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Looking for first car, would 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon be worth getting for now?


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Jeeves95
New User

May 18, 2019, 6:54 PM

Post #1 of 4 (73 views)
Looking for first car, would 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon be worth getting for now? Sign In

So I'm looking for my first car right now. Don't need anything fancy or new, just something to get me around for now and maybe a small road trip before it dies (but that's secondary).

Just started looking around and happened to find a listing that's within a reasonable enough distance to consider. Mainly caught my eye because I like the look of older station wagons and they're offering it for $850. But it's a 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon w/125k miles on it. According to the seller its in pretty good condition aside from needing a coil for the heater. Figure it's probably too old to be really worth it since I imagine parts will be hard to find.

But in all honesty I know very little about cars so I thought I'd ask. Not really looking for a project car, especially considering my lack of legitimate car knowledge. Anyone have any thoughts? Could it be worth getting for the next year or so?


(This post was edited by Jeeves95 on May 18, 2019, 6:56 PM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 18, 2019, 10:06 PM

Post #2 of 4 (64 views)
Re: Looking for first car, would 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon be worth getting for now? Sign In

Ok. First car for you and are not that into a project with about a 30 year old car? Hmmm. "Seller says XYZ" heater "core" is the real name is needed so why isn't that done to sell it just interesting.
Probably seller found out it's a horror show project and already overheated (not good for anything) and by-passed. You aren't sure so the end all suggestion is first make sure this seller has rights and papers to sell it if still interested.
Next since it seems nobody knows a lot or hiding some info just pay a real shop to estimate the cost to make it legally drivable AND fix that core also tested if overheating has any damage now. 1-2 hours of just checking time just what the condition of things really are at your expense with permission of the seller/owner.
Cost to you maybe up to $200? Cheap insurance not to get a money pit.


If the answer is NO move on and be done with this one.
Initial price is almost not the issue it's cost to make it road worthy. $850 isn't the world but you don't want to just waste that either.


Before moving on at all add up what you see. Tires good, even wear, same brands per axle? Anything else obvious to stop the show now?
Price range and age just know you are taking a gamble of quickly owning a total junk so find out what it's worth if just junking it! Scary area for cars I also don't believe miles or see if there's another digit 125,000 could have reset to 000 @ 100K once or twice you may not find that out so know just what's in front of you as best you can.


Take some time if you lose this one you'll find more at that rough price range just one repair could wipe out the cost of it just beware or it sets you back for the next try.


Good luck,
T



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 19, 2019, 5:15 AM

Post #3 of 4 (58 views)
Re: Looking for first car, would 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon be worth getting for now? Sign In

In case you're interested, replacing the heater core on that car is nearly a 5 hour job for an experienced tech. The entire dash has to be removed to access it. In a car that old plastic parts will just disintegrate when handled. The part may be available in the aftermarket but from the dealer it is almost $500.

Without repairing this you will have no heater or defroster.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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May 19, 2019, 2:00 PM

Post #4 of 4 (39 views)
Re: Looking for first car, would 1990 Toyota Corolla Wagon be worth getting for now? Sign In

Yikes! I didn't look that up. Hey - you/we or some of us could get away without heat but what the heck do you do if just people in this when cold with wrong dew point you are blind to drive it. Sure wipe windows but there are times you just can't in time,


T







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