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regfootball

LIGHTER THREAD

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Enough political BS

Let's get light.

Here's some advice i need.

My 500 lease goes back in a week or so. To cover myself in the wake of a scarce credit scenario, I bought a used Taurus X a couple months ago. Now it seems like a good move. So, replacing my 500 is done, and I don't have to be forced into a bad deal now, when credit is tight and good deals are also few as well.

The thing is now I am driving the 2004 Aztek. Wife has the new rig. The dilemma I face is its a nice daily driver. Quiet, spacious, 20 mpg, functional. Drives like a dump truck and its not fun per se, but its a good cruiser. Its in decent shape. More on that in a bit.

It has 95,000 miles on it now. Its been trouble free. It had wheel bearing fixed under warranty and that's it. Tires and brakes at about 70k. Tires still look pretty good. Did radiator flush and tranny flush at 50k. Brakes have always felt weak on this vehicle and are underdesigned. I don't know if i can improve this.

I owe about 3k money on it and think I can sell it for 6-7k on the open market now. Once it crosses 100k, the value drops and its hard for a buyer to get money on a vehicle over 100k.

I've revisited the notion of the keeping it and driving it into the ground, what with it close to being paid off. At the same time, the struts need to be replaced as its riding tough. Aside from that it will likely need general maintenance to keep long term. Tune up and plugs, radiator and tranny flush....electrical and A/C check, fuel system change filter. Belts, hoses, etc.

And dear God, it needs a stereo and speakers. the stock unit is dreadful. Aftermarket units now have USB and bluetooth to make in car tech easier.

The body's in good shape. A couple dings, but it looks great otherwise. The car has heated seats installed and remote start so its a champ in winter.

I'm torn on whether to dump money into the vehicle which is otherwise riding fine. If i invest in the maintenance and struts then I need to pay it off and drive it 2-3 years.

My other recent scenario was that i had all but purchased a new Astra, and I would have sold the Aztek. The Astra is fun and woulld have been cheap to operate with better mpg and a friendly payment. GM pulled incentives on that car now, and I am screwed. I have a nice lease offer sitting out there on a demo 9-3 combi but its an automatic. GM is offering me an extra 2k on my competitive lease ending soon and that offer ends when i turn my lease in. There is also a G6 I can buy at a great price and that car is a good inexpensive ride as well. Ford has no good deals.

So i need to decide in a week or so if I take advantage of any newer rides out there, or sink 2 grand into the tek and drive that for 2-3 years and 30-45k miles.

The total incentives GM has for me right now is 4500 dollars extra (lease end incentive and GM card)

Just want some points of view on this. I hate spending money on cars. But i hate spending money on maintenance and fixing them even more. Whatdya think?

Edited by regfootball
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Put ads out on Craigslist and any other free site you can think of to try and sell it, but act as if you're going to keep it forever. i.e. get the stuff done to it that needs to get done.

but I'm confused.... is the Aztek a lease or a loan?

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loan. maybe a year worth of payments left. i could pay it off in cash right now if i wanted to.

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If you can get 6k for it now, your total down on a new car would be 7,500. You could put that toward any GM under 35k and get a decent finance deal. I don't know what kind of car you're looking for though...

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Reg, I would keep it.

I've been thinking about the same thing with the Cobalt, as I am paying this thing off in a hurry.

I would really like something with 4 door....but my sprout seems to really enjoy that up and close together ride (mine is a 2dr)

But with all of our cars being in good shape (the oldest- the wife's 03 Cav-only has 48k on it), It seems to smarter to hold on to them for a while.

I would really enjoy no payments for a while (and toss some monry out for some 60s/70s GM iron)....

I am seriously thinking about a Cruze anyway, so waiting would be good.

Besides, I've been thinking about getting my hands dirty more often anyways...( I'm chaning my own brakes this time)

Speaking of Brakes, there is am upgrade package out there for the Tek'

As long as the Tek is in good shape, the repair bills should be no where near a car payment.

Save that extra money for a car that you might really want.......

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Reg, I would keep it.

As long as the Tek is in good shape, the repair bills should be no where near a car payment.

Save that extra money for a car that you might really want.......

Same thought I have with my Jeep..it's been paid for for over 3 years now, and my annual maintenance + repair cost is far less than a $500/mo car payment. My plan is pay 5 years, drive for 5 years w/o payment, then buy a new car...

I've put about $2k in maintenance in it this year (new windshield, transfer case reseal, rear wheel bearings replaced, front discs/pads, 3 oil changes, trans. fluid change, axles greased) ...equivalent to 4 months of payments. About half that last year (which incl. $750 for a set of tires).

Edited by moltar
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How's the rust factor on any of these cars considering where you live?

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I have a fetish for smaller, lighter cars, and to me driving the Aztec would be hell on wheels, and not in a good way.

I would either go ahead with the Astra thing, or do some (used) sport compact in really good shape.

Get a 5/6 speed SVT Focus, Cobalt SS, older Civic SI, Used Astra, used MINI, etc. these cars can all be had with good miles for good money. And they will all be cars that people will want to play with, so you should have a good resale 75-150,000 miles later when you sell it. But that's jsut me. I couldn't handle driving an Aztec.

I'm facing a similar decision myself as I will soon have two more drivers in the family.

FWIW you could also buy a used plane jane Cobalt, they are inexpensive and run well. Plus a set of Salvage yard Alloyws and some nice detailing could make one really stand out.

Chris

Edited by 66Stang
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...besides, I don't think you'd be test driving cars on a weekly, if not daily basis, and asking us for months for advice if your heart was in keeping the Aztec. Dump the thing, IMHO, and drive what you want. Life is too short to drive boring cars.

Chris

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Dump the thing, IMHO, and drive what you want. Life is too short to drive boring cars.

Chris

I agree.

I would NEVER dump money into an Aztec, or ANY car in that situation- unless you truly loved the car.

Buy something that excites you...

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I'm torn with my advice reg, as I lease my vehicles because I like getting a new one every 30-36 months, but now with money being tight and car payments taking a huge chunk of our paychecks (mortgage takes the first huge chunk), I'm thinking of financing my next vehicle and taking good care of it to go a couple of years without a payment after it's all paid off (like what the wife is doing with her G6).

If there's something out there right now that you just "gotta have", then I say go for it and get it. If you want something new "just because", then I'd say hold on and drive the 'tek for now and save up for the vehicle you really want. If there isn't something out there, then be patient and see what the market does over the next couple of months. I'm assuming 2009 sales records won't be chart toppers and possibly that will mean good deals will be offered to keep some sales going each month. Then again, the market/economy could get worse and then only God knows what will happen.

A new CarSense dealership opened two Friday's ago right down the street from me. If you want to get rid of your vehicle (especially a leased one), they are open to buying it out (assuming your lease company will allow it and not try to rip them off on the price). I've been so tempted to see if they'd take the AURA off my hands, but while I love the G8 GT Sedan and desperately want a GMC Sierra (which is not economically feasible), what if I fell in love with a 2010 model and it was too late to do something about it?

Good luck with your decision!

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If you can get 6k for it now, your total down on a new car would be 7,500. You could put that toward any GM under 35k and get a decent finance deal. I don't know what kind of car you're looking for though...

because of cost, an astra, cavalier, HHR, G6, Aura, that's about it, if GM. Saab crept in as a possibility and an exception.

Otherwise, if the purchase price of the vehicle I want exceeds say 15k on up, i prefer to buy another make or a used Ford 08+ taurus or something. Believe me, I've even pondered getting another Mitsubishi, but I really would prefer to stay domestic.

Leasing a Jetta is one option far fetched.

I had an offer to take them up on a new loaded Astra XR....21,500 MSRP for 13,800. I balked due to some information about my work status. Now, two weeks later they tell me the car is 2500 more. Makes no sense. But whatever. F-ck GM, f-ck Saturn.

So yeah, some of GM's more basic vehicles. Once i reach a certain price threshold, it opens the door to everything non GM and i can conceivably wait a month or two or six.

The Astra's payback was much better under the 4 dollar gas model. Gas alone would save 1000 bucks a year over the not too thirsty Aztek. Now its down to 2.59.........they just keep screwing with us.

Edited by regfootball
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How's the rust factor on any of these cars considering where you live?

everyone's analysis and questions are good on this thread.

Bob, there is no rust on it. GM's paint holds up the best in the salt belt of any manufacturer and I feel confident that i probably won't have it for awhile. That said, I have seen and looked at used cars in the past in this region that were 4-5 years old and had it. Once you see the first rust spot, the value of the car tanks miserably. Good question.

My sister had an 88 Beretta for like 12 years. It was a bit of a steaming pile, and she put lots of money in it, but I will say this. The sucker never got any rust on it. At least that i was aware.

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I have a fetish for smaller, lighter cars, and to me driving the Aztec would be hell on wheels, and not in a good way.

I would either go ahead with the Astra thing, or do some (used) sport compact in really good shape.

Get a 5/6 speed SVT Focus, Cobalt SS, older Civic SI, Used Astra, used MINI, etc. these cars can all be had with good miles for good money. And they will all be cars that people will want to play with, so you should have a good resale 75-150,000 miles later when you sell it. But that's jsut me. I couldn't handle driving an Aztec.

I'm facing a similar decision myself as I will soon have two more drivers in the family.

FWIW you could also buy a used plane jane Cobalt, they are inexpensive and run well. Plus a set of Salvage yard Alloyws and some nice detailing could make one really stand out.

Chris

more good points. If you recall Chris I mentioned the used SVT Focus I spotted with 11k on the odometer. except its a 3 door. My pause on that car is one, i don't think its got the best reliability rating, two, i am unsure if it has advance trac (I think it does) and i am fairly certain it doesn't have head side curtains. third, i actually have driven that car a few times and its noisy, and i didn't like the power delivery of it. The engine is coarse. I actually found one Focus I would rather have....an 05 or 06 Focus ST 4 door, has the 2.3 instead of that noisy 2.0, and would be less radical than the SVT.

I have looked at the HHR SS but unless i can lease it cheap its too spendy. Regular HHR would be ok. A new Cobalt might be good enough, but the Astra is so sweet in comparison to the Cobalt. To anyone who hasn't driven the Astra, go do it, its a very endearing car. I am averse to pretty much anything Japanese except Mitsubishi. The Jetta surfaced because I can lease one cheap and its a great car. I've really gotten comfy with the notion of a zippy agile and economical car for awhile. Especially since small cars are so good now. But I won't overpay for a small car, because they do not keep their value. That's why I refuse to look at the Focus. Morons are paying 16-19k for a new Focus and i swear in two years it will be worth 8 grand. That's irresponsible, despite whether it gets decent mpg or not. Keep in mind i spent 2 weeks this year driving loaner 08 Focus and its an ok car. But even after that, i refuse to overpay for something that...........(insert your own comment here).

To previous poster, I would have loved to release my second car. I won't buy the 500 out because the residual is about 4-5 grand more than auction value is on it. I was hoping there would have been a Flex lease to roll into. But the economic situation, good leasing schemes are gone from the domestic cars. I did get a lease quote on a Fusion that quite frankly sucked too and I hate the Fusion anyways. From what I can tell, Subaru and VW are the only companies with decent leasing right now. And subaru is kind of out because I don't wear flannel and watch Ellen.

Edited by regfootball
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...besides, I don't think you'd be test driving cars on a weekly, if not daily basis, and asking us for months for advice if your heart was in keeping the Aztec. Dump the thing, IMHO, and drive what you want. Life is too short to drive boring cars.

Chris

test driving cars is a great hobby :)

oh yeah, the SX4 is a hoot, by the way. Those are a great buy also.

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Leasing a Jetta is one option far fetched.

FWIW, Sign-Then-Drive is back again... $0 down, $0 due at lease signing, $0 first month's payment

A Jetta S would be $269/mo for 39 mo, 39K mi, maintenance included

A boring car, but it's safe, practical, and it drives well.

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[CRTL][F] "G8 GT"

--no matches--

*yawn* -_-

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I'm not so sure about the value of small cars, reg.

The value of my wife's Cav increased by about two grand in the last year.

I think there is a better chance of SUVs (TB, Tahoe) having that issue rather than small cars.

So I think you might be safe on that route....

It sounds like you like the Astra-what about a lightly loaded XE?

Or you could just wait until the credit crunch is over....

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[CRTL][F] "G8 GT"

--no matches--

*yawn* -_-

g8 = too expensive for me. i might consider it otherwise. believe me, there is NO WAY to get into a g8 cheaply.

maybe i just bite on a cheap jetta or impreza lease and call it good.

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I'm not so sure about the value of small cars, reg.

The value of my wife's Cav increased by about two grand in the last year.

I think there is a better chance of SUVs (TB, Tahoe) having that issue rather than small cars.

So I think you might be safe on that route....

It sounds like you like the Astra-what about a lightly loaded XE?

Or you could just wait until the credit crunch is over....

nope, need the XR for the sport package. the one i was looking at was loaded, leather, twin panel roof. a base XR is as cheap as a lightly optioned XE, because the rebates WERE bigger on the XR than the XE.

if i wait beyond 10 days i lose 2 grand in competitive lease bonus. 2 grand = many car payments. actually i lose also additional GM add on bonus dollars to my GM card on 10/31 also.

but they take away the rebates on the car i wanted to buy---- dumb asses.

BTW i am preapproved with FOrd because my lease is with them right now. GM more or less also, except with the last week or so.....who knows what they are doing now to avoid lending.

If i felt like good leases would come back in a few months I would wait to lease an 09 Astra. But the way the auto business and credit is, i do not see leases coming back. And Saturn used to have tremendous leases. It was only this year now you can use GM card on saturn.

Edited by regfootball
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g8 = too expensive for me. i might consider it otherwise. believe me, there is NO WAY to get into a g8 cheaply.

maybe i just bite on a cheap jetta or impreza lease and call it good.

understood.

I vote for neither Jetta or Subby.... how about G6?

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understood.

I vote for neither Jetta or Subby.... how about G6?

the G6 isn't a bad car. even with the 4 cylinder its a nice car, but i don't care much for the interior or the exterior look of the G6. but it drives well. I actually prefer the Aura to the G6.

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everyone's analysis and questions are good on this thread.

Bob, there is no rust on it. GM's paint holds up the best in the salt belt of any manufacturer and I feel confident that i probably won't have it for awhile. That said, I have seen and looked at used cars in the past in this region that were 4-5 years old and had it. Once you see the first rust spot, the value of the car tanks miserably. Good question.

My sister had an 88 Beretta for like 12 years. It was a bit of a steaming pile, and she put lots of money in it, but I will say this. The sucker never got any rust on it. At least that i was aware.

Ditto on the GM paint thing. My Safari van looked good until the day that I sold it, and it never spent a night indoors through 11 Ohio winters.

Chris

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Actually I think you really do like less radical cars than I do. I could drive a focus that's about one step removed from Colin Mcrae's Rally car and I'd be happy.

Agree that the Astra could use more power.

Jetta is a decent and under-rated car.

Let's take a different tack. For about 20K you can buy (at least around here) a pristine very low mile G6 convertible/retractable. Room for kiddo, top goes down, its fun, it does a lot well...

Also, have you thought about a used CTS? A co worker was looking at a very nice low mile (sub 20K) that was a few years old and it was in the teens, price wise.

I still think a MINI would be cool for you, but it really probably isn't your speed. I just happen to love them personally...

Chris

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