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Old 06-20-2008, 10:53 PM   #21
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While I've only skimmed thisthread and maybe missed something, is it possible that this is the time to suggest to FIL that driving days are over?
I did gently suggest (I thought) that once, but I got the lecture that he's been driving since before WWII. And in truth this is the first accident he's had in over 20 years so from his perspective he probably doesn't see an issue with it even though everyone else is reluctant to ride with him driving. He just doesn't seem to recognize/react to anything out of the ordinary.

His driving days are clearly numbered and that's one reason everyone in the family is anxious to get him into a community/environment where he won't need a car. If he doesn't have one where he is now, it will fall to DW to chauffeur him around. A BIL and his wife live 200 yards away but they both work 12-hour days, have a developmentally challenged child, and there are some long-standing issues between him and the FIL. Even now I'm not sure what they are. To his credit BIL is doing some seriously hard work on waterproofing the foundation walls so it's not like he's standing idly by.

Family dynamics sure can be a pain.
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Old 06-20-2008, 11:40 PM   #22
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My dads father got to the same point. After his SECOND accident since WWII, I asked him if he wanted me to buy him another car and hope nobody gets hurt or if he'd like me to give him a ride around to where he wanted to go once a week and cover his cab fare for other trips.

He had me buy him another, larger car. After the 3rd accident where my grandmother got knocked around a little bit he opted for the other option.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:32 AM   #23
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Well, I found him another car on craigslist, a '93 Ford Taurus with 115k miles for $1,700 contingent on it passing MD inspection, required for registration. Given the stringency of it I think any car that runs reasonably well and can pass is worth $2k.

Vehicle Safety Inspection

The underlying issues were more interesting. He was extremely grateful that I'd gone to the effort of finding and printing out about 10 "possibles", running the KBB numbers, I'll do a carfax on it later today, insisting that it pass the inspection first, etc. saying several times on the way back home that he wouldn't have known what to do without the help.

It finally dawned on me: He didn't know how to buy a car from anywhere else but a dealer! Talking with DW and SIL about it, the issue is that it is hard (for me anyway) to tell when the offer of help is being seen as offering help, or is it being seen/perceived as condescending or intrusive.

Our concern was that, needing another car (the wisdom of which is debatable and another topic) he would have gone to a dealer, negotiated a little, and pretty much paid what the salesman said it was worth. That is more than he has available to spend given the maintenance needs of the house. At least this way he'll have something that he can drive for at least the next couple of years which is all he'll need. About all the driving he does is over well-known routes to the grocery, pharmacy, doctors, and the like in daytime. For any longer trips to family gatherings we've been taking him with us for the last few years. So I'm (sort of, maybe uneasily) comfortable with it for now.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:37 AM   #24
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Walt, for what it's worth I think the Taurus is a much better car and a better choice for him than the Tempo you mentioned earlier.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:55 PM   #25
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Well, I found him another car on craigslist, a '93 Ford Taurus with 115k miles for $1,700 contingent on it passing MD inspection, required for registration. Given the stringency of it I think any car that runs reasonably well and can pass is worth $2k.
We're going to be trying to sell a '94 Ford Taurus wagon with 112K miles in a couple weeks for $750 $1495, so that sounds about right.

You might want to know when the coolant was last changed. If it gets old then the water pump seals start leaking. (But if you have real winter then you probably also have people who actually winterize their vehicles.) We've also had age-related troubles with air conditioning heat exchangers. And every piece of plastic inside the passenger compartment is turning to crap, but that's probably a characteristic of all Ford vehicles!
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Old 06-22-2008, 05:18 PM   #26
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And of course check and make sure all the recalls have been performed.

Has that naughty ford cruise control been recalled in the '93/'94 tauri yet or is ford still waiting for enough of them to burst into flames?
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Old 06-22-2008, 06:42 PM   #27
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You might want to know when the coolant was last changed. If it gets old then the water pump seals start leaking. (But if you have real winter then you probably also have people who actually winterize their vehicles.) We've also had age-related troubles with air conditioning heat exchangers. And every piece of plastic inside the passenger compartment is turning to crap, but that's probably a characteristic of all Ford vehicles!
I did look at the coolant hoses and the top one felt soft so (assuming it passes inspection) just out of general principles I'll have those replaced along with the heater hoses and new anti-freeze. It does have a new serpentine belt, tires, exhaust system, and PS pump. The seller had a lot done to it to get it registered in his name in May but due to a quirk in MD law it has to be inspected again to get registered to another owner.

And the inner door panel is loose on one corner so I'll ask what fastener failed for that, and if that costs too much a bit of epoxy will hold it. That was the only defect I could see on it. Otherwise it seems in better condition than most cars that old. Carfax came back clean on it, it was bought new locally which corroborates the seller's story.

The plastic parts falling apart I think happens on just about everything, something with the outgassing/chemical aging of plastic. I almost flunked HS chemistry so I don't know much about that stuff.

This car only has to hold together for another year or two and by then I think his driving days will be over. Which leads to the next thread....
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Old 06-23-2008, 12:21 AM   #28
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And the inner door panel is loose on one corner so I'll ask what fastener failed for that, and if that costs too much a bit of epoxy will hold it.
That's a cheap little plastic ring-shank pushpin that auto-parts stores sell by the truckload-- a few bucks for a bag of a dozen.

If you epoxy it, as soon as the bond is cured the window will need work...

CFB's fireball comment is in reference to a contentious cruise-control recall that we should have shared on our vehicles. Many many other Ford models (sharing the same cruise control equipment) have experienced fires from spontaneous failure/ignition of the cruise control's circuitry, even when the vehicle's parked in the garage. Ford has put out a humongous recall that seems to be restricted to certain cheap to fix models & years owned by especially litigious lawyers with lots of stonewalling no clear discussion of the components or the scope of the recall.

http://www.early-retirement.org/foru...ore-21172.html

FOXNews.com - Ford to Recall 3.6 Million Vehicles Due to Fire Risk - Business And Money | Business News | Financial News

Our cruise control works once or twice a year for about a week. That age of model doesn't have a standard ODB-II port so I've given up trying to fix it.
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