How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership:- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    RIS
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    How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership:

    Times are tough for a lot of folks. I hope this helps.

    1) Only purchase as much vehicle as you need.

    If your vehicular needs are met by a Civic DX with roll-up windows and no A/C, then it makes no financial sense to purchase an Escalade with chrome wheels and really big woofers. Additional complexity brings with it additional expenses. Complex vehicles cost more to purchase, they cost more to insure, they cost more to maintain, and they cost more to repair. If you're tempted to purchase a vehicle to impress other people, then I'd recommend spending that money on counseling instead. You'll be bankrupt and living in a cardboard box long before you'll impress anyone worth impressing.

    2) Do not change vehicles unless your current vehicle no longer meets your transportation needs.

    If your wife has triplets, and your only vehicle is a Corvette, then you need a different vehicle. If you need to tow a triple axle trailer and you own a Geo Metro, you need a different vehicle. Being bored with your current vehicle, or not wanting to pay for past due maintenance and repairs that you have put off does not mean that you need a different vehicle.

    3) Do not purchase new.

    The depreciation curve for vehicles is pretty steep at first. Let someone else take the initial hit, and then purchase the vehicle once it's a few years old.

    4) Do not dump an old vehicle just because it needs expensive repairs.

    I see a lot of folks really shoot themselves in the foot with this one, and it requries some explanation, so bear with me.

    Let's say that you have a 1995 F150 that's worth about $2500, and it pukes a $4000 engine. Many folks (who don't know any better), will go "That's more than the vehicle's worth- I'll just dump it.". Bad idea.

    That 1995 F150 is already at the bottom of it's depreciation curve, so it's not costing you anything to own it. It's paid for, so you're not making payments on it. You're not paying full coverage insurance on it, because it's a hoopty (and because it's not financed, so nobody is forcing you to). You're also not paying interest on a loan. If you put a $4000 engine in it, it will be worth about $2500, but if you don't, it will be worth nothing. So the real cost is about $1500.

    If you walk away from it, you're starting out $2500 in the hole. If you purchase another hoopty, you'll probably spend another $2500 to purchase one that was in about the same condition that this one was in, right before it took a dump. So your real cost is now up to about $5000, and you just got back in line to pay for another engine.

    If you walk away from it and purchase a new car, you're kind of getting it coming and going. Heck, a decent down payment on a new car would pay for an engine for an old car. You'll probably lose more in depreciation just driving a new car off the lot than you would have spent putting a new engine in the old one. Plus, now you have years of car payments (including interest) to pay, and more expensive insurance (including full coverage) too.

    5) Do not change vehicles for the sole reason of perceived better potential fuel mileage:

    TO BE CONTINUED...

  2. #2
    JmZ
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    Counterpoints

    For a lot of people their cars are like our bikes. It isn't always about what we need, but also what we want.

    A entry level Huynda/Kia/Totota will work for most people in most circumstances. Used, or new. It doesn't mean that they will be the right vehicle.

    Friend of mine was set on a Saturn years ago. Good gas mileage, pretty cheap car, pretty cheap to insure. All good points. Then he found it put his legs to sleep when he sat in it for more than a couple of mins. The same car isn't right for everyone.

    Purchasing new isn't the beast that some people make it out to be. It can be cheaper to buy new than used. We purchased our last two vehicles new. My wife worked in the auto sector at the time, but a tough negotiator could have gotten even better deals.

    The car and minivan had cash back, a good price, and the financing and warranty made the new car <b>cheaper</b> than a comparable 1 or 2 year old vehicle of the same type. Take a good look before swallowing that blanket statement.

    Expensive repairs are a crapshoot. When does a nickel and dime repair schedule become worse than a car payment? We've put money this year into those same two vehicles mentioned above, because we want them to continue to work well. Repairs are about equal to 4 car payments on each of them for this year.

    As they age and get older, if I need to do a long trip, and both vehicles have done 1000+ mile trips this year, will I trust the car? And even if I trust it, how much will the repair cost on the trip? What other incidentals will it need? Hotel? Rental? Time off work? How much is that cost worth to me?

    And finally the gas mileage. The car we've got is mediocre when it comes to gas mileage. But we won't trade it in for just that alone. But when we do replace it... we will look at what the new vehicle gets, and if it take premium or regular. The break even point, even for something that gets great mileage like a TDI or a Prius still takes YEARS when the cost of the vehicle itself is part of the equation.

    I <b>do</b> agree that it needs to be thought out and not at a whim. But what is true for me, isn't true for everyone. What we need is for people to <u>think</u> before they act. (True for more than cars/trucks though!)

    JmZ


    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Times are tough for a lot of folks. I hope this helps.

    1) Only purchase as much vehicle as you need.

    If your vehicular needs are met by a Civic DX with roll-up windows and no A/C, then it makes no financial sense to purchase an Escalade with chrome wheels and really big woofers. Additional complexity brings with it additional expenses. Complex vehicles cost more to purchase, they cost more to insure, they cost more to maintain, and they cost more to repair. If you're tempted to purchase a vehicle to impress other people, then I'd recommend spending that money on counseling instead. You'll be bankrupt and living in a cardboard box long before you'll impress anyone worth impressing.

    2) Do not change vehicles unless your current vehicle no longer meets your transportation needs.

    If your wife has triplets, and your only vehicle is a Corvette, then you need a different vehicle. If you need to tow a triple axle trailer and you own a Geo Metro, you need a different vehicle. Being bored with your current vehicle, or not wanting to pay for past due maintenance and repairs that you have put off does not mean that you need a different vehicle.

    3) Do not purchase new.

    The depreciation curve for vehicles is pretty steep at first. Let someone else take the initial hit, and then purchase the vehicle once it's a few years old.

    4) Do not dump an old vehicle just because it needs expensive repairs.

    I see a lot of folks really shoot themselves in the foot with this one, and it requries some explanation, so bear with me.

    Let's say that you have a 1995 F150 that's worth about $2500, and it pukes a $4000 engine. Many folks (who don't know any better), will go "That's more than the vehicle's worth- I'll just dump it.". Bad idea.

    That 1995 F150 is already at the bottom of it's depreciation curve, so it's not costing you anything to own it. It's paid for, so you're not making payments on it. You're not paying full coverage insurance on it, because it's a hoopty (and because it's not financed, so nobody is forcing you to). You're also not paying interest on a loan. If you put a $4000 engine in it, it will be worth about $2500, but if you don't, it will be worth nothing. So the real cost is about $1500.

    If you walk away from it, you're starting out $2500 in the hole. If you purchase another hoopty, you'll probably spend another $2500 to purchase one that was in about the same condition that this one was in, right before it took a dump. So your real cost is now up to about $5000, and you just got back in line to pay for another engine.

    If you walk away from it and purchase a new car, you're kind of getting it coming and going. Heck, a decent down payment on a new car would pay for an engine for an old car. You'll probably lose more in depreciation just driving a new car off the lot than you would have spent putting a new engine in the old one. Plus, now you have years of car payments (including interest) to pay, and more expensive insurance (including full coverage) too.

    5) Do not change vehicles for the sole reason of perceived better potential fuel mileage:

    TO BE CONTINUED...
    JmZ

    From one flat land to another.

    Advocate as if your ride depends on it...

  3. #3
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    as an automotive professional whos seen all types of cars in all types of conditions. the MAJOR thing involved in having a long-term 200K+ reliable car is to keep it maintained!

    not talking about oil and fluid changes. thats obvious and an absolute must. follow the schedule that your manufacturer supplies with your vehicle, NOT what the shop recommends. what you really need to be doing is fixing any and all oil leaks the second they appear, fix all loose suspension components the second they're out of spec. if you have a bad strut, replace it.

    what kills people is they decide their transmission pan doesnt leak too bad, so they let it go.. then the engine pan leaks and they let it go and just add more.. then the seals go, struts wear out, joints all fail.. and now they have an old car that requires thousands of dollars to get it back to baseline reliable, and thousands more in other damages caused by neglect (leaking fluids like to leak into harnesses and dissolve them). spending a few hundred here and there over the years is easy on the wallet. spending a few thousand all in one day to catch up and repair collateral damage hurts.

    my old toyota has 220k on it and everything operates perfectly. most of it is new and replaced in the last 50-75k though. it'll easily hit 300k running strong, tight, and like new. not that it was just that great of a car to begin with, ive beat it to death and broken every piece of the car and replaced it.. but in 9 years of ownership its been less than $10k, including the purchase price. not bad.


    200k at the track

  4. #4
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    another good way to avoid repair costs is to not drive like a maniac and/or take cars to the track

  5. #5
    RIS
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    CONTINUED...

    5) Do not change vehicles for the sole reason of perceived better potential fuel mileage:

    Gas is the cheap part of owning a car.

    Let's say you've got an old peedleweezer pickup that gets 12 mpg, and because of that, you're spending $500 a month in gas.

    Many folks would be tempted to try to save money by rushing out and buying a Prius. Just for the purpose of example, let's say that their fuel expenses go down to $125 a month. But to do that, they're now spending $600 a month on a car payment (including interest), for the privilege of owning a car that entered depreciation free fall the moment it left the dealer's lot. Plus, the insurance is more expensive, and to add insult to injury, now you're forced into carrying full coverage insurance, because it's financed. Their net expenses went way up.

  6. #6
    ballbuster
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    Unless.....

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    CONTINUED...

    5) Do not change vehicles for the sole reason of perceived better potential fuel mileage:

    Gas is the cheap part of owning a car.

    Let's say you've got an old peedleweezer pickup that gets 12 mpg, and because of that, you're spending $500 a month in gas.

    Many folks would be tempted to try to save money by rushing out and buying a Prius. Just for the purpose of example, let's say that their fuel expenses go down to $125 a month. But to do that, they're now spending $600 a month on a car payment (including interest), for the privilege of owning a car that entered depreciation free fall the moment it left the dealer's lot. Plus, the insurance is more expensive, and to add insult to injury, now you're forced into carrying full coverage insurance, because it's financed. Their net expenses went way up.

    You get a used Prius ... They're a dime a dozen around here used. I've seen them used down to $7k with plenty of life left in them. Heck, they warranty the battery to 150k miles.

    Yeah, I agree tho. If you drive a lot, then a 12mpg truck was a bad decision to begin with, unless you're a contractor and need it for work to haul tools, materials, and people around.

    BTW, the break even schedule on a Prius over a regular kinda compact car... the study I read was that breakeven happened at about 12k miles when gas was nearly $4 a gallon. So now... what... breakeven at $3 a gallon is 18k miles? IMO, not too bad. Depends on where you drive too. The Prius really shines in city traffic, and stop and go traffic. If your 35 mpg honda is stuck at stoplights, mileage drops off to around 25 mpg or worse, whereas the Prius is double that. I'm really just repeating what others have written, but I know I should do the math myself.

    Really, one of the best ways to save money on cars is to never buy a new one, maintain it well, and drive it until it is too expensive in repairs to keep running.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-02-2009 at 07:17 AM.

  7. #7
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    As far as trading in your old car for a new one, there are some other things to consider: the way my mom goes about it (i kinda do) if the car is costing you more per month to fix (averaged annually) then it is to make a car payment on a new car you want, then It may be time to trade it. But there are other things, if the car is starting to smell or small parts are breaking often or maybe it is just time, then why not upgrade, at least your drive can be a little more pleasant then before (kinda like bikes) since a 2007 truck as allot better suspension then a 97.
    The gas thing is correct, my friend has a suburban that gets 8 mpg and he wanted a Mini, We ran the numbers and it wasn't cost effective.
    there are also some points to consider, I drive a truck and I like it to haul around bikes and what not, plus it floods here allot. I had a truck as my first vehicle, then it was getting costly to maintain, so i got a sports car (during college) I only had that 9 months as stuff was breaking (i upgraded things and in turn other broke, but it was starting to show its age) so my mom gave me her 94 ford explorer and traded in my car. i drove the exploer and drove that until i saved the money to buy my current truck. I will not own another car without owning a truck also.

    Yes, I have always bought used

    As far as the car you want, allot of it also comes down to what you can afford. If you can afford a 50K car and live comfortably, then why not, but if you are streching and you hit a hick-up and your in trouble then you should buy a cheaper car (the whole reason half of this country is in trouble).
    I want a car with certain features for me, not others, Such as power seats (offer better adjustability), power mirrors, power windows, radio w/cd player, ac (climate) , keyless entry (the key scratches the door, plus I'm used to it) and after owning this truck with cloth seats, I want leather, for spills and when i get in and i am sweaty from riding. I have driven cars with much more features (i am a car nut), and like you say it is just more stuff to break and the manufacturer you buy also affects this too. a mercedes is much more expensive to fix then a caddy. A ford is more difficult to work on then a chevy thus generally more expensive for time (had a 97 f150 and now a 01 silverado)
    I am generally anal retentive about my paint (worked as a detailer for 5 years) and generally the vehicles I own, so they are very well maintained and i like to replace anything when it gets damaged (interior pannels, lights, what not) so maintaing a vehicle for me can be expensive
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  8. #8
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    You get a used Prius ... They're a dime a dozen around here used. I've seen them used down to $7k with plenty of life left in them. Heck, they warranty the battery to 150k miles.
    The Prius traction battery is warranted for 100,000 miles in 49 states. Only in the PRK is it warranted for 150,000 miles.

    Yeah, I agree tho. If you drive a lot, then a 12mpg truck was a bad decision to begin with, unless you're a contractor and need it for work to haul tools, materials, and people around.
    I don't know what you're agreeing with. If you already own a 12mpg pickup, it's probably cheaper to keep it than it is to buy another car with better fuel mileage (refer to items #2, and # 5 in my prior posts).

    And if you're a contractor and need a work truck to haul tools, materials, and people around, then a pickup is probably the correct vehicle for you (refer to item # 1 in my first post).

    BTW, the break even schedule on a Prius over a regular kinda compact car... the study I read was that breakeven happened at about 12k miles when gas was nearly $4 a gallon. So now... what... breakeven at $3 a gallon is 18k miles? IMO, not too bad. Depends on where you drive too. The Prius really shines in city traffic, and stop and go traffic. If your 35 mpg honda is stuck at stoplights, mileage drops off to around 25 mpg or worse, whereas the Prius is double that. I'm really just repeating what others have written, but I know I should do the math myself.
    Yes, you should do the math.

    But first, post a link to "the study" you read.

    Then show us your math, on how you're going to pay for the cost of buying a Prius (including depreciation, full coverage insurance, and a loan payment with interest) out of the difference in fuel expenditures between a 35 mpg Civic and a Prius that may or may not get somewhat better fuel mileage. I'm guessing that you won't. This information: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...idwatch01.html reports Prius fuel mileage as low as 34 mpg, and no information indicating that the average Prius gets any 50 mpg. The depreciation is the real killer here, as it seems that everyone knows that after 100,000 miles, you're on your own, and a new traction battery is about a $4,000 job, so the value of the cars nose-dive. There's no amount of fuel savings that will offset what you're losing in value.

    I did a quick search on Auto Trader for $7,000 Prius vehicles within 100 miles of zip code 94601, and got none. A search at $8000 netted one- it has 185,000 miles (way out of warranty, even in the PRK). A search at $9,000 netted no additional results. Neither did a search at $10,000.

    (Refer to points # 1, #2, and # 5 in my original posts.)

    Really, one of the best ways to save money on cars is to...drive it until it is too expensive in repairs to keep running.
    That's one of the biggest ways to lose huge amounts of money on a car. What do you mean by "too expensive in repairs to keep running"? (You should probably refer to item # 2 and # 4 in my original posts before answering.)

  9. #9
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    its not somewhat better economy. you can get/expect 50mpg out of a prius.

    some people are going to buy a new car no matter what. old cars get rattly and just plain old worn out, and a lot of people are in a financial situation where a nicer new car really isnt much money and might even be paid cash. in that situation i can see why someone would opt for the higher economy car. you're not going to have a payment forever, but you'll get 50mpg until you sell the car. commuting becomes cheaper, trips become cheaper, etc.

    i think the prius drives too weird to ever consider owning.. but its a sensible vehicle that i can understand why people buy.

    my mazda3 was 13k. we paid it off in 9 months. its nice owning a car that just doesnt need repairs. it just gets driven.. replaced another 91 220k toyota, completely worth the 13k for a 2005 with 30k that i dont worry about.

  10. #10
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS
    As far as trading in your old car for a new one, there are some other things to consider: the way my mom goes about it (i kinda do) if the car is costing you more per month to fix (averaged annually) then it is to make a car payment on a new car you want, then It may be time to trade it.
    Then you're mom taught you wrong.

    If that were true, you'd probably never change vehicles. A $500/month car payment is $6,000 a year. Plus, you'd lose thousands more on depreciation just driving a new car off the lot, and the insurance is going to be more expensive on the new car. I've never had to spend $15,000 a year to keep any vehicle of mine up and running.

    But there are other things, if the car is starting to smell or small parts are breaking often or maybe it is just time, then why not upgrade, at least your drive can be a little more pleasant then before (kinda like bikes) since a 2007 truck as allot better suspension then a 97.
    I'm guessing that improved automotive hygene is probably cheaper than the practice of repeatedly trading up to a new car.

    The last small part that broke on my vehicle cost $1.59, and it came with a whole box of spares, just like it. It never occured to me to trade it in instead of spending $1.59 on it.

    There is no "just time". Cars don't go bad like milk.

    What you're basically getting at there involves the word "want".

    ...i got a sports car (during college) I only had that 9 months as stuff was breaking (i upgraded things and in turn other broke, but it was starting to show its age)... (am a car nut)...(worked as a detailer for 5 years)...
    Car nut, detailer, college, sports car, upgrades...

    I may have found the problem. If this "sports car" had "upgrades" that included a muffler that looks like a Folgers coffee can, no further explanation is needed.

    ...so my mom gave me her 94 ford explorer and traded in my car...
    With all due respects, that's the kind of failure that we're trying to avoid. Having our moms rescue us from walking by giving us an automobile, is not the measure of success that we should be shooting for.

    As far as the car you want, allot of it also comes down to what you can afford. If you can afford a 50K car and live comfortably, then why not, but if you are streching and you hit a hick-up and your in trouble then you should buy a cheaper car (the whole reason half of this country is in trouble).
    I want a car with certain features for me, not others, Such as power seats (offer better adjustability), power mirrors, power windows, radio w/cd player, ac (climate) , keyless entry (the key scratches the door, plus I'm used to it) and after owning this truck with cloth seats, I want leather, for spills and when i get in and i am sweaty from riding.
    That's a lot of want.

    I have driven cars with much more features (i am a car nut), and like you say it is just more stuff to break and the manufacturer you buy also affects this too. a mercedes is much more expensive to fix then a caddy. A ford is more difficult to work on then a chevy thus generally more expensive for time (had a 97 f150 and now a 01 silverado)
    I am generally anal retentive about my paint (worked as a detailer for 5 years) and generally the vehicles I own, so they are very well maintained and i like to replace anything when it gets damaged (interior pannels, lights, what not) so maintaing a vehicle for me can be expensive
    No, Mercedes are not necessarily more expensive to fix than Cadillacs, and Fords are not necessarily more difficult to work on than Chevrolet.

  11. #11
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    its not somewhat better economy. you can get/expect 50mpg out of a prius.
    The information that I linked above seems to contradict that. Do you own a Prius?

    some people are going to buy a new car no matter what. old cars get rattly and just plain old worn out, and a lot of people are in a financial situation where a nicer new car really isnt much money and might even be paid cash.
    People are free to waste their money if they want. This thread is for those who have a different goal in mind.

    my mazda3 was 13k. we paid it off in 9 months. its nice owning a car that just doesnt need repairs. it just gets driven.. replaced another 91 220k toyota, completely worth the 13k for a 2005 with 30k that i dont worry about.
    As I stated above, most people's goals don't include taking a $4,000 hit on depreciation.

    By the way, what kind of "automotive professional" are you?
    Last edited by RIS; 12-02-2009 at 12:01 PM.

  12. #12
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    The whole argument that it's worth getting a Prius (or any hybrid for that matter) for gas mileage always kind of makes me laugh. Most people don't sit down and do the math.

    A guy I worked with had a paid-for Jetta. He traded it for a used Prius, I think around $16K. He drove ~100 miles total each day to get to work and back. After not too long he figured that with his new car payment and higher insurance costs gas would have to be something like $14 per gallon before he started saving any money. Before I moved he had another used Jetta.

    But people don't think of these things when they want to "save money" or "save the planet". I have a friend that works at a dealer that could tell stories like this all day long. My favorite was the guy that traded in a 3 week old truck for a new Honda, because the truck cost too much to fill up and he couldn't afford it. If I remember correctly he lost somewhere around $18K on that truck in those 3 weeks, and drove away happy in his new fuel sipper.
    "It was like a German, techno-weird, acid trip." - The Hoff -

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Then you're mom taught you wrong.

    If that were true, you'd probably never change vehicles. A $500/month car payment is $6,000 a year. Plus, you'd lose thousands more on depreciation just driving a new car off the lot, and the insurance is going to be more expensive on the new car. I've never had to spend $15,000 a year to keep any vehicle of mine up and running.
    I never said anything about a "new" car, we have always bought a used car, my most expensive car has be $14K and of that I only financed $1000, which was paid off in 6 months.

    I'm guessing that improved automotive hygene is probably cheaper than the practice of repeatedly trading up to a new car.

    The last small part that broke on my vehicle cost $1.59, and it came with a whole box of spares, just like it. It never occured to me to trade it in instead of spending $1.59 on it.

    There is no "just time". Cars don't go bad like milk.

    What you're basically getting at there involves the word "want".
    I'm sorry, have you ever smelled a late 80's mercedes, they stink, and there is no way to get rid of that smell, it is just the small from plastics and German Leather.

    The last part i replaced on my truck was the steering box (plus other things), $400 and 5 hours of my time, I didn't trade it in and have no plans too, I don't see what we are fighting over.
    Also the 3rd brake light seal is leaking and my headliner is getting wet ~$60 to replace the light, the fog light is leaking ~$50 to replace that, but i don't plan to trade the truck in. so what are u fighting me on?

    I plan to by a new "used" car in a year or so and I am saving up for it, but I also plan to keep my truck, so that I don't have to put so many miles on the truck (133K currently) and I can get better gas millege (don't start on the gas mileage thing) for longer trips and daily driving.

    Car nut, detailer, college, sports car, upgrades..


    I may have found the problem. If this "sports car" had "upgrades" that included a muffler that looks like a Folgers coffee can, no further explanation is needed.
    First off all, you can't get me within 10ft of a rice rocket, Second of all, i have always been interested in cars, It is a hobby for me, just like cycling. I used to race at drag strips but realized it was a waste of my money and making me fat, so i stepped away from it and got into cycling more. My passion for cars and cycling is what got me interested in and a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During college I worked as a Car Detailer on the weekends to pay for my hobbies and other things, I have always worked hard for the things I want and need. Yes i made upgrades to the car, headers, suspension, engine control, and in the end I won't do it again. Everyone goes though fazes when younger, why does it matter. As long as you learn. I have done stuff to my truck, but most of it is polishing and some painting, so that i have a unique truck, but not over the top (look in the ride's ride in this forum) or exuberant amounts of money. Why does it matter so much, I plan on keeping this truck for quite some time and the changes i have made have made me enjoy my vehicle even more.

    With all due respects, that's the kind of failure that we're trying to avoid. Having our moms rescue us from walking by giving us an automobile, is not the measure of success that we should be shooting for.
    why would it matter, I didn't expect it, but her car and mine were worth the same in trade in value, and I was having transmission issues after it had been rebuilt, and i was just sick of dealing with it. in addition to the transmission the steering and oil pan were beginning to leak and i just didn't have the money or time to fix it. The 94 explorer was in good condition and it was something i could drive (this was back in 2005).


    That's a lot of want.
    Soooo... Everyone wants something. I like cars and bikes and that is what i choose to save and spend my money on. I don't buy electronics, alcohol, expensive meals, sporting games, pricey cell phone service or what not. You have wants too, they just differ.


    No, Mercedes are not necessarily more expensive to fix than Cadillacs, and Fords are not necessarily more difficult to work on than Chevrolet.
    True, but generally when looking at similar items the Cadillac will be cheapier, As they share many parts with other gm's and they hard to get to.
    to get at the gauge cluster in my f150, you had to take half the dash board out, in my chevy it takes 15 min. It took 30 min to replace plugs and wires in my chevy, i could even see the plugs in the ford. Not to mention Mac makes a tool just for removing broken spark plugs in the ford triton V8 engines, as they are very difficult to get to. but i do understand what you are saying, but from my experience my chevy has been a breeze to work on.

    There is one thing that trading un you have to consider: Reliability!
    my uncle bought a used (100k on the clock) suv from a friend for my aunt, after a few years they just had issue after issue with it. the main one being starting problems. the engine would just not start some times and other times it would just die while drving. He removed the engine and totally rebuilt it, even then it was still haveing problems. they finally realized it was the computer, so they replaced that and the issue was resolved, but they still had constant problems with the electrics and other systems in the car. What is the point of holding on to the car, if you can't trust that it will start when you want it to, or get you to your destination on time or safely. What good is the car if you can't trust it will work period.
    S-Works all the bikes!
    Just another used cat for sale

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    I've bought a new car almost every year for the last six or seven years (well, one was a lease). Thanks to employee pricing on any domestic brand, timing of rebates and good negotiating skills, I've never taken a big hit on depreciating. Sure, the Pontiac G8 I just traded in only got me $18,000, but I got it for $22k (including rolling in some negative equity from a lease turn-in) so I was even with what I owed. MSRP was almost $30k on the car, so it took a big hit on paper, but not to me.

    Buying a new car isn't for everyone, it just works for me with the good deals I've been able to find (employee/retiree pricing helps a lot). I put almost 40,000 miles on the Pontiac in 11 months and I want a car that is safe, comfortable and covered under warranty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    The whole argument that it's worth getting a Prius (or any hybrid for that matter) for gas mileage always kind of makes me laugh. Most people don't sit down and do the math.

    A guy I worked with had a paid-for Jetta. He traded it for a used Prius, I think around $16K. He drove ~100 miles total each day to get to work and back. After not too long he figured that with his new car payment and higher insurance costs gas would have to be something like $14 per gallon before he started saving any money. Before I moved he had another used Jetta.

    But people don't think of these things when they want to "save money" or "save the planet". I have a friend that works at a dealer that could tell stories like this all day long. My favorite was the guy that traded in a 3 week old truck for a new Honda, because the truck cost too much to fill up and he couldn't afford it. If I remember correctly he lost somewhere around $18K on that truck in those 3 weeks, and drove away happy in his new fuel sipper.
    Yup. At $3/gal., $18,000 would buy 6000 gallons of gas.

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    Hey, Josh, just bustin' your chops a little bit. Maybe I should make better use of the smile emoticon.

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    I agree with all your points. I drive a 2000 Chevy blazer with 122,000 on the clock. Last year when gas was 4 bucks a gallon I debated trading in my truck for something more fuel efficient but it would take me many years to make up the difference because the truck is bought and paid for, and in great shape (minus some dings, scratches and a little rust I fixed up myself) And me being a poor college kid i dont want another monthly payment besides tuition and rent (those are more than enough)

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    Great information. I am due for a $1500 timing belt & water pump change on my '04 V6 Passat and I was thinking about ditching it for just that reason. After sitting down to really look at what I owe, what I've already sunk into the car, and what I'd have to pay down on a new car to get payments where I need them....I figured out that not only could I NOT afford to trade it in, but that the $1500 almost seems like a hell of a deal compared to getting into a new car.

    On a side note, I still won't keep it out of extended warranty. Parts are way too expensive for this car.
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    you should be able to have that thing changed for 600-800 at a german specific shop. those arent really all that hard.

    The information that I linked above seems to contradict that. Do you own a Prius?
    did you read the link you posted? one ladies experience with the car means nothing. theres always someone that gets wild results that are beyond any possible norm. ive been in more priuses than i care to have been in.

    the other 3 people got 43-49mpg.. just about 50. you can buy one and expect, and get 50mpg.

    hybrid works. electric motors charged by regenerative braking work. this is power created and used not by gas..

    it has a 1.5L 58hp gasoline engine, coupled with that regenerative brake powered electric hybrid motor, and it weighs something silly like 2500lbs. you really want to try to make an argument that it gets poor mileage?


    i dont really like the car, im not going to buy one.. but be realistic.

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    you had some good ideas at first.. then spiraled off into some weird anti-new car tirade.

    its a pain in the ass replacing broken things. its a pain taking time off work to drop your car off at the shop.. or worse missing a day of work while you're getting towed off the freeway, etc. that gets old quick. a good new car will give you years of not worrying about that kinda stuff.

    the other funny thing is we're on a bike board. talk about "want" our hobby is one thats expensive and completely unnecessary. nothing wrong with having and wanting some nice things in life. my bikes are worth more than my car, i wanted it that way. works for me!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    I agree with all your points. I drive a 2000 Chevy blazer with 122,000 on the clock. Last year when gas was 4 bucks a gallon I debated trading in my truck for something more fuel efficient but it would take me many years to make up the difference because the truck is bought and paid for, and in great shape (minus some dings, scratches and a little rust I fixed up myself) And me being a poor college kid i dont want another monthly payment besides tuition and rent (those are more than enough)
    Smart man.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by A1an
    Great information. I am due for a $1500 timing belt & water pump change on my '04 V6 Passat and I was thinking about ditching it for just that reason. After sitting down to really look at what I owe, what I've already sunk into the car, and what I'd have to pay down on a new car to get payments where I need them....I figured out that not only could I NOT afford to trade it in, but that the $1500 almost seems like a hell of a deal compared to getting into a new car.
    Another one swerves into the truth.

    On a side note, I still won't keep it out of extended warranty. Parts are way too expensive for this car.
    You should keep it. These principles do not become any less true when your MBI policy expires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot

    its a pain in the ass replacing broken things. its a pain taking time off work to drop your car off at the shop.. or worse missing a day of work while you're getting towed off the freeway, etc. that gets old quick.
    You're right. What we're talking about is putting a dollar amount on that inconvenience. For me, I'd rather run the risk of having to burn an extra vacation day once in a while than to piss away $10,000 or more on depreciation, interest, full coverage insurance, and other expenses related to owning a new or new-ish car. It's probably been a quarter of a century since one of my humble old hoopty vehicles has made me walk.

    ...a good new car will give you years of not worrying about that kinda stuff.
    Really? Go to your nearest dealer and take a look at what's up on the lifts. Stuff happens with new cars too. I've replaced a lot more failed batteries on unsold new cars than I have on cars that have already been placed into service. And new cars tend to be more complex than old cars, so the statistical probability of having something go wrong goes up too.

    I'll ask once again: What kind of "automotive professional" are you?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Smart man.
    Thanks, I'll never buy a new car/truck (unless I can get a whopping good deal, better than one thats 2-3 years old) I just can't get over the fact that id be pissing away $5,000+ just purchasing it and driving it off the lot. Too much of my blood, sweat and tears goes into making what little money I have i cant justify wasting it like that...

  25. #25
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    A FEW MORE:

    6) Don't lease a car.

    Let me get this right- you want me to make 48 monthly payments and then HAND YOU THE KEYS BACK? Eff that.

    7) Only let QUALIFIED people work on your vehicle.

    PT Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute.

    There is nothing in life that cannot be done a little worse for a little less.

    Since your automobile represents either the most expensive or the second most expensive thing that you'll ever own, I'm not sure that the criteria of shopping for the absolute cheapest price is going to be in your best interests. Is that how you shop for a surgeon for your child?

    The world is full of hacks that think that they can work on cars.

    Factory training is administered to technicians at the dealerships, and they pay their technicians the most, so that's where you are most likely to find a qualified technician.

    Muffler shops, tire stores, department stores, and discount chain shops seem to get the rest. There are also parts counter guys at discount part chain stores that mistake themselves as diagnosticians, and countless shade-tree slobs trying to make enough money for their next six-pack of Pabst.

    And to make matters worse, no one can be an expert in everything. The highly paid, factory trained Honda technician has it easy- he only has to work on Hondas. The tire store monkey may work on a Dodge motorhome, then a Peugot, then an International Harvester pickup, and then your car. I've seen crappy aftermarket brake pads installed backwards, and I've had to do thousands of dollars in repairs to correct damages done to a vehicle during a $49.95 coupon brake job.

    After seeing what I've seen, I wouldn't trust most of those goof-balls to operate something as mechanically complex as the oil drain plug on my vehicle, or even their own tire pressure guage.

    Diagnosis is by far, the least expensive and the least time consuming method of auto repair. Guessing is by far, the most expensive and the most time consuming method of auto repair. For example, paying $100 an hour for accurate diagnosis is vastly less expensive than paying $50 an hour for guesses. In fact, you shouldn't pay for guessing at all. Guessing is not a skill- anybody can do it, and it requires no training- you don't have to be licensed or certified or anything. You can guess. Your car is made up of thousands and thousands of parts, so the odds of you guessing correctly are not good, but hey, what the heck.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I'll ask once again: What kind of "automotive professional" are you?
    luxury line journeyman mechanic. master ASE, factory backed by infiniti and lexus, years in the field blahblah.

    batteries die in new cars often because the jackass salespeople/porters/washers/delivery truck guys leave the lights on. ive replaced tons of them too within months of arriving.. and then again 8 years or so later.

    you dont really think a new car is less reliable than some old car thats had god knows what done to it, do you?

    theres a difference between saving money with smart decisions and driving an old beater around for the rest of your life. you're not better or even right for deciding to drive an old car into the ground.

    you have to accept that theres people in a better financial situation than you are. we have people come in that have leased flagship models since new, since 1990. LOTS of people arent interested in driving the same worn out car for 20 years. lots of people could benefit from making the most out of their ownership period though. no ones in the position to determine someone elses car needs.

  27. #27
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    Nah, s'oaky....

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    The Prius traction battery is warranted for 100,000 miles in 49 states. Only in the PRK is it warranted for 150,000 miles.



    I don't know what you're agreeing with. If you already own a 12mpg pickup, it's probably cheaper to keep it than it is to buy another car with better fuel mileage (refer to items #2, and # 5 in my prior posts).

    And if you're a contractor and need a work truck to haul tools, materials, and people around, then a pickup is probably the correct vehicle for you (refer to item # 1 in my first post).



    Yes, you should do the math.

    But first, post a link to "the study" you read.

    Then show us your math, on how you're going to pay for the cost of buying a Prius (including depreciation, full coverage insurance, and a loan payment with interest) out of the difference in fuel expenditures between a 35 mpg Civic and a Prius that may or may not get somewhat better fuel mileage. I'm guessing that you won't. This information: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...idwatch01.html reports Prius fuel mileage as low as 34 mpg, and no information indicating that the average Prius gets any 50 mpg. The depreciation is the real killer here, as it seems that everyone knows that after 100,000 miles, you're on your own, and a new traction battery is about a $4,000 job, so the value of the cars nose-dive. There's no amount of fuel savings that will offset what you're losing in value.

    I did a quick search on Auto Trader for $7,000 Prius vehicles within 100 miles of zip code 94601, and got none. A search at $8000 netted one- it has 185,000 miles (way out of warranty, even in the PRK). A search at $9,000 netted no additional results. Neither did a search at $10,000.

    (Refer to points # 1, #2, and # 5 in my original posts.)



    That's one of the biggest ways to lose huge amounts of money on a car. What do you mean by "too expensive in repairs to keep running"? (You should probably refer to item # 2 and # 4 in my original posts before answering.)
    I'll just let you think you're 'the expert'

    BTW, Auto Trader blows.

    This search took me 3 seconds to run.

    I have a friend with a lifetime average of 55 mpg on her 1st gen Prius.

    http://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/c...0&maxAsk=10000

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    luxury line journeyman mechanic. master ASE, factory backed by infiniti and lexus, years in the field blahblah.
    Well, at least we're both qualified to disagree. Born into the industry, journeyman line technician to service manager, ASE certifications, factory trained, appointed to manufacturer's National Advisory Board, 4-year graduate of G.M. University of Automotive Management, blah blah...

    you're not better or even right for deciding to drive an old car into the ground.

    you have to accept that theres people in a better financial situation than you are. we have people come in that have leased flagship models since new, since 1990. LOTS of people arent interested in driving the same worn out car for 20 years. lots of people could benefit from making the most out of their ownership period though. no ones in the position to determine someone elses car needs.
    Whoa, time to switch to decaf there, skippy. Go back and read the title of the thread. I offered information on how to not lose money. Nobody's forcing anybody to not lose money. I've already indicated that folks are free to waste as much money as they want. This thread is for the rest of us.

    I'm far from perfect, and I've made mistakes along the way, but the information offered is solid. I've used it myself. I don't owe a penny to anyone, my vehicles are all paid for, they run well, and I've got cash in the bank.
    Last edited by RIS; 12-03-2009 at 11:56 AM.

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    I am not certain about the numbers being thrown around regarding depreciation on new cars. I suspect most calculations on new car depreciation are formulated using msrp and aged value based on Kelly Blue Book or the like. Both of those values are subjective and can be greatly flawed.

    The fool that pays full msrp on a new car and finances 100% will certainly take it in the shorts. But, if one does their homework, negotiates wisely, and comes to the table with a significant portion or all of the deal in cash, there is no reason to pay more than 80% of msrp - perhaps even less.

    New car ownership has a significant & unique benefit, there is a long period before any costly/major maintenance is required. It's going to be 50K miles before new brakes, tires, etc are needed. However, if a person buys that same car only it's used with 40K miles on it, they will still have to buy new tires & brakes at 50K but without the benefit of driving that car for the first 40K. That reduced benefit for the used buyer will follow through to every other big ticket maintenance item as well. For instance, a new timing belt at 100K: the guy that bought new gets the benefit of the full 100K while the guy that bought used at 40K only gets 60K of benefit out of that repair cost.

    It is true that the initial cash outlay for a new car is higher than buying used. However, if you follow the curves of total ownership cost per mile when comparing used versus new, in the long run there is not much difference in cost. This of course is not the case for the unwise individual who pays too much and finances the entire car price.

    Sometimes used cars are dumped because they are lemons or some punk cared for it badly. So what may seem like a peach could leave you with a sour taste in your mouth and empty pockets. It's happened to me. You can't know for certain what that used car has been through or how it was maintained. There are quality used cars out there but you have to be patient and wise in your choice.

    The best part of buying new though, I get a shiny new car that doesn't smell like someone else's A S S!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMu_dogtag

    New car ownership has a significant & unique benefit, there is a long period before any costly/major maintenance is required. It's going to be 50K miles before new brakes, tires, etc are needed. However, if a person buys that same car only it's used with 40K miles on it, they will still have to buy new tires & brakes at 50K but without the benefit of driving that car for the first 40K. That reduced benefit for the used buyer will follow through to every other big ticket maintenance item as well. For instance, a new timing belt at 100K: the guy that bought new gets the benefit of the full 100K while the guy that bought used at 40K only gets 60K of benefit out of that repair cost.
    I think you're missing the fact that the first owner of the vehicle IS purchasing brakes, tires, and a T-belt, when he bends over for a new car, and due to depreciation, he's paying the highest price possible for those items.

  31. #31
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    ANOTHER ONE:

    8) Just say "no" to MBI policies, paint sealants, undercoating, door edge guards, and security systems.

    Profit margins on new cars are not what they once were. The real income for a dealership comes from used car sales, the service department, and the F&I booth.

    Look at the "extended warranty". He's trying to sell you a piece of paper for a thousand bucks or more. The vehicle already comes with a warranty, so what he's really selling you doesn't even come into play until the factory warranty has expired. So if your basic warranty is 5/60 and he's offering you a 100,000 mile policy, you're only talking about 40,000 miles. And those documents can be pretty craftily written, starting with the name.

    An MBI (Mechanical Breakdown Insurance) policy is NOT an "extended warranty". But by naming the MBI company "National Security Extended Warranty", you are allowed to believe that it is. It's an insurance policy. Like any insurance, they're betting that they won't have to pay, and you're betting that they will. Since an MBI policy is almost pure profit, it would appear that the policy benefits them more than it does you.

    And just because you're being offered an MBI policy from a dealership employee does not mean that the MBI policy has any connection to the manufacturer- it may just be some guy named "Guido" in New Jersey, selling paper to the dealerships so that the dealership can get in one last dig before you're out the door.

    The policy may be written to appear that it covers a lot of stuff, when it really doesn't. Slick that sold you the policy may promise all sorts of stuff, but by the time you figure out that it doesn't, he probably won't be working there anymore. Car dealerships change out their sales staff like most of us change our underwear.

    And the Service Consultant who presents your claim has a huge effect on the outcome- if he's incompetent or dishonest, the insurance company will most likely deny the claim.

    New vehicles don't need additional undercoating. Rust protection on today's vehicles has been engineered by the manufacturer, to have a high degree of success. Having the lube flunky spray "tar soup" on the driveshaft (causing vibrations on the freeway), and catalytic converter (causing stink) does no good, not to mention plugging the OEM drain holes, possibly trapping water and CAUSING a rust problem.

    You also don't need to pay $500 to have the lot boy rub a buck and a half worth of wax on the car.
    Last edited by RIS; 12-03-2009 at 12:02 PM.

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    I agree with the OP. So many times I hear about someone who's transmission failed and the bill would be $2500 to fix it so they dump the car as unreliable and spend tons of money to get into something else, rather than buying a new transmission!

    My theory is this: a lot of people have a fragile ego and need to drive the latest trendy car. They find any excuse (fuel economy, major repair, etc) in order to justify buying a new car they can't afford (if you are making payments, you likely can't afford it).

    I'll add another thought here. In addition to depreciation, etc., of a new car, you also have to calculate the opportunity costs on those payments. $500/mo year after year invested conservatively adds-up fast -- it becomes a huge opportunity cost to divert funds to a new car.

    There are superb deals out there on cars that are out of style. A late model Taurus, LeSabre or Impala are reliable, comfortable, safe, decent fuel economy and cost next to nothing on the used market as they are not trendy by any means.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I think you're missing the fact that the first owner of the vehicle IS purchasing brakes, tires, and a T-belt, when he bends over for a new car, and due to depreciation, he's paying the highest price possible for those items.
    You keep speaking of harsh depreciation the new car buyer experiences, but you have no hard facts. What do you mean exactly? Does a new car buyer lose 10%, 20%, 50% when they roll off the lot? What are the basis values for determining depreciation?

    The used car buyer pays all the same expense for replacing and maintaining parts of the car only much sooner after the purchase than a new car buyer.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by canuckjgc
    I agree with the OP. So many times I hear about someone who's transmission failed and the bill would be $2500 to fix it so they dump the car as unreliable and spend tons of money to get into something else, rather than buying a new transmission!

    My theory is this: a lot of people have a fragile ego and need to drive the latest trendy car. They find any excuse (fuel economy, major repair, etc) in order to justify buying a new car they can't afford (if you are making payments, you likely can't afford it).

    I'll add another thought here. In addition to depreciation, etc., of a new car, you also have to calculate the opportunity costs on those payments. $500/mo year after year invested conservatively adds-up fast -- it becomes a huge opportunity cost to divert funds to a new car.

    There are superb deals out there on cars that are out of style. A late model Taurus, LeSabre or Impala are reliable, comfortable, safe, decent fuel economy and cost next to nothing on the used market as they are not trendy by any means.
    Bingo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Hey, Josh, just bustin' your chops a little bit. Maybe I should make better use of the smile emoticon.
    ugh. got by non-face to face contact again (i.e. can't see expressions or hear tones in a voice)

    Well i can tell you if i was in dire straits for money my car (or any hobby) would be the last thing on my mind, especially trading it in, i would just fix it and keep driving it as this is the cheapest option generally.
    I am pretty cheap, actually get made fun of for it, I work 4 jobs (1 full time and 3 part time) to be able to do the things I want to do and live just fine (I end up puttin 62% or more when i can of my full time job paycheck in savings). I may have some nice things, but i save for them and make sure I have a good enough "cushion" to get it.

    That is what happened with my car, I would work during the summer and winter detailing cars or working at an internship to earn the money i would need for the rest of the year to pay for car insurace, gas, maintenance, and other problems. My weekend work would be to pay for the extras in life. The car just got to the point to fix everything that would shortly need to be fixed I would have to spend my safety cushion, or take the reliable explorer and save for a car that better suited my needs.

    I agree whole heartily with #8, Paint sealants are a crock, they come off after a few washes, and in my uncle's case they make high touched areas look bad. There are just no polymers that can be sprayed on the whole car, last for years and be undetectable.

    I didn't realize "undercoating" was even offered as a add on, bahahahaha

    the only worth wild thing i have seen is the clear film protection for paint. but they will charge you and arm and a left to install it. I use it on my bikes and installed (myself) a kit on my truck (pre cut from the internet). It can save paint from nasty scratches, rock chips, and even minor collisions. Just not impervious to sharp objects.


    I will say (not trying to fight you, just a perception, calm down ) that many times people will replace cars do to a perceived problem. Say the car is worth 2000 in working order. the tranny breaks, and you can fix it for $2000, or you can sell it for $1500 or $1000 as is. Also, you know the engine might need a rebuild soon and other systems are starting to fail in the near future (ac $1000, heater core $500) (prices based on shop work). So for many people it is easier to sell the car and put that sales money and the money they would have spent in the near future (potertially $6K) towards a new car (or if they are smarter, a used car that's newer with less miles) because who knows what else might happen shortly after you fix that stuff. Also if it has been pretty problem free until now, you might not have much money it. but this is just specific scenarios. my friend is going through this with his current suburban. It gets 8 mpg, Has burned through 2 wiring harnesses, Just put a new tranny in it, may need a new wiring harness soon. Had to install a new PS pump, fix some hydroboost stuff, idler arm and some other stuff i can't remeber. He is just tired of having to fix it every 2-3 weeks. He still has it and has no plans to sell any time soon.
    But every situation is different, as is every car.
    S-Works all the bikes!
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    7) Only let QUALIFIED people work on your vehicle.

    PT Barnum was right, there is a sucker born every minute.

    There is nothing in life that cannot be done a little worse for a little less.

    Since your automobile represents either the most expensive or the second most expensive thing that you'll ever own, I'm not sure that the criteria of shopping for the absolute cheapest price is going to be in your best interests. Is that how you shop for a surgeon for your child?

    The world is full of hacks that think that they can work on cars.

    Factory training is administered to technicians at the dealerships, and they pay their technicians the most, so that's where you are most likely to find a qualified technician.

    Muffler shops, tire stores, department stores, and discount chain shops seem to get the rest. There are also parts counter guys at discount part chain stores that mistake themselves as diagnosticians, and countless shade-tree slobs trying to make enough money for their next six-pack of Pabst.

    And to make matters worse, no one can be an expert in everything. The highly paid, factory trained Honda technician has it easy- he only has to work on Hondas. The tire store monkey may work on a Dodge motorhome, then a Peugot, then an International Harvester pickup, and then your car. I've seen crappy aftermarket brake pads installed backwards, and I've had to do thousands of dollars in repairs to correct damages done to a vehicle during a $49.95 coupon brake job.

    After seeing what I've seen, I wouldn't trust most of those goof-balls to operate something as mechanically complex as the oil drain plug on my vehicle, or even their own tire pressure guage.
    In <b>theory</b> I agree. In practice, not so much.

    I want a competent mechanic, and just because they're at the dealer does not mean they are cheap <b>or</b> competent. Find a good mechanic and support them. I don't care if they're at the dealer, at the repair shop down the road, or under the tree next door. And <b>yes</b>, I don't assume the guy who works wonders with brakes will be the best guy to rebuild my engine.

    If I don't want to hemorrhage money, I'll try to find a competent and reasonably priced mechanic.

    When I've taken the Mazda in for service, the dealer wanted to change a burnt out bulb. Fine, replacement bulbs for the other car were $3.5 for the entire rear end of the car. The dealer would have charged $60-ish if it wasn't under warranty.

    We had the Mitsu in for service this year too, it needed a new radiator. OK, fairly simple repair. The dealer even did it, and even for a reasonable price. They didn't tighten down the hoses. It was on the verge of overheating on the way home from the dealer.

    I contrast that to the guy we had who patched my radiator (on a different car) years ago. The radiator was fixed, was cheaper than replacement, and the guy's shop was little better than a shade tree mechanic. But he knew his stuff. The radiator was working fine when we sold the car over 40,000 miles later.

    Some stuff on cars are easy. Why can't a different shop, or heck even myself with a Chilton manual and some tools, do as good or better job? Battery? Anyone can do a battery. Tires? Sure? Brakes? I've had better luck with the chains than with the dealer. Dealer charged my wife $700 for new pads and rotors all round. She was livid. She was an auto engineer at the time!

    We took it to the chain shop, and they fixed the problems the dealer couldn't. Another car had thin/soft rotors. Under normal driving they would warp. The dealer did replace it once under warranty, with the same OEM parts. The problem was back within 1000 miles. The chain shop put in aftermarket pads and rotors. Problem has not reoccurred in many many miles.

    The <b>only</b> benefit that some of the dealerships have had in my experience has been most dealers are willing to stand behind their repairs. They do offer a warranty. If a local shop or chain offers a warranty, in my eyes they start at the same place as the dealership. They all have to prove themselves.

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  37. #37
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    dealerships are privately owned. toyota dealerships arent actually owned by toyota, and so on. the quality of the work largely depends on the management. well managed shops dont continue employing hacks. poorly managed shops might be fully stocked with hacks.

    ive repaired tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage from independant shops. the guys who are factory trained and constantly updated with the latest information, and backed by a worldwide network of factory engineers just have more information and resources than private shops.

    not that dealers dont screw up.. everyone screws up eventually. you can do 9,999 perfect repairs in a row and screw up that last one, and that 10,000th person will rake you over to coals to all their friends. its just how it goes. just saying that dealers have massively more resources available to fix your car.

    ive done my share of 500-1000 dollar brake jobs. the people who can really afford cars that need 1000 dollar brake jobs tend to OK the amount pretty much instantly and walk away happy. thats just part of being a smart consumer. dont get the uber sport carbon brake upgrade for your next car if you dont want to empty your bank account at its next service.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    dealerships are privately owned. toyota dealerships arent actually owned by toyota, and so on. the quality of the work largely depends on the management. well managed shops dont continue employing hacks. poorly managed shops might be fully stocked with hacks.
    True, but the CSI numbers drive a system of checks and balances that tends to discourage poor service, although these matters are clearly beyond the scope of the subject of this thread.

    ive repaired tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage from independant shops.
    When I first broke six figures at a dealership about ten years ago, I used mailed "thank you" cards to the hopelessly inept hacks that created much of my income.

    the guys who are factory trained and constantly updated with the latest information, and backed by a worldwide network of factory engineers just have more information and resources than private shops.
    ...and they also tend to have special skills in the areas of passing a pee test and showing up for work.

    ...dont get the uber sport carbon brake upgrade for your next car if you dont want to empty your bank account at its next service.
    I would agree- refer to item # 1 in my original post.
    Last edited by RIS; 12-10-2009 at 08:15 PM.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    another good way to avoid repair costs is to not drive like a maniac and/or take cars to the track
    It's not any cheaper on two wheels than it is on four:
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  40. #40
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    If you have to buy then here's a good read regarding the new vs used debate...

    http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/a...-Car-Shopping/
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    Just purchase a used vehicle and learn how to do the preventative maintanence/minor repairs yourself. Works for me and I save thousands of dollars which can go to more important stuff, like bikes....

  42. #42
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    Second that

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanchez
    Just purchase a used vehicle and learn how to do the preventative maintanence/minor repairs yourself. Works for me and I save thousands of dollars which can go to more important stuff, like bikes....
    You haven't lived until you've done an audi timing belt. Stealership wants $1500 to do it. I'm gearing up to do mine. They say any semi-skilled DIYer can knock it out in 5 hours without hardly pushing, and for $250 in parts.

    I did the heater core in my GTI, which involves pretty much taking the whole inside of the car apart. Local shops want $1500 to do that job too. I knocked mine out in two days of hardly trying.

  43. #43
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    A lease isnt that bad if you get 0% finanacing and then buy the car after 3 years. Some companys are offering this now.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntr
    A lease isnt that bad if you get 0% finanacing and then buy the car after 3 years. Some companys are offering this now.
    Who is offering 0% financing on a 3 year lease?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Who is offering 0% financing on a 3 year lease?
    Honda was. Im not sure they are anymore. I bought this for the wife. The payment is about $250.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    You haven't lived until you've done an audi timing belt. .
    most are definitely not hard.. just stupid. audi assembles cars in a manner consistent with the behavior of drunken monkeys. once you get the front clip off, everythings pretty much right in front of you to replace. they're just not bolted together in a way that makes sense.

    i love driving audis. hate putting a wrench anywhere near them.

  47. #47
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    Maybe that's the problem...

    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    most are definitely not hard.. just stupid. audi assembles cars in a manner consistent with the behavior of drunken monkeys. once you get the front clip off, everythings pretty much right in front of you to replace. they're just not bolted together in a way that makes sense.

    i love driving audis. hate putting a wrench anywhere near them.
    You don't have to drop the front clip. You can slide it out 4 inches with a couple long bolts, saving yourself from disconnecting the radiator, AC and such.

  48. #48
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    if its timing belt time, it should be coolant flush time too. i suppose the AC issue would be a problem at home, but keeping up with the coolant is a good idea.



    just saying.. thats what it looks like with the clip off.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    if its timing belt time, it should be coolant flush time too. i suppose the AC issue would be a problem at home, but keeping up with the coolant is a good idea.



    just saying.. thats what it looks like with the clip off.
    Yeah, water pump time, also.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Who is offering 0% financing on a 3 year lease?

    Yeah, one of my buddies just leased a Honda Civic - 3 yrs, 0% and he says he'll buy it at the end. Only problem is, he has to drive a Civic. Sure it's reliable, but it's wholly uninspiring to drive. Gets you from point A and B, but with absolutely no fun. A car for people who hate cars...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartaSpartan
    Yeah, one of my buddies just leased a Honda Civic - 3 yrs, 0% and he says he'll buy it at the end. Only problem is, he has to drive a Civic. Sure it's reliable, but it's wholly uninspiring to drive. Gets you from point A and B, but with absolutely no fun. A car for people who hate cars...
    Honda makes more cars than just the civic.

  52. #52
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    i enjoy this thread! it's helping motivate me not to get rid of my 2002 lesabre with 135K miles. the trans is slipping quite a bit here and there. makes sense not to sell it now since i won't get much for it. even though i can afford a new car now, why get one if i don't need one?! i only have a car to get me from point a to b- it has to be at least somewhat comfortable since i'm 6'4.

    i run across people all the time who have perfectly fine cars (low miles/4-5 years old) but they just want a new car because its new. that's a good reason why so many people are so far in debt and then default on their mortgages- they buy things they can't afford. i know there are situations where you lose your job or there's an illness; i'm talking about the people who don't have a back-up plan and don't save appropriately.
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  53. #53
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    check your fluid level.. ive "fixed" a few automatic transmissions with a quart of fluid or so trans might cost you a grand though, not unreasonable.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    i enjoy this thread! it's helping motivate me not to get rid of my 2002 lesabre with 135K miles. the trans is slipping quite a bit here and there. makes sense not to sell it now since i won't get much for it. even though i can afford a new car now, why get one if i don't need one?! i only have a car to get me from point a to b- it has to be at least somewhat comfortable since i'm 6'4.

    i run across people all the time who have perfectly fine cars (low miles/4-5 years old) but they just want a new car because its new. that's a good reason why so many people are so far in debt and then default on their mortgages- they buy things they can't afford. i know there are situations where you lose your job or there's an illness; i'm talking about the people who don't have a back-up plan and don't save appropriately.
    Exactly.

    A vehicle is a tool. For the vast majority of folks, it's just a transportation tool. It's not your identity.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by kntr
    A lease isnt that bad if you get 0% finanacing and then buy the car after 3 years. Some companys are offering this now.
    Yea but always look for the footnote. A local Subie dealer around here is offering a 0%, $0 down lease for 42 months. The catch is that ALL the payments must be paid up front upon delivery. So that 0% lease really has a 3% (or so) APR when compared to a CD that money could have been socked away in for the same term.

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  56. #56
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    good stuff RIS
    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...127?source=pwa

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  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog
    good stuff RIS
    Thanks.

    It pains me to see people torpedo themselves financially.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    You haven't lived until you've done an audi timing belt. Stealership wants $1500 to do it. I'm gearing up to do mine. They say any semi-skilled DIYer can knock it out in 5 hours without hardly pushing, and for $250 in parts.
    Mr. Pivot, I think the little lady just made a passive-aggressive implication that you are a culpable party to some criminal enterprise.

    You don't seem like a thief to me, and I have a vocational background in both of the subjects at hand.

  59. #59
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    Here is my 70 MPG 10 year old car. I'm driving over the mountains and back. The bike is in the hatch, so fuel economy is not killed.

    It takes me 2 months to burn through 10 gallon tank.
    Last edited by Killroy; 12-11-2009 at 03:25 PM.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockhop
    Yea but always look for the footnote. A local Subie dealer around here is offering a 0%, $0 down lease for 42 months. The catch is that ALL the payments must be paid up front upon delivery. So that 0% lease really has a 3% (or so) APR when compared to a CD that money could have been socked away in for the same term.

    Nothing is free - including healthcare.
    Ive had my Honda for almost 2 years and it is a 0% lease and no footnotes.

  61. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    A vehicle is a tool.
    The concept that you are struggling with is that for some folks a vehicle is a toy.

    Just like their bikes are toys, even if they use them for basic transportation on occasion.

    Think.

    Then try to post intelligently.

  62. #62
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    No, I speak from experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Mr. Pivot, I think the little lady just made a passive-aggressive implication that you are a culpable party to some criminal enterprise.

    You don't seem like a thief to me, and I have a vocational background in both of the subjects at hand.

    Like the local VW stealership (Prestige VW in Santa Rosa, CA to name names) telling my mom that her 2 year old Jetta with 18k miles on it needs new tires, and the replacement tires are going to be $750. My mom being the smart lady that she is, and pretty knowledgeable about cars, smelled a scammer. She just played along and played verbal jujitsu with them, trying to admit that the car was a piece of crud (which it is not, its been absolutely flawless for the last 6 years and 60k miles, and shows zero wear except for tires) and maybe she should start telling all her friends about the wonderful service from this dealer, but how horrible VWs are with wearing out stuff in 18k miles, and how they use 'special' tires that cost over twice as much.

    BTW, the factory OEM Continental tires were good for 40k miles (and even then, they were not that close to the wear indicators), and she replaced them with some Yokohamas for $350 at the local tire shop where she has been a client for the last 25 years.

    I have tons of stories like this from Audi dealers, VW dealers, Toyota dealers, and Honda dealers. The auto industry is pretty dang corrupt IMO... especially at that end. I'm sure there are plenty of honest and good dealerships out there, but that has largely not been my experience.

    Like I said, this is IMHO. Your mileage may vary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling Shutter
    The concept that you are struggling with is that for some folks a vehicle is a toy.

    Just like their bikes are toys, even if they use them for basic transportation on occasion.

    Think.

    Then try to post intelligently.
    Second that.

    Yeah, I could get a soulless car that gets me to and from, while spending as little money as possible in gas and maintenance, but I'd rather enjoy life. I don't need a blingy car, just one that is well designed and feels good on the road. I'd rather drive a car I actually like, especially considering I spend at least an hour a day in the thing during the week, if not more. I mean, there is no reason to blow massive fat cash (unless that is your thing, and you have the fat cash to blow) on a car, but I don't mind paying a bit extra for a car that seems like it was built by somebody who actually likes and cares about cars. I've driven a lot of rental cars that seem like they were designed by people who really didn't give a crud.... lots of stupid design choices. I could never own a car like that. It would just raise my blood pressure and piss me off.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 12-11-2009 at 11:36 AM.

  63. #63
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    Threw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    Here is my 70 MPG 10 year old car. I'm driving over the mountains and back. The bike is in the hatch, so fuel economy is not killed.

    It takes me 2 months to burn threw a 10 gallon tank.
    Yeah, the Insight was an amazing car for that. Better gas mileage than a typical motorcycle.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I'm far from perfect, and I've made mistakes along the way, but the information offered is solid. I've used it myself. I don't owe a penny to anyone, my vehicles are all paid for, they run well, and I've got cash in the bank.
    I find it funny, someone giving car advise who admitted in another thread to not owning a car in over 10 years. I would hope your old bike is paid for.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    I find it funny, someone giving car advise who admitted in another thread to not owning a car in over 10 years. I would hope your old bike is paid for.
    I have a company car, and as I stated earlier, all of my vehicles are paid for.

    I guess you missed this part of the thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Born into the industry, journeyman line technician to service manager, ASE certifications, factory trained, appointed to manufacturer's National Advisory Board, 4-year graduate of G.M. University of Automotive Management, blah blah...
    Is there a reason that you're trolling here?

  66. #66
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    How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership: Ride a bike. Its amazing how nice your car stays when you are not putting miles on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I have a company car, and as I stated earlier, all of my vehicles are paid for.

    I guess you missed this part of the thread:



    Is there a reason that you're trolling here?
    You wanted a pissing match in the other thread now I'm not letting you go until you back up your trash talking.

    So when it worked for your advantage "I haven't owned a cage in over 10 years" you used it. However, it's a technicality. Someone else owns it, you drive it. A little dishonest, don't you think. And all that talk about driving your Hayabusa in the snow and acting like you drive it anywhere and everywhere. What a joke.
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    Here's a tip.
    The word flush should be synonymous with the word ripoff.
    And unless you are the luckiest person on earth, never change your car's coolant. Basically you ARE going to have to drain it at some point before it goes bad. Especially on modern cars where you are going to change the waterpump when you do the timing belt.
    If you have a brand new car with a timing chain (nissan comes to mind) or think you can go to 100k on a timing belt you might make it long enough to warrant a coolant change in there.
    If so, there is a drain on the bottom of your radiator (probably), just unscrew it and let the coolant come out. Then fill it back up with a 50/50 mix and save yourself the $100 a dealer will probably charge you to fake flush your coolant system.

    Keep up on your transmission fluid changes for those too lazy to drive a stick shift. If you do it regularly a flush is laughable. If you bought a used car and the trans fluid is caked and burnt, blowing out the cooler lines with compressed air is usually good enough after a fluid and filter change.

    Import cars generally don't have a transmission filter, look into that before getting charged for one. They usually have a cleanable metal screen.

    Brake fluid will last your whole life. Unless you are one to speed and actually use your brakes hard enough to fade them, but at that point you should know what to do anyway.
    Same with power steering fluid.

  69. #69
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    Have a 96 Jeep Cherokee (Standard) and recently it started having some motor issues. Since I've driven it for nearly a decade now figured it was time to update. When looking at a comparable replacement they are asking around 20K for something with 50K+ on the clock these days. F that. Dumped the cash in the motor even though it needs other work as well such as complete suspension rebuild. Still I would LIKE to update vehicles some day but the monthly payment I'm making currently is worth keeping the Jeep.

    In my opinion one should never lease or make payments on a car if they can help it pay cash and own the thing outright. This keeps the banks and dealerships from taking additional cash out of your pocket. Also if possible do repairs and basic upkeep yourself or have a trusted mechanic do the work. Attempt to minimize your insurance premiums by not having the hottest car out there.

    And when ever possible walk or ride when you’re heading out taking the car is just another added expense.

  70. #70
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    hehe, I laugh when people say the car is the biggest investment next to a home. I have my house and then my bikes and my 2k car. I have an '87 325 and it is a tank of a car, put about $1500 into it over 4 yrs and 5 times that into my bike additiction. Just need the car to get to work on crappy days and to the trail head! here is a pic of one of my rides on my tank.
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  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    Here's a tip.
    The word flush should be synonymous with the word ripoff.
    And unless you are the luckiest person on earth, never change your car's coolant. Basically you ARE going to have to drain it at some point before it goes bad. Especially on modern cars where you are going to change the waterpump when you do the timing belt.
    If you have a brand new car with a timing chain (nissan comes to mind) or think you can go to 100k on a timing belt you might make it long enough to warrant a coolant change in there.
    If so, there is a drain on the bottom of your radiator (probably), just unscrew it and let the coolant come out. Then fill it back up with a 50/50 mix and save yourself the $100 a dealer will probably charge you to fake flush your coolant system.

    Keep up on your transmission fluid changes for those too lazy to drive a stick shift. If you do it regularly a flush is laughable. If you bought a used car and the trans fluid is caked and burnt, blowing out the cooler lines with compressed air is usually good enough after a fluid and filter change.

    Import cars generally don't have a transmission filter, look into that before getting charged for one. They usually have a cleanable metal screen.

    Brake fluid will last your whole life. Unless you are one to speed and actually use your brakes hard enough to fade them, but at that point you should know what to do anyway.
    Same with power steering fluid.
    I agree with that.

    I do a drain and refill of the "lifetime" Acura coolant in my '06 TL every other year. The first time I couldn't believe how much sand came out, I guess it's left over from the casting process. This way avoids having to do a flush after 10 years.

    Same with the trans, a single drain and fill every other oil change saves from having to do a flush or 3X drain and fill every 60K.

    I've found that Acura's service recommendations are on the long side. My UOA on the trans fluid after only 20,000 miles showed it heavily oxidized and sheared. The first scheduled service is 60K for severe service.

    I did the plugs at 40K even though it's scheduled for 105,000 because I didn't want to worry about plugs getting stuck in the heads and it's nice to have a picture of what's going on inside of the combustion chamber.
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  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidNeiles
    hehe, I laugh when people say the car is the biggest investment next to a home. I have my house and then my bikes and my 2k car. I have an '87 325 and it is a tank of a car, put about $1500 into it over 4 yrs and 5 times that into my bike additiction. Just need the car to get to work on crappy days and to the trail head! here is a pic of one of my rides on my tank.
    It is true that your car is not costing you hardly anything through depreciation, but I find it hard to believe that you only pay $31.25 a month ($1500 divided by 48 months) for gas, insurance, tires, maintenance, and repairs. I'm guessing your actual expenses are more than five times that ($156.25), which would make it...the second most expensive thing in your life.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    Have a 96 Jeep Cherokee (Standard) and recently it started having some motor issues. Since I've driven it for nearly a decade now figured it was time to update. When looking at a comparable replacement they are asking around 20K for something with 50K+ on the clock these days. F that. Dumped the cash in the motor even though it needs other work as well such as complete suspension rebuild. Still I would LIKE to update vehicles some day but the monthly payment I'm making currently is worth keeping the Jeep.

    In my opinion one should never lease or make payments on a car if they can help it pay cash and own the thing outright. This keeps the banks and dealerships from taking additional cash out of your pocket. Also if possible do repairs and basic upkeep yourself or have a trusted mechanic do the work. Attempt to minimize your insurance premiums by not having the hottest car out there.

    And when ever possible walk or ride when you’re heading out taking the car is just another added expense.
    You're a smart man.

  74. #74
    RIS
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Like the local VW stealership (Prestige VW in Santa Rosa, CA to name names) telling my mom that her 2 year old Jetta with 18k miles on it needs new tires, and the replacement tires are going to be $750. My mom being the smart lady that she is, and pretty knowledgeable about cars, smelled a scammer. She just played along and played verbal jujitsu with them, trying to admit that the car was a piece of crud (which it is not, its been absolutely flawless for the last 6 years and 60k miles, and shows zero wear except for tires) and maybe she should start telling all her friends about the wonderful service from this dealer, but how horrible VWs are with wearing out stuff in 18k miles, and how they use 'special' tires that cost over twice as much.

    BTW, the factory OEM Continental tires were good for 40k miles (and even then, they were not that close to the wear indicators), and she replaced them with some Yokohamas for $350 at the local tire shop where she has been a client for the last 25 years.

    I have tons of stories like this from Audi dealers, VW dealers, Toyota dealers, and Honda dealers. The auto industry is pretty dang corrupt IMO... especially at that end. I'm sure there are plenty of honest and good dealerships out there, but that has largely not been my experience.

    Like I said, this is IMHO. Your mileage may vary.
    So by your measure, whoever has the cheapest price is telling the truth, and everyone else is a liar?

    If we apply your logic, then when you go shopping for a serious DH race bike and your LBS offers you a V-10, you would conclude that they are "pretty dang corrupt", because you can get a Huffy BSO from Walmart for $89.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    I agree with that.

    I do a drain and refill of the "lifetime" Acura coolant in my '06 TL every other year. The first time I couldn't believe how much sand came out, I guess it's left over from the casting process. This way avoids having to do a flush after 10 years.

    Same with the trans, a single drain and fill every other oil change saves from having to do a flush or 3X drain and fill every 60K.

    I've found that Acura's service recommendations are on the long side. My UOA on the trans fluid after only 20,000 miles showed it heavily oxidized and sheared. The first scheduled service is 60K for severe service.

    I did the plugs at 40K even though it's scheduled for 105,000 because I didn't want to worry about plugs getting stuck in the heads and it's nice to have a picture of what's going on inside of the combustion chamber.
    Heh, you are more ambitions than me with fluids but when you do it yourself it's really only a few bucks we are talking about.

    Looks like our weekend warriors have about the same HP too

  76. #76
    ballbuster
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    Uh, no

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    So by your measure, whoever has the cheapest price is telling the truth, and everyone else is a liar?

    If we apply your logic, then when you go shopping for a serious DH race bike and your LBS offers you a V-10, you would conclude that they are "pretty dang corrupt", because you can get a Huffy BSO from Walmart for $89.
    That is the most asinine leap of logic anybody has tried to put on me. Please stop discrediting yourself. It's embarrassing.

    Does $750 for a set of tires for a non-sporty compact front wheel drive passenger car seem excessive to you? Would my mom have had a better car care experience just because that stealership suggested that tires that were only 20% worn needed replacement with overpriced tires?

    Answer that. Yes or no. I'll bet you won't.

    No, because they saw a sweet 70 year old lady coming down the road, and thought they could shake her down for a few more bucks. Good thing she's on top of things.

    I'm saying go by reputation. In my experience, you aren't guaranteed a better deal or a better outcome on an out of warranty repair just because the logo on the building is the same as on your car.

    If you search ask the local enthusiasts, you'll usually find the same shop names come up over and over as being good shops.

    Dealerships usually have a pretty big nut to reach with loads of overhead. They are more prone to doing shady things to meet that nut. They tend to be less service driven and more numbers driven.

    I usually take my cars to my bud who has been an Audi and VW mechanic for 22 years. I know he knows his stuff, and he will be straight with me because we have a relationship. We also have a relationship outside of my car. We go mountain biking from time to time. I also know folks in other more local shops who do a good job. My mechanic has also recommended aftermarket upgrades to stock parts for me, because occasionally the stock parts are not so good (specifically the front motor mount on a MK3 Golf and replacement struts). A dealership will never do that.

    I don't own cars new enough to be under factory warranty (except for corrosion warranties) so I have no real pressing need to go back to the dealer to satisfy a warranty requirement.

    And please don't put words in my mouth. That is not at all what I said. That was not my logic. That was your defensive reaction to my post cause you got all butt hurt that somebody had a different opinion than yours.

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    Looks like our weekend warriors have about the same HP too
    Um, I think that's about zero right now. I don't think his car actually runs right now. But he said he'd tell us when he gets it running again.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Does $750 for a set of tires for a non-sporty compact front wheel drive passenger car seem excessive to you?
    Well, I don't think that anyone would argue that tires are an important safety component of a vehicle, and they're also the only part of the car that touches the ground. How much is your mom's life worth?

    The truth is, there is nothing in life that cannot be done a little worse for a little less money.

    I'm saying go by reputation. In my experience, you aren't guaranteed a better deal or a better outcome on an out of warranty repair just because the logo on the building is the same as on your car.
    You're right. You're also not guaranteed to survive a car crash if you wear your seatbelt. But we all know that it stacks the deck hugely in your favor.

    The dealership is the only place that technicians receive factory training. The dealership's shop rate is higher because they have to pay their technicians more. They pay their technicians more, to keep them from leaving, because of all that factory training. So you want to pay a real technician once to have it done correctly, or pay over and over for some tire store hack to keep guessing with your money.

    If you search ask the local enthusiasts, you'll usually find the same shop names come up over and over as being good shops.
    If these "local enthusiasts" drive cars that look like Dust Busters and sound like Whoopee Cushions, I really won't lose any sleep over their opinion.

    Dealerships usually have a pretty big nut to reach with loads of overhead. They are more prone to doing shady things to meet that nut. They tend to be less service driven and more numbers driven.
    Service drives the numbers. You can only rip someone off once, and there aren't enough customers out there to be able to stay in business without repeat customers.

    I usually take my cars to my bud who has been an Audi and VW mechanic for 22 years. I know he knows his stuff, and he will be straight with me because we have a relationship. We also have a relationship outside of my car.
    So the only reason he doesn't steal from you is because you're putting out? TMI, dude.
    Last edited by RIS; 12-16-2009 at 04:32 PM.

  79. #79
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    And there ya go again

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Well, I don't think that anyone would argue that tires are an important safety component of a vehicle, and they're also the only part of the car that touches the ground. How much is your mom's life worth?

    The truth is, there is nothing in life that cannot be done a little worse for a little less money.



    You're right. You're also not guaranteed to survive a car crash if you wear your seatbelt. But we all know that it stacks the deck hugely in your favor.

    The dealership is the only place that technicians receive factory training. The dealership's shop rate is higher because they have to pay their technicians more. They pay their technicians more, to keep them from leaving, because of all that factory training. So you want to pay a real technician once to have it done correctly, or pay over and over for some tire store hack to keep guessing with your money.



    If these "local enthusiasts" drive cars that look like Dust Busters and sound like Whoopee Cushions, I really won't lose any sleep over their opinion.



    Service drives the numbers. You can only rip someone off once, and there aren't enough customers out there to be able to stay in business without repeat customers.



    So the only reason he doesn't steal from you is because you're putting out? TMI, dude.
    ... putting words in my mouth, leaping to conclusions, assuming you know anything about me.

    ... and you did not answer the question of if it was good advice to replace tires with 20% wear on them. You are cherry picking, and there is the proof plain as day.

    You sir, are an embarassment. You've undermined what good info you have posted here.

    I'm done.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    ... putting words in my mouth, leaping to conclusions, assuming you know anything about me.

    ... and you did not answer the question of if it was good advice to replace tires with 20% wear on them. You are cherry picking, and there is the proof plain as day.

    You sir, are an embarassment. You've undermined what good info you have posted here.

    I'm done.
    This guy's purpose is to piss people off, nothing else. Don't feed the trolls lol.
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  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    Here is my 70 MPG 10 year old car. I'm driving over the mountains and back. The bike is in the hatch, so fuel economy is not killed.

    It takes me 2 months to burn through 10 gallon tank.

    Wow I wish my 10 year old blazer had such a sweet gauge cluster...and I with my 10 year old blazer got 70 to the gallon lol

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    Wow I wish my 10 year old blazer had such a sweet gauge cluster...and I with my 10 year old blazer got 70 to the gallon lol
    If it makes you feel better, it's a lot better than my 25yr old car.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    If it makes you feel better, it's a lot better than my 25yr old car.
    The gauge cluster looks like it comes off a freaking space ship thats amazing! All I have is GM plastic puke gray color. And my gauges are bland too, not even old school in a good way...

  84. #84
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    How would you like to pay ~$3 to fill your tank in a car?

    Pure electric cars are still developing, but electricity is a lot cheaper, cleaner and domestic. Plus a battery electric car is much simpler, so it will be much more reliable, with less maintenance and easier to repair.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    Brake fluid will last your whole life. Unless you are one to speed and actually use your brakes hard enough to fade them, but at that point you should know what to do anyway.
    Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it will not last the life of the car. Water molecules can and do pass thru rubber membranes, such as brake lines and cap seals. It picks up water and over time can corrode a brake system from the inside out. Granted, this takes years, but the life of my car is more than a couple of years.
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  86. #86
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    True, but modern cars have such strong brakes that you can't even notice. I've driven a bunch of cars with 40 year old brake fluid in them and they work fine
    I don't suggest that though.
    But yeah, 10 years is fine on brake fluid. I just see people get REAMED by shops charging for a brake fluid "flush" on 3 year old cars.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    How would you like to pay ~$3 to fill your tank in a car?

    Pure electric cars are still developing, but electricity is a lot cheaper, cleaner and domestic. Plus a battery electric car is much simpler, so it will be much more reliable, with less maintenance and easier to repair.
    My parents have a nice set of solar cells on the house. I told them if I ever bought an electric car like the Volt, I would be spending a lot of time over there.

    Only thing is, I don't agree that electric is cleaner unless it's from a nuclear, hydro, or wind source. The IC engine in modern cars are much cleaner than coal and even natural gas in some cases. They just shift the location of the pollution maker.
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  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    But yeah, 10 years is fine on brake fluid. I just see people get REAMED by shops charging for a brake fluid "flush" on 3 year old cars.
    That is why you should not let anyone you know go to Jiffy Lube. "do you want a flush with that"?

    3,000 mile oil change is overdoing it in my book, and the maintenance schedule.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    The IC engine in modern cars are much cleaner than coal and even natural gas in some cases. They just shift the location of the pollution maker.
    Going on a tangent: I'm no fan of coal either, but the ICE burns 3 X as much energy "Well to Wheels" than a BEV. Its complicated by what pollutant you are looking into, but Green House Gas wise BEV charged by 100% Coal is still better than an ICE.

  90. #90
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    True...

    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    Going on a tangent: I'm no fan of coal either, but the ICE burns 3 X as much energy "Well to Wheels" than a BEV. Its complicated by what pollutant you are looking into, but Green House Gas wise BEV charged by 100% Coal is still better than an ICE.
    Even taking into consideration of transmission loss and battery charging losses, pure electrics are still twice as efficient as IC engines. IC is only like 25% efficient at best. Well, diesel is more like 30%. Gas fired turbines convert way more energy than a piston engine.

    Plus, imagine never having to go to a gas station to fill up. Just drive to work, drive home, plug in, and its ready for tomorrow. Plus, only bearings, brushes and batteries are the only wear out items. Compare that to a piston engine rebuild.

    Granted, our grid is currently not up to the task, but that can be solved.

  91. #91
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    I'm a controls engineer, most of my job is playing with all different types of electric motors and controlling the speed and stuff.
    I'm also a huge gearhead. I completely welcome changing out my engine for an electric motor.
    Except that I'm looking at this realistically, and it's not going to happen.
    You'll be able to buy specialty cars that run on battery, but you'll need to keep a petrol powered car in case you want to visit grandma for thanksgiving.
    One of these days I'm going to slap together an electric car for fun, I can get most of the parts from work. I don't have the garage space to do it now but soon I will. The electric 944 is probably the best attempt I've ever seen on doing this, I love the way the guy did it.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it will not last the life of the car. Water molecules can and do pass thru rubber membranes, such as brake lines and cap seals. It picks up water and over time can corrode a brake system from the inside out. Granted, this takes years, but the life of my car is more than a couple of years.

    Excellent post- saved me some typing.

  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    True, but modern cars have such strong brakes that you can't even notice. I've driven a bunch of cars with 40 year old brake fluid in them and they work fine
    I don't suggest that though.
    But yeah, 10 years is fine on brake fluid. I just see people get REAMED by shops charging for a brake fluid "flush" on 3 year old cars.
    Depends on your definition of brakes that "work fine". If that simply means that you haven't rear-ended somebody yet, I think we need to adjust your definition a little bit. I can tell you from experience that a full ABS stop (emergency braking) from 70 mph with old brake fluid on a late model vehicle will leave you with the dreaded "Nerf Brake Pedal".

    Brakes turn kinetic energy into heat. Water boils at 212 degrees fahrenheit (100 degrees celsius). A full ABS stop from 70 mph will put a lot more heat than that into the brakes of most vehicles. Once the water boils, you're trying to compress steam (instead of a solid column of fluid) to try to stop the vehicle. Your brake pedal will hit the floor long before you can compress the steam enough to create the same brake pressures.

  94. #94
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    On brakes: Follow your owners manual. Mine says new brake fulid in ~3years or 45K miles.

  95. #95
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    tip

    After 100,000 miles I'd switch to a synthetic or synthetic blend motor oil.
    I've owned 2 trucks.
    1st truck:
    1981 Chevy El Camino: 248,000 miles (still ran when sold)
    2nd truck:
    1999 Chevy S10: 321,750 miles and counting

    Want better mileage?
    2 simple changes:
    Change your factory air filter to a K&N or similar "cold air" intake.
    Cut off your factory muffler (boat anchor) & get a Gibson or other high flow muffler.
    Easy Peasy
    My 4.3 V6 gets up to 28mpg (if I can keep my foot out of it )
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    i can't tell you how many times people have asked me "are you still driving that car?".
    my car looks like it's been through a war but i love it. worry free, good on gas, and i know it's limits and exactly what it has and might need. good thing all the women i've been on dates with take the subway.

  97. #97
    JmZ
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    An educated consumer is a wonderful thing. As RIS wants us to make sure we don't piss away money, we should educate themselves on what they really need. What does your owners manual say about oil changes, tire rotation, brake service? When does it say to have the transmission fluid changed?

    That should go for service as well as purchase. If you want to be frugal, a trip to the library and check out the proper chilton manual, an engine code reader, and a few google searches will save you a lot of money. Even if you don't do the work yourself (but you would be surprised on what is easier than you may think!), just knowing what to look for can reduce unneeded extra parts, diagnosis time, and the like.

    Just because it's expensive doesn't make it the best. I'm sure everyone knows a personal example.

    For tires, check out the reviews on auto sites, tire rack, magazines, etc. Putting expensive tires on a vehicle doesn't mean they will wear well. (Predictable wear over their life). It doesn't mean that they will last longer, or that the traction will be a huge improvement over the tires that are a speed rating or two lower and cost $40 or less a tire.

    Shop for your service as much as you shop for your car. The dealer will only sell you the car once, but the service department can sell you over, and over, and over, and over. The sales force is only part of where the dealership makes their money, the service area is a nice area to make money too.

    If you are informed, the sales guy, or the service counter guy, will have a tougher time to put one over on you. No blinker fluid today, thanks. And no power flush for the aluminum radiator either, kthx.

    Be critical, hell even a cynic, they are not doing the sale, or service out of the goodness of their hearts. They want to make a buck. Just don't let them make a bunch of extra ones off of your back.

    JmZ

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Well, I don't think that anyone would argue that tires are an important safety component of a vehicle, and they're also the only part of the car that touches the ground. How much is your mom's life worth?

    The truth is, there is nothing in life that cannot be done a little worse for a little less money.

    You're right. You're also not guaranteed to survive a car crash if you wear your seatbelt. But we all know that it stacks the deck hugely in your favor.

    The dealership is the only place that technicians receive factory training. The dealership's shop rate is higher because they have to pay their technicians more. They pay their technicians more, to keep them from leaving, because of all that factory training. So you want to pay a real technician once to have it done correctly, or pay over and over for some tire store hack to keep guessing with your money.

    If these "local enthusiasts" drive cars that look like Dust Busters and sound like Whoopee Cushions, I really won't lose any sleep over their opinion.

    Service drives the numbers. You can only rip someone off once, and there aren't enough customers out there to be able to stay in business without repeat customers.

    So the only reason he doesn't steal from you is because you're putting out? TMI, dude.
    JmZ

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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis
    After 100,000 miles I'd switch to a synthetic or synthetic blend motor oil.
    I've owned 2 trucks.
    1st truck:
    1981 Chevy El Camino: 248,000 miles (still ran when sold)
    2nd truck:
    1999 Chevy S10: 321,750 miles and counting

    Want better mileage?
    2 simple changes:
    Change your factory air filter to a K&N or similar "cold air" intake.
    Cut off your factory muffler (boat anchor) & get a Gibson or other high flow muffler.
    Easy Peasy
    My 4.3 V6 gets up to 28mpg (if I can keep my foot out of it )
    A high flow filter giving better mileage is one of the biggest myths out there. On a fuel injected car you will see absolutely no mileage gain whatsoever with a high flow filter.

    The throttlebody regulates airflow, how does less restriction pre-throttlebody help mileage? Going by this logic, driving at full throttle all the time will increase mileage.
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  99. #99
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    Hell may freeze over the the one thing I agree with RIS on is tires. It may be an obsession but think about it for a second. I cut my stopping distances in my "06 Acura TL by 22' from 65mph by going with the Nitto NT05 tires. This is HUGE when you're talking accident avoidance. Not to mention the better cornering. I don't mind spending a little extra money even if the tire is going to wear out quicker. It beats getting in a wreck. My girlfriend drives it occasionally and I would be pretty upset with myself if she got in a wreck that could've been avoided if the car could've stopped a few feet shorter.
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  100. #100
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    And for those of you OCD types like me, here's my maintenance schedule.

    I run Redline 5w-30 oil in the TL. It's a straight 30wt, no VIIs but it qualifies as a 5w-30 due to it's cold flow. Lots of ZDDP and moly. It's an ester so it stands up to much more heat much longer without oxidation and breakdown plus it has a natural cleaning ability, it has a super high HTHS of 3.8 for it's 100c viscosity.

    I change it at 4,000 mile intervals even though the maintenance minder usually takes me all the way to 10,000 miles. Sometimes 5,000 if I'm commuting a lot. I run a Royal Purple fully synthetic media oil filter.

    Trans fluid gets drained and refilled at every other engine oil change with Amsoil ATD fluid. The maintenance minder for the trans fluid came on for the first time today at 83,000 miles lol. I also have a cooler and external filter. Again, no VIIs and a robust additive pack.

    Power steering gets Amsoil PSF at 30,000 mile intervals. (just two drain and fills of the reservior)

    Replaced the shocks at 35,000 miles with Koni Yellows.

    Every interior piece that has shown wear has been replaced. The front end was repainted and the windshield replaced to keep it looking brand new from all of the commuting miles.

    The nice thing with the top of the line real synthetics (not Mobil One) is that I can double or triple the intervals if I get lazy or low on money and I don't have to sweat it.

    I bought this car brand new with 6 miles on it and it's my goal to try and get half a million out of it. The goal is not to have another car payment for at least 5 years, hopefully more.
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  101. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis
    After 100,000 miles I'd switch to a synthetic or synthetic blend motor oil.
    I've owned 2 trucks.
    1st truck:
    1981 Chevy El Camino: 248,000 miles (still ran when sold)
    2nd truck:
    1999 Chevy S10: 321,750 miles and counting

    Want better mileage?
    2 simple changes:
    Change your factory air filter to a K&N or similar "cold air" intake.
    Cut off your factory muffler (boat anchor) & get a Gibson or other high flow muffler.
    Easy Peasy
    My 4.3 V6 gets up to 28mpg (if I can keep my foot out of it )
    I drive a 2000 Chevy Blazer, pretty much identical to your S10, its good to know the 4.3 will go 250,000 plus! I also average between 22-25mpg and people look at me like im crazy that a 10 year old suv gets a little less mpg than their 10 year old v6 powered sedan

  102. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Depends on your definition of brakes that "work fine". If that simply means that you haven't rear-ended somebody yet, I think we need to adjust your definition a little bit. I can tell you from experience that a full ABS stop (emergency braking) from 70 mph with old brake fluid on a late model vehicle will leave you with the dreaded "Nerf Brake Pedal".

    Brakes turn kinetic energy into heat. Water boils at 212 degrees fahrenheit (100 degrees celsius). A full ABS stop from 70 mph will put a lot more heat than that into the brakes of most vehicles. Once the water boils, you're trying to compress steam (instead of a solid column of fluid) to try to stop the vehicle. Your brake pedal will hit the floor long before you can compress the steam enough to create the same brake pressures.

    A full ABS stop from 70mph won't have time to put that much heat into the FLUID.

    I've tried it for myself with the heat gun and the caliper will actually heat up a little while the car sits after a hard stop but it doesn't have time to transfer all that heat from the pads to the caliper to the fluid. You could likely fill your brakes with pure water and still pull off a stop from 70mph.
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  103. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by spazzy
    I drive a 2000 Chevy Blazer, pretty much identical to your S10, its good to know the 4.3 will go 250,000 plus! I also average between 22-25mpg and people look at me like im crazy that a 10 year old suv gets a little less mpg than their 10 year old v6 powered sedan
    The Chevy 4.3L is a very tough engine. I saw a report from GM many years ago about the effect the fuel injection and computer controls had on the life expectancy of that engine. I can't remember the exact figures but it was nearly double vs the old carbureted setups. Even my friend's Typhoon which has had a hard life running mid 12s for the past 6 years has 140,000 and still going. From what I remember they didn't change much in the bottom end when they threw the turbo on there.
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  104. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ
    An educated consumer is a wonderful thing. As RIS wants us to make sure we don't piss away money, we should educate themselves on what they really need. What does your owners manual say about oil changes, tire rotation, brake service? When does it say to have the transmission fluid changed?
    Just be careful which schedule you use. Most have two.

    There will be the regular service schedule that looks suspiciously like it was created by the marketing department to (a) cause a prospective buyer to believe that the vehicle requires virtually no maintenance, and (b) make sure that you need another new car in two years.

    And there will the the "severe" service schedule that is actually designed to keep the car on the road. "Severe" means things like driving where it's hot, driving where it's cold, driving where it's dusty, driving at high speeds, driving at low speeds, making short trips, etc.

    That should go for service as well as purchase. If you want to be frugal, a trip to the library and check out the proper chilton manual, an engine code reader, and a few google searches will save you a lot of money. Even if you don't do the work yourself (but you would be surprised on what is easier than you may think!), just knowing what to look for can reduce unneeded extra parts, diagnosis time, and the like.
    There is no such thing as a "proper" Chilton manual. Put a Chilton manual next to a factory shop manual, and you'll see that the Chilton manual is a joke. Buy a set of factory shop manuals from the same place that the dealerships do:

    http://www.helminc.com/helm/homepage...aqi=g7g-s1g-m2

    And reading the OBD-II codes means virtually nothing to anybody but a factory trained technician. The code is NOT a diagnosis, the code is where diagnosis begins. For example, EGR codes can mean a plugged kitty, but the average goof who figured out how to read codes will buy and install an expensive EGR valve before realizing that he still has no clue what's wrong with the car.

    For tires, check out the reviews on auto sites, tire rack, magazines, etc. Putting expensive tires on a vehicle doesn't mean they will wear well. (Predictable wear over their life). It doesn't mean that they will last longer, or that the traction will be a huge improvement over the tires that are a speed rating or two lower and cost $40 or less a tire.
    Just to be clear, I don't think that Jim is advocating downgrading tires below the manufacturer's minimum specifications. It is never a good idea to downgrade a safety component. Many folks do not understand that "speed ratings" are a measurement of a tires's ability to deal with heat. If the car requires a "W" and you downgrade to an "T" because you don't plan on driving 186 miles per hour, it could be one of the last mistakes that you ever make.

    Knowledge is power, but a little knowledge can be dangerous.

  105. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    The Chevy 4.3L is a very tough engine. I saw a report from GM many years ago about the effect the fuel injection and computer controls had on the life expectancy of that engine. I can't remember the exact figures but it was nearly double vs the old carbureted setups. Even my friend's Typhoon which has had a hard life running mid 12s for the past 6 years has 140,000 and still going. From what I remember they didn't change much in the bottom end when they threw the turbo on there.

    The incomplete GMC S15 Jimmy vehicle that was shipped to the manufacturer (PAS) where it was completed as a Typhoon. The engine was the low-performance throttle body injected 4.3 (8th VIN digit "Z"), and the complete long-block was untouched during completion. The weakest link was the stock hypereutectic pistons. I cracked one in my Typhoon, shortly after purchasing it.

    It ran low 13s at over 100 mph stone stock, on the all-season radials it left the assembly line with, and served my needs well as a ski car. It was a nice car, purchased out of a private collection offered through the Dupont Registry. It was sold before it was built, and had both options (roof rack and premium sound). It had never been smoked in or registered (I purchased it with an MSO, not a title, so I got to be the original owner of record), and I got every piece of paper ever generated on it, from the order form to the build sheet. I think I still have the Monroney sticker around here somewhere.

    I elected to rebuild it using ARP main cap studs, expensive steel rods, TRW forged blower pistons, 1-pc. stainless steel valves, a big roller cam, and so on.

    I put it back together with a two-speed fuel pump, big injectors (with matching PROM), a turbo that looked like a ferris wheel, upgraded intercooler, adjustable wastegate, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, a cold air kit, and a complete 3" stainless steel mandrel bent straight-through exhaust system.

    I upgraded the transmission with a Corvette valve body, Raybestos Blue Plate Special 3-4 frictions, Kolene steels, and a fully welded and braced needle bearing 9" 3600 rpm stall converter with an 11" Kevlar lock up clutch, with a switch inside so that I could lock it up on the 1-2 gearchange.

    I lowered it a little bit and put stiffer KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (the white ones) on it to slow down the weight transfer, as it was hiking one front tire when whacked it, and danced from one front tire to the other, with horrible bump and torque steer.

    With Sunoco GT Plus 104 octane unleaded racing gas in the tank, I took it to the local drag strip. It had not previously run fast enough to need a roll cage and all the other safety stuff, so they passed it through tech.

    I knew that I was only going to get one pass (during time trials) before they threw me out, so I lined up against a Super Gas car. No burn off. Even with the E-brake pulled and stomping the brake pedal as hard as I could, I couldn't hold it on the line with anything more than about 12 pounds of boost showing at about 3600 rpm. I hit it on the last amber, and it launched so hard that it split the compression bump stops for the rear suspension, right down the middle. I locked up the converter on the 1-2, and then saw that the Super Gasser had gotten out on me a little bit. I back-halfed him pretty good, and got there about the same time that he did, going through in high gear. I honestly don't know who got there first. I was immediately thrown out, and they wouldn't even give me my time slip. I calculated from my tach reading at the finish line that my terminal velocity was about 150 mph, which makes sense, because he ran a 9.9x at about 135 mph. On the way out, I saw that my back glass was wet, so I stopped to take a look, and found that the rear window washer had syphoned fluid uphill to the nozzle at the top of the back glass, from the reservoir under the hood.

    An illegal alien blew a red light two weeks later and T-boned me in the passenger door at about 55 mph. I lost over $10,000 on the insurance settlement.
    Last edited by RIS; 12-17-2009 at 11:51 PM.

  106. #106
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    So you wouldn't even build a similar vehicle again? You didn't have to pay for any of those modifications, but you did, even knowing you'd lose money.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody
    So you wouldn't even build a similar vehicle again?
    Highly unlikely.

    You didn't have to pay for any of those modifications, but you did, even knowing you'd lose money.
    Yup. A pretty expensive learning experience for me.

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    kinda off topic, but got a quick question for you garage mechanics. So i flushed and replaced the fluid in my PS system, no big deal, it was the older type of system with a steering box and pitman arm.
    my GF's car is a 98 mustang with a rack and pinion system, and the PS system is loud and probably needs a good flush. Is there anything i need to go different, or can i just pull off the return line?
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  109. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    The incomplete GMC S15 Jimmy vehicle that was shipped to the manufacturer (PAS) where it was completed as a Typhoon. The engine was the low-performance throttle body injected 4.3 (8th VIN digit "Z"), and the complete long-block was untouched during completion. The weakest link was the stock hypereutectic pistons. I cracked one in my Typhoon, shortly after purchasing it.

    It ran low 13s at over 100 mph stone stock, on the all-season radials it left the assembly line with, and served my needs well as a ski car. It was a nice car, purchased out of a private collection offered through the Dupont Registry. It was sold before it was built, and had both options (roof rack and premium sound). It had never been smoked in or registered (I purchased it with an MSO, not a title, so I got to be the original owner of record), and I got every piece of paper ever generated on it, from the order form to the build sheet. I think I still have the Monroney sticker around here somewhere.

    I elected to rebuild it using ARP main cap studs, expensive steel rods, TRW forged blower pistons, 1-pc. stainless steel valves, a big roller cam, and so on.

    I put it back together with a two-speed fuel pump, big injectors (with matching PROM), a turbo that looked like a ferris wheel, upgraded intercooler, adjustable wastegate, adjustable fuel pressure regulator, a cold air kit, and a complete 3" stainless steel mandrel bent straight-through exhaust system.

    I upgraded the transmission with a Corvette valve body, Raybestos Blue Plate Special 3-4 frictions, Kolene steels, and a fully welded and braced needle bearing 9" 3600 rpm stall converter with an 11" Kevlar lock up clutch, with a switch inside so that I could lock it up on the 1-2 gearchange.

    I lowered it a little bit and put stiffer KYB Gas-A-Just shocks (the white ones) on it to slow down the weight transfer, as it was hiking one front tire when whacked it, and danced from one front tire to the other, with horrible bump and torque steer.

    With Sunoco GT Plus 104 octane unleaded racing gas in the tank, I took it to the local drag strip. It had not previously run fast enough to need a roll cage and all the other safety stuff, so they passed it through tech.

    I knew that I was only going to get one pass (during time trials) before they threw me out, so I lined up against a Super Gas car. No burn off. Even with the E-brake pulled and stomping the brake pedal as hard as I could, I couldn't hold it on the line with anything more than about 12 pounds of boost showing at about 3600 rpm. I hit it on the last amber, and it launched so hard that it split the compression bump stops for the rear suspension, right down the middle. I locked up the converter on the 1-2, and then saw that the Super Gasser had gotten out on me a little bit. I back-halfed him pretty good, and got there about the same time that he did, going through in high gear. I honestly don't know who got there first. I was immediately thrown out, and they wouldn't even give me my time slip. I calculated from my tach reading at the finish line that my terminal velocity was about 150 mph, which makes sense, because he ran a 9.9x at about 135 mph. On the way out, I saw that my back glass was wet, so I stopped to take a look, and found that the rear window washer had syphoned fluid uphill to the nozzle at the top of the back glass, from the reservoir under the hood.

    An illegal alien blew a red light two weeks later and T-boned me in the passenger door at about 55 mph. I lost over $10,000 on the insurance settlement.
    That sucks, but you had a 9 second Typhoon???

    Sounds like you know your stuff but I got to go to work, I'll post more later.

    BTW, it's port fuel injected.
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  110. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    That sucks, but you had a 9 second Typhoon???

    Sounds like you know your stuff but I got to go to work, I'll post more later.

    BTW, it's port fuel injected.
    Yes, I have owned a number of odd vehicles, ranging from an NHRA Pro ET Mazda rotary, to a 3/4T 4x4 Suburban mud truck with 44" Swampers (20" of lift, 5.13 gears, Detroit Lockers in both ends, etc.).

    As I stated, the incomplete vehicle shipped by GMC was the low performance throttle body injected 4.3 (VIN "Z", RPO LB4). It's not the high performance "crab-injected" Vortec (VIN "W", RPO L35). The easiest way to tell is that the Typhoon does not have the balance shaft that the Vortec does.

    When PAS completed the Typhoon, part of their work involved converting it to TPI (Tuned Port Injection).

    As evidence of this, take a look at your buddie's Typhoon. You'll see that it's a VIN "Z", RPO LB4, and has a Corvette TPI throttle body.

  111. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Yes, I have owned a number of odd vehicles, ranging from an NHRA Pro ET Mazda rotary, to a 3/4T 4x4 Suburban mud truck with 44" Swampers (20" of lift, 5.13 gears, Detroit Lockers in both ends, etc.).

    As I stated, the incomplete vehicle shipped by GMC was the low performance throttle body injected 4.3 (VIN "Z", RPO LB4). It's not the high performance "crab-injected" Vortec (VIN "W", RPO L35). The easiest way to tell is that the Typhoon does not have the balance shaft that the Vortec does.

    When PAS completed the Typhoon, part of their work involved converting it to TPI (Tuned Port Injection).

    As evidence of this, take a look at your buddie's Typhoon. You'll see that it's a VIN "Z", RPO LB4, and has a Corvette TPI throttle body.
    Gotcha. I thought you meant it was TBI in it's final form.

    We took his to the track many years ago bone stock to get a baseline before the mods started. The compressor wheel had been damaged from an inlet tract leak so we were a bit worried what it would run. We hit string of 14.3s with 1.7 60' times but the power wasn't there with 94 mph traps. I took a bottle or nitrous a friend wasn't using and chilled the heat exchanger with the intercooler water pump running. Others were giving me funny looks spraying nitrous all over the front of the truck. It picked up better than I would've imagined with a [email protected] That was waaay more of difference than I expected.

    Going from a bad memory I believe the rods were the weak link in the early SY/TYs. This one has Eagle rods and SRP pistons now but one child and 5 years later it hasn't moved out of the garage.

    One question, were the pistons changed for the turbo version of the Typhoon? The GN's pistons look like something that would come out of a diesel and are very heavy. We use the same block (109), rods (763) and heads(8445) as the non turbo. The crank is the same part number but the rod fillets are rolled. The heads are the same part number but the exhaust side is not machined for seals. It's interesting GM did not change much for the turbo versions where the original carb'd version made as little as 105hp.

    I'm about to pull this engine as soon as the built engine is done. I scored an old 4.1L stageII block, Moldex crank, and Eagle rods cheap. Even if it makes the same hp it's worth it to not have to worry about running over the crank every time I run it.
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    If RIS had a 150mph typhoon I'll eat my shoe.
    150mph would take somewhere about 1,000hp
    He's completely full of ****.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtluke
    If RIS had a 150mph typhoon I'll eat my shoe.
    150mph would take somewhere about 1,000hp
    He's completely full of ****.
    I just checked the math, and it would appear that you are absolutely correct.

    There's no way that vehicle had more than about 600 horsepower or so, which would produce a trap speed of more like 130 mph. It's been more than 10 years ago, I guess my memory is not infallable. Sucks getting old.

  114. #114
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    ...and I found the insurance photos (Polaroids) of the vehicle and the original Monroney sticker. Note the 8th digit (engine) is a "Z", and the manufacturer is PAS, not GMC:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership:-dsc00700.1.jpg  

    How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership:-dsc00701.1.jpg  

    How to avoid hemorrhaging money on vehicle ownership:-dsc00703.1.jpg  

    Last edited by RIS; 12-19-2009 at 03:23 AM.

  115. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    Gotcha. I thought you meant it was TBI in it's final form.

    We took his to the track many years ago bone stock to get a baseline before the mods started. The compressor wheel had been damaged from an inlet tract leak so we were a bit worried what it would run. We hit string of 14.3s with 1.7 60' times but the power wasn't there with 94 mph traps. I took a bottle or nitrous a friend wasn't using and chilled the heat exchanger with the intercooler water pump running. Others were giving me funny looks spraying nitrous all over the front of the truck. It picked up better than I would've imagined with a [email protected] That was waaay more of difference than I expected.
    Mine was faster than that, but it was probably also colder where I was. I put an ice bag on the intercooler between rounds and hot-wired the intercooler pump to run whenever the engine was running. I could not get it into the 12s stock.

    Going from a bad memory I believe the rods were the weak link in the early SY/TYs. This one has Eagle rods and SRP pistons now but one child and 5 years later it hasn't moved out of the garage.
    Well, apparently my memory isn't any better, but it was the pistons, not the rods that were the weak link. I have no doubt that if you upgraded the pistons, that the rods would be the next to go. Seems to me not all of mine were perfectly straight when I tore it down.

    One question, were the pistons changed for the turbo version of the Typhoon?
    I originally said "no", but in checking on the internet (to see if I made any other mistakes), information seems to indicate that they got a lower compression piston set, but that they were still hypereutectic, and as fragile as glass. The heads were fast-burn, and the engine was very sensitive.

    The GN's pistons look like something that would come out of a diesel and are very heavy. We use the same block (109), rods (763) and heads(8445) as the non turbo. The crank is the same part number but the rod fillets are rolled. The heads are the same part number but the exhaust side is not machined for seals. It's interesting GM did not change much for the turbo versions where the original carb'd version made as little as 105hp.
    I'm assuming that you're talking about your Buick engine, not my engine. The pistons I took out of the Typhoon engine did not look special in any way- they did not look beefed up or anything. The forged TRW blower pistons that I installed looked pretty bulletproof.

    I'm about to pull this engine as soon as the built engine is done. I scored an old 4.1L stageII block, Moldex crank, and Eagle rods cheap. Even if it makes the same hp it's worth it to not have to worry about running over the crank every time I run it.
    I am aware of the various 4.1 (junkyard and otherwise) swaps available for your vehicle. I have spent a fair amount of time around them.

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    Very nice! It hurts to look at though. I was going to say I hope you sued the heck out of the guy that hit you but being an illegal I guess that's impossible.
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  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Mine was faster than that, but it was probably also colder where I was. I put an ice bag on the intercooler between rounds and hot-wired the intercooler pump to run whenever the engine was running. I could not get it into the 12s stock.
    This one had most of the inducer on the compressor wheel worn away from bad air filtration. I'm surprised it made it into the 13s in that form. Just a set of large injectors, larger turbo, and high stall convertor really woke it up.


    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    Well, apparently my memory isn't any better, but it was the pistons, not the rods that were the weak link. I have no doubt that if you upgraded the pistons, that the rods would be the next to go. Seems to me not all of mine were perfectly straight when I tore it down.
    My memory isn't that good either, it's been 10 years sine I turned a wrench on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I originally said "no", but in checking on the internet (to see if I made any other mistakes), information seems to indicate that they got a lower compression piston set, but that they were still hypereutectic, and as fragile as glass. The heads were fast-burn, and the engine was very sensitive.

    I'm assuming that you're talking about your Buick engine, not my engine. The pistons I took out of the Typhoon engine did not look special in any way- they did not look beefed up or anything. The forged TRW blower pistons that I installed looked pretty bulletproof.
    I ran a set of TRWs many years ago, unfortunately I was in the infant stages of learning to tune and I broke the top ringland in one.

    Quote Originally Posted by RIS
    I am aware of the various 4.1 (junkyard and otherwise) swaps available for your vehicle. I have spent a fair amount of time around them.
    Yep. I'm running a junkyard production 4.1L now. Not for power, it's easy to make the power with the little 3.8L but for drivability. It added a lot in terms of spoolup. The new one is a 4 bolt stageII block. I'll probably throw it in along with a larger cam since I will be able to wind it up a little more and everything else the same and tweak it from there. The unfortunate thing is this block has some weak spots the 3.8L doesn't have. I went through 4 blocks sonic checking them just to find one that had enough meat in the cylinder wall area.
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  118. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshS
    kinda off topic, but got a quick question for you garage mechanics. So i flushed and replaced the fluid in my PS system, no big deal, it was the older type of system with a steering box and pitman arm.
    my GF's car is a 98 mustang with a rack and pinion system, and the PS system is loud and probably needs a good flush. Is there anything i need to go different, or can i just pull off the return line?
    That's pretty much how it's done. Pull off the return line and coil plug. Bump the motor a few times while putting new fluid into the reservoir.

    But beware, it's probably a waste of time. Due to weird design/construction of the Ford pumps they whine. They all pretty much do that.

    -Steve in NJ

  119. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    Very nice! It hurts to look at though. I was going to say I hope you sued the heck out of the guy that hit you but being an illegal I guess that's impossible.
    He was about as sympathetic as anyone would expect under circumstances like this.

    The impact knocked my vehicle up on two wheels and spun it almost 360 degrees before landing on all four again. The centrifugal force flung parts of my vehicle into all four crosswalks of this 5-lane intersection.

    I got my bell rung pretty good. It didn't knock me out, but I was certainly disoriented. I knew that one of us had run a red light and that he had T-boned me as a result, but that was about it. I was staring at a green light, but I didn't know which way I was facing. Fortunately there were a number of witnesses.

    He furiously attempted to restart his car (to flee). When it wouldn't start, he jumped out, ran up to me, saw me bleeding there, and said "You no call Police. I give you some money...". He dug a wad of one and five dollar bills out of his pocket and offered them to me. I drew my pistol and ordered him to the ground instead.

  120. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIS

    He furiously attempted to restart his car (to flee). When it wouldn't start, he jumped out, ran up to me, saw me bleeding there, and said "You no call Police. I give you some money...". He dug a wad of one and five dollar bills out of his pocket and offered them to me. I drew my pistol and ordered him to the ground instead.
    Now that put a smile on my face.
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  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    Now that put a smile on my face.
    Looks like I found a fellow Acurazine member
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  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridenfish39
    Looks like I found a fellow Acurazine member
    Currently banned but yep. I've got waay too many posts over there.
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  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    Currently banned but yep. I've got waay too many posts over there.
    'I Hate Cars", I enjoyed reading your posts over there. How did you get into banned camp there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridenfish39
    'I Hate Cars", I enjoyed reading your posts over there. How did you get into banned camp there?
    Some guy was physically threatening members so I said I would take him up on the offer and I was the one that got banned. It's only for a week so I'll be causing trouble in no time lol.

    Do you go by the same name over there?
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  125. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    Some guy was physically threatening members so I said I would take him up on the offer and I was the one that got banned. It's only for a week so I'll be causing trouble in no time lol.

    Do you go by the same name over there?
    Yup.
    I traded my 04 TL 6spd for a silver 2010 Mazdaspeed 3. The TL had almost 100k on it and was going to need the timing belt service and a clutch eventually, so I went for a good deal on the Mazda.
    You were in on the mazdaspeedgod thread, , it was epic! One big regret I have is not buying my cousin's T-type for 10k a few years back. He had it finished and it ran 10s, fail on my part
    I put the Corksport intake and inlet pipe on it. That car is an absolute blast to drive. It pulls much harder than the TL and makes a lot of cool noise with the intake on it.
    I am looking for a tow hitch to plug my rack into. I hate roof racks, they kill your mileage and leave marks on the car. I can get my road bike in the hatch if I remove the front wheel, but I have to take both off to get my mountain bike in there. It's getting to be a pain in the a$$. There are hitches for the regular 3, but I can't get an answer from anyone if they will fit my car.
    Bike fleet: Scalpel/Habit SE/Synapse Hi Mod/SWorks Tarmac/TJ CX/Trek Speed Concept 9 series/Ridley Noah

  126. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridenfish39
    Yup.
    I traded my 04 TL 6spd for a silver 2010 Mazdaspeed 3. The TL had almost 100k on it and was going to need the timing belt service and a clutch eventually, so I went for a good deal on the Mazda.
    You were in on the mazdaspeedgod thread, , it was epic! One big regret I have is not buying my cousin's T-type for 10k a few years back. He had it finished and it ran 10s, fail on my part
    I put the Corksport intake and inlet pipe on it. That car is an absolute blast to drive. It pulls much harder than the TL and makes a lot of cool noise with the intake on it.
    I am looking for a tow hitch to plug my rack into. I hate roof racks, they kill your mileage and leave marks on the car. I can get my road bike in the hatch if I remove the front wheel, but I have to take both off to get my mountain bike in there. It's getting to be a pain in the a$$. There are hitches for the regular 3, but I can't get an answer from anyone if they will fit my car.
    I really like the car. But you know how it is when someone comes along trolling like that guy did. If you don't mind saying, what did you get the 3 for?
    '08 Hardrock HRXC
    '09 Epic Comp
    '14 Trance SX -

  127. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuickGN
    I really like the car. But you know how it is when someone comes along trolling like that guy did. If you don't mind saying, what did you get the 3 for?
    23k, and I got a lot more than I thought on the Acura trade. I went to 3 dealers and that was the best deal. One offered me the car for less, but wanted to kill me on the trade in.
    It's a neat little car. It gets good mileage if you stay out of boost, handles amazingly, and has good power. I race and fish, so the ability to haul stuff is nice too.
    Bike fleet: Scalpel/Habit SE/Synapse Hi Mod/SWorks Tarmac/TJ CX/Trek Speed Concept 9 series/Ridley Noah

  128. #128
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    I have a 2004 Honda Element from new and fully paid up. It has 63000 miles and gets serviced regularly, the only things i have changed to date are a set of wiper blades and a new set of tires. The tires were changed a year early because they were losing grip in the snow. It will hold two bikes, wheels on and upright inside with the back seats folded up and it will and has had motorcycles in it.

    Every time I think of changing it , I try to find something that would meet everything it does for me and i can't so it's staying for the foreseable future. It does about 27 mpg highway on regular , which is not bad for what is essentially a brick on wheels.

    It's not particularly inspiring to drive, but it doesn't bother me , my wife bought herself a Porsche Targa for me to drive, I would never spend that sort of money on a car.

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