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Q: How do you buy an old car, without getting ripped off?

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Hello, I have been looking into purchasing a used 1998 Chevrolet 1500 pickup. It's a z71 package 4x4 with a 9.5 inch lift. Interior is clean with no rips in seats. The owner has the pickup posted for $6,500. However, he has also brought up some issues with the vehicle, but I just don't know how costly the fix will be. He said that the tires need to be replaced due to alignment (already aligned but needs tires) , there is a"small amount" of rust in engine bay, and that one of the third doors does not open. My biggest concern is the rust and broken third door. I guess how big of an issue is rust and the broken door compared to selling price? What should I expect to pay to have the issues resolved if I were to take it in?

My car has 126000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Unfortunately, yourmechanic.com does not provide body work services or estimates. If the seller is serious about selling the vehicle at a fair price, ask to take the vehicle to a local body shop for a rust repair estimate. Just from experience, rust repair is not inexpensive. What appears on the surface, can reveal more extensive rust underneath once work is started. I would do this before making any offers to buy. Just from a dollars and cents perspective, I would not pay $6500 for a vehicle that may need $2000 in rust repairs. If the seller is willing to negotiate the price down based on a body shop rust repair estimate, then if you like the truck enough, it may be worthwhile.

Also. the vehicle will probably need to be aligned again when the tires are replaced. Aligning a vehicle with "bad" tires is not very accurate.

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