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  • #194401


    Hi everybody, were moving from London in a few weeks, first thing I need to do is find wheels. Im looking for a reliable, large, used car for regular commuting between Rio and Paraty and beyond. Have a wife and 2 Staffie dogs to accommodate in this car and a few rucksacks, the odd piece of furniture, oil painting, etc…can anybody suggest where I should look? Can anyone give an idea of what one can expect to pay for this reliable large, youngish car? Im told by my friends who travelled back and forth accross Africa that Toyotas cant be beat…are Toyotas readily available in Brazil (I will be based in Rio/Brasilia)? All tips appreciated, thank you.

  • #194407


    besides availability (for parts) you need to talk to people where you are going to be living/parking to find out what sticks out and screams “ROB ME!!” rather than what other people say is a good car.
    I would think a bit smaller and look at a fiat Dobro. Plenty of space, inconspicuous, easy to get parts and fix.
    (then you need to find a good mechanic.)

  • #194412


    Fiat Doblo could be a good choice, also Fiat Palio Weekend Adventure and GM Zafira/Meriva are good cars.
    Buy the newest car you can afford, especially if its a Fiat, 2-3 years old max.
    Toyota are readily available but as said above they attract attention.
    Mitsubishi Pajero is also a good choice. Also Hyundai Tucson or Santa Fe.
    Look at the condition of the car rather than the km as it may have been clocked. If in doubt get the car reg and call the local dealer and ask them when the last service was done on the car to see if it checks with the km of the car.
    For an idea of cost look at:
    Webmotors Avaluation
    If your ‘new meat’ in the country then you will probably need to pay cash as finance will be difficult.
    Good luck.

  • #194436


    Thanks Nick

  • #194437


    Thanks 3casas.

  • #200595


    The eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I first saw the prices of cars here! Be prepared to lower your sights…

  • #200613


    [QUOTE=jumpfrog]The eyes nearly popped out of their sockets when I first saw the prices of cars here! Be prepared to lower your sights…[/QUOTE] Yep, that’s one of the biggest financial black hole here. 5 yrs old used cars (half the engine size) cost more than a new in US. Here, I had to pay R$30k, cash, to get -05 Pajero TR4, 70tkm A/T. The only reasonable size, real off road cabable SUV, that fit into my garage (and the amount of money I had on hand)! The financing is a NO-NO, even if you could get it (by paying somebody), the interest is sky high! In Manaus the suspension takes the most hit as well the tires. It is all intact, all the bushings needed replacement of course and tires, but that’s business as usual. The engine and transmission are Japan made so they’ll do last. I do all the services myself so I’m ok with that. Tried once to get the rear shock absorbers swapped to new ones ( it was hot weather season). Most of these said the car is too heavy for their lift unitConfusedIt is not heavy. So i did it my self with a floor jack, one side at a time, piece of cake. What sucks here is if they don’t know the car, they won’t touch itConfusedIn one shop the “manager” said the worker who has the tool cabinet door lock key, for the special toolsTonguefor this car, is off todayShockedRear shock’s have a 17mm bolt at the lower end and another at the top, so no McPersons. Front swap I can imagine these guys run away and poop their pants. Parts you need to buy from internet, local Mitsu-Motors sucks here (like everything elseAngry). In South you have a good support, but here in North almost zero. Here you can get wiper blades, tires (after a looking around a day), oil filter, spark plugs, some of the rubber isolators to the power steering I found. No windshield cleaner fluidConfused, need to make your own. But try to get the 4×4 front “free wheel” vacuum actuator cylinderLOLIt was leaking air through the rubber valve (a hole in it, not repairable) and did not have the power to disengage the front wheels while the transfer case is in 4×2. I had the mfg assembly drawing showing the part and number, I thought they could order it at the MM Brazil. But h*ll no. Just “we don’t have it, we can’t get it” what a bunch of BS. This same part has been in all these TR4’s since day one. It is not an unusual part. This is just lack of customer service. Oh yes, what customer service? So finally I got it from one “sucatao” in Sao Paulo, they had an online catalog, where to order used parts, cost a fraction what a new one (which you couldn’t buy here). It was like a new part, from a newer car. So you need to be creative, one warning (commonly known): If you have a newer car, don’t take it to a service if you can’t watch what they do. They will replace all the parts they can, to old crap, and sell the good ones taken from your car! Or they keep them and when you need to come back, to fix the crap they put in, they sell you back your own partsLOL

  • #200615


    Just watch used cars – last June we paid $29k for a 2008 Fiat Strada with a new clutch. As we are approaching the 1 year mark, we have paid $600 for front breaks, we still need back breaks (another 600?), tires probably have a few more months (they are about $350 each when they go), and there is another $1500 of things we really need to do. So, you add in the cost of upkeep and it brings our purchase price up to about $32k. If we went new it would have been about $40k. We still have the nicks, and squeeks… I am surprised how expensive used cars are (and no carfax).

  • #200621


    are you taking it to the dealer for service?? for a fiat (except the Brava, which for some reason has more expensive parts) all your prices seem really high.

  • #200630


    He only wants the dealer. I know in the US, I would never take the car there because they rip you off. He paid $120 for an oil change there too! Said it was synthetic – I told him a shop here by my work would do that for $40. He said it wasnt the same.

  • #200636


    they rip you off even more here at the dealer, and if you’re lucky they won’t put the oil filter on loosely so it pops off and you fry your engine.

  • #200645


    Well, he has a trusted guy working on it now…you still have to watch, but, he trusts him (he did the major work after the car accident). Now, the accident had nothing to do with the other costs. But, he likes the guy there, so he will go there, even if he can save outside of it. One day, when we are back in the states…this will change – I know how it works, and I know the language perfectly…and I can go back to setting things up. Just so much fun making him run everything because he has proficiency…I have started to do some stuff, and surprisingly, the portuguese I know is good enough, but I dont think so (guess I am a bit of a perfectionist).

  • #201352

    In the 7 years I was in Brasil I bought 6 cars; from a Bugway buggy to a MB Class A. ALWAYS went on http://www.webmotors.com.brto buy them and always in Sao Paulo cuz the selection is huge. Used to hire my friend’s taxi for all day and go from dealer to dealer. The Automalls are a good place to go too cuz they have many used car dealers in one place and a big selection.

    The 2001 Palio Weekend 1.0 16 valve 5 speed was one of the best, fast and cheap to fix – rarely needed it. It’s a 4 door hatchback station wagon.
    Had a 2000 Mits Pajero 2 door 3.5 V6 that I liked a lot too. Good reliable vehicle. The 2000 MB Class A 1.9 5 speed I had was also a real safe good car. Lots of high tech safety systems. You can buy one of these for low teens, great buy.
    YES you can buy cars in the US so cheap – $800 and drive them for years.
    I think the car prices in Brasil have actually come down a little.
    Other cars I’d consider ; Renault Scenic 2.0, Toyota Corolla, ANY Palio – 2dr, 4dr, wagon (like the Adventure- sporty wagon- many are gasolina and gaz), Palio Strada (pickup), VW Saveiro (pickup).
    For hauling ; Palio Fiorino van, VW Eurovan (diesel), older MB 180D van (diesel).
    As for all Palios I prefer the 1.0 16 valve or the 1.3 or 1.5.
    Remember- many 1.0 litre cars USE MORE GAS than a larger engine (1.3/1.5) because they have to run harder, mostly the 8 Valve engines. The 1.0 16 Valve engines can run at higher rpm and are more performance oriented.
  • #201356

    For service ask your Brasilian neighbor where he takes his car to get fixed. Many used car lots use small shops to fix their cars, ask them where to go.

    I had a great shop in B. Camboriu that was totally honest and did great work for a reasonable price.
    Brasilian mechanics are really skilled at fixing things mechanical.
    Here in the US we just replace the XXX that quit working.
    In Brasil, the starter on my Palio Weekend was not working 100%. The mechanic pulled it out and replaced the brushes !
    You’d never see that in the US !
  • #21064


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