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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Help me buy a car

    I have moved to the US of A and need a car. I do not know useful things about cars and have never bought or sold anything on craigslist, having just moved to the land of cars and craigslist two days ago.

    I am in Fairbanks and the car needs to drive me around Fairbanks. It needs to have 4WD/AWD and it needs to not cost much more than 5000$. I would prefer a manual transmission but understand that I am unlikely to get that. I have been told I should get a ford or one of the japanese brands and not something "exotic" (=european??) so that local mechanics will know how to fix it (...?)

    Do any of these cars look better than the others? are there any I definitely do not want? I think nr 1 looks best but that is based purely on non-existent intuition.

    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...510236869.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...487207930.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...497917275.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...495819963.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...487526327.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...509888324.html
    https://fairbanks.craigslist.org/cto...510178064.html
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    welcome to the asylum!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    6,256
    Get the red one.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    welcome to the asylum!
    Yeah the first 36 hours have been interesting. The bank person that opened my bank account for me just told me how he left college to take care of his sister who is 20 and has two kids and it's unfair because he's wanted kids since he was 17 and now he's 24 and still doesn't have any and he's not one of the selfish family members and he's put her on his cell phone plan and would you like a free debit card?
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    Colorado
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    Iíd vote the Subaru, but do you need 4x4 off-road capability or just for snow and ice?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kinnikinnick View Post
    I’d vote the Subaru, but do you need 4x4 off-road capability or just for snow and ice?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    just snow and ice. why the subaru over the others?
    Ich bitte dich nur, weck mich nicht.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2008
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    Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by klar View Post
    just snow and ice. why the subaru over the others?
    Maintenance . But it depends on the particular model and how it was maintained.

    Find a good local mechanic to do a detailed inspection and tell you whatís likely to need repair. Hate to spend $5000 and then be looking at another $5000 in 3 months to replace the engine.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Keystone is fucking lame. But, deadly.

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by klar View Post
    why the subaru over the others?
    Good question with the CR-V in the mix. That Honda is going to be way more reliable than the Subaru. Subaru mileage isn't listed either, which seems suspect.

    Klar, I'd go CR-V. If for some reason you want to go with one of the trucks, of the ones you listed I'd probably go F-150 and then the Yukon. But those will depend a lot more on what the actually look like. The Honda's a better bet if you don't know much about cars, IMO. Subaru AWD system is better than the Honda, but you'd still do fine with the Honda AWD system and it's not worth the reliability tradeoff.

    Plus, then you and AKBruin could have the same car! He just bought a new CR-V.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    Wow, used cars are expensive in Alaska.
    I would suggest going to the Kelly Blue Book web site; you can enter your location and the information on the cars and get a realistic price estimate for a private sale. Prices are highly variable by location so only KBB or another site or an AK local can advise you on price.

    One thing to consider is to figure out which of these cars has a timing belt rather than a timing chain. I think the Suby does (my 2005 does), don't know about the rest. Changing the belt is required maintenance roughly every 100,000 miles. You wouldn't want to buy a car that was due or overdue unless there was a big discount for the change. If the timing belt breaks your engine is dead. You would want to see maintenance records for all of the cars if possible although with cars that old that may have had multiple owners that may be hard to come buy.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    2,836
    I would dump the 97 Dodge Dakota and the 96 GMC Yukon. Yes, the engines and trannies may have been replaced, but that just means everything else on those vehicles has extremely high miles.

    The Ford Excursion is HUUUUUUUGE. Unless you actually need a vehicle that large for some reason, it is a pain in the ass to drive around the city, and the gas mileage is atrocious.

    The Honda CRV is cheap, but that's a LOT of miles (which is why it's cheap). Does Alaska salt its roads? If so, that many miles could mean a lot of rust. On the upside, it will be very easy to drive.

    The Ford F-150 also has lousy gas mileage, and unless you actually have some use for a truck, the downsides of trucks are significant (MPG, ride quality, more expensive tires, no back seat).

    Between the Subaru and the Ford Escape, the Escape is approx 4 year newer (similar mileage, but age matters also), Fords are usually a little cheaper to fix. In the hpotos it looks cleaner than the Subaru which sometimes correlates to having received better overall care from the previous owners.
    "Judge me by the enemies I have made." -FDR

  11. #11
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    Jun 2006
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    ^^^ I'd take the Honda with 33k more than the Ford any day of the week. Especially from that era.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ernest_Hemingway View Post
    I realize there is not much hope for a bullfighting forum. I understand that most of you would prefer to discuss the ingredients of jacket fabrics than the ingredients of a brave man. I know nothing of the former. But the latter is made of courage, and skill, and grace in the presence of the possibility of death. If someone could make a jacket of those three things it would no doubt be the most popular and prized item in all of your closets.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    i am completely over subaru after all the shit with our 7 year old forester with less than 93,000 miles on it. we've replaced a ton of stuff on it and we had a 12 year old civic hx with more miles that i drove up hood for years that never had a single major problem. we also have an impreza, which hasn't had any "problems," but has been subject to an amazing number of recalls over various issues. airbags, seat belt i think, various sensors, can't remember.

    in any case, i just can't see convincing myself to buy another subaru.

  13. #13
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    Nov 2003
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    F-150 if you need a truck.
    Honda if you donít.

  14. #14
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    Sep 2015
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    Large SUVs take forever for the cab to warm up when it's 40 below, I'd go for the CRV or the F-150 (mostly just because I like Fords and Hondas). Looks like most of them already have block heaters installed.

  15. #15
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    Nov 2007
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    Eburg
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    Quote Originally Posted by klar View Post
    I am in Fairbanks
    vibes

    Quote Originally Posted by old goat View Post
    Wow, used cars are expensive in Alaska
    That's because many, likely most, of them were bought in Seattle or Portland at car auctions and barged up to AK at some time during their life. AK gets the cars the PNW doesn't want anymore.

    Wow, that's a high mileage lineup. Whatever you get, you're rolling the dice.
    Last edited by OldSteve; 02-27-2018 at 08:27 PM.

  16. #16
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    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by LightRanger View Post
    Good question with the CR-V in the mix. That Honda is going to be way more reliable than the Subaru. Subaru mileage isn't listed either, which seems suspect.

    Klar, I'd go CR-V. If for some reason you want to go with one of the trucks, of the ones you listed I'd probably go F-150 and then the Yukon. But those will depend a lot more on what the actually look like. The Honda's a better bet if you don't know much about cars, IMO. Subaru AWD system is better than the Honda, but you'd still do fine with the Honda AWD system and it's not worth the reliability tradeoff.

    Plus, then you and AKBruin could have the same car! He just bought a new CR-V.
    A Subie with 152,000, vs a Honda with 180,000. The Subie will be much much cheaper in the long run.
    Other than head gaskets our 2005 has been flawless. Our 1995 has been bullet proof, 221000 and counting.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyeaster View Post
    i am completely over subaru after all the shit with our 7 year old forester with less than 93,000 miles on it. we've replaced a ton of stuff on it and we had a 12 year old civic hx with more miles that i drove up hood for years that never had a single major problem. we also have an impreza, which hasn't had any "problems," but has been subject to an amazing number of recalls over various issues. airbags, seat belt i think, various sensors, can't remember.

    in any case, i just can't see convincing myself to buy another subaru.
    what year subie?

  18. #18
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    Dec 2015
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    16,494
    2010 forester, 2012 impreza sedan

  19. #19
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    Dec 2009
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    This site is not as comprehensive as CarFax or Autocheck but is a good starting point for researching vehicle history for accidents, odometer rollbacks, etc. You will need the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) which the seller should happily provide.

    Considering vehicle only I say CR-V, but it could be a pile of shit in person so I would buy whichever vehicle appears to be in the best condition, with the most service records, with the longest ownership.

  20. #20
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    Aug 2016
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    2,674
    Quote Originally Posted by k2skier112 View Post
    A Subie with 152,000, vs a Honda with 180,000. The Subie will be much much cheaper in the long run.
    you shouldn't have to spend shit to fix or repair a CR-V - it's a Civic with a lift kit. either way what matters more is the specific used car & if you aren't going to do the work yourself who the decent local mechanic is and what he charges - labor is the biggest cost for a bunch of that mileage range maintenance.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunfree View Post
    you shouldn't have to spend shit to fix or repair a CR-V - it's a Civic with a lift kit. either way what matters more is the specific used car & if you aren't going to do the work yourself who the decent local mechanic is and what he charges - labor is the biggest cost for a bunch of that mileage range maintenance.
    hmmmm
    https://repairpal.com/engine-valves-...e-problems-098

    plus it has an auto trans, if it hasn't had yearly trans oil changes it wont make it 200,000 without an overhaul, the Subie is a manual

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Hyperspace!
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    beater with a heater!
    if you are going to buy one of those high mileage rides you should also consider this one
    Plenty more options in Anchorage, if you have the time for the drive.
    5k for the subie you listed is too much, if you go that route definitely come in with a low ball offer. I'm guessing all you really need is something that will start in the cold, and get you to Valdez and back safely.
    If you make it down to southeast ak drop a line.

  23. #23
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    Nov 2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldSteve View Post
    vibes bro
    Pretty sure she's not a he.

  24. #24
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    Nov 2007
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    Eburg
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    Oh, okay. A woman moving to Fairbanks? Keep a diary, sister.

    Quote Originally Posted by k2skier112 View Post
    A Subie with 152,000, vs a Honda with 180,000. The Subie will be much much cheaper in the long run.
    "much much?" Nah. Not enough information to make that call, e.g., oil change and maintenance history. I've had high mileage Hondas and Subies, and I spent less money on the former.

    ETA: klar, is there any chance you can buy a car in the lower 48 and drive it up there?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    northern BC
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    probably the escape
    Lee Lau - xxx-er is the laziest Asian canuck I know

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