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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a pre-approval and deposit on a 2001 Frontier XE Crew Cab - Automatic w/ 4wd and am going to go look at it on Sunday and finalize the sale then as long as everything checks out as well as it looks in pictures, discussion, etc (it's a few hours away from me). I'm a bit leary of price but it doesn't seem outrageous. KBB puts it $1000 over clean retail, and NADA puts it right at the top of clean retail range. It's a dealership and they're asking $7700. It's got 138,500 miles.

As far as "features" it has the:

  • Roof Rack
  • Running Boards
  • Bed Liner
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Remote Lock & Remote Start
  • Cruise Control
  • Aftermarket CD player with bluetooth
  • 4x4
Roof rack

It seems to be in good shape - no major dings, dents, scratches, anything like that, paint is still shiny, tires & rims in good shape, the interior is SUPER clean especially for a 15 year old truck. Do you think $7700 sounds fair? I'll post some pictures below. Another thing to consider is they are super hard to find in my area, especially with under 180k miles.










So what do you think? Opinions anyone?
 

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If they have a service history, that is solid then yes. Timing belt, fluids, tune up, rear brakes, (I say rear because i have 148,000 on the originals, gonna replace them, because they make me nervous) service history would be a big thing for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If they have a service history, that is solid then yes. Timing belt, fluids, tune up, rear brakes, (I say rear because i have 148,000 on the originals, gonna replace them, because they make me nervous) service history would be a big thing for me.
Sorry I just now realized you replied for some reason! I'm doubting it on the service records just for the simple fact that they didn't message it, it's had at least 2 owners according to the VIN check, and it's a 15 year old truck. It did just have an oil change and general service. It also had a leaking valve cover gasket but they fixed that already.
 

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I'm a bit leary of price but it doesn't seem outrageous. KBB puts it $1000 over clean retail, and NADA puts it right at the top of clean retail range. It's a dealership and they're asking $7700. It's got 138,500 miles.

So what do you think? Opinions anyone?
First of all, I bought a 1998 Frontier with 100K on it in 2004, now has 211K. My 2004 Frontier has only 98K. These 1st generations are good trucks. Crawl underneath, look for rust, make sure the front drive boots are all intact, make sure ball joint boots and tie rod boots are OK too.

Dealer likely gave $3K or so as trade in or auction, there should be plenty of wiggle room on the price. So use anything wrong that you find (check out lights, turn signals, brakes, 4WD, leaks, AC, etc). Big ticket items are engine, transmission, AC and 4WD. Find out when the timing belt was changed last if it's V6 engine. Me, I'd maybe offer $6500 to start.

Remember: dealer does NOT want you to walk off their lot without buying something !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First of all, I bought a 1998 Frontier with 100K on it in 2004, now has 211K. My 2004 Frontier has only 98K. These 1st generations are good trucks. Crawl underneath, look for rust, make sure the front drive boots are all intact, make sure ball joint boots and tie rod boots are OK too.

Dealer likely gave $3K or so as trade in or auction, there should be plenty of wiggle room on the price. So use anything wrong that you find (check out lights, turn signals, brakes, 4WD, leaks, AC, etc). Big ticket items are engine, transmission, AC and 4WD. Find out when the timing belt was changed last if it's V6 engine. Me, I'd maybe offer $6500 to start.

Remember: dealer does NOT want you to walk off their lot without buying something !!!
Thanks! It'll be financed, and it's been a long time since I've had a vehicle on financing or bought from a dealership so I'm not quite sure how to go about it since I'm already pre-approved for the loan and I'm going on a day (Sunday) when the dealership isn't normally open. So I'm not sure how much re-writing on the loan they'll be able to do on a non-business day? That's definitely something to consider. I'm coming from 3 hours out of town so it's a bit nerve wracking.
 

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They can do paper amendments to the loan after hours. Did it on my old xterra few years ago.

Who is your finance thru? Check the interest rate, if it is at a buy here pay here place your interest will be high!

Some banks will not finance vehicles over 10 years or 100k miles. For example, Bank of America carries my loan. Nothing older than 8 years, no more than 90k miles. Very strict it seems.
 

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Thanks! It'll be financed, and it's been a long time since I've had a vehicle on financing or bought from a dealership so I'm not quite sure how to go about it since I'm already pre-approved for the loan and I'm going on a day (Sunday) when the dealership isn't normally open. So I'm not sure how much re-writing on the loan they'll be able to do on a non-business day? That's definitely something to consider. I'm coming from 3 hours out of town so it's a bit nerve wracking.
Do not go to that dealer on Sunday with that attitude that you have to leave with that truck. You are making the significant investment of your hard earned money in that vehicle. The deal needs to be right for you not them. If they push back on anything or say anything about "can't" or "won't" you stick your hand out and say "thanks for your time but I need to go home and think about it." The dealer's job is to make the most money for the dealer. Your job is to get a good truck that will last you a long time, under your budget, so you have money left over for retirement, mods, and fun.
 

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Do not go to that dealer on Sunday with that attitude that you have to leave with that truck. You are making the significant investment of your hard earned money in that vehicle. The deal needs to be right for you not them. If they push back on anything or say anything about "can't" or "won't" you stick your hand out and say "thanks for your time but I need to go home and think about it." The dealer's job is to make the most money for the dealer. Your job is to get a good truck that will last you a long time, under your budget, so you have money left over for retirement, mods, and fun.
This ^ ^ ^

Go in knowing what the truck is worth, what you will pay for it and feel free to walk. Doesn't matter how far you drove to see it. Keep in mind it is a 15 year old truck, so, not to speak bad of it, but it is NOT a shiny new marble, and is honestly a lot of money for an old vehicle, so.... as far as I'm concerned, you are doing the dealer a favor by buying it.

Side note, I'm cheap when it comes to buying vehicles, and I wouldn't pay over about $5000 to $5500 for that truck.
 

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I paid $7400 for pristine 2004 Frontier King Cab in 2011, 90K miles. 4-cylinder, 5-speed, power windows, locks, tilt steering, great AC

I paid $4400 for 1998 Frontier regular cab in 2004, 100K miles. 4-cylinder, 5-speed, great AC; passed 212K yesterday.

These are rust-free Arizona trucks. Local market conditions and availability are big factors. I like 2004 and older because they are smaller and fit into my garage.
 

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I offered $7800 for a 2001 Frontier XE V6 4x4 A/T King Cab with a matching Leer cap on Ebay, which didn't make reserve and didn't sell. That was last Feb. I only went that high because it was absolutely showroom mint condition with 77,000 miles, had a new timing belt and distributor and they replaced the rear bumper with new because it had a little rust on it. That was top dollar for the mileage and excellent condition per the book. I ended up purchasing a 2003 Frontier SVE (supercharged V6) 4x4 A/T King Cab with 196,000 miles. It had no rust and a little body work done in the corner of the cab that was a bit rough. It had brand new tires, front shocks and three new control arms. I was looking for a second vehicle to back up my R51 Pathfinder, so it didn't have to be super nice. It did have a lot of power steering leaks and a number of other things, but it was just a matter of the cost of parts because I'm a former Nissan tech and had a fully-equipped shop to work in. They were good trucks, but I still have a hard time with how much these 12-year-old-plus trucks are valued at still! When you start getting in that $8-10K range, you start getting into the price range of the early 2nd generation Frontiers, which have more power, get better gas mileage and, in my opinion, ride a whole lot better. Of course, if you have a 1st gen, you don't have to worry about the later gen's timing chain and radiator cooler issues! I would try and get the price down, a little. If you can't, maybe they can throw in something substantial, like a warranty or have them install a new timing belt, if they can't tell you how long it's been since it was replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just saw there were a ton more comments here since I last logged on! Thanks for all the help and advice. I don't know where you guys live, but I need to move where some of you all do for cheap trucks lol! Or maybe just take road trips to find them. For my area, this really wasn't all that high priced. Pick ups in general are higher priced in SD, but small 4x4s are especially hard to find around here. I've been looking for months and this is really the only one I've found. So that said, I was willing to pay a little more for it knowing how hard they were to find.

I did end up getting the truck. It was in great shape for the age and I was impressed with the dealership's attitude and he wasn't pushy at all. There was no visible rust, and the frame looked pretty damn good for around here. So I talked him down to $7300 (so about $400 more off) and then talked him down to $1300 on a 36 month third-party warranty vs the $1700 it was supposed to be. He also threw in a new key (there was only one) and a new headlight cover as the seals on the drivers side one were getting old and you could tell the passenger side one had been replaced more recently. I just hope I don't get burned on that warranty if something would happen. I've never had a third party warranty (never have been offered one even) so I didn't really know what to do. It sounded like a good idea, but it's hard to tell if things like that are ever worth it.

Being a 26 year old woman it's definitely intimidating walking into a dealership sometimes so I was glad he wasn't high pressure. Probably helped that my husband was with lol.

My hard to impress, car "expert" stepdad was even impressed so I'll consider that a win :)!
 

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I'd call that a win. Around my area I'd say that's a fair to a little bit high, but for what the truck is seems like a deal. Service records would have been nice, but make sure to take to a mechanic to look at. Nice purchase, looks awesome! Jealous of your 4x4 haha!

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I'd call that a win. Around my area I'd say that's a fair to a little bit high, but for what the truck is seems like a deal. Service records would have been nice, but make sure to take to a mechanic to look at. Nice purchase, looks awesome! Jealous of your 4x4 haha!

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First of all... from your toaster?? Seriously though, that's hilarious!

But yeah, it's unreal what used trucks go for around here. You'll see rusted out 80s & 90s pickups with a whole list of issues that sell for $2000 without a second thought. That said though, 4x4 is borderline necessity around here during the winter and we're kind of in rural farm country so most families have at least one pick up for stuff like that or camping, etc.

My only concern with it thus far is that it doesn't seem to be getting the ideal gas mileage. From what I've read online it should be anywhere from 16ish in town to 19ish on the highway. I drive 13 miles each way to work (65mph highway) between small towns so no stop and go traffic at all and I've been averaging around 15. So I might have to have my mechanic look into that for me.
 

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Mine new was advertised at 15/17. With my mods I now get 17/20. With that being said, I find that my mileage is a direct reflection of my right foot, if i'm in a playful mood not so good on the mileage. When I drive smooth, I get the best. It should have been done by the dealer, so I don't know if this will help, but check the air filter, a bad one can make a big difference. Also have your mechanic pull a plug, as I understand it you don't have a service record. I could need a tune up, hope this helps.
 

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Haha yeah 4x4 totally saves you, and I've seen rust buckets in my areas waaayyy overpriced. Yeah, I get around 16 mpg, but I have some extra weight all the time, always take my recovery gear with me. Did get 19 mpg when I go it, and on the highway I used to get 21 mpg. I got mine 138,000 miles, desert runner 2wd a year and a half ago for $4,800 I think. Definitely have the mechanic check it out, either way, not too bad compared to my old truck, 8mpg haha. still a beautiful buy!

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Mine new was advertised at 15/17. With my mods I now get 17/20. With that being said, I find that my mileage is a direct reflection of my right foot, if i'm in a playful mood not so good on the mileage. When I drive smooth, I get the best. It should have been done by the dealer, so I don't know if this will help, but check the air filter, a bad one can make a big difference. Also have your mechanic pull a plug, as I understand it you don't have a service record. I could need a tune up, hope this helps.
Yeah I'm usually not too crazy of a driver - especially on my way to work in the mornings. It's pretty much a straight highway stretch at 65mph so I was hoping for just a touch better. They changed the oil and I'm pretty sure they checked the air filter at the dealership but it definitely can't hurt to have my regular mechanic look into it. The other issue is the service light came on (not the check engine - the service engine soon light) and I asked the dealership about it and he said that it just needed to be reset so I need to have him look at that too as it could be nothing, or could be something else. I don't put to much stock in service lights to be honest though as probably 75% of the cars I've owned have had them on for extended periods of time lol.

Haha yeah 4x4 totally saves you, and I've seen rust buckets in my areas waaayyy overpriced. Yeah, I get around 16 mpg, but I have some extra weight all the time, always take my recovery gear with me. Did get 19 mpg when I go it, and on the highway I used to get 21 mpg. I got mine 138,000 miles, desert runner 2wd a year and a half ago for $4,800 I think. Definitely have the mechanic check it out, either way, not too bad compared to my old truck, 8mpg haha. still a beautiful buy!

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It's certainly stylish - I've had a lot of compliments on it so far! I had a 98 Dakota a few years back and that got similar gas mileage to this (maybe a tad more) but wasn't near as good looking so since I have a short commute I'll trade a couple mpgs for style ::wink::
 

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if you are happy with the price, then it was a good price.

I went with a 3rd party warranty on my '11 and it has paid for itself 2 times over. It is always a crap shoot, but having 4wd and an auto trans can mean a costly repair is quite possible at any point. My $1200 warranty covered a $4400 rear differential....
 

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if you are happy with the price, then it was a good price.

I went with a 3rd party warranty on my '11 and it has paid for itself 2 times over. It is always a crap shoot, but having 4wd and an auto trans can mean a costly repair is quite possible at any point. My $1200 warranty covered a $4400 rear differential....
Awesome! Do you know what company you had? I've been really nervous on the 3rd party warranty so I hope it's a legit company. I tried to do some research on it but most of the reviews are mixed (and in the UK) so I don't know. It's 1st US AutoProtect.
 

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mine is through advantage and I have about 20 some thousand miles left on it. buying the extended took me out to almost 100k miles. My truck has VDC, hill decent control, rear e locker and all options so, I figured more things to possibly go wrong. I've heard horror stories about extended warranty companies, but mine has been nothing short of great. even my service advisor has been surprised.
 

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... There was no visible rust, and the frame looked pretty damn good for around here.
Congrats on your new ride! Personally, I'd go through ALL the fluids the dealer didn't give you a record of completing (they can Say anything, but the warranty will want a reciept to show proper maint performed), check all the wear items & rubber items (hoses, belts, plugs, pads/rotors, ...)
changing the trans fluid may be a bit of a chore, but $100-250 (depending on if you do it yourself or mechanic) is better than $4500 for a new/rebuilt trans. Same with brakes, coolant, diffs, xfer case... If the dealer gave you a reciept or other paperwork that they did it all you need to do (or your mech) is look at said fluid & it should be obvious.

Another thing to do is rust encapsulant or similar product. Several ways you can go with this... a rust encapsulator/converter like Eastwood Rust Encapsulator or Rustoleum (both require paint top coat) or a 1 can solution like Chassis Saver (be sure to watch a few videos for this. You'll Never have rust again where its applied)
OR you can use an undercoating type product like Fluid Film (& the wand to get inside the frame). Fluid film is a waxy like product that seals out the moisture. If there's rust there already you should hit it with a converter or kill it with Naval Jelly
 
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