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Looking for a new used car

So recently I came across this 1991 Honda Accord LX at a local dealer here that’s in pretty great condition (body and interior) has 102K miles on her and they want about $3,800 out the door… Anyone here know how reliable these cars were/are?

A '91 Accord is not worth $3800 even if it is a Honda. They were reliable 25 years ago but a lot of time has passed since then. Forget about it.

These were very reliable cars in their day, but you are asking about a vehicle that is about 25 years old, which means that the maintenance it has received over those 2+ decades is a far more important factor than its original quality.

The low odometer mileage means that, on average, this car has been driven less than 4,500 miles per year, and–unfortunately–most car owners who pile up the miles slowly seem to forget that the elapsed time factor is just as important as the odometer mileage factor when it comes to maintenance.

So, the questions for you to ask, as a potential buyer, include…

Has the car consistently had its oil changed at least once a year, and preferably twice a year?
Has the coolant been changed about 8 times so far?
Has the brake fluid been changed about 8 times so far?
If it has an automatic transmission, have the trans fluid and filter been changed about 8 times so far?

Failure to have maintained the car as mentioned above means that you are potentially buying a car filled with expensive repair issues that are just waiting to explode in your wallet, which would wind up making it an expensive car, and not a bargain.

The only way to confirm the maintenance items listed above is with hard copies of the car’s maintenance records. While it is doubtful that the dealership has possession of them, it is possible that they do, so you need to ask. Simply taking the word of the salesman for adequate maintenance is not sufficient, as they all tend to lie or to use meaningless generalities such as, “It has been well-maintained”.

now if you could get it for 1500…, you may just be golden!

A friend just put his wife’s 2004 Matrix up for sale for $1500. It has 130,000 miles on it and was well maintained, no rust either… This guy used to sell cars for a living and has a good idea at what price cars will sell.

What they are asking for this Honda is REDICULOUS!.

“What they are asking for this Honda is REDICULOUS!.”

Well, we don’t actually know the color of this car.
Perhaps the price is bluediculous or greendiculous!


Thanks guys for getting back… Haven’t talked to the sales people as I saw the ad online… But I agree on the price for the age of the car for sure. One thing that sorta worried me was they said it had had two timing belts done already… But I think I’d like to see the carfax they have on it.

Oh and here’s the car itself :stuck_out_tongue:

@“John Andrew McCormick”

“it had two timing belts done already”

Back in those days, timing belts were often due every 60k/x number of months, whichever comes first

Taking that into account, the fact that it’s had 2 timing belt jobs already is not necessarily a cause for concern

But the price is too high

I’m well aware of the fact that Hondas are generally very reliable, and tend to hold their value more than many other cars, but $3800 is way too high. By chance, is this car dealer one of those shady types that deals primarily with people with bad or no credit. Those kinds of car lots tend to charge exorbitant prices. I would avoid them, if I were you

As @wesw said, if you can get it for $1500, it might be worth it, provided the car’s not a rustbucket, is safe, and is in reasonable mechanical condition

For $3800, you should be looking for a car that is at least 10 years newer, IMO

Timing belts are changed by mileage or a certain number of years. Such as every 70000 miles or every 7 years. this does not apply to every vehicle but it is close. This overpriced car is most likely due for a third belt just because of age. Use as a guide to whether this price is out of line for what you look at.
Carfax only has what is reported to them so it can be 100% accurate or 10%.

@db4690 as far as I know about the dealer they seem to be pretty good… If going by Yelp tells me anything… They got a 5 star review with over 30 of them being postive. They don’t have walk ons so everything is made via appointment online. So they don’t seem to be a shady type of a dealer

And yeah not sold on the price of the car haha. Figured my budget is around 5-6k so I’ve been looking up what are some good used reliable cars around that price range

@“VOLVO V70” already on it :slight_smile:

Good used reliable cars for 5000 to 6000. The term Oxymoron comes to mind.

Haha yeah I know it’s taking a gamble on Any used car these days… Money is just a factor unfortunately. I was thinking of the crown Vic or grand marquis. @“VOLVO V70” oh and KYB on the used 91 accord goes for about 1300 in “very good” condition so there’s that

@“John Andrew McCormick”

For 5-6k, you could in all likelihood get yourself a nice used Ford Fusion

Consumer Reports really likes the Fusion, and the reliablity is generally pretty good. Plus, because it’s not a Honda or Toyota, the used car prices are much more reasonable

Ford Fusion doesn’t use timing belt, AFAIK

Something to keep in

By the way, I advise against 2002-2006 Camry 4-cylinder, in case you were thinking about that. Because there is a potential problem with the engine block. V6 is okay, but the V6 uses a timing belt, and fuel economy is not good.

Ford Focus is a decent car, but it’s built kind of cheap in my opinion, and it’s not very roomy. Kind of fun to drive, actually.

Mazda3 might also be okay, same platform as Focus.

But both of those cars are not so good for daily driving, if you have a bad back like me. Both of them tend to transmit more road shock into the cabin, because they don’t have a cushioning ride like the Camry. That is just my personal opinion, though.

@db4690 I was looking at those as well! I love the little style they got going on… So I’ll consider them as well. If I were to look at camrys in would probably look at the 95-01 years on those models… But I like the idea of no timing belt issue. Current car ATM is a '98 grand marquis with 235K miles on her haha. Runs like a champ though

@“John Andrew McCormick”

All 1995-2001 Camrys use a timing belt

For 5-6k, you can get a much newer car, as I said

I really wouldn’t be looking to buy a 20 year old car, as a daily driver

Why don’t you just run the grand marquis into the ground, until it doesn’t pass inspection, then look for another car . . . ?

@db4690 its really my parents who are looking for a used car… They’ve always bought used and have had pretty great luck so I’m looking around for them. And due to our other car conking out we are down to just the grand Marq so we need a second car now.

My dad loves the Mercury so I’ve been looking at newer grand marquis or the crown vic… Can grab a 2006 for around 5k

In my view, this is one of those $500 winter specials about this time of year. No way a 91 is worth anywhere near a couple thousand regardless of the name plate. And no it will not be any more reliable than anything else at this point. I can’t believe this car would have sold for much more than $10,000 when new.