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Driving to Mexico in 5 days. Where can I find a reliable car?

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Driving to Mexico in 5 days. Where can I find a reliable car?

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Old 08-09-2018, 11:16 AM
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Default Driving to Mexico in 5 days. Where can I find a reliable car?

Hi guys!

My name is Martim, I'm currently in Brooklyn and I'm about to move to Mexico for the next 6 months for love ;-). I've done tons of traveling and off roading on my BMW GS motorcycle, but for Mexico I've decided I want something with lockable doors and on 4 wheels.

The challenge: I have to be there before next saturday (august 18th), and I need to find a reliable rig that will take me 3000 miles down to Mexico City. And my budget is around 5000 dollars.

The story: By complete chance, 3 weeks ago I got a lead on a great Land Rover for 6000 dollars with everything done to it, sold by a very trustworthy dealer. Me and my girl completely fell in love with it, and organized everything to drive down. 1 week ago, just when I was about to pick up the car, the dealer heard a knocking from the engine and decided to take a look at it before releasing it. Basically he's ended up having to open up the engine and is not sure he'll have it ready for me to be able to get down there before next saturday. So.

My budget is around 5000 dollars and I have the weekend to find a rig that I can trust to take me to Mexico City before next Saturday. Crazy? Maybe. But possible? You tell me!

I do really love the Cherokee, I love the looks and I love how they feel when I've driven one, and I think that's one of my best bets. But I'm more of a user, and am more concerned with having something reliable than specific technical details. I do want it to be able to do some off roading, but doesn't have to be a rock crawler. Dirt roads and sandy beaches is the worst I'm planning to throw at it.

The most important is that it takes me the 3000 miles to Mexico City. Once there I'll be able to service and fix anything that needs fixing.

Does anyone have any leads? Anyone knows a dealer that is trustworthy? Please help me.

Last edited by Martim; 08-09-2018 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:46 AM
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That could be anything American or Japanese made as long as its been well maintained. Avoid a land rover or anything else European made, they can turn into a major headache real quick.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:23 PM
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Thanks! But for a Cherokee, what's my best chances to find a reliable one in the New York area over one weekend to drive out on monday?
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:14 PM
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Did you make it there?
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:28 PM
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I sure did!

I found the ad on craigslist on saturday, had it inspected on sunday noon, got it registered on monday, serviced on tuesday morning, did an hour of the blue ridge highway on wednesday and crossed the border to Mexico on friday.

I looked for XJs but decided that in order to be able to trust my car I needed to get something more reliable. I found a 4runner that seemed in good condition listed on craigslist. Had a mechanic specialized in used car inspections go take a look at it. Amazing service by the way, I wouldn't hesitate a second to use it again. He found two major problems with the car. The front axles were leaking grease and needed to be replaced, and the timing belt probably needed to be replaced. He was really thorough, including every single scratch, whether the rust was compromising or surface, and little things like a small exhaust leak. (motovise.com if you're in NY/NJ area).

With his advice, I felt really confident in knowing what I was buying and was able to take the price down from 6700 to 5500, right around my budget. Filled up the car with stuff I wanted to take with me, and left the next day with just fluid changes and regular service. I drove down to New Orleans in 2 days, had the dealership there change the axles and timing belt, and got to Mexico City right on time!

I love my truck and am looking forward to using Mexican mechanics (and prices) to make my overlanding rig.
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