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1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it???

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Jan 30, 2008, 2:32 PM

Post #1 of 6 (9538 views)
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So, I have been searching the net for some auto repair advice and decided to post a message here to see if anyone can help. I am looking to purchase a used vehicle. I have found a 1997 Mercury Mystique. Car has 78,000 miles, one owner, remote starter, supposedly new brakes, winter studded tires and rims, summer tires and the asking price is $1800.00 or best offer. Now, I went to look at the car and here are the concerns I have..The car looks to be in decent shape other than the metal below the doors on both sides (I'm told these are the rocker panels) are pretty much rusted out and need to be replaced. There isnt any way patching will do..there is some superficial rust around the wheel wells on both sides, these are smaller areas. The battery needs to be replaced. There is no inspection on it since august of 2007, seller states due to it being his mother's car and her being ill and no longer needing it had no need to put money in it to fix the rust for inspection. On top of that this car has been parked since last summer outside, including through the winter so far in the snow. So, with all of this on the table let me assure you regardless I had no intention of offering $1800.00, but before seeing the need for repair regarding the rust, I was considering to spend $1000-$1200.00 for a vehicle. My questions are: Can this rust damage be fixed by replacing the panels?? Will the car pass inspection if this is done?? How much (obviously an estimate) will it cost to make these repairs in order to make the car pass inspection?? With the purchase of rust repair, inspection cost, and a new battery what do u think is a reasonable amount to offer for this vehicle?? Is it even worth the time and money or should I just start looking elsewhere? I have gotten mixed opinions from friends and family, but I'm hoping to get a better opinion from people who have more experience and knowledge about all of this..I appreciate any input or opinions as soon as possible. Thanks so much and looking forward to hearing from someone..:)

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zmame profile image

Feb 1, 2009, 6:26 PM

Post #2 of 6 (7149 views)
Re: 1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it??? Sign In

Forgot its 2009 ... to much drinkng Crazy

(This post was edited by zmame on Feb 1, 2009, 6:27 PM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 1, 2009, 7:01 PM

Post #3 of 6 (7145 views)
Re: 1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it??? Sign In


Rust is the enemy! It can easily outcost the value of the car to repair and many repairs are just delayed patching and it's what you don't see that will be of more concern later. It's ok for the right price if you are informed of the hassles it can and will cause.

Call it a 12 year old or so car at this point. Look at door jam for build date you may find it's even older than the model year!

Rust will invade brake parts, suspension items and fasteners everywhere. Metal fuel lines and tanks and eventually it can make holes that are unsafe for the car's structural integrity and or allow leaks of water, exhaust or who knows to enter cabin. More - it wrecks electrical connections too causing total hair loss and intermittent problems with electrical stuff - the list goes on.

IMO - 95% of serious rusted cars are ones exposed to corrosive salts used for deicing roads and the rest from being near ocean salt water.

Whole panels can be replaced and last as long as you care. OE parts usually last better than duplicate (faux) replacement body parts if available for this car at all.

Seriously consider getting quotes and an inspection to get an idea on how much time you might expect before it becomes the killer issue for the car.

Again - when you see it, it's the tip of the iceberg of the problems to come, IMO,


Ps: zmame - it's Feb 1st not Jan 1st! LOLWink

Double J
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Double J profile image

Feb 2, 2009, 11:26 AM

Post #4 of 6 (7129 views)
Re: 1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it??? Sign In

Hey Tom

Check Lorelee's post date...Jan 2008 ..thats what z was referring to...he "oops" it at first !

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Feb 2, 2009, 2:15 PM

Post #5 of 6 (7126 views)
Re: 1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it??? Sign In

Double OOOOOPPPPS! And I'm not drinking! I have natural brain damage!



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way2old profile image

Feb 2, 2009, 3:59 PM

Post #6 of 6 (7123 views)
Re: 1997 Mercury Mystique..Even worth it??? Sign In

WinkWho was that masked man? I have heard of him, but never seen him.Cool

Being way2old is why I need help from younger minds


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