Easiest/Cheapest Car to maintain?

Replacing wheel bearings, suspension components, blah, blah? when needed is still cheaper than having a car payment or paying the extra few G?s for a newer car

I don’t disagree with that…As I said it’s all relative.

I bought a Geo Prizm for 1500 last year. 15 year old car. It has a bad ABS sensor, apart from that it is a great car.I just have not had the ABS problem fixed.Cheap parts, easy to maintain.I can change oil easily even without ramps or lifting the car.Oil filter is visible and easy to reach.Same car with Corolla.

What parts have you bought for your Geo? I have found parts such as interior trim items,window regulators,door and ignition lock cylinders,AC components to be very expensive.

In general I like Honda and Toyota for long term reliability, but parts and repairs when needed are expensive. At $3,500 for a Honda or Toyota they are going to be looking at older and/or high mileage cars and that means money.

You need a car that depreciated fast so it is not too old, fairly reliable, can be worked on by a lot of mechanics, with inexpensive available parts. All that adds up to something built in the good 'ole USA. Someone mentioned Buick, good option. I’d look for a Ford Taurus. One that started as a rental car was likely maintained OK and now would be in your price range and still less than 10 years old.

It’s quite possible to buy a 3500 dollar car and get a good one that requires little or nothing along with being dependable over the long haul.
Matter of fact, that 3500 dollar figure is the most I’ve paid for a car in my entire life and that amount was for the Lincoln Mark I have now.

It boils down to 2 things; A. Patience B. Knowing what you’re looking at and for.

For what it’s worth, I’m a mechanic flirting with 60 years of age and those 2 things have served me well my entire life.

Spark plugs, wires, parking light assembly, heating-a/c control knobs, low beam light bulbs etc. Interiro trim parts may be expensive because the car is not being produced any more.For the heat-a/c control knobs I paid 6 dollars (3 knobs in total but only one fits, a Dorman product). Do you have a Prizm too? (Do you have a cardomain.com page?)

The thing is not everyone is a mechanic. :smiley:

A Crown Vic. Bullet Proof. If it has dual exhausts, then it has the HPP, high performance package, even better. Avoid models with “air-ride” rear springs…Sometimes you can get a sweet deal at a cop car auction, but you have to do your homework…If you are looking for lowest possible cost per mile to operate, this is it.

Here are the cars I’ve owned that were the easiest to work on for a DIYer, hard to kill, and cheap on maintenance and parts:

Pontiac Grand Am
Buick Century
Chevy Cavalier (regular NOT Z34)
Toyota Corolla

I work on my own cars so these factors are very important to me.
Good luck in your search!

ok4450’s two principles apply to much more than mechanics. In fact I think they would help in most life situations.

Wrong! Toyota parts are CHEAP.

The cheapest one I ever had was my 1970 VW. I don’t think I paid more than $3500 for the car new plus all maintenance in the 18 years and 180,000 miles I put on it before selling it.

Hi Joe! Did you do all of your maintenance yourself? The more frequent oil changes and required valve adjustment made many people shy away from a second VW in those days, didn’t it? I liked 'em, too. . . . but I like to tinker around. Rocketman

Well, I bought a 1999 Ford Escort, defined by (Tom or Ray?) I can’t remember who said it on the podcast but they defined it as a car that doesn’t give up. I bought it and I love it. It’s a stick shift, my only issue wtih it is that the RPMs surge when I start it up. But that’s what you get with a buy here pay here.

I’ve never seen Toyota or Honda parts being more expensive then GM or Ford.

Never saw this until today. No I don’t have a Geo I found out about the expensive parts I cited working on them at a Chevrolet Dealer. Things were so bad the shop joke was to buy a few Metros and part them out. Metro,Prizim,Tracker not bad to work on but expensive and the Metro was a problem AC car, very hard to find leaks on and they only help a .9lb charge. We resorted to overcharging them to find leaks and they were from various places.

What is a cardomain.com page? (I know .com wants to sell)

Yea I did all the maintenance myself. On that car it was all very easy. Valve adjustments I did at ever other oil change, it addied about ten minuts to the job.

The real answer however is the chapest car to maintain is the one that all the recommended maintenance listed in the owner’s manual is don’t on time.