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Buying American Cars What Does It Mean?

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    I can easily change the oil in the Wrangler, '02, and X3 without raising them an inch. On the ti I raise up the right side with my floor jack and stick a piece of 4X4 under the RF wheel. That gives me enough room to get under the car and pull the drain plug. I then lower it and let the oil drain- repeating the procedure to refit the plug.

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

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited September 2013
    "Let me see-
    My 1993 Taurus went 325000 miles before I gave it up. It drove to the scrap yard, and the kid there took one look at it and bought it for himself.
    My 2000 Intrepid has 175000 miles now. I just spent(happily) $1200 on needed repairs this Summer. The old girl still gets 30 mpg every day I drive her. A great comfortable commuter.
    I have done absolutely no repairs to my 2007 Focus. 130000 miles. Just tires, brakes and oil changes.
    Would I buy another domestic sedan?
    Why not?"

    I don't think anyone would consider what you've experienced anything less than a personal success story. In your case, I'd be asking the very same question..."Why not?"

    But, there are a few caveats to consider.

    As an example, Volvo has created a "high mileage club" for owners of Volvos that have attained mileage amounts comparable or in excess to what you have done. However, I doubt the average Volvo owner would reasonably expect 250K trouble-free miles, even with the appropriate maintenance performed.

    IMO, you attained your mileage levels because of the way you treated your vehicles, rather than getting it because of the way your vehicles treated you.

    As a side note, my BIL just crossed the 275K mile mark in his 2000 Buick. If you asked him, he'd tell you the car has been a trouble-free car, but he has a tendency to forget the number of times he's been stranded on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck. The last time he visited us, the car had 2" of water in the floorboard, due to a non-draining A/C evaporator. To him, that wasn't anything to be concerned about. He borrowed my drill and punched a few holes in the floorboard. He was in a work car pool until the other 3 riders kicked him out, due to the lack of reliability of his chosen vehicle.

    I'm not suggesting you're anything like him, or that your experience is anything other than exactly what you described. Still, excessively high mileage figures on any make are usually far more anecdotal than an expected reality for most owners.

    The point is that, given the proper maintenance, just about any modern car can run unlimited mileage. Overall, the thing that once spelled doom for an automobile (rust) is nowhere near the issue it once was, and the mechanicals can be maintained indefinitely. I suspect the new "killer" of modern autos is going to be the electronics, or rather the long-term availability of replacement electronic parts...
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,993
    Yep, I also believe for proper oil drainage the car must be perfectly flat, if not level. :-) I think I'd trust my Chinese floor jacks more than a 4x4 though.

    My CJ-5 was easy too. I even pulled the gas tank one time by just crawling under.

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

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I cannot imagine owning a vehicle with 200k miles or more. I made the mistake of buying a 1999 Ford Ranger V6 FFV with 106k miles on it. Seemed ok driving around the block. We live in the hills and that was a totally gutless pig. At 114k the engine gave up and I traded it on a used Nissan Frontier which is 10 times the truck that Ranger was. No better mileage. Both were lucky to get 17 MPG. Just NO Substitute for a diesel engine.
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    This guy proved high mileage can be done...

    http://autos.yahoo.com/news/the-first-car-to-3-million-miles-.html

    Although, if he really did have all the maintenance done, especially by a 3rd party, there's no telling how many new Volvos he could have driven for the same $$$...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Those are one of the few Volvos that had any real style. Keeping a classic like that up and running is commendable. I have been driving 54 years and don't think I am even close to a million miles. That is way too much driving for me to think about. That would be 150+ miles per day every day for 54 years. No thanks.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,287
    Every car in the RB garage has over 100k on the clock except for my wife's car. We drove the 2004 X3 to church today; at 156k it is still tight and rattle-free. The last used oil analysis indicated that the engine was in excellent condition, so I'm confident that it will serve us well for several more years.

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

  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    gagrice said: "I cannot imagine owning a vehicle with 200k miles or more."

    It is kind of a problem when you have a great Japanese brand such as Honda or Nissan. When you get near or over 200K and everything is fine and you like your car, you look for excuses to get rid of it and buy a new car. Probably boredom and looking for something different.

    We finally got rid of a 247K Honda, a 195K Honda, and a 191K Nissan when we got bored and wanted something more current in style, features, etc. and ended up with what? Another Japanese brand. Maybe American brands will be tempt us what with Cadillac and Chevrolet having some interesting offerings. Question remains about reliability.
  • steine13steine13 Posts: 2,411
    >> Yep, I'd just as soon not fool with jacks or jack stands.

    Amen to that!

    I changed the oil today on our minivan and used ramps and was thinking, I'll not do the jackstand thing again if I can help it. Somehow when I was in my 20s it didn't bother me, but I *hate* getting under a car. Ramps I trust. Especially the steel kind...

    Must be getting old.

    Cheers -Mathias
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    It is kind of a problem when you have a great Japanese brand such as Honda or Nissan. When you get near or over 200K and everything is fine and you like your car, you look for excuses to get rid of it and buy a new car. Probably boredom and looking for something different.

    Or you have a Japanese vehicle that was out dated technology wise when you bought it new. Our 07 Sequoia has a lot of good characteristics, such as comfort, roominess, reliability. What it has always lacked is handling, fuel economy and decent electronics. It was my first experience with a NAV. I expected it to be at least close to up to date. When I realized freeways that were at least 3 years old that did not exist. I looked at the DVD that has all the maps. It has a 2005 copyright. Hmmm I have a 2007 top of the line limited Toyota with a 3 year old map DVD. When I mentioned to the service guy he was like whatever. Should be a new one soon. Well soon came in 2009 when they had an updated DVD that they offered me for $500. By then I was using a handheld that was better and cost under $200. The Nav also went dead in 2009 and took months for Toyota to get a new one from India. As a purely people hauler heavy duty vehicle it is fine. I am glad to be rid of it. More than likely my last Japanese vehicle.

    If I am ready to update my PU within the next few years I will look at the Ram diesel. Maybe some other domestic diesels will be available.

    I really do not see the attraction to Honda. Having rented a 2010 Accord for two weeks and ridden in a friends CRV, they are not anything I would consider buying.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    edited September 2013
    I'd have no problem OWNING a car with over 200K on it, I'd just have a problem giving you more than $500 for it.

    MODERATOR

  • ohenryxohenryx Posts: 285
    I changed the oil today on our minivan and used ramps and was thinking, I'll not do the jackstand thing again if I can help it. Somehow when I was in my 20s it didn't bother me, but I *hate* getting under a car. Ramps I trust. Especially the steel kind...

    I seem to be missing something here. What's the problem with jack stands? Floor jacks, yes, absolutely, I understand not wanting to get under a car / truck supported only by a floor jack. But I've never seen nor heard of a jack stand collapsing.
  • are deadly. I put my faith in a good set of jack stands, properly installed on a solid level surface. Jacking a car up and putting blocks under the tires is another safer alternative. I do this when I really have to get it high up.
    One day I am going to splurge on a small garage lift. There are several inexpensive models available. I just need to do something with the low roof.
  • I traded a couple posts with you on the Intrepid forum. It has since degenerated into a complaint board where people who bought a old used car complain about it. Very few original owners left.
  • Buying a car, and driving it well past the last payment provides the most cost effective ownership experience. I maintain my vehicles, and I try to be proactive with repairs. Any vehicle regardless of age or mileage can break down- just go to any new car dealership and watch what comes into the service dept. I commute 100+ miles a day, so reliability is critical to me. Tires and brakes etc are consumables regardless whether your car is three or thirteen years old. This summer I put an alternator, a/c compressor, front struts, tie rods, sway bar bushings-front and back, and an exhaust on my 14 yr old car. Plus a couple small items. The total was less than 4 months new car payment.....a reasonable risk. The biggest chunk I have spent at any one time as well.
    Rust is still the big killer of autos where I live-the salt used in winter rots everything. The old Dodge is starting to go underneath and at a couple other spots-I will keep an eye out, and retire her when it comes time.
    Two more years please???
    PS to keep on topic(kinda)-parts for "American Cars" are cheap and readily available. A friend of mine recently bought an "Un-american car" for his wife.....Range Rover (used). Enuff said........
  • certainly means less today than ever. Cars are produced globally out of globally sourced parts. There is less difference today than ever wrt build quality, parts quality etc than ever before. I would happily buy a "domestic" car or an "import". It all depends on the particular car, price etc..
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I have tried over the last 40 years to buy vehicles built in USA. Most of the domestic trucks were built in Canada or Mexico. The only one a 2005 GMC Sierra Hybrid was USA built and not as well assembled as the foreign assembled ones. 2007 I bought a Sequoia that was 60% US made and better built than the GMC. The 2008 Nissan Frontier 55% US made also much better than the Ford Ranger it replaced. This time I was determined to get a diesel SUV and ended up with one totally made from foreign parts. I will keep everyone posted on how well it does.

    For 2014 the top selling GM vehicles the Sierra and Silverado are down to 40% US content and 51% Mexican. With final assembly both US & M. Our tax dollars at work in Mexico. The 2013 Sierra and Silverado were both 67% US and 29% Mexican made.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    Did you do a lot of that work yourself? The last major expense I had on my 2000 Intrepid was when the a/c compressor seized up, and ended up contaminating the whole system. It was my own fault, as I knew it was low on Freon. I was trying to hold off until warmer weather to get it fixed, but one winter morning, picking up a friend from the airport, and running the defroster, it seized up about a half mile from home.

    That bill was $1300...about 4 months of car payments right there!

    Kinda sad that the Intrepid forum has degenerated like that. But, considering the last LH rolled off the assembly line sometime in September 2003, I guess it was destiny. Funny thing is, after I bought the Park Ave, I never really frequented the Park Ave forum on Edmund's. I guess I just didn't bond with this car the way I did the old Trep!

    Last year I bought a 2012 Ram, and I don't think I've even set foot in a Dodge Ram forum on Edmund's. And they say pickup buyers are the most fiercely loyal of all! :-/
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    Mr Shift states: "I'd have no problem OWNING a car with over 200K on it, I'd just have a problem giving you more than $500 for it."

    Got $1000 cash for the 14-year old Honda with 247K on it after putting in an ad in a newspaper.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    Well that's a fair enough price really for anything that can drive around the block.

    MODERATOR

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