Edmunds Answers



  • mechinc1 02/22/10 2:08 pm PST

    Anything used is a "take your chances"

    If you can OK it with the owner, see if you can take it to your mechanic or garage and have them do an inspection on it. They will generally charge you about an hours labour but well worth it. Have them look at brakes, suspension, and all things safety related first. Then ask them to look for any accident damage, any leaks, condition of rad etc.
    Look online and see if there is any common problems current and previous owners have experienced. Do your homework!
    You may buy it and it might be the best car you ever had and then again.....it might be a nightmare.
    I myself would look at Hondas and Toyotas! Very reliable cars and usually problem free for many many many miles!

  • karjunkie 02/22/10 2:12 pm PST

    First off, you should NEVER buy any used car without getting a Carfax report for $30 and paying a qualified mechanic $100 for a complete inspection. That will be the best $130 you ever spent and may save you $$$ and a lot of frustration if the car turns out to be a rolling repair monster! As to this specific car, the Sebring has an average reliability rating from Consumer reports with the problem areas in the engine cooling, climate control and suspension areas. Now keep in mind that a car with 98K miles is probably going to need some pretty expensive maintenance procedures unless the prior owner has done these and can document them to you. In particular, make sure the prior owner performed all the major items at 30K, 60K and 90K miles. You can go to the maintenance section of Edmunds and see exactly what should have been done. Don't get me wrong, many used cars have been meticulously maintained by their owners and this may be one of them. Just make sure before you buy. Good luck on whatever you decide!

  • isellhondas 02/22/10 2:27 pm PST

    Just know that a Car Fax isn't gospel.

    People have been scared away from some excellent cars because of something they read on a Car Fax and perceived as bad. " An accident" could have been a scratch on the bumper or a busted off side mirror.

    " No accidents reported" means it probably hasn't been in an accident but not for sure.

    " One owner" makes some people think the car is superior to one that has had two or more owners and this isn't always the case either. The One Owner may have never changed the oil.

    Still, it's a good thing to do a Car Fax.

  • oldfarmer50 02/26/10 12:52 pm PST

    In addition to the good advice above you might want to check the Sebring Forum here on Edmunds. If you want to hear every possible gripe about a car that's a good place to go. Just don't let it scare you off because people usually don't post to brag about how their car DIDN'T have any problems.

    Specific to the Sebring, I owned a Chrysler Cirrus which is what the Sebring was called prior to 2001. I bought it used and put over 90,000 miles on it with no major problems. It is now owned by my son and has over 120K miles.

    The 2001 and newer model have a different engine (2.7L V-6) which had a reputation of being prone to sludging. If the oil was changed on schedule this was not a problem so try to find out the oil change history.

    Finally while a Honda or Toyota has a reputation for being more reliable, you will pay for that reliability. A used Sebring can be bought pretty cheap. Only you can decide what things are important to you.


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