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Old 06-30-2010, 09:57 AM   #61
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I have reached the conclusion that this forum isn't the best place for a serious car guy to talk shop. No problem.
Yep. For those with a poorly-developed sense of humor this place can probably be a real PITA.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:59 AM   #62
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+1 REW!
Maybe there is a more serious car guy shop talk forum out there somewhere.
We are just way too "not serious" around here in ER-land.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:44 AM   #63
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My advice, assuming this isn't your last $250 a month, buy the car you want not the car you settle for.

If i bought the car i wanted in the first place instead of settling all the time it actually would've saved money. The compromise cars just kept getting sold for lost money.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:52 AM   #64
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I have reached the conclusion that this forum isn't the best place for a serious car guy to talk shop. No problem.
Psst.UUCdigest at yahoo.com
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:55 PM   #65
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Hey, I'm a serious car guy. The majority of the money I "wasted" was on cars and motorcycles. I'd do it again, too!
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Old 06-30-2010, 03:33 PM   #66
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I'd be very serious about this car!
FOXNews.com - 1970 Chevelle Tops Barrett-Jackson Auction in California
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File Type: jpg chevelle_monster_397x224.jpg (45.8 KB, 286 views)
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Old 06-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #67
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I have reached the conclusion that this forum isn't the best place for a serious car guy to talk shop. No problem.
Well, you do have more serious moolah than most of us!
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:03 PM   #68
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I have reached the conclusion that this forum isn't the best place for a serious car guy to talk shop. No problem.
Great place for serious cat people though.



Oh, this too.

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Old 07-01-2010, 12:54 PM   #69
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I like cars a lot. Even subscribe to 4 different magazines on the subject (Car & Driver, Automobile, Motor Trend and Road & Track... hey, all 4 combined cost me $32 a year!). Where I come from (Argentina) a 2.0 Liter engine is consider huge. A 4.5 Liter V8 (the displacement and engine type of the first behemoth/car I ever had here in the US, a '91 Cadillac STS that left me stranded every other week) would simply be considered obscene. Diesels abound, 4-cylinders are the norm, and an automatic transmission is considered a luxury. AC is optional, of course. And a Honda Accord might cost you around 70K US. So, as you can imagine, when I came to the US and saw Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces in every corner (well, at least here in South FL, where BMW's and Audi's are driven by clueless 17-year-olds with delusions of grandeur... and huge amounts of credit card debt already), I was shocked.

I currently drive an 99 Acura TL. Got it used and paid cash for it around 2005. I negotiated the price from 14K down to exactly $10,068. I love it, and it has served me well, even though it now needs a serious paint-job (that I doubt I'll ever pay for, since it is merely a cosmetic issue). I consider Acuras (specially the old ones, all the way to around 2007) the "thinking man's luxury/sports car". There are far better cars out there, sportier, nicer, faster, fancier, etc. But none of them achieve such a nice balance between reliability, sportiness, luxury (this '99 model even came with seat warmers, variable valve timing, and a navigation system), efficiency (I still get around 30 mpg on the highway, even with 140K miles on the odometer!) and resale value. A similar BMW (which I respect and like, but would never buy), with the SAME features, etc, would cost at least 10K MORE. In other words, in my opinion, my TL is all the car I can possibly need, and then more.

I always dreamed of a Maserati. My all time favorite car is the Gran Turismo, for example. I was hoping to replace my Acura (again, now that it has 140K miles on it...) for a newer, similar model (not for the Maserati, mind you!) but decided to wait and drive it until it basically dies. I pay next to nothing in insurance, and generally around $70 a month in gas, period. If I use it only to go to work, an entire tank worth around $42 will last me a full month. Repairs are few and far between (knock on wood!) beyond the usual oil change and maintenance. The only mayor one was a transmission replacement that cost 2.2K about 2 years ago, paid for in cash. But lately, perhaps because I am now a married man, I began to loose interest in cars. I feel much better this way. I now see cars for what they truly are: depreciating assets, fashion statements, status symbols, etc... that take you from point A to B and sometimes (a LOT of times!) can become horrible money-pits (like my old Cadillac).

My advice, then? Skipp the BMW. And if you REALLY want it, and since you are still young, get perhaps a slightly older one in good shape (a 2004 325 is a great car!) and pay cash for it (which will lower your insurance premiums, as well... and at your age, the savings can be significant) and always remember to maintain it properly and know that things will break and fail, and none of them will be cheap in a BMW. So keep an emergency/repair fund ready! If you do get it, and as far as you can afford it while LBYM, ENJOY IT! Good luck!
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:04 PM   #70
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Hey, I'm a serious car guy. The majority of the money I "wasted" was on cars and motorcycles. I'd do it again, too!
Hey, if you can afford it and you enjoy it, why not?
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:03 PM   #71
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Just seeing it's a BMW you're interested in. Son (very fiscally responsible in all other areas ) bought one last summer. It makes him happy and it didn't interfere with his savings schedule.
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:30 PM   #72
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Karloff....

Try a Caddy with a 7.7 liter!!! (I might be off a bit in the calculation... IIRC it was a 472ci)... it was my dad's car WAY back when... back when we were poor... but he got it from a customer who was rich and bought a new one every three year no matter what... so it was a great deal..

I had a 5.7 liter in my Formula...

But yea... we are spoiled here... while in the UK I saw commercials from Honda trying to get you to buy the car (their Accord) with the 'more powerful 1.8 liter)... don't know what the base was... (think Acura TS in size)...

I agree with the Acura... I got a 2004, but bought new... mechanically has only had oil changes... but has only 30K miles... 6 speed manual... nice.. now, I have had the windshield changed as it got a crack in the firs 100 miles... My wife hit it with her SUV... and now I have a problem with the inside handle on the passenger side which I THINK the people who did the work on the body did... otherwise... a great car...

Your transmission was a known defect in those model years... probably to late, but Acura was paying for getting them fixed if you made a stink about it... one guy I know has had 4 now... all paid by Acura...
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Old 07-01-2010, 04:39 PM   #73
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Your transmission was a known defect in those model years... probably to late, but Acura was paying for getting them fixed if you made a stink about it... one guy I know has had 4 now... all paid by Acura...
Yes, I'm afraid that was the only weak aspect of this particular model. Luckily, mine is the old 4-speed version. After the 2000 model year, Acura went to 5-speed, and the problem got worse. Supposedly, it was corrected for the 2004 re-design. Unfortunately, I had to pay for my new transmission because the problem occurred when the car was already out of warranty and with about 110K miles on it. When you keep that number in mind, and the fact that it still has lots of power with 140K miles today, you realize how good of a car it actually is.

And we still have those commercials you describe in Argentina! A 2.4 Acura TSX would be overkill there. My father drives a 1.6 Citroen. My mom a 1.4 Chevy. I would be the talk of the neighborhood down there with my 11-year-old 3.2 TL!
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:24 PM   #74
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We are on our 3rd used beemer. My excuse is that dw loves the solid ride. It is one of the few extravagances in our lbym lives.
You'd better have the equivalent of your car payment ($250 per month) in your budget. When the $100+ oil change, $1000 leaks, $500 worn bushings come along, you will need it. ... not to mention the extra car insurance payment.
If that doesn't bother you then go ahead. It's a well made piece of transportation.

Best of luck on your decision.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:45 PM   #75
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I'm getting side tracked. I have wanted to own a certain type of car for years now and I am now at the point in which between my trade in value and low interest loan, I can get it for about $250 per month. I have dreamed of owning one of these for years (did I mention that). It is used but in great condition (30k miles).

Obvious problem, that is $250/month not going toward FIRE. How do you balance the want in life with FIRE? Right now I'm having a hard time saying "no" to myself, so maybe I'm looking for a reality check here.
I financed a $30,000 car when I was your age. Probably the worst financial decision i've ever made. Buy used and only buy what you can pay cash for.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:13 PM   #76
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I'm getting side tracked. I have wanted to own a certain type of car for years now and I am now at the point in which between my trade in value and low interest loan, I can get it for about $250 per month. I have dreamed of owning one of these for years (did I mention that). It is used but in great condition (30k miles).

Obvious problem, that is $250/month not going toward FIRE. How do you balance the want in life with FIRE? Right now I'm having a hard time saying "no" to myself, so maybe I'm looking for a reality check here.
So, you can get it for $250 per month, huh? Man, the car salespeople just love that kind of thinking. They make their living off of people who buy cars according to how much they can afford to pay each month.

What is the price of the car? What is the average book value looking at 2 or more web auto sites like Kelly Blue Book (kbb.com)?

How many years are you going to finance the car for? 2? 3? 5? 6? Will the car still be running when the loan is paid off?

Where are you financing? On the lot? Bank? credit union?

What interest rate are you paying?

Have you called your insurance agent yet to find out what your new insurance premium will be?

Really need more info before we can give you an intelligent answer. The art of buying cars is something every young person needs to study seriously before they embark on a lifetime of expensive bad decisions. One of the best lessons my father ever taught me.
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Old 07-14-2010, 12:07 PM   #77
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Sadly, the military has traditionally been full of people with fancy cars and zero (or negative) net worth.

I don't know whether the enjoyment you will get from the car is worth the money. But I do endorse the advice of others that if you can't pay cash, save until you can afford to do so. Financing consumer items is both an unnecessary expense and a bad habit to get into.

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I own 4 Bimmers. Fantastic autos-the driving experience is much superior to North American built cars.
We all have our toys; and if cars are it for you, that's fine. But "the driving experience"?! Methinks you've drunk the marketing Koolaid.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:09 PM   #78
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... It is a 2007 BMW 3 series...

Thanks again!
Tell me it's an M3 and I'll give you the green light...
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:38 PM   #79
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It's a well made piece of transportation.
Depends on what you mean by "well-made". Highly engineered and a pleasure to drive, certainly, but a well-made car doesn't need $500 suspension jobs. I regularly keep Japanese cars to 140,000 miles or more and I am disapppointed if I need to change so much as a pair of shock absorbers in that time.

I have a list of great cars which I would like somebody else to pay for. BMW is on there, along with Alfa Romeo and Peugeot. Heck, when I rent a car, I smile when they tell me I'm getting a Ford (European Ford, that is); they're a pleasure to drive. But with my own money? Right now I have a 10-year-old Mazda, a 9-year-old Nissan, and a brand new Hyundai (5 year warranty).
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Old 07-22-2010, 11:20 AM   #80
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It depends where your priorities lie, but let me tell you as a previous owner of a used luxury car (2002 Mercedes E320), be prepared for a substantially bigger impact on your budget and FI goals than just that innocent 250 a month. You should also consider the hidden opportunity costs of repair/maintenance, premium fuel usage and low fuel efficiency, higher insurance premiums, and (when financing used vs. new) higher interest rates on used car loans.

With today's record low interest rates and incentives on new vehicles, you could be driving a brand new car with warranty for that same $250 a month.

That's what I'm doing. I recently purchased a new Honda Civic Hybrid with 10,000 from the Merc and some cash down (so I financed about 15,000). My payment is exactly 261 a month with 0.9% financing--the Merc loan was similar at 264 a month, but at 6.9%!

Insurance on the brand new car was $60 LESS per year than the nine year old Merc.

Gas costs have been cut in half, as I now get 50+ mpg on regular unleaded versus about 25 on premium gas. (especially important given my 70+ mile daily commute)

But the NUMBER ONE thing that swayed my decision was the warranty, and thus decrease in maintenance costs over time. Once you put up your first $350 or so to the mechanic for something stupid like a window regulator (as I did within three months of ownership), you'll understand the downside of an out-of-warranty German luxury car.

In my new car I will enjoy a 6 yr/100,000 mi warranty, so my expected maintenance and upkeep costs for that time? Hopefully, zip! Whereas I could foresee that Merc costing me $6000+ to maintain for the same timeframe! And I expect the Honda will offer reliability and cheaper repair costs even after warranty. I figure as long as I keep the vehicle for at least ten years, I can obtain enough value to make the purchase worthwhile.

On the other side of the coin, though, I have to say the Merc was my "dream car" also, when I purchased it. And man, it WAS pretty gratifying. For me I loved the car's appearance, thought it was the best looking thing on the market, and it definitely made me feel good to be in that car, I admit it! But to me, I've decided I value other things more than having a stylish/powerful car, and I'd rather have all the additional money it cost going somewhere else. Again, it depends on your priorities. If you really love driving, maybe the personal value you get from a luxury car is greater. To me driving is just getting point A to point B safely and efficiently.

Just some things I considered, maybe they'll help you.
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