related linksRead more advice-related articles
MORE ON MSN AUTOS
MORE ON MSN
MSN AUTOS VIDEO
That's a pretty good list, but I have to take exception to some. When looking for an older, cheaper, high mileage, reliable car I advise people to stay away from anything made by Honda or Toyota. What? Am I crazy? No, I'm not crazy. Too many people believe Honda and Toyota products were designed and built by God himself, and will never break down. While we know that is not true, it keeps the resale value of old Honda and Toyota products so high that they are a TERRIBLE value on the older car market. You can get a much newer and lower mileage Mazda, Ford, Chevy, or Nissan for the same price. And the other brands are just as good when you compare cars with over 100K miles. Prior maintenance and overall condition are much more important than brand in that price and mileage class. Buy your Honda and Toyota products when they are new or near new. Avoid them when they are old and high mileage. They are simply overpriced in relation to the rest of the market. That's free advice from a guy who buys and sells older cars for a living.
If you can find a stock or near-stock example in good condition, I strongly recommend one. However they do have issues. They have problems with oil consumption. The worst is the front oil seal. It's not a hard repair to do, and if the oil seal blows you will have problems in a hurry. Early signs of problems with the front seal manifest itself as oil leaking from the car roughly in the center of the car in front of the wheels. It will drip for a few minutes to an hour after driving it then stop dripping. If you see oil puddles develop in this spot after running the car be ready to fix the front seal. The front timing gasket also likes to leak if the RTV wasn't applied absolutely perfectly. However, unlike the front seal unless the timing cover gasket is leaking massively it won't produce an oil puddle. It will just make a black greasy mess on the front of the engine. The KA24(D)E engine does feature a timing chain, but it isn't the best design in the world. The chain, sprockets, and tensioners should be replaced periodically. On the twin-cam engines (91+) there are actually two timing chains. I don't remember the interval anymore, but an internet forum dedicated to Nissans or 240SX's should be able to point you in the right direction. I seem to remember 120,000 to 150,000 miles, but don't quote me on that.
The engine is not very rev-happy, and I prefer rev-happy. However, the KA24 engine has a giant stroke for a 4-cylinder engine and makes enormous amounts of midrange troque (at least by early 90's 4-cylinder gasoline engine standards). It is a very good handling car with good brakes. While I knock the engine on a few points, the chassis is simply amazing and the McPherson front suspension and multilink rear suspension are very well done. The interior is made of the cheapest materials possible, but they came out of the factory meticulously assembled. Again, if you want one and can find a stock one in acceptable condition, I recommend it.
Not sure who wrote this , but I disagree regarding the Honda's. I have had four each got me over 300,000 road miles. They hold their value and is built to last longer than the payment book I currently own a 2003 w/ 300,687 miles. Looking to upgrade this year. I think Honda stop making this one cause it was built to last forever
Students also need cars,with low payments but high repair bills don't cut it
Ms Honda Satisfied
Focus? Boring? Not! My 200 Focus zx-3 was the funnest car I've driven .