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Go Green By Driving It 'Til The Wheels Fall Off

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  • what was the problem with your Mitsubishi 3000GT?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,005
    I'm not kcflyer, but my memory of the 3000GT and its sibling the Dodge Stealth is that they are not widely regarded as dependable. Also, they are fairly uncommon, so parts availability may be a problem, especially compared to a Mustang.
  • kcflyerkcflyer Posts: 78
    It was a host of electrical problems. Mine was a 94 GT. Beautiful car, bought on impulse and traded my beloved mustang for it. In the first four months the car was in the shop at least 5 times. (memory fades) Each problem was covered under warranty even though I bought the car used. I guess I was hypersensitive since I had only had one maintenance problem with the Mustang in 9 years and 145K miles. It's been awhile so mainly I remember the frustration of having to drive a loaner while my "new" car sat week after week in the dealers shop. I would pick it up only to discover the problem wasn't fixed or had been replaced by others. Both of the rear side windows had to be replaced. It had something to do with de lamination in the glass. Don't recall the cause. Power antenna would constantly get stuck and the motor would continue to run until I turned off the ignition. Multiple check engine lights. Never caused by the same code twice. Dead battery on several occasions despite the battery and alternator being replaced (the alternator twice)I would chalk it up to the previous owner but my mustang was also second hand, both cars had around 15k miles when I bought them. After six months I had enough and traded a guy who wanted it in exchange for a convertible dodge dakota. By then the car was behaving but I was engaged and needed to eliminate a car payment. Now that was a good trade!
  • should I just spell that one out and have it hit me with the reality of the situation that it's a Dodge Dakota pickup truck that you can take the top down on?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Yes, if you can believe it, this was a factory option for a few years (early 90s I believe).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    What, seriously?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • You have never seen a Dakota Convertible?

    1989 saw the unusual Dakota convertible. The first American convertible pickup since the Ford Model T, it featured a fixed roll bar and an uncomplicated manual top. Roughly 2,482 were sold that first year. Another important addition that year was Carroll Shelby's V8-powered Shelby Dakota, his first rear-wheel drive vehicle in two decades.

    Wiki

    I have worked on two different ones over the years.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    Here's more than you probably want to know about the Dakota convertible.

    Oh, as for driving it till the wheels fall off, I'm sort of at a turning point with my 2000 Intrepid, which is around 137,000 miles. I put it in the shop this evening to have the mechanic check out the front suspension (getting a bit loose) and the a/c (getting a bit weak). If he can find a few thousand $ worth of repairs there, I might just be tempted to bite the bullet and put it out of its misery!
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    It's amazing how fast those 7 years went by; I managed to get 135K miles over 10 years out of my '90 Sable before selling it. I had a lot more problems than you did over the years, but everything was fixed when I sold it -- for a whopping $1800!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    It's amazing how fast those 7 years went by

    Heck, it'll be EIGHT years on November 6! It's downright scary how fast that time has gone by! And as long as the suspension problems aren't too scary, I'll go ahead and get it fixed, and just drive it until something major fails on it. I figure if the a/c repair is too catastrophic, I can just live without it, as long as the windows still roll down! Nothing worse than having a car with broken power windows AND a busted a/c!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Thanks for the link with pics! What a sight to see. I must have missed it because it was sold for such a short time and in such small numbers.

    I wonder how we are all defining "til the wheels fall off"...I have had cars whose powertrains were still going strong 15-20 years after they were new, and over 250K miles. Of course, other stuff was beginning to need replacement that wouldn't be considered a maintenance item, like springs and bushings, oil seals that were beginning to leak onto the pavement, stuff like that. To me, this begs two questions:

    1. if it is leaking oil and fluids everywhere and perhaps belching smoke into the air, even though it still runs reliably, is it really still the green machine, or should the replacement for it have come earlier? And if so, how do you know when is the right moment to replace an old vehicle, relative to environmental concerns?

    2. Presuming it is doing none of that, but instead leaking/burning nothing, getting gas mileage as good as when it was new, and passing every smog check with flying colors (which would still only ensure that it was compliant by decades-old standards, of course), how much is too much to pay for repairs to keep it on the road? I mean, we all know the wheels never REALLY fall off (although I am open to hearing amusing anecdotes of old cars off which the wheels really DID fall!).

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    How funny you should say that! I have a co-worker whose second car is exactly as you describe: it is a 14-year-old Pontiac 6000 (I believe that's the model name?) whose A/C and power windows quit years ago. She never bothered to fix either, because by the time that happened it was already a short-trip second car, and she lives in San Francisco, where it's cool most of the time. Then one day recently she got stuck driving the car on a day that turned out to be the surprise start of a mini heat wave, and she said she just about cooked driving that car the 30 minutes between the office and home! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    A similar thing happened with my '85 Silverado. My Granddad bought the thing new and damn him, he bought it with power windows!

    My driver's side window finally failed completely this past spring. The a/c has never worked as long as I've had the truck (since around Sept 2002), but between opening the vent window, rolling down the passenger side window, and opening the sliding rear window, I can usually tolerate the heat. I'm usually never in the thing for more than 10-20 minutes at a time, so it really doesn't bother me. As soon as I get the ambition though, I'm going to fix the power window. Now that cold weather is setting in though (I noticed frost the first time this morning), I can put that little project off for awhile.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    and looked up some old cars, and my co-worker's Pontiac is just a Grand Prix 2-door. I have seen her car and it matches some pics I pulled up.

    andre: how much would you have to spend to repair the Intrepid, seriously, before you would probably just replace it instead?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    1. if it is leaking oil and fluids everywhere and perhaps belching smoke into the air, even though it still runs reliably, is it really still the green machine, or should the replacement for it have come earlier? And if so, how do you know when is the right moment to replace an old vehicle, relative to environmental concerns?


    I was concerned about the belching smoke thing the last time I took my '85 Silverado in for the emissions test. It smokes pretty nicely when it first starts up in the morning, and also under hard acceleration. But it passed its last emissions test with flying colors. So, I'm guessing that the stuff you can't see is worse than the stuff you can!

    As for emissions standards, in Maryland at least, they actually tighten them a bit every year. I noticed this in 2002 when I had to take my '79 New Yorker in for its test. I had a 1979 Newport for a couple years, and I had to get it tested in 1997. The standards in 2002 were stricter than they had been in 1997. I got historic tags for it in 2004 though, which exempted it from testing, so I dunno if they got more stringent since then or not.

    I had my truck tested in Jan 2005 and Dec 2006. I'll have to dig up the sheets and see if they tightened up the standards any. The Intrepid went on the treadmill back in 2002, but in 2004 and 2006 they just did the quickie OBD-II scan. I do remember the truck passed by a pretty wide margin, despite that grayish smoke it tends to blow.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    "So, I'm guessing that the stuff you can't see is worse than the stuff you can!"

    Welllll, we know what is in the stuff you CAN see: it's either coolant (let's hope not) or more likely burning oil or unburned gas. No matter which of them it is, we know it's not GOOD for the environment, right? But neither are the ones we can't see, and so it's good to know that you are still passing the smog check easily.

    That's what I meant by my question: how do we tell when it's doing more harm than good to the environment to keep an old vehicle?

    And if we decide the good still outweighs the harm, how much would we spend to keep the beater rolling?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,593
    how much would you have to spend to repair the Intrepid, seriously, before you would probably just replace it instead?

    Honestly, I dunno. I have thought about that, but never really came up with an answer. Now if its little 2.7 engine were to blow, I'd drop it like a hot rock. Maybe I'd park it at the mall, then whack it with one of my other cars that could take the hit, claim hit and run, and get it totaled out! :surprise: Nah, seriously, I could never bring myself to do something like that.

    If the tranny went out on it, that might be the tipping point. Last time I checked, out of morbid curiousity, the mechanic told me a replacement tranny would be aound $2200. Now if I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that $2200 would get me years of service out of the car, I'd do it. But with my luck, I'd blow that money on a tranny and THEN the engine would go. Or the car would get hit.

    I did put about $1050 into the car back in April, but that was for alot of work. New front brake pads (Mopar parts), new hoses, coolant flush, right front bearing hub, transmission cooling lines, and some other stuff I'm probably forgettting. I've been using a rough rule of thmub where if I get a month out of that car for every $300 I sink into it, I'm doing okay.

    One thing that makes it such a hard call is how well the Intrepid has held up. I remember my first car, my Mom's 1980 Malibu that she gave me when I got my license in Jan 1987. When that car was 8 years old, its paint was faded, the dash was cracked, the shift indicator was eternally stuck somewhere slightly to the left of park, the headliner was falling down, carpeting pulling loose from the door sill area, etc. And by 1988, a 1980 Malibu was looking pretty ancient. In contrast though, the Intrepid is still nice and shiny, and the only real flaws with the interior are where my dumb-#$# roommate put some cigarette burns when he's borrowed it! :mad: And with all those retro/angular/chiseled trends going on these days, IMO, an Intrepid doesn't look so dated. Not that I'd really care about dated, considering my unhealthy attraction to 70's cars. :P
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I'd spend the money to fix the tranny, when and if it needed it, but wouldn't overhaul or replace the engine, which probably has years of life left. It wouldn't bother me to spend something more than the retail value of the car for repairs, for an original owner car I know and trust, and like, but I'd draw the line if the engine went. I think the odds are good that your 2.7 will go >200,000, and maybe >250,000.

    Would I overhaul the tranny if the car had 250,000 miles? Probably not, but anything <200,000, just to pick a number, I'd probably go for it, assuming I still liked the car.

    One thing that would be a "must have" for me is A/C. It's not that I couldn't live without it, but that I wouldn't want to. Of course, you won't need A/C for the next several months, which buys some time.

    My 2 cents.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    Well, by the time I got my Dad's old 1981 T-Bird from my brother as part of the deal when I sold him my 1985 Chrysler Fifth Avenue, the driver's power window didn't work. My brother was using a suction cup on the glass to raise and lower the window. If the window fell into the channel, there was just enough of the edge sticking up to pull it back up. That car went through my Dad, my sister, (who once got mad at her boyfriend and put her fist through the plastic center of the steering wheel...ouch!), and my brother. All are my polar opposite when it comes to car care. The car was a real mess by the time I got it. My co-workers were telling me they heard a rumor that I came into work in this old junker, but they said they didn't believe it.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,071
    ...I'll keep it until something major fails. Something like a blown transmission would be the coup de grace. My problem is I'll keep fixing all the little things because even a burned-out interior bulb drives me nuts. All it really needs is a decent paint job. I'm constantly tempted to get it done.
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