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Go Green By Driving It 'Til The Wheels Fall Off

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    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.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    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: 44,416
    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.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,167
    "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: 44,416
    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.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    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: 44,416
    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.

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,849
    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: 17,150
    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: 8,391
    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.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    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: 21,849
    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 YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    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: 21,849
    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: 33,509
    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: 21,849
    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 YooperlandPosts: 40,012
    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: 44,416
    Might have been a misfire--a burp---

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  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,391
    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: 8,391
    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?
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