Machine empathy? Or: Automotive Citrus knowing it's Time

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by AdamAnt316, Sep 24, 2017.

  1. zebra03

    zebra03 All Audio - NO BS

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    My Buick was the same , if it was even humid out , it would not start .
     
  2. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    I heard on the radio the average cost of car ownership is $8900 a year. That includes everything, gas, insurance, etc. This figure must include a lot of repairs, and that being the average there are plenty that will exceed the average by a large margin. I have to pay for and maintain 5 cars and a race car, plus a couple bikes. The newest vehicle is 15 years old. If you are unable to do at least half the work yourself, possibly owning a new car with a warranty and making payments is your best bet.
     
  3. Nautiker

    Nautiker AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Seacoast New Hampshire
    I have 3 vehicles and a scooter; a 2003 VW Passat GLX wagon (V6), 1997 BMW Z3 (1.9L), and a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Limited (XJ)... I keep 'em clean, waxed and maintained, with my own labor and that of nearby shops - nowhere near $8900 per car/year, though. They are garaged year-round, which has really helped keep them looking very nice. The Jeep has 221K on it now, has had a lot of the accessories replaced (radiator, power steering pump)... KBB lists it as having a $900 value, now, and I'll very soon have to put $600 worth of new tires on it - it's my daily driver and I would be confidant about driving it across country...
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
  4. tri_pod

    tri_pod Active Member

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    137
    Location:
    Cape Town South Africa
    I was a bit young to own an American car when they ruled the roads in the 50's and before that in South Africa.

    Below are the cars I owned since 1963:
    The original Fiat 500 with rollback sunroof and 'crash' gearbox
    Renault Dauphine Gordini
    Triumph TR3A
    Renault R8 Gordini (2)
    Citroen Club
    Citroen DS
    Renault TS Hatchback
    Renault 16TXE Hatchback
    Renault R25
    Renault Laguna (my current drive)

    tri_pod
     
  5. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    Interesting. I can't say I've heard of that concept before. I don't know whether or not it's a common procedure in the US, but it's something I may look into. More common are 'under-coatings' applied at car washes and whatnot. Maybe they use some sort of oil in the process, but who knows. I figured it was some sort of wax, or something akin to a clear-coat.
    Ouch! That sounds like quite the run of bad luck. My brother has an '04 Civic, and it's had some issues here and there (mostly involving latches and whatnot that refuse to open), but nothing quite that major. Of course, he doesn't drive it much these days, so that might have something to do with it.

    His car also has far less visible rust on it than my old one did. As I said before, my '02 had more rust on it than any other seventh-generation Civic I've seen on the roads, and I notice them quite often. I'll have to take some pictures of my old '02 before it gets hauled to the junkyard by the shop I bought the '06 from. Speaking of which, my '06 had a bit of possible rust on the passenger side when I got it (there was a spot of what looked like Bondo near the wheel well covering it up), but it's been taken care of.

    Oddly enough, the D17 in my Civic never had any major issues in and of itself while I had it. I had the timing belt replaced at 114K, a friend and I did a tune-up on it some time before that, and I took it for oil changes every 5,000 or so miles (while the mechanic was willing to put it up on the lift, anyway). Of course, the same can't be said for the brakes (replaced the entire set twice in the five years I had it), air conditioning system (compressor seized up a few years ago), alternator (went through two of 'em, the second of which screwed up the computer when it died), automatic transmissions (three within four months two years ago), etc. etc. etc. :mad:
    That figure seems a bit off, but who knows. Did they specify if that was per car, or for a certain average number of cars owned? Thus far, I've only owned one car at a time, and I'm pretty sure my figure hasn't come near to that thus far (though it probably came close the year my '02 Civic started eating transmissions like they were candy). As for maintenance, I have yet to start doing stuff like oil changes myself, but I do have a couple of mechanics who I trust, and who charge decent rates for needed repairs.
    -Adam
     
  6. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    Heck, my '97 CR-V has been the cheapest to own and operate over its lifetime. Nowhere near $8900/year. I even figured that if I ever had to dump $1500 into it for a trans or engine, that is still cheaper than the 14 years I've owned it where I've never had to make a car payment. Aside from maintenance, tires, and "old age" parts replacements (where rubber dries out or metal gets worn), it hasn't needed a thing. I have paid way more to insure it than what it ever cost me per year to maintain or repair. The disclaimer: I've done all of the work myself.

    Thing is, so many have to buy or lease new vehicles these days, it makes me wonder if those payments are part of the calculation. That is a cost of ownership--actually having to pay for the vehicle itself. The average cost of a new one is over $20,000 now. Throw in insurance and gas, and newer cars could get to that $8900 level easily, I'd think.

    That's really the only bad thing we've had go wrong with it. We bought it three years ago, in a pinch, with high mileage on it, so I didn't expect it to be trouble-free. It did use a lot of oil, but the camshaft cap, valve cover and oil pan were all leaking oil, and I haven't yet gotten around to the oil pan yet. Just pricing out parts today--if it is the cylinder head, I'm probably at about $500 in parts, which includes all the gaskets and seals, plus the timing belt/tensioner/water pump kit. I just have to get a leakdown tester to verify if it's the valves, piston rings, or even the head gasket. Being halfway through October, my days of being able to work outdoors are limited now, so I have to move fast (if we don't replace it).
     
  7. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Have to agree 100% on this. Older cars get expensive, and finding people that understand how to work on them can be hard. Also quite frankly some shops are butchers and just aren't going to fix your power windows without hacking the door or busting up the door panels. Its a little time consuming to do it properly and carefully but it can definitely be done without wrecking stuff. I've been inside of enough doors that looked like a dull apprentice went at it with a sharp beaver.
     
  8. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    Nothing to do with while-you-wait car audio installs, no doubt.:yikes:
     
  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Those may not have helped but usually its window motor replacements.
     
  10. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    It pretty much boils down to this: You keep them because you love them or you keep them because you don't want car payments.
     
  11. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    What percentage in average monthly maintainance of a monthly installment is the bail point?
     
  12. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    For me, the bail point is "major repairs," as in a transmission or engine, or when so many things go wrong that it's not worth putting money into (like the craptastic Malibu we had). Or, when it becomes too rusty to work on, which is my current issue, 20 years of our salted, pothole-decorated roads not helping at all. I think with my old CR-V, payments were for five or six years (bought out a 4-year lease), and the remaining 14 or so years were payment-free. So it wouldn't have bothered me to dump $500 on parts in one year, as that was equal to maybe two car payments. Tires every few years were probably the biggest ongoing expense. Oil, ATF and coolant changes? Cheap. Even the radiator was inexpensive. The most expensive part I probably ever bought was a replacement driveshaft (as the u-joints are not replaceable) and even there, I found an open box deal on Amazon for ~$250 (vs. $350 or more). But my big savings is in labor, as I do everything possible myself.
     
  13. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    Monthly mechanical maintenance really doesn't factor in for me. Other than oil changes, I've gone thru a couple of timing belts and a water pump on schedule and before their time was up and a crank sensor. It would have to be something like a bad collision or wreck. I bought my present 1999 car in 2002 and have never carried a car payment so I just have always carried liability insurance. It is too old now for collision insurance.
    My reasoning is that to start I have a 50/50 chance of an accident being my fault (even odds), I have had no traffic violations (not even parking tickets) in nearly 40 years so I have a very good driving record but if someone were to hit me it would more than likely take mine out beyond repair and their insurance company would gladly buy me out for blue book even though the car is worth way more than that to me.
    Believe me, I drive very defensively.
     
  14. jlh3rd

    jlh3rd Active Member

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    I do my on maintenance. My first car was a 1977, new Montecarlo. It made it to 1999 when rust won the battle and the timing chain slipped and bent the pushrods at 206,000...Too bad I found out about the nylon cam gear after the fact that was prone to wear early or I would have changed it earlier. Mechanically, the car was perfect until then...
    Also purchased a 1992 Aerostar minivan in 1993 ,used with 62,000 miles on it. I ran it to 263,000 miles before letting it go in 2013....It had developed a an oil leak in the front bearing seal at the oil pan..( couldn’t drop the pan because of the frame crossmember)...an air bag light that resisted all known fixes, and exhaust manifold leaks that were gonna require pulling the motor......the exterior was good except for the rocker panels, and the interior was still good, no rips or tears..plus, the kids were gone....
    Regular maintenance pays dividends .......lots of years with no car payments and doing my own work has saved me thousands of dollars.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  15. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    We are making up for it now. I had no payments for 14 years. Now we have two of them! Provided my expenses do not jump up dramatically, I should have mine paid off by the end of next year.

    The only work I don't do is work that I do not have the equipment for. I do not have a way to remove a transmission or engine, for instance. And where I live, I do not have a workbench at my disposal (or at this point, a garage to work in, since we use our small garage for storage). So that kind of limits my options. Yet I have done a few things in the driveway. I have to do a cylinder head replacement over the next couple of weeks in this miserable weather we're having. I am not looking forward to it.
     
  16. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    UGH! I'm not sure what size of engine you're dealing with but I know from personal experience those old V8 cast iron heads can be booger beasts!
    I pulled one off of my '72 351C back in the day and I couldn't believe how heavy it was - and I was in my 30s!
    Young, healthy, strong and was going to live forever and it was just about all I could do to get it out of the engine bay.:eek:
     
  17. 2011etec

    2011etec Super Member

    Changed a tranny in a 76 460 marquis in the driveway back in the day what a major chore that was.Boy the stupid things we did when we were young!
     
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  18. 2011etec

    2011etec Super Member

    Did I mention that was bye myself and that those c6,s were heavy !
     
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  19. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    D17A1 engine in a Civic. So it's aluminum, and small. :D I've never done one, but it is not that hard. It's just 1) working in tight quarters with poor lighting (can never get it where I need it), and 2) it's in the 40s, damp and cloudy, with no garage to work in. If I wasn't getting tapped out from car expenses I'd just pay the neighbor's son to do it for extra money. (He is an ASE certified mechanic.) Had to put out money for a downpayment, have to get one set of new tires, and I have to get my daughter's transmission rebuilt or replaced really soon. So I need the Civic back on the road as a spare.
     
  20. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

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    Oh man, given those circumstances even if it is small I still feel for you!
    In the 40s, damp and cloudy with NO garage to work in is not good.
     

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