Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Foo Off-Topic chit chat with no general subject.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 06-21-12, 08:58 PM   #1
WilliamK1974
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WilliamK1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East Ridge, TN
Bikes: Schwinn World, Haro Flightline Sport
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Dilemma about cars- To Buy, or Not To Buy.

Ok, gonna try and keep this short and sweet...

Since last August, my daily driver has been a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible with about 175000 miles on it. The PO told me that the original 3.1 V6 engine had been swapped for one with about 65000 miles on it at the time of the swap, but he didn't have any proof that this had been done. It's a pretty enjoyable car and I don't pass myself coming or going cause there aren't but about three other cars like it in town that I know of.

Well, the problem is that the car's showing its age a bit and starting to have some issues. About a month ago, the fuel pressure regulator failed, causing a big fuel leak and damaging two of the injectors. The repairs took three or four days because it took my father and I that long to get all the needed parts together and installed. Kind of inconvenient, but not too expensive. This week, the a/c went out. Down here in the sticky, humid South, I consider automotive a/c to be a necessity. The car's auxiliary fan failed, allowing refrigerant pressure to get too high, damaging the compressor. $800+ later, it's all good now, though I swear cars used to be more like mobile refrigerators than they are now.

On top of that, while doing a replacement of the front brake pads a few weeks ago, I noticed the grease seals on what appears to be the ball joints were cracked. Seeing that, it made me assume that the bushings on the lower control arms would also be getting old. Can't see that stuff without taking it apart. Also, at the next front brake job, it'll also be time to put on new calipers and flex lines. I've been told the ball joint job is $600+, and that the brake job shouldn't be too hard except for bleeding the anti-lock system.

I guess I'm starting to question whether this car needs to be my daily driver and if it's something I can really count on to get me where I need to go. I've looked into the idea of buying a brand-new car, and that's just not realistic for me right now. I simply don't want to be on the hook for new car payments. So that leaves pre-owned cars, the best selection of which seem to be in the Atlanta metro to the south of me. I could finance a used car, get a decent bang for the buck, and have it paid off much more quickly than buying a new car. Reliability and comfort are important.

But this leaves what to do with the Olds. I don't really need another project as I have a 1974 MGB for that purpose. But it seems kinda sad to get rid of the Olds cause it's fun, a little different, and pretty comfortable even when all four seats are filled. If it were less of a fun car, this decision wouldn't be an issue.

So Foosters, how would you handle this situation?

Thanks,
-Bill
WilliamK1974 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 09:18 PM   #2
Artkansas 
Pedaled too far.
 
Artkansas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: La Petite Roche
Bikes:
Posts: 12,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
So Foosters, how would you handle this situation?
This is a bike forum, so going car free has to be suggested.
__________________
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
Artkansas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 09:21 PM   #3
no1mad
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke
Posts: 8,702
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
At least the OP had the presence of mind to post here in Foo instead of LCF...
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 09:30 PM   #4
WilliamK1974
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WilliamK1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East Ridge, TN
Bikes: Schwinn World, Haro Flightline Sport
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
This is a bike forum, so going car free has to be suggested.
Trust me, I knew that would happen at least once.
WilliamK1974 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 09:48 PM   #5
StupidlyBrave 
Chepooka
 
StupidlyBrave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Central PA
Bikes: 1990 Trek 1400 7spd; 2001 Litespeed Arenberg 10 speed
Posts: 1,167
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Swamp buggy
StupidlyBrave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 09:51 PM   #6
no1mad
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke
Posts: 8,702
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 100 Post(s)
Buy used. Avoid Mopar products. Insist upon Carfax reports. Note that any body work done to repair damage from a collision will not show up in the vehicle's history if the dealer did the work in their own body shop. Also check the bolts that hold the hood and the ones inside the engine compartment that holds the fenders- you shouldn't see any scoring from a wrench.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 10:13 PM   #7
tunavic 
Senior Member
 
tunavic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Redlands, CA
Bikes: '12 BMC Road Racer, Pinarello KOBH
Posts: 761
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Easy. Find a good used Toyota Camry to buy and sell the Cutlass privately. Don't blindly rely on Carfax reports as they often aren't accurate. Check the car out yourself or have a qualified mechanic do it for you.

The hard part of that advice is finding a used Camry at a good price (at least here in SoCal it can be difficult).
tunavic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-12, 11:10 PM   #8
pgjackson
Senior Member
 
pgjackson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gulf Breeze, FL
Bikes: Rossetti Vertigo
Posts: 3,846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
New cars are for suckers. I just got a 2008 BMW that is immaculate with low miles for 1/2 the original sticker price (the BMW dealer even threw in a 12 month bumper-to-bumper warranty). You could put it on the new car lot and you wouldn't be able to tell it is used. Save money and buy used.
pgjackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 12:23 AM   #9
patentcad
Peloton Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Bikes: 2013 Scott Foil, 2014 Scott Addict, 2008 Cervelo P3 (TT), 2015 Scott Scale 700SL MTB
Posts: 59,454
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 60 Post(s)
I have two hybrid cars that both get better fuel economy than my 2004 Honda ST1300 motorcycle. They do not accelerate from 0-100 mph in 8.4 seconds however.

Get a Honda ST1300. Sure it only gets 38-40mpg, but the throttle is like the space warp button in asteroids.
patentcad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 05:47 AM   #10
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Bikes:
Posts: 11,600
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Get a used Toyota Corolla/Camry between 10-15 years old. Will set you back $1500-2000 max and they've got another 10-years/150k-miles of life left. Gets 30-35mpg and can carry 4-people and tonnes of groceries easily. Toyotas are also much cheaper to maintain than Hondas. Labour is about the same, but replacement parts are much cheaper.

Last summer, we replaced all four brake-pads + 2 front-rotors for $100. We also had the AC recharged for $30. ND AC-compressors are the best, Porsche and Mercedes uses them.

We were on vacation in Santa Barbara last month for 3-weeks and the alternator light went on in my wife's Camry. Tested volts at battery and at alternator with DVM and it wasn't charging the battery. I think this particular car was built in a U.S. plant since it had a Delco alternator (crap compared to ND). Went over the Kragen/Oreilleys and bought a replacement ND unit for $49.95 and swapped it in within 30-minutes in the parking-lot of the hotel.

This was the 1st major non-maintenance item that's failed in the entire 10-years she had the car. Although it's a known weak-point in this particular model as the alternator is small (runs hard & hot for its output), and is situated close to the exhaust-headers, making heat an even bigger problem. I'm going pull the headers and send them to Swain for ceramic-coating to keep heat inside the pipes.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 06-22-12 at 05:53 AM.
DannoXYZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:08 AM   #11
Indy_Rider
Banned
 
Indy_Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On a boat
Bikes: 2000 Fisher Paragon, 2005 Giant OCR2, 2006 Bianchi SASS, numerous others
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
New cars are for suckers. I just got a 2008 BMW that is immaculate with low miles for 1/2 the original sticker price (the BMW dealer even threw in a 12 month bumper-to-bumper warranty). You could put it on the new car lot and you wouldn't be able to tell it is used. Save money and buy used.
Depends on the car, been looking at Subaru Foresters for my Mother in law. Those darn thing just don't depreciate quick enough to justify used. Of course she wants new anyways as she is 75 and has never had a new car in her life.
Indy_Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:24 AM   #12
20grit
Curmudgeon in Training
 
20grit's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Rural Retreat, VA
Bikes: 1974 Gazelle Champion Mondial, 2010 Cannondale Trail SL, 1988 Peugeot Nice, 1992ish Stumpjumper Comp,1990's Schwinn Moab
Posts: 1,934
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Avoid Mopar products.
Why?

Granted, there are a select few that have been problems (no brand is without its turds), but I can't say my family has had many issues over the last 45 years or so.
20grit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:30 AM   #13
Indy_Rider
Banned
 
Indy_Rider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On a boat
Bikes: 2000 Fisher Paragon, 2005 Giant OCR2, 2006 Bianchi SASS, numerous others
Posts: 56
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
One thing to take in consideration is finance rates if you are financing it. With some of the finance deals and rates on new cars, they end up being cheaper than a low mileage used car.

While your Olds may have had the motor replaced, the rest of the car is a car with a 175K on it, which means lots of maintenance and upkeep. So from a dependability standpoint, it wouldn't be the best.
Indy_Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:48 AM   #14
RubenX 
Look! My Spine!
 
RubenX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Kissimmee, FL
Bikes:
Posts: 619
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
My car is so old I had to made a cast statement on my inventory program.

$mycar = new carobj();
$mycar = $Rube->Assets->Vehicles("Hyundai");

The above code gives an error: "Unexpected old_bucket value when car was expected". :\ So I had to modify:

$mycar = new carobj();
$mycar = (car) $Rube->Assets->Vehicles("Hyundai");

It runs but I still get a warning: "Warning, Line 2: Using old_bucket as car";
__________________
"Hoy es un dia normal, pero yo voy a hacerlo intenso" ~ Juanes
RubenX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 07:04 AM   #15
spry
location:northern Ohio
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamK1974 View Post
Ok, gonna try and keep this short and sweet...

Since last August, my daily driver has been a 1993 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme convertible with about 175000 miles on it. The PO told me that the original 3.1 V6 engine had been swapped for one with about 65000 miles on it at the time of the swap, but he didn't have any proof that this had been done. It's a pretty enjoyable car and I don't pass myself coming or going cause there aren't but about three other cars like it in town that I know of.

Well, the problem is that the car's showing its age a bit and starting to have some issues. About a month ago, the fuel pressure regulator failed, causing a big fuel leak and damaging two of the injectors. The repairs took three or four days because it took my father and I that long to get all the needed parts together and installed. Kind of inconvenient, but not too expensive. This week, the a/c went out. Down here in the sticky, humid South, I consider automotive a/c to be a necessity. The car's auxiliary fan failed, allowing refrigerant pressure to get too high, damaging the compressor. $800+ later, it's all good now, though I swear cars used to be more like mobile refrigerators than they are now.

On top of that, while doing a replacement of the front brake pads a few weeks ago, I noticed the grease seals on what appears to be the ball joints were cracked. Seeing that, it made me assume that the bushings on the lower control arms would also be getting old. Can't see that stuff without taking it apart. Also, at the next front brake job, it'll also be time to put on new calipers and flex lines. I've been told the ball joint job is $600+, and that the brake job shouldn't be too hard except for bleeding the anti-lock system.

I guess I'm starting to question whether this car needs to be my daily driver and if it's something I can really count on to get me where I need to go. I've looked into the idea of buying a brand-new car, and that's just not realistic for me right now. I simply don't want to be on the hook for new car payments. So that leaves pre-owned cars, the best selection of which seem to be in the Atlanta metro to the south of me. I could finance a used car, get a decent bang for the buck, and have it paid off much more quickly than buying a new car. Reliability and comfort are important.

But this leaves what to do with the Olds. I don't really need another project as I have a 1974 MGB for that purpose. But it seems kinda sad to get rid of the Olds cause it's fun, a little different, and pretty comfortable even when all four seats are filled. If it were less of a fun car, this decision wouldn't be an issue.

So Foosters, how would you handle this situation?

Thanks,
-Bill
Stick with the local flavor when selecting a ride.
How about jacking up the rear end on that Olds,wide tires on the back,confederate flag on the front hood?Forget about comfort,it's all about image.

"just a good ol boy,never meanin no harm............."
spry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 07:06 AM   #16
spry
location:northern Ohio
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,586
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubenX View Post
My car is so old I had to made a cast statement on my inventory program.

$mycar = new carobj();
$mycar = $Rube->Assets->Vehicles("Hyundai");

The above code gives an error: "Unexpected old_bucket value when car was expected". :\ So I had to modify:

$mycar = new carobj();
$mycar = (car) $Rube->Assets->Vehicles("Hyundai");

It runs but I still get a warning: "Warning, Line 2: Using old_bucket as car";
Loan the dude your Haynes book and a free session in Rubens Kitchen Car Works TM.
spry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 04:46 PM   #17
BenzFanatic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chicagoland area
Bikes:
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I'd say put the olds up on craigslist and only sell it to someone you feel like will really love it... They're nice cars, but I know from experience that the 90's olds' can be very finicky. And any car with that sort of mileage is going to require a lot of upkeep. Toyota is a good bet, but don't cheap out. Any car you can buy for under 3k is likely going to need a lot of work in order to be reliable AND decent looking. What would be your price range if you were to buy a used car outright? Any body style preferences? Power, gas mileage, etc? With those answers I could probably provide you with some good suggestions. I'm no mechanic, but cars are my obsession and I keep in touch with prices pretty well.
BenzFanatic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:19 PM   #18
bjtesch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Irving, TX
Bikes: Schwinn Paramount
Posts: 358
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Assuming that overall cost of ownership is important here...

The mention of finance rates for used vs. new is right, you have to price it both ways. Also the finance rates and available terms will change depending on the age of the used car. I once bought a 4 year old used car because I thought I couldn't afford a 2 year old used car, but then I found that I could only get a 24 month loan on the 4 year old but I could get a 36 month loan on the 2 year old and my payments would have been less.

Pick a model that has good reliability but isn't trendy or in demand, then you can either find new ones at good discounts or used ones at low prices. Find one that is in good condition and relatively low mileage, then keep it until somewhere 100k and 150k miles. You can go longer but reliability starts to suffer and this isn't good for a daily driver.

Find a friend/relative/good independent garage for maintenance and repairs. Do not go to the dealer except for warranty repairs.

OTOH if you always want to drive a nice and relatively new car and you don't want to have to deal with maintenance then get a lease. Your payments will be less than they will be if you buy a car new, but you will have always have payments and never get to a point where you have the car paid for and don't have payments.

For people that have a 2-car household- buy the 2 year old used car, get a 36 month loan, after driving the car 3 years it is paid for and you buy a 2 year old car for the significant other with a 36 month loan. Drive those cars another 3 years, at the end of which your 5 year old second car is paid for and you sell your 8 year old car car and buy another 2 year old car for yourself. In my family we drive about 12k miles per year each so we can actually keep our cars beyond 8 years old, maybe 10 years old or more. That allows us to have a year or two in each of these cycles where we don't have any payments.
bjtesch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 06:34 PM   #19
Tom Stormcrowe
Out fishing with Annie on his lap, a cigar in one hand and a ginger ale in the other, watching the sunset.
 
Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: South Florida
Bikes: Techna Wheelchair and a Sun EZ 3 Recumbent Trike
Posts: 16,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Take all the glass out of the Olds, and rent a booth at the carnival. Sell swings with a sledge hammer at 3 swings for $5. I did this once with a car I retired, and made $7,000.00 clear profit over the rental of the booth and cleanup of the messed up car. I also sold the car to compressed steel after for another $50 for scrap by weight. This was all for a 1981 Olds Omega I paid $500 for in the first place and drove for a couple years. After 2 years I blew the second engine and decided the Omega was a good candidate for replacement and let people beat it up with a sledge hammer.
__________________
. “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant
Tom Stormcrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-12, 08:54 PM   #20
WilliamK1974
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
WilliamK1974's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: East Ridge, TN
Bikes: Schwinn World, Haro Flightline Sport
Posts: 248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've arranged to look at a car tomorrow, and went ahead and set up financing so I could buy it if I like it. No pressure to dispose of the Olds at this time, though that could change. It was my third post-divorce car. Granted, I shouldn't have sold the first one, but we all make mistakes. Frankly, I've had more fun in the Olds even if it lacks the flair of an E30 BMW. Been some places, courted a really sweet woman, had some fun. And there's just something about an American-made ragtop that's a little worn around the edges.

Toyotas are in pretty short supply around here on the used market. Thought about going that route even though they seem a little appliance-like.

While I would happily bust up an Olds Omega or its Buick Skylark counterpart (long story), I can't see this Olds meeting such a destructive fate.

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. We'll see how this goes...
WilliamK1974 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:34 PM.