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Run before I have to walk: car replacement time


It’s the same question everyone has, when to replace the car. I now have 145000, on a 2005 Kia Rio. I paid 2000+ 3 years ago, & got 1300 from an accident. The car is a bit of an embarrassment, windows aren’t working, timing belt, tires worn, most of all the oil consumption is off the chart. … But it runs well, sort of.
So what to replace it with? I am thinking of a 2006 Spectra 5, 1800 or so, 90 000 miles auto ,Same car a tad bigger… I plan to spend 2 000 - 4 000 $ want under 100 000 miles, like the hatch as I’m solo and go camping. I also do odd jobs out of my car & hauling stuff is important.
Anyone have any recommendation?

Have the Spectra inspected by a mechanic you trust. You will pay about $100 for this pre-purchase inspection. If you still want the car after the mechanic identifies its problems, go for it.

Geo, you have multiple threads and they are all about cheap vehicles that seem to cause you more trouble than they are worth. Why not raise your goals to the level of getting decent vehicles ? Look at the manufactures build your own web sites and I think you will be surprised at how many hatchbacks ( You said that is what you need ) that are reasonably priced with warranties .

I think an 06 Spectra 5 is a pretty good choice. If you discover you have a little more money, maybe go for a slightly newer model. 3-5 years old is the sweet spot imo, where you get the most bang for the buck. When buying a used car

  • see what the Consumer Reports used car guide has to say about its predicted reliability
  • have it inspected by your own mechanic before writing any checks
  • make sure the check engine light comes on when it should (engine not running, key in on), and goes off when it should (engine running)

The only problem of any import I’m seeing mentioned about this vehicle is a problem with the heated o2 sensor connectors degrading & throwing a p003X diagnostic code. Easily repaired I expect.

Thank You
I’m pretty destructive, using a car as a camper, pick up. I was surprised, a steplader / mountain bike both fit in my 4 door Rio.

Am I the only one that thinks $4000 is way too much to pay for a 2006 Spectra . . . ?!

Maybe op lives in a very remote area, with very few used cars available for sale, thus making the few that are available fetch an extremely high price . . . ?

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It does seem pricey for a 2006. The cheapest place for this sort of used car, in my limited experience, is in the upper class suburbs. If they have a 12 year old car for sale they just want to get rid of it, and you can often get it at a good price. Sometimes it’s the teenaged kid’s first car, in which case I’d say skip it, but then again it can be a grandma car or a commute from home to a train station car, which can be good.

That’s about right for a Spectra wagon in clean condition from a dealer. Edmunds estimates a private sale is closer to $2500.

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