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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 10:22 AM   #41
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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Conversely, my Jeep Grand Cherokee is a dream, feels so well made, never has anything go wrong with it, and maintenence is cheap.
See, its just luck of the draw. I'm not aware of Jeeps being noted in particular for their reliablility. I'm not saying they're unreliable, but to my knowledge, this is not necessarily assumed to be a strong point of Jeep.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 10:59 AM   #42
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Re: I need to get a new car!

It's all anectodal evidence we are exchanging here anyway. The deal when we bought the Jeep was 7 year 100k bumper to bumper warranty for no additional charge (meaning they already charged you for it in the sticker price). So I'm thinking that's why nothing went wrong! The VW's standard warranty in 2000 was 2 year 24k, pretty lame. We bought the extended (60K) and we definitely got our money's worth out of it. But now that it's out of warranty it is starting to eat us alive, and all those internal parts, like the overhead light switch, weren't covered under the warranty. Your VW is a newer model year, and I know that all auto manufacturers have better reliability the longer they are producing the same body design, the '00 was only 2 years into the run, and I think the Jetta has followed a similar evolution. It would be interesting to see how reliability went for the new '05 Jetta.

How the dealer treats you with Warranty claims also makes a big difference. My VW dealers were crooks, my Jeep dealer has been fantastic. An example involving those interior parts: I had a routine maintenece appointment and when I went to pick up the vehicle they told me I had a problem with a piece of the interior door shell. I had noticed it felt a little loose but didn't really think about it. They had replaced it while doing the maintenence, perfect fit now, no charge of course. Oil changes for $20 bucks for the life of the vehicle, always fixed on time, and relatively cheap. When you find a good mechanic, they are worth their weight in gold.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 11:40 AM   #43
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Re: I need to get a new car!

I think their standard warranty is now 3/36, what I got.* *

As a general rule, I do not buy extended warranties for anything, including cars.* I self insure myself.* I presume that an insurance company would not sell a warranty if, on average, they paid out more than they gained from selling the policies, so i figure that by not buying any of them for anything, its kinda like going to a casino where the odds are in your favor.* *And, as a general rule over the past many years, i'm confident i've saved more by not buying warranties than ive had to pay out as a result of not having (an extended) warranty.

Other reasons are i just dont like paying up front for some allegid benefit later which may or may not happen.* * Similiar to warranties, I think of stores that try to get you to buy some "card" for 10 or 20 dollars under the premise that it "saves you money".* *I guess i have trouble understanding how "going in the hole" from the getgo saves me money.* *And psychologically, you feel compelled to buy more things than you normally would so that at some eventual time in the future, you "saved" money.

Another bad thing about them is most problems, if there are any, usually show up early on (emphasis on most), and these will usually fall within the paramiter of the base warranty that comes with whatever you're buying.* *

Last thing I hate about warranties is something you touched on already;* if they already have your money, its a whole lot harder to get them to do the work you need done.* *Do the work first, THEN i'll pay you.* *No work.... then no pay.* *That i understand, and usually the mechanic understands that concept too.

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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 12:12 PM   #44
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Re: I need to get a new car!

My DW's work pays the Costco membership, that works for us. My Step mom has a crafty way of working it. She gets a Costco gift card and uses it over and over again, never pays membership.

Every insurance company is out to make money, they are no dummies, that's for sure. Someone on another thread mentioned how the thinking on insurance is all wrong. People should insure only those things that would cause catastrophic loss (like life insurance, catastrophic health, etc.). Now you can get a warranty on your walkman at Circiut City! It cost you half as much as another walkman, and you know half the people forget to fill out the warranty card anyway.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 12:46 PM   #45
 
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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maintenance is cheap.
This is an important issue, and you rarely can get any info on it. When I had an Acura Integra and a Honda Civic the cost for the same tune-up was much higher (twice?) for the Acura. Also, tires were way more.

Magazines should include "total cost of ownership" info when they review cars.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 02:47 PM   #46
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Re: I need to get a new car!

John...I'm wrong but you're too lazy to prove it? Well, that sure sums up the experience...opinionated in a non-informational manner :

Unclemick...the 'filters only' change is one of those 50 year old bits...before oil additives and detergents it was common to change just the filter and add oil. Engine tolerances were so poor that you needed some gum to help 'seal up the works' and engines, regardless of what and how much of the contemporary fluids you put in them rarely made it past 50 or 60,000 miles without a major overhaul.

Should you change filters only with one of todays engines, the gum buildup would initially cause drag on the finely machined parts and eventually cause friction, heat, and engine failure.

Basically you have three things that make up engine oil and two influences on those things.

Your oil has a basic lubricating ability in its film strength and viscosity...viscosity is the fundamental 'thickness' of the oil while film strength says how thin a 'film' of the oil will still provide a certain level of lubrication between two facing parts under a particular level of pressure/tension. Over time and with the influences of heat and the introduction of combustion byproducts, the viscosity and film strength of the oil wanes. Consumer reports tested a variety of oils in the worst possible conditions...new york city taxis. They showed that all of the oils still showed a very good level of viscosity and film strength after 5000 miles, and at the manufacturers recommended change point of 7500 miles, they were still meeting the need quite well. Synthetic oils offer greater film strength and longer lasting stable viscosity, however the 'additive package' in them usually runs out long before the base oil itself breaks down.

Your additive package consists of a detergent to break down the gum that forms when the base oil starts failing, and elements that neutralize combustion byproducts. In a newer, cleaner burning engine these will last longer; conversely, in older motors that have some 'blow by', they wont last as long. When the additives are gone, the oil breaks down quickly. Most engine oil additive packages will easily last 7500-10000 miles in a new engine, and 5000-7500 miles in the ones that are older but not smoking badly. Additive packages are effected by heat, high pressure, combustion byproducts, and excessive short run periods. If your engine oil comes up to a peak temperature, some byproducts become vapor and are recycled through the engine cylinders during the combustion process. A 3 mile trip to the store causes startup byproducts to enter the oil, but the oil never comes up to a high enough temp to vaporize them. So they sit in the oil and force the additive package to neutralize them. This results in early consumption of the additive package, resulting in early oil breakdown.

Modern oil includes stabilizers, and an unstarted vehicle creates no byproducts for the additive package to neutralize. The stabilizers are more than adequate to maintain the base oils stability for more than a year of non-use in an engine. However its good to get a 10-15 mile/minute run on the engine to maintain top cylinder and valve lubrication, as long as that run is long enough for the oil to come up to a temperature high enough to burn off the startup combustion byproducts.

Applications involving diesel, turbos, and high compression engines create more byproducts, the additive package gets used up quicker, and they also involve higher pressures and temperatures, which stress the base oils viscosity and film strength. Hence these applications often require oil changes in the 3000-5000 range.

Drawing from this, an average non-turbo, ordinary compression level (under 9:1), gasoline powered engine of modern manufacture that has been reasonably well maintained and is under 150,000 miles does not require an oil change any more frequently than 6000-7500 miles and/or a year of service, whichever comes first. Which is why manufacturers specify those limits in the book; they're not paying for the oil changes, so why would they tell you to do something that would shorten the life of the vehicle?

Synthetic oils are essentially a waste of money. The additive package will expire long before the oil does, and you have to change the oil at that point anyway. And although it has a higher film strength and more resistance to breakdown of the base lubricant, the oil doesnt offer any significant lubricating benefits during its lifetime than a quality non-synthetic oil does.

Oil filter quality also does matter. An oil filter basically consists of a base plate, a metal can, a filter element and a bypass valve that allows oil to flow when its too thick to pass through the filter element, when the filter element is clogged, or when the oil flow demands of the engine exceed that of the filters flow rate. Some filters use paper elements, some plastic. Some use a metal spring and metal bypass valve assembly, some a plastic valve and a cheap piece of flexible metal for a bypass. The filter assembly is glued to the base and valve, and a retainer is applied to the filter material to hold it in place while the glue dries. In some cheap filters, a smaller area paper filter cheaply glued to the base plate and wrapped in twine is used, while an expensive filter will use a synthetic plastic element with a more sophisticated wrap. All is well with your filter unless the bypass valve fails, the filter is not securely glued during manufacture to the base plate, or the filter retention product (the string in a cheap filter) comes off. This can cause a loss of oil flow, unfiltered oil to pass into the engine on a sustained basis, or actual pieces of the filter to break off and be distributed through the engine. Which is why you want to avoid cheap no-name filters, and many common manufacturers like Fram who make very cheaply made filters. Purolator and motorcraft, among others, have gotten good marks.

So Johnny...what does your superior intellect tell you I got wrong?

Al - Maintenance on some cars requires more work. In particular, a lot of german cars I've worked on were not only not engineered to allow for easy maintenance, they appeared to have been specifically constructed to prohibit shade tree mechanics from having a good time with them. Japanese cars are (in my experience) no different really from your basic chevy with regards to maintenance. The only thing I've seen that makes much difference with them vs an old detroit iron engine are some slightly exotic items like spark plugs installed through the heads vs under them, or the mounting of a coil on top of each plug - something VW also does, but its very easy to remove the coils, and a long socket wrench makes the through-the-head plug removal and installation no more complex than an old chevy.

In other words, you're being ripped off. You bought an expensive car, they're going to charge you expensive maintenance. Car companies dont make jack on the car anymore; the big money is made between when you and the salesman agree on a price, and the 'finance guy' works you over for paint sealer, alarms, stereo upgrades, window etching, and the service guy gets you for 'factory maintenance'.

Tires are tires, but some manufacturers (in particular expensive and performance cars) specify higher speed rated tires (S and V are common). These tires are guaranteed to hold together at speeds between 120 and 150 mph. Many tire installers will not go against the manufacturers tire speed rating when installing a tire. I ran into this with my Infiniti, where high speed rated tires that cost 40% more were manufacturer specified. Even though I wasnt planning on exceeding 100mph in my car, most shops wouldnt install a lower speed rated michelin. So blame the car company again.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 04:43 PM   #47
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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Originally Posted by You dont know me
However its good to get a 10-15 mile/minute run on the engine to maintain top cylinder and valve lubrication, as long as that run is long enough for the oil to come up to a temperature high enough to burn off the startup combustion byproducts.
What do you mean by 10-15 mile/minute run? Will warming up the car for 15 minutes do it? I currently don't go anywhere with car unless I go shopping 3 miles from here which in city stop and go traffic will take 10 minutes one way. I normally ride my bicycle there unless the weather's lousy.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 04:49 PM   #48
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Probably not. You want 15 minutes with the engine at full operating temp and a good 3500-4500 rpm run to make sure you clear the crankcase. I do a lot of short range stuff too, but the main road a couple of miles from my house that I have to get on to go anywhere is 55-60mph for about 2 miles before I get to the shopping area.

When you start the engine, some raw gas and combustion byproducts pass by the rings and valve seals before they warm up and fully seat. Much less with modern fuel injection than with an old carburetor, but you still get some. If you warm up the oil to its full operating temp, which will happen in about 10-15 minutes (unless you're in minnesota in january), those byproducts will start vaporizing. You give it a good couple of miles at a good run-up speed and those are recirculated through the crankcase ventilation system and are drawn back into the intake and into the cylinders where they're burned up. Remember those "PCV valves" you used to replace as a kid...positive crankcase ventilation?

Otherwise the stuff sits in the oil and the additive package gets depleted neutralizing it.

The 'start up the car, drive 1 mile to the store and park for 1/2 hour, then reverse' trips? Change your oil more often if thats all you ever do.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 04:57 PM   #49
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Heh, heh, heh, heh!

When I was a teenager - out on the highway cranked up to 'good speed' was 'to burn the carbon out.'

Heh, heh, heh, heh

And yes - got to attend 'mandatory' driver's er ah 'school' - fairly soon after getting my drivers license.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 05:07 PM   #50
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Re: I need to get a new car!

In the days of carbs and coils (and wild spark plugs), carbon was a real problem.

Although fords been having a long running problem with carbon build up in their fuel injected cars the last 5-6 years. But the buildups are upstream of the cylinders. If you have a ford and you're getting laggy acceleration and poor throttle response, thats probably the culprit.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 05:10 PM   #51
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Re: I need to get a new car!

I think you spelled it out well YDKM, but just to clarify:

I'm driving a vw with a turbo engine, and they say my warranty would be voided if I didn't use synthetic oil. This is a case where the temp does get high enough to break down regular oil before the detergents run out, yes? I think you already said that, just checking.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 05:21 PM   #52
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Probably more to do with the film strength of the base oil than anything.

Do what the car manufacturer says. However, i'm skeptical that synthetic will really do anything beneficial in short oil change applications.

Of course, we're talking about people who engineered the fuel pump in my BMW to require removing the drive shaft and exhaust system to replace it...
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 06:52 PM   #53
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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Originally Posted by You dont know me


Of course, we're talking about people who engineered the fuel pump in my BMW to require removing the drive shaft and exhaust system to replace it...
Sounds like the alternator in a Ford Contour.* CV shaft and Exhaust had to come out and it was still a PITA

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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 07:40 PM   #54
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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John...I'm wrong but you're too lazy to prove it?* Well, that sure sums up the experience...opinionated in a non-informational manner :

synthetic oils are essentially a waste of money.*
Well, you forgot, maybe because of where you live, but if you live somewhere where it gets really cold (UP of Michigan? Duluth and the like) then you want synthetic in the winter. Starting is so much bettter than not starting.

yakers, although now warm in Pasadena, CA, grew up in Chicago and has relatives in northern Canada.

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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 08:01 PM   #55
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Thanks YDKM
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 08:19 PM   #56
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Just test drove a 97 Corrolla. It's great, and we're buying it. It has plenty of power, handles well, is inexpensive, and gets 30-35 mpg. It's also in excellent condition -- a rare find for a car around here.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 08:33 PM   #57
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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Just test drove a 97 Corrolla.* It's great, and we're buying it.* It has plenty of power, handles well, is inexpensive, and gets 30-35 mpg.* It's also in excellent condition -- a rare find for a car around here.
I have a 3/4 ton Dodge Ram. It has plenty of power (snap your neck man) , handles well and was inexpensive. Excellent condition! Sucks gas like there is no tomorrow. But I haul and tow, etc. It's nice for that
and satisfies my testosterone requirements.

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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-25-2005, 08:47 PM   #58
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Re: I need to get a new car!

Trucks never go out of style. Alas, the commute requires something a little better at the pump. We're officially shopping, but it usually takes us six months to make a decision this big.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-26-2005, 07:21 AM   #59
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Re: I need to get a new car!

What I find amusing is the media focus on gas milage - instead of total life cycle costs. Take the cost of 'your new vehicle pick' vs 10 -20 yr old big Detroit Iron with a seat belt. You could probably get good transport for less than the cost of a new airbag and buy a lot of $5/gal gas with the money saved.
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Re: I need to get a new car!
Old 05-26-2005, 07:25 AM   #60
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Re: I need to get a new car!

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What I find amusing is the media focus on gas milage - instead of total life cycle costs. Take the cost of 'your new vehicle pick' vs 10 -20 yr old big Detroit Iron with a seat belt. You could probably get good transport for less than the cost of a new airbag and buy a lot of $5/gal gas with the money saved.
unclemick..................."You da man!" I doubt I ever met a more
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