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GMTruckGuy74

Used car shopping for son

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My oldest son has been discharged from the USMC and is now back home. He's looking for employment in the law enforcement field and will need basic transportation. His mom and I are trying to help him get on his feet and have about $2k to spend on a car. 

Prior to entering the USMC in January, 2013, he had a 1998 Buick Regal LS that he loved. He asked me to find him another Buick Regal, if possible. I also found a 2002 Saturn SL2 nearby.

Looking for feedback and insight on the following three cars:

 http://southjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5928107734.html

http://southjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5943857333.html

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/5920936909.html

Thanks!

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I like the last one, the gray Regal.

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I agree with Ocnblu, the last one, Gray Regal with the leather interior. That one is a decent looking ride for the price. Check out under the hood, under the car for any hidden heavy rust spots and test drive it as I know you would. Hopefully the suspension will not have any issues, but I know road salt back there can really take it's toll.

Best of luck to your son and his new career.

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I agree with the above two. That Regal looks pretty dang good for that price and low miles for the year as well.

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Yes, the Regal.  if all checks out and is in good shape that car will go forever and they are good in the snow too.  my parents 00 has around 300k miles and stills drives great.  issues have been few.   No sports car, but damn dependable cars. 

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Thanks all for your insight. The wife likes the dark gray one too.  Something is drawing me to the tan one, maybe the rims? I plan to contact the seller of the gray one tomorrow.  

I know my son's '98 Regal LS with the NA 3800 V6 suffered from the head gasket issue and was an expensive repair job.  Is this an issue with the 2001 and/or 2002 model years?

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On 1/5/2017 at 6:09 PM, GMTruckGuy74 said:

Thanks all for your insight. The wife likes the dark gray one too.  Something is drawing me to the tan one, maybe the rims? I plan to contact the seller of the gray one tomorrow.  

I know my son's '98 Regal LS with the NA 3800 V6 suffered from the head gasket issue and was an expensive repair job.  Is this an issue with the 2001 and/or 2002 model years?

I could be wrong but I don't recall that being a problem with any of them. Perhaps more of an anomaly than an issue. 

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On 1/5/2017 at 9:09 PM, GMTruckGuy74 said:

Thanks all for your insight. The wife likes the dark gray one too.  Something is drawing me to the tan one, maybe the rims? I plan to contact the seller of the gray one tomorrow.  

I know my son's '98 Regal LS with the NA 3800 V6 suffered from the head gasket issue and was an expensive repair job.  Is this an issue with the 2001 and/or 2002 model years?

I think this was more an issue with the 3.1s?  I know Ford 3.8s were horrible for headgasket failure, but the GM 3800 has been been pretty bullet proof. 

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On 1/7/2017 at 11:51 AM, Scout said:

I could be wrong but I don't recall that being a problem with any of them. Perhaps more of an anomaly than an issue. 

 

On 1/9/2017 at 11:51 AM, Stew said:

I think this was more an issue with the 3.1s?  I know Ford 3.8s were horrible for headgasket failure, but the GM 3800 has been been pretty bullet proof. 

 

On 1/14/2017 at 0:37 AM, daves87rs said:

By that year the issue was not as common....most of the issue up to 2000....

 

Like the last one myself...

Thanks, all. My son's 1998 Regal LS with the 3800 V6 suffered the head gasket issue and was a costly repair (thankfully no other engine damage was caused). I'm glad to see post 2000 3800 V6 engines did not suffer from this problem. 

Down side is I've been so busy with work and the weather hasn't cooperated last weekend - both Buick Regals are sold. 

A local used car dealer just got in this 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT we're going to go check out tomorrow: http://southjersey.craigslist.org/ctd/5949307983.html Its a little more than I want to spend but it looks good from the pictures. 

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10 hours ago, GMTruckGuy74 said:

 

 

Thanks, all. My son's 1998 Regal LS with the 3800 V6 suffered the head gasket issue and was a costly repair (thankfully no other engine damage was caused). I'm glad to see post 2000 3800 V6 engines did not suffer from this problem. 

Down side is I've been so busy with work and the weather hasn't cooperated last weekend - both Buick Regals are sold. 

A local used car dealer just got in this 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT we're going to go check out tomorrow: http://southjersey.craigslist.org/ctd/5949307983.html Its a little more than I want to spend but it looks good from the pictures. 

 

 

Doesn't look too bad at all! Questioning what looks like a repaint of the rear end, and would need some engine pics. Has the 3.8, which is good....

 

Should be a soild ride for a 16 year old car...

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Shortstars use oil by design.  Keep up with oil changes. Buy oil filters online because they're expensive everywhere else.

Intrigue is a great car and the 3.5 was a great engine when new... but for someone concerned about maintenance costs, a 3800 powered Intrigue may be a better choice.

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I had a 99 Intrigue 3.5 for 5 years or so.  It treated me well.  It did need oil top ups but nothing excessive.  Most common issue back then was the intermediate steering shaft.

 

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On 1/9/2017 at 10:51 AM, Stew said:

I think this was more an issue with the 3.1s?  I know Ford 3.8s were horrible for headgasket failure, but the GM 3800 has been been pretty bullet proof. 

My Beretta(3.1) actually has the head gasket go about 2 years ago.. then transmission issues.. then traded it in after it became a money pit. 

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7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

Shortstars use oil by design.  Keep up with oil changes. Buy oil filters online because they're expensive everywhere else.

Intrigue is a great car and the 3.5 was a great engine when new... but for someone concerned about maintenance costs, a 3800 powered Intrigue may be a better choice.

Thanks for the info, Drew. Are oil changes easy to perform by oneself on the 3.5L V6? My son was in Motor Transport & Motor Pool in the UMSC, and he stated he would like to do his own oil changes. 

I'd too like to find a 3800 V6 powered car, but I've always had a soft spot for the Intrigue and as long as it's a reliable & dependable car, I'm okay going with the 3.5. I'm figuring two years of service and hopefully he'll be established in a career that he can get something newer on his own. 

We're going to see it Wednesday night.  This is being sold by my Buick-GMC dealer and I know they'll let me take it to my local mechanic for an inspection. 

Edited by GMTruckGuy74

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5 hours ago, GMTruckGuy74 said:

Thanks for the info, Drew. Are oil changes easy to perform by oneself on the 3.5L V6? My son was in Motor Transport & Motor Pool in the UMSC, and he stated he would like to do his own oil changes. 

I'd too like to find a 3800 V6 powered car, but I've always had a soft spot for the Intrigue and as long as it's a reliable & dependable car, I'm okay going with the 3.5. I'm figuring two years of service and hopefully he'll be established in a career that he can get something newer on his own. 

We're going to see it Wednesday night.  This is being sold by my Buick-GMC dealer and I know they'll let me take it to my local mechanic for an inspection. 

The oil changes aren't any harder than any other car, but you do need a specific socket wrench for the Olds 3.5 oil filter cover to get the filter out. This is the time when GM was experimenting with cartridge oil filters and couldn't decide where they wanted to put them, but in this case, they're right in the bottom of the oil pan. 

Just keep an oil filter on hand ahead of time because more often than not, it will need to be ordered. 

http://www.autozone.com/external-engine/oil-filter/mobil-oil-filter/276027_0_0?checkfit=true

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38 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

Ahhhh cartridge filters suuuuck.

And that is why EV's are AWESOME! 

No messy oil changes, gas fill ups, etc. Nice Clean plug-in. :P

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13 minutes ago, dfelt said:

And that is why EV's are AWESOME! 

No messy oil changes, gas fill ups, etc. Nice Clean plug-in. :P

Well, I'm weird and enjoy changing my oil but I know what you mean!

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2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

Ahhhh cartridge filters suuuuck.

Seems to depend on the model. The Intrigue doesn't look too bad, it all just dumps into the oil drain pan.  My Encore I did once and now it goes back to the dealer every time.   The honda has a traditional filter and doing the oil change is terrible... yet I keep doing the oil change myself because I am a masochist or something.

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