Girlfriend buying a car from craigslist

Discussion in 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' started by ImurderBlunts, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. so my girlfriends car got wrecked and she only has about $1500 to spend. shes thinking of buying a japanese sedan from craigslist but i think it may be a sketchy way to buy a car. Is there anything she can do to make sure she isnt buying a lemon.
  2. carfax?

    Also check out the car ur interested in. Treat it like buying some bud. Look under the hood. Tires. GIve it a test drive if you can. And if you dont know much about cars, have a friend accompany you. Just dont go over there and hand the person the money. be wise.
  3. what i was thinking is i could tell her to ask the guy if he wants to bring it to a mechanic to inspect it and make sure nothing wrong with the car. i dont to much about cars myself and neither does she.
  4. for $1500 you shouldn't be expecting much. You're going to have to put work into it.

  5. ^^ That would be a good idea. but whos knows if hes gonna be up for it. If not, chances are something is wrong with the car.
  6. thats what im thinking why would he refuse if nothings wrong with it.
  7. have a mechanic look at it, i bought my car off craigslist. three years later its still running perfect. Japanese cars are usually pretty durable, but depending on mileage it will probably need some minor work.
  8. #8 *guest, Dec 31, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
    Definitely do a mechanic inspection, with a mechanic that you or her choose, not one that the seller chooses.

    If he refuses the inspection, do not buy the car.
  9. thanks guys ill defenitly tell her to have a mechanic look at it. i guess i answered my own question
  10. Yea do mrcahnic my bro had one. For craiglist tried to buy a 1500$ car mecahnic said it was pos. Looked at a 800$ one guy said it was a steal so he got it

  11. no doubt, this is probably going to be a 90s car. im sure theres plently of japanese sedans from the 90s with nothing wrong with them though just a little older. shes only looking for a daily driver
  12. lol the mechanic is going to want almost as much as you're spending on the car for a full inspection and it's really not going to tell you dick unless the issue is obvious which I'm sure you'll already notice.

    $1500 gets you a piece of shit these days. Most are going to be really high mileage and borderline needing a timing belt or some other somewhat costly maintenance. Go get a decent obd2 scanner test drive the car and scan it to make sure it has no pending codes or any check engine lights that will cause you to fail emissions or are a sign of a serious issue, start the engine open the hood listen for any ticks or knocks or squeals and look for leaks, look underneath for rust in critical spots or suspension damage, accelerate hard on the test drive and see if the transmission slips, and check the tires since that's a big cost item which you probably don't want to buy new right away.

    When you find something decent buy it bring it home then jack it up and check out the brakes, run some marvel mystery oil in the oil and then change the oil a couple days later, if it has an external fuel filter replace it, drop the transmission pan and change the filter then fluid, new spark plugs and wires if it isn't a coil on plug engine, check the coolant and flush and change the thermostat if it's dirty, check for fluid leaks, and test the battery if it's older. This will ensure you will get some more life out of the car since it will definitely have been around whatever you get.
  13. its costs about $30 for a car inspection. how is that going to be close to what she pays?
  14. My brother paid 50$ and mechanic came with a kit and evefything to test batrery and many other stuff...

  15. what kind of car did he buy
  16. My buddy charges $189 for a however many point inspection at his shop, and that's the normal at most. If you're just going to a monroe or a firestone and paying them $30 for an inspection it's a waste, those asshole don't know their ass from their elbows. They take a simple one day course and get a little certificate so they are mechanics now. Most of them will roll your car in put it on the lift for 2 seconds then feed you some bullshit, trust me I worked with plenty of them. If it's a mechanic you know personally different story completely.
  17. Not a jap car. Some kind of ford dont remember exactly wht
  18. But he got it from a guy who had 5 cars. And was selling 3 for rent money. So the 800 my bro payed was a steal. Coulda been up to 1300$ atleast
  19. dont know what to tell you about the whole you and gf not knowing much about cars, but ive bought a few off craigslist before (always $2,500>) and didnt have any problems besides a few basic 5$ repairs after quite some miles were put on. No one will expect you to purchase any vehicle before test driving and proper inspection. Dont forget man its craigslist you can negotiate the price.
  20. #20 9D3, Dec 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2012
    K. For $1400 I got a 1998 Jeep with 330,000 kms on it. Sure it's high mileage, but:
    - the previous owner had it for 10 years, and did regular maintenance (had proof)
    - transmission was rebuilt 100,000 kms ago by a very reputable shop, an auxiliary transmission cooler was installed at the same time, fluid looks good, no slippage
    - only needed brakes and an exhaust leak fixed to pass safety, and they're strict here (cost me $500 to pass both, exhaust leak was my own fault)
    - engine runs fine, burns no oil, has a couple small leaks but the oil level hasn't changed since I bought it and it doesn't drip. no strange noises
    - it was undercoated almost every year, so it has veeery little rust

    So... Total investment = $1900. Got a kickass vehicle. You just have to shop wisely.

    ...oh wait, one of my headlights stopped working after I bought it. Total investment is now $1910. I should also mention that I redlined the engine for a second by accident, and even after 330,000 km, it's absolutely fine.

    My first Jeep? Came saftied and e-tested for $2000.

    Don't assume that cheap means it's a piece of shit. With craigslist you just need patience to find the right car, and remember that there's a ton more out there, so don't be afraid to walk away from a deal. If you rush, yes, you'll end up with a piece of shit.

    Another tip: if you're interested in a certain car, do a google search for common problems with it or for forums for that model of car. You'll probably find a list of common issues or other things you should look at, which helped me avoid a couple Jeeps in my various hunts.

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