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Old 07-08-2014, 12:52 PM   #1
NICO OP
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Nico's Used Car Search Question Thread. Or, The Learn Me Bout Different Vehicles...

As I mentioned in my BMW thread the other day, I am in the market for a used vehicle to replace my wife's recently totalled '06 Mountaineer. I thought having one thread where I could pick the brains of the masses about a variety of cars would make more sense.

I have a handful of cars and vans that have caught our eye, as well as a couple I want for me and she can figure out her own plan.

Any help in providing personal or professional experience related to the cars I ask about is appreciated.

I most want to hear about driveline reliability. I don't want to be into a $2500 transmission or spending $4k on a Jasper engine at 125,000 miles. Also don't want to chase electrical gremlins. (I prefer to keep my vehicles in good running condition for as long as possible. If I could squeeze 200,000+ trouble free miles out a mill, I'd be a happy camper.)

Any links to forums that may better serve my purposes is also appreciated.

Smartallecky remarks will lead to those posters being sent to purgatory, also known as CS&M, where you will be inundated with inane chatter, leaving you feeling like the Robot Chicken.

NICO screwed with this post 07-08-2014 at 01:00 PM
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:56 PM   #2
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First vehicle on the block, 2010 - 2013(ish) Chrysler/Dodge minivans.

I know Chrysler/Dodge have been doing the minivan thing forever, but is the reliability up to snuff with other marquees? I don't expect Honda or Toyota level, but I don't want a turd either.

I would likely get one with a 3.8 V6 and FWD. Not sure AWD is needed at all.

So, give me your opinions.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:59 PM   #3
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Next up, Ford/Mercury minivans. Looks like they made them up to around 2007. Are the 3.8/4.2 V6 reliable? Trans? Electronics? This would be a cheaper option, but maybe one that I would regret due to age.

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Old 07-08-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
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I'll post up more vehicles later. Gotta get Sprout2 off to baseball.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NICO View Post
Next up, Ford/Mercury minivans. Looks like they made them up to around 2007. Are the 3.8/4.2 V6 reliable? Trans? Electronics? This would be a cheaper option, but maybe one that I would regret due to age.

My dad had a Ford minivan and it seemed like a piece of crap to me. Was falling apart with under 100,000 miles. That was just the body, though; don't know about the drive train.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:24 PM   #6
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Location?

It would be helpful to know (1) where you are located and (2) how far you're willing to travel.

Budget might also be useful to know...as would expected / intended usage.

In "general" terms: I've had very good luck with the Fords I've owned (from mid-90's on) in Explorers (4L V6 engine in 4WD and AWD), an Expedition (5.4L V8) and a Contour (Durotec V6). Engines and drivelines have all held up with normal maintenance. Of these, the only issues I've had have been with the Contour (Cooling package...engine is too big / radiator too small / grille poor design for airflow). At just south of 250K miles, the durotec has developed a small oil leak on the main seal...but it'll require dropping the front end / pulling the engine to get at it, methinks...which isn't worth it. So I lose a quart every 3K or so and catch a faint whiff of burnt oil occasionally.

Sadly, all have had issues with rust hereabouts...which is much more a function of the amount of driving I've done and the copious amounts of salt used in de-icing the roads. Seems as if the DOT salts anytime there is less than 4" of snowfall rather than plowing...

Earlier experience with a MOPAR (3.3L V6) Intrepid were "OK" but not stellar...the engine was bulletprooof, but the MOPAR Tranny would last 60K or so before it'd begin to falter. Adding an external oil cooler and religiously changing fluids every 50K can double this, but not much more...
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:26 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NICO View Post
First vehicle on the block, 2010 - 2013(ish) Chrysler/Dodge minivans...
My BIL has a Dodge van of that vintage and about once a year I either drive it or sit in one of the seats, including the way back ones, when we go somewhere. That car is as smooth and rattle free as any car I've ridden in and they have some really shitty roads where he lives. It has high mileage (100k+) but if he wanted to sell it, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:41 PM   #8
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If I were trading in the dollars from an 06 mountaineer to another used people mover, I'd be aiming for a '10 ford flex over the older ford minivans.
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:32 PM   #9
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My dad bought a Chrysler T&C a couple of years ago. Not sure what year, but I'd guess somewhere around 2010-11. I haven't ridden in it much, but we inherited his 07 Toyota Sienna when he picked up the Chrysler. The 'Stow and Go' seats are nice, but I'm not sure it's a better van. He wound up with the upscale model, with GPS and DVD player with screens, but it just doesn't feel as nice as the Toyota. Even though the Toy has fabric seats vs leather in the Chrysler, the interior still feels nicer, more solid. The C feels more tinny, the engine noise is more noticeable and it just doesn't feel like the upscale van it's purported to be. Depending on your budget and all, and based on the little experience I've had, the toyota just seems a better vehicle. That's the route I'd go.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:11 PM   #10
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bottom line if you want something reliable and of decent quality you're only talking about Honda and Toyota.
Yes there are lots of alternatives but nothing has ever proven as reliable as those two brands more consistently.... and companies like Chrysler and GM have had runs of vehicles that top the lists of least reliable ever made.

Edmunds has LOTS of good information - definitely check them out
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:38 PM   #11
shores
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I suggest you get a copy of lemonaid car reviews at the boom store or online
He's canadian and it covers all types of vehicles, reviews, reliability and recalls common to each model

Lemonaidcars.com

Consumer reports too
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DriveShaft View Post
If I were trading in the dollars from an 06 mountaineer to another used people mover, I'd be aiming for a '10 ford flex over the older ford minivans.
That's high on the list as well. Unfamiliar with the 3.5 mill used in them, though. Ti's why I planned on including it here. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:02 PM   #13
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My location :southeast Michigan, AKA the rust belt.
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shores View Post
I suggest you get a copy of lemonaid car reviews at the boom store or online
He's canadian and it covers all types of vehicles, reviews, reliability and recalls common to each model

Lemonaidcars.com

Consumer reports too
Thanks. Will check that out. Edmund's is a favorite resource as well.
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Old 07-08-2014, 09:56 PM   #15
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bottom line if you want something reliable and of decent quality you're only talking about Honda and Toyota.


Just watch out for 2nd-gen (1999-2004) Honda Odysseys as they had transmission issues. Also, some 3rd-gen (2005-2010) Odysseys were equipped with Pax runflat tires--you will want to avoid those simply due to cost and hassle, since many tire shops can't deal with them and tire selection is extremely limited. But it sounds like they got all the big bugs worked out in the current (4th-gen; 2011-present) model.
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