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Old 03-19-2021, 12:23 PM   #1
bigdog
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Default Buying car for grandson, suggestions ?

Buying a used car for my grandson, suggestions ?

Currently, he has a 2007 Honda Accord with 200k miles and near end of life, so looking for a replacement, Japanese or Korean car. Dependability is the key word !

Limited budget of $5,000, but could go a little higher.

Also, mechnical suggestions to check when purchasing: brakes, muffler, transmission, head gaskets, tie-rods, etc. If we find a car will be taking to a mechanic for pre-check before making purchase.

Thoughts on car brands, year models to avoid etc ?

Thanks!

Last edited by bigdog; 03-19-2021 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03-19-2021, 01:00 PM   #2
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I don't know a ton about cars, but my family has had a bunch of Honda CR-Vs that just seem to run every day without a hiccup. I think the RAV-4s are probably similar. Added bonus is storage space and AWD.

Good luck!

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Old 03-19-2021, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Buying a used car for my grandson, suggestions ?

Currently, he has a 2007 Honda Accord with 200k miles and near end of life, so looking for a replacement, Japanese or Korean car. Dependability is the key word !

Limited budget of $5,000, but could go a little higher.

Also, mechnical suggestions to check when purchasing: brakes, muffler, transmission, head gaskets, tie-rods, etc. If we find a car will be taking to a mechanic for pre-check before making purchase.

Thoughts on car brands, year models to avoid etc ?

Thanks!
Buy a 4cyl Toyota Camry with under 100,000 miles, not a 6cyl.
They run forever and are great on gas.
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Old 03-19-2021, 06:59 PM   #4
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I know of a guy in Meredith with a 2013 Scion xB 5-speed w/ 218,000-miles and have to add 3/4 to 1 qt oil to engine with each and every 11-gal gasoline fill-up. He just spent $357 at Walmart for four new Viva-3 tires and an oil change. New tires, safe for the grandson!

It was hit once (hit and run I hear) so the body is not perfect. He just bought a second car so you may be able to get it cheap.

He owns a waterfront home in Meredith and a ski house in the North Country so you know money is not an issue!
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Old 03-19-2021, 10:15 PM   #5
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The trouble is that cars in that price range can be full of problems.

Deferred maintenance, improvised repairs and ticking time bomb issues can run up repair bills that will eclipse the purchase price.

I one must buy in that price range a one owner Honda CRV is a great choice.

There have been four first generation CRV's in my family.

My 23 year old son currently has a '99 with only about 170k on it.

It's his daily driver and was previously my wife's car about four cars ago.

The only thing to watch for with those is the valve adjustment.

The USA manual indicates an adjustment is needed at 130k or if the valves are noisy.

In other countries the interval is 30k.

The valves do not get noisy; they are quiet even when way out of adjustment.

If you test drive one of the first generation CRV's (1997-2001) and it idles roughly or quits, it may need a valve adjustment OR a new cylinder head!

Great cars... with just that one little flaw.
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:57 AM   #6
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I would avoid an old Subaru; known for head gasket failures.

Dependability may be key but: thinking of how I drove as a teen, I would go for under-powered and safe.

Alan
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Old 03-20-2021, 08:03 AM   #7
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Stay away from anything that has a timing belt, esp older models.

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Old 03-20-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
The trouble is that cars in that price range can be full of problems.

Deferred maintenance, improvised repairs and ticking time bomb issues can run up repair bills that will eclipse the purchase price.

I one must buy in that price range a one owner Honda CRV is a great choice.

There have been four first generation CRV's in my family.

My 23 year old son currently has a '99 with only about 170k on it.

It's his daily driver and was previously my wife's car about four cars ago.

The only thing to watch for with those is the valve adjustment.

The USA manual indicates an adjustment is needed at 130k or if the valves are noisy.

In other countries the interval is 30k.

The valves do not get noisy; they are quiet even when way out of adjustment.

If you test drive one of the first generation CRV's (1997-2001) and it idles roughly or quits, it may need a valve adjustment OR a new cylinder head!

Great cars... with just that one little flaw.
The issue with valve adjustment isn't with loose valves but tight valves...if the valves are too tight, they may not close completely. This can lead to cold engine misfires ( check engine light will come on) or ultimately burnt valves. I recommend valve adjustments and spark plugs every 105,000 miles.
Used Hondas are great cars...I still drive an 08 Accord with about 200,000 miles. A pre-purchase inspection is always a great idea. Check for rust...look closely at the rear bumper beam ( only way to see it is with the car up on a lift). Seeing service records is also very helpful.
Hope this helps...good luck!

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Old 03-20-2021, 09:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
Buying a used car for my grandson, suggestions ?

Currently, he has a 2007 Honda Accord with 200k miles and near end of life, so looking for a replacement, Japanese or Korean car. Dependability is the key word !

Limited budget of $5,000, but could go a little higher.

Also, mechnical suggestions to check when purchasing: brakes, muffler, transmission, head gaskets, tie-rods, etc. If we find a car will be taking to a mechanic for pre-check before making purchase.

Thoughts on car brands, year models to avoid etc ?

Thanks!
I don't know how old your own car is, but a seemingly simple solution may be to purchase a new car for yourself and pass down your existing car to you grandson.

Doing so will assure him of presumably good vehicle maintenance record, and a car in which you have confidence in.

Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheTimeTraveler View Post
I don't know how old your own car is, but a seemingly simple solution may be to purchase a new car for yourself and pass down your existing car to you grandson.

Doing so will assure him of presumably good vehicle maintenance record, and a car in which you have confidence in.

Best of luck with your decision.
This is a win for all.
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Old 03-20-2021, 10:25 AM   #11
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I thought about that same thing but I have a Silverado worth 15K. Too much to give a kid, plus he couldn't afford the gas.
So I gave him 5K and found him a car with a small loan that gives him responsibility and builds his credit. We found a nice Camry for 10K.

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Last edited by Biggd; 03-20-2021 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 03-20-2021, 04:30 PM   #12
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That's good news.

Now about the Silverado...

I am currently adoptable (though there is a waiting list) and I can afford the gas.

Don't you want a nice new car?

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Old 03-20-2021, 07:01 PM   #13
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What are Forum member thoughts about Hyundai or Kia vehicles ?
Dependability and maintenance ?
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Old 03-20-2021, 07:53 PM   #14
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Consumer Reports had brand reliability data in the January issue. Of 26 brands Hyundai was #6 and KIA #15.
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Old 03-20-2021, 08:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
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What are Forum member thoughts about Hyundai or Kia vehicles ?
Dependability and maintenance ?
We have an older Hyundai Sonata...been a great car!

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Old 03-20-2021, 09:01 PM   #16
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Default He won't sell it ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TiltonBB View Post
I know of a guy in Meredith with a 2013 Scion xB 5-speed w/ 218,000-miles and have to add 3/4 to 1 qt oil to engine with each and every 11-gal gasoline fill-up. He just spent $357 at Walmart for four new Viva-3 tires and an oil change. New tires, safe for the grandson!

It was hit once (hit and run I hear) so the body is not perfect. He just bought a second car so you may be able to get it cheap.

He owns a waterfront home in Meredith and a ski house in the North Country so you know money is not an issue!
He won't sell it ... it's another fixture that he's added to his junk yard.
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Old 03-20-2021, 11:17 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biggd View Post
I thought about that same thing but I have a Silverado worth 15K. Too much to give a kid, plus he couldn't afford the gas.
So I gave him 5K and found him a car with a small loan that gives him responsibility and builds his credit. We found a nice Camry for 10K.

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A Toyota Camry is an excellent choice. Just drive it and change the oil.....
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Old 03-21-2021, 07:40 AM   #18
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Default Jeep Commander

If safety is an issue, I have a 2007 Jeep Commander available. New tires, all maintenance is done. Built like a tank with only 156K on the clock. Granddaughter's old car. We are still using it daily. $3800
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Old 03-21-2021, 08:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
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What are Forum member thoughts about Hyundai or Kia vehicles ?
Dependability and maintenance ?
No thanks, never even been tempted to look. Hyundai owns Kia, so they are one in the same.

All vehicles need maintenance so that's not a fair question to ask about per say, but how well the engineering is done certainly plays into longevity and ultimately dependability. Hyundai has a reputation that I think is accurate, they are built to a price point.
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Old 03-21-2021, 10:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by 8gv View Post
That's good news.

Now about the Silverado...

I am currently adoptable (though there is a waiting list) and I can afford the gas.

Don't you want a nice new car?

I am looking to buy a new truck but I'm not giving my grandson my 15K Silverado. New silverado's, with the options my truck has, are 50K plus.

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Old 05-04-2021, 10:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
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What are Forum member thoughts about Hyundai or Kia vehicles ?
Dependability and maintenance ?
Kia's mechanical reliability has improved tremendously as the company has evolved. I recommend looking at the Kia Soul, very high marks for reliability, though its gas mileage is low for the class.

For the grandson, at $5000 I would have recommended a Chevy Sonic. Reliability is among the best of subcompacts. $2000 more would get a better car, though, under 100,000 miles.

In the used-car market you start with a list of your top choices and then settle for what's available, especially if you're in a hurry. My choices for a compact or subcompact hatchback when I bought a car a couple of years ago, in order of quality (mainly mechanical reliability), were:
  1. Kia Soul
  2. Chevy Sonic
  3. Nissan Versa Note
  4. Honda Fit
  5. Scion xD
  6. Hyundai Elantra GT
  7. Chevy Spark

That list is based on a lot of research and reading the professional reviews.
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