Buying My Car...what do you think?

Top Geek

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If it's in good shape and everything works, go for it. I drove a '93 Prelude when I was looking for my car and it is, hands down, the most fun I've ever had in a FWD car.

And it's a Honda, so what could go wrong?
 

Labcoatguy

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Can you live with a sporty car that has a 4-speed auto? I had my MR2's auto swapped for a 5-spd a year after I got it; it worked out for me only because the price difference between the two on the market was roughly equal to the cost of the swap, otherwise I would've waited and bought a manual car. Think about it.

Stay far far away from 300ZX's, 3000GT's and Supra's...they may be cheap(er) now, but parts for them are not. They always will be treated by their parent companies as luxury sports cars, and the prices to maintain them reflect that. To put it in perspective, parts for a 350Z are cheaper than a 15 year 300ZX.

A friend of mine has a 1st-gen 3000GT VR4, and it's a complete and utter money pit; he's had to replace the turbos, the rear diff, and rebuild the transmission all in the past year. Helluva GT car, to be fair, but damn.
 

WannabeSS

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Get a pontiac grand prix... Solid car with a good engine..
 

Lambos r4ever

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I have a '97 prelude and I love it because it is such a fun and involving car to drive. Couple of things though:
1. Needs to be revved to get some performance (definitely get a manual)
2. Can be noisy on the highways (my 2.2L VTEC revs at 3500 RPM when doing 70 mph)
 

klutch

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Some sound advice here. Always skip the auto if you're getting a 4-cyl car. Check ownership history. Get a CarFax, however, they are not the 'be-all, end-all' of ownership history. Don't buy one from someone under 25, or it'll be trashed. Look for aftermarket parts (exhaust, tacky body shit, intake modifications, lound stereo, etc) and avoid it! Odds are the car's been abused. Check the paint (especially around windows, inside the doors and engine bay) all over the car, as well as the gaps bewteen the panels and bumpers - any evidence of strange, asymmetrical gaps or different paint will be signs of an accident. Have someone else who knows cars take it for a drive, listen for any noises that don't sound normal; clunks, bumps, rattling, etc. Test the clutch by having the e-brake on, and letting the clutch out in first gear. Have a compression/leakdown test performed (cheap). Get receipts for repairs/maintenance. Etc.
 

jrl1018

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Some sound advice here. Always skip the auto if you're getting a 4-cyl car. Check ownership history. Get a CarFax, however, they are not the 'be-all, end-all' of ownership history. Don't buy one from someone under 25, or it'll be trashed. Look for aftermarket parts (exhaust, tacky body shit, intake modifications, lound stereo, etc) and avoid it! Odds are the car's been abused. Check the paint (especially around windows, inside the doors and engine bay) all over the car, as well as the gaps bewteen the panels and bumpers - any evidence of strange, asymmetrical gaps or different paint will be signs of an accident. Have someone else who knows cars take it for a drive, listen for any noises that don't sound normal; clunks, bumps, rattling, etc. Test the clutch by having the e-brake on, and letting the clutch out in first gear. Have a compression/leakdown test performed (cheap). Get receipts for repairs/maintenance. Etc.
Definitely. A friend of the family is a very good Honda mech. He would be looking at the car for me.
 

Lambos r4ever

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Definitely. A friend of the family is a very good Honda mech. He would be looking at the car for me.

That is a very good idea b/c in my case I was lied to by a dealer (used cars) who told me that the timing belt had been replaced a few thousand miles ago and it had never been in an accident. Then my mechanic looked at the hood stickers underneath and knew that it had been in a front end collision and that the timing belt had never been replaced <_<
 

jrl1018

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Thanks for all the advice guys, it is really helping.

Just a quick update; just got off the phone with the owner and I am going to see the car tomorrow afternoon and will be test driving it, etc. :D
 

jrl1018

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Update:
Just got home from seeing the car. Overall, I thought it was in pretty good condition. I liked it a lot. Here's some fore info:

Pros:
-Runs very well. Did not seem as if there was anything wrong with the engine.
-Handles very well. Very comfortable. Definitely fun to drive.
-Interior is very clean. Seems to be taken care of.
-Plenty of speed for me.
-Seems that the current owner has kept the car in very good shape, has not been in an accident, changed the oil every 3k miles, etc.
-Did not notice anything electronically wrong.
-A/C and Heat work well.
-Current body parts seem to have no flaws other than small rust spots. (Mentioned below)


Cons:
-Seems to have been repainted. Not a great paint job. There is a small spot where the paint recently chipped. The owner said he noticed this chip after the car was recently detailed.
-Seems that it was in a minor accident after it was repainted. The two front fenders do not match the doors or hood completely, but they are very very close. It does not seem to have any damage to the underpinnings, and the hood is still the original.
-There are two very small rust spots on the edge of the sunroof. My dad doesn't like this.
-There is also a rust spot about the size of a quarter on the edge of the driver's side rear wheel well.
-There was a faint rattle coming from the back of the car when we accelerated quickly. Not sure what caused it.

I think I have covered everything. Overall I really like the car. My dad seems to like it, but is unsure about the rust. I agree with him, and if i were to buy the car I would definitely have it fixed and repainted. He seems to think that it would cost about $1k for the repairs, so it still fits into my budget. Our mechanic friend is most likely going to look at the car with us tomorrow, and I am eager to see what he says. If he thinks it is a good buy, and agrees with my dad's $1k estimate for repairs, I will probably buy the car.

(p.s. In case anyone was curious, the owner replaced this with an 08 Nissan Maxima 3.5SE. It's nice.)
 
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C53A_4G63T

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To fix the rust around the sun roof should run around $400-500. Might be less considering my Infiniti had rust around the windshield and I painted the whole large roof. And it was rusted in 4-5 places. $1k seems excessive.
 

jrl1018

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To fix the rust around the sun roof should run around $400-500. Might be less considering my Infiniti had rust around the windshield and I painted the whole large roof. And it was rusted in 4-5 places. $1k seems excessive.

I meant $1k total to have all of the rust fixed and the entire car repainted. But thanks for the info, it helps me get a grip on how much it will cost.

Does anybody still think that $1k is a little high? I guess it is safer to estimate high than low...
 

Ottobon

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Honda looks good.

The first years of motoring should really be taken seriously, if theres ever a time when safety and reliability overshadow everything else its at this moment. The key points i would get at is don't buy something you'll feel like showing off in, that will get you in a accident. With time you'll find it is possible to drive fast and safely, but its a long long long process and you really should stay under the radar and religiously under the posted speed limits for at least the first few years of driving. Pay attention to your driving, if you do drive a little adventurous then never go more then 5% beyond your known limit at a given time, otherwise YOU eventually WILL CRASH. Never drive in anger or aggressively when your having a bad day, the probability of you crashing is even greater. And never ever ever drive when your mind is clouded, whether drugs, alcohol, or sleep deprivation, take it all very seriously, you will crash, and it will most likely be in a crowded place where other people can get hurt.

To be honest the prelude (maybe not that particular one) is actually a damn good starter car, If I'm not mistaken its fairly comfortable despite its inherent bit of sportyness, so it should be a good car to start with as you'll be needing to learn how to relax while being attentively (something thats hard to do in a car that is noisy and or wearing), also the little bit of sportyness can actually help as it might give you better road feel, so that in time you can understand vehicle handling dynamics much better then you would if you had something American and FWD.

Best of Luck!
 
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jrl1018

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Hey guys, I know I'm bumping the thread, but here's an update.

I've pretty much ruled out the Prelude. Dont want to deal with it's problems. Today, I'm going to look at a 1994 Acura Integra. It has 140k miles, and has had the timing belt and all four brakes replaced within the last 50k. It seems to be in really good condition, I guess we will find out later today!!

What do you guys think about this?
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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Hey guys, I know I'm bumping the thread, but here's an update.

I've pretty much ruled out the Prelude. Dont want to deal with it's problems. Today, I'm going to look at a 1994 Acura Integra. It has 140k miles, and has had the timing belt and all four brakes replaced within the last 50k. It seems to be in really good condition, I guess we will find out later today!!

What do you guys think about this?

LS or GSR?

5 Speed or Auto? Again, driving a car with such feeble torque is going to kill the fun factor if its an auto. 140k miles on an LS seems right if the car is $2k or less. If its a GSR and less than $4500 then thats a steal.

I'm actually now in the hunt for a 5th gen Prelude :lol:
 

crashmaxx

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An Integra is a good car, and is very similar to a Prelude. I would recommend it if it weren't for the fact ricers love them. This wouldn't be a big deal, except the tend to get stolen because of the huge demand for parts. If you mod it at all, then it will be all the more likely to get stolen.

Not saying don't get, but it is something to think about. If you do get, make sure you have a good alarm system, and have it look as stock and boring as possible.
 

jrl1018

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Here's what happened.

Was going to go see the Integra on Saturday, but something came up and I didn't get a chance to go over and see it.

Next day, my dad got a call from an old friend who is the Used Car Manager at a local dealership. He told us that they just recieved a 1994 Acura Integra LS Sedan through trade in, and we could have it for $2800 before they touched it. (Fixing problems, detailing, etc.) My dad went over on Monday without telling me, drove the car. Said that the interior is immaculately clean, and the car was in really good condition. It has 115k miles, and he was impressed by just how clean it was. He had our mechanic go look at it on Tuesday, and he noticed a small squeak in the front passenger side shock, and said that it was just a brushing that needed to be lubricated. Other than that, everything looked really good. My dad signed the paperwork agreeing to buy the car.

I went to the dealership with him today with a check of my money, and bought my first car! I'm excited :D I really like it. It's green, and my dad was right in saying that it is really clean. It runs really well, and handles great.

I'll get some pics up for you guys once i get a chance to take some pictures in the daylight!
 
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