Car Buying Advice-Buying a 2004 Grand Cherokee OR 2008

dmn2008dmn2008 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2017 in Jeep
Hi, so this weekend I am going to buy one of these vehicles. The first consideration is a 2004 Jeep Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and Price is 3,500 but I hope to get it for 3K. It has 105,000 miles, here is details from listing:

2004 jeep grand cherokee laredo
condition: excellent
cylinders: 6 cylinders
drive: fwd
fuel: gas
odometer: 105000
paint color: brown
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
type: SUV
For sale a 2004 Grand Cherokee (Laredo - 6 cylinders)
Excellent Condition, very clean in and out. Title in hand.
105K Miles.
Excellent Condition.
Well maintained and serviced, all windows tinted, 2 new tires, new battery and others.

My other option is a 2008 Grand Cherokee with 198,000 miles and have already got the seller to an agreed price of $3,200. It has a "mostly" rebuilt engine, here are also details from the listing:

2008 Jeep
condition: good
cylinders: 6 cylinders
fuel: gas
odometer: 198000
title status: clean
transmission: automatic
08 jeep Laredo, many new parts, cold ac, good tires. Most of engine rebuilt. 198,000 miles. please no insulting offers or time wasters. just spent $2500 on engine. so do not offer me $2500 for a jeep worth for $4000-thank you

Both vehicles look nice in the pictures, which one would you buy? The older one with less miles? Or, the newer one with nearly twice as many miles but a "mostly" rebuilt engine? I expect to get either of them for around $500.00 below KBB value. Which is the better deal? If I were to replace the transmission in the 2008 soon, can I expect this vehicle to go 300k miles + ? I welcome and appreciate all comments and hope I can get some soon - I will buy one of these tomorrow!

Best Answer

  • NathanCrumbackNathanCrumback Administrator Posts: 508
    Accepted Answer
    I have the same concerns that PF_Flyer mentioned. Also, I'm not sure why they listed "FWD" on the vehicle like kyfdx observed. Some people confuse "FWD" as "4x4" but it means "Front Wheel Drive".

    You have the age old conundrum of buying a used vehicle, "which one is going to be the better choice and worth the investment?". I think it will come down to you test driving both of them and if necessary, having a certified mechanic conduct an inspection on them (especially the "mostly rebuilt engine" one).

    Just based off of what you said, I would lean towards the 2004 JGC as I prefer lower miles and the 2009 has a big red flag with the engine being "mostly rebuilt". My questions; Who did the rebuild and what do they mean by "mostly"? Also, Spending $2,500 on the engine doesn't make the vehicle worth $2,500 more.

    I think the 2004 is priced right where it should be. I think $3,000 is definitely in the realm of being a fair counteroffer. I think your number 1 priority should be to test drive each vehicle and have them inspected.

    I would recommend reading this article as it has some great tips for buying a vehicle within the budget you have set:

    Edmunds Moderator


  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 197,552
    Grand Cherokees are either RWD or AWD/4WD. No FWD.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,400
    Lots of factors in this one. Sounds like you're planning to do work on either one you choose. Photos and descriptions tend to portray things in the best light, and with the age and mileage on both choices, I'd expect some surprises from either. "Most of engine rebuilt" is a pretty vague phrase if you ask me.

    I've never purchased a vehicle from a listing based on a photo and description alone, so I'm kind of cautious. Any reason the purchase HAS to happen so fast?
  • dmn2008dmn2008 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks everyone! Very useful information is coming in! I have since spoke with both sellers - the 2004 with less miles at $3,500 is not willing to come down any on the price, and the 2008 with 200k miles has given me more information on the services done. I will paste our conversation below:

    (SELLER) I will go to mechanic on my lunch and pick it up.
    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail
    On Friday, March 3, 2017 > wrote:
    (ME) Fair enough, is your mechanic an actual business? As much documentation that you're able to get will be very helpful for me in the future when trying to diagnose and show replacements done. Although I understand you can't produce everything.

    On March 3, 2017, at 9:43 AM, craigslist> wrote:

    (SELLER) engine was taken down to heads and machined and rebuilt with new parts including valves, all gaskets, timing chain, tensioner, both cams, cam sensor, crank sensor, egr, oil sending unit, starter, alternator, tires, and more. some work was done by my mechanic and I could probably get a receipt from them. we don't know of any problems with transmission, has cold ac, only part left to replace is throttle body. I can replace it, but not at the $3200 you are offering. I'm taking a huge loss as it is, and I do not have a receipt for each part that we bought.

    In another email the seller gave me the name of the business where repairs were done. I suppose I am rushing into a buy either way and will keep the relevant advice in mind. I will be sure to drive the vehicle before handing over money and will also investigate on finding a mechanic to further inspect. Again, thanks everyone for the help!
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