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I have decided that I want to buy a CRV. I have a budget of about $3,000. I have been looking at a couple of 99's and an 01 as well. All high mileage of course, anywhere from 154k to 176k. I won't have the cash until the end of the month when I can withdraw it from my 401k so I am doing some research first. Given my maximum budget I figure I can maybe get something in the year range I have stated. Maybe something older. I need tips on what to look for to either get or avoid. Things like automatic vs manual, engine sizes that I either want or want to avoid. I do want an AWD or 4 WD. What should I consider or avoid when I finally go to buy. All help is much appreciated.
 

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The gen1s (97-01) are know for their bulletproof reliability ! If well maintained the motor and transmission can last a very long time with no issues.
Look for one with maintenance records - the big things are valve clearance done at regular intervals, fluid changes at recommended intervals, the models you have mentioned use a timing belt so look for when it was changed along with water pump.
for 4wd make sure the differential fluid was changed at recommended intervals. Depending on which part of the world you are from look for rust.
get it checked by a good mechanic. Good luck !
 
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