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I'm going to be shopping for an mx-6 in the next week. After reading a lot of posts here, I see that some common problems are distributors, CV joint, spark plug wires, and auto tranny's. What I'd like to know is what are some good ways to see if these parts are going bad? Also, what exactly is a CV joint/boot?
 

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A CV (constant velocity) joint is the joint on each end of the axle shaft (halfshaft). This is naturally on the front, and connects the transmission to the hubs. There is a rubber boot over the joints. Once the boot tears, grease comes out, water comes in, and the joint starts to go. I've had to replace one of mine twice in 120K miles on my 95. The second time I learned to do it myself.

I strongly advise against the automatic unless you know for a fact that it's had its fluid changed very regularly.

Check naturally for oil in the plug holes (I just replaced the rear valve cover gasket on my 95...trust me it's not a fun job!)

Generally these cars hold up pretty well. Everything on mine works after 120K miles, and the engine is in wonderful shape. The manual transmissions are also bulletproof.

Check for 60K and 120K timing belt replacements, if applicable. If over 100K, check for water pump replacement too. It's about a $300 job at the dealer to replace said belt, and it's common to do the water pump at the 120K replacement. Water pump adds some labor and $70-100 in parts.

Tyson
 

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the cv/joint is a part of the transaxle that is connected to the front wheels, you will have to check under the car to see a rubber boot that is connected into the transaxle is cracked and grease is apparent outside of it. you will then know it has been torn and it needs to be replaced. Also check the alloy wheels from inside, you might see grease around the wheel too. the transmission should be inspected my mechanic but it is a good idea to go for a 5speed if you are looking for reliabilty. sparks plugs...take the boot off and see if there is any oil in the valve covers, that means you need valve cover gaskets to be replaced. if you decide to take out the spark plug completely you will probably see carbon buildup which is normal on these v6's. If you decide to buy the car...rev the car a few times to take out these carbon deposits in the engine while running on intervals of 10,000 miles of fuel injector cleaner such as redline or chevron techron. if you address to the owner of the mx-6 tell him what is wrong with it and CHEW him down like beef jerky....

consider the valve cover gasket job to be in the low 400 dollar mark and the cv joints 150 a piece on each side of the wheel. so chew the owner down for 700 bucks
good luck,
 
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