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Looking at purchasing a 99 Grand Prix with 216K, have a question

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I sold my Tahoe the other day because of the high gas prices and I am currently looking for a car. I found a nice 99 Grand Prix GT with a 3.8, sunroof, leather, and almost new tires for $2000. The car is in great condition and the owner says it has been well maintained and runs excellent. My question is, how long with regular maintenance can you expect this motor to last? I drive about 20K a year,but will probably buy another truck this fall so I would probably drive the car closer to 10K a year during spring and summer and park it in the fall. I would like to get at least a couple years out of it. Is it normal to hit 240-250K with this motor or am I better off finding something with less miles? Its hard to find a decent car for under $2000, this is the nicest I have seen but the miles scare me. Any opinions??

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The first thing I would do is get it on a host and carefully inspect the underbody. Specifically the rocker panels. If they are rotted out, pass on the vehicle!

The 3.8 is one of gm's best engines. With that kind of mileage everything that should have gone wrong has been replaced twice or is due again. Plenums, coolant nipples, waterpumps, a/c compressors, broken rear springs, wheel bearings, turn signal switches, etc. are the norm. The only thing I would be really concerned about is the timing chain. If it breaks it is likely terminal.

The only other thing that would be in the back of my mind would be the transmission.

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I guess that my thumb in the air test says that for $2k, you aren't going to get a car that is in "great condition and the owner says it has been well maintained and runs excellent." Those cars sell for more than $2k, so expect that you will drop another $1-$2k for repairs on top of the sale price.

Those 3.8 motors are strong but you can't count on a car with a quarter-million miles that only costs $2,000 to be in excellent condition.

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