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Keyblade Wielder
Registered: 07/11/2001
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Re: Good buy? late 90's Chevy Lumina...

Apr 23, 2007
I think too many people have heard bad stories about american cars.

The fact that there's endless american cars on the road driving just fine I guess doesn't mean anything to them.


If you're talking a 1997 or so style lumina, I think those should be fairly decent... I see more Malibu's from that vintage around, but the luminas I see that year are usually in fairly good shape.

For 1 grand, it shouldn't be too bad.

Plus, you'd be able to go to your local parts store and get some parts for it fairly easily. Could do some basic maintenance things yourself on the thing, and learn about cars fairly quickly if you do that. IMO, it's a pretty good buy.

• Ask to take it around the block, make sure there's no odd noises from the engine

• make sure the AC works

• inspect the interior, see if you'll be looking at reapholstering the roof (not likely for that 'new' of a car, but if so, chances are, other things might be wrong with it as well)

• check the seals around the doors for cracking

• make sure the windows all roll down reasonably the same speed and don't seem like they're about to get stuck

• check the tire tread and pressure

• Push down on each corner of the car to compress the shocks, and let up... it shouldn't bounce more than 1 or 2 times... if it does, the shocks /springs need replacing

• Check radio functionality

• make sure all the bulbs are functioning, especially ones within the dashboard, since they're the hardest of all to replace

• run the washer fluid to spray the windows... not only will that check to see the washer fluid lines aren't clogged, but also shows if the wiper blades need replacing

• ask the owner if they've got a maintenance log of the vehicle, as this is a very good tool to gauge the "lemonness" of that particular vehicle

• bring rhino ramps so you can inspect underneath the car better, making sure no cracks or corrosion are emminant

• check under the hood for wire health, hose condition, and make sure the battery area is clean and leak-free. ensure no dripping around radiator connections and oil cap.

• check the trunk for signs of wear, and see if there's still a spare tire in the vehicle

• use the keys to lock and unlock all locks on the car, to ensure the locks are in good condition

• open each door from the outside as well as the inside

• make sure the parking brake works and is effective

• see if you're able to smell the exhaust (careful not to get too close and burned) to make sure it doesn't smell like it's burning oil, or has other contaminent issues

• investigate the car you're looking to buy. carpoint.com lists a 1997 lumina's kelley blue book value at $3.5k to $4.5k... chances are, if he's selling at only 1/3rd the price, there might be a reason for that... or he might just not know what he can get away with selling it for. (might be the damage on the outside)

• Ensure that the damage on the outside isn't enough to rust the parts out.



if the vehicle meets all those tests, then chances are you'll have a car that'll last you quite a while. or at least it'll last long enough for you to save money up from a job and get a certified preowned car or something of the sorts Smiley Tongue
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I Only Post Everything
Registered: 09/04/2004
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Re: Good buy? late 90's Chevy Lumina...

Apr 23, 2007


AsianPlaya wrote:
I hates the fords. Honda and Nissan FTW!!


why? if you have no reason, youre hate is unfounded.

in my experience they are very reliable. my dads 2003 f-150 has 60000 miles on it, and the only time its been in the shop was when we got rear ended.
as for honda and nissan, my lawn mower has more power than those rice rockets.
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