View Full Version : Planning to get a car for the first time need some help

19-09-2012, 07:30 PM
Hi guys

I'm needing to buy a car. It's my firstime buying a car.
Public transport in Auckland is very inconvenient especially the bus strike happening every week.

I have been given a deal and the car is a Nissan Bluebird sylphy 2003 Model.
The mileage is about 80k and the CC is 1.8

The price to be sold at $5000.
Looking at this car around google and trademe it sells at around $7-$9k.

I was wondering if the car is ok for an average person. I may drive from Auckland to Palmerston North.

The car looks ok. It's my friend's car.
Am I getting a deal at $5k?

19-09-2012, 08:15 PM
Rule 1 and only rule buy a Ford.

19-09-2012, 08:23 PM
Rule 1 and only rule buy a Ford. Would much rather have a Toyota or my Suzuki.At first glance it seems reasonable, if it's a tidy car. Then again I just bought my first car as well (no public transport to Waiuku :() so I probably know about as much as you...

19-09-2012, 08:31 PM
If you are a total novice it is a good idea to have the vehicle inspected by a professional before you purchase it. Vehicle Testing NZ or the AA will do it for a reasonable charge. That will give you a good idea of any problems it either has or may be developing in the immediate future.

19-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Nissans of that era are generally good. But definitly get AA breakdown cover and be sure to keep your mobile phone with you.

Meanwhile - hard to say if its great value at the price. Me - I'd certainly bargain them down at least another 5 hundred. Friends will often sell to friends for what they think its worth!

19-09-2012, 08:54 PM
Thanks guys

19-09-2012, 09:09 PM
Nissan's are generally very good ,had 2 Maxima's and still have one (98 SEL) with over 400,00 KM's between both of them

The bluebird will have a cam chain instead of a cambelt and will probably have the longlife plugs that need changing around 100,000km ($30 odd each) and the transmission flushed at the same K's

Seem it is a jap import check it has been maintained by the previous owner

19-09-2012, 09:30 PM
I like reliable.
Can be a bit tricky as my budget is usually $2k or under.

I did have a Bluebird once, seemed OK to start off, then all the hoses went. Not such an issue - except it was a right nightmare to get at them, had to remove half the engine to replace them.

Always had Toyotas since then, the type with the "where's the engine" as some of my mechanics put it.
I don't care, easier to do repairs should they need them. Also, they have rarely needed them.

20-09-2012, 08:13 AM
Yeah, as a kid I could stand in the space between a straight 6 and the wheel arch. These days if you can see any space big enough to hold your beer then something is missing.

My only advice is that a decent car needs to have 6 wheels. 4 on the road, one in the boot, and one in front of the driver. If it has a worn space saver tyre then it's likely been used by a mug who's been shy on maintenance. It amazes me the number of mugs on the open road running on a cruddy space saver. They're not using it for a day while a flat gets fixed. They're running on it full time.

It's also been said before that if the rubber pads on the pedals are worn then it may have had the odometer wound back.

Check for off colour, creamy curdled oil, check for sinking radiator water levels. Check for knocking noises when turning on full lock (forwards and backwards).

Aircons can be very expensive to maintain.

Check for white/blue smoke out the back. Particularly on startup, on gear change, and particularly after applying power after coasting downhill.

Check for a current WOF and rego.
Check for unpaid fines and tolls.

20-09-2012, 09:23 AM
Almost all modern japanese cars if well maintained are good for at least 200,000 kms without major repairs, but a professional check is always a good Idea.
Funny stuff prefect, most fords are mazda's anyway and the reliability record is not as good as nissan (or toyota who are the reliabilty kings). Nothing wrong with ford in general but hardly worthy of a rule.

No Idea about pricing though, that's a lot harder to tell. Buying from friends can be great, but it can also stress the relationship if the deal doesn't turn out well for either party.

Nick G
20-09-2012, 09:36 AM
Yep, do something like have the AA run a quick check over it.

20-09-2012, 09:36 AM
I bought a 1990 Mazda Familia in 2008 for $1.5 K and thrashed it for 2 years before trading in and upgrading to my Toyota Will VS.

Anything Toyota or even just Japanese made is fine IMO. Avoid Euro cars - yes they look pretty but finding parts on this side of the world is a pain in the a$$.

For your first car (for the price) it sounds reasonable. Best of luck to your new found freedom of driving!

20-09-2012, 10:51 AM
Isn't AA call outs, you can only do a few times that is free :D

With the price. For the last 3 cars of ours, we got from Turners, cos had enough of dealers. For a Japanese car, $5k is alright, maybe $4k for that car, assuming it passes all the checks like you find with that checklist at Turners. The only concern I would have from buying from a mate is that what happens if later you need to fix things when you go for a new WOF? Or maybe to replace a brake pad or a belt ... they all add up or that the lights needs to be readjusted or the tyres.

Yes, dealers can cost quite a bit more for the same thing. Also that things like the handbrake using the foot instead, like the most leftest pedal (for an auto car) may be cheaper. If the engine is fine but the body isn't in the most immaculate condition. Like we got a station wagon import Toyota Camry auto 2.2 with the footbrake, the car was probably used for business deliveries too I guess. Things like that.

Look for things that may not be on the "checklist" but you may want personally. Aircon, actual spare tyre (not spacesaver), radio/stereo works, maybe 2 car keys and remote locking actually works? You could get a car that passes all the authoritative checks right ... but eg. the aircon is not "mandatory" so may not be on their list. If you want the aircon, not compulsory, it could cost you $500-1000 to get it fixed. IME.

20-09-2012, 11:12 AM
Auckland summer is coming up - no aircon? :lol: Or maybe in the cooler/wetter times when the window fogs up. Yeah right.

20-09-2012, 11:12 AM
Rule 1 and only rule don't buy a Ford.
Fixed it for you.

20-09-2012, 11:20 AM
Auckland summer is coming up - no aircon? :lol: Or maybe in the cooler/wetter times when the window fogs up. Yeah right.

My car has no aircon, good thing the windows work. :p

Oh wait... can't put the passenger window up from the driver's door. Oh well. :D

25-09-2012, 04:38 PM
I tested the car and it is perfectly fine
The aircon is pretty cold and the heater is pretty hot.

One thing I noticed is about the break

When I drive my driving instructor's car you would hit the brake pedal slightly and you would feel the car is slowing down but with that car you'll need to push the brake pedal half way in and then a bit more before you notice the car is slowing down. I think this could be a bit dangerous but my friend is taking it to a mechanic who advises that they can adjust it slighly but not too much because for safety measures.

Is it me because I'm not use to the car or is it something else?

25-09-2012, 04:55 PM
Don't accept dodgy brakes. You should be able to lock up all 4 wheels easily. Try it on a concrete driveway or in a spacious carpark. Then try it on an empty stretch of road.

If you can't make 'em all squeal and smoke, then don't buy it.

Alex B
25-09-2012, 04:57 PM
Brakes differ on all cars, same with clutch position. My last car the clutch didn't come on until near the top of the peddle (was a brand new clutch) My new car it's right at the bottom.

Note if the car has ABS, what the above person has said won't happen.

25-09-2012, 05:36 PM
Also does the car have 4 wheel disk brakes or just disk brakes on the front wheels and drun brakes on the rear. That also makes a differance. What make and model year car is it.

25-09-2012, 05:54 PM
It's a Nissan Bluebird Slyphy 2003.

I tested the brakes, They do brake well upon pushing the pedal in deeply.It doesn't make any squeaks or anything which I think is good.

25-09-2012, 06:05 PM
If you drove an auto before and this car is a manual, you may find the brakes are not quite as 'touchy', and this is probably normal. You can check the brake pads have meat left on them easily, but as long as the thing stops properly without your foot going right to the floor you should be OK. Any mechanic can check this and even bleed the brakes pretty quickly if you're worried about it.

The car sounds like a darn good deal to me.

25-09-2012, 06:27 PM
I see it is the same as a NZ Nissan Pulsar.

25-09-2012, 06:32 PM
Ring Turners and ask them what they would pay you, they are usually spot on.

Rule #2, never but a Ford and buy a Nissan.

kahawai chaser
25-09-2012, 09:18 PM
Brakes may not have been bleed properly since last brake shoe/pad change. Another reason could be worn plunger/cylinder seals, or sworn bore in the master cylinder. Sometimes see bubbles when the brake pedal is depressed.

As noted earlier Jap cars are reliable, with refining of engines with Vtec, VVT, etc engines from Toyota and Honda, don't know what Nissan has done to improve their engines in terms of variable timing and economizing.

Billy T
25-09-2012, 11:48 PM
FORD = Found On Road Dead. :groan:

I've had about six, two I owned, the rest were company cars (from new, no prior drivers), all were crap.

Then I got a Toyota and the sun started to shine. Several Toyotas later I changed employer and found myself in Holdens. They were marginally better than Ford, but I had to return one (bought new) to the dealer because the 3 speed auto ran as a two speed, it drove like a brick, smoked like a chimney at anything over 110km/hr, hand brake fell apart, then finally a rear wheel assembly collapsed, so I took it back and they replaced it (the whole B#$@&* car).

Then I went to Mazda on my own account and have had nothing else since, they just go and go. I have a 6 Sportwagon 2.3 with alloy wheels and 8 airbags (I think, I can only count 6 but the book says there's 8) and it is a dream. Does 700km to the tank around town and upward of 800 on the open road.


Billy 8-{)

26-09-2012, 07:41 AM
FORD = Found On Road Dead. :groan:

Then I went to Mazda on my own account and have had nothing else since, they just go and go.

Interesting considering until 2010 Mazda and Ford had merged and a lot of Fords had Mazda engines.

sam m
26-09-2012, 07:53 AM
It's the name bag FORD that is the problem. Fix Or Repair Daily.

26-09-2012, 09:31 AM
First On Race Day

26-09-2012, 09:33 AM
First On Race Day

Think you mean the LORDs in that case ;)

Billy T
28-09-2012, 08:02 PM
Interesting considering until 2010 Mazda and Ford had merged and a lot of Fords had Mazda engines.

Actually, the Fords were cosmetically restyled and rebadged Mazdas. I refer to the 323/Laser, 626/Telstar, and some commercial vans. Only the Falcon Saloon and Ute remained 100% Ford, including engines.

The Laser/Telstar twins were built in the Plunket Ave, Wiri Plant, but I don't recall where the Mazda Plant was, but they began in Otahuhu I think. I was working around the Motor industry at that time and was in and out of most of the Auckland plants plus Toyota Thames.

Funny thing was that although I always understood that the 323/Laser motors were notionally the same, the Ford version smoked when the km's got up a bit but the Mazda didn't. It may be that Ford sourced their motors from Australia while Mazda used Japanese production; both brands were using CKD kits anyway with limited local input.


Billy 8-{)

28-09-2012, 10:09 PM
Coincidentally I drove a Bluebird Sylphy on a bit of a tikky tour around parts of the South Island last week. It was sweet, 1.8L made for easy driving over the hilly bits, but at the same time it seemed very economical, It handled nicely, even in the extreme curvy bits (lots). Our model had walnut panels, aircon etc etc very nice car. Sorry don't know what year it was. nor remember the milage. Its not a car that has oodles of power to spare, it just gets you from A to B efficiently without fuss. Probably ideal for what you want.

29-09-2012, 12:12 AM
I drive a Nissan Primera 2ltr ... bought it with 21,000 Ks on it about 9 years ago and it now has 265,750Ks on it. Motor still strong as and still gets up around 180 kph on a deserted road a 3 in the am (not that I would ever consider doing such a thing :rolleyes:)

Had several sets of Michelin tyres on it and one set of Pirellis (not as good and went back to Michelins) ... water pump replaced, battery replaced, fuel pump replaced and some other minor things like light bulbs, fan belt, etc.

Economy wise ... driving at posted speed limits, I can drive Dunedin - Christchurch and return (approx 750 Ks) on under a full tank of gas. Have got accurate petrol consumption figures but they're on another drive.

It has been used to teach 3 of my kids how to drive and has been some places a 2 wheel drive passenger vehicle should never been able to go ... two wheel rear drive just wouldn't have the traction of the front wheel drive under motor weight.

The clutch has just started slipping a bit when under load on steep streets, so that is going to be replaced ... only because I want to find out how many Ks the damn thing will do before the motor gives up.

Friend of mine is a qualified motor re-conditioner and he's said that lately the newer Toyota's are not as good and start burning oil at very low mileage ... his first choice in build quality now, excluding European models, is Hyundai.

Having said all this ... i am thinking of becoming a tree hugging greenie and buying a horse because they're cheaper to fuel up (eats the neighbours lawns, flowers and vege garden bare) emissions are carbon neutral and make the roses bloom beautifully.