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Hey folks,

Got some great advice a couple of years ago on a 1.8 that I ultimately ended up (wisely) passing on thanks to advice on here, now I'm back to see what people think on my present opportunity. This is an automatic for the ex so she can have an easier time getting my son around and I am no longer the sole provider of transportation. This time it's a 2.8 I went to check out on craigslist and it ended up being a colleague from work oddly enough. The story goes that the car was sold by the husband of one of the secretaries at work who owns his own shop to this colleague so the daughter could have a car to drive around in worry-free for a year before leaving for college. Well, now she's left and I am looking at a 2002 4-motion GLX with low miles (105K), clean carfax, brakes were redone, new exhaust, set of winter tires and summer tires, just passed inspection in August. There is a sizeable dent in the rear quarter panel but otherwise in good shape. Test drive revealed nothing but a little rattle upon acceleration, I'm guessing the exhaust installation wasn't perfect.

Here's the thing, spoke with the secretary's husband about the timing belt and he has no memory of whether it was ever done or not. My understanding is it is due for one now at 105K but may be overdue based on a newer edit in the Bentley manual stating 70K. Asking price is $2700, they just reduced it I think. Big issue is my plan was to match the ex on funding this purchase but now after moving into a new place closer by her funds are not allowing for a car at this point.
I'm tempted to bite the bullet as this seems too good to pass up but I am uncomfortable in haggling too much on the price considering that I work with the seller. How much do people think is a safe reduction without coming off like I'm trying to take advantage? I would probably be able to take on the timing belt job myself but I know parts and special tools will cost me around $400. Do I factor in the going shop rate in my reduction, do I factor it in at all? How much does a big dent in the rear quarter affect things? Is the price fair as of right now? I'm tempted to just be honest and explain the ex's situation and see if they are flexible.

Thanks in advance guys.
 

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I would factor in what the shop rate is for the timing belt, water pump and all the related parts that need replacing at the time of a TB job.

Look at all the suspension parts also, PCV system, motor/ transmission mounts (these will need attention soon if not already) and the general over all condition of the common issues these cars face with it's age. Factor in just about everything you can think of using the shop rates as a guide. It'll be high then take that to the seller and explain the situation of the upcoming repairs that are needed.

Be honest with the seller and be fair. If you decide to get it. It will be a sold as is! Meaning you can't get upset with the seller if something goes wrong with it.

Look up the KBB on the car as pure reference only!!!

Haven't a clue on the dent cost since there isn't a pic but if it needs to be painted that'll add to the repair cost. Check with a paintless dent remove company.
 

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Wondering if an offer of $1800-2000 would be too much of a lowball?
Worst they can say is no. Doesn't hurt to start low. I bought my 04 V6 for a steal. Seller was asking more than 2800. I brought up all the things it would possibly need and there were no service records. Offered 300 cash and drove away in it that day :)
 

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Wonder why it needed a new exhaust with only 105k miles? Lots of short trips I imagine. That's not good for the engine either! $2,300 would be a fair price.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
 

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Price it on Edmund's it's more realistic and come up with list of all the work needed. Pay for an inspection at another shop (vw specialist) if you need an expert opinion.

You can simply say you are thinking about it and ask them to go ahead and list it for sale cause you don't want to hold them up.

I am not a mechanic but my car has had a lot more done that this shop owner ever did while he owned it. Don't assume owned by mechanic = reliable car. It's usually the opposite.

This has deferred maintenance and a dent. If you buy it for really low the cost of parts won't be a couple of hundred, and it will be a project car for some time. It may be stressful to keep the downtime to a minimum.

Price out the parts for:
Valve cover gasket and seals x2
Engine (plugs, wire, ign module, and filter, cooling system)
Timing belt service
Transmission fluid service
Power steering
Brake system (fluids, pads, rotors)
Suspension (control arms and alignment)
Any other issues like AC, heat, broken/worn switches and controls, windows, locks etc.
Battery and tires if needed

Look for threads with exhaustive list of what needs attention.
 
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