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Old 10-29-2008, 11:53 AM   #1
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New Focus owner.... maybe

Hey guys, I new here and definitely new to these cars. I'm about to seal the deal on a 2005 ZX3 5-speed but I wanted some opinions before I pull the trigger. It only has 26K on the odometer which brings me to my first question. Do the digital odometers on the 05s show 6 digits? Just want to make sure it's not really 126K. It has a salvaged title which sketches me a little. The owner assures me that it was only minor front end damage (headlight, hood & dent in FL fender). It has all been fixed and as far as I can tell it was done right. I do have several years of body work experience so I'm fairly confident in that department. The airbag light is on but the owner says they didn't deploy in the accident. I've been able to talk the guy down to $4500. Is it worth it? Thanks!

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Old 10-29-2008, 12:09 PM   #2
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im pretty sure they have a 6 digit odometer, i doubt it has 126K. Also doesnt a salvaged title mean it was totaled. A car in a minor accident like that wouldnt have a salvage title. However 4500 is a good deal. Check the carfax report and see what it says. If the car drives good, than i would go for it
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's a six digit odometer, so the car only has 26K on in.
But an '05 with a salvage title has had more than "minor body damage" done - you wouldn't total an '05 because of a fender and hood. And the airbag light would scare me away for sure... you might be able to deal with getting it fixed. But whether or not the air bags deployed the light means something is wrong, and I'd be wondering just what else was wrong too...
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:15 PM   #4
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im pretty sure they have a 6 digit odometer, i doubt it has 126K. Also doesnt a salvaged title mean it was totaled. A car in a minor accident like that wouldnt have a salvage title. However 4500 is a good deal. Check the carfax report and see what it says. If the car drives good, than i would go for it
Cool thanks man. I'm pretty sure a salvaged title means the repairs exceeded 75% of the car's value. That does seem like it would be a little more than a fender bender although body shop prices are way inflated. It drives perfect and the frame looks undamaged.
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:58 PM   #5
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One thing that would scare me is the airbag light. What could have totaled the car is the fact that the airbag system and sensors to be replaced and recalibrated - which can cost thousands of dollars. Some insurance companies will not pay to have this done or will total a car so they don't have to pay for the airbag system.

My brother has been doing body work for thirty years and he says the insurance companies would rather total a car than pay to replace and recalibrate the airbags.

Beware of this, if you feel safe driving something that could even cost you a lot of money to fix (just to pass inspection) then go for it, if you don't I would get the airbags certified before you finish the deal.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's responses... I decided to pass on that one. I went back to look at it again and I noticed there was quite a bit of bondo at the rear and passenger side quarter (it was fairly dark the first time I looked at it). Mainly just pissed me off that the owner lied to me. Oh well, hopefully I'll find something soon... Think I might go look at this one: http://stockton.craigslist.org/cto/895550852.html
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Old 10-31-2008, 01:47 PM   #7
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It looks pretty clean. If you can, go take a look at it. It appears to be a good price, but I don't know what the older ones sell for. Maybe some one else will chime in on that.
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Old 10-31-2008, 02:08 PM   #8
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Bought my '03 ZX3 5-spd two years ago with 25.5k on the clock ... VERY similar situation to you, however, it was not a salvage title.

At $4.5k, that's a dang good deal. I say that, but ONLY if you intend to keep the vehicle for a long time. Reselling it in a year or two will be more difficult with a salvage title, but can be done.

A little over two years ago, I bought an Escort ZX2 that had a salvage title ... it was for my son. It needed a lot of TLC. I had the trans flushed, the coolant system flushed, I changed the oil/filter, the air filter, put new tires on it, and cleaned it up within an inch of its life. After six months, my son moved to Chicago and couldn't have it (no parking), so I sold it. Took a while, but the guy couldn't complain since there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

So, the answer IMHO is, it depends.
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Old 11-01-2008, 03:11 PM   #9
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Well I ended up buying the second one. Black 2001 ZX3 with 92K on the odometer and a clear title. Got it for $3800... not sure it that's a great deal or not but it was definitely the best deal going around here right now... I'm pretty happy with it... it's super clean in and out although it does seem a little under powered compared to the new ones I drove. Thanks for everyone's input!
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:52 PM   #10
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