View Full Version : Evaluating a possible car purchase

07-26-2014, 07:26 AM
So my Celica was run into -- again -- and this time my insurance company wants to write her off.

The initial repair estimate is C$3100, though I could probably get that down to $1800-$2000 via used parts in place of extensive body work. The paint would then make up the bulk of the remaining cost.

However, the insurance company says my car's worth at best $1700. In addition, she needs a suspension refresh, new tires, a timing belt, and other maintenance which would probably end up costing another couple of thousand dollars.

In the meantime, a friend of a colleague is looking to sell his 2004 Audi A6 3.0 CVT, with all of 51,800 miles, for $5000 (typical price would be $10,000 in my area).

The image of success associated with an Audi is also an asset in my current position. The first impression of even a well-kept near classic Celica isn't, sadly, as impressive to most people.

The complication being that it's a car he purchased while living in the U.S., and it has to be legally imported, modified to meet Canadian standards, and then registered. The modification might only require an electronic country code, or could require a little rewiring.

I know it would probaby need a timing belt, given its age, but what concerns me is the reliability of the 3.0 and the CVT. If the gas consumption becomes a problem I could sell it and at least break even, but not if something catastrophic occurs.

I'd appreciate any input.

07-26-2014, 11:41 AM
I did a quick search and have found out about several issues with the CVT that generally start to manifest at about 60k... It seems that if the fluid is changed frequently, and the car isn't abused it works okay, but how many people do that?

Definitely find out EXACTLY what is required to comply and register the car before you buy. Then I would go into the purchase assuming you'll need to replace the transmission.

If it still feels like a good deal, then go for it.

07-26-2014, 05:53 PM
Personally, the Audi is one car I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole unless I was prepared to spend a ton of money on repairs and maintenance. Since Im NEVER prepared to do that I wont own an Audi (or a modern VW for that matter). The fact that its priced so low is a huge red flag to me.

There are other cars that project success in the price range that don't have the same notorious mechanical issues and are less expensive to repair.

07-26-2014, 08:07 PM
My sister had one of those for a year. It was bought with only 30k on the clock.
It ended up eating batteries, having electrical and braking problems and being a generally unreliable pile of junk.
She sold it for a pittance.

But it looked pretty sitting in the driveway.

07-26-2014, 09:51 PM
Fix the Celica, buy the Audi, park it outside your office. Drive to work in the Celica but park it around the corner, then just be sure to arrive before everyone and leave last.

Personally I associate German cars with stupidity (not success) but the rest of North America doesn't seem to see it that way. If you need a newer car that's more reliable yet still makes you look successful get a Lexus.

07-27-2014, 12:50 AM
I second the Lexus.

07-27-2014, 01:13 AM
Personally I associate German cars with stupidity (not success)

stupidity or more money than sense?

Seriously though, I have a coworker with an Audi, he says owning an Audi is like having a kid in college, it comes home about one weekend a month dumps its crap all over your floor hands you a massive bill, and then leaves again.

07-27-2014, 07:00 PM
Id steer clear away from any VM/Audi

07-28-2014, 09:22 PM
Id steer clear away from any VM/Audi

In Soviet Russia, VM/Audi steer at you.

07-28-2014, 09:29 PM

Actually in not Soviet Russia all cars steer at you

07-28-2014, 09:40 PM
I'm also gonna suggest staying away from VW/Audi's. Pretty much sneezing next to them will cause electrical issues.

Go for a Lexus if you want a fancy pants car.

07-28-2014, 09:57 PM
All the elite in my office drive Fords. Taurii and Fusii and Focii and Mustii...

I wouldn't touch an Audi, I have never heard a good thing about one after the warranty is up.

Or before.

07-29-2014, 05:37 AM
Oh come on, this is a bunch of unfair here-say that's just not fair to Audis.

It happens to probably be true...

07-30-2014, 07:16 PM
My statement was based on direct experience with my sisters car.

VWs suck balls.

Bug = Elec probs
Corrado = Elec probs
Various years of Jetta = Elec & Cooling probs
Various Audis = Elec probs

It's like they decided to fill the void left by Lucas Electric or something.

So yeah, they can all suck an egg.

07-30-2014, 08:11 PM
VWs suck balls.

Bug = Elec probs

I have to call BS on that, there weren't enough wires in an original Bug to create problems, and even if they did, it would still run.

07-30-2014, 11:07 PM
I have to agree with shadowlife. I had two coworkers with bugs. It was a daily ritual to push start them after work

07-30-2014, 11:15 PM
I have to call BS on that, there weren't enough wires in an original Bug to create problems, and even if they did, it would still run.

Because you can usually still do that with a manual trans and a shell that weighs nothing. :P

I have to agree with shadowlife. I had two coworkers with bugs. It was a daily ritual to push start them after work

Yep. I had a couple buddies out here that had nothing but VW bugs, busses etc. Some were daily drivers and some were projects, but the DD cars were down on a regular basis for one issue or another.

So yeah Murg, easy fixes over all with old bugs, but total pain in the ass for maintenance factor. Oh, and the new beetle or bug or whatever silly rebranding bullshit they want to call it from years back, was still full of fails for electrical issues. Usually fan relays, which if not caught caused massive overheating and really expensive mechanic bills. I know because I had more than a few come into the shop for the same damn problems years back when I lived in NY. Bad enough to have to drive an echo chamber on wheels that comes stock with a fake flower in it, but to have to deal with it's patchouli stinking issues is just too damn much. ;)

07-30-2014, 11:22 PM
There is nothing on an original Bug that takes longer then twenty minutes to replace.

Including the entire drive train.

07-30-2014, 11:32 PM
Because it's only held in by the 4-8 bolts that hold everything up by the transmission. :D lol

07-30-2014, 11:42 PM
I remember hearing about a group of cats in SoCal that were stealing the entire drivetrain, they would pull their van up, three guys jumped out, took them under a minute, two guys lifted, one guy rolled, then they put the whole thing int the back of the van and dropped the tail on the ground.

Less than two minutes and they were gone, drivetrain and all.

07-30-2014, 11:43 PM
Well, considering 3 bug's way about the same as an alltrac...

07-30-2014, 11:44 PM
Much as I hate to admit it, that's impressive.

07-31-2014, 07:14 AM
Once you know what you're doing, anything can be sped up significantly. Especially if you can just cut wires and lines that most people would have to fiddle with.

08-03-2014, 10:43 PM
:yumyum: Lexus SC 300

The Captain
08-03-2014, 11:50 PM
Run from any Audi. Period. I disagree with the German hate. My Mercedes have all served me flawlessly. Trick is learning which to buy. If you can wrench a Toyota you can wrench a Benz. A ten year old BMW looks like a 10 year old car, a ten year old Benz still looks like class.

That all being said you can't go wrong with a Lexus. You can't go wrong with a low mileage 98-02 E320 or even better an E300 TD in the same years either. Tanks and cheap.

08-05-2014, 02:06 AM
I for one have no issue with German cars in general. I just know what nightmares VW and Audi's are for maintenance costs and electrical issues.
Mercs and BMW's are solid cars in general with some, such as the E class family of Mercedes being a cut above the rest.
BMW I only have experience in owning older models like the 2002,3 series, 5 series. Never got into the new ones.
I do help my friend Will with his Widebody M3 though. 200hp 4 cyl is peppy and the car is light, so it works out. But it's an 88' (I think) so again, old.

08-05-2014, 08:09 PM
My grandpa was one of those guys that wouldn't except a ride in a VW even if he needed a ride to the hospital. "That's Hitler's car."
lots of the older generation still feel that way.
and my Dad just loves my "ricegrinder", especially when I tell him I bought it because it's one of the most reliable cars still on the road 20 years later.

so many American models( from 90's on) were so hit-and-miss on being reliable or being the kind of complete pos that you were already working on before it was even paid off.
I did my homework before I bought this Toyota <3