I guess it wasn't originally a lemon; and a mechanic friend has since said he doen't think it's the clutch. I paid $2400 for a 2006 Mazda 3, but it seemed to be in perfect shape. As it was a Sat., I asked Midas Muffler to give it a pre-purchase inspection. It came out with flying colors. I couldn't tell a think wrong with it. As it was out of town, and I only had Sat. to get an inspection. I couldn't afford the dealer's. I couldn't tell anything was wrong with it.
Now, the honeymoon's over. When I first start driving it first thing in the morning, I get a loud creaking sound in all the lower gears. My mechanic friend says it's the two front axles needing to be replaced. I replaced the back shocks and sway bar linkages myself. The muffler has a heat shield that should be suspended from the body, not the muffler. A rear floor panel lacks a bolt, causing rattle. The front struts both need replacing. I knew it needed new tires & shocks. (If the clutch needed replacing, it's not "just" that. That's about $1,000; and I would be asking "shouldn't I just sell it, and buy one that doesn't need it?" That's almost half the value of the car alone.)
Thus, it's not as bad as it appeared with my original post; if he's indeed right. Still, this car's gonna take a lot of fixing up.
Last edited by BudgetBuyer; 08-07-2019 at 12:52 AM.