questionswhere can i find accurate reliability ratings for…

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www.Consumerreports.org The best info available. I think there's still a small fee to register/subscribe for a short period of time, and it's worth every cent.

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Edmunds has the cost of ownership ratings for vehicles that calculates average car insurance, upkeep, gas mileage and payments for you. I would start there.

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1) Make a voice recording of everything that you see as you drive.
Some brands have a major paint problem in three years or so; ditto with the headlight covers, and with rust spots.
2) Take a tour of your local junkyard. Does it seem like there's a lot of "A" cars here compared to what you see on the street? Maybe there's almost no "B" cars compared to what you see driving around.

Examples: We had a Ford Taurus- great car. For the first seven years or so. It really does have a design life of about 80k miles. My wife loved that car, but by 150k miles I was looking at the second replacement transmission; it also leaked a quart of oil per gas tank. She never knew about the shock tower braces and the frame reinforcement bars.
It was replaced by a used BMW. A decade later it has twice the mileage the Taurus had, and it's still twice as nice a car as when the Ford was five years old.
BUT I still have my old Ford truck- they made them good! EVERY true blue Ford fan has a truck.
YMMV.

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Consumer reports is really nice to have even just for the monthly magazines... They rate everything from toilet paper to cars to microwaves to... everything!

BTW kirkland TP was rated the best!! haha

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i definitely used consumer reports when i bought my new car years ago. BUT if you get to a point where you are stressing for a long time over cars that are about equal in half circles or 3/4 circles, stop and go with your gut between the 2.
don't go so crazy over these things that you dread the process forever

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another thing to do is to simply google "make/model of car reviews" then proceed to read selectively down the list suggested. Usually you find very good information in the different forums. As long as you're good at drawing your own conclusions, you should be good.

I have a good list of very cheap cars that I've bought over the past 10 years or so by doing this, for both myself and relatives/friends.

good luck!