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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking for an extra car lately..
..with no success :rolleyes:

Just something to putt around town with..

Naturally..I'm looking for something reliable..

I'd prefer to drive a Ford or Mazda..

I'm also trying to stay away from anything known to have issues..



Does anyone have experience with any of these cars?

Ford Focus(Zetec)-(00-12)
Ford Escort ZX2-(98-03)
Ford Probe(V6)-(93-97)

Mazda Protege-(95-04)
Mazda MX6(V6)-(92-97)
Mazda 626 (V6)-(93-02)
Mazda MX3-(92-96)

Toyota Camry-(92-01)
Toyota Celica-(89-99)
Toyota Corolla-(93-97)


I would prefer to get advice from someone who has owned one of these cars before..

Not heresay from the interwebz.. :tongue:




Thanks






Rayo..
 

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01 Camry is very reliable in my experience.. One of the few Toyota's I would actually vouch for.. My mom had it from 70k miles to about 160k miles and then it went to my cousin who has it now at around 200k miles. Really cannot remember any big problems with it unlike the 03 acura TL we had, the 00 nissan quest, or the old late 80's buick... The only problem with the 01 camry is they are ridiculously over priced.

Just my 2 cents
 

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Just bought the wife a 2012 Focus about a month ago and so far she loves it. Great gas mileage, handles nice, rides nice, really impressed for a small hatchback car.
 

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Probes are fun. Had a 93 before all my Birds.. It was a 2.0L 5 speed and I generally drove it using the Binary Throttle option. Still got 27 mpg mixed.
Therefore MX6 and maybe 626 are fun too. I drove a 626 for a couple days and it seemed to me it handled nothing like the Probe. so maybe a quick suspension upgrade?
Son got a 2002 Cougar for his kid. That's a fun car to drive too. Wow that Duratec 2.5 will sling you back. Down side - torque steer out the ass.
 

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I had a 93 prode back in day with the 4 banger. I bought it for $500 with 190,000 miles on it.

I ran the crap out of it and the slave cylinder finally let go at 223,000 miles. I was able to get 38 mpg on the highway going from WV to NC every now and then.
 

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Probes are not reliable, I've got a Honda civic very good on gas with 305k it's been a very good car I replaced motor and trans at 291k when I bought it but it still drives as good as a new one, not a Honda person but I must say its been a good car with cold a/c, on your list focus is the way to go 03 or newer those
 

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All due respect.. 'reliable' is a relative term.
The afore-mentioned kid {actually 37} had a 94 Probe for about 75kmiles and the only problems he had with his was the hatch struts and finally an A/T which he admits he neglected and it went out.
mine.. in about 100k, ending in freeway wreck at about 180k.. did water pump, alternator and hatch struts.
The MAIN problem with Probes is they are just too damn easy to break into.
 

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Probes are not reliable
I would agree on you the v6. But those 4 cylinder madza motors. I believe they are. But i have only owned one. I would trust it with my life. I would buy another one.
 

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I had a 93' Ford Probe GT V6. Had a really good performance handling ride with that car. Fun to drive. I don't know why but it had the best seats for long road trips for my back. Replacement parts are expensive for this car. I had it for 4 years around 60k miles (100-160K). Not great MPG's. 20ish city and 26 hwy for a little car.

I had to replace the coil pack, alt twice, exhaust leak I remember when I first got it. Normal wear. Unless you really want a sporty hatchback with a good ride I would pass for a daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Guys!

:thumbsup:


Keep the advice coming..








Rayo..
 

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I had a 1996 SE 2.0L . My Wife's Dad bought it brand new for her for a Grad gift. They aren't bad, but for daily drivers there are better options.



I would look at 97-01 Ford Escort or ZX2, they just run and run. I had a 1998 SE Wagon (also bought brand new).

Older Mazdas are good too. 2002-2007 Taurus models have a lot of room and are reliable. I owned a 1997 Sable, but I would go with the 2002+ models, their transmissions are better.

Good luck with your search.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
CometGSR; said:
I had a 1996 SE 2.0L.I would look at 97-01 Ford Escort or ZX2, they just run and run. I had a 1998 SE Wagon (also bought brand new).

Older Mazdas are good too. 2002-2007 Taurus models have a lot of room and are reliable. I owned a 1997 Sable, but I would go with the 2002+ models, their transmissions are better.
I'm trying to stick to cars that use non-interference engines..

(ZX2 uses a non-interference engine..I know) :)

I appreciate you sharing your experiences though..


Thanks.





Rayo..
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went to look at a 1997 Mazda 626 (V6) today..

It had an Automatic Transmission(GF4A-EL) IIRC same as 4EAT?


I found the Transmission Fluid was Brown..

It seemed to shift normal through the gears though..

The car also had some rattling in the front when going over any bumps in the road..

The Passenger Side Front Tire had excessive wear on the inner portion as well..

Bad CV Joint??..Ball Joint??..Lower Control Arm??


Is it safe to say the Transmission is living on borrowed time?


Thanks.





Rayo..
 

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I think excessive tire wear on the shoulders of the tire is a tie rod end. It happened on both of my T-Birds and the shoulders were messed up big time. That would explain the rattle too. They're easy enough to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Does the fluid smell burnt or or is it just " broke down" as tosay in need of changing?
It smelled burnt and it was Brown..




I think excessive tire wear on the shoulders of the tire is a tie rod end. It happened on both of my T-Birds and the shoulders were messed up big time. That would explain the rattle too. They're easy enough to replace.


Thanks for the tip!


;)





Rayo..
 

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Likely a tie rod. I looked at 2 different mazda5 hatchbacks that rattled over bumps. The people who owned them had mechanics that wanted to replace everything from the control arms to tie rods, to shocks and springs. Pretty easy to tell if it's the tie rod. However, with the trans fluid, I would have just walked away. I looked at a 96 tbird sport and there was almost ZERO oil in the crankcase. I showed the guy twice and told him to tow it back home. He told me I didn't know how to check the oil.

Watch for rust on the mazdas. Everyone I've looked at (99-03) has had rust near the trunk/hatch and on the fenderwells. Also, exhaust leaks and loose exhaust components appear to be common in those 5's, 626's, and protege's
 

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Watch for rust on the mazdas. Everyone I've looked at (99-03) has had rust near the trunk/hatch and on the fenderwells. Also, exhaust leaks and loose exhaust components appear to be common in those 5's, 626's, and protege's
Good advice the exhaust is junk. They seem to hide rust well underneath gets badthough
 

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my Daughter has a focus ZX3 2004 model that has served her well and I have a lot of experience driving it and I would not mind having one because they are very versatile .
but although it is not on your list you may want to consider a Gen II SHO because we have owned 4 and they are the most reliable and fun cars I have ever owned .my first 92 got as high as 32mpg on the highway and when I sold it ,it had right at 300,000 miles on it and I did not have to add oil in between changes .

the only issue I had other than general maintenance was a faulty fuel pump and even that was only after 200,000 miles ,the key is to find one in good condition that has not been modded or abused and stick with the 5 speed unless you find a very well cared for atx
 

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Discussion Starter #20
conversion02 said:
Watch for rust on the mazdas. Everyone I've looked at (99-03) has had rust near the trunk/hatch and on the fenderwells.

Thanks..I've noticed that as well..

Almost all the Mazdas I have looked at..Have rust issues..

Toyota's not so much...Maybe Toyota uses better treated steel than Mazda & Ford? :zdunno:



conversion02 said:
However, with the trans fluid, I would have just walked away.
Yeah..I did end up walking away from that deal..



I'm getting frustrated dealing with Craigslist..The auctions..Ebay..

Everytime I ask someone from Craigslist.."Does anything need fixed on the car?"..

They come back with.."What do you expect the car is 10 years old?"

I'm wondering if there is any private sellers left selling a car anymore?

Instead of Dealers posing as a Private Seller..


Word of advice to anyone looking at a car on Craigslist...

If you are concerned..That a dealer is posing as a Private Seller.

Cross Reference their Phone Number on Google..

All their ads will show up on Google..



If they have more than 1 car for sale at a time..

It's likely they are a Dealer..Even if that means they hold a Dealers License..

But...Do not have a Car Lot...They are a Dealer..

..stops ranting about Dealers







Rayo..
 
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