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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! Looking for some input please.

Im in the middle of trying to get my first SRT-4. Based on this section, im not the only one so that makes me feel much better. Im new to buying all together... about to pay off my first financed vehicle in 3 payments.

This has been a difficult 13 year journey wanting this car... Friday ill get to start one up for the first time :) This will be the last attempt to get one bc of the age and not being able to get financed. They would rather put me into a car I cannot afford vs the car I want or can afford. Its been vicious!

Anyways...I am very through in my research, checking out the high mileage threads currently. Also the ACR authenticity thread. Id like some quick input before I start getting starry eyed and the teenage anxiety kicks in! I have time to search and buy but the good ones dont last long and it seems I need to be willing to travel a bit - which I am.


So ill jump right into my questions then:

*If you have some good threads on buying, high mileage stories - I would appreciate links, I love reading them.

*Quick tips on what to specifically look for as far as old mods, wear, etc...? Should I post engine bay pics?

*I doubt I can get a compression test done before a purchase but is there any other things I can do? Can I ask a dealer for a state inspection? Do I take it down the road to a shop?

*The "Key Trick" is the check hidden codes right? 3 clicks into the ON position?

*Mileage - im trying to locate some around 50-60K but its very difficult. What is considered a "safe buy"? 75K with only 2 owners, close to stock? 100K, 1 owner, super clean, stock?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
PS - I also have some serious questions about the transmission and specifically Ed Peters words about the internals / proper oils. If someone is willing to share a link w all this info or take time to educate me - it would be much appreciated.
 

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Ed Peters....was never in any design and release position in the automotive industry. Take his words with a grain of salt...and don't put thick motor oil in your transmission.

As far as buying a used SRT4. Good luck; most are beat to hell. You can definitely have a compression test done before buying a car...in fact if the seller doesn't want one performed...walk away.

Make sure on your test drive you fully warm the car up and drive for at least 20 ish minutes....sometimes transmission fork problems show themselves when the car is warm but not when cold.
 

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Take the car for an extended drive starting from cold if possible and not just a three minute around the block. If you can post pictures and want a second opinion I'm sure you'll get some feedback here.

If you're shopping for a used SRT-4 they're all going to be old due to age but one that's been cared for should hold up very well. I'd much rather buy a couple owner, extremely clean car with say 125k miles than I would a five owner, rough car with 60k miles that shows signs of having tons of aftermarket parts and doesn't drive perfectly.

Minor mechanical and electrical problems are to be expected with age for any car. Be aware that there could be a lot of deferred maintenance too for things like timings belts, clutch and clutch release components, etc. Also keep in mind the expensive or harder to find parts. If you found a perfect car other than a blown engine it would be pretty easy to source a long block from a PT Cruiser, but if you find a car with a bad transaxle or the interior and trim is in terrible shape you might have trouble finding clean, good replacement parts.
 

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*If you have some good threads on buying, high mileage stories - I would appreciate links, I love reading them.Treat this like any used car buy, meaning check everything; CARFAX, body, undercarriage for rust and damage, brakes, everything...........

*Quick tips on what to specifically look for as far as old mods, wear, etc...? Should I post engine bay pics?Mod list if you can get it, pics will be good, check for leaks, check the dip stick (clean oil)

*I doubt I can get a compression test done before a purchase but is there any other things I can do? I would take one
Can I ask a dealer for a state inspection? Do I take it down the road to a shop?If you are in a State that will require you pass inspection before you can regsiter and drive the car on the road, YES.

*The "Key Trick" is the check hidden codes right? 3 clicks into the ON position?Yes, do get the codes if any.

*Mileage - im trying to locate some around 50-60K but its very difficult. What is considered a "safe buy"? 75K with only 2 owners, close to stock? 100K, 1 owner, super clean, stock?I would try to get a stock car or close to stock, no more than say 3 owners, BUT it will always depend on who these owners were of course. The condition of the car on inspection will determine most of your decision. Remember seller can and do lie sometimes.

Good Luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, excellent thanks a lot everyone!

I had a few more questions...

*The key trick - is this only used to see the codes when there is a CE light on? Or can this be used to show something a dealer may have cleared before hand? Some dealers take a pic inside the cabin and iv seen some that have the car running - to show no lights are on.

*ABS Light - playing off of the last question, I saw one for sale that was running but had the ABS light one... what is the worst case scenario on this? Iv heard things from speed sensors to it coinciding with the e-brake light.

*Sunroofs - obviously many say they are horrible but I am just curious cost of repair or how difficult to fix? I found one that seems to just barley stick up slightly in the rear.

*Performance car dealers - I understand that dealers are gonna be dealers but im curious if there is any pros/cons to buying from a place that specializes in performance cars? If I purchased from a place like this would they be more trustworthy/willing to do repair or compression test?
 

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*The key trick - is this only used to see the codes when there is a CE light on? Or can this be used to show something a dealer may have cleared before hand? Some dealers take a pic inside the cabin and iv seen some that have the car running - to show no lights are on. No, there are codes that can exist but not show when you do this. A ODB scan tool would show those. When a CEL light is on solid and does not go away, it is not advisable that the car be driven until it has been addressed.

*ABS Light - playing off of the last question, I saw one for sale that was running but had the ABS light one... what is the worst case scenario on this? Iv heard things from speed sensors to it coinciding with the e-brake light. This is usually a bad sensor or sensor out of adjustment but due to the age of the car it is possible that it could be worst than that. I don't remember the ABS light having anything to do with the e-brake.

*Sunroofs - obviously many say they are horrible but I am just curious cost of repair or how difficult to fix? I found one that seems to just barley stick up slightly in the rear. Parts are Very difficult to find these days. Take a look at some recent threads about sunroofs and you will see.

*Performance car dealers - I understand that dealers are gonna be dealers but im curious if there is any pros/cons to buying from a place that specializes in performance cars? If I purchased from a place like this would they be more trustworthy/willing to do repair or compression test?
It depends on the integrity of the dealer. Get everything in writing that you can just in case.
 

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this is true... although in my case it was over 6 years ago. I ended up buying a red one which is the very last color that I wanted but it was a one owner w/only 77k miles, previous owner is a police officer and he took it to the dealer for everything that it needed. It had a few bumps and bruises but was garage kept, just like it is still.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
this is true... although in my case it was over 6 years ago. I ended up buying a red one which is the very last color that I wanted but it was a one owner w/only 77k miles, previous owner is a police officer and he took it to the dealer for everything that it needed. It had a few bumps and bruises but was garage kept, just like it is still.
:surprise: You just freaked me out! That is the same exact thing im about to do tomorrow! To the T UbIlln... same color too... :frown::smile:

IDK how to quote 2 people yet but thank you Toasteroven, same goes for you. Had to make sure I was on the correct thread. I decided to log in to give an update (bc I cant sleep)... and you guys creeped me out a bit w your stories.

I have told today that I AM APPROVED FOR THE SRT! :grin: Until I give it a really good look over and im driving away w paperwork, then idk what kind of feelings ill have.

I get to start her up in the morning and the car seems to be solid! Ill take pics and try to figure out how to upload them. Thank you all for comments and information. Im taking screen shots of that list TO shared for me. A guy like me just starting out cant go any more in depth than that.

~Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Update... the car was sold before I arrived to purchase! They sold it while I was on the phone being approved, I feel snaked but its the world of car buying I guess. Iv been told no many times over the years so its just another lump. But Jesus man.... whoever beat me to the Red 04 w 77K in STL - congrats :|

SO, what I do know now is I can get into a fair priced SRT at a dealer. I also just learned that a local credit union will ok me to finance as well and it allows me to talk w private sellers! :clap:

The HUNT continues... im not out of the game just yet. I am in buy mode and the mrs is on board!

Thanks for all tuning in so far!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I appreciate you posting that Slowryd!

Unfortunately, I need at least some financing on the vehicle I buy & lenders will not budge on the prices for me... I have to find something close to KBB and I have to make up the rest with cash.

There is a perfect one for me but the place wants 12,500! Though we all can agree they are worth it, only serious cash buyers will get these it seems or they drop the prices I guess. IDK...im really struggling but this private owner financing option that just opened up for me might allow some better selection or the very least more selection.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Take the car for an extended drive starting from cold if possible and not just a three minute around the block. If you can post pictures and want a second opinion I'm sure you'll get some feedback here.

If you're shopping for a used SRT-4 they're all going to be old due to age but one that's been cared for should hold up very well. I'd much rather buy a couple owner, extremely clean car with say 125k miles than I would a five owner, rough car with 60k miles that shows signs of having tons of aftermarket parts and doesn't drive perfectly.

Minor mechanical and electrical problems are to be expected with age for any car. Be aware that there could be a lot of deferred maintenance too for things like timings belts, clutch and clutch release components, etc. Also keep in mind the expensive or harder to find parts. If you found a perfect car other than a blown engine it would be pretty easy to source a long block from a PT Cruiser, but if you find a car with a bad transaxle or the interior and trim is in terrible shape you might have trouble finding clean, good replacement parts.
Still stand behind this? Im considering raising the bar to 100-125k miles...
 

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It would always be nice to find a really low mileage, really nice condition used car. With higher mileage you're going to have more items that could potentially need replacement but with the age you're also going to have items potentially wearing out. Also a car that had a lot of highway miles might be in better condition mechanically than one with tons of stop and go city miles.

I'd suggest don't settle for something you might not be happy with, but don't rule out any cars for something like slightly higher mileage. If you find something with high miles that's really clean it will still need due diligence going over and you might save a little money. If you have your heart set on a clean low mileage car just wait until something comes up and be prepared to travel to buy one.
 

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Update... the car was sold before I arrived to purchase! They sold it while I was on the phone being approved, I feel snaked but its the world of car buying I guess. Iv been told no many times over the years so its just another lump. But Jesus man.... whoever beat me to the Red 04 w 77K in STL - congrats :|
That sucks! Oh well, another one will come along.

SO, what I do know now is I can get into a fair priced SRT at a dealer. I also just learned that a local credit union will ok me to finance as well and it allows me to talk w private sellers! :clap:

The HUNT continues... im not out of the game just yet. I am in buy mode and the mrs is on board!

Thanks for all tuning in so far!
Funny you mention a red '4 with 77k miles. I had to double-check your address and make sure you weren't on the other side of the country, close to Canada. For a second, I thought I had run across your car.

A friend showed me a picture of a red one he ran across at a small dealership just the other day. 76k miles. "Rough around the edges" is a bit of an understatement. Clutch / pressure plate is fried, some cosmetic damage + rust on the rear quarters, and and pretty much *everything* needs to be done to it. Oh, your drivers' seat bolster is cracked? This one has a hole I can put my fist into. That "buying an SRT-4" thread I have? Everything on the list needs to be done, and then some. But it drives under it's own power. No codes. No CEL. No smoke on startup or boost. No drips.

And... it's bone stock. Not even a blow-off valve. If he can't sell it locally, it'll go stateside and get parted out, which seems to be the fate of all of them lately. It's dirt cheap. By the time the list is done, she's back to near-mint condition, and has a fresh coat of paint, I figure it's a $5-6k Canadian car.

They're out there man. Drive through your local "shady" dealerships. You'd be surprised at what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Thanks for all the feedback guys. Excellent stuff
Update -
I found one... Definitely would be more than happy with. My lender is ok with it and my seller is ok w it. Looks like a long haul for me though. In a couple days things will be much clearer. I really hope to be uploading a pic of my new car... Its been exhausting

Thanks again to all helping me and tuning in.
 
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