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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,378
    No, I am from the Seattle area. But I'm currently living in Oakland, making me a corrupt northern Californian. We'll actually be leaving California completely in the summer. Its been pretty nice here, really, but this was always a four year deal, and that time is coming up soon.

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • dave8697dave8697 Posts: 1,498
    probably the last shoveling of the year with 52 degrees expected for saturday. My heating bills (nat gas) topped out at $145 this winter compared to twice that in recent years. No wonder the administration hates fracking. It doesn't allow enough suffering.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Lucky you, I am in San Diego and have averaged $400 per month this winter for Propane. To keep the house at a frigid 68 degrees. I could cut that in half or less with Natural Gas. It is very limited in the smaller suburbs. It is still in the 40s with daytime high in the low 50s. No jobs, No warm weather. Does not leave much enticement to live in CA.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Search YouTube for "flammable tap water" and be prepared to laugh.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,202
    It's just been an odd winter weather in many parts of the country this year. Personally, I expect the California economy to rebound down the road. The area attracts young talent and the PAC 10 universities are still excellent schools. Industry will eventually have to put the hammer down on these idiots in Congress and then I think we're in for better times presuming the federal Reserve doesn't step on it like they have too often over the past several decades. Don't let that cloudy northwest and midwest type weather bring you down - it's just an anomaly in southern CA!
  • andres3andres3 CAPosts: 5,341
    What about overloading a '95 Neon sedan? I never dared look at the weight ratings stamped on the door sides, but I'm sure there were a few trips between college and home where I had overloaded that sucker.

    I'm sure that's the reason it was a :lemon: :P . Never towed anything with it though.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,184
    I saw the James Bond classic "Goldfinger" the other day. One part of the movie shows a Lincoln Continental being put in a crusher with a dead mobster and a pallet of gold bars inside. The crushed cube is then loaded in the bed of a 1964 Ford Falcon Ranchero. I doubt a Falcon Ranchero could've carried the weight of a crushed 1962 Continental. What say ye?
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,650
    edited March 2013
    You're not suppose to notice that. I doubt the lincoln could handle a pallet of gold bars;)
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,184
    Forgot about that. That Lincoln should've been dragging its tail. So, we've got the weight of a 5,000 lb Lincoln, about 150 - 200 lbs for a dead mobster, (Mr. Solo didn't appear to be a heavy guy) and an unknown amount of weight for the gold bars and a solid oak pallet in the bed of a Falcon Ranchero. Not only that, but the Ranchero is driven by sumo-wrestler sized Oddjob. That Ranchero should've collapsed on its axles.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,998
    edited March 2013
    It's been so long since I've seen Goldfinger that I've pretty much forgotten about it, other than the little toy plane where you could see the strings holding it up and the line "I'm sure it is, dear, but you still haven't told me your name!" :P

    Just found this pic, though:
    image

    Somehow, I have trouble believing that a 1964 Continental could even be crushed down into such a tiny cube.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    That was back when they were "BUILT FORD TOUGH" :shades:

    I don't think crushing changes the weight of a vehicle.

    And a pallet of gold bars is 1000KG. a little over a ton. Or 32,151 troy oz. at todays price it would be a little over $50 million. Which would buy you about 2000 midsized American cars... :blush:
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,184
    There is a goof in the movie if you look closely. Oddjob and Mr. Solo are in a 1964 Continental, but a 1962 model goes into the crusher. They made a similar mistake in Dr. No. 007 is being chased by a 1940 LaSalle hearse but a 1939 model goes over the cliff.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    The real omission from reality was the neglect of removing the engine/transmission before crunching the car.

    There isn't much "give" in a cast-iron V-8 engine block, which is just about the size of the entire cube in the bed of the vehicle.

    Gotta remember, when you go to the movies, you should "check" reality in the theater lobby....
  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,673
    I thought I could tell the differences in cars, but how do you tell a 62 froma 64 and a 39 from 40 LaSalle???...who even knows what a Lasalle looks like at all?

    Next thing you can tell a 1916 Ford from a 1917... :P ;)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,785
    64 Lincoln is more angular than a 62.

    1917 Ford was the first year that lacked a brass radiator shell ;)
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,998
    I looked up the Dr. No LaSalle hearse on the IMCDB, and it appears they used a 1939 LaSalle funeral coach for most of the chase scenes, but whatever actually went down the embankment was a 1951 Humber Super Snipe Mk III
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    In Vanishing Point(1971) the car that rams the bulldozers is a 1967 Camaro- not a 1970 Challenger R/T.

    The 1955 Chevy driven by Bob Falfa(Harrison Ford) in American Graffiti(1973) was originally seen in Two-Lane Blacktop(1971). It had a stand-in for the drag race rollover scene, and it's extremely easy to spot- it has silver painted wheels instead of chrome reverse wheels and it only has a single exhaust. The stand-in was built for a rollover scene in Two-Lane Blacktop that was never filmed.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,794
    I tend to get bored with movies and wind up driving my wife crazy because I'll go online to IMDB and look up continuity errors for the flick we're watching. And then I'll point them out as they come up in the movie. :shades:

    There's a good article in today's Wall St. Journal about pickups - the quintessential American car.

    "Now, as for which of the American full-size trucks one should buy—Chevy, Ford or this freshly redesigned Ram—honestly, I've sort of lost count. These three companies' pickups are all amazing machines, each with a long list of sedanlike amenities to go with their heavy-lift capacity. Each is outrageously civilized and quiet, considering. Dimensionally, in price and performance, these trucks are each within whiskers of one another.

    Setting aside reliability—which U.S.-nameplate trucks have largely neutralized as an issue, anyway—Detroit's trucks feel better-rounded and more thought-through. Detroit throws everything it's got into the pickup segment, and it shows. "

    Moderator
    Need help navigating? stever@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Thumbed through the new CR today on the news rack at the drug store. Said my year Cobalt was one to avoid. I don't know how I could spend less on that car. The '05 (first year) wasn't on the 'avoid' list. I guess I forgot that old saw about 'buy the first model year, as years after that will be worse'. ;)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I predict when Dodge Ram puts out a small diesel 1/2 ton it will cut into both Ford and GM PU sales.

    Dodge’s Ram subdivision has just announced that they’ll be introducing the industry’s only light-duty diesel pickup truck beginning in the third quarter of this year. The new 2014 Ram 1500 will now be offered with a 3.0L turbocharged diesel V6.

    “Truck owners have been emphatically asking for it, and Ram will be the only manufacturer to offer a diesel powertrain in the half-ton segment with the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel,” said Fred Diaz, Ram’s CEO and president in the press release. “The half-ton truck market is incredibly competitive, and although we’re honored the Ram 1500 has received a number of prestigious awards, we cannot rest on what we have accomplished, we must keep pushing.”

    The new 3.0L V6 will be paired with Chrysler’s new TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. Specific power outputs haven’t been released. Though Chrysler promises that this new EcoDiesel V6 will provide low CO2 emissions, impressive V6 capability, and robust torque.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You seem to go out of your way to find data you think isn't true...

    Every time, too.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited March 2013
    Do you think the first model year of a new vehicle would be more reliable than later years? I think people who've been into cars for a long period of time would ask the same question. Really.

    Trust me, I notice stuff like this within thirty seconds of opening it. I think a critical mind would notice and ask this same kind of thing. But then I've worked over 30 years as an auditor, so perhaps I'm hard-wired to look for stuff like this.

    I think even thumbing through generally like I did, stuff seems all over the board. But then, I've posted that before...you know, 'the '09 and '11 are better than the '10 and '12", or 'avoid the '08, but buy the '07, 09, '10, etc.". I find that rather comical but I won't go into it all over again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Generally v1.0 has bugs and they slowly work them out.

    In other cases they might cut costs over the years and cheapen materials. That's not uncommon.

    For my older cars they've been spot-on in identifying trouble spots.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    Do you think the first model year of a new vehicle would be more reliable than later years? I think people who've been into cars for a long period of time would ask the same question. Really.

    Well, as I keep reminding people, the CR results are comparisons to other vehicles of the same age. They are more like "reliablity aging reports". The CR reliability ratings are not an absolute measure, it's more like a comparison, by year, to the competition. It's not at all hard to understand that a model might start out better than others, then degrade to worse in later years -- or vice versa.

    I don't know why that very important point is always forgotten.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    edited March 2013
    I understand that....but the info is not presented in that manner.

    It's possible an '08 Cobalt isn't a worse car than the year before or after, say...but they will actually print "Used car models to avoid...", when it may not really be any worse than consecutive model years, even if it does compare differently to all other makes in a given model year.

    I don't fault them for summarizing their findings, but I do think they take themselves verrrrryyyyy seriously in doing so and I think an open-minded look will absolutely confirm sample error--there'd have to be--but I don't believe I've ever once seen those words written there.

    Do you really not think that saying 'avoid the '09 and '11 models', for example, doesn't mean to an average reader that the '10 model is more troubleprone than the '09 and '11 same model car? Even though that's not necessarily the case, I think it's clear that is the implication.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    It's possible an '08 Cobalt isn't a worse car than the year before or after, say...but they will actually print "Used car models to avoid...", when it may not really be any worse than consecutive model years, even if it does compare differently to all other makes in a given model year.

    I agree that it can be confusing.

    Still, if a model has consistently been less reliable than others at the same age, that might be a reason to say avoid them.

    Of course since it's relative, it could also mean that those models are still pretty darn good in terms of not having many problems.

    It would be interesting if they posted absolute numbers - something like "percent of vehicles having this type of problem" or "overall average # of vehicle problems by year".

    I don't fault them for summarizing their findings, but I do think they take themselves verrrrryyyyy seriously in doing so and I think an open-minded look will absolutely confirm sample error--there'd have to be--but I don't believe I've ever once seen those words written there.

    I'm sure that even with CR, they wouldn't want to be clearer in a way that might jeopardize one of their highest-(perceived)value offerings - the annual auto ratings.

    I've never actually had a big worry about their sample error - I can agree that statistically using only CR subscribers is not the whole US population, but on the other hand, nobody has ever told me why a say, GM owner who subscribes to CR would be harsher on GM than a say, Toyota owner who subscribes to CR would be. Or that these numbers would vary between CR subscribers and non CR subscribers who own the same brands or types of vehicles.

    Do you really not think that saying 'avoid the '09 and '11 models', for example, doesn't mean to an average reader that the '10 model is more troubleprone than the '09 and '11 same model car? Even though that's not necessarily the case, I think it's clear that is the implication.

    Well, what it does say is that (in your example), the '10 model compares well to it's competition, whereas the '09 and '11 don't compare as well. So if you're buying an '09 or '11 vehicle and want better reliability than say, average, it's a valid statement (based upon their data) to say avoid some certain model of those years -- as those years aren't as good as other competitive offerings.

    But you're right, that could be due to some other models suddenly arriving on the market in a particular year that are REALLY good. So as a made-up example, if the '10 Cobalt is reliability x, and the '11 Cobalt is very similar, but a newly redesigned Corolla and Elantra come on the market in '11 and they are far more reliable than previous years, then the Cobalt could suddenly be "less reliable vs. average" in that field of vehicles, even though the absolute reliability of the Cobalt didn't really change form year to year.
  • uplanderguyuplanderguy Kent, OHPosts: 7,494
    Your points are all very well taken.

    I guess I brought it up, so shame on me! I have nothing more to add to what I've posted in the past about it, but I did think that the first-year Cobalt not being on their 'avoid' list was mildly amusing.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    It is possible that no CR subscribers owned the first year and no complaints or praises were available. Does CR ever state how many vehicles their advice is based on?

    PS
    I am not a CR fan at all.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,754
    Your points are all very well taken.

    Thanks uplander - I appreciate your posts as well. We need that critical auditor mentality here at times! And glad that your Cobalt is doing well - although with the prices you paid, I don't think GM got a lot of profit!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,998
    "Now, as for which of the American full-size trucks one should buy—Chevy, Ford or this freshly redesigned Ram—honestly, I've sort of lost count.

    I think the pickups are the last bastion of fierce brand loyalty. But, when I bought my 2012 Ram, I didn't even bother to cross-shop. I just figured that these days, they're all pretty good and even the worst of the bunch probably isn't all that bad. I preferred the style of the Ram to the Ford and Chevy/GMC, though.

    I was a bit concerned about the F-150, though, relying mainly on high-powered, high-tech V-6 engines. I thought that long-term reliability might be an issue. And with GM, if you go with a cheap truck, you still got that iffy 4-speed automatic, of which my uncle's '97 Silverado ate two.

    But, I guess the Ram is still a bit high-tech here and there. It has cylinder deactivation, where under light load it goes down to 6 cylinders. And it has a 6-speed automatic, which honestly I'm not that crazy about, because, IMO at least, it "hunts" too much.

    It'll be interesting to see where things go, now that GM is upping the ante with their redesigned and improved pickups.

    Oh, I should point out that my uncle, who is more of a Chevy man, isn't that crazy about my Ram. He doesn't like the way it rides, he says it's too cumbersome, and it sits up too high and is a bit hard to get into. I can vouch for the way it rides...IMO it is pretty rough. I wonder if they ended up making the body and frame *too* stiff?
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