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USairways16BWI
Topic Author
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I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:07 pm

hey all, just looking for some help/advice. Here's the deal, my old car was in a wreck and i need another car ASAP. I'm looking for a very cheap used car but it should be a decent one that wont break in a month. It needs to get me to the airport where i work everyday thats ~15miles each way. i have a very low price limit of ~3000$. Anyone know any good websites for used cars or anything like that? your advice/help is appreciated., thanks.
 
2H4
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RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:11 pm

Go to Craigslist. Buy a Honda Civic. Mission accomplished!

2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
MCOflyer
Posts: 7088
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 5:51 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:13 pm

Check out old Honda Civics and Toyota Camery's between 93-97. They are reliable if take care of by the former owner.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
desertjets
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RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:17 pm

http://baltimore.craigslist.org/
http://www.autotrader.com

Probably the two best resources on the net. And good luck finding a car at that price point that is decent. With $4.00/gal gas anything that is remotely economical is commanding insanely high prices... or their owners think they are worth that much.

Other than that try checking out the buy-here-pay-here lots around you. The soft economy is hurting them pretty badly and deals might be had.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
desertjets
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RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:23 pm



Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 2):
Check out old Honda Civics and Toyota Camery's between 93-97. They are reliable if take care of by the former owner.

Problem is that they have always been outrageously over-valued for 10+ year old cars. And by then they are most certainly on their 3rd or 4th owners... which leads to them being in less than ideal condition. You would be better off looking for a newer, undervalued vehicle in good condition. At $3k it doesn't matter much what you get as long as its condition is good.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
USairways16BWI
Topic Author
Posts: 921
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:58 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:39 pm

i have a lot of friends that know about cars and could fix anything on them. i could get a car that would need some *minor* work done, thats no problem. I was at cars.com and saw a few possibles, an early model honda prelude or an old acura integra.

A friend of my parents says he is looking to sell his 280z...i hate to sound picky but that car looks like a piece of junk. Anyone have experiences with that car?

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 1):
Go to Craigslist. Buy a Honda Civic. Mission accomplished!

i try to avoid craigslist, despite some people having great success finding things on that site, ive heard too many horror stories about that place. Not totally ruling out craigslist, but it would be my absolute last resort, thanks anyway.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
You would be better off looking for a newer, undervalued vehicle in good condition.

thats what ive been looking for for the past week. And ive never been to a car auction, but i hear that there are several in D.C, and i know someone that got a car from there but his price range was higher. Plus i dont know if i like the idea of driving around in a once stolen, or re-posessed car.
 
MaidensGator
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RE: I Need A Car!

Thu Jul 24, 2008 7:25 pm



Quoting UsAirways16bwi (Reply 5):
thats what ive been looking for for the past week. And ive never been to a car auction, but i hear that there are several in D.C, and i know someone that got a car from there but his price range was higher. Plus i dont know if i like the idea of driving around in a once stolen, or re-posessed car.

I don't know about DC, but in Florida, most of the cars at the auction are trade-ins from dealers. They're not hot cars. When you trade your old ride, unless it's still in extraordinary shape, the dealers unload them at the auction. That's where most of those buy-here/pay-here lots get their inventory. But in Florida, you have to be a licensed dealer to purchase at the auction.
The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
 
WESTERN737800
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:50 am

When I'm looking for something in that price range, I think of all the friends that come to mind and what they have for vechicles. Mabye someone you know someone who has a highschool kid looking for something more dependabe/ newer for college. I just bought a 2000 Chevy lumina w/ 118,000 miles from a friend of mine who was trying to buy a newer 4 door pickup. When buying something with that many miles I'm much more comfortable buying from a friend, when you do that you usually end up knowing much more about the history of the vechicle that your buying. Good luck with your search.
Bring back Western Airlines!
 
Cadet57
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:55 am



Quoting WESTERN737800 (Reply 7):
I just bought a 2000 Chevy lumina w/ 118,000 miles

If you take care of that car, it will last you a good long time, When I traded mine in it had 135k and its still on the road w/150k or so. I actually miss that car, If I find a rly cheap one, I may just consider picking one up...
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
N1120A
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:59 am



Quoting UsAirways16bwi (Reply 5):

A friend of my parents says he is looking to sell his 280z...i hate to sound picky but that car looks like a piece of junk. Anyone have experiences with that car?

That car is at least 25 years old. I don't think you want that as your daily driver.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
WESTERN737800
Posts: 385
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:11 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 8):
If you take care of that car, it will last you a good long time, When I traded mine in it had 135k and its still on the road w/150k or so. I actually miss that car, If I find a rly cheap one, I may just consider picking one up...

Yeah, a few months before that I got a Grand Am '05 w/27,000 mi. I keep the Grand Am in a friends garage, drive it about 2 days/ month (tryin to stay ahead of trade-in miles). I drive the Lumina every day and its better and use for the gravel road roadtrips.
Bring back Western Airlines!
 
Cadet57
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:16 am



Quoting WESTERN737800 (Reply 10):

As soon as I posted my reply, I went to autobuyer and my local paper's website and looked at the classifieds... A few lookers.. Now, If I could find one in black, I could justify it as a work car...  laughing 
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
StarAC17
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 1:51 am

Check your local paper and autotrader.com, also if you live near dealerships you might be able to get lucky and snag a used car but its less likely for your budget.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 4):
Problem is that they have always been outrageously over-valued for 10+ year old cars. And by then they are most certainly on their 3rd or 4th owners... which leads to them being in less than ideal condition. You would be better off looking for a newer, undervalued vehicle in good condition. At $3k it doesn't matter much what you get as long as its condition is good.

I really am a fan of Honda's and Toyota's but what he is right that they are higher priced being over 10 years old. You might find that a 2000-2004 Cavalier or Sunfire will cost about the same as a 96-2000 Civic and the car is 5 years newer.

I assume you will be looking as a private sale and if so then I recommend getting the car's history by tracking the VIN to see if it has been in any accidents, also before you make a deal take the car to a private garage and get it checked head to toe (as the certification process basically ensures the car is road worthy) if the seller has a problem with this it is likely that they are hiding something.

For example with the old Civics the timing belt should be changed about every 60,000 miles and if it hasn't been done then there is a good chance of you having to pay for sifnigicant repair.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
kmh1956
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 2:19 am

If you fancy a rip to NH, my daughter is selling her 1999 Buick Century sedan. Good car....very comfortable. She doesn't want to sell it, but since her green card status is up in the air, and her student extension visa expired she can't renew her driver's license. She didn't want to see the car just sitting in the driveway....
PM me if you're interested, and I can give you the link to her listing on Craigslist.
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
Analog
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:10 am

Forget Toyota & Honda. Go for Hyundai (though not the really old ones). A friend of mine bought a 5 year old manual Elantra w/50k miles for $5k few years back. Sold it 2 years and 10-20k miles later for what he bought it for.

Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 8):
If you take care of that car, it will last you a good long time,

That's true for almost any car. The thing is, if you're spending $3k on a car, "taking care of that car" for many years can be a bigger investment than just buying a "new" one every so often.
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 5:17 am



Quoting Analog (Reply 15):
Go for Hyundai

Absolutely. We bought an 07 Elantra back in September and have put just over 10k miles on it since. Haven't had a single problem with it, the interior is of great quality, and the "performance" is decent for what it is.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
USairways16BWI
Topic Author
Posts: 921
Joined: Tue May 11, 2004 4:58 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:52 pm

thanks all for the replies. Unfortunately for now, it looks like im stuck with the old 1987 nissan for now. The owner is letting me drive it for 2 weeks while he is out of town. Im taking this as a temporary solution until i can find something else. The car is in ok shape for its age, but i need something that will last for a few years..i dont think this car will last that long. it has no A/C or heat...the FM radio doesnt work( the AM does, i dont know the reason for this), the brakes squeek loudly, and it does not even have airbags.

I appreciate all the comments.. If this post is still alive later on, ill post an update on my search.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:00 pm

While I have no experience with the Hyundai Elantra, but two of my friends do. One does pizza delivery and the other does psycholgical work that requires a lot of travel. Both have around 120K and are still going strong. One is a 02 and the other is a 04.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7170
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:07 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 15):
The thing is, if you're spending $3k on a car, "taking care of that car" for many years can be a bigger investment than just buying a "new" one every so often.

This can be true, but as with my lumina, I bought it for 2300? I think and all I ever put in that car besides reg oil changes was a water pump and a timing belt. So 45 bucks into the car over the entire time I had it and it's still running.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:22 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 15):
Forget Toyota & Honda.

Terrible, terrible advice! While Hyundai might be a perfectly fine option, that doesn't mean Honda or Toyota aren't as good or better choices.

Quoting Analog (Reply 15):
Go for Hyundai (though not the really old ones). A friend of mine bought a 5 year old manual Elantra w/50k miles for $5k few years back. Sold it 2 years and 10-20k miles later for what he bought it for.

I bought a 1994 Civic with 120,000 miles on it awhile back for $1000. It had terrible paint, a bad muffler, and very dirty interior.

I cleaned it up, did some very basic preventative maintenance, drove it until about 150,000 miles, and then sold it for $3500.

Hyundai isn't the only intelligent option out there...

2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
WESTERN737800
Posts: 385
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:41 pm



Quoting UsAirways16bwi (Reply 17):
looks like im stuck with the old 1987 nissan for now. The owner is letting me drive it for 2 weeks while he is out of town. Im taking this as a temporary solution until i can find something else. The car is in ok shape for its age, but i need something that will last for a few years..i dont think this car will last that long. it has no A/C or heat...the FM radio doesnt work( the AM does, i dont know the reason for this), the brakes squeek loudly, and it does not even have airbags.

Ha Ha, reminds me of an old 172 I used to fly. The comm part of the radio didn't work, but the nav part worked great. I hope the car lasts the 2 weeks that your friend is out of town.
Bring back Western Airlines!
 
huskyaviation
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:15 pm



Quoting UsAirways16bwi (Reply 5):
A friend of my parents says he is looking to sell his 280z...i hate to sound picky but that car looks like a piece of junk. Anyone have experiences with that car?

My grandfather was a mechanic who only worked on Datsun/Nissan, almost exclusively 240s, 260s and 280s. He died in 1988 but probably had his hands on half the 280s on the road (or so it seems).

Bless his heart, he might have fixed the 280 you speak of and trust me, you don't want to take that chance.  Smile
 
oldman55
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:35 pm

GET A GEO!!!! HEHE. Thats what u get for calling my car a piece of shit!!! Seriously I am glad no one was hurt or at least thats what I am assuming. I really dont have much advice but good luck.
too bad most of us get too soon old and too late smart
 
USairways16BWI
Topic Author
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RE: I Need A Car!

Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:37 pm

actually its an '87 nissan 300ZX...sorry my mistake. Still, even though for its age its in somewhat ok condition, its old and probably wont last me very long. It has almost 170K miles on it, and with any luck it might last through winter.
 
Analog
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:04 pm



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 18):
This can be true, but as with my lumina, I bought it for 2300? I think and all I ever put in that car besides reg oil changes was a water pump and a timing belt. So 45 bucks into the car over the entire time I had it and it's still running.

A timing belt change is only a $45 job if you do your own work and enjoy it. Timing belt changes can be pricey things, upwards of $1000 on some cars.

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 19):
Terrible, terrible advice! While Hyundai might be a perfectly fine option, that doesn't mean Honda or Toyota aren't as good or better choices.

I do have a Toyota & a Honda, but I think it's reasonable to avoid them at the $3k price point, especially if you aren't keen on fixing it up. If you find a decent one at that price point, great, but it's unlikely.

A lot of used cars w/100k+ miles on them are from people that are selling their cars because the maintenance is beginning to cost more than the car's value. My 1999 Camry will probably get to that point in a few years. It will need some suspension work, a new EVAP canister, brakes, etc. all adding up to quite a bit of $.

Quoting Oldman55 (Reply 22):
GET A GEO!!!! HEHE.

Great advice. Seriously. A Geo/Chevy Prism (i.e. a Toyota w/o the resale value).
 
Cadet57
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:17 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 24):
A timing belt change is only a $45 job if you do your own work and enjoy it. Timing belt changes can be pricey things, upwards of $1000 on some cars.

The belt cost me 11 bucks and that long wrench to create the slack was 10 bucks. Took me and my dad 20 minutes to do. Makes you wonder how the dealerships can get away with charging what they do...
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
StarAC17
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:25 pm



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 25):
The belt cost me 11 bucks and that long wrench to create the slack was 10 bucks. Took me and my dad 20 minutes to do. Makes you wonder how the dealerships can get away with charging what they do...


Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.

Easy, for you and your dad there are 100 or more people that have no idea how their car works except for actually driving it and putting gas in it and they wouldn't know how to check the tire pressure, oil or washer fluid. Then there are 100 more people that know how to do the following including being able to change the tires, but wouldn't know where to start on engine work anfdcould figure it out but are afraid in fear of making things a lot worse.

I am one of the people who can do basic things that can go a long way but am not 100% for doing oil changes and engine repairs, but could very well figure them out.

Also dealerships do charge a premium for technicians that are trained for that kind of car. But private garages where it seems every time you go in for a simple oil change, they try to nickel and dime you into changing everything else that could be fine and most people wouldn't question the mechanic and pay for them.

Quoting Analog (Reply 24):
A timing belt change is only a $45 job if you do your own work and enjoy it. Timing belt changes can be pricey things, upwards of $1000 on some cars.

Is that $1000 cost to replace the belt before or after it has snapped.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:44 pm

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
A332
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sat Jul 26, 2008 9:46 pm



Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 12):
You might find that a 2000-2004 Cavalier or Sunfire will cost about the same as a 96-2000 Civic and the car is 5 years newer.

Yes, and the late model Cavalier and Sunfire are totally decent vehicles for entry level/budget sensitive purchasers. If I was spending $3,000 I would go for one without hesitation... it's easy to find nicely equipped models with low miles for that price.
Bad spellers of the world... UNTIE!
 
Analog
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:09 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 25):
The belt cost me 11 bucks and that long wrench to create the slack was 10 bucks. Took me and my dad 20 minutes to do. Makes you wonder how the dealerships can get away with charging what they do...

Must be an easy one to replace. Some timing belts (VW B5 Passat comes to mind) are a PITA to replace. Mess it up and bye-bye valves. Oh, the OEM belt for that car is over $100.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 26):
Is that $1000 cost to replace the belt before or after it has snapped.

Before (well, for the B5 it included a whole bunch of "might as well when the thing is disassembled" work). Was at a local shop too (not a dealer). The cost of changing a timing belt on most cars would be far less.
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7170
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:35 am

Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
Yes, and the late model Cavalier and Sunfire are totally decent vehicles for entry level/budget sensitive purchasers. If I was spending $3,000 I would go for one without hesitation... it's easy to find nicely equipped models with low miles for that price.

Funny this car came up. I just took my girlfriend today to look at an '00 Cavilier LS 2 door with 58k. Dealer was asking $6495....

Quoting Analog (Reply 29):
Must be an easy one to replace

It was a 1996 Lumina with the good ol 3.1L V6 hehe

Edit, quotes.

[Edited 2008-07-26 18:37:17]
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7170
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 1:41 am



Quoting Analog (Reply 29):
Some timing belts (VW B5 Passat comes to mind) are a PITA to replace

Whoa! I have a 1.8T Jetta, will my belt be this bad?
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
flight152
Posts: 3472
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2000 8:04 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:02 am



Quoting A332 (Reply 28):
Yes, and the late model Cavalier and Sunfire are totally decent vehicles for entry level/budget sensitive purchasers.

If by totally decent you mean an underwhelming, ugly piece of crap, then yes.
 
StarAC17
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Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 11:54 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:20 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 30):
Funny this car came up. I just took my girlfriend today to look at an '00 Cavilier LS 2 door with 58k. Dealer was asking $6495....

That probably was worth about $4000-5000 last year and with the gas spike they might get it.
Engineers Rule The World!!!!!
 
Molykote
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RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 6:20 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 25):
Quoting Analog (Reply 24):
A timing belt change is only a $45 job if you do your own work and enjoy it. Timing belt changes can be pricey things, upwards of $1000 on some cars.



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 25):
The belt cost me 11 bucks and that long wrench to create the slack was 10 bucks. Took me and my dad 20 minutes to do. Makes you wonder how the dealerships can get away with charging what they do...

Are you sure you aren't referring to an accessory belt?

I don't know what year of Lumina you are referring to (and I am in general not familiar with American cars). However, 45 minutes for time and $11 for a belt both sound way too low for a timing belt change. After a quick google search some (unverifiable) information indicates that at least some Luminas used timing chains (perhaps this is dependent on the engine type). I don't know enough about Luminas to recite engine types off hand apart from 3.1L badging that I see on some older cars.
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
Analog
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:27 pm



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 31):
Whoa! I have a 1.8T Jetta, will my belt be this bad?

Dunno. It's one of those things where the cost is probably at least $600, but then you might as well replace the water pump, spark plugs, etc. etc. at the same time.

Oh, and do replace it. Not at VW's recommended 105k mile interval, but at 60-80k miles. If it breaks you're talking many $1000's in repair costs.
 
Cadet57
Posts: 7170
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 2:02 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:34 pm



Quoting Analog (Reply 35):
Oh, and do replace it. Not at VW's recommended 105k mile interval, but at 60-80k miles.

Im at 77,900 so maybe I should look into it, I wonder if thats covered under warrenty...

Quoting Molykote (Reply 34):
Are you sure you aren't referring to an accessory belt?

You know, Idk why I said timing belt. It was my serpentine belt I did.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
Analog
Posts: 1193
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:24 am

RE: I Need A Car!

Mon Jul 28, 2008 1:06 am



Quoting Cadet57 (Reply 36):
Im at 77,900 so maybe I should look into it, I wonder if thats covered under warrenty...

Replacement of a working belt? No. If you've still got a powertrain warranty and the thing breaks before the recommended replacement interval, I assume the damage would be covered.

OTOH "powertrain" refers to internally lubricated parts (or something like that), so they might try to weasel out of covering it because the damage was caused by a non-covered component.

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