Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

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Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby Dog_Papa » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:17 pm

I stopped buying used cars back in 1993. When I bought a new Toyota base pickup. After a disastrous used mini van purchase in 1991. An 1987 4-cly Chrysler, with
about 60K miles on it. I paid $5K w/taxes. In the first yr I drove about 15K miles and had the following repairs:

front springs & strut suspension repair $900
A/C compressor $340
Windshield wiper motor & new blades $300
Tune-up plugs, cap, rotor, wires, filters $375
Front brakes $325
Battery (only thing I did myself) $95
Muffler, pipes, Cat Converter $680
Water Pump, hoses & belts $450
new tires $400
Alternator $300
Starter motor $250

Then when I was traveling the engine went out (timing chain broke, destroying the engine). A rebuilt was $2,400 installed. I figured all the bugs had now been worked
out, so I continued driving it. But, the repairs continued:

oil gasket leak repair $100
rear brakes $300
leak in water jacket repair $150
rear suspension repair $300
Radiator repair $270

Then the van started burning oil, the engine power began to drop and the trans started slipping. So, I had blown $12K and sold the van for $500. That's when
I bought the new Toyota. I paid about $8,000 with shell and everything. I hit two deer 6 1/2 yrs later, which totalled the truck. But, I had an insurance settlement
of $5900. So, I drove 6 years and 85,000 miles for only about $2100, in vehicle value loss. I have stuck with Toyotas ever since. They aren't the value they once
were. The same truck would cost about $18K, at least, by the time you paid the taxes and put on a shell. But, still a lot better than buying used.

All the used cars I bought when I was young, ended up costing a lot. They needed a lot of repair, and they didn't last very long. Used autos are just not a good buy
in my view. I really think this example illustrates some of the the reasons why.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby YttriumNitrate » Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:31 pm

I read you story, and the moral seems to be don't buy a Chrysler. My old roommate drove a Sebring, and based on the number of times that stupid thing was in the shop there's definitely a good reason those cars were losing 2/3rds of their value in the first two years.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/cars-resale-value-lifestyle-vehicles-autos-depreciation.html

Edit:
I was wrong about them losing 2/3rds of their value in the first two years, they lose 73% :oops:

http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/12/cars-resale-value-lifestyle-vehicles-autos-depreciation_slide_11.html
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby inbox788 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:12 pm

Or maybe it's time to find a new mechanic. After the first few repairs, he didn't figure out something was wrong? Or may he did and just milked it. I knew someone who had a Camry that was always breaking down and in the shop. Given their reputation for reliability, I suspected an incompetent or dishonest mechanic. People often take a car to a mechanic to have it checked out before buying but sometimes I think there is a conflict of interest. They don't want you to buy a new car that doesn't need repairs or a reliable car that only needs oil changes. How are they going to bill hours of work?
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby JoeJohnson » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:33 pm

It's a lot closer than people think, but your sample size of a 1987 Chrysler is not big enough to mean anything. The van was obviously a pile of junk. It's 26 years later. ALL vehicles are more dependable than then.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby billyt » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:20 am

For some reason, I really enjoy used cars. Maybe as much as some people enjoy their new cars. It is not entirely about saving money, but I think you can and do save significant amounts of money. When I was younger, I did it because I had to. Now, the price of a new car is insignificant relative to my net worth. Anyway, I have 2 rules of thumb: 1) Buy a car that is at least 10 years older than the current model. 2) Don't pay more for the car than you are willing to lose if it turns out to be a lemon. Although repairs can be an issue, it has been my experience that you can save lots of money. I keep good records. My current vehicle is a 1994 that I bought for $2,381(taxes,title, & registration) in 2004. Since then I have spent: Insurance: $3,371, legal (reg, lisc, taxes, inspections) $797, gasoline $7,122, repairs & maintenance $3,885. That is less than $2,000 a year all in. I think that would be hard to do with a new vehicle, even in the best case. The repairs are starting to ramp up a little, brakes cost me about $700 last year. However, the deciding factor on when to sell is the annoying little things. Drivers side window stopped working. Had it fixed once and now it is broken again. I guess it is time for a new (used) car.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby jayjayc » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:48 pm

YttriumNitrate wrote:I read you story, and the moral seems to be don't buy a Chrysler.


I would have to agree that the real conflict here was Toyota vs Chrysler as opposed to New vs Used.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby rfburns » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:49 pm

You just never bought a good used car and that's unfortunate.
I'm still driving my 1994 Ranger truck daily. I bought it with 24k on the odometer.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby kenschmidt » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:34 pm

I had a different experience with Chrysler. In 2002, I bought a Dodge Caravan. I was a little concerned about reliability but it was nicely discounted at the time (easily $5-8k less than a comparably equipped Odessey or Sienna) and had a special 7 year, 100k power train warranty promotion at the time, so I took the plunge.

In 10 years, only problem we encountered was a failed power window motor. We have had to put some money into it lately, including a transmission, new starter and head gaskets. Still, it has been a pretty good value and is still cosmetically in nice condition (it was garaged).

All that said, I have driven Sebrings as rentals and don't see that ever being in my driveway. I did like the new Charger however...
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby Dog_Papa » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:09 pm

I would have to agree that the real conflict here was Toyota vs Chrysler as opposed to New vs Used.

The engine was the most expensive thing that went out was made by Mitsubishi. In later yrs the suspension springs were much heavier and covered by a
plastic coating to prevent rust. Chrysler started to have competitors, so they improve their mini vans. There was a lot of opportunity for that. I had problems
with just about every system, except the fuel system. And all those things needed to be fixed, nobody took advantage of me. People I have known who had
the Dakota or Durango with the V6, also only got about 100K miles out of the powertrain, before major repairs were necessary. It's also not just Chrysler,
Ford has had problems with spark plug blowout and their transmissions. Generally the vehicles made by the big 3, that would last well over 100K, were the
traditional V8s. That's were they put their engineering and quality efforts. Because those were high profit models. And the big 3, still had the majority of the
market, in pick-ups and SUVs. The big 3 had a very difficult time making money on small cars. Their labor costs were just too high. The overall point of my
post was you spend a lot of money on a used car and get a real piece of junk.
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Re: Cost of auto ownership & driving, used car vs new

Postby Randomize » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:18 am

Echoing Dog_Papa, it isn't really fair to compare the era of beater American cars with modern-day ones. Chrysler still produces garbage (just imo after driving a couple rentals) and GM is middling but Ford is years ahead of those two in production technology and resulting quality. Check out the consumer reports on the modern Focus, for example, and you'll see positive reviews and very low cost of ownership.

But yeah, if you're going to buy a car made before 2000 or so, go with a Toyota or Honda.
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