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Old 01-22-2015, 08:53 PM   #141
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Wow. I condider a three year car loan long term and two year or less term a short term loan. I have had four car loans in my lifetime (Im 54) and the longest was based on three years but I paid it off in 2.5. A three year loan term on a depreciating asset just scares the hell out of me.


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I've had two five year loans. One was for 0.9% and the other was for 0%.

You will understand if I didn't pay them off early.💲
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:59 PM   #142
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I've had two five year loans. One was for 0.9% and the other was for 0%.

You will understand if I didn't pay them off early.💲
I completely understand.....but my dad kept after me to hurry up and pay off my 0.0% 3 year loan when I bought my Kia. Now, I have an aversion to debt as much as he does - but when it's literally "free money", why the hurry to pay it off?
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:54 PM   #143
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An old truck that runs is still a truck that can haul things. One of the reasons many people pay for furniture delivery, landscaping services, etc... is because they don't have a way to haul the materials. If I had a truck...
If I had a truck (or rather when I did have a truck) all my friends and neighbors are really really friendly, and want to talk to me about borrowing it whenever they need to haul something big from here to there. Worked better than anything for keeping in touch with everyone I ever met.
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Old 01-22-2015, 10:56 PM   #144
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My son is a mechanic at a Kia dealership and he always has a good story to tell. Tonight it was about a guy who hadn't changed his oil in 16000 miles and had only changed it 3 times since he bought the car 60,000 miles ago! He was complaining about it running poorly so they checked it out and found low compression in one cylinder. He wanted them to cover it under warranty. Needless to say they wouldn't cover the repair under warranty so he traded it in on a new $35,000 car!
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:08 PM   #145
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An old truck that runs is still a truck that can haul things. One of the reasons many people pay for furniture delivery, landscaping services, etc... is because they don't have a way to haul the materials..
I used to use my pickup to avoid all delivery charges, haul dirt, everything I could. I first started questioning this one day when I was picking up a new washer and driver at the warehouse of a store. They had me sign for delivery at the dock, meaning any damage I did hauling and installing the items was on me. When they deliver, you don't sign for delivery until they have hauled and installed everything. Additionally, the warehouse for pickup always seemed to be on the far side of town. Then some of the stores started providing free hauling when big items were purchased. And I got older. Eventually, I felt like the expensive of an extra vehicle wasn't worth it any longer. so it was donated to a local charity.
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:29 PM   #146
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Over the last year I've replaced tow 2001 vehicles. DW's Accord has turned into a Highlander and I got rid of a Chevy 1500 and have a Tacoma. Both were new. The older vehicles went to CarMax. Both older vehicles needed repairs or maintenace that was about the same amount as their CarMax price. Doing the work would have had minimal impact on their value. I feel sorry for whomever gets either of these rolling disasters.

I typically keep my cars until the maintenace needs approach their value. It's unusual for us to not keep cars for over a decade and put well over 100,000 miles on them. My Chevy P/U had 220,000 miles but just had so much wrong with it that I should have gotten rid of it a year earlier.



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Old 01-23-2015, 07:48 AM   #147
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That's a pretty good testament to the quality of Toyota engines. It is amazing that it ran that long.
I've heard a few other stories like this, but have trouble believing them. My ex-wife, for instance, had bought an Olds Calais, before I had met her. It was an '88 I think. She said she never had the oil changed, and never had any problems with the car in the time she had it. I think she got it to around 80,000 miles over the course of about 3 years, and then it got repossessed.

The other was the father of a friend of mine in high school and college. They had a '72 Dodge Dart with a slant six, bought new. Supposedly, never changed the oil. Around 100,000 miles, the car was looking pretty ratty, and they had newer cars, so they just let it sit at the curb. Eventually it wouldn't start anymore, so they took the tags off of it. The county found out, and it was scheduled to get towed off to its final resting place. I asked them about it, if I could have it, and they said if I could get it started, I could have it. Well, I did get it started, but then it started spraying fuel from a rotted rubber hose, and my friends panicked. My attitude was hey, it's just a cheap rubber hose, but their attitude was that they didn't want to give me anything so "dangerous". So, it got towed off.

Now, I'm sure these people neglected and abused that Dart, but I'm sure its oil had to have been changed at some point in those intervening 18 years. Or at least added to. FWIW, these people also had a 1983 Datsun Stanza that was pretty much reduced to junk by the fall of 1988, so that's a pretty good indication that these people neglected and abused their cars. But I'm sure oil got changed, or added at least, on some occasions.

I do know of two people, interestingly enough, with Toyotas, who tried that "never change the oil" stunt. One was our IT guy at work back in the 1990's. He had a Tercel, maybe a 1995 or so. Engine seized up, around 60,000 miles, when it ran dry. The other was an assistant manager at Little Caesar's, where I worked in the evenings when I was recovering from my divorce. He and his wife had a Corolla, again around a 1995 or so. Seized up around the 30,000 mile mark.

Oh, now that I think about it, another one of my high school/college buddies got his parents Tercel back in the early 1990's when his '85 Cavalier finally bit the dust. It was a late 80's model, I think. I hadn't seen him for awhile, but then one day we run across each other, and he has this brand new Trans Am. I asked him about the Tercel. Sludged up by 60,000 miles...and this was before "sludge" became associated with "Toyota".

Now, I'm not trying to slam Toyota...I think they build decent cars. My uncle had an '03 Corolla that got to around 250,000 miles, before he traded it in for a new Camry in 2013. Original engine and transmission, although the engine was sounding a little rough. I know its weakest points had been the catalytic converter and the water pump. Catalytic converter didn't start going out until after 100,000 miles though, and the water pump went around 150,000. My uncle was pretty good about keeping up on maintenance, though.

I just have a problem believing that an engine could go 100,000 miles without needed an oil change. Unless they start leaking it to the point where you're adding oil...which technically, isn't "changing" it I guess.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:59 AM   #148
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I remember an episode of Click and Clack in which they mentioned someone who thought that when the oil pressure light went on, that meant that you should get your oil levels checked next time you filled your tank. The car did not make it to the next fill-up before the engine seized.


Closer to home, I had my car maintained by a wonderful place with real mechanics, who proudly posted pictures of their customers' cars that had turned over 100,000 and 200,000 miles. My kind of guys. At one point they explained that the timing belt needed to be replaced because of the number of miles on the car. I'd never heard of the timing belt (guess I should read the manual) but they explained that if it fails, the car will need extensive and expensive repairs. So, I had the work done.


They were right, of course. A friend who was in far shakier financial condition had no idea the timing belt needed to be replaced and it failed while she was driving it. I felt really bad for her.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:17 AM   #149
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The main factor with timing belts is whether the engine is an "interference" engine or "non-interference" engine. In an interference engine, when the belt breaks, the valves stop moving, but the pistons keep moving, and will smash whatever valves that are in their path. Sometimes you get lucky and the damage isn't too bad, but sometimes it's enough to ruin the engine. With a non-interference engine, the pistons can't reach the valves, not even the fully-opened ones, so there's no real damage done. With the exception of needing a tow truck!

Back in the old days, they used to say timing chains were better, but that was a different era where belts usually needed replacing every 20-30,000 miles, while a chain was good for the "life of the car". That was also an era where "life of the car" usually meant it was junked by around 100,000 miles.

Nowadays though, with overhead cams, dual overhead cams, etc, chains, and belts, have to extend a lot further than back in the day. Belts are usually better for going the long distances, as chains tend to stretch. Although I'd think a belt, being made of rubber, would be more likely to stretch out than a metal chain? Anyway, timing belts these days are often good for 105,000 miles or more, and the engines are usually designed to make it easy to replace them. With chains, they're often buried deeper in the engine, and when they need replacing, it's a lot more money.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:19 AM   #150
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It was called the Chevy Sprint when it came out for 1985. That first year, I think it was only offered in the Western US. At some point, they added a 4-door hatchback, and there was even a turbocharged model offered for a couple years. I think it was 1989 when the car was redesigned, and no called the Geo Metro. The 4-door hatchback was dropped, but a 4-door sedan was added.

Around 1997 or 1998, I think GM dropped the Geo brand and these cars reverted back to being Chevies. At least, one of my friends had a 1998 Tracker and it was a Chevy, not a Geo, so I think they did that with all their "captive imports".

In 2000 they stopped selling Metros to private customers, but continued selling to rental fleets through 2001.

Oh, looking around on Wikipedia, they mention Car and Driver did a comparison test of a used 1998 Metro, pitting it against a new 2009 Prius and Insight. Naturally, it came in last place overall, because the newer cars were simply newer, better-engineered, etc. Not to mention, coming in at a higher price point. Nonetheless. the Metro managed to tie the Prius in fuel economy...42 mpg on their test average.
Yup, I had the turbo model! To about 40mph it would light up the tires and haul a*s! After that it was pretty doggy, needed constant boost to maintain highway speeds. Had it in school and even after I started my first job. $500 car when I bought it. Got backed into in a parking lot and made me $300. Kept driving it until the gas tank rusted out and started leaking and a branch fell through the windshield. Repairs were more than the little car was worth.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:35 AM   #151
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...

Back in the old days, they used to say timing chains were better, but that was a different era where belts usually needed replacing every 20-30,000 miles, while a chain was good for the "life of the car". That was also an era where "life of the car" usually meant it was junked by around 100,000 miles.

...
My purely anecdotal response to this: our first new car purchase was a toyota minivan with timing chain in '92. "Life of the car" was 360,000 miles and chain never posed a problem. (Quick/cursory look around the web is that this is not an anomaly for well-serviced toyota, but....)

Now, if just one more poster has a similar anecdote, we'll have data!

P.S.--your post will lead me to some discussions with a couple of mechanics I know, so thanks!
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:38 AM   #152
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.....snip.....

I just have a problem believing that an engine could go 100,000 miles without needed an oil change. Unless they start leaking it to the point where you're adding oil...which technically, isn't "changing" it I guess.
I can't say for sure on the 100k miles. I have used old equipment, 1938 Oliver crawler loader that hadn't had the oil changed in a couple of decades, while being actively used. My DB was strongly of the opinion that it would start blowing by the rings if it were changed. We'd change the filter and add as needed. Don't know if DB actually had an issue prior or it was a tale that he believed.



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Old 01-23-2015, 09:45 AM   #153
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I have a colleague who took her monster luxury SUV to the dealer to get the clock reset when we switched to daylight savings time.
Sounds like a friend of mine that used to work for a Chevy dealership. They had a client that everytime he came in for whatever service, asked that they line up all the bowties on his hubcaps. They could never get the guy to understand why they wouldn't stay "lined up". I tend to think that guy won't be frequenting the ER forums.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:50 AM   #154
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Yeah, I'd still expect a timing chain to go a good, long time. But with people keeping cars longer and longer than they did in the past, in general I think timing chain failures do come up more often than in the old days. That, plus the cars being more complex than in days gone by. Back in the old days of predominantly overhead valve engines, the chain only had to reach the 6 or 8 inches or whatever to get from the crankshaft to the camshaft. But nowadays, most engines are overhead, or even dual overhead cam, and the chains have to reach a lot further.

I think one big achilles heel these days actually isn't the timing chain itself, but the guides that help keep it taut and in place. Often they're plastic, and wear down after awhile. I think some companies use metal guides. Or maybe higher-grade plastic?

I think the longest anyone in my family has had a timing chain car go was about 330,000 miles. That was a 1999 Altima that my Mom and stepdad bought brand new. They did a lot of highway driving. I had a '68 Dart that had 338,000 miles on it when I got rid of it, and a '79 Newport that had about 250,000...both of them V-8 engines. However, I can't vouch for their entire lives, as they were both old cars by the time I got them. I know the Dart's engine had been rebuilt at 242,000 miles, and I bought it at 253,000. The Newport had about 230,000 on it when I rescued it from the junkyard. In retrospect, I should have left it there, but I did like that car.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:57 AM   #155
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I had a friend who retired from the military and attempted to become a car salesman. My jaw almost hit the floor when he told me, "I didn't realize you didn't have to pay sticker price for a car...." He was serious.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:57 AM   #156
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Okay, now I got started, and I can't stop.

Exactly ten years ago, my sister got a new teaching job that paid twice as much as her old one. She asked me for help in saving money because she had zero savings. We came up with a good plan that involved automatic investments in a Vanguard target fund. She was determined to not spend all of the additional new money that she'd be taking in.

We implemented the plan and set up the automatic investments.

After one month she changed her mind. In the last ten years she spent all the money she earned and saved nothing.

Now she's lost her job and has no savings and no job prospects, and not much social security (she never worked much). If she'd followed the plan, she'd at least have $80,000 at this point.

She's asked me for help in setting up a web site for giving Theatre Workshops. I'm helping her, but I know that if she ran the numbers, they would show that she would probably earn less than $1 an hour with that enterprise.

She's 69.
This kind of reminds me of my brother. He asked for my investment advice, so I gave it to him. I picked out a nice , long term mutual fund for him. He decided that it wasn't aggressive enough for him. He put all his 401k money into a more aggressive growth fund. Then, after he did this he asks for my advice again. Really? I told him just to do what he thinks is best. I mean he did not listen to me the first time, so obviously he will have to learn some things on his own. I will give my brother credit for saving for his future. He did not get started until he was 40. He is now 46.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:59 AM   #157
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My purely anecdotal response to this: our first new car purchase was a toyota minivan with timing chain in '92. "Life of the car" was 360,000 miles and chain never posed a problem. (Quick/cursory look around the web is that this is not an anomaly for well-serviced toyota, but....)



Now, if just one more poster has a similar anecdote, we'll have data!



P.S.--your post will lead me to some discussions with a couple of mechanics I know, so thanks!

Your data is now confirmed. I recently sold my SUV of 200,000 miles without incident of a timing chain issue. Or really an incident of anything. Outside of constant oil changes and a few brake pads installed I did nothing. The amount of preventive maintenance I should have done but didn't saved me enough money to get me another vehicle.


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Old 01-23-2015, 10:01 AM   #158
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I can't say for sure on the 100k miles. I have used old equipment, 1938 Oliver crawler loader that hadn't had the oil changed in a couple of decades, while being actively used. My DB was strongly of the opinion that it would start blowing by the rings if it were changed. We'd change the filter and add as needed. Don't know if DB actually had an issue prior or it was a tale that he believed.
I don't know if it's an old wive's tale or not, but I've hear that with automatic transmissions, a rule of thumb was to change the fluid every 1 year/12000 miles, or don't change it at all. I think the reasoning was that if you let the intervals go too long, and then tried to change it, you'd end up stirring up all sorts of loose particles that had settled, and hasten the transmission's demise.

Dunno how much truth there is to that, though. At some point in the 1970's, they started stretching out the service intervals on transmissions, but I don't know what, exactly, they did to them to go those extra distances. For instance, by 1978, the Chevy Nova, according to the sales brochure, had a 60,000 mile service interval for the transmission fluid. For 1979 it was 100,000 miles! The Chevy Malibu started stretching that interval out to 100k miles starting in 1978, but it used a different transmission than the Nova, one that was more modern, lightweight, and in theory just as durable. In theory, that is... Sometimes I wonder if those 100K mile intervals are one reason they tended to fail?!

On my 2000 Dodge Intrepid, the service interval was 100,000 miles for "light duty", and 50,000 for "severe service"...the reality was "light duty" was fantasy land while "severe service" really meant most normal driving situations. Just to play it safe, I had that sucker done roughly every 30,000 miles, mainly because that transmission wasn't known for durability.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:04 AM   #159
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The ignorance of my megacorp:

They insist we change the oil on company vehicles every 3000 miles...company policy they say. We all complain (directly to the fleet manager) that we should follow the manufacturer's recommendations. My current vehicle says to follow the on-board computer (which would be about every 8500 miles at my current driving habits) So instead I waste an hour about every month getting my oil changed...what a waste of time and money.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:23 AM   #160
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Outside of constant oil changes and a few brake pads installed I did nothing. The amount of preventive maintenance I should have done but didn't saved me enough money to get me another vehicle.
That's what I can't stand about the whole "preventive maintenance" schedule. By the time you do all that, you could pretty much pay for any and all possible things to go wrong, and then some.

Like a former co-worker who would pay for premium synthetic oil on his oil changes for his truck. Would run about $75/oil change. He did it to "make his truck last longer". At 3-4 oil changes per year, he could have paid for a rebuilt engine in the rare event it died by paying for regular oil changes. But logic like that was beyond his comprehension.
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