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Good off-beat (or not) listings/ratings/reviews site?

Mr Person

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My old ass car was on its way to death. It's in a limited coma. I don't drive much because my specialization/profession means I don't need to, and my wife does the rest because of other very time consuming household duties I took on. K.

We've got an interesting set of decisions to make, the wife and I. We share joint expenses via card/bank transfers but keep self-expenses separate. Yes the line sometimes blurs but it isn't a point of contention. She also makes a good deal more than me. She's also been talking about getting a bigger vehicle for herself (seems set on SUVs; I hate the things).

While I'll at least get an estimate, I'm sure my old thing is near or at junking (or donating if some place really wants to take it; there have to be those). A couple years ago, I was told about how brake lines, discs, etc, were all within five or ten thousand miles of death. That was 800 miles ago. (I really don't drive much; don't have to). Well, the brakes went, which was its own story. Got myself back safely. But it's not driveable, at least beyond reversing it up the driveway to be towed. There were at least 1-3 grand repairs piled up when I was told about other crap; didn't get the extra work done given the car's prospects. I wouldn't want to fix everything. I'd just want to know what it'd cost to keep it on the road safely for maybe 2-5k miles, depending.

The choice seems to be buying bad-money-after-goodtype repairs, over-paying massively for a used car from someone else, buying a new car that's mostly going to sit outside, or take up a close family offer (you should have worked the who out by now) to buy someone's 35k mile Subaru Crosstrek for 12k. Not the car I want, but **** that. I need it to work and to go. I'm not compensating. Preliminary investigation tells me the deal is quite good. The money stays in-family. And....and...I really do save money.




But....BUUUUT... beyond basic crap like Blue Book, are there some properly good review sites, deemed properly good by people who legitimately know what they're talking about? I may have already made up my mind, but I want to get a sense.

I'm talking consumer-oriented, not car expert oriented. Power is good but non essential. Sturdiness, cost of repairs, and reliability. That's what matters. Also it can't look like a literal dildo.
 
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Felis Leo

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My old ass car was on its way to death. It's in a limited coma. I don't drive much because my specialization/profession means I don't need to, and my wife does the rest because of other very time consuming household duties I took on. K.

We've got an interesting set of decisions to make, the wife and I. We share joint expenses via card/bank transfers but keep self-expenses separate. Yes the line sometimes blurs but it isn't a point of contention. She also makes a good deal more than me. She's also been talking about getting a bigger vehicle for herself (seems set on SUVs; I hate the things).

While I'll at least get an estimate, I'm sure my old thing is near or at junking (or donating if some place really wants to take it; there have to be those). A couple years ago, I was told about how brake lines, discs, etc, were all within five or ten thousand miles of death. That was 800 miles ago. (I really don't drive much; don't have to). Well, the brakes went, which was its own story. Got myself back safely. But it's not driveable, at least beyond reversing it up the driveway to be towed. There were at least 1-3 grand repairs piled up when I was told about other crap; didn't get the extra work done given the car's prospects. I wouldn't want to fix everything. I'd just want to know what it'd cost to keep it on the road safely for maybe 2-5k miles, depending.

The choice seems to be buying bad-money-after-goodtype repairs, over-paying massively for a used car from someone else, buying a new car that's mostly going to sit outside, or take up a close family offer (you should have worked the who out by now) to buy someone's 35k mile Subaru Crosstrek for 12k. Not the car I want, but **** that. I need it to work and to go. I'm not compensating. Preliminary investigation tells me the deal is quite good. The money stays in-family. And....and...I really do save money.




But....BUUUUT... beyond basic crap like Blue Book, are there some properly good review sites, deemed properly good by people who legitimately know what they're talking about? I may have already made up my mind, but I want to get a sense.

I'm talking consumer-oriented, not car expert oriented. Power is good but non essential. Sturdiness, cost of repairs, and reliability. That's what matters. Also it can't look like a literal dildo.

A Subaru Crosstrek (what year?) with only 35k on it for $12,000.00? I do not know many good car sites, Mr. Person, but speaking as a Subaru lover, that is a good deal.

However, I am a pessimist by nature and I always look for downsides. I always just do a Google search for "Noted problems with X Make, Model & Year". Crosstreks have them, and are not as desirable as Subaru Outbacks and Foresters (Both of which I love). But they are not bad cars by any stretch. Just not as good.


But on its face, it sounds like a good deal. Especially for a car that you just want to get you from point A to point B and not be some sort of luxury symbol. If I were in your shoes, and judging from the market, I would leap at the offer.
 

HIP56948

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My best advice is to get a subscription for Consumer Reports. They'll tell you the faults and plusses of just about any car.
Plus they'll let you know about recalls or to put it one way: "I wish somebody had told me about this piece-of-shit before I bought it"
Note..My friend bought a 2016 Kia and then learned that the recall notices would fill a book...especially the power windows.
 

Chomsky

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My old ass car was on its way to death. It's in a limited coma. I don't drive much because my specialization/profession means I don't need to, and my wife does the rest because of other very time consuming household duties I took on. K.

We've got an interesting set of decisions to make, the wife and I. We share joint expenses via card/bank transfers but keep self-expenses separate. Yes the line sometimes blurs but it isn't a point of contention. She also makes a good deal more than me. She's also been talking about getting a bigger vehicle for herself (seems set on SUVs; I hate the things).

While I'll at least get an estimate, I'm sure my old thing is near or at junking (or donating if some place really wants to take it; there have to be those). A couple years ago, I was told about how brake lines, discs, etc, were all within five or ten thousand miles of death. That was 800 miles ago. (I really don't drive much; don't have to). Well, the brakes went, which was its own story. Got myself back safely. But it's not driveable, at least beyond reversing it up the driveway to be towed. There were at least 1-3 grand repairs piled up when I was told about other crap; didn't get the extra work done given the car's prospects. I wouldn't want to fix everything. I'd just want to know what it'd cost to keep it on the road safely for maybe 2-5k miles, depending.

The choice seems to be buying bad-money-after-goodtype repairs, over-paying massively for a used car from someone else, buying a new car that's mostly going to sit outside, or take up a close family offer (you should have worked the who out by now) to buy someone's 35k mile Subaru Crosstrek for 12k. Not the car I want, but **** that. I need it to work and to go. I'm not compensating. Preliminary investigation tells me the deal is quite good. The money stays in-family. And....and...I really do save money.




But....BUUUUT... beyond basic crap like Blue Book, are there some properly good review sites, deemed properly good by people who legitimately know what they're talking about? I may have already made up my mind, but I want to get a sense.

I'm talking consumer-oriented, not car expert oriented. Power is good but non essential. Sturdiness, cost of repairs, and reliability. That's what matters. Also it can't look like a literal dildo.

What kind of car is your current car, and what really needs to be done?

'Brakes' can mean a lot of things, but if your brake lines themselves are good, there really shouldn't be anything killer expensive to fix with brakes.

Do you know a shade-tree mechanic that works out of his garage, or moonlights? Those guys, or a relative, are usually the best way to go, or even a neighbor that's a gear-head and hustles a few bucks at night and weekends.

The 'Big Three' Japanese manufactured cars (Toyota, Honda, Nissan), particularly Toyota & Honda, tend to last forever. Subie might too, I'm just not familiar enough with them. But as long as the body's solid, heat & air work, and it passes pass emissions, it's almost always the cheapest to keep them running. I speak from experience here. Then again, either I or my kid usually do the work if it's basic, and we've got guys that moonlight at their shops and can do the bigger stuff after hours..
 

Chomsky

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My best advice is to get a subscription for Consumer Reports. They'll tell you the faults and plusses of just about any car.
Plus they'll let you know about recalls or to put it one way: "I wish somebody had told me about this piece-of-shit before I bought it"
Note..My friend bought a 2016 Kia and then learned that the recall notices would fill a book...especially the power windows.

Or, just buy a Toyota Corolla and be done with it! ;)
 

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My old ass car was on its way to death. It's in a limited coma. I don't drive much because my specialization/profession means I don't need to, and my wife does the rest because of other very time consuming household duties I took on. K.

We've got an interesting set of decisions to make, the wife and I. We share joint expenses via card/bank transfers but keep self-expenses separate. Yes the line sometimes blurs but it isn't a point of contention. She also makes a good deal more than me. She's also been talking about getting a bigger vehicle for herself (seems set on SUVs; I hate the things).

While I'll at least get an estimate, I'm sure my old thing is near or at junking (or donating if some place really wants to take it; there have to be those). A couple years ago, I was told about how brake lines, discs, etc, were all within five or ten thousand miles of death. That was 800 miles ago. (I really don't drive much; don't have to). Well, the brakes went, which was its own story. Got myself back safely. But it's not driveable, at least beyond reversing it up the driveway to be towed. There were at least 1-3 grand repairs piled up when I was told about other crap; didn't get the extra work done given the car's prospects. I wouldn't want to fix everything. I'd just want to know what it'd cost to keep it on the road safely for maybe 2-5k miles, depending.

The choice seems to be buying bad-money-after-goodtype repairs, over-paying massively for a used car from someone else, buying a new car that's mostly going to sit outside, or take up a close family offer (you should have worked the who out by now) to buy someone's 35k mile Subaru Crosstrek for 12k. Not the car I want, but **** that. I need it to work and to go. I'm not compensating. Preliminary investigation tells me the deal is quite good. The money stays in-family. And....and...I really do save money.




But....BUUUUT... beyond basic crap like Blue Book, are there some properly good review sites, deemed properly good by people who legitimately know what they're talking about? I may have already made up my mind, but I want to get a sense.

I'm talking consumer-oriented, not car expert oriented. Power is good but non essential. Sturdiness, cost of repairs, and reliability. That's what matters. Also it can't look like a literal dildo.

Just about any vehicle you buy today will be over valued and I believe it will stay this way for a couple of years until we catch up from the Covid stall.

Dealers are doing Sticker +10% and +20%


Used car prices are even worse.

If your current vehicle is basically safe (and not rusted out) and with a good engine, then 2-3 grand isn't much at all to put in it. If you could tell me the make and model, I could say if it's worth it or not.

I just put around $4100.00 in my 2004 GMC Sierra with 129,000 miles on it because the 5.3 engine is good for at least 250,000 miles. (brakes-tires-hoses-plugs-wires-slip yoke-power steering pump-Heater/AC blend doors- battery- ball joints- tie rods-torsion bushings- torsion link pins- control arm bushings - CV axles etc. etc.) All the parts came from A1 Auto with free shipping.

I do my own work and it took me about 5 days in between beers and golf.
 

Chomsky

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Great cars.

Buy one, do not abuse it, maintain it, and you're good for 15-20 years. And the crazy thing? All the little stuff like power windows, locks, even big stuff like aircon, will keep working!

Toyota reliability is a true thing; especially with Corollas.
 

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Kelly Blue book type pricing isn't relevant right now.

I recently sold a 2005 Toyota Tacoma with a 127,000 miles on it that I bought 6 years ago and never drove. I originally bought it to use with my home repairs business but it has sat over at my storage unit since the day I bought it. I sold it for $9,500 as is. It needed tires, battery, and serious cleaning. I laughed out loud when the guy made the offer and I told him that I had no clue as to any serious underlying problems, but he didn't care. He came with a check and a flat bed.

I recommend looking for a nice used vehicle from a family member, friend, or other people that they may know. There are some sweetheart deals out there if you look hard enough.
 

Rexedgar

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Just about any vehicle you buy today will be over valued and I believe it will stay this way for a couple of years until we catch up from the Covid stall.

Dealers are doing Sticker +10% and +20%


Used car prices are even worse.

If your current vehicle is basically safe (and not rusted out) and with a good engine, then 2-3 grand isn't much at all to put in it. If you could tell me the make and model, I could say if it's worth it or not.

I just put around $4100.00 in my 2004 GMC Sierra with 129,000 miles on it because the 5.3 engine is good for at least 250,000 miles. (brakes-tires-hoses-plugs-wires-slip yoke-power steering pump-Heater/AC blend doors- battery- ball joints- tie rods-torsion bushings- torsion link pins- control arm bushings - CV axles etc. etc.) All the parts came from A1 Auto with free shipping.

I do my own work and it took me about 5 days in between beers and golf.
Double or triple that price to have those repairs done in a shop. I think I read that the OP isn’t familiar with hand tools.
 

Mr Person

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What kind of car is your current car, and what really needs to be done?

'Brakes' can mean a lot of things, but if your brake lines themselves are good, there really shouldn't be anything killer expensive to fix with brakes.

Do you know a shade-tree mechanic that works out of his garage, or moonlights? Those guys, or a relative, are usually the best way to go, or even a neighbor that's a gear-head and hustles a few bucks at night and weekends.

The 'Big Three' Japanese manufactured cars (Toyota, Honda, Nissan), particularly Toyota & Honda, tend to last forever. Subie might too, I'm just not familiar enough with them. But as long as the body's solid, heat & air work, and it passes pass emissions, it's almost always the cheapest to keep them running. I speak from experience here. Then again, either I or my kid usually do the work if it's basic, and we've got guys that moonlight at their shops and can do the bigger stuff after hours..

Oh, brake lines and other things. The entire underside has been rusting out (What I'm pretty sure is a heat shield, and then later what I'm pretty sure is a front right water shield, dragged and fell off). The point has been to drive it into the ground for a while. Book value is several hundred, and the repairs the guy suggested for keeping it longer-term would be thousands at least. That was two years ago. And there's some unexpected thing seemingly every year.

2000 Maxima that's been sitting outside.



As for "shade-tree mechanics"... no. Certainly don't have any mechanic relatives. As for finding one, I'd probably need word of mouth I can trust... it'd sort of be like trying to head downtown to buy heroin: I'm not part of that world, so I'm at a greater risk of being a mark.
 

justabubba

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35,000 miles on a Subaru for $12,000
Don’t bother doing the research because you will not find a better deal
Hope she will like her SUV as much as you will like your Subaru
 

Mr Person

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Double or triple that price to have those repairs done in a shop. I think I read that the OP isn’t familiar with hand tools.

That's going a little far. We do work around the house, but not certain things where we don't necessarily trust ourselves. Like electric wiring or plumbing.

I definitely don't have the set-up or know-how required to do the work myself. It'd be a learning experience allright; a straight-up experiment. I'd have to work off written materials and instruction videos...

If you don't grow up in a DIY-heavy household, hang around with big car fans, or go into any sort of job/career that involves that stuff, you're not likely to end up being a person who fixes up their own cars.
 

Rexedgar

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That's going a little far. We do work around the house, but not certain things where we don't necessarily trust ourselves. Like electric wiring or plumbing.

I definitely don't have the set-up or know-how required to do the work myself. It'd be a learning experience allright; a straight-up experiment. I'd have to work off written materials and instruction videos...

If you don't grow up in a DIY-heavy household, hang around with big car fans, or go into any sort of job/career that involves that stuff, you're not likely to end up being a person who fixes up their own cars.
No offense meant!

I came up in a single mother household and only developed an interest in how things work after becoming a teenager. Most DIYers will admit to multiple missteps before they got the hang of things.


EDIT: you can do worse than SUBARU/FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
 

Mr Person

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No offense meant!

I came up in a single mother household and only developed an interest in how things work after becoming a teenager. Most DIYers will admit to multiple missteps before they got the hang of things.

EDIT: you can do worse than SUBARU/FUJI HEAVY INDUSTRIES

Oh, I wouldn't say offended. You're generally right. I don't know much about various mechanical repairs. I have to look each new one up, etc. Different worlds...

I've often joked that I want to train to be a mechanic just so I can tell if someone wants to rip me off. But, there are only so many hours in a day.
 

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I've recently been involved with transferring a car to a relative and have been going an extra yard to make sure the price is fair.
I think $12,000 for a 35000 mile Subaru is quite a deal. How old is the car? I've searched for cars on TrueCar.com.
You enter your zip, and what you're looking for. For instance, in Denver a 2016 Crosstrek with 35,000 miles is going for $25,500, one owner, no accidents. So at any rate, it your family member doesn't sell it to you, she should certainly raise the price quite a bit for someone else.
 

Chomsky

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Oh, brake lines and other things. The entire underside has been rusting out (What I'm pretty sure is a heat shield, and then later what I'm pretty sure is a front right water shield, dragged and fell off). The point has been to drive it into the ground for a while. Book value is several hundred, and the repairs the guy suggested for keeping it longer-term would be thousands at least. That was two years ago. And there's some unexpected thing seemingly every year.

2000 Maxima that's been sitting outside.

Fair enough, then. All the other brake stuff can be repaired at reasonable cost, including the short flexible brake line that runs from the wheel brake cylinder to the hard tube type line that's attached to, or part, of the chassis.

But once the chassis lines go, it often is not cost-effective, or time-effective, to do them - unless the vehicle is a hobby, or you have time on your hands, or have a friend/relative that wants to help-out for some reason.

As for "shade-tree mechanics"... no. Certainly don't have any mechanic relatives. As for finding one, I'd probably need word of mouth I can trust...

That is generally how it's done, you know? ;)


it'd sort of be like trying to head downtown to buy heroin: I'm not part of that world, so I'm at a greater risk of being a mark.

Hah! Interesting analogy! Though you probably have a better chance of not getting fleeced for large sums by the smack dealer!

--

I will say this, concerning trade and white-collar professionals,

"Nurture them!"

When you find a good mechanic, carpenter, handy-man, accountant, lawyer, or any other professional - nurture them!

Give them the time & space to help you. Be respectful, especially of their time & response. Pay them! Immediately! And thank them! Do what it takes to make their job easy. Don't 'nickle & dime' them. Be supportive. And above all, have reasonable expectations!

We, as a family, keep those that help us close to us. We nurture a relationship with them, and we keep them as busy as we can. This has grown, starting with my parents & grandparents, and now with me & my siblings. We've had some relationships for generations, when the proprietors' kids take over the businesses.

When you have an active busy family, with property, vehicles, kids, and business needs, you will need help often & in a plethora of things! It is extremely important to surround yourself with trusted effective professionals.

And, the most important thing:

1] Pay them!
2] Take and follow their advice!


Many clients, but not all, do #1.

But it's amazing how many sometimes skip #2, often to their own detriment!
 
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