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Go Green By Driving It 'Til The Wheels Fall Off

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    edited March 2012
    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?

    Sloppy reply. :-) I agree with you (or, rather the article I guess) that 200k is the new 100k.

    We like our van but if it croaks that's okay too. Certainly got out money's worth out of it. No plans to trade until we have to make that decision. Even then we may just deal with the Outback for a while.

    I would like being in a newer car with more airbags though.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    I would like being in a newer car with more airbags though.

    Just get a few more airbags in your current minivan. The cast from "The View" called. They need you to pick 'em up and drive them to the studio. :P
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    edited March 2012
    Not sure I get the reference. I transported someone's goat across town in a VW Bus one time back in the early 70s. The van is already full of flying projectiles as it is.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Not sure I get the reference.

    That was a clip from "Family Guy". And admittedly, my "airbag" comment could be taken a bit mysoginistically, so I apologize for that!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,806
    I was going to say, I used to claim my fintail had an airbag - every time I gave my sister a ride :shades:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    I was going to say, I used to claim my fintail had an airbag - every time I gave my sister a ride

    I think an older version of that type of joke was "My car has an automatic starter. It doesn't need a crank!"
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    edited July 2012
    I did a quickie road trip last Thursday on the way to a canoe camping trip and the service engine light flashed rapidly three or four times as I was going up an easy grade. We were loafing along, no AC on, and I had just cancelled the cruise control so the van wouldn't downshift going up the little hill.

    Oh oh. :blush:

    Ignored it, kept going. No more lights on the way to the put-in nor on the way back home. No easy access to a (free) code puller so I think I'll keep ignoring it until it flashes again.

    The van may be irritated with me because in addition to new shoes a while back, the Subaru got a 4 wheel brake job done a couple of weeks ago.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Might have been a misfire--a burp---

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Let us hope!

    When is the last time you put new plug wires (or plugs, for that matter) on it, Steve? If it is otherwise running well, it could just be a symptom that it might be time to check those things to make sure they aren't going to cause more frequent issues in the near future.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    I finally ran a leak-down test on my Escort a couple weeks ago, and the results pretty much confirmed what I already suspected: The rings aren't happy, and the valve seats may (?) be developing cracks.

    I almost don't even want to dig into it because I'll be thinking the whole time, "while I'm in here, I might as well do this, and that, and this, and the other, and...." The engine generally runs great aside from it continually losing power little by little. While I ran the test, there was a substantial amount of air flow from the crankcase (coming out the hose that goes (or used to go, anyway) to the PCV). All four cylinders were within a couple percent of 20% loss, according to the gauge. So, that indicates that while wear is fairly consistent, it is at the point where something needs to be done.

    I was thinking I would get a rebuilt head (save me quite a bit of time and not really cost much more considering the incremental cost of all the parts that go in there) and focus on just going in, replacing the rings, and re-hone the cylinder walls, while only replacing the gaskets, seals, etc., that need to be done as part of that process.

    I'm sure I could go overboard and replace every little piece and part in there along the way, but I am planning to move on to a new car in the not-too-distant future. If I can keep myself to a $1000 (or under) project, this seems like a reasonable course of action to me.

    Thoughts?
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    edited July 2012
    Plugs and wires were done at 124k back in May, 2008, so only 52,000 miles ago.

    while I'm in here, I might as well do this

    Sounds like home remodeling. At least when you change out the plugs, that doesn't make the battery look dingy or the air filter housing look outdated. :)

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  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    I think before I did all that refurb work, I would be checking out the junkyards for a decent used engine. It can't be that horrible a job on an Escort and would probably have the car up and running faster.

    Just my .02.

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

  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    If the car wasn't running currently, I would strongly consider that. As it is, I am not convinced that any used engine out of a yard would be in any better running condition than the one I currently have.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Good point. If you could get lucky and find a low mileage wreck, otherwise your plan may be better.

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

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    How many miles on this engine? Is it burning oil?

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    I'm just about to turn over 160,000. It loses a little bit; perhaps a quart+ every 3,000 (I tend to put around a gallon of "make up oil" in it every year between changes). I don't have the hose to the PCV connected, though, and it does send a little bit out that way (not sure how much that adds up). I'm sure some of it ends up in the cylinders, but not enough to observe any blue smoke out the tailpipe. It doesn't have any leaks on the engine, though, so oil loss must be through one of these other means.

    Sorry for the slow reply; had a bit of an emergency last week that put me way behind on everything, including visiting Edmunds! :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    edited July 2012
    Well that's not an oil burner, so internally the engine is probably okay. your leak down is probably a valve issue then--so a new head would fix that. I usually dont' recommend a new head on an oil burning engine.

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    Meaning that I shouldn't bother pulling it apart, or that it is worth the effort to do so because the major components are likely to be in good condition? If the former, any thoughts on what else might be causing the excessive pressure in the crankcase?
  • biomanbioman Posts: 172
    I don't want to make waves or controversy, but why is this thread here? By repairing older vehicles you are not being that green. I could better see threads like this in a forum deal with keeping older vehicles rolling or a forum dealing with restored vehicles. Most of the last few discussions did not involve the Prius.

    Just m2C.

    Bioman
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,508
    It's here because somebody wanted to discuss it. One of the best aspects of the Edmunds forum is its breadth, not to mention the voluntary nature of participation in discussions held within. ;)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    Well I think one could argue quite persuasively that rebuilding an old car is "green", in the sense that it takes quite a few barrels of oil to make a new car---even one whole barrel just to make a new tire.

    It's an oblique way of interpreting what "going green" means---it's the "conservation" angle IMO.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    edited July 2012
    Four Rs of recycling:

    Reduce, reuse, recycle and repair.

    For the classic car crowd, add restore and rebuild.

    If you a geeky tinkerer, then convert it to CNG and reinvent it.

    If you're a gardener, then substitute rot for repair (which is what your old car will do in your yard if you don't keep it running ;) )

    Okay, 8 Rs of recycling.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Plus, I imagine it would take a lot of energy to dispose of and recycle an old car. Unless you just retire it out to the back forty and let it rust in peace.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Clever play on words!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    Reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, and R-body?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,043
    However, it is, IMO, a myth that a modern country could "conserve" itself back to energy independence.

    At best, we can mitigate the downward spiral by conservation.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    We're counting years before trading, not miles.

    Ford 6.02 years
    Infiniti 6.1 years
    Lincoln 6.79 years
    Mitsubishi/Buick 6.92 years (tie)
    Jaguar 7.0 years
    Volvo 7.05 years

    "Recent data from Edmunds.com show which car brands Americans drive the longest before they exchange them for new vehicles."

    Which Cars Do Owners Keep Longest? (Wall St Journal)

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    A journalist is looking for proud owners of cars 11+ years old to ask why you love your car. If you love your old car and would like to share your story, please send your daytime contact info to pr@edmunds.com no later than Monday, March 4, 2013 at noon PT/3 p.m. ET.

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,707
    edited March 2013
    6 years for our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS. Still love the car and it's exhibiting the coolest engine scrolling these days. We're gonna head over to Las Cruces to this Chinese fast food place tomorrow, then head the short 45 miles south to El Paso to shop.

    I need a pair of black scrubs. Cardiopulmonary employees have two scrub color choices: maroon or black. Need me a dark, black pair of scrubs. There's a strip mall with a scrub store located between Las Cruces and El Paso on the way south to El Paso I'll check out. And I'll open up those 4 cylinders on the Mitsu, too. ;)

    image
    That's what I'm talkin' about!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,845
    "For local dealers, it's just a paycheck. "I don't know why Americans don't fix their cars after an accident and keep using them," salesman Abdullah said. "Perhaps they have so much money they don't care? Anyways, we sell 'em all."

    Smashed U.S. cars get a second chance in Afghanistan (LA Times)

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