Used Vehicles Best Values



  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    I believe there are six ignition coils.

    If coils are your problem, and one is going bad, then guaranteed the others will fail shortly too. Might as well do them all and be done with it, if that's the problem. Especially if you're getting them replaced under warranty. Our car was out of warranty when the problem came up, unfortunately.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,466
    One per cylinder...

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  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    Exactly the most coils any car has are one per cylinder even if it is a dual plug motor like a new "hemi" (in quotes cause it is not really a hemi motor) or some of the older 4 cylinder ford pickups.

    Sentras were all four cylinder cars so four coils.
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "Might as well do them all and be done with it, if that's the problem. Especially if you're getting them replaced under warranty."

    The thing to remember about warranty work is that dealers aren't going to replace something if it isn't definitely broken. They will most likely replace the coil that is definitely the problem, but not be willing to replace the others because "they might go out soon as well".
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    You all are right about the one coil per cylinder; I have the six-cylinder Max. so was thinking six.

    Re the warranty work, probably so about the dealer not wanting to replace something unless it's definitely broken, but I'd still try to cut a deal of some sort to replace them all at once. Depends on the dealer and how badly he wants your continued business, maybe. There may be an advisory from Nissan on this, as it's a well-known problem.

    We replaced only the one the first time it went out, but the second time, decided we didn't want to go through this one by one business any more, and just replaced them all. In the long run, easier, cheaper, and less aggravating.
  • sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    The dealership replaced 3 of the coils and insisted the 4th one was fine...they would not just replace it because "it might go bad soon". They also replaced all 4 spark plugs. Will all this improve the gas mileage a bit? So far, the car drove o k on the way home. I had a 6 cylinder Stratus and I think I got used to the smooth shifts and the nice,smooth power band. The Sentra seemed so underpowered and anemic in comparison. Even our 2.3 liter Mazda 3s drives better than the Sentra.
    I'm real sorry the Stratus had to go back...I gotta feelin' the new car bug has infected the ole Sandman. HELP!!!!!

    The Sandman :(
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    I don't know if it will improve your mileage or not; we didn't live with the problem very long before fixing it, so I don't know if the mileage would be affected. You might find it's better now if the coils have been a problem for a while.

    If you want a new car, and generally like Nissans, have you considered the Altima? It's a big step up from the Sentra; it's basically now where the Max was a few years ago.
  • sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    I like the economy size car, our 3s is a little longer. But the 3 has a 2.3 liter engine so it drives a bit smoother than the Sentra. Also, the shifts are very silky, not as abrupt as the Sentra. I'm hoping the new Civic will have refined the engine since the last generation. Even the new Sentra will have a 2.0 engine.
    For right now, I'm gonna wait with the Sentra and see what's out there for '07. I was planning on getting an '08 model anyways. The timetable might be pushed up a bit!

    The Sandman :confuse:
  • landslide8landslide8 Member Posts: 1
    We have price quotes on two certified Honda Odysseys EX: One is $20K for a 2004 with 35,000 miles and the other is $19K on a 2003 with 31,000 miles. Both are comparable in terms of condition of vehicles and options. Both quotes are similar to the price shown by Edmunds TMV. Buying the 2004 will give us an extra year on the 100K/7 year warranty but the salesman is driving us crazy. The 2003 looks like it has been well maintained and has very low mileage for an 03. Both prices are not very off from a new Odyssey and we have never bought used before. Any suggestions?
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Member Posts: 2,882
    I've never felt Hondas or Toyotas were good used car values when you see how slow they depreciate. I've always bought new. A 2-3 yr old car still has wearable items like brakes, tires, battery, etc. And unless you know it's history, how can you be 100% sure it's been well maintained from day one. And I'm not even getting in to being able to tell if it's been in an accident, a flood car from New Orleans, or something else.

    My advice, if you can afford it, buy new. Good luck.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    How many miles do you expect to put on in a year? You're talking about a difference of 4,000 miles, so the way most people drive, that's maybe worth 3 or 4 months. Might be more to you. It's not a great deal of difference, anyway.

    If it were me, which it isn't, I would try to bargain the 2004 down to the same price as the 2003, and explain why - that you're thinking of buying a lower mileage, similar Ody. This is assuming the 2004 also looks well-maintained.

    If they won't meet that price, then I'd probably buy the 2003.

    Are you financing, or paying cash? If cash, there's not a big difference. If you're financing, that $1,000 difference in purchase price will balloon to probably twice as much, maybe more, over the length of the finance contract. So for that reason, I think the lower priced, lower mileage vehicle is your best bet.
  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    My budget is $12k and I am looking at the following cars:
    1. 2002 Honda Accord EX $10,000 60,000miles
    2. 2001 Nissan Maxima GXE $10,000 59,300
    3. 2003 Toyota Camry LE $10,500 46,000
    4. 2001 Toyota Avalon XL $12,900 44,000
    My priority is highway comfort. I plan to travel 340 miles round-trip every weekend. So which one is the better value? Wellcome suggestion for any other choice. Thanks.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,466
    I like #3 for the best buy...

    But, if you main criteria is highway comfort, then I vote for #4 (with #2 a close second).

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  • rroyce10rroyce10 Member Posts: 9,359
    .... Good choices ........

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,501
    I agree with kyfdx on most points.

    Only difference is I think the Camry is a better cruiser than the Maxima (in other words, the yota is more softly sprung than the max). So, best value = Camry. Best cruiser = Avalon, with Camry 2nd to that.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    I am wondering why Camry has the best value since Avalon and Maxima have much higher MSRP.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Much as I love my Maxima, I'd probably vote for either of the Toyota products here. Not so much as a reflection of the quality, but just because the Toyotas have lower miles.

    Also depends on how you like your ride. The Max is sportier and the Toyotas are cushier and softer. I had a Camry before I bought the Max and liked it very much. Only problem was one tail light kept burning out; there must have been something a bit off with the wiring but I never really sorted it out before I sold it.

    Another issue is the sad fact that the ignition coils are a weak point on Maximas. If the one you're looking at has already had them replaced, then fine. If not, you're probably looking at a repair bill of around $600 or so pretty soon. Right around 60,000 miles is when the problem typically shows up.

    Personally I wouldn't buy the Honda because Accords do not have a split folding back seat, it's all or nothing. I often fold down one side for cargo and have a passenger in the other seat. That's just personal preference, but you might want to consider that.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 194,466
    The Camry was an '03 model... The Max and the Avalon are '01s...

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  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    very nice comments, thanks. I put the milage limit to 60k and that is how I find these cars. I extended my search and found these cars I am interested in.
    5. 2001 Cadillac Seville SLS $11,900 68,979miles
    6. 2003 Buick Regal LS $9,945 57,144
    7. 2005 Chevrolet Impala $11,999 16,000(3.4L V6)
    8. 2006 Ford Taurus SE $11,999 13,000
    9. 2001 Nissan Maxima GLE $11,300 32,000
    10. 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLS $12,000 26,500
    11. 2002 Volvo S60 2.4 $10,900 73,910
    ouch, too many choices, my head begin to spin :confuse:
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,501
    personally, I wouldn't touch any of those except the Max. I like Volvos, but 74k miles is just too high to spend that kind of money on. And I do like the Passat on the inside ... I've just heard too many reliability complaints on these boards.

    Frankly, if you like the Caddy, I would take a look at Towncars and Grand Marquis. Cheap and reliable transportation ... although quite a bit thirstier than the Camry/Accord.

    '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 54-car history and counting!

  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    Thanks. So what is the difference between Maxima GLE, SE and GXE? Does GLE have a softer ride than SE?
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Of those choices, I'd grab the Max GLE in a heartbeat. Low miles AND a great car. (Bias noted, of course...)

    Yes, the GLE will ride a bit softer than the SE. It is considerably more luxurious than the GXE, as it will have leather seats (which hold up very well; mine look great after 6 years), and possibly side air bags and a Bose stereo (look for those as options on the car).

    The GLE was considered just a tiny step down from the Infinit I-30 of those years. It's not quite as quiet as the Infiniti as the Infiniti's windows were thicker. Other than that, very comparable.

    The SE was the "sport" version. Has a bit tighter ride (read, a bit more jiggly over bad roads), has (IMHO) a dopey looking spoiler, and the taillights are a little different, surrounded with black trim.

    Again, I'm biased as I own one, but I think you'd be very, very happy with the GLE at 32,000 miles. There's a lot of life left in that car (assuming your mechanic checks it out for anything unusual, of course).

    At the time, the Maxima was regarded as "the poor man's BMW" and "the four-door sports car." So, again comes to what you want - a sporty car (go for the Max GLE), or a somewhat floaty cruiser (go for one of the Toyotas.)
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    Personally, I think that the Impala is the best deal of the bunch. Low miles, better mileage, and good solid performer.

    I think that you could do better that that price on the Buick Regal. I wouldn't offer over 7k for the vehicle personally.

    I would only consider the Taurus if you planned to keep the car for its useful like (a long time) as the car will have little resale value as the 2006 model is a "fleet only" and the model is "long in the tooth".

    I wouldn;t touch the Volvo but that is my personal opinion. I have had more problems with the Saabs and the Volvos in my fleet than with all the otehr vehicles combined.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Good point about the Impala. If you're looking for a highway cruiser, it fills the bill.

    But "better mileage?" My Max gets 27 - 28, sometimes around 30, mpg on the highway. Is the Impala better than that?
  • 1racefan1racefan Member Posts: 932
    "But "better mileage?" My Max gets 27 - 28, sometimes around 30, mpg on the highway. Is the Impala better than that? "

    Yes - The couple of people I know that own Impalas with the 3.4 get 30-32 consistently on the hwy. I also know a few people with the same car, with the 3.8 and they get 29-31 on the hwy.

    To take it a step further...I know someone that owns a Buick (larger, heavier car) with the same 3.8 (and 130,000 miles on it), and he still gets 31 on hwy trips.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,457
    My 1989 Pontiac Bonneville with the Series one 3.8 routinely got high to low 30's around town and mid to upper 30's on the highway.

    I even got it above 40 mpg on one trip in perfect weather conditions. I bought it when it has 91,000 miles on it and sold it about four years later when it had 148,000 miles.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Pretty impressive. I didn't know that about the Impala. Considering all the highway miles the buyer is going to put on whatever he buys, it's worth knowing.

    Way back in the day, back in the late 60's, my mom bought a beautiful light blue Impala, with AIR CONDITIONING, thank God, after a string of station wagons during the late 50's and into the mid-60's where air-conditioning was provided by opening the windows.

    That Impala was the first car I got to drive regularly, and I felt so elegant, arriving someplace still cool and not all dusty and sweaty.

    I was glad to see the Impala name brought back; still have fond memories of that late '60's car.
  • jlawrence01jlawrence01 Member Posts: 1,828
    But "better mileage?" My Max gets 27 - 28, sometimes around 30, mpg on the highway. Is the Impala better than that?

    On highway, we get 31 mpg, in the city 26 mpg.
  • zodiac2004zodiac2004 Member Posts: 471
    Frankly, if you like the Caddy, I would take a look at Towncars and Grand Marquis. Cheap and reliable transportation ... although quite a bit thirstier than the Camry/Accord.

    I second the idea about LTC/GM.

    Drop your budget a little and keep the money for repairs - pick up a town car/grand marquis or even a Crown Vic - and call it a day.

    If you like the limo-like ride (clearly a preference for a long highway ride), those 3 cars are the best sleeper deals you can find.
  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591
    I have an 02 Avalon with 80K. Although I had problems in the beginning (defective axle) which Toyota did NOT make good on, the highway comfort is a thing of beauty, especially with a bench seat. I replaced the struts with High performance struts which have a nice balance of more control and comfort. The struts on the Avalon are a little anemic, making it undulate over some bumps and noise dive heavy when braking from high speed. Otherwise, very good.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I agree, all good choices. The small differences in the number of miles wouldn't sway me. I would buy the one I like the best.

    Personally, I don't care for the floaty, mushy ride of a Camry or an Avalon but others may consider it a "better cruiser". It's a matter of what a person happens to like.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonMember Posts: 20,350
    I agree with you. Volvos and Volkswagesn can be nothing but trouble and they (especially Volvos)are VERY expensive to repair.

    I would be gunshy of the Caddy for the same reason.
  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    I test drove a 05 impala and a 01 maxima. What surprised me is the impala, being a 4-year newer car, does not lood and drive as good as the maxima. Very dissappointing.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 463
    What does Lood mean ?

    Well the Impala doesn't handle like a Maxima. Now that's no surprise. An Impala (or a Maxima) doesn't handle as good as my 85 Corvette but that doesn't surprise or disappoint me either.

    Domestic sedans have a softer ride suspension that some people like and some don't. After you get used to the domestic highway cruiser ride thing you might just find that you like it.

    A domestic sedan just isn't a performance car but they sure are comfortable. I'll take an Impala over a Maxima for comfort and for a much much better price.

    If you just have to have that stiff ride. Put some stiff springs on and a stiff sway bar. That'll sure change the ride.
  • sandman46sandman46 Member Posts: 1,798
    Obviously he meant look. Some of us really need a Typing For Dummies book. I never took typing in school, and now that my job has changed due to a vehicular accident at work, I wish I'd taken typing in high school. I'm in front of a computer almost 8 hours a day now and am surprised at the mistakes I make. Yet, many of my coworkers type without looking at the key board. I'm definitely in awe!

    The Sandman :)
  • steine13steine13 Member Posts: 2,833
    Touch-typing is no big deal; I never took it in school either but taught myself... just figure out which finger does what, then do that.

    It may be off-topic, but it might be useful...

  • gussguss Member Posts: 1,180
    Brain surgery works the same way. Figure out which lobe to cut and just cut.

    (Another non-typer here).
  • nwngnwng Member Posts: 663
    the max is a nice ride, but real life city mpg is considerably lower than the impala. But with a better interior and driving experience.

    If i drive highways a lot, i would definitely take the impala.
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    I don't know about that. One of my employees (who drives 30,000 miles per year) traded his '01 Bonneville for an '05 Impala last summer and he's now kicking himself. He'd go for an '05 Bonneville now except for the extreme hit he'd take trading the Impala.
  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    Hi, what would be the symptom of a defective axle? Thanks.
  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    Thanks all for your input. After many test drives and research, I bought a 00 Avalon xls with 61K miles on it. It is very nicely equiped and feels like a luxury car. So far both my wife and I are really happy about the purchase.
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Member Posts: 463
    Symptoms of a defective axle

    Well a clicking sound as you are turning is the classic symtptom. Better get it fixed or when you pull in front of that Semi Truck your power just may go away.

    If it's just a defective wheel bearing then either loud noises or a frozen (won't turn) wheel or a wobbly wheel are classic symptoms.
  • day9day9 Member Posts: 57
    so far there r two problem:
    1. it pulls slightly to the left on highway.
    2. at lower speed, the wheel does wobble when I turn it in certain angle (close to straight ahead) and the wobble disappears when I turn it slightly to left or right.
    could this be a bad axle?
  • movielovemovielove Member Posts: 1
    Hi, Guys

    I have a question about whether buying a new car or leasing a new car. The car I am looking for is either a Camry or a Civic.

    The situation here is I need a car now but will not keep this car for more than 3 years. Buying a new is nice but I don't know if I can find good financing. To avoid any big-size down payment, leasing a car seems ideal. But the question is I do not know how long I will keep this car (the length of time is not controlled by me). I hear that the penalty for terminating a lease earlier is big. Do you guys know how bad that penatly fee is. Is it possible to ask somebody else like a friend to continue the lease before its termination?

    Thanks in advance!
  • mikefm58mikefm58 Member Posts: 2,882
    I would go to your local bank or credit union and ask those exact questions. I know my credit union has everything spelled out about leasing on their website.
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    If you don't know exactly how long you need to keep this car, you might want to be very careful about the idea of leasing. Read the "Volvo 2006 C70" thread for the troubles someone is having because his lease will end two weeks before his (hoped for) new car will arrive, and the dealer won't let him extend his lease. He's stuck with possibly renting a car for two weeks or buying something that's not really what he wants, just to suit the lease's time frame. And all for the sake of just two weeks.

    If you own your car, you can sell it whenever you want, keep it as long as necessary. You won't run into those problems of lease end coming up but the time isn't quite right to get the new car you will then need.

    If three years is roughly your time span but you're looking to save a little money, you might want to look at a one or two year old Camry or Civic. Either of those cars should give you another trouble-free three years pretty easily.
  • mackabeemackabee Member Posts: 4,709
    Bianca, I just sent you an e-mail via carspace irt the Solara convertible you want to rent.
  • cheapluxurycheapluxury Member Posts: 1

    Im looking to get a car that is 1-3 years old (I want there to be at least some transferrable warranty) and in the price range of around 20k plus or minus 2K. I am considering 2 types of cars, SUVs and midsized sedans.

    The cars im looking at are the maxima, avalon, TSX because of big early depreciation. Also looking at the honda pilot, infiniti FX etc.

    I would appreciate any input into what other cars I should be considering. Im going to stay away from the BIG3 makers on this one but am open to euro cars although everywhere I read it sounds like the cost of maintenance is a bit high with those. Im trying to buy a car with good early depreciation (TSX not good in this i know) but still with good quality. I plan to turn the car over in 3-5 years depending on age at purchase.

    I hope I can get a great deal. Otherwise Im just going to have to buy a New 2007 camry. Oh and even though I like the Hyundai, it is not an option per the family :)
  • biancarbiancar Mid-AtlanticMember Posts: 965
    Mack, I answered your e-mail. Thanks!
  • cccompsoncccompson Member Posts: 2,388
    That's quite a diverse group of vehicles you're considering! The only vehicles that I'd add to the list are used Camrys and Accords.

    My wife drives a Pilot - it's a fine vehicle but the gas mileage is, not surprisingly, terrible (far worse than my Odyssey). Given the direction of gas prices, I'd think long and hard about buying an SUV unless one has a particular need for it. Minivans serve the same purpose with more utility at less cost.
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