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Should I Buy This Car

A 2004 Silhouette Premiere I am considering purchasing has had the following repairs at the dealership selling it:

Front brake rotor(s) replaced
Left tie rod end replaced
Oil and filter changed
Thrust angle alignment performed
Washed/detailed
Front wheel bearing(s)/hub(s) replaced
Maintenance inspection completed
Tie rod end(s) replaced

I found my 2001 Silhouette to be a reliable, comfortable car, but I sold it when I moved to Alaska for a year. Now back in Minnesota I want another one. This particular vehicle has been in a rear end accident and has 144,000 miles on it. I am on a tight (small) budget. Does it seem reasonable to consider this vehicle? Given these repairs, what others could I expect in the near future? Thanks for your help. (I know the car isn’t being manufactured any longer.)

The car has been in a rear end accident?
The frame could be badly bent… At144K, it is well past its prime. That accident didn’t help it.I’d be very careful spending money on it.

Edit: They replaced the rotors but not the pads? That’s weird.

How much are they looking to get for it? Money being tight, can you get a half way decent Honda or Toyota for that money? I’m just thinking of future reliability.

It’s a used car and any used car is a crap shoot, even with a thorough inspection by a great mechanic.
A thorough inspection helps swing the odds in your favor a bit.

Much could depend on what they’re asking for this thing also. After all, it’s 9 years old, has well into the 6 digits on mileage, and has been whacked to one degree or the other in the rear.
On the plus side, at least they did a maintenance of some sort and repaired some faults.

How much is this van?

“Thrust angle alignment performed”?
This car’s had frame damage. Approach this deal very carefully and have everything thoroughly checked out.

+1 That’s what I was thinking as well.
No amount of money would be enough to let you live with that, if it hasn’t been properly fixed because that can be dangerous. Once would imagine that 144K car could have been totaled, if the accident was serious enough and was dealt with by an insurance company.
If it was one of those accidents that they settled privately, be careful because they could have just done the cosmetic fixes.

if you send the VIN I can run a carfax for you and see what it says.

Should I Buy This Car

No, but I have to admit I quit reading after 2004 Silhouette Premiere.

The dealer is asking $6000.

The accident happened in 2007. I believe it rear ended another vehicle because the report says “Accident reported Involving rear impact It hit a motor vehicle.”

Repairs listed in first post were from the Carfax and were done in May 2012.

Family members are recommending a Pontiac Vibe, but I want to keep the cost of a vehicle under $5000, if at all possible.

Thanks to all for your comments.

Yikes dude $6000 is very high, those vans are selling at dealer auction with less miles for 3500ish. They probably have clean carfaxes as well. Maybe offer $4000-$4500 at the most if it is checked by a body shop and fond to be in good shape structurally. It’s possible it just had it’s rear bumper repainted and it was a light hit. You just don’t know.

Edmunds says this van in outstanding condition is worth about $5500 from a dealer. I will assume that it is outstanding and needs nothing done to it. I would get it checked for about $100 by an independent mechanic to see if it is in good shape. We have a 2003 Silhouette Premier with 139,000 miles and it works well for us. Just because it has been in an accident doesn’t mean you should forget it. It could be an opportunity to buy at a lower cost because of the accident. If it passes inspection by your mechanic, offer $4700 and see what happens.

Unless they’re willing to do some serious negotiating I’d pass on it due to price alone. It could be they poured X dollars into repairs and are considering that amount at full value added to the whatever they have invested in the purchase of that vehicle. That’s not the way it works.

That would be along the lines of the guy here some years ago who had a 1981 Buick Regal for sale (clean car) and wanted 11 grand for it based on the fact that he had near 9 grand invested in stereo equipment in it.
It was still a 1500 dollar car no matter how clear and loud the tunes were.

I think it is overpriced, but this van shares a lot of parts with other Chevy vans and cars and this is good. The stuff that goes bad is body hardware, like windows, locks, liftgate latches, etc. The motor and tranny are basically sound if the van has be well cared for by previous owners.

At a good price I’d have no issues with it. These vans actually get pretty good mpg for the size and weight of the vehicle.

This car seems like $6000 worth of trouble. I’d say no. Just my opinion is all. If you have your sites on that particular model and no other, about the only thing you can do it look for it at all the sources – CraigsList, Newspaper, all the Used Car Lots, used car broker, Internet Auctions, etc – then buy the best one of those available which you can afford.

And for $6000 I think you should be able to find a good reliable used car with less than 100K miles and which will serve you well for many thousands of miles if you are willing to expand your horizons to other makes and models.

Wow, I was thinking this van was worth about $1500.

If it was $3,000 I would say maybe. No for $6,000

Also… You should check the crash test videos for these vans. (youtube)

The video above is of a pontiac montana but they are the same thing.
They are all rated “poor” and you should see how these thing fold in half on a front impact.
Even if this van was $1,000 I would get something else based on those videos alone.

@friedo82 YIKES, I am glad my family was not in that van… WOW !! How the heck was that think allowed on the road??

“The video above is of a pontiac montana but they are the same thing.
They are all rated “poor” and you should see how these thing fold in half on a front impact.
Even if this van was $1,000 I would get something else based on those videos alone.”

It’s interesting how different evaluations lead you to different conclusions. The NHTSA front and side crash tests were all 4 or 5 stars for the 2004 Silhouette. Injury payouts are collated for all insurers and reported by the Highway Loss Data Institute. For 2002 through 2004, the LWB Montana and Silhouette had the lowest injury payouts of all large minivans and were lower that all of the very large vans but the Sienna and Ford Freestar (equal to Freestar). Note that the video above depicts what happens in one crash event: an offset frontal crash. It is unlikely that anyone will have any accident, let alone that exact crash. Everyone has their comfort zone with crash tests. I prefer to go with the real world data presented by HLDI. We’ve had our 2003 Silhouette for almost 8 years and 140,000 miles without personal injury (no accidents, either).

It was in an accident, offer $2500 to $3000 and tell them to call you when they can’t sell it.

OK, it sounds like it was in a rear end accident where it hit ANOTHER vehicle in the rear. That means it had front end damage. That happened when it was three years old. The newer the car, the more damage it can sustain before the insurance company will “total” it. I would be very leery of it, and have it thoroughly checked over by both a mechanic and a body shop. Front end damage can include suspension as well as the engine cradle, radiator, A/C condensor, and the radiator core support. Not that it can’t be fixed, it’s just easier to hide undercarriage damage than a rumpled fender or door. Also consider that 2004 was the last year GM built Oldsmobiles. Parts will become increasingly hard to get. IF it checks out, offer him $4000, and be prepared to write the check.