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Car Buying Seminar Tom Lindstrom linds017@umn.edu

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Car Buying Seminar Tom Lindstrom linds017@umn.edu

  1. 1. Car Buying Seminar Tom Lindstrom [email_address] China Outreach Ministries www.comumn.org
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Understanding our assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Cars </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with People </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with Details </li></ul><ul><li>Inspecting the Car </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Understanding Our Assumptions T/F Test What REALLY Matters?
  4. 4. TRUE / FALSE TEST <ul><li>1. Japanese Cars are the cheapest to drive </li></ul><ul><li>2. The more I spend purchasing a car, the more dependable it will be </li></ul><ul><li>3. Finding a reputable dealer is the most important step </li></ul><ul><li>4. Getting a car is going to relieve a lot of anxiety about living in the US </li></ul><ul><li>5. Cars with “Prior Salvage” stamped on the title should always be avoided </li></ul><ul><li>6. New tires on a car shows it has been cared for </li></ul>
  5. 5. Rank the following in order of importance: <ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of Maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Gas Mileage </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to impress my friends </li></ul><ul><li>Cheapest price </li></ul><ul><li>Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Make of car (ie Toyota) </li></ul><ul><li>Everything MUST work all the time </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to park, learn to drive, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Lower anxiety about vandalism, theft, etc. </li></ul>
  6. 6. What REALLY matters? <ul><li>Dependable transportation that doesn’t interfere with your studies </li></ul><ul><li>Lower anxiety regarding safety & damage to your car while you learn to drive </li></ul>
  7. 7. Understanding Cars <ul><li>When cheaper means more expensive and saving money means spending money! </li></ul><ul><li>Sweeping Generalizations </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Wear Cycles </li></ul><ul><li>Choosing a car based on thorough research </li></ul><ul><li>Tools for determining the value of a specific car </li></ul>
  8. 8. Different Cars for Different People <ul><li>For most people, cars are pragmatic…just transportation </li></ul>08/16/10
  9. 9. <ul><li>But today, cars are increasingly about image, fulfillment, even personal identity! </li></ul>08/16/10
  10. 10. <ul><li>This discussion will focus on practical cars </li></ul><ul><li>My recommendations will be for cars that are more simple in design </li></ul><ul><li>If you prefer a fancier car, the research methods shown in this presentation will also help you find such a car! </li></ul>08/16/10
  11. 11. Sweeping Generalizations <ul><li>Japanese cars RUST but are typically more dependable. Repairs sometimes expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>European cars are well designed but expensive to repair, more complicated. Complicated electrical systems are their death knoll. Motors and bodies last forever. </li></ul><ul><li>American cars have numerous annoying faults, are not as well designed, but parts and repairs are readily available. These cars are usually more practical in design, and there are several that stand out as very reliable. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Which car represents the greater value? <ul><li>2007 car with 100k or a 2004 car with 50k? </li></ul><ul><li>Import car in OK/poor shape or a Domestic car in EXCELLENT condition? </li></ul>(Normal annual mileage is 12 - 15k per year)
  13. 13. The Truth about “Economy Cars” Rank the following Cars: Which one costs $141 to replace the water pump? Which one costs $624 to replace the water pump? $46,000 MSRP $18,000 MSRP $10,000 MSRP $33,000 MSRP $322 $624! $545 $141!
  14. 14. Who would think that this car would have the most expensive repair? Of the cars on the previous page, the Acura would have the highest rating for dependability…but @ $545 to replace the water pump…you might want to think again about purchasing one! And who would think that you could replace a water pump on a $46,000 Cadillac for under $150?
  15. 15. So what is real economy about? <ul><li>Reliability is NOT the same thing as economy! </li></ul><ul><li>Economy is about the bottom line…how much does it cost to drive a car </li></ul><ul><li>What does economical transportation look like? </li></ul>08/16/10
  16. 16. Laugh if you want to, but THIS was the cheapest car I have owned! 10 mpg, but… Very cheap and easy to repair- This was the best economy car I had for 15 years! 1983 Ford Econoline 150
  17. 17. Understanding Wear Cycles <ul><li>Tires </li></ul><ul><li>Battery </li></ul><ul><li>Exhaust </li></ul><ul><li>Struts/Shocks </li></ul><ul><li>ATF/Antifreeze change </li></ul><ul><li>Timing Belt </li></ul><ul><li>Alternator </li></ul><ul><li>Water Pump </li></ul><ul><li>Air Conditioning </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic Transmission </li></ul>Repairs 60 - 90k: Repairs beyond 100k: Sometimes a car with 100k on it is cheaper to drive than a comparable vehicle with 60k on it
  18. 18. The Bottom Line on Economy <ul><li>Gas Mileage is only part of the cost of operating a car </li></ul><ul><li>A car considered reliable isn’t necessarily the cheapest to drive </li></ul><ul><li>Lower miles on a car do not necessarily mean less repairs </li></ul><ul><li>Knowing your assumptions can lessen your disappointments </li></ul>
  19. 19. You probably don’t NEED a car after all! There are other forms of transportation!
  20. 20. My Suggestions <ul><li>Consider a $1000-$1500 car for the purposes of learning to drive </li></ul><ul><li>Determine what causes you the most anxiety about car ownership and try to reduce your exposure to those risks </li></ul><ul><li>Buy a car from a “Maintenance NUT” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Why consider this car? <ul><li>$1400 for a ’91 Accord with 215,000k ! </li></ul>08/16/10 The owner of this car kept meticulous records of repairs and it drove absolutely like new!
  22. 22. Or this car? <ul><li>’ 85 Olds $500 </li></ul>08/16/10 This car has an excellent engine, its safe, and it won’t matter if you smash it up a little learning to drive!
  23. 23. Why start with a cheaper car? <ul><li>Most new drivers are very nervous </li></ul><ul><li>Nervous drivers make mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Mistakes cost $$$, raised insurance premiums for years to come </li></ul>08/16/10 ~Thus, a cheaper car may help you have less anxiety about driving and save you $$$
  24. 24. If you want a cheaper car… <ul><li>Most of the rest of this presentation is only partly applicable </li></ul><ul><li>You will buy based on a limited set of criteria – “Will this car help me learn to drive” rather than “Do I like being in this car…will it take me to Yellowstone?” etc. </li></ul>08/16/10
  25. 25. So where do we start? <ul><li>How do I decide what make and model of car to buy? </li></ul><ul><li>How do I know how much I need to spend? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the most “bang for the buck” in terms of the usability of any given car? </li></ul>08/16/10
  26. 26. If you had time, you might start your research at the junkyard!
  27. 27. What can you learn from a junkyard? Some cars give their owners the “Blues” Some cars end up junked sooner than you would expect Certain models have consistently defective major components
  28. 28. For Example… The day I was here (at the junkyard) I saw 3 or 4 Mazda 626s in this condition…why are they there when they appear to be in great condition and only five to seven years old? BAD transmissions!
  29. 29. Issues that send cars to a Premature Death <ul><li>Repairs for which no parts are available,often due to defective parts! </li></ul>Expensive, “surprise” repair bills When buying a car, how can I minimize my exposure to the risks of repair bills I cannot afford?
  30. 30. Finding the Right Car- Doing your Research! Researching the history and reliability of specific models In the case of the Mazda 626, I found a website for complaining owners whose transmissions failed
  31. 31. Obviously, our research has to include sources that will help us find (and avoid) those lemon cars! <ul><li>Periodical Literature </li></ul><ul><li>Web sites; Governmental, Complaint sites, Consumer Websites, etc </li></ul><ul><li>The advice of mechanics, friends, relatives </li></ul>08/16/10
  32. 32. Periodicals <ul><li>Consumer Reports is a good place to start </li></ul>
  33. 33. Examples of things in Consumer’s Reports <ul><li>Which cars are the most dependable? </li></ul><ul><li>What new laws or recalls will affect me? </li></ul><ul><li>Complaints and Recommendations </li></ul>
  34. 34. This chart is from the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue, published each spring
  35. 35. Millions of readers contribute to the data collected by Consumer Reports, making their resources some of the best available for comparing cars.
  36. 36. This chart is also A part of the Consumer’s Reports Annual Auto issue.
  37. 37. This chart is a list of recommendations for used cars that statistically have had a consistently excellent reputation over the years…
  38. 38. 08/16/10
  39. 39. 08/16/10
  40. 40. But Keep it ALL in Perspective Glenn and I all own vans on this list!!!
  41. 41. And, Consumer Reports doesn’t include… <ul><li>Costs of maintaining a vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Costs of typical repairs </li></ul><ul><li>By reporting only reliability data and NOT cost of maintenance, CR gives a somewhat slanted view of car ownership </li></ul>08/16/10
  42. 42. Hence…The CAR Book <ul><li>Compilation of Govern- </li></ul><ul><li>ment data previously </li></ul><ul><li>unavailable to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses on Safety </li></ul><ul><li>Predicts maintenance costs and charts total costs of ownership including depreciation, etc. </li></ul>
  43. 43. Examples of helps The CAR book can give: <ul><li>Summaries of replacement costs for major and minor components on popular vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>Estimates the costs for preventative maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturers of the new cars </li></ul><ul><li>Complaint charts </li></ul><ul><li>Crash test results </li></ul><ul><li>Depreciation (Use this in your favor…you can </li></ul><ul><li>get a 3 year old car for 60% of its new price!) </li></ul>
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  49. 51. Where do you find the CAR Book? <ul><li>Public libraries </li></ul><ul><li>Ebay </li></ul><ul><li>Direct from publisher through contribution to the Center for Auto Safety, but only available in Spring </li></ul>08/16/10
  50. 52. WEB searches <ul><li>To locate Automobile related websites, try words such as “reliable used cars” or “automobile complaints” or “defective transmission” or “defective engine” or “automobile complaints” or “automobile recalls”, etc </li></ul>08/16/10
  51. 53. What you will find on the Web <ul><li>Lots of complaint web-sites, some profane and not legitimate </li></ul><ul><li>Some helpful things </li></ul><ul><li>Some commercial sites, designed to make money off all information they provide </li></ul>08/16/10
  52. 54. Some Helpful Web-sites <ul><li>www.samarins.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.carsurvey.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>www.recalls.gov </li></ul><ul><li>www.dmv.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.nhtsa.gov </li></ul><ul><li>www.consumerreports.org </li></ul>08/16/10
  53. 55. Listener call in Radio shows can help you understand car problems <ul><li>Car Talk national radio show http://www.cartalk.com/ </li></ul><ul><li>Live mechanic chat for problems with your car on the web. Humorous radio show! Non technical evaluations of test drives </li></ul>08/16/10
  54. 56. Where to go for advice <ul><li>Your Host family </li></ul><ul><li>Trusted people like your advisor, neighbors, COM staff, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Ask around for referrals to a good mechanic – if you pick your mechanic FIRST, and have him recommend a car, you will always have someone to repair it! (I will include referrals at the end of this presentation) </li></ul>08/16/10
  55. 57. Are there exceptions – is it ever wise to buy a car your research says to avoid? <ul><li>Yes from a trusted friend </li></ul><ul><li>Yes when maintainance records outweigh faults </li></ul><ul><li>Yes when you can accept the faults of a vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>Yes when the bad reputation doesn’t apply to your vehicle (Ford Taurus 3.0 liter) </li></ul>08/16/10
  56. 58. Dealing With People <ul><li>Finding a Reputable Dealer </li></ul><ul><li>Finding a “private party” </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding Classified Ads </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding “Minnesota Nice” </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating a Sale </li></ul>
  57. 59. Finding a Reputable Dealer … (is that an oxymoron?) <ul><li>New Car Dealerships </li></ul><ul><li>“ Car Lot” used car dealerships </li></ul>
  58. 60. Buying a used car from a New Car Dealership Have a higher concern for “nice cars” on their lot Get business based on name plate of dealership, not on quality of service or repairs! Lots of overhead, lots of salespeople means they have to keep standards up (and prices!) Get first pick of the used cars at the best prices
  59. 61. Used Car Lots Typically have less concern for repeat business Nearly ALL the cars here were rejected by New Car Dealerships for some reason! Finding a reputable Used Car Lot is one thing…Finding a good car on such a lot is another!
  60. 62. Locating a car from a “Private Party” <ul><li>You may want to buy a car directly from the person who knows the most about it…the owner! </li></ul><ul><li>PP can tell you about repairs done, how the car was driven, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Buying from a PP often is a rewarding experience </li></ul>08/16/10
  61. 63. How do I locate a Private Party who is selling their car? <ul><li>Classified Ads in MN Daily, Tribune, Pioneer Press, Auto Trader, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Web sites </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin Boards at local establishments </li></ul><ul><li>Friends/referrals </li></ul>08/16/10
  62. 64. Pros & Cons of the Classified Ads <ul><li>Ads are expensive, so sellers are motivated to sell quickly! </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of competition getting to the right car before someone else </li></ul>
  63. 65. Terminology of the Classifieds <ul><li>Babied Owner claims vehicle has had all the “TLC” of a newborn baby </li></ul><ul><li>Sharp Vehicle is attractive overall </li></ul><ul><li>Good runner Usually means the car is ugly, but dependable </li></ul><ul><li>Highway miles Owner is claiming the high miles show less wear than you would expect normally since it was “Highway miles” </li></ul><ul><li>Mint Car is in virtually new condition…no flaws at all </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Usually meant to convey the body has no rust </li></ul>
  64. 66. Pros and Cons of Web Searches <ul><li>Sites like www.carsoup.com have lots of listings with photos </li></ul><ul><li>Slow turnover - Seller has lots of time to wait for his price…may be overpriced or need repairs (look at photo, try to date when the vehicle was listed) </li></ul>
  65. 67. Web Sites with Used Car Listings <ul><li>www.minneapolis.craigslist.org Fast response </li></ul><ul><li>www.autotrader.com Free Carfax report </li></ul><ul><li>www.cars.com Best/Worst ratings, crash tests </li></ul><ul><li>www.edmunds.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.carsoup.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.automart.com Certified Cars listed </li></ul><ul><li>www.autoextra.com Free VIN # check </li></ul><ul><li>www.autoweb.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.automotive.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.usedcars.com </li></ul><ul><li>And believe it or not, EBAY (but be wary) </li></ul>08/16/10
  66. 68. EAST MEETS WEST China vs. “Minnesota Nice” <ul><li>Non-interference in the lives of others </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect answers to your questions smothered in sickly smiles </li></ul><ul><li>Better to be a doormat than to upset anyone! </li></ul><ul><li>Saying little or nothing when upset, yet bearing a grudge for a long time </li></ul>Just what is “Minnesota Nice?”
  67. 69. I have found a car…how do I determine what it is worth? <ul><li>Carry a NADA guide, available at bookstores </li></ul><ul><li>Check the web: www.edmunds.com , www.kbb.com , www.carsoup.com , newspaper classifieds, Auto Trader </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful to deduct for everything you can in determining value, and enter the EXACT model </li></ul><ul><li>After looking at a few cars you will know their value, and you may refine your search </li></ul><ul><li>It is NOT a criminal act to ask MORE than “book” value- some cars are worth more </li></ul>08/16/10
  68. 70. How can I do a title search? <ul><li>Find the VIN# of the vehicle </li></ul><ul><li>www.carfax.com $25 for unlimited checks for 30 days or $20 for a single VIN check </li></ul><ul><li>www.autocheck.com (one free check) </li></ul>08/16/10
  69. 71. Inspecting the Car <ul><li>First Impressions </li></ul><ul><li>Things you can inspect yourself </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Inspection </li></ul>5
  70. 72. If you are buying a “beater” to learn to drive, ignore this, but <ul><li>Pay attention to how the car looks to you </li></ul><ul><li>Look for evenness and consistency in the paint, door gaps, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Check to see that doors, windows, locks all work (non-functional things can be SO annoying!) </li></ul>08/16/10
  71. 73. Things you can check yourself <ul><li>Check all VIN numbers to see that they match (See www.samarins.com for full description of where VIN#’s are located) </li></ul><ul><li>Check www.carfax.com (or similar site) to see if the car has ever had a Salvage title </li></ul>08/16/10
  72. 74. Before Starting the Car <ul><li>Lift the hood; check fluids </li></ul><ul><li>Inspect Radiator, hoses, belts </li></ul>08/16/10
  73. 75. Starting the Car <ul><li>Listen to the car start cold…there should be no unusual sounds from the motor </li></ul><ul><li>Look out the rear of the car. There should be no blue smoke. Some steam is normal for a few minutes, but not smoke. </li></ul><ul><li>After the car warms a little, put the transmission in R. It should not lag before engaging. </li></ul>08/16/10
  74. 76. Inspect the Tires Abnormal wear can tell you things about the car the owner may not know!
  75. 77. Automatic Transmission Fluid <ul><li>The fluid should be pink, have little odor </li></ul><ul><li>If the fluid is brown, smell it. Its normal to have some odor, but it should not smell burnt. </li></ul><ul><li>Level of fluid is checked only with car hot, on level ground </li></ul>08/16/10
  76. 78. Note on oils <ul><li>Mineral Characteristics $2 / quart Basic protection for a variety of engines </li></ul><ul><li>Not much protection for cold weather start ups </li></ul><ul><li>Fully Synthetic Characteristics $6 / quart </li></ul><ul><li>Fuel economy savings Enhances engine performance and power Ensures engine is protected from wear and deposit build-up Ensures good cold starting and warm up Gets to moving parts of the engine quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-synthetic Characteristics $4 / quart </li></ul><ul><li>Cold start lubrication protection similar to full synthetic Roughly three times better at reducing engine wear over conventional oils Increased oil change intervals </li></ul>08/16/10
  77. 79. Cut away view of an engine <ul><li>Engine oil is pumped during operation onto various engine parts </li></ul><ul><li>Question: How long does it take to pump the oil from the oil pan up into the engine? </li></ul><ul><li>Question: How long until the engine reaches its optimum efficiency? </li></ul>08/16/10
  78. 80. What are the advantages of having the car inspected professionally? <ul><li>Pro inspections cost $50 - $80 but give you something to negotiate with…probably saving you that much money when arriving at a final price </li></ul><ul><li>Pro inspections are VERY thorough </li></ul><ul><li>Probably not necessary for a “beater” </li></ul>08/16/10
  79. 81. A word about Salvage Titles <ul><li>Salvage / Prior Salvage stamp vehicles should be at least 20% cheaper than comparable model </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rule out a vehicle with prior salvage stamped on title, but be careful! </li></ul><ul><li>Have the vehicle inspected </li></ul>08/16/10
  80. 82. What about safety? <ul><li>http://www.safercar.gov/ </li></ul><ul><li>But keep in mind when the Government issues a star rating, it is assuming vehicle crashes with the same size car it is rating. </li></ul><ul><li>Google on www.youtube.com to find crash video of vehicles you are curious about </li></ul>08/16/10
  81. 83. One More Thing <ul><li>Since the wear & tear on a car varies a LOT based on how it is driven, have the owner/seller take you for a ride and see how he handles the car. Is he hasty when going from Reverse to Drive? Does he “MASH” the accelerator and or brakes? </li></ul><ul><li>Ask him about the use of the vehicle </li></ul>08/16/10
  82. 84. Negotiating a Sale <ul><li>You MAY try to get a lower price on the phone, but the Seller may hang up on you! Asking price is not usually more than 10-15% higher than seller’s anticipated selling price. </li></ul><ul><li>Be careful not to point out things wrong with the car as though the seller was trying to cheat you! </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be manipulated or pressured to buy. But at the same time, don’t ignore the advice of someone trying to help! </li></ul>
  83. 85. Dealing With Details <ul><li>What is the procedure for payment? </li></ul><ul><li>Where do we go to transfer the Title? </li></ul><ul><li>What legal issues do I face? </li></ul><ul><li>How much insurance do I need? </li></ul>4
  84. 86. What is the procedure for payment? <ul><li>Most sellers accept a personal check as down payment. If you do not follow through with the sale, the money is theirs to keep. </li></ul><ul><li>Buyer will return at a later time with Bank Check for the full amount and Seller returns the Buyer’s down payment. </li></ul><ul><li>Writing out an agreement may be a good idea. </li></ul>
  85. 87. Payment Procedure continued… <ul><li>Alternatively, Buyer and Seller can go together to the bank to exchange funds </li></ul><ul><li>Buyer can carry a check from a bank that he could sign over to whomever he wishes </li></ul>
  86. 88. Where do we go to transfer the Title of Ownership? <ul><li>Its primarily in the Seller’s interests to go with the Buyer to insure the Title is properly transferred. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dept. of Motor Vehicle in Minnesota has several locations for transferring the Title of Ownership – they can be found in the Government Blue Pages in the front of the phone book </li></ul><ul><li>Going together and doing all the signatures in front of the DMV personnel can save you a lot of stress should you make a mistake </li></ul>
  87. 89. Title includes: <ul><li>Odometer readings </li></ul><ul><li>when issued </li></ul><ul><li>If the car has a “Lien” </li></ul><ul><li>VIN number </li></ul><ul><li>Owner(s) name/address, etc. </li></ul>08/16/10
  88. 90. Be careful filling out the title as any alterations/changes VOID the title! <ul><li>Put your name down in USA order (family name LAST) </li></ul>08/16/10
  89. 91. <ul><li>If you can, fill out the title in the presence of a DMV official </li></ul><ul><li>If your are not able to go together to register, register online www.mndriveinfo.org (this does NOT transfer the title but starts the process) </li></ul>08/16/10
  90. 92. Recommendations <ul><li>Getting Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended Cars </li></ul><ul><li>Finding a Reputable Mechanic </li></ul><ul><li>Auto Body Repair </li></ul>7
  91. 93. Insurance <ul><li>It is illegal to drive a car on a MN highway without insurance. You need insurance to pick up the car you buy…and you need the VIN# to insure it. </li></ul><ul><li>The liability insurance MN requires is probably not enough! Consider raising it, at least until you are a seasoned driver. </li></ul><ul><li>You, as driver of your car, are alone responsible for whatever you hit, regardless of “fault” and unless you carry collision coverage, the loss is yours. </li></ul>
  92. 94. Choosing Insurance <ul><li>Few companies insure unlicensed drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Those that do offer insurance to this group charge big bucks! </li></ul><ul><li>When you do find insurance, consider collision coverage in addition to liability </li></ul>Because International Students are the riskiest group to insure and because they have the highest accident rate due to their unfamiliarity with cars…
  93. 95. Understanding the types of Insurance <ul><li>Liability only covers damage you do to other people’s cars and property </li></ul><ul><li>Collision adds coverage for damage you do to your own car </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive covers damage such as storms, parking lot scrapes, etc. </li></ul>
  94. 96. Recommendations <ul><li>The following cars are good choices but not your only choices! </li></ul><ul><li>If you are choosing to buy a cheaper car, ($1000 - $1500) your choices are narrower and will depend more on the condition of the car than the make and model…but keep the following in mind~ </li></ul>08/16/10
  95. 97. Brand Specific Recommendations <ul><li>Practically any Toyota- These cars accept abuse and neglect much better than most cars </li></ul><ul><li>Honda Accord, Civic, etc.- Not Passport </li></ul><ul><li>Mazdas OK- They probably don’t last as long as Toyotas but usually good cars </li></ul><ul><li>Nissan- Good, simple cars but not in league with Honda and Toyota </li></ul>
  96. 98. Recommendations continued… <ul><li>Mitsubishi, Suzuki- Only if you get a good price and low miles </li></ul><ul><li>Hyundai In recent years these cars have made big strides ahead in quality </li></ul><ul><li>Subaru- Expensive repairs beyond the 100,000 mile mark </li></ul>08/16/10
  97. 99. High mileage late model “off lease” cars <ul><li>Often 30% of original MSRP even though only 3 or 4 years old </li></ul><ul><li>Rigorous maintenance has been performed </li></ul><ul><li>Body and interior look almost new! </li></ul><ul><li>Many components that wear out at a given mileage are like new- but you still get the depreciation of an older car </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion: these cars are some of the best values around regardless of brand name </li></ul>08/16/10
  98. 100. High Mileage off lease example: <ul><li>08 Buick Lacrosse CX MSRP $26,000 - $40,000 </li></ul><ul><li>With 30k $20,977 </li></ul><ul><li>With 106k $9,900 </li></ul><ul><li>(current local listings) </li></ul>08/16/10
  99. 101. Cars / things to avoid <ul><li>95-97 Plymouth / Dodge Neon head gasket </li></ul><ul><li>Late 90’s Mazda 626 AT </li></ul><ul><li>Late 90’s Mitsubishi Galant AT </li></ul><ul><li>GM 2.4 liter 4 cylinder </li></ul><ul><li>Saturn ION </li></ul>08/16/10
  100. 102. Cars to Avoid <ul><li>Subaru 2.5 liter Phase II motor 1996-2003 </li></ul><ul><li>~Head gaskets blow, dealer repair $2500 - $3500 (Kuan much cheaper  ) </li></ul><ul><li>~No permanent repair of this engine is possible, reoccurs every 70k </li></ul>08/16/10
  101. 103. Cars to Avoid <ul><li>Honda Odyssey 2000 -2003 </li></ul><ul><li>~Faulty transmissions; some were replaced under warranty but owners often have to pay for repairs up to $5000 to replace </li></ul><ul><li>~Some owners report repairing transmission twice </li></ul><ul><li>~If you find one with a new transmission it SHOULD be OK </li></ul>08/16/10
  102. 104. Issues to be aware of / Honda <ul><li>Transmissions- Hondas don’t accept abuse; its wise to see how the owner treated his car before you buy it </li></ul><ul><li>Timing Belt Replacement </li></ul><ul><li>~On Hondas, replacement intervals are 90 – 105k Dealer cost about $1000 on 4 cyl. </li></ul><ul><li>~If the belt breaks, it can ruin the engine </li></ul>08/16/10
  103. 105. Issues to be aware of / Ford <ul><li>Ford Focus has had a record number of recalls on the Ford Focus 2000-2002 </li></ul><ul><li>~Engine Fires </li></ul><ul><li>~Wheel bearing failure, wheel comes off the car while driving! </li></ul><ul><li>~Make sure ALL recalls on the vehicle have been taken care of </li></ul>08/16/10
  104. 106. Issues to be aware of / Ford <ul><li>Taurus / Windstar history </li></ul><ul><li>~Bad 3.8 motors gave the Taurus and Windstars a bad reputation; but cars after 1996 unaffected </li></ul><ul><li>~Look for 3.0 motor </li></ul><ul><li>~Ford’s mistakes here means YOU can buy the cars cheaper! (Lousy resale value) </li></ul>08/16/10
  105. 107. Specific Cars to look for… 08/16/10
  106. 108. Toyota Camry <ul><li>These cars can last 250,000+ miles </li></ul><ul><li>Galvanized sheet metal on older ones </li></ul><ul><li>Great resale value </li></ul>08/16/10
  107. 109. Chevrolet Prizm / Toyota Corolla <ul><li>Prizm is the Corolla with Chevy name </li></ul><ul><li>Economical…should last 200,000 miles </li></ul><ul><li>Not much to worry about here </li></ul>08/16/10
  108. 110. Honda Accord <ul><li>Quick, responsive handling </li></ul><ul><li>Very reliable, satisfying ownership </li></ul>08/16/10
  109. 111. Honda Civic <ul><li>Very economical transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Very, very reliable! </li></ul><ul><li>Highest resale value </li></ul>08/16/10
  110. 112. Mazda 3, Protege 08/16/10
  111. 113. Saturn <ul><li>SL pretty good </li></ul><ul><li>ION “not so much” </li></ul><ul><li>SW average </li></ul><ul><li>L Series “not so much” </li></ul>08/16/10
  112. 114. Hyundai <ul><li>Most are average </li></ul><ul><li>Later models are improved greatly </li></ul>08/16/10
  113. 115. Scion <ul><li>Xb gets rave reviews on www.carsurvey.org </li></ul><ul><li>Xa good </li></ul><ul><li>Xc more mixed reviews </li></ul>08/16/10
  114. 116. Less Obvious Recommendations… 08/16/10 Cars you might have overlooked 
  115. 117. Pontiac Vibe <ul><li>Same car as a Toyota Matrix </li></ul>08/16/10
  116. 118. Ford Escort / Mercury Tracer <ul><li>Cheap, dependable transportation </li></ul><ul><li>EASY to find competent mechanic to work on these cars </li></ul><ul><li>Available 2 door, 4 door, wagon </li></ul><ul><li>Lower purchase and resale value than import </li></ul>08/16/10
  117. 119. Buick Regal / Century <ul><li>Dependability on a par with import cars </li></ul><ul><li>3.8 liter motor is one of the best in automotive history, 3.1 is also good </li></ul><ul><li>Depreciates rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>(3 year old value </li></ul><ul><li>is 50% of new- very </li></ul><ul><li>affordable!) </li></ul>08/16/10
  118. 120. Chevrolet Prizm <ul><li>Same as a Toyota Corolla </li></ul>08/16/10
  119. 121. Chevrolet Corsica / Beretta <ul><li>Discontinued in 1997, but if you find one in decent shape, consider it. 3.1 V6 (avoid the 4 cylinder engine) </li></ul>08/16/10
  120. 122. Ford Taurus <ul><li>LOW resale value means you can get a newer car for less money than you thought </li></ul><ul><li>3.0 liter engine is quite good </li></ul><ul><li>Have a mechanic look over the car before you buy </li></ul>08/16/10
  121. 123. Chevrolet Impala <ul><li>Big, Safe, Utilitarian </li></ul><ul><li>Dealership ONLY for necessary items </li></ul>08/16/10
  122. 124. Other things to think about <ul><li>Remember that finding a car “One Owner’ or from a person whose judgment you trust is your best asset in looking for a car </li></ul><ul><li>Almost any car in excellent condition is going to be a better choice than a more reputable car that has been abused </li></ul>08/16/10
  123. 125. Finding a Mechanic <ul><li>New car dealerships may have the latest diagnostic equipment and lots of “well-trained” mechanics, BUT that doesn’t guarantee they are good at fixing cars! </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanics without a franchise endorsement can only remain in operation if they do good work! </li></ul>08/16/10
  124. 126. Mechanics <ul><li>Auto Repair Service 965 Pierce Butler Route, St Paul 651-487-1431 Not far from CTC </li></ul><ul><li>Campus Auto Repair 630 Washington Ave Se (612) 378-0794 </li></ul><ul><li>Phalen Park Auto Repair (Kuan’s) 1383 Arcade St. St. Paul, MN 55106 651-771-1590 </li></ul><ul><li>Midwest Vee 259 Como Avenue Saint Paul, Minnesota 55103 651 489-8853 (specialists for European cars) </li></ul>08/16/10
  125. 127. Auto Body Repair <ul><li>Raymond Auto Body, Inc. 1075 Pierce Butler Route St. Paul, MN 55104 651 488-0588 </li></ul><ul><li>~This recommendation is based on responses sent in to Twin City Checkbook Magazine </li></ul>08/16/10
  126. 128. Sales, Auto Body, and Mechanic Repair <ul><li>Ascend Auto </li></ul><ul><li>99 Hyacinth Ave St Paul 55117 </li></ul><ul><li>651-340-8635 </li></ul><ul><li>Hmong family business (Christians and very nice people). Cars are bought salvage and repaired and sold. </li></ul>08/16/10
  127. 129. Other Issues to Consider <ul><li>The Law is the LAW – do not bring a casual attitude to the rules of the road; you must always have a licensed driver sitting next to you when on a learner’s permit. And all the rules apply to you even when nobody else is watching.  </li></ul>08/16/10
  128. 130. Other issues…the Impound Lot <ul><li>If you don’t know the parking rules of the city, beware! </li></ul><ul><li>Fees: $172 (Mpls) $208 (St Paul) for tickets and towing PLUS any storage fees </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/snow/parking-info.asp for rules in MPLS. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/publicworks/snowplow.html for St Paul rules </li></ul>
  129. 131. Other Issues…your owner’s manual <ul><li>Read it! </li></ul><ul><li>You might also want to find a general book on cars to get you started </li></ul><ul><li>(I knew a student who put too much air in his tires…they blew up on the highway going to Duluth. This wouldn’t have happened if he would have read the owner’s manual!) </li></ul>08/16/10
  130. 132. I hope this presentation was helpful <ul><li>Your greatest resource in finding a good car is the recommendations of friends and classmates who have some experience with cars </li></ul><ul><li>If you have an American host family, you can ask them as well </li></ul>08/16/10
  131. 133. Good Luck Shopping! 08/16/10 (I think this Lamborghini costs more than your education!)

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