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Suggest Me A Car Under $4K

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Posted

I really need a car for school and for work due to the fact that my current one (1993 Toyota Pickup) needs repairs and instead of putting money to repair it I would rather put it towards a newer and better car. What do you suggest for under $4K in the USA? I need a car that can get places and can go at least 65-75 miles an hour on the HWY and maybe newer than 1997.

I have been looking at cars on Craigslist, the only one that has caught my attention is a 2001-2002 Toyota Solara, but those are going for around $3.5K+. Are Toyota Solara's good, namely the 2001-2002 ones?

If you can suggest me a car I would really appreciate it. :)

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Posted

An older Jeep would probably serve you best and are easy to maintain, as long as you can get one around 100K miles, as the transmissions tend to crap out around 180-200k. Although you could probably get one from a scrapyard for cheap.

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Posted

Toyota Corola, Camry or Nissan Altima, never trust used American cars.

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Posted

Hard to suggest a car since your looking for used/budget.

I would say a cavalier because they are built strong. Ive seen people run them down with no oil and everything and those cars still go. Dont sound pretty but if you can maintain the car, they go forever and there cheap. You can fnd a 02 Cavy 2dooor with 75k miles or higher for an easy $3-4k i believe.

But it just depends what you find at a used dealer or craigslist, or etc.

I got my saturn 02 for 2k, which was a steal because the car is worth 7k. Its a stick with 72k miles on it. Funny thing is, the guy thought the transmission was going on it and just wnted to get rid of it. I had an idea what the problem was, but wasnt sure. Took it to trans mechanic, he looked and found that the throw out bearings werent adjusted or lubed(i forget which one), but since the transmission/clutch/etc has been in there since 2002 he went ahead and did a quick lub/adjustment and done. Car was shifting like normal again.

When I went in it for a ride intially, it wasnt slipping, it just wasnt going into gears all that easy, actually require grinding and a lot of force to get it in gear. Now, 2 years later almost(august) car runs beautiful.

SO if you get lucky, you can get any car for 4k, just keep looking.

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Posted

don't buy american... especially for around 4k. solara's are good cars. if you are into the fast and furious type of cars 240sx, integras and preludes can be found for around that price.

but if anything, don't buy american...

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Posted

have a look on craigslist, set your max price to 4000 and see what you find
for that price I would not suggest american, but rather honda civic or accord, toyota corolla or nissan altima.
my sister got a 1999 Infinity G20 (luxury altima) last year for $4,000 and it has 90,000 miles on it. just needed new tires

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Posted

Listen to these guys. My 97 Corrola has over 202,000 miles on it and it's doing fine as ever. Then again, this car has been cared for as good as it could have been, so it's always dependent on how the previous owners treated it.

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Posted

I am going to stay away from American cars for this one. On craigslist I saw a couple of cars that I liked under 4K.

A 2002 Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Rally Edition ($3300), 2001 and 2000 Nissan Maxima (4000 and 3800), 2001+ Altimas that I liked ($3500+), and one 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee ($4000).

What do you think about these cars including the Toyota Solara?

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Posted

The Nissan Maxima is pretty nice, I'd check those out.

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Posted

For a daily driver with 4K budget, if I wanted fun I'd get a Lexus SC300 (Toyota Soarer). If I wanted something very reliable, a toyota corolla or honda accord.

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Posted

accord would be a good choice. but solora is good as well. those were good times for toyota. you know? before toyotas sucked...

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Posted

The Nissan Maxima and Altima are the best choices in that list.

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Posted

Miata is an option if you want the drive wheels on the correct end of the car aka rear wheel drive. Since you are in California (north or south?) that is probably a good choice and convertible in your environment is only a bonus. Not sure how mechanical you are but they are easy to maintain and fix as well. The large volume of them made means parts are always available in the junk yard and the aftermarket is huge as well.

I did want to add that the shock of moving from a pickup to a miata will be a bit much as the volume of cargo space will shrink quite drastically with this choice though the people carrying capacity will still be 2. Decide how much gear you need to haul.

You said newer than 97 but for a cheap miata as well as a few other cheap cars if you plan on doing the work yourself you will want one prior to OBD 2 that is 96. Not that OBD 2 is that difficult though. If you are unwilling to to deal with old car troubles than 97 seems a strange year to chose as an 01 would have about the same chance as well as a 89. Why is 97 your cut off?

I have a 95 with 190k miles as my main daily driver that I still track occasionally and a 94 that competes in a series. I have a pretty strong 90 RX-7 as well so the fact that I usually chose to daily drive and track my miata should tell all you need to know about that.

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Posted

A rule of thumb around here; looking to buy used? Buy Toyota. They make sturdy, reliable cars and a well-kept used Toyota will last you forever.

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Posted

"Suggest yourself"...... Whats with people saying "Suggest me a ..." "Choose me a ....."
Seriously, is there a please in there somewhere? I dont know where that type of phrase started, but it really annoys me.

At any rate.... Cars for under 4 k? Well, ur either gonna end up with a really old, (conceivably) more efficient honda/toyota (i say really old because those cars take forever to depreciate in value) Or a newer, more gas guzzling car that has a higher depreciation rate, like a Pontiac or something... Or you could get lucky and find someone on craigslist that is asking for way under blue book. Don't count on it though.

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Posted

[quote name='Argote' date='17 July 2010 - 17:26' timestamp='1279412768' post='592919254']
The Nissan Maxima is pretty nice, I'd check those out.
[/quote]

I found a 2001 Nissan Maxima and a 2000 Nissan Maxima under $4K, but I have been reading online about the engines being unreliable.

From Wikipedia: The fifth-generation Maximas have a number of common problems: ignition coils, MAF sensor, TPS (Throttle position sensor) and IACV-AAC (Idle control valve). Users should be particularly aware of the IACV problem which can short out the ECM leading to a very costly repair. All of these faults trigger the check engine light.

A couple of other websites also confirm this. Is it a wise choice to buy a Nissan Maxima?

[quote name='revvo' date='17 July 2010 - 17:42' timestamp='1279413734' post='592919286']
For a daily driver with 4K budget, if I wanted fun I'd get a Lexus SC300 (Toyota Soarer). If I wanted something very reliable, a toyota corolla or honda accord.
[/quote]

Pretty old. I would love something like a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, but way out of my price range. :p

[quote name='rajputwarrior' date='17 July 2010 - 20:07' timestamp='1279422463' post='592919636']
accord would be a good choice. but solora is good as well. those were good times for toyota. you know? before toyotas sucked...
[/quote]

Yeah I really like the Solaras. I think I might choose between that and a Nissan Maxima.

[quote name='Quattrone' date='18 July 2010 - 06:53' timestamp='1279461228' post='592921172']
The Nissan Maxima and Altima are the best choices in that list.
[/quote]

As I said to poster above:

I found a 2001 Nissan Maxima and a 2000 Nissan Maxima under $4K, but I have been reading online about the engines being unreliable.

From Wikipedia: The fifth-generation Maximas have a number of common problems: ignition coils, MAF sensor, TPS (Throttle position sensor) and IACV-AAC (Idle control valve). Users should be particularly aware of the IACV problem which can short out the ECM leading to a very costly repair. All of these faults trigger the check engine light.

A couple of other websites also confirm this. Is it a wise choice to buy a Nissan Maxima?

[quote name='rathefeare' date='18 July 2010 - 09:58' timestamp='1279472311' post='592921788']
Miata is an option if you want the drive wheels on the correct end of the car aka rear wheel drive. Since you are in California (north or south?) that is probably a good choice and convertible in your environment is only a bonus. Not sure how mechanical you are but they are easy to maintain and fix as well. The large volume of them made means parts are always available in the junk yard and the aftermarket is huge as well.

I did want to add that the shock of moving from a pickup to a miata will be a bit much as the volume of cargo space will shrink quite drastically with this choice though the people carrying capacity will still be 2. Decide how much gear you need to haul.

You said newer than 97 but for a cheap miata as well as a few other cheap cars if you plan on doing the work yourself you will want one prior to OBD 2 that is 96. Not that OBD 2 is that difficult though. If you are unwilling to to deal with old car troubles than 97 seems a strange year to chose as an 01 would have about the same chance as well as a 89. Why is 97 your cut off?

I have a 95 with 190k miles as my main daily driver that I still track occasionally and a 94 that competes in a series. I have a pretty strong 90 RX-7 as well so the fact that I usually chose to daily drive and track my miata should tell all you need to know about that.
[/quote]

I don't think I would like a Miata. I would love something with more than 4 seats, in case I go anywhere with friends and family.

97 is my cut off because I don't want to go too old where the car is starting to fall apart.


[quote name='Sethos' date='18 July 2010 - 10:02' timestamp='1279472559' post='592921796']
A rule of thumb around here; looking to buy used? Buy Toyota. They make sturdy, reliable cars and a well-kept used Toyota will last you forever.
[/quote]

Yeah I have been looking at Toyota's and the only one that really intrests me is the Toyota Solara and their truck line (Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner).

[quote name='Reverend Spam' date='18 July 2010 - 10:07' timestamp='1279472853' post='592921816']
"Suggest yourself"...... Whats with people saying "Suggest me a ..." "Choose me a ....."
Seriously, is there a please in there somewhere? I dont know where that type of phrase started, but it really annoys me.

At any rate.... Cars for under 4 k? Well, ur either gonna end up with a really old, (conceivably) more efficient honda/toyota (i say really old because those cars take forever to depreciate in value) Or a newer, more gas guzzling car that has a higher depreciation rate, like a Pontiac or something... Or you could get lucky and find someone on craigslist that is asking for way under blue book. Don't count on it though.
[/quote]

I'm sorry, I guess. Will try to never let it happen again.

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Posted

[quote name='Tech Star' date='18 July 2010 - 18:03' timestamp='1279490595' post='592922880']
I'm sorry, I guess. Will try to never let it happen again.
[/quote]

Sorry, I didnt mean to be quite so dickish.... But to me, it just sounds the same as "get me a beer" or "kiss my ass".... It's like you're entitled to your request, so you don't even have to ask. Like I said, i've seen it many many times before, which is why it annoys me so much. It makes me feel like we're becoming an uncivilized, unappreciative society even faster. I have no issues with someone coming along and asking "Hey guys, can you give me a reco for a car under 4k?" Because it doesn't make you sound like ur demanding it. *shrugs* i guess thats just the way i am.

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Posted

From what I have heard Nissan Xterras are masterfully built cars would you consider that as an option?

Although not quite sure why people were quick to dismiss the Jeep option as they used the same engine for four decades and they were all built to last with proper maintenance.

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Posted

[quote name='Reverend Spam' date='18 July 2010 - 23:18' timestamp='1279520299' post='592924210']
Sorry, I didnt mean to be quite so dickish.... But to me, it just sounds the same as "get me a beer" or "kiss my ass".... It's like you're entitled to your request, so you don't even have to ask. Like I said, i've seen it many many times before, which is why it annoys me so much. It makes me feel like we're becoming an uncivilized, unappreciative society even faster. I have no issues with someone coming along and asking "Hey guys, can you give me a reco for a car under 4k?" Because it doesn't make you sound like ur demanding it. *shrugs* i guess thats just the way i am.
[/quote]

I understand where you are coming from, but I didn't intend it to be demanding. I even had posted in my original post that I would appreciate it if people would help me.

[quote name='SpecialK.' date='18 July 2010 - 23:46' timestamp='1279522012' post='592924308']
From what I have heard Nissan Xterras are masterfully built cars would you consider that as an option?

Although not quite sure why people were quick to dismiss the Jeep option as they used the same engine for four decades and they were all built to last with proper maintenance.
[/quote]

I would love to buy an Xterra, but I can't find any for under $4K. :(

As for Jeeps I like the new Grand Cherokee's, but I have read the older ones have issues.

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=2000&make=Jeep&model=Grand%20Cherokee

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Posted

I saw a Lexus IS300 on craigslist the other day for around 3,999, with 95k. It is, in my opinion, the best looking realistic car out there.

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Posted

Forget craigslist...

www.autotrader.com

:cool:


I'd pick an audi or a bimmer :blush:

[url="http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=271648826&dealer_id=56903586&car_year=1998&rdm=1279539985982&lastStartYear=1981&model=&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=0&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&sownerid=1361524&showZipError=n&make=AUDI&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&seller_type=b&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=90210&advanced=&end_year=2011&doors=&transmission=&max_price=3999&cardist=7&standard=false"]1998 Audi A4 1.8T[/url]

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Posted

If you can find one in your price range a 02-03 nissan altima 2.5s would be a good bet. nothing major done and still ticking at 180,000 (i gave it to my sil for nothing, my bil is complaining that he had to dump 500 into it (tires and a sensor, imo big effing deal)....he also thinks 10,000 in cash is all the money in the world). If all you have to do is replace some sensors when they go go for it, granted they aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than dumping the cash for a trans or engine build at one time. 100,000 were my 2 oxygen sensors, was good up till 180,000 for a crank sensor.


Aside from that, everyone is going to hate me for this, but my wifes 04 explorer v6 was a good truck, never costed me a dime up to 150,000 miles (other than oil changes, trans fluid changes, and 2 tune ups). My 91 explorer lasted until the body rotted out at about 200,000 miles (needed a couple of valve cover gaskets replaced, the 4wd went out at 125,000 due to my own stupidity, O2's went at around 150,000, and the rear brake cyls froze up). My 98 Expedition was by far the most comfortable ride to date, however they had bad head cyls that didn't like to keep spark plugs in them (they like to shoot them out) other than that and the gas milage it was a great truck (don't get a 97-01 expedition at least with the 5.4). And my 95 mustang gt was fine until I started modding it, then it seemed like every other weekend something else wanted to go on it. Basically if you don't beat up on your cars, and you use them like they were designed to (not racing, or mud bogging, or being careless/stupid), I think you will be fine unless you own a chrysler product (stay far far away from them, at least the minivans, wife traded her perfectly working ford explorer for one and from 100 miles that thing has been the biggest heap of crap on wheels).

I am speaking from exp...not some crap that you have heard from someones friends-uncles-step sisters-brother inlaw who doesn't know a lug nut from a walnut, or some internet fodder. (I also had a 06 ford focus that work gave me, I kept it for 10,000 miles before resigning so I can't really comment on its longevity, I can say the seats hurt my back).

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Posted

Did you drive half a million or so miles in what? 20 years?

just asking... :)

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Posted

Dude, I drove anywhere from 200 to 500 miles a day for 10 years. Bought most of my cars used (expedition at 33000 miles, explorer at 35000 (i think) miles). So yeah I drive a lot as my job required me to do. My home was in the neighborhood of north west nj, and my coverage area was from baltimore MD, to NYC (north and south) and from the east coast of NJ to harrisburg PA (Atlantic City, NJ to Harrisburg). A couple of years I hit over 40,000 miles. 5000 mile oil changes came once a month quite often. My current job/contract, I told my employers that I will not travel any more than 50 miles 1 way because my last job beat me up so bad. I bought my new Altima (had 100 miles on the ticker), in Feb of this year and have 14,000 miles as of right now and at this rate within 1 year I will have over 28,000 miles clocked on my new car. I drive more than the average person. And that is in my working career. I still have to use my car for personal. Many times I have had to go from my house, travel an hour to get to the office to pick up equipment then travel down to baltimore MD to do my job, or go to the office then travel down to atlantic city. The expedition go beat up at this job, followed by my altima. the exploder was before that, and had a cushy job where I had a van to travel with.

My cars to date:
buick skylark (my first car) 93-96 (hand me down)
ford probe 96-98 (bought new)
ford explorer 98-00 (got beat to ****, family, me, hauled everything and everyone, anywhere, camping/work/moving vehicle, many long trips, bought used)
ford mustang (99-04, play car not normal use or work, but needed on a couple of trips due to wifes car in shop, bought used)
ford expedition 99-03 (was abused as well took the place of the explorer, towed many a campers, bought used)
nissan altima 03-10 (not abused for family, primary work vehicle) first car bought new, put on all miles myself
nissan altima v6 10-present (not abused for family, primary work vehicle) second car bought new, put on all miles myself

with my current altima I get about 400 mi to the tank and fill up 1.5 times a week. if you want I can take pics for you.

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Posted

[quote name='LiquidSolstice' date='18 July 2010 - 23:59' timestamp='1279522742' post='592924342']
I saw a Lexus IS300 on craigslist the other day for around 3,999, with 95k. It is, in my opinion, the best looking realistic car out there.
[/quote]

I can't find any of those under $8K in Los Angeles. :(


[quote name='zhiVago' date='19 July 2010 - 04:43' timestamp='1279539820' post='592925122']
Forget craigslist...

www.autotrader.com

:cool:


I'd pick an audi or a bimmer :blush:

[url="http://www.autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?ct=u&car_id=271648826&dealer_id=56903586&car_year=1998&rdm=1279539985982&lastStartYear=1981&model=&num_records=25&systime=&make2=&highlightFirstMakeModel=&start_year=1981&keywordsfyc=&keywordsrep=&engine=&certified=&body_code=0&fuel=&awsp=false&search_type=both&distance=0&marketZipError=false&search_lang=en&sownerid=1361524&showZipError=n&make=AUDI&keywords_display=&color=&page_location=findacar%3A%3Aispsearchform&min_price=&drive=&default_sort=priceDESC&seller_type=b&max_mileage=&style_flag=1&sort_type=priceDESC&address=90210&advanced=&end_year=2011&doors=&transmission=&max_price=3999&cardist=7&standard=false"]1998 Audi A4 1.8T[/url]
[/quote]

Looks nice. Are old Audi's good?

[quote name='sc302' date='19 July 2010 - 06:17' timestamp='1279545427' post='592925440']
If you can find one in your price range a 02-03 nissan altima 2.5s would be a good bet. nothing major done and still ticking at 180,000 (i gave it to my sil for nothing, my bil is complaining that he had to dump 500 into it (tires and a sensor, imo big effing deal)....he also thinks 10,000 in cash is all the money in the world). If all you have to do is replace some sensors when they go go for it, granted they aren't cheap, but they are cheaper than dumping the cash for a trans or engine build at one time. 100,000 were my 2 oxygen sensors, was good up till 180,000 for a crank sensor.


Aside from that, everyone is going to hate me for this, but my wifes 04 explorer v6 was a good truck, never costed me a dime up to 150,000 miles (other than oil changes, trans fluid changes, and 2 tune ups). My 91 explorer lasted until the body rotted out at about 200,000 miles (needed a couple of valve cover gaskets replaced, the 4wd went out at 125,000 due to my own stupidity, O2's went at around 150,000, and the rear brake cyls froze up). My 98 Expedition was by far the most comfortable ride to date, however they had bad head cyls that didn't like to keep spark plugs in them (they like to shoot them out) other than that and the gas milage it was a great truck (don't get a 97-01 expedition at least with the 5.4). And my 95 mustang gt was fine until I started modding it, then it seemed like every other weekend something else wanted to go on it. Basically if you don't beat up on your cars, and you use them like they were designed to (not racing, or mud bogging, or being careless/stupid), I think you will be fine unless you own a chrysler product (stay far far away from them, at least the minivans, wife traded her perfectly working ford explorer for one and from 100 miles that thing has been the biggest heap of crap on wheels).

I am speaking from exp...not some crap that you have heard from someones friends-uncles-step sisters-brother inlaw who doesn't know a lug nut from a walnut, or some internet fodder. (I also had a 06 ford focus that work gave me, I kept it for 10,000 miles before resigning so I can't really comment on its longevity, I can say the seats hurt my back).
[/quote]

All the 2002 and above Altima's that I have found are above $5K. :( I really like them also. Sounds like you have owned a great batch of cars. :yes:

Driving 200-500+ miles a day does not sound really fun. :/

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