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Index » Radio Paradise/General » General Discussion » Buying a Car
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aflanigan
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Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 1:14pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
Half a million miles at 15 miles to a gallon is 33,333 gallons of gas—a cube 16.5 feet on a side.

That represents enough energy to launch 1/10th of a Saturn V to orbit.

 
OK, don't start gettin' ideas, now.
Lazy8
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Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 1:02pm

 Proclivities wrote:
I have a friend who is a landscaper - she drives a Chevy Suburban with over 500,000 miles.  I don't think she expects to be able to ever sell it though.

Half a million miles at 15 miles to a gallon is 33,333 gallons of gas—a cube 16.5 feet on a side.

That represents enough energy to launch 1/10th of a Saturn V to orbit.
Proclivities
“If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life.
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Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 12:44pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

Stacey Earle just sold her tour-wagon, a Chevy Suburban, with over 500,000 miles on it. Sold it. I would have thought they could just sweep what's left of it into a corner.

 
I have a friend who is a landscaper - she drives a Chevy Suburban with over 500,000 miles on it.  I don't think she expects to be able to ever sell it though.


ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 12:33pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
{#Clap}

My second cousin is married to a photographer for one of the Native American casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods I think). He commutes from Rehoboth, MA. I believe he's got well over 500K on his Subaru, and says Subaru America has contacted him.

It's a testament not just to durability but to repairability. Very few cars go that far without being fixed and this one is no exception.

My midmost has his '92 Imprezza stored in our barn. It has been his adventure vehicle—it has raced antelope across Wyoming, autocrossed, driven up jeep trails, been stuck in 4' snow drifts...and it has over 300K on the clock. It's not by any means stock; the motor bottom end is from a 2,5L DOHC engine but the heads are SOHC. The transaxle is from an entirely different car and the suspension is from an Outback.

Both of these cars were bought used. My midmost's (he named it "Miss Murphy") came to us from a salvage yard. The previous owners were drywall tapers and the upholstery was caked in drywall mud. The spare tire well in back held a foot of water and ten pounds of rusty knives and forks. He worked off the purchase price at the salvage yard by mechanicing and slowly pieced it together.

Neither car will win any beauty contests but both have pulled shinier vehicles out of ditches.

 
Stacey Earle just sold her tour-wagon, a Chevy Suburban, with over 500,000 miles on it. Sold it. I would have thought they could just sweep what's left of it into a corner.
Lazy8
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Location: The Gallatin Valley of Montana
Gender: Male


Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 12:28pm

 aflanigan wrote:
{#Clap}

My second cousin is married to a photographer for one of the Native American casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods I think). He commutes from Rehoboth, MA. I believe he's got well over 500K on his Subaru, and says Subaru America has contacted him.

It's a testament not just to durability but to repairability. Very few cars go that far without being fixed and this one is no exception.

My midmost has his '92 Imprezza stored in our barn. It has been his adventure vehicle—it has raced antelope across Wyoming, autocrossed, driven up jeep trails, been stuck in 4' snow drifts...and it has over 300K on the clock. It's not by any means stock; the motor bottom end is from a 2,5L DOHC engine but the heads are SOHC. The transaxle is from an entirely different car and the suspension is from an Outback.

Both of these cars were bought used. My midmost's (he named it "Miss Murphy") came to us from a salvage yard. The previous owners were drywall tapers and the upholstery was caked in drywall mud. The spare tire well in back held a foot of water and ten pounds of rusty knives and forks. He worked off the purchase price at the salvage yard by mechanicing and slowly pieced it together.

Neither car will win any beauty contests but both have pulled shinier vehicles out of ditches.
aflanigan
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Posted: Nov 8, 2017 - 12:11pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
Love it. Why did she sell such a dependable car? My 94 accord wagon has almost 200K and is still doing fine. 

Maybe she has her eye on a '92 Subaru.

Just over 300K on mine.

 
{#Clap}

My second cousin is married to a photographer for one of the Native American casinos in Connecticut (Foxwoods I think). He commutes from Rehoboth, MA. I believe he's got well over 500K on his Subaru, and says Subaru America has contacted him.
haresfur
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Location: The Golden Triangle
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Posted: Nov 7, 2017 - 4:21pm

 Lazy8 wrote:
 aflanigan wrote:
Love it. Why did she sell such a dependable car? My 94 accord wagon has almost 200K and is still doing fine. 

Maybe she has her eye on a '92 Subaru.

Just over 300K on mine.

 
You and your head gaskets lead a charmed life
miamizsun

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Posted: Nov 7, 2017 - 3:43pm

 aflanigan wrote:

Love it. Why did she sell such a dependable car? My 94 accord wagon has almost 200K and is still doing fine. 

 
her boyfriend spent some time on that commercial

i'm on my second lease now (accountant says it is cost effective)

before that i drove them until i couldn't

last two hondas about 180k & 190k

i simply changed the oil every 2500 miles or so and the air filter every other oil change

that and regular maintenance stuff

300k {#Arrowd}   wow


Lazy8
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Posted: Nov 7, 2017 - 3:14pm

 aflanigan wrote:
Love it. Why did she sell such a dependable car? My 94 accord wagon has almost 200K and is still doing fine. 

Maybe she has her eye on a '92 Subaru.

Just over 300K on mine.
aflanigan
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Posted: Nov 7, 2017 - 2:03pm

 miamizsun wrote:


 
Love it. Why did she sell such a dependable car? My 94 accord wagon has almost 200K and is still doing fine. 
miamizsun

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Posted: Nov 7, 2017 - 10:41am




DaveInVA
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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 7:28pm

 kurtster wrote:
nsf ...
 

 
Here is the Firesign Theatre parody of Ralph Williams  - Ralph Spoilsport Motors 


kurtster

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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 7:12pm

nsf ...
 
Steve
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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 5:25pm

 Manbird wrote:

Comb your dumb hair before the taxi gets here, dummy. What are you, a dummy?

 
I left my comb in the taxi!
kurtster

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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 4:44pm


Manbird
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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 4:24pm

 Steve wrote:

I've got a scythe and some hobo pudding, so  - as usual - I'm on the outside looking in. {#Mad}

 
Comb your dumb hair before the taxi gets here, dummy. What are you, a dummy?
Steve
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Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 4:18pm

 Manbird wrote:

LESSONS FREE FOR SALE!!!


Did you ever dream that you were walking along somewhere and you look around and there's nothing there. No buildings or trees or people or pens that say "SPCA Before More of them Die" and you're wearing just an old pair of clogs and a hells angels bandana for underwear. And all there is is dirt on the ground and a sun in the sky and you are not thinking about anything, just walking along on the dry lumpy dirt. Then you kind of see something and it is really long and it goes all the way from left to right and it begins nowhere and ends nowhere and you walk towards it in your clogs and it gets closer and closer and closer to you and then it's so close that you think it is a road or something and you keep walking and a while later you see it's not a road so you walk and walk making dust clouds but there's no wind so they never blow away and you walk and it gets closer until you see that it's a cranky rust flaky old barb wire fence and it is held up with rotting pieces of cedar pole that lean one way or a different way all the way to the left and to the right and over yonder on the left side of the crazy old fence is something hanging on one of the cedar poles because that's all they had when they made the fence was cedar trees and you scuffle along side the snaggity barb wire fence and you get to the thing that's hanging there and you look at it and it is an old grey pair of hobo pants and the elastic turned white from the sun and some of it crumbled right down on the dirt then you hear a sound coming from it and you're afraid that if you touch it it'll crumble so much that the sound might stop, so you lean as close to it as you can without touching it with your ear and now you can hear it real good and clear and it's the sound of a choo-choo train coming out of it and you listen while it gets louder then it stops and you can feel your teeth kind of hurting and then they hurt more and its not just a few on the top or a couple way in the back on the bottom but it's all of them hurting pretty much the same and it gets worse so you look up and down and up and down the fence but the pain coming out of your teeth stops and you stop too, to make sure it's gone and it is. completely gone no pain at all in a single tooth?

Well, did you ever dream that, ever, in your whole life, going all the way back to when you were a baby and your legs hurt whenever your mom came to get you for a haircut? No? That's good. Because now I can teach you to think that. Not for free, though. But just for A Hundred Dollars. OK. Now it's cheaper. Now it's just 99 Dollars. But wait for a little while. Now it costs less than that. Now it just cost a rake. For one rake I'll teach you to think that. Plus a bowl of banana pudding to cover the cost of me having to get up and do it. So the total cost for today is only a rake and a bowl of banana pudding. Hurry. 

 
I've got a scythe and some hobo pudding, so  - as usual - I'm on the outside looking in. {#Mad}


Manbird
Offal Makes Me Strong! Strong! Strong! W
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Location: Oroville, Ca
Gender: Male
Zodiac: Virgo


Posted: Aug 28, 2014 - 4:12pm


LESSONS FREE FOR SALE!!!


Did you ever dream that you were walking along somewhere and you look around and there's nothing there. No buildings or trees or people or pens that say "SPCA Before More of them Die" and you're wearing just an old pair of clogs and a hells angels bandana for underwear. And all there is is dirt on the ground and a sun in the sky and you are not thinking about anything, just walking along on the dry lumpy dirt. Then you kind of see something and it is really long and it goes all the way from left to right and it begins nowhere and ends nowhere and you walk towards it in your clogs and it gets closer and closer and closer to you and then it's so close that you think it is a road or something and you keep walking and a while later you see it's not a road so you walk and walk making dust clouds but there's no wind so they never blow away and you walk and it gets closer until you see that it's a cranky rust flaky old barb wire fence and it is held up with rotting pieces of cedar pole that lean one way or a different way all the way to the left and to the right and over yonder on the left side of the crazy old fence is something hanging on one of the cedar poles because that's all they had when they made the fence was cedar trees and you scuffle along side the snaggity barb wire fence and you get to the thing that's hanging there and you look at it and it is an old grey pair of hobo pants and the elastic turned white from the sun and some of it crumbled right down on the dirt then you hear a sound coming from it and you're afraid that if you touch it it'll crumble so much that the sound might stop, so you lean as close to it as you can without touching it with your ear and now you can hear it real good and clear and it's the sound of a choo-choo train coming out of it and you listen while it gets louder then it stops and you can feel your teeth kind of hurting and then they hurt more and its not just a few on the top or a couple way in the back on the bottom but it's all of them hurting pretty much the same and it gets worse so you look up and down and up and down the fence but the pain coming out of your teeth stops and you stop too, to make sure it's gone and it is. completely gone no pain at all in a single tooth?

Well, did you ever dream that, ever, in your whole life, going all the way back to when you were a baby and your legs hurt whenever your mom came to get you for a haircut? No? That's good. Because now I can teach you to think that. Not for free, though. But just for A Hundred Dollars. OK. Now it's cheaper. Now it's just 99 Dollars. But wait for a little while. Now it costs less than that. Now it just cost a rake. For one rake I'll teach you to think that. Plus a bowl of banana pudding to cover the cost of me having to get up and do it. So the total cost for today is only a rake and a bowl of banana pudding. Hurry. 
coding_to_music
Sometimes I forget there is a war going on
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Posted: Oct 18, 2006 - 2:31pm

Test-driving the cheapest cars we could find.
By Seth Stevenson
Posted Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2006, at 11:50 AM ET

I miss the Yugo. It was no automotive masterpiece, but you have to give it this much: It was a new car for under $4,000. People spend that kind of money on TV sets these days.

Adjusted for inflation, the infamous '86 Yugo hatchback—named the "GV," for "Great Value"—would still cost less than $7,500 today. And it would indeed be a great value! You simply can't find a new car for that price anymore. Just a single car in the 2007 model year lists for less than $10,000 (the Chevy Aveo, the Yugo of the new millennium), and even it comes in at an eye-popping $9,995.

It turns out most bottom-of-the-line cars these days will run you more like $12,000 to $17,000. This is disappointingly luxe for a car cheapskate like me. (I drive a '96 Saturn with 103,000 miles on it.) But here's the good news: There are some nifty little cars to be found in that price range. The whole economy category has been jump-started by today's crushing gasoline costs (which are spurring demand for smaller, cheaper cars), and Japan's big players have rushed to design brand-new models (the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, and the Nissan Versa).

So, if you're light of wallet but can't live without that new-car smell, do not despair. I recently tried out six new supercheap rides (all 2006 and 2007 models) and found a few to like and at least one to love. (I didn't get a chance to try the No. 1 cheapie, the Aveo. But I can tell you this: When I inquired about the Aveo at a rental counter, the woman there said, "You do not want to drive that car." Good enough for me.) Below, my findings, from worst to first.

ACCEPTABLE

Saturn Ion (2007 starting price: $12,820; 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway)
At first glance, this car holds great promise. For one, it doesn't look cheap: Squint and you might mistake it for a Jetta. It's got decent trunk room (the bane of many a small sedan). And it feels solid: Closing a door rewards you with an authoritative "cachunk." This suggests good carriage work. Or at least that they put a whole lot of effort into making the doors sound heavy.

The problems with the Ion begin when you try to drive anywhere. Acceleration from a standing start is a rather lurchy affair. When you hit the gas, the car first tightens its loins for a few long moments, and then, when it finally leaps forward, surges much faster and farther than you'd intended. Also, the steering is troubling. On the highway, I found myself aiming the car 30 degrees left just to stay straight in my lane.

Also unfortunate is the Ion's center-mount instrument panel. I hate these. They take your eyes away from the road. When the panel is mounted directly over the steering wheel, it's easy to lower your eyes down for a quick glance at your speedometer. The center-mount panel forces you to look down and over to the right. It takes longer to home in and find it, meaning you spend more time not looking at the braking 18-wheeler ahead of you.

On the plus side, the Ion—despite being small—never felt underpowered. I got up to 85 mph on an empty highway without noticing any engine strain. Of course, I had to fight that much harder to keep the car going straight.

At about $12,500 for a four-door sedan, the Ion is the third-cheapest car on the market right now (after the afore-dissed Aveo and the Kia Rio). It's not a terrible buy at that price, but it's a snore of a car. You'll find yourself longing for a ride with a bit more pizazz.

Kia Rio (2006 starting price: $11,350; 29 mpg city, 38 mpg highway)
The second-cheapest car in America at a little more than $11,000. The Rio looks kind of silly, like a bumper car, with rubberized stripes running the length of its sides. And its trunk is unacceptably tiny. Also, it reveals some serious limitations on the highway: As I edged toward 60 mph, the engine grew noticeably cranky. (Even more so with the air conditioner on. The moment you blast the A/C, the car loses all oomph.)

The Rio easily bests the Ion, though, when it comes to tooling around the city. It handles and accelerates more smoothly at modest speeds. I'd also like to commend the Rio for including a driver's-side armrest. You'd be surprised how many cars omit this key feature, leaving your right elbow dangling awkwardly in the air as you steer.

Nissan Versa (2007 starting price: $12,550; 30 mpg city, 34 mpg highway)
Of the six cars I tested, the Versa model I tried had by far the swankiest interior. From its leather steering wheel to the sleek lines of its dashboard console, the design here was much higher-end than you'll find on your typical low-end car. The Versa also offers a keyless ignition system—a feature that feels rather out of place on an economy compact. (Despite the initial allure, I fail to see all the fuss with the keyless lifestyle. Is it really such a burden to take your keys out of your pocket?)

Lovely though its inside accouterments may be—and you'll pay $700 extra for the options package with that leather steering wheel and accompanying swank—the Versa's exterior does absolutely nothing for me. It has an unfortunate flaring and bulging of its lower hindparts. (Slate's Mickey Kaus termed this a "droopy-assed design" back when it appeared on the Nissan Altima, and for some unfathomable reason Nissan remains enamored of the look.)

Drivingwise, I didn't love the way the Versa handled around town. For a subcompact, it was surprisingly oafish and clunky. I always felt like I was dragging that big butt around behind me.

But the biggest flaw on the Versa I tried was with its stick shift. The transitions were herky-jerky, and engaging the clutch was less smooth than it should have been. Worse, there's a real issue with the location of the gears. Reverse is in an odd spot—the upper left corner, as with some Volkswagens I've driven. This would be OK, except that Nissan placed a sixth gear just where you'd expect reverse to be (the lower right corner). Several times I shifted into what I thought would be reverse only to find that when I released the clutch the car jolted forward and quickly stalled. No doubt one could adjust to this in time. (Or one could just buy an automatic.) But it's an annoyance and even a bit of a safety hazard.

VERY GOOD

Scion xA (2006 starting price: $13,270; 31 mpg city, 38 mpg highway)
The Scion was pleasingly responsive and handled well. Acceleration and pickup were exceptional. (No problem passing trucks on the highway—something the Rio, for example, had real issues with.) Around town, the Scion glided through close-knit traffic, fit into claustrophobic parking spots, and showed off a turning radius that amazed me. Getting into the awkward garage entrance beneath my apartment building generally requires a three-point turn, but the Scion's tight arc had me cruising straight in without hesitation.

Once in the garage, the Scion even turned some heads. (Well, one head.) A guy walking to his car stopped, looked the xA up and down, and asked what it was. With its sporty hubcaps and distinctive hatchback windows, the car is definitely eye-catching. Inside, it feels plush and cozy. The rear seats fold down to create wonderful trunk space. (I fit some large IKEA boxes in there when I ran errands.)

My biggest problem with the xA: its image. Scion explicitly courts the aftermarket freaks who adorn their cars with gaudy modifications. Intricate paint jobs, flashy spoilers, weird accessories. It's become known as a car for those who express themselves through cars. And that's not me. (Particularly unsettling: The xA I drove came equipped, from the factory, with fluorescent interior lights. These illuminate the area around the floor mats and make you feel like you're at a techno rave. Which would be fine if the car came standard with several hits of ecstasy—but I'm not seeing that option anywhere in the literature.)

Toyota Yaris S Sedan (2007 starting price: $13,245; 34 mpg city, 40 mpg highway)
The Yaris just edges out its corporate cousin the Scion, which, by the way, it shares an engine with. The Yaris S Sedan's exterior looks like an uncomfortably scrunched-up Corolla. I don't like the snub-nosed, bubble styling of the car's front end (it's rounded but then abruptly abbreviated). Nor am I a fan of the rear spoiler (an option included on the Yaris I drove), which seems misplaced on a teensy car with a 1.5-liter engine.

The interior of the Yaris has a few major flaws: 1) No cup holder between the front seats, where you want it to be. 2) A center-mount instrument panel (as with the Ion and the Scion). 3) The car's inside space feels sort of cheap and blah. Miles from the sumptuousness of the Versa.

Countering all this are the superb ride and handling of the Yaris. It has all the hallmarks of a Toyota—solid-feeling, well-engineered, and smoothly efficient. Acceleration and shifting were effortless. The car never felt strained by anything I threw at it. I just had the sense this thing would go and go for years without the slightest hitch. And that, much more than aesthetics or a comfy interior, is what I'm looking for from a budget car.

CHAMPION

Honda Fit (2007 starting price: $13,850; 33 mpg city, 38 mpg highway)
I love this car. If my '96 Saturn went belly-up tomorrow, I'm quite sure I would buy this car.

It starts with the driving experience. On the manual-transmission Fit I tested, changing gears was a total joy, with quick, smooth transitions. (I believe the applicable term here is "short throws.") Handling was fantastic, with extremely responsive steering and acceleration. The car gripped the road, had great pickup, and was more fun from behind the wheel than any of its competitors. I drove the "Sport" model of the Fit (it starts at $15,170), and it truly did feel like a scaled-down sports car.

It also excels on the comfort front. The back seats fold down flat to create a huge, open cargo space (tall and deep) in the rear of the car. Configured like this, the Fit effectively serves as a sawed-off station wagon.

As usual, in my experience with Hondas, the interior was smartly designed, with cup holders and storage compartments exactly where you want them. No center-mount instrument panel here: The Fit's panel is behind the steering wheel where it should be, and its illuminated dials are attractive and easy to read. The model I drove also featured an auxiliary jack for MP3 players and a pretty decent sound system.

Of the six cheapie compacts I borrowed, the Fit was the only car I was genuinely sorry to return. I wish I could borrow it again tomorrow, and every day after that. It's a clear champ.
Seth Stevenson is a frequent contributor to Slate.