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Beat up Scion XA - buy or not?

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Sep 23, 2015, 6:30 AM

Post #1 of 5 (796 views)
Beat up Scion XA - buy or not? Sign In

Hello, I'd be grateful for any advice as I have made bad car-buying decisions repeatedly in the past. I am looking at a 2005 Scion XA with 130k on it, for sale for $3000.
It was a local trade in. It obviously was not babied by its former owner and has some issues, which I found out through the dealer, a mechanic who I had take a look at it, and my own eyes.

Known issues...

*The exhaust system was messed up when they got it, they had it taken to a muffler shop who only partially repaired the problem. I found this out when the mechanic looked at it. It was then sent back to the shop for a second repair.
*A belt was dry and needed to be replaced. This is also supposed to now be done.
*Tachometer is not working
*Back tires shot, back wheel bearings MAY also need replacing
*Front left tire loose, may just need tightening or MAY need wheel bearing also
*Missing inner fender well

*Back windshield wiper needs blade
*A wire was loose under one of the seats
*One or two other little things like this I can't remember exactly
*A bit scratched/dinged (still looks overall good to me, but I'm not all that picky about that stuff)

There is no warranty.

The more I type, the more I think the response will be "don't buy it", which is probably a good idea. I just like the car, it's got a lot of good reviews, and if the repairwork doesn't end up costing too much the total cost would be comparable to other Xas listed in the area. On the other hand I'm afraid it could end up being nothing but trouble, needing unexpected repair after repair. I'm thinking I should keep looking but what I really want to know, would you say it's a terrible deal? Would anybody here buy this car, or advise it? The original asking price was $4k.

Thank you!

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 23, 2015, 6:47 AM

Post #2 of 5 (791 views)
Re: Beat up Scion XA - buy or not? Sign In

Just what you expected - DON'T BUY IT,



Sep 23, 2015, 8:21 AM

Post #3 of 5 (781 views)
Re: Beat up Scion XA - buy or not? Sign In

Thanks, Tom, any elaboration? Would you pay anything for this car, if you liked it but it was in shabby shape? What do you think would be a fair price?

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Sep 23, 2015, 9:56 AM

Post #4 of 5 (770 views)
Re: Beat up Scion XA - buy or not? Sign In

I'll try not to write too much of a novel. First glance when you mentioned wheel and wheel well insert missing scared me away alone. WTeff happened? It's not a bulldozer of vehicle - not much is so some serious shat is probably wrong not just bull like tires, a wiper blade and other things you can expect.
I can't say what your area and prices for decent used stuff is going to cost. You did the right thing by having it inspected before any transaction and do that again no matter how good something looks and feels.

I'm kinda out of this game but folks used to give me crap like that - that's what it's worth! Fix freebies up to top shelf and get top buck too but takes a ton of time. It's lots harder now to get the car as a whole totally safe and legal - dings and harmless cosmetics don't count much for possible dependable vehicles but should still lower the cost if not just average.
Hacked exhaust is another. The chain "muffler" places are great for keeping anything useable and custom make up a section. When needed they are great but if YOU are going to need just one part you'll probably find it impossible not to do the whole system or back to one of those places.
There's one in the yard with hacked up cat converter to fit a cheap POS 4" bit of pipe to now so little left only a new converter is going to fix it next round of anything and it isn't a of the problem it was butchered.

Back to the hunt for a car: Best price bets IMO are going to be folks who just refused the loss of trading in an older car towards a brand new one. New dealers really don't wan the junkers nor fixer uppers to keep for resale. They usually sell the best used cars too and you pay for them probably out of your range if thinking the 3-4 thousand $ area.

Try looking for original owner's with a list of the care it's had along the way. Garaged cars the best. These might or might not be real cleaned up and shampood, have stickers on windows, bumper skins and what not is harder for them to sell! They are usually sick of people looking so be ready to get serious quick on the right one still contingent on YOUR mechanic's inspection.

Do make sure a car hasn't been totaled unless you are up for the headaches and know it's NOT a salvage title. Never knew of a great fixed up wreck despite lower price that ended up the deal.

Used private sales from one or perhaps two long term owners should be your best bet for bargain. Spend more for top shelf used with warranty you don't need to pay for.

Low miles but careful of way too low.

The one you listed out just what was found smacks of just as much wrong that wasn't found is my problem with it. By the time you get one of those in real good shape you could have found one that didn't need much to begin with.......



Sep 23, 2015, 10:07 AM

Post #5 of 5 (765 views)
Re: Beat up Scion XA - buy or not? Sign In

Thanks a lot for your help!!

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