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Looking at Buying a high mileage 2001 i30t

Infiniti I30/I35 Similar to a Maxima, yet not really a Maxima. Discussion forum on Nissan's luxury model, the Infiniti I30/I35

Looking at Buying a high mileage 2001 i30t

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Old 07-28-2017, 02:13 PM
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Looking at buying a high mileage 2001 i30t

The car has just less than 192,000 miles. Clean and normal wear and tear. Is owned by a 35 year mechanic.

What I know:
  • Clean title
  • I beam welded in place of radiator support
  • No CEL's
  • New Front Struts/Springs
  • New windshield
  • New Front & Rear pads & rotors
  • New end links
  • New inner tie rods
  • New outer tie rods
  • New ignition coils
  • New tires (no name brand)
  • New lower motor mounts
  • New HID bulbs
  • New lower control arms
  • Replaced front right wheel bearing
  • New belts
  • Everything works
  • claims no oil burn
  • some rust over driver side wheel well. Nothing crazy yet.

Its silver with black interior. Listed for $1,500. He will not go below $1,200. We have a verbal agreement. Buy or run? Thoughts?

Last edited by Former3G; 07-28-2017 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:59 PM
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Mechanics usually drive a car til it is too expensive to maintain. They know when to get out of it. He pretty much replaced the whole front end of that car. That would scare me. I know rust is a killer in your area, but I personally wouldn't be comfortable with buying a visibly rusted car.

Trans solenoids can get gummy if not maintained. Definitely pay attention to that tranny. Drive it from cold start for at least 15 minutes. Preferably on a hot day. 5th gens have a semi-harsh 1-2 kick when cold if there are problems. After about 5-10 mins, give it a good go and watch for any slip.

I always personally budget a car should get me by on $1,000/yr plus insurance and fuel, but try to include maintenance. If you think you can get about 2 years out of it, I would go for it. Beyond 200k, I would say there's a 15-25% chance of critical failure. Beyond 250k, 50% or more because of the NJ environment. But there are plenty out there you can finance in the $4500-$5000 range with 70k miles and probably much nicer shape. Play the waiting game.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-...modelCode1=I30

^^^ Example^^^ 105,000 miles LESS for $4500. If you drive 15,000 miles a year, it would take you SEVEN years just to get to the same mileage. If you follow my thought of keeping the cost of a car to about $1000/yr, that's $7,000 by the time you hit the same mileage. Decision trees and spreadsheets are my best friend.
Check out this spreadsheet I used to finally decide to turn in our VW earlier this year. The VW was our expensive family car that I was going to commute with. Low to mid 40MPG. The extra fuel costs of driving our newest "gas-guzzling" I35 would take 23 YEARS to burn through the $13,000 price difference. 5 years from now, I could buy another I35 for $4000 and still have a 15-year supply of cash for fuel before I even hit the original cost of the VW. Even if I took the lawsuit payout and kept the VW, it would still take 11 years to pay off the fuel cost difference. So we sold it back to VW. I35 had 79,000 miles and VW had 56,000 miles.
Try to think of a way to draft up something like that based on the car's value, life expectancy of the vehicle, and the expected reliability and repair costs.




Think long-term and choose wisely. Go in peace, my son. Lol
fuel cost spreadsheet

Last edited by mydecember1985; 07-28-2017 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-29-2017, 11:58 AM
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Thank you for the guidance. I've made similar spreadsheets. I log everything, including all of my fill ups and every dime that I put into my cars. Glad to see that I'm not the only one

This specific car will pretty much be a beater until I decide which new car I want to buy. I also have a much lower mileage 96 Maxima 5 speed that is currently not running. I generally keep these cars for maybe 8 months to a year and sell them off for what I paid for them. Once I get the 96 running, I will sell one of the two cars and keep one as a beater.

The guy who has the car doesn't need a car for a while so he is selling off his two cars. In fact, he sold one is keeping this one until the second week of August, so I have a couple of weeks to decide. Seems like a stand up guy. The car has no abnormal underbody rust. It was coated when bought new. Body has some scratches and the rust spot on the fender is not all that big.

He pretty much replaced everything that needed to be done for the mileage, but yes, the transmission is a bit concerning to me. This is why I dislike automatics.

Is $1200 over paying assuming a good transmission?
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:59 PM
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So I was able to drive the car today. Items of note:
  • The I beam radiator support repair was genius and will last forever.
  • The engine was quiet but there was a light rough idle.
  • The 1 -> 2 shift was hard only when accelerating quickly. It was smooth otherwise. He claims to have changed the fluid. All other gear changes were smooth.
  • Power steering had a whine.
  • The rear passenger floorboard was rotted out.
  • Body was very straight but paint correction is definitely needed. There was fender rust on both sides and some fading on the paint.
  • Car drove real well. The interior was clean, except for some tears in the seats & center console. The fake wood trim was also faded a bit.

The car would need nothing. It doesn't lose any oil... but seems that the transmission and steering noise are a bit concerning to me.

My conclusion, he listed for $1500, he wants $1200. To my its an $700 to $900 car at most. I think i'm going to run because the guy was nice and I don't want to lowball him. I'm sure someone who doesn't know what to look for will pay him what he wants for it.
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:45 PM
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Yep, as you started listing all that stuff you noticed, I was thinking "Never more that $1k" out the door for something like that. Good choice and good luck finding another one.

I would never touch anything with rotted floorboards (except my old '73 challenger I got for $3500). Anything less than 15 years shouldnt have rot or else it just wasn't taken care of. But I know you guys got salt like mad up there.
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Old 07-31-2017, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by mydecember1985 View Post
Yep, as you started listing all that stuff you noticed, I was thinking "Never more that $1k" out the door for something like that. Good choice and good luck finding another one.

I would never touch anything with rotted floorboards (except my old '73 challenger I got for $3500). Anything less than 15 years shouldnt have rot or else it just wasn't taken care of. But I know you guys got salt like mad up there.
Yeah, unless he comes back with a much lower offer, I will pass on this one for sure.

Most Nissans up here have rotted floor boards and/or rad supports
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:38 AM
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Did you ever find Something? Not easy in that $1k-1500 buck range that is a whole car and runs.
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MRANT212 View Post
Did you ever find Something? Not easy in that $1k-1500 buck range that is a whole car and runs.
No I gave up and just ended up with a newer Q50 instead. My wife got tired of me driving around beaters these past few years I still have my dead '96 Max sitting since last November so I will just focus on that project again. Paid less than a grand for that one with only 130,000 miles but let it sit too long since it needed injectors and now it decided it wanted to just die altogether. I tried everything I could to get it running again. I'm going to send it off and see if a mechanic friend can get it running. If not, going to pull the megan header back exhaust that it came with and scrap it. Or just part it out. Its a rather rare spec gxe with all options ticked minus leather and bose /climate and has a 5 speed I think i've come to learn that these cars are being sold well beyond what they are worth and its just not worthwhile anymore, unfortunately
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Old 10-02-2017, 04:57 PM
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Great car the Q50... many happy sMiles!
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Old 10-03-2017, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MRANT212 View Post
Great car the Q50... many happy sMiles!
Thank you. I was going to get a new Maxima, but I just can't get over the CVT transmission.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:57 AM
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I wouldn't go for it. Too much replaced for the year, owned by a mechanic says enough own its own regarding cost of ownership. If I went about it again i would buy a Q.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:51 PM
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Of course the car was owned by the mechanic. He couldn't legally sell it otherwise. He probably didn't own it that long, though. Just long enough to patch it up and sell it.
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