'd buy a car with that many miles on it for $8,000. That's close to new car territory. You can get a new (or very slightly used) car for not that much more. I think slightly used cars are the best value, personally. With a brand new car you're basically paying a premium (Often a pretty hefty one) for the new car smell and not much else.

My parents bought a Dodge about 10 years ago that was fresh off a lease and haven't had a single problem with it other than brakes and tires and stuff. It's a little beat up now but it was basically indistinguishable from a brand new car when they bought it. They got a great deal on it too.
 

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MD & PharmD
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^^

You can't compare the price of a used domestic with a used Japanese import. They are in totally different leagues. Besides Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep has been ridden with so many reliability issues over the years that I personally wouldn't drive one even if I was getting one for free.
 

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Remember when buying cars, you have to worry about maintenance expenses.

European makes are usually good quality, but have high maintenance fees.

Audi: Great car from 2002-2010, better than BMW when over the 100k mile mark, high maintenance costs, ladies will make more eye contact with you.

BMW: Tends to significantly deteriorate after 100k miles, will definitely make you a hit with the ladies no matter how poor you are, high maintenance costs

Volkswagen: Lower maintenance costs, attracts hipster/scene kids, fuel efficient

Mercedes: Still the best European car to own, high maintenance costs, good resale value even after 10+ years, attracts cougars, people may think your parents bought you the car.

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Japanese Models: Tend to have very low maintenance, have a lot of aftermarket parts to upgrade, and are easily customizable. They're also on the list of cars to steal by thieves.

Toyota: Mid-range on maintenance, fairly good cars except they had a few mechanical problems that resulted in a lot of recalls, you can find a great price for the cars that were on the recall list, but be sure to bring a mechanic friend with you to make sure everything checks out OK.

Subaru: Great reliable car, can take a lot of punishment, high on maintenance costs, and nature loving people will be envious of you. You'll be blessed by Colin Mcrae.


I'll come up with more later.
 

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Poorly Educated
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WRXs are fun cars, I'd love to have one. I've worked on and driven one a couple times and those things are stupid fast. I'm pretty loyal to domestic brands but I've always liked Subarus and Hondas. I wouldn't worry at all about 100K miles, those things will run forever if well maintained. But try to find out if the timing belt has been replaced with that kind of mileage because most manufacturers recommend replacement around 80-100K. I do think its going to be difficult to find one in your price range though...most I've looked at online have been much higher than that.
 

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Jericho187:1059459263 said:
You can't compare the price of a used domestic with a used Japanese import. They are in totally different leagues. Besides Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep has been ridden with so many reliability issues over the years that I personally wouldn't drive one even if I was getting one for free.
Get an older Jeep with the 2.5 4cyl or 4.0 straight six and it'll easily run 300k miles if maintained properly. My uncle ran his 1987 4.0 Cherokee almost 400k before selling it. He did the same with a 2.5 before it. Both still ran like tops when he sold them too. He recently went out and bought a 1999 Grand Cherokee with over 300k on it. Can't wait to see what kind of ridiculous amount of miles he gets out of it. My current 1998 4.0 Cherokee has 267k on it (had 263k on it when I bought it) and it is clean inside and out (got lucky there) and runs fine.

You never know what you're going to get with a used vehicle of any brand. It could have 25k on it and throw a rod tomorrow or it could have 400k and run another 100k no problem. It's all about maintenance, maintenance, and more maintenance. Of course sometimes there are design flaws and parts don't work right or fail before they should, limiting the scope of that statement.
 

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^^

You can't compare the price of a used domestic with a used Japanese import. They are in totally different leagues. Besides Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep has been ridden with so many reliability issues over the years that I personally wouldn't drive one even if I was getting one for free.
Well, you can compare anything you want. My advice (as well as anyone else's) is only worth what you're paying for it.

But anyway, I would not pay eight thousand dollars for any used car with 100k miles on it unless I knew how to fix anything that went wrong with it myself. The OP doesn't sound like he knows how to fix cars or to spot problems by just looking. I know Japanese cars are some of the best cars on the market. But 100K miles is 100K miles.

I was just giving my experience. I know that Dodges have not traditionally been the best cars but the one we bought has lasted as long as the Corolla we bought brand new a year before it. Admittedly, the Corolla will probably outlive the Dodge ultimately but 10 years with no major problems is not a bad run for a domestic car. I believe domestic cars have improved dramatically over the last decade.

But whatever the case (foreign or domestic), you can usually get a car with far fewer miles on it for not that much more than 8 grand. My main issue was with the mileage and the price rather than the make/model. But at any rate, if the OP didn't have his heart set on a certain car, I think he could potentially get a lot of bang for 8 grand on the used market. Especially right now. This model (I'm not familiar with it, TBH) just sounds like one of those highly desirable cars that you don't generally find for a good price unless there's something wrong with it.
 
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