Is this 2004 Mustang a good first buy?

treigns99treigns99 Member Posts: 3
edited October 2015 in Ford I don't have much money if you cant tell already. It seems like a good buy except for the miles, 186k. How long do these mustangs tend to last and what parts most commonly break? How much would it be to get it fixed? I would obviously have it checked by a mechanic before buying. Looking for a first car hence i barely i know what im doing. Any suggestions/advice is appreciated. Thanks.

Best Answer


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Getting your mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection is always a good idea.

    "Runs but needs some work" is code for "this $1,250 car will cost you another $5,000 to make it road worthy".

    If the repairs were cheap and easy the seller should have fixed them before listing the Stang on craigslist.

    On the good side, the price is right when I appraise it here ("average" condition).
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited October 2015
    Oh, 100+ Tips for Used Car Shoppers may help you evaluate the car.

    And there may be better "first" cars for driving in snow country. Something with FWD for example.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well the first you have to do is stop looking at this as a $1250 car. It's not. It's an $xxxx car, once we figure out what repairs it needs that are absoutely essential to reliability and safety. To find that out, you need to have a pre-purchase inspection done. That'll tell you what's waiting "down the road" for you in terms of further expense.

    Also, the miles are so high as to put the car at high risk. Statistically speaking, averaging out all 2004 car, this one's life is over. But it's true that some cars beat the statistics, and you might get it up to 225K.

    So if you're willing to risk $150 or so on an inspection, and you've previously driven this car without any drama occurring, then give it a shot and once you get the mechanic's report, you'll know what to do.

    Speaking only for myself, with ultra high mileage cars, I only offer junkyard prices.
  • treigns99treigns99 Member Posts: 3
    This is directly from the owner:

    "It runs.. It hasn't been driven in a while. I am the second owner I bought it with 10k miles on it. I bought it in 2005 from a ford dealer. The tires are decent on it. It has a slight bit of rust on the wheel well (it is 10 years old). The overall body of the car is solid and in good condition. I would like to say it gets 18-20 miles per gallon, as it is only the V6. 

    I believe it will likely pass inspection right now but has not been inspected in over a year it was due this month but I am not going to register or inspect it as I would love to sell it before winter cause I don't have the time to take care of a second vehicle. There are no lights on the dashboard. 

    As far as work... Hard to say for sure I know it could use a tune up (oil change, spark plugs, etc.) I will be honest it does need some minor exhaust work. Your welcome to come see it in person.. And look at more closely. It is not registered or inspected. 

    I don't have any pictures of the interior at the moment. I can tell it's pretty clean (no rips or major stains on the seats). It is tan. 

    Let me know if you want to set up a time to see it. 
    Thanks. "
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    edited October 2015
    It's encouraging that the owner seems to be forthcoming. Past service records would be nice to see.

    But it's still not a $1,250 car. If you're okay with spending some bucks fixing it up, that's one thing. But if you want to drive it right away, you may not be able to get it to pass inspection for a while.

    No lights on the dashboard - ugh.

    Used cars aren't cheap but this one doesn't have much in the way of good vibes about. It would help if you were thinking about doing some of the work yourself or had an interest in learning. An inspection would help sort things out. How to get it to the mechanic is another question since the registration may be expired, and it's likely not insured either.
  • treigns99treigns99 Member Posts: 3
    How much would you think its worth. And by Dashboard lights did he mean the lights that light up the speedometer etc? TBH id love to learn to work on cars i just don't know where to start. My school has a car care center and class but i would not be able to take it until next year.
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