I am in the process of trying to find a beater to buy as a second car. I have found a Saturn S-series, 1995 with 154,500 miles that has been sitting for a while (6-12 months). What kind of questions do I need to ask and what do I need to look for? Only asking $700 and from outside appearances, looks good.


Asked by Sep 20, 2014 at 12:58 AM about the 1995 Saturn S-Series 4 Dr SL1 Sedan

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

1995 Saturn S-series, 154,500
needs new tires, new brakes
a/c doesn't work

11 Answers


Ask why has it been parked. And then ask yourself Why Do I Want To Spend an additional $750.00 (just tires and brakes) and still not have a vehicle that's road ready. Battery. Oil change. Tune Up. Then winterizing it.

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Its 20 years old.

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Well I've got a new Jeep Liberty costing me $700 a month for payment and insurance. So I'm looking for a beater to get me back and forth to work, just don't know what to get and what to look for because I'm pretty naïve in the car mechanics area. I only have about $1500 to spend and want a car that will last me at least 1 year. I've also called about a Honda Odyessy that is in good condition, but needs new ball joints and has 293,000 miles on it. All records have been kept though and the guy seems to be pretty upfront about it's condition. Rust and exhaust has been patched and rigged by him to escape the cost of a new one. I'm just not very versed in used older cars so idk what to look for, what lasts longest, etc. Any ideas or info??? I'm trying to preserve my Jeep and escape the cost of gas it uses.


How many miles a year do you plan on putting on the 2nd car? If it's only ball joints on the Honda then it's worth considering. You still have time.

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Probably 12-15,000. Just for work and to pick up my wood work projects, lol. Long trips, etc. I will use my jeep. The Honda is so high in miles but I thought might be a better deal considering the KBB is still $1900. What do you know about them?


The Honda is a better choice of the two. I would get a estimate of what it would cost to replace the known bad parts and what else it will need to pass inspection and be a safe ride. What ever you decided on have it looked over. You don't want any surprises in 6 month's.


So as of right now the Honda has my vote. Any other prospects in the contention?

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There is....a 1999 Nissan Maxima with 207k. Asking for $1200, don't think he will go any cheaper. Hole in exhaust, needs stabilizer which he said he would replace before I come test it tomorrow. Oil change, etc. just done but was sitting before that. I like the looks and performance of it much better than the other two. It's off craigslist, I could give you the add address if you wouldn't mind taking a look????Thanks Courtney


Hi Courtney, So for the delay. I live in the Philippines and its 12 hours ahead of the east coast. My wife, son and I were doing day time stuff. Yeah send me the Craigslist listing. Is the seller of the Maxiam going to fix the exhaust and the stabilizer or just the stabilizer? Have you had a chance to look at the Honda?

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I looked at both today. Both are very well taken care of. The maxima looks better on the outside and doesn't have any immediate needs. The exhaust isn't bad at all, I think I could just have it patched for now. The front brakes need new pads right away. I don't think the rotors are bad enough to require new ones, just shave them down even. It has new calipers I noticed. The drive had some ummph, whereas the Honda minivan had no get up and go at all. It's only a 4 cylinder which I found weird. The Honda also has some quirks, like greasing this and that and burning some oil. He has dropped the price to $550 but overall I think the Maxima may be a better buy. The guy with the Maxima also had a mechanics inspection noting the brakes, exhaust and stabilizer. I think I will go with the Maxima. Here's the add for both. Let me know what you think the best deal is. Thanks for your help! w94v4-4674837088@sale.craigslist.org Maxima dxxpt-4674676143@sale.craigslist.org Honda


Just from what you have described, the Maxiam sounds best. As for the exhaust leak, back in my younger days, I was known to use a dog food can and 2 radiator clamps to patch a leak in the system. Now for the rotors, check the price of new ones. If you have a Advanced Auto Parts Store near you Google Advanced Auto Parts coupons. You can save a lot of money. Let me know what you decide.

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