festiva...Price Range..and..which attributes for a good vehicle???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by fordy, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,264
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................I've read several threads about how long lived the Festiva(s) are and good fuel milage , etc . So , since gas is getting so high I thought I might start looking for A well maintained festiva and maybe by the time i actually find one I'll have the cash to Buy It . What price range would be acceptable and which attributes , both good and bad should I know about ? thanks , fordy :confused:
     
  2. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    192
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    OK
    Ask if they have ever had any transmission problems of any kind. When I was doing trannys I used to see a LOT of these with little problems. (delayed engagment, converter shudder, etc) Seems like there was some factory recalls on them. Only reason they didn't blow more often was because of the low HP or that engine. (literally about the same cc as two chain saws.)

    That said, yea, they are good running econimical cars. If it was me I would look for a couple of wrecked ones to combine into a good one. All it takes is one little fender bender and these things are 10-7 out of service. Find one with rear corner damage and swap out the parts you need from the other. You should have no problem finding wrecked ones all day long for $50. Also the earlier Geo Metro is a good econo car. Good luck fordy. :D
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,264
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .............ST , thanks , Hermit John thinks that they are pretty good machines . The , Last small car I owned was a 68 VW which got 30 mpg and and ran great but just didn't have any power . I don't know what or IF I'll buy a Small vehicle because I'm basically a Truck Person but we'll see how high the price of diesel goes , fordy.. :)
     
  4. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,328
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    I've found mine not too bad to work on and it gets 44mpg. Also one of the most comfortable little cars I've driven. The whole transaxle is like 50 pounds. Made life nice when I removed it to replace rear main seal on engine. I could just lift it into place by hand. The engine is Mazda B3 (1.3L)and can be directly replaced with the very common sohc B6(1.6L) used in numerous Mazdas and fordescort/mercurytracer (engines are identical externally, 1.6 cylinders just bored out bigger). Engine is really pricey to do any serious work on. Just find good used one if need ever arises. I know this as I am going to replace engine in mine. Started blowing oil (rings) and just a set of rings is close to $100.... Set of bearings another $100. You get the idea.

    The big suggestion is to get one with 5 spd if you are doing any serious hiway driving (earlier ones came with 4spd - dont even think about one with automagic tranny, the power just isnt there) and if paying more than pocket change, check engine thoroughly. I bought mine cheap enough at auction. Ran nice, then after around 2000 miles it started blowing oil and slight loss of power (one cylinder now only 120#). Ok short trips as is. Starts easy, but want it super reliable and dont like worrying about getting stranded. Climbs my driveway better than my little 2wd pickup and great gas mileage so worth the effort on my part. That gas mileage is the kicker. Pay for the car and a replacement used engine quick enough with close to $2/gal gasoline.
     
  5. greg273

    greg273 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,621
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Location:
    southern illinois
    I've been pretty happy with the 88 Festiva I was given...the price was right, and it still runs well. Zippy little car, more like a big go-kart. Actually somewhat roomy inside, surprisingly. ( the 5speed would be preferable...)
    All things considered, an economical and pretty reliable little car. (front wheel drive,too)
     
  6. Janon

    Janon 993cc Geo Metro

    Messages:
    665
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2002
    Location:
    Southern Ontario CANADA
    I guess the million dollar question is: at what point does a smaller vehicle or owning a second smaller vehicle become cost effective? Like you, I'm accustomed to driving and using a truck... so driving a tiny econo car may save some bucks in fuel, but that would mean either not having a truck or paying for a second vehicle (more insurance, more stickers and more maintenance), even if the econo car was free.

    cheers,
     
  7. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    8,328
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Living out in boonies a second vehicle is also insurance against being stranded especially where one drives older vehicles. I get cheap once in a while and only insure one vehicle, but then the time comes where that one vehicle goes kaput and I am scrambling to get replacement going and insurance, tags, etc changed. Not so easy when one is living more remote.

    This fall I put lot more miles on also. Usually my life is slow and dont drive much. Going into town once a month gas mileage doesnt matter, I could drive a dump truck. Insurance per trip would cost more than fuel ever would.

    I am finding most of my driving now doesnt require a truck, but I'd really hate to give up having at least a small 2wd one and prefer to have a full size 3/4 ton 4wd when need arises to drag something home up my horrible steep and rutted driveway.

    By the way although I like Festiva and it can use a widely available engine, I'd really have preferred an AWD Subaru Justy with 5spd and in good condition. Alas they are rare as hens teeth and use a unique engine. Or a Tracker/Sidekick but they still sell too dear for my budget.
     
  8. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,264
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    .................john , I'm kinda in that situation , now . I've had my 77 f250 inside my garage since july-03 . I just bought parts and did the work as the cycles of the Moon motivated me . It , will cost me to insure , inspect and tag my truck so that if my diesel quits then I can just switch over automatically . As soon as I can sell this place I'll be moving to the northwest and maybe , I'll have a steep climb , up to a beautiful spot with a small home , If I'm lucky . I have several friends who would love to purchase my 77 , knowing of all the work and effort that i've put into this old truck . But , I plan on keeping it as I'm quite sure that it will prove to be avery valuable fallback vehicle in the years to come . fordy.. :)
     
  9. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,130
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    Verndale MN
    Visit your local car dealerships and talk with the used car manager. Tell him that you'll put in a buy bid of $200 cash on any trade-in car that is in good running condition, period- you don't care what it looks like or what equipment it has.
    A buy bid makes the transaction between the person trading in the car and you. It takes the dealer out of the equation and with that, a lot of the laws that regulate what a dealer can sell but not private party sales.

    The dealership I worked at used to do this a lot. We would get trade-ins that were good little cars but unsaleable for some reason- bad paint, no factory AC, high miles with rust, mismatched body panels, hideous home-made murals or flames. They were all "little" as the big old cars go to Mexico to become taxis.

    A couple examples- $100 for a white Metro, ran great, high miles, had a pair of steer horns riveted to the hood and a rack of jacklights bolted onto the roof. Removing the "goodies" and filling the holes would = 0 profit. I almost bought it...
    $400, conversion van with 90k, power everything and a handpainted, full size mural of wolves and naked women. Repainting cost too much.
    $200, '91 S-10, 98k with classic '91 GM paint (ie peeling off in hand size flakes) and NO factory extras, not even a radio... I did buy it! Almost 2 years later I've only put a battery in.
     
  10. Esteban29304

    Esteban29304 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    654
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2003
    The Festiva is a good little car. Look for lowest mileage & stay with a stick-shift.I have a Subaru Justy for sale, also, which is a great car with up to 45mpg. It is very dependable. in Fl. & am asking $695.