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Buying a Used 4Runner - Help Me Decide

dwatmandwatman Posts: 2
edited March 6 in Toyota
Hi,

I'm looking for a 1996 Toyota 4runner or newer that has serious engine problems or is missing the engine. I want to put a different kind of engine in it and want to start from scratch, but don't want (can't afford) to buy a 4runner with a good engine and then through it out.

Gracias! dan
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Comments

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    Hi Dan,

    We aren't set up for buying and selling in the forum - try eBay or craigslist.com. Or just ask your local salvage yard to do a search for you.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dwatmandwatman Posts: 2
    Thanx. I will do that. the reason I ask, is because i've always wanted a toyota 4runner and I've recently become anti-suv for poltical reasons and been wanting to do an elctric thing. I'm pretty sure a toyota 4runner isn't the best choice for an electric car, but I don't care. I really want one and it doesn't matter to me if I can only drive once a week to the store and back. Of course I would want to make it as efficient as possible and would be pleasantly surprised if it turned out it actually was a decent choice to stick bateries and solar panels in instead of an engine. I've just barely started this quest. Anyone heard of an electric toyota 4runner or anyone know anyone who was crazy enough to try it?

    gracias! dan
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    Sounds like a fun project although it may be cheaper in the long run to buy a new Tesla Roadster. (Straightline)

    There are electric/solar car classifieds at evfinder.com, including a 2002 RAV4 EV for sale.

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • dash1dash1 Posts: 1
    Howdy,

    Can you please answer a question for me? I am considering buying a well maintained '96 4Runner with 196,000 miles on it(original motor and tranny). Should I be hesitant about buying such a high mileage Toyota?

    Thanks.

    Dash1
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    At 196K there are no guarantees, but Toyotas are pretty solid up to and past this mark generally speaking, and this particular model and engine series has a very good track record. Personally, I would pass if there is evidence it has been used for towing, otherwise I would go for it. Try and get maintenance records - they will tell you a lot at that mileage. Good luck! :-)

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • whats up dwatman, are you still interested in a 4runner with a bad engine? if so send me a private message or a friend request...im new here so i dont know how to work this yet. get in touch with me if u are still interested. see ya.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    send me a private message or a friend request

    We don't have private messaging so carspace.com mailing is a good idea. You could also set your email address to visible in your member profile here so other edmunds.com Forum members will have access to it.

    Generally, people should be aware that we highly discourage posting email addresses in public postings. Your internet security is important to us.

    tidester, host
  • Ok, so here is what is going on. I'm a poor college student who will continue to be a poor college student for another couple years. Then I'm going to be a slightly less poor social worker.

    The point of all of that is.. I'm looking for a car I can afford, but I want reliability also. I'm SO afraid of buying something and then having a big tranny or engine problem, as I would be pretty much screwed. I live in Northern Utah so I want 4wd or awd. I live on the side of a mountain. I work on a big hill.

    I saw this ad on craigslist:

    1998 white 4Runner in great condition. 106K mi. 4WD, fully loaded with V6, auto transmission, sunroof, CD, 17 alloys, rebuilt title( minor damage, fender has been replaced), runs like a champ. clean.

    I actually haven't done a ton of research on 4runners, b/c it never occured to me that I could afford one. So what I'm wondering is.. 106k seems high, even though it's reasonable for this year. If I buy this car, should I expect to get at least a couple relatively problem free years out of it (I know at that year and mileage I can't expect absolutely perfect, but say.. under a grand repairs would be nice).

    Also, the asking price is about 9g. I know this isn't absolutely unreasonable, but would it be appropriate to offer less considering the rebuilt title?

    ANY advice would be greatly appreciated! Both my parents are car people, so they can help me out, but I want to know what I'm looking at before I even approach them, so I'm not bugging them every time I think a car may be what I'm looking for
  • Rebuilt title, aka salvage title? No thanks. Whatever you are considering, pay the extra to CARFAX it. Consider a Subaru too.
  • Well, yeah would definitely carfax it. The only reason I'm considering it (depending on what carfax report says) is b/c I know a rebuilt title isn't always a huge deal. I totalled my crappy little car 5 years ago and it's still running strong (for now).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    You totalled your crappy little car because it was crappy and little. It would take a very great deal of damage to total a 100K-mile, 8-year-old 4Runner. No amount of "fender damage" would do it. Definitely get the CARFAX. Beyond that, get some idea of whether or not it is totally stock, and if the current owner is the type to do lots of offroading or towing. If so, I would give it a miss if I were you. If not, then it sounds like a reasonable deal, and you can certainly expect a well-taken-care-of 100K-mile 4Runner to give several more years of trouble-free service. But I will say it one more time: GET THE CARFAX! And for $9 grand, you should probably think about having it checked out by a mechanic you trust too.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Did not think about the size difference at all regarding totalling cars.. Glad I asked here before I committed to anything. Thank you :)
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    OK Poor College Student, make sure you consider everything before you buy. How many miles do you plan on driving a year. Starting our with 100,000 may not make a lot of sence. Do you really need a large 4wd or will a RAV4 do (I know its not as "manly), but they get great FE and hold resale better than about anything else. Also what kind of loan are you getting (you said you were poor so I assume you'll borrow money). Right now you can get NEW 2006 4Runners with 0% interest I believe. By the time you finance $9000 at 7.5% (and possibly have to buy tires or make minor repairs) you might not be all that far from a payment on a new 4wd with no mechanical worries for 3 years and in three years you'll have a fairly low milage SUV that's still worth $20,000.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    0% interest on '06 4Runners, is a 36-month term, I believe. If he is looking in the $10K range for a used truck, I seriously doubt he wants the $750/month note that would come with buying new. Buying the $9000 truck in the same amount of time at 7% will run $300/month or so. That's a heck of a big difference. Even financing the new truck over 5 years is a heck of a big difference, and then of course depreciation will be much more rapid.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    Yea, I wouldn't think any college student could go 3 yrs.

    However 1.9% on $27,000 for 5 years is a payment of $472. With that you'd have a vehicle in 4 years with less than 50,000 miles that you only owe $5600 on and it's probably worth $15,000.

    Whereas with the used one you'd probably have a payment of $250 to 300 for 3 to 4 years and in 4 years you have a throw away with 150,000 miles on it. Hopefully you won't have a major repair during that time.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    if you own(ed) a 4Runner, but most of them are not "throwaways" at 150K miles, certainly not ones that have had good care.

    Your way he comes up on a $500-700 bill for new tires before he is done making payments.

    Anyway, I am not going to argue which way is "better", just saying that you may be treating the "difference" in payments, etc a lttle more lightly than he might. I know when I was coming out of college, I was strictly a payment shopper the first few years, and regardless of the amount I would have been better off by going with the higher payment option, I couldn't have afforded to do so.

    But you HAVE whetted my curiosity - I wonder what he decided to do...

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    But you HAVE whetted my curiosity - I wonder what he decided to do...

    And obviously being a "poor" college student means something different to each person. I drove a new Chevelle Laguna S3 my senior year in college and traded for a Vette the day I graduated. Then again my Vette payment was $93/month. I believe I have a tear in my eye :(
  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    if you own(ed) a 4Runner, but most of them are not "throwaways" at 150K miles

    I'm not banking on it's value at 150,000 miles but I am counting on it having a better value at 60,000 miles than it's competitors. That's why I traded my Ford Expedition for it (I lost $14,000 on it and it only got 14 mpg, went through a rear end at 700 miles)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    by the time he has driven the 100K miles he could reasonably expect from the cheaper used 4Runner, enough time will have passed that he will be in a position to afford a new car anyway. So why spend the extra depreciation on a truck he will just sell after 5-7 years?

    If I could have afforded a Vette out of college, I wouldn't have worried about the difference between a $300 and $500 monthly payment either! ;-)

    *face turns green with envy*

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • SHE decided not to go for it. I liked the point someone else made about the difference between a rebuilt title for a little car and a rebuilt title for something such as a 4runner.

    So, I'm still looking. And for the person that asked if a 4wd was necessary.. Not exactly, but it would make me feel MUCH safer. I live in Northern Utah, I live on the side of a mountain so I'm driving up and down a steep road every day, my work is on a hill, and so on. Also, I work in a group home for people with mental disabilities so if we have to drive out in bad weather, I want something I know will be safe and won't be sliding all over when things get icy.

    I may end up going for a car w/o awd or 4wd but with traction control though and just investing in good winter tires.
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