car advice

car advice

This is a discussion on car advice within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have a 2004 mazda 3 automatic with a power package but nothing special in it. it has 90,000km on it. I have always wanted ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    car advice

    I have a 2004 mazda 3 automatic with a power package but nothing special in it. it has 90,000km on it. I have always wanted a stickshift car. A dealer offered me the following deal after some negotiation and I am trying to decide if I should take it or not:

    I give him my car and in return I get:

    $2300.00 cash (all the amounts I am mentioning are Canadian dollars) and a 2001 honda accord ex 2.3l vtec manual transmission with all the bells and whistles (heated mirrors, 6cd changer, sunroof etc., etc.). But it has 170,000 km on it. the car would be, of course, saftyed certified.

    My thinking is that this is a good deal because on a honda accord that is well kept (and the car seems well kept and in great condition except for some surface rust i noticed underneath) it can go for many more km than that.

    Plus this puts a little cash in my pocket which I could really use (I am a full time student with lots of loans to pay).

    What do you all think? I told them I would decide by Monday and make the deal then if I am doing it.


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    Quote Originally Posted by palmpalm View Post
    I have a 2004 mazda 3 automatic with a power package but nothing special in it. it has 90,000km on it. I have always wanted a stickshift car. A dealer offered me the following deal after some negotiation and I am trying to decide if I should take it or not:

    I give him my car and in return I get:

    $2300.00 cash (all the amounts I am mentioning are Canadian dollars) and a 2001 Honda accord ex 2.3l vtec manual transmission with all the bells and whistles (heated mirrors, 6cd changer, sunroof etc., etc.). But it has 170,000 km on it. the car would be, of course, saftyed certified.

    My thinking is that this is a good deal because on a Honda accord that is well kept (and the car seems well kept and in great condition except for some surface rust i noticed underneath) it can go for many more km than that.

    Plus this puts a little cash in my pocket which I could really use (I am a full time student with lots of loans to pay).

    What do you all think? I told them I would decide by Monday and make the deal then if I am doing it.
    There are probably better places to post a question about cars but if you want an opinion, mine would be to keep you 2004 Mazda. The Honda is 8 years old and has high mileage on it. The car dealer saw you coming in the door. Don't think they are giving anything away.

    Concentrate on finishing school and don't add to expenses or problems needlessly.
    Last edited by SIGP250; December 6th, 2009 at 05:40 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    OK guys

    Mazda is 2004 with approx. 56,000 miles on it.

    Honda is a 2001 with approx. 106,000 miles on it.

    will get Honda and approx. $2100 cash.

    I say if you do this you throw away a lot of good car for a little bit of cash, and you may very well be a .....sucker.
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    Distinguished Member Array Arko's Avatar
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    Dealers do nobody a favor, and give nothing away. They are not so desperate they will do a deal that does not benefit them.
    The question is, how much benefit is there to you?

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  5. #5
    Member Array ItsMyRight2's Avatar
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    Don't do it! You are downgrading and you will probably end up putting that money back into the Honda.

    And like a poster said before. A DEALER never does anyone favors. The dealer usually always walks away with the better end of the deal.
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    Don't do it. It isn't even close to being a sensible deal on your part.

    Someone sold that Accord precisely because it had high mileage, was older, and who knows what an independent mechanic might turn up on inspection---it might not be all that well maintained as the dealer is telling you.

    Also, I have a hunch that if you look up the Blue Book value of your Mazda, it is higher than what the dealer offered. Certainly, you could beat that by a couple grand easily if you sold it yourself because all the dealer is doing is offering a low ball wholesale price; he will make money reselling it at a retail price that is at least double what he paid if not more.

    You haven't done your homework.

    Not to hurt your feelings or anything, but after reading what you just posted I would strongly urge you to find a friend who is more familiar with trading autos and perhaps has some solid business sense and business experience to go with you when you are shopping for a car. You need some assistance before someone takes your OK car, sells you junk, and sticks you with a long term payment plan at high interest as well.

    (And here we are arguing in other threads about whether or not to use force to protect property worth just a couple hundred bucks. We should be building gallows for car dealers like this one.)

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Go to kbb.com and check the car values. If I go from a newer vehicle to an older vehicle it will be much older, as in classic.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmpalm View Post
    2004 mazda 3 automatic with ... 90,000km on it.

    $2300.00 cash ... and a [certified used] 2001 honda accord ex 2.3l vtec manual transmission with all the bells and whistles ... but 170,000 km on it ...

    What do you all think?
    It can be a good value, depending. Read on.

    Both are reasonable cars. The Honda Accord is a world-beater, revered everywhere for its reliability and great value.

    But, it's got twice the mileage on it.

    And, the Honda Accord is also the number-one, primary target of car thieves. Consider a quality car alarm. You might well need it.

    Here's my perspective. Take it for what it's worth:

    I'm all for having an older car, so long as the overall value is in my favor. If I were a poor student, than squeezing $2500 out of a deal cannot be overlooked.

    But, double the mileage is a sticking point. If you're EVER going to be looking at a used car, strongly consider what you're actually getting. A dealer isn't in it for your health; he/she is in it for something else entirely. Think about that, then re-read. The dealer thinks he/she is getting a good deal by making this trade. Think about why that is. Consider that this gives you some leverage, here. The Mazda 3 is "hot," these days. It's newer with half the mileage. You might press for another $1-2K or more in cash. You might press them to pay for certain maintenance that you know hasn't been done, should have been done, or will very soon have to be done.

    First step, know what dollars the dealer likely paid for it. You could ask the dealer, though it's unlikely he/she will divulge that info. Unknown where in "Banada" you are, but you can look at three sources for trade-in price in your area (zip code), such as NADA, Edmunds. Take the average of the three, and go with that as one guide.

    You don't specify what type of "Accord" this is: sedan, coupe, LX, EX, V6 or not. Dealer trade-in according to NADA ranges from $4000 to $5200K, even the EX Sedan V-TEC V6 200hp. Your Mazda 3 seems to range from $6200 to $7900. At least, in my area. Plus the $2500. Plus whatever the maintenance situation is, and what ever it will require soon based on less than aggressive and diligent maintenance so far.

    You also don't specify the exact Mazda 3 you have, either. I'll assume a 4Ds with the 2.3L engine. Yahoo lists Kelly Blue Book pricing of avg retail at $9600, with 28/35 mpg. The Accord V6 3.0L at $7800, with 20/28 mpg. The dealer's offering of $2500 roughly covers that. Though, when comparing the dealer trade-in values, the dealer quite likely paid far less for that 2001 Accord than you think. So, you likely have some room to negotiate, here.

    I would want to know all details about the full maintenance, and I would want to have verifiable paperwork showing the work that was performed at a quality shop. I'd want to be able to validate the claims. I would go through the entire maintenance schedule to-date and confirm all the major items. I'd want to ensure that everything was aggressively maintained and wasn't a looking, multi-zero financial disaster waiting in the wings.

    Keep in mind that "certified" by the dealer simply means it has followed all the maintenance requirements. Doesn't mean it has been well-maintained. There IS a difference.

    Know the maintenance schedule cold. Find out whether the critical items have been done, or will be covered and compensated for in the deal. Regular maintenance; regular valve adjust and timing adjust; timing belt, seals at aggressive intervals; clutch/transmission maintenance; clutch replacement if it's showing weakness or sloppiness; cooling system; AC/heating system; suspension; brakes; electrical issues; hose replacement; belts replacement; tires. Look for leaks. Insist on verifiable documentation of regular, aggressive maintenance.

    Look out over the next 30Kmi and compare the anticipated maintenance between the two cars. If the $2500 cash doesn't make up for the differences, I would question whether it was the "value" the dealer was claiming it to be.

    Get PROOF of the maintenance history on the car.

    Look for evidence of prior crashes. If you do not know what to look for, take it to a shop that does know for a 30min overview. With 400K Accords per year being made for a decade, there are a lot of them with the frames stretched back into shape, re-shelled, repainted. If you don't know what to look for, you could get a lemon that will be a rattle-trap noise-maker for the next several years.

    Take it on a tough test drive, a ~30mi drive that involves rougher roads, quieter roads, hard hills, corners. Listen for noises. Look for soft, squishy, vague handling or other behavior.

    Consider the tires. Crappy $30 tires are typically installed by a dealer looking to put lipstick on a pig. If you're going to want to enjoy your "new" car, you're going to want great tires to be installed. That can be $75-150 a pop, depending on the tire, plus installation.

    Get PROOF of the maintenance history, or know what you're getting.

    Find an excellent Honda mechanic. Anyone can work on a Honda. They're not rocket science. But a good mechanic is like gold. A good one can keep a Honda running to 500Kmi relatively inexpensively. Same with a modern Mazda, if well-maintained.

    Determine if you can do any of the maintenance yourself. Personally, I'm nobody's mechanic but I found I could easily perform many tasks on both a Honda and a Mazda. If you can as well, you can save a bit of cash over time.

    Maintenance records -- get proof of it. Did I mention that?

    Either car should do you well. As to whether the $2500 is worth the trade, for me it would come down to the maintenance I would have to cough up in the next 30-40Kmi. Either is a good car.

    My thoughts: If in need of cash, I would consider trading my 2004 Mazda 3 4Ds Auto with 70km for a "loaded" and Honda Certified 2001 Honda Accord V6 Sedan V-TEC 200hp under the following conditions ...

    Had a 1992 Honda Accord EX myself, though it didn't have the V-Tec motor. It was fairly well-maintained when I got it at 60Kmi. It's the only car I've ever gotten off a lease trade-in. Be very cautious if you're going to consider doing that. Was able to do all suspension work, brakes, fluid flush, radiator swap. Had it to 150Kmi when I sold it many years later, and it still returned to me more than half the original price I paid for it. Hondas that are well-maintained can do that. I had it in the shop for a tuning every 12Kmi, 30Kmi and 60Kmi. I did my own suspension, cooling, brakes. I kept it well-lubed. I put premium tires on it and kept them rotated/balanced. The car performed very, very well for me. I took it on several 5Kmi trips at the drop of a hat. No worries. Did much the same with a Mazda that I treated similarly well, with aggressive maintenance and quality parts.
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    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    I am in the car business,IMHO I would pass on the deal. You know what you have dod not know what you are going to get. The dealer mostly likey gave next to nothing for the Honda on a trade it. Repairs will cost you more that the 2500 over time on a car that has double the miles.

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    Never trade down. You would be doing it on both age and mileage.

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    New trans = $2500+
    New 'used' engine = $2000 (my son just had to buy one with less than 100K on the old one)

    I guess the question is....do you feel lucky?
    I'd pass...
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  12. #12
    Member Array palmpalm's Avatar
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    thanks!

    Thank so much for all the responses. I think I am gonna pass on the car. :)

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    Member Array Jim Macklin's Avatar
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    High mileage manual transmission probably needs or will soon need a new clutch and other work.

    Doesn't sound like a good deal to me... tires, gaskets, exhaust may pass an inspection on December 7th and fail and need replacement on December 15th. A 2001 model year may have been built in 2000, almost 10 years ago. So,me parts will no longer be carried by dealers after 10 years.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Mazda's are good cars, had a few now with numerous miles over the years and never had any real problems at all. I'ld definitely keep the Mazda.

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    Senior Member Array Saint77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HITCH KING View Post
    I am in the car business,IMHO I would pass on the deal. You know what you have dod not know what you are going to get. The dealer mostly likey gave next to nothing for the Honda on a trade it. Repairs will cost you more that the 2500 over time on a car that has double the miles.
    I agree with this. Also, having worked at dealers and for wholesale dealers in the past. I also believe that he would not have offered you that deal unless he feels could get some good coin for your old car, somewhere.

    Passing is the right choice.

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