Actually Brandon, at 15 (and a half) you are looking at your first car and barely starting as learner's permit and a parents liability with insurance costs and gas costs and maintenance costs so very expensive and also that any car good on gas costs a lot now as a used car.
The question is how much money is available for the car knowing that performance cars have a much higher cost and if there is any loan involved you also need the collision insurance. What you should be thinking about is how to fix up and repair and maintain cars. If you will not drive many miles, you get a better value now on cars not good on gas. It is also helpful to know your physical size because a small person (no insult at all) has a much harder time managing a large car. You also should want a safe car. I'll look at what is available and edit an example or 2.
2003 Mustang Convertible.
Here is a project car that badly needs a paint job and maybe some other parts:
1964 Ford Falcon asking $4000
And a 1987 red Mustang Convertible
And who knows if this is 100% real that he wants to sell with a buyback option, but it is a great car for $5000:
1988 Pontiac Fiero GT with extras
yes apparently the little butt wipe could not get it smogged and changed is rotten turd mind. I hate little pricks that make a deal and come back like some whinning little cacka roach later like a cry baby. Technically speaking you are supposed to smog the vehicle however if it is written down on the bill of sale that he agreed to accept it as is he is sol and the only way he can possibly get any money out of you is to sue you in small claims court. If it were to go that far the judge can likely look at your bill of sale and dismiss the case. worst case scenario is the judge awards typically half of what it costs to repair . but you are a long way from that point even if the judge agreed and awarded him 50 percent its unlikely he can collect from you because he has to sue you again if you refuse to pay so like I said its a ways off. If he shows up with and estimate laugh in his face The only way the judge will enforce 50 percent is if that dipstick pays to fix it before he goes to court. (he has actual damages) an estimate for smog is not going to be good enough If the guy is mellow about it and does not harrass you thats one thing if he starts to be an annoying jerk you may have to call the police and make a report of his harrasment and have him do things by mail only. good luck if he signed a deal with as is on the smog he is screwed .
This is a good way of gettng a good cheap engine with low milage. Even under California emission laws, California seems like some hick ville when it comes to emissions compaired to Japan. Japan is very strict. If an engine gets to a certing milage the engine is deemed "not fit" anymore and needs to be either torn down and completly rebuilt, or replaced. They hardly last 2-3 years there becasue emission laws are so strict. I've delt with companies at work who deal with them, and I've never had a problem. Its not that the engines are bad that thier being replaced, its that thier out of date (an engine thats a year old is classed as out of date in some cases). I've delt with a company named "Japenese Auto Ltd." out of Vancouver (I belive) and I can usually get the engine to Calgary in about a day or two with no problems.
Auto mechanics isn't that difficult to learn if you pay attention to the basics. my suggestion is to learn how the combustion engine works first then go system by system and remember always a Manual for any specific vehicle is a must they give you the details for the specifics of that make and model. I have had mechanics work on my vehicles that i found out later had less mechanical knowledge then i do and have had to double pay for repairs. i feel that anyone who drives should know how the vehicle works so they can take care of the vehicle when it breaks down. or have enough knowledge that when it dose break down they won't get overcharged for repairs they didn't need but just the repairs they do.
It sounds like you're putting the thermostat in upside down. Try it the other way.
you need a better shade tree to work under my friend.
if you just gob it on your wasteing time and material.
the white smoke is your coolant getting into your piston because you have an internal problem.
if you want to keep the car then get it fixed correctly the first time.
otherwise dump it and cut your losses.