Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

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Jim180
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Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by Jim180 »

I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 120K miles. It is still running fine although I may need tires and brake pads when I get it inspected soon. I know of a great deal on a used car however. The used car I saw is a 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Amazingly the car only has 29K miles on it and the price is $3500, which I think is a great deal for 12 year old car with such low mileage. The car was owned by an elderly lady who must have died or gotten very ill. Am I foolish to consider purchasing that car if mine is still running fine? I could consider selling my current car, get whatever I can for it and put it toward the used car or I can simply pass on the used car for sale and hope my current car lasts for a quite awhile yet. I drive about 12K miles per year.
Last edited by Jim180 on Tue May 21, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Winston19
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by Winston19 »

I think a Corolla is a much better car. I would stick with what you have. Plus you know how your car has been maintained etc.
bloom2708
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by bloom2708 »

Pretty low price. Has the car been sitting and may need some maintenance to get back on the road?

One note, the Cobalt is a very (very) low end car. That car might have been ~$12k new. The interior is very plastic-y and cheap. I had one as a rental car a few times. It is bare bones transportation. I do not think they are all that reliable either.

I would pass on the Cobalt. If you want to move up, get up into the 2015 model year (Corolla or other) and up with better safety features.

The Cobalt might need brakes and tires too. Those are wear items and just have to be replaced at intervals.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue May 21, 2019 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by ThankYouJack »

It's typically not good for cars to sit for a while and this one probably has. So before getting too excited about the great deal, I would first look at the car, test drive it, check the fluids, tires and make sure it's in great shape. Then I may even take it to a mechanic to do a used car inspection.

What's the tread depth of your current tires?

I wonder how long a typical Chevy Cobalt lasts. If close to a Corolla and everything seems pristine, I may make the switch myself.
ono8ono
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by ono8ono »

If I were you, I will keep the corolla!! Your corolla will last another 120K miles easily if you keep up the maintenance. Cobalt is not a reliable car. Check rating from consumer reports!

BTW, if you buy the 12 yrs old cobalt, you probably need to replace the tires, belts, change transmission fluids , brake fluid, coolant , power steering fluid and engine oil. Fluids tend to degrade after 12 years even low mileage.
megabad
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by megabad »

Jim180 wrote: Tue May 21, 2019 12:26 pm I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 120K miles. It is still running fine although I may need tires and brake pads when I get it inspected soon. I know of a great deal on a used car however. The used car I saw is a 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Amazingly the car only has 29K miles on it and the price is $3500, which I think is a great deal for 12 year old car with such low mileage. The car was owned by an elderly lady who must have died or gotten very ill. Am I foolish to consider purchasing that car if mine is still running fine? I could consider selling my current car, get whatever I can for it and put it toward the used car or I can simply pass on the used car for sale and hope my current car lasts for a quite awhile yet. I drive about 12K miles per year.
Do you like the Cobalt? FYI, 3500 is about the private party value for a Cobalt in my area so I don't think it is an amazing deal. Maybe a little lower than average. I see one (2007) for $4k with 45k miles not too far away. If your car is reliable, it would generally not be a good financial move to buy another car (really ever until you have a very expensive fix on your car).
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

Pass

Cars don't do well when they sit around. In the last 2 years, we bought our 85 year old father in law's 14 year old Outback (45k miles) and my 83 year old mom's 09 Fusion (50k miles). Both suffer from age related problems that have required a lot of work. Especially the Subaru which is thankfully gone now. I'm a DIY guy so a lot of the labor was free......but each car had several thousand dollars in labor if it were $50 an hour to pay someone.

A short list of things you will have to do immediately....remember that lots of things are replaced on time OR miles.

You're lucky the car has a timing chain...not a belt.
Heater hoses
Radiator hoses
Very likely 4 brake calipers and rotors (you might get away without pads)
exhaust system
Rusty lines (GM is great at brake lines that rust out...been there, got the hotel receipt). Also possible, fuel lines, transmission cooling lines, power steering lines (I have seen every one of these on one car or another).
tires (chances are they have great tread, are original to the car and so are junk)
sway bar end links and bushings
Maybe control arms (or just bushings if you're able to do them)
brake fluid change
trans fluid change
coolant change
remove mouse nests (you will find some) and possible electrical issues. Look for chewed wire insulation and check inside the air cleaner before you even start the car to test drive it.

If this was parked outside, expect excessive rust under the car. Chassis, suspension, strut mounting points, possible stuck parking brake cable.
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lthenderson
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by lthenderson »

If given the choice between those two cars with the mileage stated and being the same price, I would choose the corolla.
researcher
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by researcher »

Jim180 wrote: Tue May 21, 2019 12:26 pm I currently drive a 2007 Toyota Corolla with 120K miles.
I know of a great deal on a used car however. The used car I saw is a 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Amazingly the car only has 29K miles on it and the price is $3500, which I think is a great deal for 12 year old car with such low mileage. The car was owned by an elderly lady who must have died or gotten very ill.

Am I foolish to consider purchasing that car if mine is still running fine?
Yes, you are foolish to consider this. No way would I trade your current Corolla for a 2007 Chevy Cobalt.
- It is a turd of a car to begin with, regardless of how many miles it has.
- You presumably don't know it's true history. Was it the used car salesman who told you it was owned by an elderly lady that only drove it to church on Sundays?
- There may be a long list of unknown items that need to be repaired/replaced
- If it is such a great & amazing deal, why has no one else bought it yet?
Topic Author
Jim180
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by Jim180 »

researcher wrote: Tue May 21, 2019 1:52 pm Yes, you are foolish to consider this. No way would I trade your current Corolla for a 2007 Chevy Cobalt.
- It is a turd of a car to begin with, regardless of how many miles it has.
- You presumably don't know it's true history. Was it the used car salesman who told you it was owned by an elderly lady that only drove it to church on Sundays?
- There may be a long list of unknown items that need to be repaired/replaced
- If it is such a great & amazing deal, why has no one else bought it yet?
I didn't do any research on the 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Was just comparing the big difference in mileage to my own car. The car is being sold privately, no dealer. It sits in front of the home where the lady lived, which is also for sale. Not along a high traffic street so I guess that's why it hasn't been sold yet.

Thanks to all who replied. I guess I will keep my current car then as long as there are no other issues besides tires and brake pads.
tdmp
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Re: Unsure of buying used car vs. keeping my current one

Post by tdmp »

ono8ono wrote: Tue May 21, 2019 12:41 pm If I were you, I will keep the corolla!! Your corolla will last another 120K miles easily if you keep up the maintenance. Cobalt is not a reliable car. Check rating from consumer reports!

BTW, if you buy the 12 yrs old cobalt, you probably need to replace the tires, belts, change transmission fluids , brake fluid, coolant , power steering fluid and engine oil. Fluids tend to degrade after 12 years even low mileage.
I agree with this. Corolla is a very reliable vehicle, and it probably will outlast that low-mileage, but aged cobalt .
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