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Cyclone792
11-03-2008, 11:49 AM
Anybody else have a second "beater" type car they own? If so, what's your take on its usefulness to you?

I bought a new car last October (just about a year ago actually) but still kept my old Saturn through last winter so I had a winter beater last year during our snow storms, including that blizzard in March. Not surprisingly, the Saturn kicked the bucket in the spring though and knocked me down to just the new car. While I didn't have much use for a beater during the summer, winter is knocking on the door and I'm thinking of seeing what's out there.

If I did pick up a beater, I'd probably only put an average of 300ish miles per month on it throughout a year, with more of those miles in the winter months during lousy weather (snow, ice, etc.). The upside is that it would keep my new car in the garage during bad winter weather, and it would also save a few miles on the new ride and allow me to stretch out the factory warranty a bit (I'm on pace to blow past the warranty about six months early due to miles since I drive about 15-16k miles per year).

The downside is obviously the cost and hassle.

The most I'd consider spending is about two grand, and I'm not too keen on buying another vehicle and having to pour some money into it. Unfortunately, I also know most vehicles for that cheap tend to have some potential repairs knocking on the door. I've been casually looking around and have already realized that I'd likely only grab a second car if I could find a very good deal, i.e. a decent, low maintenance vehicle that somebody is just trying to get off their hands quickly. I don't have any interest in a project car, mostly because I'm not mechanically inclined enough to undertake a project car on my own.

Insurance is another thing I'm considering, but I'd likely be able to insure the vehicle for less than $300 a year so that's not too big a deal.

Anyhow, opinions are welcome!

Highlifeman21
11-03-2008, 04:39 PM
Or you could be a real man and just drive your Honda, ya nancyboy....

remdog
11-03-2008, 04:55 PM
There are beater cars around that run great. After my Mom died (in '03) my sister used her '82 Pontiac Grand Am with 23000 miles on it to run through the winter snow, ice and salt. The body is shot but the thing still runs and all the way up to 40000 miles.

So, if you can find something like that it might be a good deal.

The biggest thing, to me anyway, is to make sure it's 'safe' with good brakes, tires and other things that will keep you out of troubles while you are just looking for basic transportation.

Rem

*BaseClogger*
11-03-2008, 05:04 PM
I drove a 1991 Ford Escort station wagon throughout high school and it was a surprising reliable vehicle. They handle the snow well, have lots of room, and are easy to repair...

BRM
11-03-2008, 05:06 PM
My everyday vehicle right now is a '91 Toyota pickup with nearly 190,000 miles on it. It still runs great. You can definitely find cheaper vehicles that are pretty reliable.

Reds4Life
11-03-2008, 06:12 PM
I have a 97 Explorer 4x4 that I use as my winter beater. Haven't had many issues (has 121k miles on it) and I have driven it though a foot of snow with no problems.

SunDeck
11-03-2008, 07:14 PM
I am pretty sure I've only driven beaters, but my favorite is a Ranger pickup. The only drawback is the winter handling, but I always tossed bags of sand in the bed of mine. Once the back end was weighted down, it was fine.

Kelley Blue Book prices them out at under $2K for a '97 (private party). I had a '94 that I traded in because I needed something with back seats for the kids. At fourteen years old, it ran like the day I bought it. Those 2.3L engines are really beaters, and combined with the Mazda tranny, they will run forever.

Cyclone792
11-03-2008, 10:39 PM
I have a 97 Explorer 4x4 that I use as my winter beater. Haven't had many issues (has 121k miles on it) and I have driven it though a foot of snow with no problems.

That would likely be pretty ideal right there. I had a buddy suggest that if I was going to look into a second vehicle to look into something that can do things my regular car cannot do, and that means entertaining the notion of a truck/SUV.

Razor Shines
11-04-2008, 12:17 AM
That would likely be pretty ideal right there. I had a buddy suggest that if I was going to look into a second vehicle to look into something that can do things my regular car cannot do, and that means entertaining the notion of a truck/SUV.

I have a 1990 4Runner "winter beater" that works great. 200K+ miles on it and it still runs good. Got it a year ago for $1100. 2 of my friends also have early 90s 4Runners to use as hunting/beater trucks.

Spitball
11-08-2008, 07:05 PM
I have a '94 Ford Ranger. It comes in handy for hauling stuff like firewood. A couple of weeks ago my son's friend backed into it and put a fairly big dent in the back panel near the tail light. I believe the dent gives it some character.

I plan to hold onto to it until the last wheel falls off.

Redhook
11-08-2008, 07:11 PM
I have a 1995 Acura Integra GSR that has 266,000 miles on it. I got it about 8 years ago with 84,000 on it. The car has been great.

I am, however, putting it on Autotrader tomorrow since I bought a Sonata recently. I will certainly miss that car.

Slyder
11-12-2008, 09:35 AM
My first car was an 88 Ford Tempo. Got it in 2001 with 60,000 miles on it from a guy my dad worked with. I would still be driving it probably if we had figured out what was causing the engine to quit (something with the spark plug). I drove that thing until last March.

bucksfan2
11-12-2008, 10:40 AM
Still drive a 95 Wrangler. Just passed the 100,000 mile mark about a month ago. I rarely do any highway driving and drive only about 7 miles to work. The thing is fun in the summer and heats me up warm in the winter. My wife hates it but I don't want a car payment.

gonelong
11-12-2008, 12:06 PM
I drove a '71 Ford pickup in high school (1988) ... had the 3 on the tree.

Lost a 2000 Taurus with 195K miles on in February when a drunk driver hit me on the highway at 75 MPH, totaled. It still ran like the day we bought it and looked nice inside and out yet.

I put 20K miles or more on cars per year, so I just buy 'em new and run them until they are done.

GL

SunDeck
11-12-2008, 04:00 PM
Nothing beats this beater- a '66 F100.

http://www.rodeotownmotors.com/carimages/DSC00109.JPG

A good friend had one in high school. It was as easy to work on as a tractor engine; I could almost stand in the engine compartment with that straight six.

BRM
11-12-2008, 04:34 PM
Nothing beats this beater- a '66 F100.

A good friend had one in high school. It was as easy to work on as a tractor engine; I could almost stand in the engine compartment with that straight six.

I had a '68 F100 when I was in my early twenties. It had a 360 in it and still had a ton of room in the engine compartment. Man, I loved that truck.

15fan
11-12-2008, 07:20 PM
You don't really have to worry about a beater for the winter if you live in one of the many parts of the world where it doesn't snow. :cool:

OldRightHander
11-12-2008, 07:57 PM
My everyday vehicle right now is a '91 Toyota pickup with nearly 190,000 miles on it. It still runs great. You can definitely find cheaper vehicles that are pretty reliable.

Amateur. My van is a 2007 and I have 150,000 miles already. Only thing I've replaced was the serpentine belt and the tires.

RFS62
11-12-2008, 10:47 PM
Amateur. My van is a 2007 and I have 150,000 miles already. Only thing I've replaced was the serpentine belt and the tires.



How many miles will you get out of that van before it's done?

BRM
11-12-2008, 10:57 PM
Amateur. My van is a 2007 and I have 150,000 miles already. Only thing I've replaced was the serpentine belt and the tires.

Well, I just bought it a year ago and it had 160,000 on it then. I've put 30,000 miles on it in a years time. Still doesn't compare to your van, I know.

OldRightHander
11-13-2008, 06:43 AM
How many miles will you get out of that van before it's done?

It's a diesel. I'm expecting half a million or more. I've seen people hit a million on these.