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Q: I'm looking to purchase this mustang. Hit or miss?

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The seller has stated that this is all that's wrong with the car: -Drivers side seat belt frayed but useable -Clutch pinion squeaks at idle -Car alarm activates when door is locked (Also it has been painted) The interior is clean and never been in any accidents. 113k miles, all original parts. It's being sold for 1700$ and I have a max budget of 3500$. Is this a good buy? Would I be able to fix everything up to good condition with my budget?

My car has 113000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: When buying a used car we must first consid...

When buying a used car we must first consider the age of the vehicle. This particular vehicle is 18 years old. If all that is wrong with this vehicle is what the seller has listed, then he or she would need to be very diligent about repairing it as soon as problems arise. A car owner of this type will typically have service records to show repairs that have been done to the car. If the owner of an 18 year old vehicle can’t prove what maintenance has been done over the last 18 years, either by service records or other, it is unlikely this car only has the problems listed.

Before purchasing this vehicle, you should thoroughly evaluate it. If you need a professional to help with the inspection, YourMechanic can perform pre-purchase inspections at the location of the car.

If what the seller has listed is all that is wrong with the car, then repairing it should be well within your budget. I’m assuming the "clutch pinion" you refer to is the clutch release bearing or the clutch pilot bearing/bushing. You’re possibly referring to the release lever. Most commonly, a noise such as you have described comes from the release bearing or the pilot bearing. Either way, you should replace the clutch disc and pressure plate when the noise is being repaired.

As for the car alarm, this can be expensive, but usually there is a solution if the repair cost for an alarm is more than you want to spend. Assuming it has a factory alarm system. Often times disabling it is necessary. If it has an after market alarm system, these are easily bypassed to return your car to its original condition and should cost little money.

The seat belt is your simplest repair. Often times the dealer will need to order one. A wrecking yard is a great place to find seat belts. Installation should be simple.

The biggest worry I would have is the paint job and the clutch squeak. I would want to be assured it isn’t something worse like the transmission needing to be rebuilt. Painting a car can be done better than stock, but often is done in very substandard ways.

Depending on the service records, the quality of the paint job and the actual source of the clutch noise, this might be a great car. But these are the points that should be paid attention to.

Good luck. I hope it works out.

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