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1983 Chevy Citation

An '83 Citation popped up for sale near me for $500. I really need something to replace my dying Dodge Neon.

I heard these have brake problems, and that’s about it. Is that something that is fixable? I know this is high mileage, but it also has an iron duke engine. If it’s in good shape, is it worth it?

I had an '81 Citation, and it was nowhere near as bad a car as the critics would have you believe.

I never found the service brake to be problematic, but the e-brake was very problematic. For reasons that I could never fathom, the e-brake cable mechanism would rust itself into place about once every 2 years, thus necessitating a rear-lift tow to the mechanic each time for yet another replacement of the cable and related hardware. This was the main reason why I got rid of the car, in fact.

The self-adjusting clutch mechanism was also problematic, but if the one that you are looking at has an automatic trans, you would not have this problem area to worry about.

Overall, it was a sturdy little car. However, my experience with these cars goes back about 25 years, so you have to consider that many more problem areas could have developed with them over the years. I think that the main factor to consider–like with all used cars–is how well it was maintained.

I’m sorry, did you say $500 or $5.00?

The Citations were OK. If they had brake issues they were not a big deal. The brakes pretty standard, nothing unique and any decent mechanic can fix them.

The 4 cylinder motor is sturdy but not a powerhouse in the car. The V6 Citations were actually quite fast.

You must realize an '83 is simply a very old car. It is bound to need repairs just due to age.

I would check in to parts availability before I bought it. There aren’t a whole lot of those on the road anymore, and the manufacturer doesn’t have to supply new parts for it at this point.