Should I buy this car?

Hello everybody. I am thinking about buying a car and I came across this listing on craigslist: http://min…28395.html I really want to drive a stick shift and I heard some American cars are a very good deal for the money. Also, I did some online research (including the feature on this website where owners rate their cars) and I am pretty encouraged by what I’ve read. What do you all think? I have not contacted the seller yet. Any tips? Thanks alot

Pretty Slick, MRB. You Got Your Ad On Car Talk!


I’ll give you $300 cash!


Seriously, is that all this car is worth?

13 years old, mileage unknown, some new parts, decent body. Good car for a teen and a new driver to beat into the ground. Who knows what a fair price is for the car. If you have $500 to $1,000 bucks to spend it is worth a look.

If the OP is the seller, then don’t expect too much. You won’t get back what you spent on repairs. If it is a good car, then best move for you is to keep it and get your money back by driving it a few years. In 2 years if the condition is the same you’ll get about the same price for it. It is at end of the depreciation curve.

This car will be a money pit; I can’t figure why a car that new needed all these things, which ususally last a lot longer.

Agree with others; this is a car you buy for $300-$500 as a student and do the bare minimum in maintenance and run it into the ground, hoping it will last you till graduation. Even as new, these were not great cars.

Don’t listen to those wise guys twotone and CSA. I am actually thinking about buying this car. It sounds like everybody thinks that I should not pay what the guy wants for this car. Thanks for the feedback.

Do you think it is a positive that all of these things (clutch, etc.) have been replaced insomuch as I don’t need to worry about them failing anytime soon? Also, I am not a college student. I’m 34, married with kids, and looking for a second car. I want something fun to drive when I don’t have to take the kids around in my minivan.

If the car is loaded with the V6 engine, 80,000 miles, and is in clean condition, it might be worth $1800. Do you live near the seller? If so, this might be worth a look. You need to call for mileage and a list of options. Also ask if you can have the car inspected by your mechanic at your cost. If it still needs work, it could easily be worth less than $1000.

Thank you. I called the number and left a message so I can obtain the information you listed. The seller lives about 40 miles away. A little far, but I’m still wiling to go see it. Do you think it is reasonable to ask the seller to meet me at a halfway point? I do have a mechanic I trust and I will have him take a look at the car. Thank you for your advice.

The car looks clean. KBB said an excellent car with 120K miles is just over $3,000. This car is not excellent and I expect it to be much higher mileage. IF it drives out OK $1,000 is in the ballpark. New clutch and indicates perhaps it was driven pretty hard. Definately have a mechanic check it out. As a second car you can live without if it needs repairs it may work.

At this age, radiators, AC compressors, Power steering pumps and racks and lots of other stuff can fail at anytime. Be prepped to spend money every year you keep it on something. Steering rack problems are especially common on these cars, have your mechanic it check it for signs of wear and leaks.

Do you think I would face the same maintenance issues if I took my $1000 and bought a 1994 accord instead?

If this car was meticulously maintained, it problaby would not have needed all this stuf. Also, it’s a convertible, which in any climate will need its top replaced sometime in the future.

if you want fun todrive on a budget, and only use the car occasioanlly, by all means buy it, but budget for a major repairs such as the top, transmission, head gasket replacement, etc. It’s easy to sink $4000 in this car in a short time.

Thanks. This is not the first used car I’ve ever owned, so I know better than to pour thousands of dollars into it. I’m sure a honda might be safer, but they just don’t do anything for me. I’m gonna have a mechanic check it out, and barring anything major, I’m probably going to buy it. Thanks to everyone for all of their advice.

With older cars, upkeep is more important than anything else. If you have a choice between a 15 year old Accord and a 12 year old Pontiac, either could be a better choice.

You asked above about meeting half way. For a first look, that would seem reasonable. You could meet at a shopping center or other well-traveled area. If he won’t do it, you should travel the hour or so and take a look if you are interested. Maybe you could buy him fast food lunch. It’s about the cost of 2 gallons of gas.

Thanks. The guy hasn’t returned my call or texts, so I’m beginning to wonder what’s up. I found a tires plus halfway between him and me that would do an inspection for $20.00. Can I trust tires plus to do a thourough inspection for that price?

I’m not familiar with them. I was thinking of a mechanic you know and trust. It should be OK for you to drive it home, bet it checked, and then drive back the same day. If he won’t do that, then I’d pass on this car.

Thank you. I’m going to try that instead of my original plan.

Oops! Sorry! It Looked Like A Set Up.

That’s quite all right. Take a look at this car. . The owners of the 1997 haven’t gotten back to me, and I’m starting to think that I should leave them alone (based in no small part on the helpful feedback I’ve been getting from this forum.). I’ve been doing research, and 1993 seems to have been a good year for Grand Ams.