So last weekend (exactly 165 hours ago) some low life crack addict stole my beautiful Corolla. Anyway, to make a long story short it has not been recovered yet and I'm starting to look into replacing it. Typically I'd get online and search the classifieds and dealer sites for good used Toyotas however as you all know ... there arent really any good toyotas for sale right now due to the gas prices. SO ... ive been looking more into new toyotas since i figure I'll have an easier time finding one of these babies that suits my needs. Problem with that however, is there is a waiting list for most gas-sipping toyota models like Prius and Yaris. Corollas are a little easier to find however I'm not too fond of this year's selection of model/engine combos. Seems if I want a 5sp trans I'm just about stuck w/ the larger engine that tends to sip a little more gas. Anyone have any recommendations or comments on the Prius or Yaris?
And here's my next question: While waiting for my new wheels I'm looking at buying a roughed up temp car to get me through the next few months. Right now I'm looking at a 99 Stratus with about 120k miles. It has a few small problems but their only asking 900 OBO. Known problems are broken power steering and a noisy CV joint. I went and looked at it today and also found the following: engine idles a little rough and has a giant "sway" to it. Enough that you feel it rock the entire vehicle. My first guess would be a weak or non-firing cylinder ... ? Second, when you start the car with your foot on the brake ... it usually stalls out. Once its running you can brake all you want and it stays running, OR if you start the car w.o your foot on the brake it runs alright. I thought I heard a slight vacuum leak coming from the area of the master cylinder/brake booster ... could a small vacuum leak in/near the booster cause this? The last thing would be that the engine has a slight knock to it at idle ... Its not loud, and not a bad sound, just a small clunking in rythem with the RPMs ... maybe this could be the weak/dead cylinder too? I guess I'm not really sure what the symptoms of a dead cylinder are ... anyone? Could it be a bearing in the engine? ... eek!