I'm brand new here and I'm seeking some input. I'm looking pretty hard at an '01 SSEi at a local GM dealer. I've done all the consumer feedback forum cruising, epa.gov scope-out, Edmunds/Kelly value lookup, etc, etc. And now I'm here...!
So it'* pretty much got every option except sunroof (which I really, really wanted), is maroon (prefer white or black), has 99K miles. But the asking price is a couple grand below a low Edmunds/Kelly rating for the vehicle. That'* got me a bit nervous. The carfax came back good and clear, two owner, been a local car it'* whole life. The mystery is it was last sold to a dealer last November - nearly 11 months ago - and hasn't been licensed since March. Curious.
Test drove it last night and it drove fine. The dealer put new tires on it (nothing big - Coopers, or somesuch), the rotors have very little wear, the oil cap looks very, very clean, the interior is spotless and in perfect shape as near as I could see. The trunk likewise. It tracked perfectly straight down the road with my hands off the wheel. It started right up and purred like a Singer sewing machine. The engine compartment was a bit dusty, but no signs of grease or oil anywhere... just dusty. All the door panels, trunk, and hood line up correctly and there is now 'wow' or any unusual gap anywhere.
The one nit - and I'm going back tomorrow morning to go over it once more before making an offer - is that the paint looks pretty swirly - particulary the hood and front fascia. My first response was, "aha - accident", but I crawled underneath with a flashlight and saw nothing that would indicate any type of collision. Besides, like I said, the Carfax came back good. It was past twilight, so I really need to look closer tomorrow, but it was pretty major swirling - don't know if it would polish/buff/wax out or not.
So... (I tend to be wordy!), let'* here it gang... what are the red flags that I should specifically look for when I go back tomorrow? I've read enough in the last 48 hours to know about the transmissions being a potential issue. What else should I be looking for? What are some potential near-term maintenance issues that might be on the horizon with 100K miles around the corner. Also, it appears that the aftermarket performace market is aimed more toward the Grand Prix - not the Bonneville, except for exhaust and blower pullies. Any good sources for things like suspension, braking, etc upgrades? What about aluminum heads?
Another concern for me is that I really want to draw at leat mid-20'* for gas mileage. Is that doable here? My winter driver is an '89 K1500 that I ordered brand new and that now has 385K miles (no lie). It'* a great truck, but at $3.00+ a gallon for gas, 15 mpg just isn't cutting it any longer. My summer driver is an '02 Camaro SS. I've never pulled less than 22 mpg with it, and even hit 29.1 on a trip. Ideally, those are numbers I'd like to hit with the Bonneville.
I look forward to hearing back from you folks. I've already been rooting around on the board enough to know this is a good place. I belong to a few Camaro boards and a couple of them are packed with bozos!