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Beaters Out Of Choice, Not Necessity

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  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,178
    Oh, I KNOW the Northstar is a lot of fun as I've had two Northstar-equipped Cadillacs - a 2002 Seville STS and a 2007 DTS Performance. I think the issues are with earlier Northstars. I recall there was a lower block seal that would go bad and cause oil leaks ranging from a little seepage to gushing out. The part cost about $44, but the labor would be about $2K as the engine had to be pulled and taken apart to replace it. I believe the seal and head gasket issues were resolved in later cars.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited September 2012
    Drove down to Lower Michigan a week ago and it rained most of the day. Stopped to get gas and noticed that the driver's side floorboard was soaking wet and water was dripping down around the brake pedal. Told my wife this may be it - heater cores are expensive to replace.

    The water didn't feel oily and my wife is sensitive to smells and she would have noticed long before the carpet got soaked if the coolant was leaking into the car.

    I think stopping to get gas moved water in the cowl over to a low spot or something. Got to the campground and borrowed a fan and the carpet was dry by the morning.

    Rained again last Friday heading back north and got a couple of ounces on the floor. Guess I'll try to find the clog this week. The in-cabin filter is relatively new so will be surprised if it's clogged. It's also odd since the van is parked in the garage most of the time. We do have chipmunks.... :confuse:

    Rolled over 179,000 miles and really want to see 200k, but the years are taking their toll at this point. The move to salt country isn't helping.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Let us know what happens next.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited September 2012
    No hurry; it's a beater and not a commuter, after all. Plus we hit a cold snap and my garage isn't heated. Maybe next week. ;)

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  • berriberri Posts: 4,201
    Had that happen in a 2000 Taurus. Ended up that the technician who replaced the cabin filter screwed up the outside air cabin intake in front of the windshield while removing and replacing the filter. Once they fixed that cowling or whatever it was called, it was fine.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    Well, the last tech who replaced the in-cabin filter was me. :blush: I've had the cowl off several times but I bet I did mess something up. That should be easier to fix that trying to find a clogged drain hole.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    "Rolled over 179,000 miles and really want to see 200k, but the years are taking their toll at this point."

    Of course age matters, but 200,000 is the new 100,000. In the spirit of beaters by choice, your van can do it.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited September 2012
    Yeah, but I think the odds would be better if the van still lived in the high desert, not in the salt flats of Michigan. :)

    Ruking1 is right in there with me with 178k on his VW Jetta TDi. He drives more than we do so he'll get to 200k a year earlier that we will. And his mpg is twice as good as ours too.

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,353
    My daughter's Celica has 178K on it so we have a race going...... I just spent a fortune on brake work for it but where else I'm gonna find a basically good car for $1,000? She's back on the road.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,178
    "...where else I'm gonna find a basically good car for $1,000?"

    image

    These guys can send you back in time about 30-35 years and you'll find one! :P
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,353
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    Beats me. :D

    Took the cowl off and there wasn't much of anything in the way of debris in there. Didn't pull out the in-cabin filter but it looked like it was fitting well and didn't look particularly dirty. Plus it's all the way to the passenger side and my leak is right at the brake pedal.

    I poured a couple of cups of water into the area while the cowl was off and the water drained out quickly through the front fender area.

    So, I screwed everything back together and in keeping with my long maintenance tradition, I'm going to ignore it until I can't.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    That's a comment from a WSJ article titled For Some of Us, We Are What We Drive.

    Another commenter talked about falling out of his chair after totaling up ten years of driving expenses.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,997
    A little over 3 weeks ago, I bought a new Dodge Ram. We used my uncle's '97 Silverado, which was fast becoming a beater itself, as a trade-in, so it hasn't replaced any of my vehicles. Yet, at least. Eventually I think my '85 Silverado will succumb to something, but it seems to be holding on. And I'm holding onto it as a work truck, because, well, the new one is too purty to dirty up! :blush:

    Originally, I thought about just driving it till it drops, but then the more I thought about it, as little as I drive these days, it probably won't have 35,000 miles on it by the time the 5 year powertrain warranty is up Heck, it might not even need any maintenance in that time, other than oil changes and a couple air filters and, at the worst, front brake pads. So, I wonder if it might be a good idea to trade it around that time, and get into something brand-new again, with a warranty? With only around 35K on it, it should have pretty good trade-in value, even for a Dodge! :P So, that'll be a bigger down payment, so that whatever replaces it won't cost all that much.

    But, I'll just see what happens when the time comes. A lot can happen between now and then.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    "Whenever a new part—like that gas-pedal hinge—is designed, the first question an engineer must ask is, how long does it need to last? Ford’s standard warranty guarantees all parts for three years and engines and transmissions for six. But Ford wants to be sure its products last longer than this. To ensure that parts easily surpass warranty claims (and hopefully ensure that buyers feel they own a reliable product), Ford aims to have everything last 10 years. Upholstery, transmissions, paint—all of it is built to last at least a decade. Ford has not only constructed nearly all of its elaborate lab testing around the 10-year mark, it has also built tracks that are designed to, over a number of runs, roughly simulate a decade of regular driving."

    Why Things Fail: From Tires to Helicopter Blades, Everything Breaks Eventually (Wired)

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    "People who keep a vehicle for more than 10 years tend to value comfort, reliability and security. "They're more likely to garden and go to coffee shops," he says, "and do home DIY projects." They're more likely than the average consumer to have libertarian political views, he says, and have little interest in luxury features—unless they have a practical purpose."

    Breaking Up With a Broken-Down Car Is Hard to Do (WSJ)

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,631
    Except for the part about coffee shops (espresso Junkie) none of that description fits me nor does it make sense, if comfort reliability and security is that important why would you drive a ten y/o car, shouldn't you be in something new?

    For the record I have two cars, one is 13 the other is 12, I'm a liberal, don't garden or DIY much and value performance style and bang for the buck more than comfort or security.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited March 2013
    Well, if your current ride never breaks down, why take a risk on a new lemon?

    I love coffee shops - not the Starbucks kind of places as much as the diners though. Around here I can get a good breakfast for what a triple shot caramel macchiato would cost at 'bucks.

    Liberals don't like cars and certainly wouldn't have more than one (remember your slotting LOL).

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    I mean jeeze, only 13 years old and 182,000 miles. Just quit without warning. Who do I sue?

    image

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,397
    Oh, man. I bet you never buy nissan again! What a POS!

    ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,997
    I know that, for the most part, it's a thing of the past, but in the past couple days, I noticed a few oddities that were showing some serious rust. The first was a Buick Century, of 1997-2004 vintage, that looked good for the most part, but the rocker panel on the passenger side appeared to be mostly rust.

    Then, on the way to work this morning, I spotted a 1995-99 era Nissan Maxima that had some pretty serious rot in the rear right quarter panel.

    Now, to be fair, these are cars that could be as old as 16-18 model years! Still, the rust-out just seems so out-of-place on a car that still looks modern.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    So, you gonna repair or replace, steve?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    My guess is that it's the timing belt, but I suppose it could be the fuel pump or something else. My mechanic has it and it'll be a while before he gets to it.

    Will likely get it fixed - told my sister on the phone a few minutes ago that I planned to drive it another ten years. My wife was rolling her eyes during the call. :D

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    If it's the timing belt I hope your Quest doesn't have an interference engine.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited April 2013
    Nope; otherwise I would have replaced it at 105k. I did the one in the Outback a few years ago; was well under the recommenced miles but over the time limit. That's a nasty one when it breaks.

    It's funny that the "same" engines in the Pathfinders of that era were interference, but Ford made Nissan make some changes when they did the Villager/Quest joint venture.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    Don't even know who this guy is but I like his ride.

    Alfred Morris Won’t Give Up His ‘Bentley’ (redskins.com)

    Initial report is that it's the timing belt on my van. $400 off the cuff estimate. Going to swing by the shop tomorrow and see about doing the water pump as well and rotate the tires. Would like to drive it to Chicago in a week but I doubt that it'll be ready in time. Oh well, the Subaru will be easier to park in town there and will get a bit better gas mileage. Just not as comfortable driving it all day.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    Final bill was $575, including the $50 tow. That includes a new water pump.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,764
    edited June 2013
    image

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,766
    You're in LA now? Also, wash that thing :P
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,997
    A few years ago, somebody put one of those "junk cars hauled away free" signs on one of the telephone poles out in front of my yard. I always wondered if it was coincidental, or if they were trying to give me a hint!
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