Buying a used car [Archive] - Forum


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04-09-2012, 03:27 PM
Hey guys, in my other topic, I mentioned how I recently bought my first car, ect...

I've been waiting the past week, cause the buyer was bringing it to an auto shop to get the breaks done, and the certification or whatever?

Anyways...with the week of waiting, it's made my mind wander, and now I can't help but almost feel like the deal was too good to be true? Like, I feel like there's something seriously wrong with it or something? My dad was with me, and he has a general idea of what to look for (like, he can spot a lemon). He checked the oil dip stick and all that... I took it for a test drive around the block, then he did (he said it shifted fine and stuff). But I'm still having my doubt, haha. Is there anything 03 Grand Am Sedans are "known" for being faulty? Like, does it tend to blow a transmission or something? (really generic newbie question)

Also, for reference... it has 125000 km, and I paid $2400 for it.
Thanks in advance for any tips, guys.

04-09-2012, 03:59 PM
You meant he was getting the "brakes" done right?

The price seems pretty typical for a car that age with those miles. Can't say anything other than that without seeing the car personally. They were known for having the lower intake gaskets fail, but they came out with a new gasket design in 2003, so with the age of the car it probably has the new gasket already, or it's probably been replaced already.

04-09-2012, 04:38 PM
Yeah, like..."push break pedal, stop car" haha :P
He actually said something like (again, I have car talk is pretty much Greek to me for now), that the back breaks were at 50%, so when I took it around the block they worked, but I guess they were only at 50% potential stopping power, and that's not high enough to pass for safety.

I guess in a sense, this is a pretty normal worry, considering it is my first vehicle purchase, and having everything in my own name and stuff. Can't help but doubt. Just looking for reassurance, haha.

04-09-2012, 07:20 PM
Usually when they say the brakes are at 50%, they mean they have 50% life left, or in other words they have used half of the available wear on either the pads and/or rotors before they need to be replaced. Not that the brakes are only working at 50% power. The only thing that really determines that is how hard you press the pedal and how much traction the tires have.

04-09-2012, 07:25 PM
fwiw, the split of power on brakes is about 70/30...give or take a bit. the front brakes are about 70% of the stopping power your car has, while the rear does about 30%. thought i'd toss that in just to help confuse you some more lol

i don't see how brakes being half wore wouldn't pass inspection, they're not that expensive, nor hard to change, but if they're going to do it, hell yea, free brake job!

it's a used car man, you will find things wrong. it happens with age. just wait til you get older and think to yourself "man doing this (insert activity) never wore me out like this before_ lol
cars are kind of like that. parts wear down. but for that cash, if it ain't knocking, blowing smoke, and goes, stops, and turns, you should be in decent shape!

04-09-2012, 08:22 PM
The guy called me this evening, said that he spent $600 bucks at the shop, and I should be able to pick it up tomorrow. So, in a sense, it's kinda like I paid 1800, since he had to pay 600 anyways, haha.

But yeah... I'm just paranoid. I'm just wanting to luck out and have my first car purchase last me a while. Maybe even to the point that, if I get rid of it, it's just because I'm bored of it, and not because the repairs are too expensive. Thanks for the feedback tho guys, +Rep!

04-09-2012, 08:53 PM
for $600 that probably means he had pads and rotors and possibly a caliper replaced... Ontario shop rates are stupid when it comes to repairs... use the search tool here and you will be able to learn and do most of the work yourself!!
Congrats on the new car, enjoy it!