Rum Runner

Used Car Anarchy

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Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   

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Run away....what are the chances a “good number” of cars previously owned by “cranky” owners all end up on one lot. 

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Interesting issue. Try to find out what the issue was (see below). If you can live with the problem it would be a great deal. I'd figure that some of the problems could be very difficult to fix. The dealer tried but could not with several tries. Like some intermittent electrical connection. Like if it is just the Check Engine light, and you are a gearhead, you could maybe permanently attach a reader to distinguish between the glitch and 'Engine On Fire'.

Should get thousands off. They have already taken a complete loss.

https://lemonlawexperts.com/subaru-repurchase-lemon-law/

https://www.planetsubaru.com/subaru-manufacturer-buyback-vehicles.htm

 

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2 hours ago, Rum Runner said:

Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   

Nephew works for Toyota and is the regional manager for warranty and lemon claims for the north east..  I looked at a "lemon law" car a while back and opted not to do it,  as I got the deal I wanted on a new car. 

Tells me you should check why the car was returned and what was done to fix it - there is a record of this and the service manager can pull it..  If it was a contentious check engine light (which is highly unlikely), that will need to be addressed prior to the car being made available as most states will not allow the car due to the smog and emissions laws.   They had a Sienna where this happened and after tearing into it the found a hairline crack in a sensor that was throwing the system off even though the sensor was working properly. Another time it was a bad spring that had a intermittent sticking problem that wasn't allowing something to happen with the timing advance thing-a-majiggy.  They keep some detailed record of this shit to minimize these claims.  This is simple shit that ended cost a couple dozen hours of labor.. but can be a great deal on a car.. 

Also, noted that these car are on consignment to the dealer... what ever they are asking, cut the price in half and start from there..  the dealer has no real skin in the game.

 

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After 5 months of owning my first 2017 brand new Durango, it's dash lit up like a Christmas tree so off to the dealer it went.  A few days later they said 'good as new', and I didn't even get 3 miles from the dealer before the same thing.  They had it for 5 weeks and still didn't know what was wrong, had replaced almost all of the wiring harnesses / etc. and still couldn't get it to function.  Bought back as a lemon.  So, good luck if you buy it.  If you really know cars and can troubleshoot and repair them better than the dealer, go for it.

Otherwise, seems like you are buying a lemon without a warranty.

Caveat emptor.

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Check on insuring it too.

I'm looking for a used car and have come across 'salvage titles' that are not collision insurable.

A car with 4K miles, for 1/2 MSRP...??? Dealer said it was front end damage, engine was fine! Yet, the insurance company wrote off a brand new, $30K+ car?

Good deal if you want to race it tho!

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would you buy  boat that had known keel problems and is being sold as is...    why the risk?  i'd look to see what hertz is selling off..

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3 hours ago, #13 said:

After 5 months of owning my first 2017 brand new Durango, it's dash lit up like a Christmas tree so off to the dealer it went.  A few days later they said 'good as new', and I didn't even get 3 miles from the dealer before the same thing.  They had it for 5 weeks and still didn't know what was wrong, had replaced almost all of the wiring harnesses / etc. and still couldn't get it to function.  Bought back as a lemon.  So, good luck if you buy it.  If you really know cars and can troubleshoot and repair them better than the dealer, go for it.

Otherwise, seems like you are buying a lemon without a warranty.

Caveat emptor.

I once had the “dash lit up like a Christmas tree”. Car ran perfectly up until that moment. Local mechanic said he bet he knew what it was. Had one of his guys remove the MAP sensor and sprayed it with magic dust (an aerosol can of alcohol), reinstalled the sensor and I was back on the road in five minutes. No charge! Actually he more than makes up for it with my daughters POS Hyundai . 
He told me the MAP sensor really should be cleaned every couple years to ensure it never happens again....takes a minute and costs next to nothing.

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7 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

 i'd look to see what hertz is selling off..

Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

Lease returns are another matter entirely - one of the best choices one can make. Guaranteed to have been serviced by the book, relatively low miles,  treated well because of the residual value incentive etc.

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22 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

 

I'm looking for a used 2nd vehicle that is an actual car and gets better mileage than my '16 Chevy Silverado...

VW GTI: $8K for a decent, well maintained, older ride (92K miles) and several owners or $17K for a 6 year younger version, 1 owner and 40K less miles on it? Different generations too. Big difference is in infotainment, back up camera, power seats, etc... But they really drive the same!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?

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Ya just need to find a little old lady....

we bought my MIL Honda Civic from her 3 years go when she wanted a new one   

2004 Honda Civic 23000 Miles.   Her new civic 2017 has 3000 miles on it.

Or an old man.

my FIl  had a 2012 accord with 35k miles that he just sold before he passed.this year.

head to a nursing home or retirement community  look for the cars that haven’t been moved in a while.  Leave a note on it, ya might bet lucky and fine one that’s someone is willing to sell...

 

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Even if it's "thousands off"   for a lemon, any future repair bills or broken down on the side of the road or dead in driveway inconvenience is your problem.

I understand the desire for a good deal... I really do.

The tough lesson to learn on many items purchased is that the purchase price is often not where the cost is buried.  (boats anyone?)

Heck, I would venture to state that buying a car with a color you sorta-maybe do not really like is a mistake.  You will look at it every day and be dissatisfied.  The memory of the $500 you saved will be long gone. 

 

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11 hours ago, Liquid said:

What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

 

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?

No I haven't but I've heard lots of stories from people who were.

 

The 100K marker is a thing here but that's clicks, not miles. Up to around there a car is still newish and has more than that left but is a fraction of the cost of new.

For example - I bought both our current cars (Jag XJR and Range Rover HSE) with about 92K (less than 60K miles) on each. They both looked & drove like new and each cost me less than the original owners paid just in sales taxes.

These days you can expect at least 250,000 miles out of a vehicle if you maintain it.

By then they start getting pretty scruffy even if they are still mechanically sound - lots of road rash, shopping cart dings, worn upholstery, drooping headliners etc.

Those are the reasons I get rid of our cars - usually donated or given away.

 

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12 hours ago, Liquid said:

What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

 

I'm looking for a used 2nd vehicle that is an actual car and gets better mileage than my '16 Chevy Silverado...

VW GTI: $8K for a decent, well maintained, older ride (92K miles) and several owners or $17K for a 6 year younger version, 1 owner and 40K less miles on it? Different generations too. Big difference is in infotainment, back up camera, power seats, etc... But they really drive the same!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?

It is for VWs. As is age. It's not the metal that gets you, it's the electronics, including the emission controls and fuel injection. Bosch just doesn't make automotive stuff to last. 

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14 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

Lease returns are another matter entirely - one of the best choices one can make. Guaranteed to have been serviced by the book, relatively low miles,  treated well because of the residual value incentive etc.

Mrs F_L recently bought a 2019 GMC Terrain that was a rental. No issues and it's a pretty nice ride.

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Still drive my 1966 VW bus part time...260K miles on it that I know of...had it since '74.  Electronics not a problem...set the valves and change oil every 3K.  Built in theft guard...no one under 50 years old knows how to drive a VW stick.

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5 hours ago, IStream said:

It is for VWs.  As is age. It's not the metal that gets you, it's the electronics, including the emission controls and fuel injection. Bosch just doesn't make automotive stuff to last. 

My old timer contractor has working Bosch tools that are older than my first GTI!!!

 

Shit needs to be replaced on performance cars! It comes with the territory... You want great acceleration and handling, plan to spend more on brakes and tires - more often!

Knowing any car's history is a magic bullet... 'We all' look for the unicorn used car! Any well maintained car can survive long term.

I'm coming to understand this 'VW and electronics' is a worn out trope from the late 80's early 90's for VW and Audi models. 

I've had 2 VW's and 3 Audi's. They all performed past their warranties... My last one was a '14 supercharged A6. I most closely compared that A6 to the BMW 535. It was no contest, the A6 won hands down! The A6 was/is lighter, has more power, a far nicer interior, a real AWD system,  better mileage, better transmission, way more comfy to drive and less expensive!!!

 

Shit, I can buy a BMW 330i from Hertz for less or equal $ to a comparable VW GTI of the same age...

 

So, BMW's are good to go past 100K miles? But, VW, no way...???

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5 hours ago, foamy1946 said:

Still drive my 1966 VW bus part time...260K miles on it that I know of...had it since '74.  Electronics not a problem...set the valves and change oil every 3K.  Built in theft guard...no one under 50 years old knows how to drive a VW stick.

Probably any stick shift.

My youngest daughter says she's the only one in her social group who knows how to drive a manual shift vehicle.

FKT

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1 hour ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Probably any stick shift.

My youngest daughter says she's the only one in her social group who knows how to drive a manual shift vehicle.

FKT

Dad taught me stick at 12 years old back in the 70s - I was terrified!

Later on, a fun lesson: winter, plenty of snow, a large, empty parking lot and no other cars! He didn't want me to learn how to regain control of one of his cars when it was too late...

 

The clutch is dead!

Long live 6+ flappy paddle gears via a double clutch!

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21 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

wives tale... (about rental cars being abused)

 I certainly drive them like the accelerator is an on/off switch. With rental cars there is zero incentive for the renter to treat the car reasonably. 90% of renters are fine but 10% are not which probably accelerates wear and tear on engine, suspension etc. 

Look at the prices of used rental cars compared to private owners and explain why there is this perception. Would you buy a used cop car or taxi?

As an aside, we have a local car sharing company in Vancouver called EVO. The entire fleet is Priuses (Priusii?). They have so little power. You pay by the MINUTE. Damn right I'm going to get to my destination as fast as is reasonably possible. That means heavy use of the throttle and brakes. My wife is a slow driver and takes her time when she uses one. She probably pays an extra $1.00 for her trips :)

 

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I've seen many vw's and audis from early 2000s with bizarre and persistent electrical problems.  Although my 1999 Eurovan Camper has had zero issues, but not a very sophisticated computer on that bus.

the 80's and 90's VWs i've owned had zero electronic problems.

Used BMWs are super cheap, because they are super expensive to maintain.   

PS- would love to see the maintenance budget for the bloke above who drives old Jags and Land Rovers to 250k miles... 

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On 6/13/2020 at 9:52 AM, Rum Runner said:

Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   

CVT or manual?    If it is manual and not a turbo I would spend a lot more time trying to find out what was wrong with it than if it is a CVT.   I saw this thread and had been looking at Autotrader.com recently for a used Subaru manual.   Every make that is using CVT's seems to have issues.   I want nothing to do with an expensive Transmission issue.   Years ago.... like 20m,   A manual non-turbo Subaru lasted a very long time without much money put into it. That still seems to be the sweet spot in the line up. 

IF and that is if this Hertz Bankruptcy goes forward that is 700k plus used cars....

Toyota sells a limited number of AWD's every year.  

Florida has the best used car deals.   Low miles.   Texas comes in second.   Lexus has a number of car AWDs.   The LS is really something else and then add AWD.... WOW!!! 

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On 6/13/2020 at 12:07 PM, #13 said:

After 5 months of owning my first 2017 brand new Durango, it's dash lit up like a Christmas tree so off to the dealer it went.  A few days later they said 'good as new', and I didn't even get 3 miles from the dealer before the same thing.  They had it for 5 weeks and still didn't know what was wrong, had replaced almost all of the wiring harnesses / etc. and still couldn't get it to function.  Bought back as a lemon.  So, good luck if you buy it.  If you really know cars and can troubleshoot and repair them better than the dealer, go for it.

Otherwise, seems like you are buying a lemon without a warranty.

Caveat emptor.

Durango, dash lights up like a Christmas tree, maybe the electronics in the alternator keep frying themselves because they bolt them too close to the engine block without a thermal break?

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11 hours ago, MikeR80 said:

PS- would love to see the maintenance budget for the bloke above who drives old Jags and Land Rovers to 250k miles... 

Expensive cars are expensive to maintain - parts prices are relative to the new price of the cars. Labour is the same.

That said, it's not that bad - I get to drive maximum vehicles for a lot less than loan or lease payments on a lesser new vehicle.

A friend of mine buys new - his last purchases were a Boxster and a loaded Pathfinder. A couple of years ago I worked out that he had spent more on those two than my wife & I had spent in total for every vehicle we had owned in nearly 40 years or marriage.

The Range Rover took us a little past what he had just in those two.

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:18 PM, Liquid said:

What? I've never been a rental car dickhead... have you? Shame!

 

I'm looking for a used 2nd vehicle that is an actual car and gets better mileage than my '16 Chevy Silverado...

VW GTI: $8K for a decent, well maintained, older ride (92K miles) and several owners or $17K for a 6 year younger version, 1 owner and 40K less miles on it? Different generations too. Big difference is in infotainment, back up camera, power seats, etc... But they really drive the same!

Is the 100K marker still really a thing?

Careful..  if it is a auto trans.....Had one with about the same mi.... Had a tranny issue that could only be fixed by replacing the circuit board INSIDE the tranny.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$ Imperceptible slip when tooling to the ice cream store, but on the highway it would totally skip gears.....Fun car, paced with a couple Audi's, but i was lucky to get  5g when i sold it......  Tranny would have cost more....

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23 hours ago, Windward said:

Even if it's "thousands off"   for a lemon, any future repair bills or broken down on the side of the road or dead in driveway inconvenience is your problem.

I understand the desire for a good deal... I really do.

The tough lesson to learn on many items purchased is that the purchase price is often not where the cost is buried.  (boats anyone?)

Heck, I would venture to state that buying a car with a color you sorta-maybe do not really like is a mistake.  You will look at it every day and be dissatisfied.  The memory of the $500 you saved will be long gone. 

 

Ugh..  MIL just moved in and I get the 2013 honda accord with 7k..  It's a hideous AZ white on white interior....  7k is great, no car pmt is great, but omg...  HATE the car......

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10 minutes ago, shaggy said:

Careful..  if it is a auto trans.....Had one with about the same mi.... Had a tranny issue that could only be fixed by replacing the circuit board INSIDE the tranny.  $$$$$$$$$$$$$ Imperceptible slip when tooling to the ice cream store, but on the highway it would totally skip gears.....Fun car, paced with a couple Audi's, but i was lucky to get  5g when i sold it......  Tranny would have cost more....

It just seems a stretch to have to pay 2X the $ for 40K less miles on a modern auto...

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Chasing bugs is no fun ether..  Had a jeep GC that would stall when i took a hard left.  happened numerous times(fun at intersections) I am dumb though, bought another Jeep GC.....  YMMV

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12 hours ago, MikeR80 said:

 Although my 1999 Eurovan Camper has had zero issues, but not a very sophisticated computer on that bus.

the 80's and 90's VWs i've owned had zero electronic problems.

 

Thing about the Eurovans either they go 300K miles with no issues, or they are a money pit..    Keep en eye on your timing chain, and if not already done, add a transmission fluid cooler..  One little pinhole leak in the stock cooler and bingo you just spent $7K

Oh! your ABS rear left wheel sensor  keep an eye on that too... 

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Liquid said:

My old timer contractor has working Bosch tools that are older than my first GTI!!!

 

Shit needs to be replaced on performance cars! It comes with the territory... You want great acceleration and handling, plan to spend more on brakes and tires - more often!

Knowing any car's history is a magic bullet... 'We all' look for the unicorn used car! Any well maintained car can survive long term.

I'm coming to understand this 'VW and electronics' is a worn out trope from the late 80's early 90's for VW and Audi models. 

I've had 2 VW's and 3 Audi's. They all performed past their warranties... My last one was a '14 supercharged A6. I most closely compared that A6 to the BMW 535. It was no contest, the A6 won hands down! The A6 was/is lighter, has more power, a far nicer interior, a real AWD system,  better mileage, better transmission, way more comfy to drive and less expensive!!!

 

Shit, I can buy a BMW 330i from Hertz for less or equal $ to a comparable VW GTI of the same age...

 

So, BMW's are good to go past 100K miles? But, VW, no way...???

I said Bosch automotive electronics, not tools. I own a number of Bosch hand tools that have stood the test of time, though I'm more impressed with their corded stuff than their cordless. 

As for VW, my last experience was with a 2005 model year Golf that started losing $300 Bosch components every quarter after its third birthday. N=1, YMMV, etc but I've had enough of the brand.

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23 hours ago, IStream said:

Bosch just doesn't make automotive stuff to last. 

The Bosche Digifant and the Digijet system were pretty solid... though...  they used a thin rubber in place of synthetic coverings for wires lots shorts and improper grounding came with age.  throw that system off by a few millivolts and your chasing some ghost...   There were a few other issues with the airflow meters..  Funny, the Volvo 240 and the Volkswagen Vanagon used the same airflow meter... Volvo very seldom had a problem, but VW... nothing but problems..  it was call Sudden Death Syndrome.

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14 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

Thing about the Eurovans either they go 300K miles with no issues, or they are a money pit..    Keep en eye on your timing chain, and if not already done, add a transmission fluid cooler..  One little pinhole leak in the stock cooler and bingo you just spent $7K

Oh! your ABS rear left wheel sensor  keep an eye on that too... 

 

 

 

Have one in the fam.  Fun stuff.  VR6 engine, so it hums along...  Will add the tranny cooler once it gets to the mountains.  Good point on the sensor...  Pita is doing anything on that damn engine.  Gotta yank the whole dash.....  :P

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10 minutes ago, shaggy said:

Gotta yank the whole dash.....  :P

Not for the meek

1628723.jpg

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Just now, nacradriver said:

Not for the meek

1628723.jpg

oof... Replacing the damn radio antenna was a PITA, let alone that shit..  Fucking Germans..... 

Will add bumper sticker that reads "yes this is a vw van and yes it is passing you".....  :P

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Serviceability hasn't been a factor in car design for decades. Ease of assembly on the line is all that matters now.

Most mechanics now spend more time pulling stuff off to gain access to the repair than they do on the repair.

Back in the 90's my guy told me that changing the plugs in a 4th gen Camaro was a 7 hour job. :o

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21 minutes ago, IStream said:

I said Bosch automotive electronics, not tools. I own a number of Bosch hand tools that have stood the test of time, though I'm more impressed with their corded stuff than their cordless. 

As for VW, my last experience was with a 2005 model year Golf that started losing $300 Bosch components every quarter after its third birthday. N=1, YMMV, etc but I've had enough of the brand.

I'm starting to have my doubts too! It could be the next VW product I get is the one that shits the bed when all others never did. Probably shouldn't tempt automotive fate!

I just want to find a good, reliable,used hatchback

I guess, next on the list is Subaru...

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3 minutes ago, shaggy said:

oof... Replacing the damn radio antenna was a PITA, let alone that shit..  Fucking Germans..... 

Will add bumper sticker that reads "yes this is a vw van and yes it is passing you".....  :P

When working on a German car you need to think in German..  that is why I replaced the engine in my Vanagon with a Subaru EJ22...  80 MPH at 2200 RPM, not a problem..

The guy I sold it to, drove it from San Francisco to Syracuse, NY, from there to Alaska and then back down to the Bay Area...  Why the phucking German didn't get an engine from Porsche and put it in there befuddles me..

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:30 PM, SloopJonB said:

Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make. They get abused like they were owned by the Duke brothers.

Lease returns are another matter entirely - one of the best choices one can make. Guaranteed to have been serviced by the book, relatively low miles,  treated well because of the residual value incentive etc.

 

I was looking at some cargo vans for work on the hertz site.

I don't think a where a used work van comes from matters.  They've all gotten a beat down likely.  But, the cargo area can tell you a lot too add to what they've done.

At least you know maintenance was likely pulled on schedule with a rental like that.

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4 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Back in the 90's my guy told me that changing the plugs in a 4th gen Camaro was a 7 hour job. :o 

Been an issue with Porsche for years... easier to drop the engine and do all of the service and then put it back in..

Now-a-days,  they just hook it up to the diagnostic computer and go from there..   With Audi and BMW it even tells them the part number and gives a step by step instruction, and labor time estimate..   I am sure the others do this too.

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Starting to look like the backyard shade tree mechanic will soon be dropping the subframe for any/all repairs.  Some cars make it look easy... some not so much.

Pain in the rear in any event.

Fast forward to 50 years in the future, and it will be routine to unplug major components, and plug in a fresh one.  Engine motors, battery packs, the works.  Cars will be like printers.  Cartridges are where they make all the money.  Printer is basically free. 

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7 minutes ago, Liquid said:

I guess, next on the list is Subaru...

For years I races Maico MX bikes... got real familiar with the engine and gearboxes.  Not because they we so well built...  but it was great education.

Tore into a Subaru to extract the engine, and then do some rebuild work on the engine...  pretty impressed with the engineering.. 

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15 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Probably any stick shift.

My youngest daughter says she's the only one in her social group who knows how to drive a manual shift vehicle.

FKT

Have one of the last ones on the planet.  BMW 5 series..  Great fun on the highway and in the twisties.  Can't get it out of 2nd gear in town...  :P  Taught the kid on an old honda stick so the knowledge is passed down.  With paddle shifters, stick is a thing of the past.....  Waiting for the day when the kid comes home from the bar and says, 'This guy had a lambo and he coulkd not drive stick.  I drove him home..  got the girl too....  "  :D  Kind of like thinking that my juggling skills will pick up chicks back in the day......  

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14 hours ago, Zonker said:

 I certainly drive them like the accelerator is an on/off switch. With rental cars there is zero incentive for the renter to treat the car reasonably. 90% of renters are fine but 10% are not which probably accelerates wear and tear on engine, suspension etc. 

Look at the prices of used rental cars compared to private owners and explain why there is this perception. Would you buy a used cop car or taxi?

As an aside, we have a local car sharing company in Vancouver called EVO. The entire fleet is Priuses (Priusii?). They have so little power. You pay by the MINUTE. Damn right I'm going to get to my destination as fast as is reasonably possible. That means heavy use of the throttle and brakes. My wife is a slow driver and takes her time when she uses one. She probably pays an extra $1.00 for her trips :)

 

I had to....  

 

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22 minutes ago, nacradriver said:

For years I races Maico MX bikes... got real familiar with the engine and gearboxes.  Not because they we so well built...  but it was great education.

Tore into a Subaru to extract the engine, and then do some rebuild work on the engine...  pretty impressed with the engineering.. 

My summer project is to rebuild the Subaru engine that I blew up in my Polaris snowmobile. It's the 488cc two-stroke, two-carb, two-cylinder Fuji/Subaru engine.

Those Subaru engines are definitely designed with the "less is more" approach. I expect to find about 9 moving parts in that engine, if that.

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16 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Probably any stick shift.

My youngest daughter says she's the only one in her social group who knows how to drive a manual shift vehicle.

FKT

I ordered my 2018 Mustang with an anti-theft device.........6-speed manual :lol:

 

Only downside is that only about 50% of valets can drive it, but that's a rare interaction anyway.

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

A couple of years ago I worked out that he had spent more on those two than my wife & I had spent in total for every vehicle we had owned in nearly 40 years or marriage.

Our previous car died on the highway. After some compression tests at the local dealership we decided to scrap it.

We're searching craigslist for cars and I've put in something like $3500 for the Max Price.  Wife mentions "you know we've been buying used cars for 30 years and you're still paying the same price". She had a point so we spent $6500 on the last one. 

I've owned 7 cars in the past 30 years. 3 have been totalled in accidents that were not our fault. 2 have been sold so we could go off sailing. 1 died. And we are on #7. I think the total purchase prices would be about $25K including the expensive new one. If you subtract the insurance settlements for the ones that have been totalled, which have surprisingly all been more than I paid for the cars, I think our net cost to purchase is around $20K.  However it should be noted we've only owned cars for about 15 of those past 30 years; the other 15 we have owned boats and were sailing. I think we've done pretty good. Helps if you are handy with tools. Most repairs have been minor.

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2 hours ago, Hatin' life said:

I was looking at some cargo vans for work on the hertz site.

I don't think a where a used work van comes from matters.  They've all gotten a beat down likely.  But, the cargo area can tell you a lot too add to what they've done.

At least you know maintenance was likely pulled on schedule with a rental like that.

I always figured the biggest problem with rental cars besides no-one giving a shit was that they get driven by dozens of different people, few to none of whom are familiar with them - that has to add a lot of wear & tear.

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2 hours ago, Windward said:

Starting to look like the backyard shade tree mechanic will soon be dropping the subframe for any/all repairs.

Part of why the shade tree mechanic is becoming an historical artifact. So much has to be accessed from underneath that a hoist is practically mandatory to work on modern cars.

My guys scanner cost $10K. It's like the one NACRA talked about but it does it for different brands too.

The "home" units are pretty unreliable or inaccurate or non-specific.

Add all that to the previous posts about how much shit you have to strip out just to get at things and who has the time?

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23 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Part of why the shade tree mechanic is becoming an historical artifact. So much has to be accessed from underneath that a hoist is practically mandatory to work on modern cars.

My guys scanner cost $10K. It's like the one NACRA talked about but it does it for different brands too.

The "home" units are pretty unreliable or inaccurate or non-specific.

Add all that to the previous posts about how much shit you have to strip out just to get at things and who has the time?

With carbs and points and condensers, it used to be that anybody with some aptitude could be a shade tree mechanic. With battery electric cars, there won't be much you can do to service your vehicle but their vastly higher reliability should offset the lack of self-serviceability. Right now we're in this awkward in-between phase where we've got IC engines and related mechanicals that are computerized enough that they can't easily be diagnosed and fixed by amateurs but they're an order of magnitude less reliable than battery electric vehicles.

At some point down the road, a car's reliability will be dictated by the quality of its software. Which is disconcerting. 

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2 hours ago, mikewof said:

My summer project is to rebuild the Subaru engine that I blew up in my Polaris snowmobile. It's the 488cc two-stroke, two-carb, two-cylinder Fuji/Subaru engine.

Those Subaru engines are definitely designed with the "less is more" approach. I expect to find about 9 moving parts in that engine, if that.

Most two stroke engines are simple like that.  

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2 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

nice tires

I was more concerned about the creeper...  is that a home made jobbie?  Bravo to you!

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I really like my $20 Bluetooth OBD-II dongle that talks to my phone.  We had a Mazda 3 and it would stall after a full fillup at the gas pump.

No check engine codes were showing but I plugged it in, it showed a fault in the emissions system. Google the symptom + the code, $30 part replaced and the problem was fixed. It does display real time data with graphs if you want - but you have to pay an extra $5 for that to one of the app developers

No way it matches the multi hundred pro shop tools but it's a lot cheaper than the $200-300 ones and just as capable. Also very useful to check out used cars and see if any codes have been recently cleared :)

 

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47 minutes ago, Windward said:

I was more concerned about the creeper...  is that a home made jobbie?  Bravo to you!

I was more concerned about the contents of that drip pan - doesn't matter if that's oil or coolant - somethin' ain't quite right. :D

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6 hours ago, Liquid said:

I'm starting to have my doubts too! It could be the next VW product I get is the one that shits the bed when all others never did. Probably shouldn't tempt automotive fate!

I just want to find a good, reliable,used hatchback

I guess, next on the list is Subaru...

My Subaru is up to 302,000 km now. Body looks pretty tatty, no rust though. But it drives just fine and I'd set off on a trip to Perth WA without a second thought.

FKT

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You over pay if you buy new or you roll the dice on any used car... W T F !?

 

Can I hire a used car acquisition guru to find me a less than $12K usable/serviceable car?

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1 hour ago, SloopJonB said:

I was more concerned about the contents of that drip pan - doesn't matter if that's oil or coolant - somethin' ain't quite right. :D

Looks like gm’s orange dexcool that I had in my 94 impala ss,  with the reverse flow cooling and the water pump with a weep hole directly above the optispark ignition...  

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Is there any way of finding why a car was lemon lawed? Would the dealer that was dealing with the car have records?

We don't have the same lemon laws here.

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4 hours ago, Liquid said:

You over pay if you buy new or you roll the dice on any used car... W T F !?

 

Can I hire a used car acquisition guru to find me a less than $12K usable/serviceable car?

Do what I do - find a car you think is good and have a trusted mechanic look it over. Only costs an hours labour rate.

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5 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

My Subaru is up to 302,000 km now. Body looks pretty tatty, no rust though. But it drives just fine and I'd set off on a trip to Perth WA without a second thought.

FKT

I think all the RHD Subies are built in Japan, maybe they build them better there, I have 3, have had a few issues with a diesel Forester, problems that weren’t documented when I bought it 5 years ago, needed a new clutch which cost a fortune having a dual mass flywheel, and had issues with the particulate filter due to 2 different pipes failing at different times. All sorted for now, wife loves the car as her bike fits nicely in the back, so no need to put a bike rack on.

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On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 11:30 PM, SloopJonB said:

Used rental cars are just about the worst choice one can make.

the folks that bought the hertz 66 shelby's might disagree with this statement 

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15 hours ago, Zonker said:

I really like my $20 Bluetooth OBD-II dongle that talks to my phone.  We had a Mazda 3 and it would stall after a full fillup at the gas pump.

No check engine codes were showing but I plugged it in, it showed a fault in the emissions system. Google the symptom + the code, $30 part replaced and the problem was fixed. It does display real time data with graphs if you want - but you have to pay an extra $5 for that to one of the app developers

No way it matches the multi hundred pro shop tools but it's a lot cheaper than the $200-300 ones and just as capable. Also very useful to check out used cars and see if any codes have been recently cleared :)

 

Auto zone will let ya borrow the good ones....  Cheap Free and easy...  They did change the policy to force the cust to use the machine instead of the employee(for legal reasons I assume) but all in all it takes 5 mins...  

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10 minutes ago, hermetic said:

the folks that bought the hertz 66 shelby's might disagree with this statement 

Have to smile at that one.....  :)

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I just put a bid on on Hoovies '92 500E

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12 minutes ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I just put a bid on on Hoovies '92 500E 

If you lose the bid, go to Stuttgart, you can buy one at the MBZ Mussume Gift Shop complete with a millennial anti-theft device.

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I bought my first new to me car since 2003 last January. I picked up a 2012 VW Touareg Executive edition with 91K miles in darn near perfect shape for 13.5K or 14.2K out the door. Aftermarket tint on the front side windows (legal) but only one key fob ($350 to get another one and reprogram both of them).

I am super happy with it and with the big street tires on it it corners like a crazy. Ride is a little harsh with the same wheels and tires on it unless roadway is smooth otherwise it gobbled up Hwy 5 miles up to Oregon and back in amazing comfort and quiet. The modern do dads are a joy as well. Hands free phone, bluetooth music, memory seats/mirrors etc.

With the snow tires and 17" wheels instead of the 20" wheels and low profile tires the ride is much much better and in the snow its amazingly useful.

I will say that it is far less practical than the AWD Toyota Sienna mini-van. Without putting a huge pod on top the Touareg can only move two or three skiers in comfort with all the gear. As soon as you put a pod on it you can't use parking garages. The mini van wont go away as I also hate putting bikes on top or on the back of vehicles. Yes, I went to the dark side and finally own an SUV for now. An Audi A6 Quattro wagon with a pod on top is truly more practical but being higher off the ground is definitely helpful which is why the mini van still wins the all around practicality and ride comfort award.

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22 hours ago, nacradriver said:

Not for the meek

1628723.jpg

Spark plug change? Be sure to do the wiper blades while you’re in there.

Hertz keeps coming up, I took a look at a few of their sales sites after hearing they were filing; there aren’t any deals there relative to KBB and NADA valuations (at least on the larger cars/SUVs). Pass.

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Thinking of trading my '17 WRX for an '04 or '05 Mercedes SL500,  hardtop convertible.  V8 so mileage may be a little worse, but I have the Nissan Frontier pickup with 4X4, when there is snow and ice on the roads.  Or, Missus BB's X3 which is AWD.  Anyone have any experience with these, good,  bad, or indifferent?  Thanks in advance!!:)

 

EDIT, Gonna have to rethink this after reading all the problems many have had with these.

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Mercedes convertibles of any generation are for masochists.

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6 minutes ago, IStream said:

Mercedes convertibles of any generation are for masochists.

I have a laminated note taped to the dashboard of my 71 280sl that says "before you attempt to put the top up or down call my cell"

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8 minutes ago, IStream said:

Mercedes convertibles of any generation are for masochists.

 

After reading some stories of the MR requirements and costs, I think I'm better off putting Stage 1 mods on the WRX and get over 300 Ponies...

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You have to be able to store a heavy hard top in the garage on a pulley system. The older 560SL type of MBs are hammers and will go 120mph all day long for 100 years. Very comfortable seats even for larger/taller folks and the ride is great. They just slew around a bit in the turns when pushed but are very predictable and easy to drive fast which is impressive in such a heavy car. When I drove a 450SL in the middle of the night on Hwy 5 in the winter back in the early 80's from Sacramento to Ashland, OR I was able to outrun the CHP at 120mph plus in a straight line, cut over to 99, cut back at Redding and drove around Lake Shasta at high speed. The car didn't miss a beat and the temp gauges didnt budge. Cars love it when its 40F out :)

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22 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

You have to be able to store a heavy hard top in the garage on a pulley system. The older 560SL type of MBs are hammers and will go 120mph all day long for 100 years. Very comfortable seats even for larger/taller folks and the ride is great. They just slew around a bit in the turns when pushed but are very predictable and easy to drive fast which is impressive in such a heavy car. When I drove a 450SL in the middle of the night on Hwy 5 in the winter back in the early 80's from Sacramento to Ashland, OR I was able to outrun the CHP at 120mph plus in a straight line, cut over to 99, cut back at Redding and drove around Lake Shasta at high speed. The car didn't miss a beat and the temp gauges didnt budge. Cars love it when its 40F out :)

You do know that the 450SL was designed to run the A8 from Stuttgart to Munich...  Made this drive many times... at 120 MPH, you better stay in the right lane. :lol:

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3 hours ago, MisterMoon said:

Masochist!

I wanted the AMGwagon the most but too rich for my blood.  I remember getting blown out of the water by those 500s back when I was on the street with fast rotaries.

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2 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

You have to be able to store a heavy hard top in the garage on a pulley system. The older 560SL type of MBs are hammers and will go 120mph all day long for 100 years. Very comfortable seats even for larger/taller folks and the ride is great. They just slew around a bit in the turns when pushed but are very predictable and easy to drive fast which is impressive in such a heavy car. When I drove a 450SL in the middle of the night on Hwy 5 in the winter back in the early 80's from Sacramento to Ashland, OR I was able to outrun the CHP at 120mph plus in a straight line, cut over to 99, cut back at Redding and drove around Lake Shasta at high speed. The car didn't miss a beat and the temp gauges didnt budge. Cars love it when its 40F out :)

 

I guess you missed the "hardtop convertible", in my post.  The fixed hardtop folds up and stores itself in the trunk.  I had a couple cars with removable hardtops, and that doesn't bother, I just prefer the folding one.  When I was a teenager in High School, working at a Foreign Car shop after school the "pagoda" roof 280 SL was my favorite car.  But I want modern electronics, comforts and HORSEPOWER. 

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41 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

I guess you missed the "hardtop convertible", in my post.  The fixed hardtop folds up and stores itself in the trunk.  I had a couple cars with removable hardtops, and that doesn't bother, I just prefer the folding one.  When I was a teenager in High School, working at a Foreign Car shop after school the "pagoda" roof 280 SL was my favorite car.  But I want modern electronics, comforts and HORSEPOWER. 

Indeed I missed that. There are many foldable hard tops for sure. Since the vehicle is totally impractical anyway who gives a shit about the trunk :) Seriously.

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2 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

I wanted the AMGwagon the most but too rich for my blood.  I remember getting blown out of the water by those 500s back when I was on the street with fast rotaries.

Some of those really looked nice. Definitely out of my range for sure though now that I have a few months with the Touareg with 280 hp or so which works fine in most cases, I am starting to look at the Porsche Cayenne Turbo cause if 280 is good 350 or more has got to be better! My youngest would shake his head though.

When I mentioned the idea to him his exact words were, "Why would you do that, the Tourareg is the least douchebaggiest of all those "sport" suv's." He says I should just tune the Touareg and stay in stealth mode.

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13 minutes ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

Indeed I missed that. There are many foldable hard tops for sure. Since the vehicle is totally impractical anyway who gives a shit about the trunk :) Seriously.

 

Not really impractical for me, but I get what you mean.  We have a 4x4 pickup and AWD SUV as well.  And 95% of my driving is solo on the work commute, and visiting rental condos, as seldom as possible. And If Missus BB and I go shopping or whatever we might do together, I expect there is enough room for the groceries, or whatever.  If not, we simply take another vehicle.  OTOH, after very brief research on the SL500, there are more bad stories than good ones, so that's on the shelf, at least until next August, when I start getting SSI.  And by then, I will probably covet a 911 Cabrio, or something else....

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2 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

 

Not really impractical for me, but I get what you mean.  We have a 4x4 pickup and AWD SUV as well.  And 95% of my driving is solo on the work commute, and visiting rental condos, as seldom as possible. And If Missus BB and I go shopping or whatever when might do as a couple, I expect there is room for the groceries, or whatever.  If not, we simply take another vehicle.  OTOH, after very brief research on the SL500, there are more bad stories than good ones, so that's on the shelf, at least until next August, when I start getting SSI.  And by then, I will probably covet a 911 Cabrio, or something else....

Understood, I was more talking from an all around perspective.

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On 6/15/2020 at 10:03 AM, shaggy said:

oof... Replacing the damn radio antenna was a PITA, let alone that shit..  Fucking Germans..... 

Will add bumper sticker that reads "yes this is a vw van and yes it is passing you".....  :P

See if you thought like a German this wouldn't be an issue as your logic would dictate that having it all torn down I may as well go looking for stuff that might fail and replace it..  Or Zeit für ein Upgrade auf das Sires-Satellitenradio...

 

 

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17 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

but only one key fob ($350 to get another one and reprogram both of them).

There is a way around this, did it with my 2007 Toymotor.

If the battery goes flat in your remote there is a secondary system that allows you to use the car.

I got a "dumb key" made that is just a key that allows you to open the door and has the non-contact chip in it that you place over the start button that allows the car to be started (normally if the battery goes flat in your fob) for a fraction of the cost.

It's not great,  but is a good lower cost alternative to a proper replacement smart key.

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16 hours ago, billy backstay said:

 

I guess you missed the "hardtop convertible", in my post.  The fixed hardtop folds up and stores itself in the trunk.  I had a couple cars with removable hardtops, and that doesn't bother, I just prefer the folding one.  When I was a teenager in High School, working at a Foreign Car shop after school the "pagoda" roof 280 SL was my favorite car.  But I want modern electronics, comforts and HORSEPOWER. 

Be careful. The repair costs on those folding hard tops can be a bit painful, to say the least. 

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On 6/13/2020 at 9:52 AM, Rum Runner said:

Looking for a used car recently from a Subaru dealer near me. When reviewing the CarFax report some of the cars with low miles that seem to be pretty good deals are listed as "Repurchased/Lemon Law" by the manufacturer.

Is this a red flag to run the other direction or is it just a cranky owner with buyer's remorse?  Looks like this dealer has a good number of these cars in inventory.   

if you're buying used. you are buying a car that someone got rid of for whatever reason.  It's safe to assume that reason is sufficiently bad enough to go thru the hassle of reploacing the vehicle. 

having said that, i just bought an ex-police CrownVic about a year ago. got a screaming deal.... or so I thought. I've replaced the engine and brakes so far. some other minor repairs.  however, all in i've got a 2011 big a$$ sedan, last of the body-on-frame, for about $11K with a fresh rebuilt motor (3year/100k warranty).  Not exactly a screaming-deal anymore, but the chassis has 100k on it now and a fresh motor.  anything used would have 69-110k+ on the whole car for that price. So I'm ok.

point is, used cars are someone else's problems. buy at own risk and be prepared to fix some issues. look for the bright yellow paint marker on major components.  this indicates that the part came from a salvage yard and the vehicle has had major repairs done with salvage parts.  they may be good and have no issues OR you may need to correctly address the repairs at some point in the future. look for a car that is easy to repair and parts are reasonable/cheap for (this is why taxi services ran the CVic).  

and yes, the CrownVic runs like a scalded ape. like the Elwood Blues said... "Cop motor, cop tires, cop shocks".... definitely a highway cruiser. 70mph, the motor is ticking over 2100rpm. very relaxed.

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12 hours ago, nacradriver said:

See if you thought like a German this wouldn't be an issue as your logic would dictate that having it all torn down I may as well go looking for stuff that might fail and replace it..  Or Zeit für ein Upgrade auf das Sires-Satellitenradio...

 

 

Dad is a german engineer, so yes, I am familiar with the concept.....  

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11 minutes ago, shaggy said:

Dad is a german engineer, so yes, I am familiar with the concept.....  

:lol:

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Just now, nacradriver said:

:lol:

There is a boat that had a brand new teak deck and subframes replaced all because I found a soft spot about the size of a quarter by the chainplates.....  Guess who had to rip out the old deck??  ;)

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