should i buy it?

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by Jerry Wang, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. Jerry Wang

    Jerry Wang Guest

    i found this 300m around where i live. and the guy says it starting
    ticking when he was driving down the road. i am wondering what the
    problem is. he said he went to a dealer and they told him it was a
    betl tensioner pulley.
    is it worth it to buy it and fix it? he would sell it to me for 1500.
    car has 144k on it. nice interior.
    is there anything in the internal ruined? he hasnt drove it since.
    Jerry Wang, Sep 24, 2009
  2. It's not worth 1500, when I got rid of my Concord with 128K miles on it a
    few years ago I had to give it to my local NPR station in return for a
    $450 tax credit, I couldn't find a buyer for it at any price. A Chrysler
    with that many miles on it has no value, even in pre bankruptcy times. If
    you fix cars for a hobby then offer him $200, otherwise forget it.
    General Schvantzkoph, Sep 24, 2009
  3. Jerry Wang

    Bill Putney Guest

    Depends on what the ticking is. Is it a valve lash adjuster tick? If
    so - there's a TSB on replacing the rocker pivots. Does it tick until
    it warms up or even after that? Not unusual for the 3.5 (and its 3.2
    twin) to have valve ticking on initial startup - it is mentioned
    frequently on the LH car forums, and people know that it is nothing to
    worry about - almost an undocumented feature.

    You don't say what year it is, but I agree with the general - offer
    considerably less, and stick to that.

    This is very important:
    Has the timing belt been changed? If not, the owner is lucky it is
    still running at all. If the t-belt breaks, time for a new engine or
    the junk yard. If you get it, factor in between $500 and $1000 for the
    t-belt, water pump, and t-belt tensioner pulley. If he can document
    that those things have already been done*prior* *to* the purchase (due
    at 105k miles), then that would add some value. But if that cannot be
    proven, the value just dropped to a couple hundred above zero because
    you now face that expense *plus* it is indication that he is a moron
    when it comes to car maintenance and has neglected other important
    things (like maybe oil changes which may or may not explain the ticking).

    Other common sources for obvious noises: Accessory belt pulley bearings.
    There are two. They cam make quite a racket, and it is amazing how
    much quieter it will be when they are replaced.
    Bill Putney, Sep 24, 2009
  4. Jerry Wang

    MoPar Man Guest

    It's already been mentioned that the car should already be on it's
    second timing belt, and all other belts and pulleys should also have
    been changed.

    Other things to consider:

    - age of current battery
    - condition of tires
    - spark plugs (should have been changed by now)
    - transmission maintainence (oil and filter)
    - differential fluid change (changed twice already?)
    - power steering fluid change (changed twice already?)
    - brake fluid change
    - condition of brake pads and front rotors (maybe even rear rotors)
    - power windows and door locks (do they all work?)
    - power seats (driver and passenger) do they work?
    - scratches or cracks in the windows / windshield?
    - read defroster - does it work? (might be hard to test)
    - do all guages and lights on the instrument cluster work?
    - spare tire?
    - does the A/C work?
    - does the cruise control work?
    - do all buttons mounted to the steering wheel work?
    - turn signal and windshield-washer levers (broken?)
    - does the key fob work (lock / unlock the doors) ?
    - are two key fobs being offered with the car?
    - did the car pass it's last emissions test?
    - when idling or rev'd up, does the exhaust sound quiet?

    I looked up a few values from the Kelly Blue-book website. I had to
    guess a few things:

    - Year of car (I guessed 2002)
    - Exact model (standard 300m or 300m Special) - I guessed standard
    - Sound system (multi-CD player)
    - Sound system (premium)
    - no sun roof
    - premium wheels
    - your zip code (I guessed 54768 - was I close?)

    They give 3 different sales catagories (dealer trade-in, private-party
    sale, suggested retail value if sold by a dealer). I chose private
    party sale.

    They give the following prices based on condition:

    Excellent: $5,140
    Good: $4,665
    Fair: $4,090

    Kelly also can do a classified lookup for the same car in your
    vicinity. It found one example:
    $7,997 / 109,041 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M

    That's a dealer sale.

    Expanding the range to 200 miles:

    $7,495 / 97,504 miles - 2000 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,995 / 100,435 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $1,290 / 142,000 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $8,995 / 67,722 miles - 2003 CHRYSLER 300M
    $7,995 / 97,154 miles - 2000 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,995 / 97,429 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M
    $8,595 / 65,094 miles - 2003 CHRYSLER 300M
    $7,995 / 71,750 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,495 / 67,593 miles - 2001 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,995 / 96,290 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M
    $9,495 / 132,335 miles - 2003 CHRYSLER 300M
    $9,988 / 79,248 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M
    $5,999 / 164,812 miles - 2000 CHRYSLER 300M
    $7,977 / 88,876 miles - 2004 CHRYSLER 300M
    $7,999 / 115,898 miles - 2004 CHRYSLER 300M
    $4,995 / 89,048 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,991 / 114,911 miles - 2004 CHRYSLER 300M
    $5,900 / 100,523 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $5,431 / 91,185 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $5,990 / 77,693 miles - 2003 CHRYSLER 300M
    $7,997 / 109,041 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,481 / 112,355 miles - 2000 CHRYSLER 300M
    $8,990 / 80,211 miles - 2001 CHRYSLER 300M
    $4,999 / 95,420 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $2,999 / 165,947 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $4,890 / 164,227 miles - 1999 CHRYSLER 300M
    $6,970 / 98,634 miles - 2002 CHRYSLER 300M

    Most or almost all of those seem to be dealer sales, except for the one
    listed at $1,290.

    A regression analysis of the above data did not yield a strong
    correlation between milage and price (correlation coef. = .281). I
    played with the numbers (deleting some of the outliers) and got a coef.
    of 0.48 (n = 19). It works out such that if the car was new (zero
    miles) it would be worth $10,500 and would decline in price by $400 for
    every 10,000 miles on the odometer. Your car (144k) would depreciate by
    $5760, resulting in a price of $4,740.

    So, the bottom line is that if this car was sold to you by a dealer, it
    would have passed a safety inspection (tires and brakes are in working,
    satisfactory condition) and it would pass an emissions test, and it
    would probably have a minimal warranty (90 days?). For a price of

    The price change for a used 300m based only on it's model year (not it's
    milage) is about $600 per year. In other words, a 1999 300m is worth
    about $5,500 and a 2004 300m is worth about $8500.

    A dealer-offered 1999 300m will likely have 110,000 miles on it, and for
    every newer model year it will have 8,600 fewer miles. A 2004 300m will
    likely have 70,000 miles on it. Your car has 144,000 miles on it,
    clearly well above the typical example that a deal would have on his
    MoPar Man, Sep 25, 2009
  5. Jerry Wang

    Bill Putney Guest

    I see one item that you mentioned that I didn't mention and that may be
    important - the a.c. These cars are known for the evaporators leaking.
    That would be something that (1) would be easy for a seller to
    temporarily hide by charging it a few days in advance to keep it working
    long enough to make the sale, and (2) could cost more to repair than the
    value of the car.

    The dealer values you mention don't seem relevant to this private sale.
    And even for dealer prices, they seem high. Are those actual selling
    prices, or are they the asking price? 'cause I don't think they are
    realistic selling prices.

    And as you point out, we do not know the year of this one.
    Bill Putney, Sep 25, 2009
  6. Jerry Wang

    MoPar Man Guest

    The 3 prices above are kelly prices for a private sale.
    I provided the links to the ads - you can check them out for yourself:

    Here's an autotrader search for private-sale 300m's (7 cars in total) in
    the 54768 zipcode area:

    Of those, this one is closest to the OP's car (147k miles, $3,450 asking


    THIS MAY BE JUST THE RIGHT DEAL FOR YOU! This is my daughter's car who
    is now going out of state to attend college. Recently we helped her
    purchase a later model used car with lower milage since she will be
    traveling long distances regularly. This vehicle has been well
    maintained and driven by a non-smoker and is perfect for a first car,
    with tires that are in good condition. It is fully loaded and is well
    worth looking at. It was repainted by the previous owner. You will also
    enjoy the ice cold A/C, as well as it's a sporty look with a luxury
    ride. I have also listed some known items that may need to be repaired
    in the future such as: dash board lights, drivers side mirror, and paint
    AT 630-674-0624

    So to re-state, Kelly puts the price on the car (based on a private
    transaction) based on condition of car to be $4k to $5k.

    The 19 ads I used in my analysis seemed (at first glance) to be mostly
    dealer ads - perhaps some weren't. Those ads put the value at $4.7k -
    pretty much in the mid to high point of the $4k - $5k range.

    Going back to Kelly and specifying suggested retail value for a dealer
    sale gives $6,890 for that milage (144k) for "Excellent" condition (and
    also assuming it's a 2002 model):

    Kelly also posts the comment that the "Average consumer rating" of the
    300m is 4.5 out of 5 (based on 259 reviews).

    Going back to autotrader and searching for deal-sales 300m for the 54768
    zipcode, and sorting by milage (highest to lowest) gives this as the
    highest and lowest milage car:

    1999 300m 136k miles asking $3,990
    2004 300m 65k miles asking $9,900

    That 2004 300m comes with a 2-year / 100k powertrain warranty according
    to the ad.

    Remember what I posted in my previous ad - that the value of a 300m goes
    down $400 for each 10k in milage, and $600 for each model year?

    Take the milage different of those two cars (136k - 65k = 71k) Divide
    by 10k = 7.1, multiply by $400 = $2,840.

    Take the year difference (2004 - 1999 = 5). Multiply 5 x $600 = $3000.

    $3,000 + $2,840 = $5,840. That's the theoretical price difference
    between the two cars. The actual price difference is $5,910. Very
    close agreement (to within 2%).

    Getting back to the OP and his car:

    If the seller can safety the car and pass an emissions test, then
    without knowning anything else about the car I'd say it's worth at least
    $3,000. If in addition the seller can prove the timing belt and water
    pump have been changed, then the value goes up by $500-$700 to $3,500 -
    $3,700. Take $500 off if the A/C doesn't work.

    If you do a carfax vin search and find that the car hasn't been involved
    in any insurance issues (crash dammage, flood dammage, etc) then I think
    those prices are pretty solid. So yes, a price of $1,500 is a good deal
    - assuming it wasn't involved in a crash or had flood dammage in the
    MoPar Man, Sep 25, 2009
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