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The Prospective RX8

Old 07-22-2015, 07:08 PM
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The Prospective RX8

Hello Everyone!

I've been reading an awful lot of posts on this forum for the last few days and I decided I'm gonna create an account and join in the fun.

SO here's the gig. In the next 2 months I am going to get a car and spend around $7k on it. The car I've been hoping to get is an RX8. Here's the deal with an RX8 though, if I get one it's gonna be a 2004 and have 70k+ miles on it. I've seen a number of 05's with 110k miles or higher, but I'd be more interested in an 04 with the lower miles I think.

Now, I read up on some Reddit posts here in which the author of the post asked if RX8's generally make it far past 100k and the answer from the crowd generally seemed to be "Yes, if you drive it hard and get regular oil changes/top off the oil regularly."

So I can do that, no sweat. My biggest concern is gonna be that I buy an RX8 that has 100k miles on it and the owner before me didn't know what he was doing and realized his engine was dying and wanted to sell it before it died all the way. I'm sure there's a lot of honest sellers out there, but still.

I've heard about getting compression tests to see how well the apex seals are doing and what not, which sounds reasonable. My question is what goes into that? If it's a private seller, are they gonna be irritated if I want to go get their car tested?

Secondly, here's what I know about maintenance so far:
  • Red line the car at least once on every trip
  • Check oil every time I gas up
  • Oil changes frequently (every 2k or so)
  • Let the engine heat up and cool down before running and stopping (respectively)

Am I missing anything obvious?


Also, if I go through with this and purchase an RX8, what sort of expenses could I expect to see out of the gate with a car this old with this many miles? Would you anticipate a lot of problems or assume if it made it this far, the owner was doing something right?

As a side note, where I live, we see snow for generally 2-3 months every year. I've heard that getting good tires mitigates any serious winter problems. Is this true? Will I be fine?


I am 18, this will be my 3rd car. I am okay with the gas and insurance cost of owning the car, I just want to make sure I'm ready for all the rest.
First car was a 2002 Impala with a V6. Pretty solid car. Unfortunately I got hit in the side by some crazy driver and totaled my car.
Second car was (and is) a 1999 Grand AM SE V4. Meh. It gets me around, but it's got some rust on it and it squeals and half the interior lights randomly go out. The plastic is falling apart. All in all, I'm ready for an upgrade.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyl3r View Post
Hello Everyone!

I've been reading an awful lot of posts on this forum for the last few days and I decided I'm gonna create an account and join in the fun.

SO here's the gig. In the next 2 months I am going to get a car and spend around $7k on it. The car I've been hoping to get is an RX8. Here's the deal with an RX8 though, if I get one it's gonna be a 2004 and have 70k+ miles on it. I've seen a number of 05's with 110k miles or higher, but I'd be more interested in an 04 with the lower miles I think.

Now, I read up on some Reddit posts here in which the author of the post asked if RX8's generally make it far past 100k and the answer from the crowd generally seemed to be "Yes, if you drive it hard and get regular oil changes/top off the oil regularly."

So I can do that, no sweat. My biggest concern is gonna be that I buy an RX8 that has 100k miles on it and the owner before me didn't know what he was doing and realized his engine was dying and wanted to sell it before it died all the way. I'm sure there's a lot of honest sellers out there, but still.

I've heard about getting compression tests to see how well the apex seals are doing and what not, which sounds reasonable. My question is what goes into that? If it's a private seller, are they gonna be irritated if I want to go get their car tested?

Secondly, here's what I know about maintenance so far:
  • Red line the car at least once on every trip
  • Check oil every time I gas up
  • Oil changes frequently (every 2k or so)
  • Let the engine heat up and cool down before running and stopping (respectively)

Am I missing anything obvious?


Also, if I go through with this and purchase an RX8, what sort of expenses could I expect to see out of the gate with a car this old with this many miles? Would you anticipate a lot of problems or assume if it made it this far, the owner was doing something right?

As a side note, where I live, we see snow for generally 2-3 months every year. I've heard that getting good tires mitigates any serious winter problems. Is this true? Will I be fine?


I am 18, this will be my 3rd car. I am okay with the gas and insurance cost of owning the car, I just want to make sure I'm ready for all the rest.
First car was a 2002 Impala with a V6. Pretty solid car. Unfortunately I got hit in the side by some crazy driver and totaled my car.
Second car was (and is) a 1999 Grand AM SE V4. Meh. It gets me around, but it's got some rust on it and it squeals and half the interior lights randomly go out. The plastic is falling apart. All in all, I'm ready for an upgrade.
Welcome.
You seem to have a reasonable grasp on things.
Read the new owner stickies, especially the part that targets people thinking about buying an 8.
I have an '04 LY GT, 3 years now.
Love it.
The price for the mileage & year you stated should get you a decent car.
A rotary specific compression test is a must. 2 sets of 3 numbers for each rotor face.
Anyone trying to sell an '04 in decent shape for $7k should be willing to agree to it.
Also be aware that premium gas is required, not an option.
Be patient, and compare.
Good luck!
*Edit* also if you are getting an '04, be sure it's a Manual, and has had the recalls and especially the PCM reflash.

Last edited by BigCajun; 07-22-2015 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:26 PM
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When you find the one you want just tell the owner that you'll buy it pending a compression test which you will pay for.

I met the previous owner at the dealership and we completed the bill of sale and transfer of registration right there after it had passed its compression test.

Also you might want to run the VIN in order to find out whether the engine that is in the car is original vs a reman.

with 7K I would imagine you could get an 2006+ btw.

Don't rush, be diligent in your search and it will pay off in the long run.

I got my 8 when I was 17, still have her, love it to death. It took me 2 months to find the right one.

My recommendation is to at least test drive 5+. Then make a decision

Cheers
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:38 PM
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I think the buyer should get the owner to agree to pay for the test if possible.
It could get expensive to pay for multiple tests.
A compromise might be to agree for the buyer to pay for a compression test only if it passes.
The seller should be willing to pay for it if he really wants to sell it, and has nothing to hide.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:09 PM
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Wow, great stuff guys. I didn't expect to have three replies already. Who would have guessed the RX8 forums are booming

BigCajun:
Read the new owner stickies, especially the part that targets people thinking about buying an 8.
I have an '04 LY GT, 3 years now.
Love it.
The price for the mileage & year you stated should get you a decent car.
I read those previously. I have to say the engine failure stuff makes me nervous, but when I keep going over my options, I definitely wouldn't rather have a camry or a civic just because the engine is gonna last 250k. I'm alright with some trouble for the end goal.
Reading things like this is really reassuring. I like the crowd around the RX8. Everyone seems to have a sense of humor and really love their cars.


My recommendation is to at least test drive 5+. Then make a decision
Test drive 5 RX8's? Or 5 cars in general?
Last time I bought a car I was rushed into it due to my previous car being totaled. I'm excited to be able to sit back and survey my options this time. I'll try my hardest not to rush it.


Thanks for the input on getting a compression test. BigCajun's suggestion of if it passes, I cover the cost sounds really good. I'm sure any reasonable seller would agree to that. If they don't agree to it, there must be something shifty going on anyhow, so I'm not sure I would want that car.


I live in Ohio, and within 50 miles of me, I don't think there's much more than 5 or 6 RX8's being sold.
Prices are like this:
  • Craigslist has three 04's for $5500 or less. Two of them are autos (no thanks) and the other one is looking like it's in sorry condition.
  • I've seen two or three at dealers. They seem to be all 05's being sold for $6900 or more with 100k miles or more.

So right now, I'm kind of in the process of waiting for a gem to show up.

Last edited by Skyl3r; 07-22-2015 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:48 PM
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Dealers will usually ask for more than they will sell it at.
I bought mine from a dealer, got it for $3k less than the asking price.
It wasn't $7k though.
Fully loaded GT in pristine condition with only 18,500 miles.
They may also offer a free Carfax and an extended warranty, so that could be worth extra.
Be informed, and let them know you know what you're talking about.
Check out Edmunds and KBB for ballpark prices.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:56 PM
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https://www.rx8club.com/new-member-f...t-here-202454/


RX8 Club’s recommended maintenance schedule, more comprehensive and proactive than Mazda’s schedule.
30,000 miles:
- Replace Ignition coils
- Replace Plug wires
- Replace Spark plugs
- Clean MAF (mass air flow sensor)
- Clean ESS (e-shaft sensor)
- Reset ESS profile
- Clean power steering connections
- Clean battery terminals and clamps
- Replace transmission fluid
- Replace coolant (Mazda FL-22 is highly recommended)
- Replace air filter
- Replace brake fluid (fluid in the brake lines AND the clutch line)
~$300 USD in parts if you shop smartly.


every 60,000:
...all 30,000, plus...
- Clean all chassis electrical grounding points
- Replace accessory belts
- Clean OMP lines
- Replace rear differential fluid
- Replace thermostat
- Clean / Straighten AC condenser fins
- Clean / Straighten oil cooler fins
- Inspect catalytic converter
- Clean / Inspect intake valving
- Consider / inspect all points in 90,000+ as well, many items fail early
~$130 USD in parts if you shop smartly.

90,000:
...all 30,000, plus any 60,000 not yet done, plus...
- Replace coolant bottle
- Replace radiator hoses
- Replace radiator
- Replace front O2 sensor
- Replace motor mounts
- Inspect clutch pedal assembly for flex / weld breaks
~$900 USD in parts if you shop smartly.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:59 PM
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Dealers will usually ask for more than they will sell it at.
I bought mine from a dealer, got it for $3k less than the asking price.
It wasn't $7k though.
Fully loaded GT in pristine condition with only 18,500 miles.
They may also offer a free Carfax and an extended warranty, so that could be worth extra.
Be informed, and let them know you know what you're talking about.
Check out Edmunds and KBB for ballpark prices.
Wow, nice man. Hopefully I can pull of some sort of feat and haggle the price down a little.
$6400 or $6500 would be much more reasonable to me than $6900.

I've checked the KBB value for the car (about $1000 less than what I've seen them for at actual dealers.)
I feel like I'm reasonably informed. I'm no car guru, but I have read a fair amount about specifically dealing with dealers. I'm just slightly worried that I'll head to a dealership and the guy will walk out and start spitfire talking about how great this car is and that car is and before I know it I'm walking off with a 64 month 30% interest sale on a $10,000 car I didn't even want.

I've never been to a dealership before, but that's how I imagine it to be.

RX8 Club’s recommended maintenance schedule, more comprehensive and proactive than Mazda’s schedule.
30,000 miles:
- Replace Ignition coils
- Replace Plug wires
- Replace Spark plugs
- Clean MAF (mass air flow sensor)
- Clean ESS (e-shaft sensor)
- Reset ESS profile
- Clean power steering connections
- Clean battery terminals and clamps
- Replace transmission fluid
- Replace coolant (Mazda FL-22 is highly recommended)
- Replace air filter
- Replace brake fluid (fluid in the brake lines AND the clutch line)
~$300 USD in parts if you shop smartly.


every 60,000:
...all 30,000, plus...
- Clean all chassis electrical grounding points
- Replace accessory belts
- Clean OMP lines
- Replace rear differential fluid
- Replace thermostat
- Clean / Straighten AC condenser fins
- Clean / Straighten oil cooler fins
- Inspect catalytic converter
- Clean / Inspect intake valving
- Consider / inspect all points in 90,000+ as well, many items fail early
~$130 USD in parts if you shop smartly.

90,000:
...all 30,000, plus any 60,000 not yet done, plus...
- Replace coolant bottle
- Replace radiator hoses
- Replace radiator
- Replace front O2 sensor
- Replace motor mounts
- Inspect clutch pedal assembly for flex / weld breaks
~$900 USD in parts if you shop smartly.
Wow, very comprehensive. Saving for future reference. Thank you very much. I must have missed that if it was in the new and potential owner's sticky.
EDIT: Ah... There's a second page.



I really wish this one wasn't auto... I'd be off to look at it tomorrow if it wasn't...

Last edited by Skyl3r; 07-22-2015 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 09:55 PM
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Ya I meant look at 5 RX8s. Don't under estimate your haggling ability either. I bought my R3 for 16K down from 21K 3 years ago. The market for 8s isn't strong haha.

Also the reason I suggest driving different ones is that you will start to notice what one in good condition is like.

I drove 10+ before I got mine and by the end I could tell which ones were lacking power (low compression or ignition system issues) just from comparison. As well as picking things up like the idle being off.

It's easy to fall in love and overlook blatant issues with a car, that's how people wind up with 8s with terrible compression. Be objective, ask lots of questions.

Quiz the owner, see if they are familiar with things like flooding, oil changes, CAT failure.

I also recommend a carfax report.

Cheers and good luck man. You seem like a smart guy, glad you're doing your research.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Shumster View Post
Ya I meant look at 5 RX8s. Don't under estimate your haggling ability either. I bought my R3 for 16K down from 21K 3 years ago. The market for 8s isn't strong haha.

Also the reason I suggest driving different ones is that you will start to notice what one in good condition is like.

I drove 10+ before I got mine and by the end I could tell which ones were lacking power (low compression or ignition system issues) just from comparison. As well as picking things up like the idle being off.

It's easy to fall in love and overlook blatant issues with a car, that's how people wind up with 8s with terrible compression. Be objective, ask lots of questions.

Quiz the owner, see if they are familiar with things like flooding, oil changes, CAT failure.

I also recommend a carfax report.

Cheers and good luck man. You seem like a smart guy, glad you're doing your research.
Okay, well, that seems like pretty reasonable reasoning to me. I'll see what I can do to find a few RX-8s to test drive.
So far how my purchases is looking like it's gonna shape up:
  1. Coordinate with a few private sellers and check out their offers.
  2. Step foot onto a dealership lot and battle off the money craving salesmen while struggling for non biased information.
  3. Identify the best choice and purchase!


Thanks for the suggestions! I'm making sure to note down these things. There's a lot more to buying a car than there would seem to be... Especially if it's an RX-8 ._.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:08 PM
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Haha trust me, everyday is gonna be a learning experience with an 8.

I can't honestly put in words how much I love this car though.

When I have a rough day I go for drives, there's something about the 8 that's so engaging. The sound, the feel. It's amazing. Makes everything better

So glad to hear such a levelheaded guy approaching this with an open mind. It's refreshing since we get a lot of people here that want to be spoon fed or are already set on ignoring our opinions

Last edited by Shumster; 07-22-2015 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Shumster View Post
Haha trust me, everyday is gonna be a learning experience with an 8.

I can't honestly put in words how much I love this car though.

When I have a rough day I go for drives, there's something about the 8 that's so engaging. The sound, the feel. It's amazing. Makes everything better
Oh boy, that sounds scary and awesome at the same time.
Having had cheap beaters for all my driving days, I'm excited to have a car I can actually enjoy driving around in.


Something I've been trying to figure out is how often do things go wrong? If you're driving it pretty hard and you maintain the oil, is it pretty reliable for a long haul?
Seems like 75% of people say "Absolutely, just as reliable as any other car" and the others say "No, it breaks in an instant. Not worth it. Don't waste your time."
The opinions are so contrasting it's easy to be a little nervous...

Last edited by Skyl3r; 07-22-2015 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyl3r View Post
Hello Everyone!
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        Old 07-22-2015, 10:55 PM
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        Not gonna lie I have an 09 R3 and have had the motor replaced. When I bought it the compression numbers were perfect. Took good care of her and still lost a motor to unknown causes. It's part of ownership.

        That being said, lots of owners are still on their original motors. I think in terms of things breaking down they're no different then any other sports car.

        The 8 has quirks. You gotta embrace them.

        That being said, if you can go for 2006+ I recommend that as they were less problematic I believe.

        Oh also to answer your winter question, I've driven my 8 selectively in Alberta Canada winters. Minus 20-30 celsius, foot of snow. Bridgestone blizzaks and you're good. Just don't drive like it's the summer. You go WOT and you'll be in a ditch.

        Last edited by Shumster; 07-22-2015 at 10:57 PM.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 05:16 AM
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        Originally Posted by Skyl3r View Post
        Oh boy, that sounds scary andd awesome at the same time.
        Having had cheap beaters for all my driving days, I'm excited to have a car I can actually enjoy driving around in.


        Something I've been trying to figure out is how often do things go wrong? If you're driving it pretty hard and you maintain the oil, is it pretty reliable for a long haul?
        Seems like 75% of people say "Absolutely, just as reliable as any other car" and the others say "No, it breaks in an instant. Not worth it. Don't waste your time."
        The opinions are so contrasting it's easy to be a little nervous...
        I figured mine was only driven around 2200 miles a year for 8 years before I got it.
        That's good for keeping it in good shape, but I doubt it was driven very hard, which is a good idea for 8s.
        "Drive it like you stole it!"
        That being said, 4 days after I bought it, I got a CEL for a bad cat and misfires from a bad coil.
        Very common problem, the original coils were crap on '04s.
        The warranty expired on it 4 days before it got traded in, which is why an extended warranty from a dealer is a good idea.
        So I replaced the cat with a midpipe, (they can also be gutted to save money) and got new coils, wires, and plugs.
        $38 @ coils, $20 @ NGK laser iridium plugs and $35 for an NGK plug set.
        Then I needed a new battery, not surprising for a barely driven 8 year old car.
        That was it for over 2 years until my fuel pump went out a few months ago.
        Over 45k miles on it now.
        Keep in mind it is a sports car that does need to be maintained well and not ignored like a Honda or Toyota toaster oven on wheels.
        It has been well worth it to me. Some things are worth the effort and expense, and my 8 is definitely one.
        I'm 54, got my first car when I was 16, a '69 Javelin, and have had many cars and 2 trucks, and it is by far the best, most fun car I've ever owned.
        It handles beautifully, is quick, comfortable ride, and has a quiet, comfortable cabin which I like a lot.
        Even if I have to replace the engine, it's been worth it.
        Some things are hard to put a price on.
        For even more positive reinforcement, find "The little things" thread and read through that.
        You'll understand why people love these cars even with it's flaws.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 08:31 AM
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        Hmm, thanks Colon Terminus. So I guess I'll shoot to purchase the car in such a way that I have a grand left over for various parts and potential maintenance then.

        It won't be snowy or particularly cold for several months after I get the car, so I have a little time to browse around for wheels too.

        Shumster:
        How fast after you bought the car did the engine fail?
        I'll look for a 2006 in my price range, but they seem kind of rare, so not sure what I can do. With only a few RX-8s being on the market at all near me, I'm not gonna be too terribly picky about the year.

        BigCajun:
        I figured mine was only driven around 2200 miles a year for 8 years before I got it.
        That's good for keeping it in good shape, but I doubt it was driven very hard, which is a good idea for 8s.
        "Drive it like you stole it!"
        That being said, 4 days after I bought it, I got a CEL for a bad cat and misfires from a bad coil.
        Very common problem, the original coils were crap on '04s.
        Sounds like your analysis is probably right. One of my hopes in getting a car with 75k miles or more on it is that all the bad stock parts have already been replaced.

        From what you say, sounds like if I keep that little $1000 emergency fund and I didn't get a car with a failing engine, I should be good to go.

        I was going through The little things thread last night. It was semi amusing to me that people notice all these things.

        One thing that I noticed throughout the time I started looking at the car to now. My initial fear of running into these problems and how much I would have to spend to keep the car moving has slowly dissolved into excitement for getting the car and how I will handle these things if they come.
        I really appreciate the input you guys are providing. I feel like I won't walk onto a lot or a private owner's driveways looking like an idiot now.

        Last edited by Skyl3r; 07-23-2015 at 09:31 AM.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 11:02 AM
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        Skyl3r, just curious where are you located.

        I'm in Canada and I see 07s going for 7K.

        Oh and my motor was at 72 000KMS, plus it's an S2 which has a number of reliability changes from the S1. That being said, there's always gonna be bad eggs. Mine didn't go through the standard gradual loss of compression. It just died all of a sudden. Possibly do to the oil system, but can't know for sure. Under warranty though.

        It's just gonna be one of those things that you need to be aware of. If you do your homework and get a compression test ect. You'll probably be ok. However, if you're banking on the engine making it for X long time then you're putting yourself at risk. Well at least more risk than buying a civic.

        Pretty much read RIWWP's New Owner's thread. It's stickied at the top of this forum. It was the bible when I was looking for my 8. I still use it all the time now

        Last edited by Shumster; 07-23-2015 at 11:05 AM.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 11:37 AM
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        Welcome to the club! You should be able to get a decent 8 for $7,000. Especially if that is USD.

        One thing that I think might have been overlooked as all of us current RX-8 owners do not care about this, is that you are going to go through a lot of cash on gas with this car.

        I would say take your current budget for your beaters on gas and double to triple it. See below Fuelly ratings.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 11:51 AM
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        I just swipe my card, put in the nozzle, look away and wait for it to click.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 12:00 PM
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        Originally Posted by Shumster View Post
        Skyl3r, just curious where are you located.

        I'm in Canada and I see 07s going for 7K.

        Oh and my motor was at 72 000KMS, plus it's an S2 which has a number of reliability changes from the S1. That being said, there's always gonna be bad eggs. Mine didn't go through the standard gradual loss of compression. It just died all of a sudden. Possibly do to the oil system, but can't know for sure. Under warranty though.

        It's just gonna be one of those things that you need to be aware of. If you do your homework and get a compression test ect. You'll probably be ok. However, if you're banking on the engine making it for X long time then you're putting yourself at risk. Well at least more risk than buying a civic.

        Pretty much read RIWWP's New Owner's thread. It's stickied at the top of this forum. It was the bible when I was looking for my 8. I still use it all the time now
        Columbus Ohio area. I wish I could see 07s going for 7k ._.
        I guess I'll just keep an eye out over the next few months looking for the right one.

        From the sounds of it, I may want to get a car from a dealer if for nothing else than the warranty. I guess the trade off would be if I can get a car from a private seller and save the money to be able to do the most extreme of fixes I would need to do.

        Originally, I had intended to buy one with about everything I had banking on it lasting a month or two but it became rapidly obvious that this could be disastrous for me. I now intend to wait a month or two for backup funds and purchase the car when it's comfortably within my means. (Has been my plan since starting this thread)

        Welcome to the club! You should be able to get a decent 8 for $7,000. Especially if that is USD.

        One thing that I think might have been overlooked as all of us current RX-8 owners do not care about this, is that you are going to go through a lot of cash on gas with this car.

        I would say take your current budget for your beaters on gas and double to triple it. See below Fuelly ratings.
        Thanks Gravey It's good to be here.
        I have took gas into consideration. I currently budget twice as much as I actually ever use for gas because, you never know when you might need to take a sudden 70 mile trip that you didn't foresee. I can't be losing all my money because I didn't think ahead. Because of this, I don't expect the RX-8 to be too much of a financial hit in terms of gas.
        I appreciate the recommendation though! I'll keep that in mind for planning my budget in the future.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 12:01 PM
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        Originally Posted by Shumster View Post
        I just swipe my card, put in the nozzle, look away and wait for it to click.
        It hurts less that way!

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        Old 07-23-2015, 12:37 PM
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        Originally Posted by Shumster View Post
        I just swipe my card, put in the nozzle, look away and wait for it to click.
        Hahaha, nice. I'll take that as a tip.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 01:12 PM
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        You gonna eat that?
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        I get a little over 14 mpg driving like a bat outta Hell, fast starts, hard stops, plenty of downshifting and high revving.
        Driving normally, 20 mpg is possible.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 01:23 PM
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        If you buy an 8 with an engine in good shape (must pass Mazda compression test) and you keep the engine in good shape (routinely doing the few little things you already know about), I think you'll find the RX-8 is a very reliable car.

        Winter tires on snow, ice and even dry roads when it's below 40F are an absolute must! The car is quite winter-capable with those; downright dangerous without them. Also, I would avoid the '04 (and the first year of any new model car). If you look long and thoroughly enough, you should be able to find an '05 or newer within your price range. (And the '05 is fine as long as it had all the Mazda ECU updates that were made available in '06. Any Mazda dealer can verify whether or not these were performed by just checking the VIN number.)

        Remember, many more people want to get rid of 8s than buy one. Classic buyers' market = your advantage.
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        Old 07-23-2015, 01:29 PM
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        Originally Posted by Skyl3r View Post
        From the sounds of it, I may want to get a car from a dealer if for nothing else than the warranty. I guess the trade off would be if I can get a car from a private seller and save the money to be able to do the most extreme of fixes I would need to do.

        Originally, I had intended to buy one with about everything I had banking on it lasting a month or two but it became rapidly obvious that this could be disastrous for me. I now intend to wait a month or two for backup funds and purchase the car when it's comfortably within my means. (Has been my plan since starting this thread)
        I imagine the extended warranty packages from a dealer would cost more than a rebuild. Plus the brutal mark up. Do you have to pay taxes on private sales in the states?

        Ya that's a good decision, as I said you don't wanna rush this. See a lot of new owners get immediately bitter towards their 8s when they buy them without doing necessary background and then they are stuck with dying cars.

        I also wonder what your insurance is gonna be like

        I agree absolutely with New Yorker. At the very least try to go for an 05+. Less problematic
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