Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Go Green By Driving It 'Til The Wheels Fall Off

11517192021

Comments

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    Fishing in the wrong pond again? Just like me. :shades:

    I posted elsewhere about getting a flat on the interstate last week in the '97 Outback. A new car with TPMS technology would have let me safely exit, and perhaps I wouldn't have ruined yet another tire like I did last September on the van.

    More than two airbags would be nice too.

    But geeze, I just rolled over 86,000 miles with it this trip. Be a shame to retire it.

    Was looking at the gas logs too - last year I filled up the Outback 12 times, about once a month. Already filled it up six times this year. What a difference a road trip makes.

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

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    edited January 2012
    I posted elsewhere about getting a flat on the interstate last week in the '97 Outback. A new car with TPMS technology would have let me safely exit, and perhaps I wouldn't have ruined yet another tire like I did last September on the van.

    Well, provided something didn't break in the TPMS system. My buddy's 2006 Xterra, with about 85,000 miles on it, has had two sensors in that system replaced. Fortunately, when they fail, they've (so far) triggered the idiot light, letting you know something is up.

    But, I guess that can be dangerous too. As the vehicle ages, I can see someone getting tired of replacing those sensors and just leaving them alone. Or, after having the system cry wolf a few times, they might think it's just another sensor going bad when this time it really is a tire going flat!

    Oh, as for dumping a beater, I am thinking that 2012 might be the year to finally retire my aging Silverado. It ain't looking so great, these days...
    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    edited January 2012
    Heh, that looks like every other truck here in the UP.

    The other half are F-150s that look just like that. ;)

    Those sensors aren't cheap and on some, when the batteries fail after ~5 years, you have to buy a whole new sensor.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Twelve times in a year! That's amazing. I was marveling just last night that my gauge in the Escort was only at 50%, with nearly 200 miles on the trip, and I had not filled up since Monday, 1/16. I generally fill it weekly. Sometimes, I even re-plan my day if my miles are too high and I am otherwise not likely to make it a week.

    Of course, part of the reason for that is my having to drive the plow truck ('76 F250) into town a couple days ago, which more than made up for the fuel savings on the Escort. :blush:
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    We really should just go back to one car. If the van did better in the snow we might do that. Guess I could get some wheels and some dedicated snows for it. It's more comfortable to ride around in, but the miles on it are getting up there.

    With old cars, having a spare can be handy. So long as you don't get too carried away like Andre, LOL.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Thanks, Steve. It was gracious of you not to use me as the example. :blush:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,806
    That rear wheel is a nice touch :P
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Another problem is the HVAC controls - a notorious problem. The air only wants to blow out the defroster vents.

    Its the vacuum solenoids in the control head. Specifically the "o" rings aren't sealing any longer. If you are handy I bet you could do it yourself.

    Pretty good explanation: Click Here

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    Isn't that one of your Catalina's wheels on the left rear? Look how much smaller that tire is compared to the front.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Yeah, I took that pic back in late September, I think. My roommate had driven the truck to work but got a sharp piece of metal stuck in the tire. Unfortunately, the bracket that holds the spare in place under the truck was rusted in place. Spare was flat anyway, so that was a moot point!

    So, to get the tuck home, I pulled one of the wheels off the Catalina, which uses the same 5-on-5 bolt pattern.

    I think the front tire on that truck is a 255/70/R15, and it's mounted on an extra-wide 15x8" truck rally wheel. In comparison, the Catalina rally wheel is a comparatively petite 15x7", and the tire is a 225/70/R15.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    edited January 2012
    Optical illusion! :P

    No, I seem to recall Andre relating on another thread that he had a flat and went through quite an adventure getting it home.

    Oops! He beat me to the punch. :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Well a couple of weeks living with my TPMS might cure your lust. They can be *fussy*. I'd recommend buying a scanner for resetting the code. Sometimes any little thing sets the sensors off.

    But you were smart to get off the freeway. A tire is a small price to pay for your life.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    edited January 2012
    Well, yeah, but first I had to put the compact spare on the Subie before I could get off the interstate. The truckers were great; must have been chatting to each other for miles behind me. Traffic wasn't all that heavy but every truck passed in the far left lane.

    Friend of ours back in Boise got hit by a sleepy Prime trucker changing a flat 12 or 15 years ago, and it wasn't pretty. Long recovery. Prime had a pretty bad reputation but that was a bankruptcy or two ago.

    After I got the spare on I exited at the next exit for the last two hours of the drive.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    I finally found out the approx. cost in energy to build a new car...figure about 50 barrels of oil (smaller cars somewhat less). So industry standards say that there are roughly 19.5 gallons of gasoline in a barrel of oil.

    So, very roughly speaking, it costs 1000 gallons of gasoline to build your new car.

    So if you buy a new car that gets 45 mpg to replace your old "gas hog" that got 25, and you drove 12,000 miles a year, you'd have to drive the new car 5 years to break even on your energy consumption.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Awwww... seeing your truck just brings back memories of my '82. Same exact paint scheme, although mine was a GMC. Loaded as it could be for '82 but minus the rust. On it's third motor by the time I got rid of it. It was a franken-motor with a 76 block from a junkyard Blazer, original 82 exhaust manifolds and 86 heads and manifold and carb configuration. On top of that was a propane conversion carb and propane tank in the back since it was a farm truck and propane was ultra cheap.

    Body never rusted, but I hit a telephone pole and crunched a fender (but not bad enough to really replace), had the front bumper torn partway off being yanked out of the mud, 4 different sized tires on it and a sagging rear suspension. Top it off with no mufflers (just a couple of pipes that were cut off just behind the cab and it was a hell of a beast to look at and hear coming down the road. But it's my favorite vehicle I have ever owned. It had probably close to 200K on it when I left home and left it behind.

    Your's is nice (except for the rust spots) compared to what mine looked like... I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it somewhere...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Your's is nice (except for the rust spots) compared to what mine looked like... I'll have to see if I can find a picture of it somewhere...

    Well, mine looks nicer in pics than it does in person! It has a big dent in the passenger side door where it looks like someone kicked it in, and the rust is actually worse on that side. :blush:

    I'm not sure how, exactly, the rear bumper got that bend in it. I had gotten rear-ended twice in late 2006. First was a hard hit from a 2000 Infiniti I30 (or I35, or whatever they called the Infiniti version of the Maxima). Here's a pic I took of it, after that impact...
    image

    The bumper itself didn't seem to get bent, but the brackets mounting it to the frame did. The repair shop replaced everything, and it was about $350, paid for by the other person's insurance company. As for the Infiniti? Headlights smashed out, hood pushed back, radiator appeared to be pushed back at an angle. Grille was gone. I don't remember if the fenders got bent or not. It didn't deploy her airbags. I'd guess the damage could have been an easy $5,000 or more...it doesn't take much to rack up big bills on modern cars.

    Well, about a month or so after that little misadventure, a girl in a 2003 or so Hyundai Elantra ran up under my bumper in a traffic jam in DC. The light was green, but traffic was gridlocked, so there was really nowhere to go. However, as traffic inched forward, I let off the brake, let it idle forward, and then when I stopped, happened to look back and see this Hyundai wedged under there. She had tried to change lanes, I guess because she thought the other lane would move more quickly, but was too close to complete the maneuver and hit my bumper when I stopped. And, you know what she had the nerve to say to me? "Why did you stop at a green light?!" Umm, because traffic was GRIDLOCKED?!

    That impact bent the edge of the bumper. Got it fixed, but then a couple months later, I happened to notice it bent again. I'm guessing someone backed into it in a parking lot somewhere. That time, I just left it alone.

    Anyway though, the old beast is still kicking. I drove it to work every day this week. It started every single time, never stalled out, and nothing fell off of it, so I guess it's not time to put a bullet in it just yet!
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I don't have a picture (only because they are in a box that is probably buried under another box which is behind a stack of furniture in a storage unit) but I had a similar experience. Only I cause the damage not the other way around. We were late for a football game in high school and to speed things along while I was waiting for my sister to finish gussy-ing herself up, I positioned the truck so I coudl reverse real quickly and then tear out of the driveway.

    Well I forgot that my mom had music lessons (why I forgot I don't know because she taught music lessons every day) and forgot there was another car parked in our driveway. I jammed the truck into reverse and floored the pedal. Ad mist the spraying gravel I failed to notice the car behind me. I crunched it right at the A-pillar. It was a Chevy Cavalier and I ended up totaling the car out. Bent the door, the fender and the frame so much it wasn't worth repairing the car. And the truck?? Wouldn't even know it had been hit, aside for the the already slightly upturned real bumper.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    A reporter is looking to hear from consumers who own "code reader" - either an app or an appliance that allows the user to tap into his/her car's diagnostic system to understand why the Check Engine light etc is on, and perhaps shut it off. If you have used one of these apps or systems and are willing to share your story with a reporter, please email PR@edmunds.com no later than Monday, March 5, 2012 with your daytime contact information.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    "As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000"

    It sounds about right to me. Do you agree?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    edited March 2012
    Might be a bit of a stretch, since most people still ditch their cars (or have them ditched for them by drunks) after about 10 years---so saying that the average american drives 20,000 miles a year isn't correct.

    I'd say 150K is the new 100K, and I'd also offer the opinion that 150K is a very good time to bail out of a car. "nice enough to sell, old enough to be risky".

    The problem with modern cars is that after 10 years, they are vastly depreciated, even though they become more expensive to repair as time goes on. This means that their market value is often more or less equal to the cost of a major repair. So if your 150K car is running well, maybe you can get $6000 for it, but as soon as the transmission goes, you lose MORE than the price of a new transmission--essentially your vehicle becomes a parts car in the snap of the fingers.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,841
    Sounds about right to me. I'm in the waning days of a 3 week road trip in my '99 minivan and have 172,000 miles on it. Back in the day, I'd be afraid to drive a ten year old car with 100k on it around the back pasture.

    My nephew's Chevy Avalanche is newer than my van, and he's got 270k on it (yeah, I'm jealous). He drives it all over and has towed a lot with it. He's not buying another one until this one dies.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    So, since you agree with Shifty, are you going to drive your minivan until it dies, or trade it shortly after you return from your road trip?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    makes sense to just drive it and when something big breaks, just walk away..presuming that the car/van is essentially worthless. And at 250K, most vehicles are essentially devoid of any significant market value anymore. So you blow the engine, you're out maybe..what...$1500 bucks? But when you blow the engine on a $10,000 German car, that hurts.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    "150K is a very good time to bail out of a car."

    That's reasonable. However, at 173,000 (by the time he returns to the UP) Host Steve is in that large grey area between 150,000-250,000. At 173,000 the condition of the vehicle, the reputation of the model for reliability (Yugo vs. Camry, to cite extremes), the owner's financial situation and how much the owner likes the vehicle vs. the desire for a different one, are among the factors to consider in deciding whether to spend as much as the value of the vehicle on a single major repair. Other factors include an owner's risk tolerance and patience, ability to perform repairs and how the vehicle will be used in the future. Since some factors are quantifiable, while others are subjective, conclusions about what to do and how much to spend will vary a lot in the 150,000-250,000 mileage range.

    Circling back to an earlier question, about whether 150,000 or 200,000 is the new 100,000, I think the risk of a vehicle dying a premature death due to an accident is not relevant, even though accident risk is mileage related.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Well accidents are relevant if you're the type of owner that has made all his decisions based on the assumption that the vehicle will last 250K miles--that is, for instance, putting lots of $$$ into the vehicle at 150K because "I intend to keep it another 10 years".

    Lots of cars...LOTS of cars, get wiped out every year by accident. Your odds of at least getting smacked are pretty good actually.

    Since most people wouldn't be carrying collision insurance on a 10 year old car with 175k on it and worth $2000--$3000 bucks, it's kind of a heart-breaker to have a perfectly good running car suddenly with a bashed in tailgate, smashed in unworkable door, etc.

    It changes the entire equation of one's lifetime goal for the vehicle.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Since most people wouldn't be carrying collision insurance on a 10 year old car with 175k on it and worth $2000--$3000 bucks, it's kind of a heart-breaker to have a perfectly good running car suddenly with a bashed in tailgate, smashed in unworkable door, etc.

    I'm thankful I still had full coverage on my 2000 Intrepid when it got wrecked. Even though I only got $2,000 for it, the full coverage was only adding about $100 per year to the insurance policy, so I figured it was worth it.

    Actually, in my case, my car might have been covered even if I didn't have full coverage. It was a victim of hit and run, which in Maryland is covered under the Uninsured Motorist portion of your insurance coverage. My '69 Dart, which just had liability, was covered by that when I got run off the road and ended up playing pole-vault with a traffic light post.

    And, it looks like I'm in line to average totaling roughly one car every 10 years. I've been driving for 25 years now (got my license in December 1986, and Mom's old car in January 1987). Totaled the Dart in 1992. Got T-boned delivering pizzas in my '86 Monte Carlo in 1998. And in 2009, my Intrepid got hit-and-runned. Actually, that's three cars in 25 years...hope that doesn't mean I'm gonna average one every EIGHT years! :surprise:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    er...maybe not Andre. The way uninsured motorist reads is that you're covered IF you can identify the hit and run driver. But if you can't, tough duck.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    er...maybe not Andre. The way uninsured motorist reads is that you're covered IF you can identify the hit and run driver. But if you can't, tough duck.

    I wonder if it's changed over the years? Back in 1992, I wasn't able to identify the truck that ran me off the road, beyond it being a dark blue 1987-91 Ford F-series. I couldn't get a license number, as it all happened too quickly. The policeman wrote up the accident as hit and run, and the insurance company paid me.

    Unfortunately, I also had the state of Maryland trying to come after me for about 4 years, in an attempt to pay for that traffic light. Even though the accident wasn't my fault, was classified as hit and run, they didn't want to hear it. Eventually they dropped it though, once they finally saw the police report.

    I guess it's possible that I just lucked out in that case, though?

    I think the full coverage portion of my insurance is actually a little cheaper on my Park Ave, so I'm probably going to keep it, for the forseeable future, at least.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    only totalled my first vehicle, and we didn't report it to the insurance company.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    My '69 Dart, which just had liability, was covered by that when I got run off the road and ended up playing pole-vault with a traffic light post.

    I wasn't so lucky with my '96 Outback. Even though I was run off the road as well and ended up with a totaled vehicle, I got nothing for it. The insurance companies wouldn't touch it through, essentially, plausible deniability. I managed to avoid contacting the other vehicle, but not keeping it on the road, so even though I tracked the other driver down and he admitted to involvement, there was no physical proof that the vehicle was involved.

    I learned my lesson on that one. If ever a situation arises again where a crash is likely inevitable, I'll take the contact first, then crash. I won't let another one go down without a fight.
Sign In or Register to comment.