cars and how they get that way

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Jake
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cars and how they get that way

Post by Jake » 22 Sep 2011, 19:25

Just finished negotiations for a new car, and have realized how weird my personal car-buying priorities are.

I'm purchasing a new 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid. It's destined to be a commuter car, so good mileage was a big part of the decision-making process. It's reputedly a high-quality car, and reliability was also an important part of the process. But there are cars out there that are both cheaper and get better mileage, and are plenty reliable. And I don't really care that much about hybrid vs. non-hybrid, so it's not like I'm all "ooh, I'm saving the Earth!" or anything.

So why this car in particular?

BECAUSE I CAN FUCKING FIT INSIDE OF IT!*

Whew! Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me vent.

* Note that this is not the same thing as "I can fit inside of it while fucking."
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lunchstealer
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer » 22 Sep 2011, 19:33

Jake wrote:Just finished negotiations for a new car, and have realized how weird my personal car-buying priorities are.

I'm purchasing a new 2011 Nissan Altima Hybrid. It's destined to be a commuter car, so good mileage was a big part of the decision-making process. It's reputedly a high-quality car, and reliability was also an important part of the process. But there are cars out there that are both cheaper and get better mileage, and are plenty reliable. And I don't really care that much about hybrid vs. non-hybrid, so it's not like I'm all "ooh, I'm saving the Earth!" or anything.

So why this car in particular?

BECAUSE I CAN FUCKING FIT INSIDE OF IT!*

Whew! Okay, I feel better now. Thanks for letting me vent.
This was why the more-reliable 1990 Toyota Tacoma SR-5 Extra-cab was tossed aside in favor of the Ranger Supercab. Although it would've been my parents' second vehicle, they wanted to be able to use it for an emergency vehicle for me, as I was just starting college, and the 1969 Ford Fairlane did have the potential to leave me stuck for days or weeks far from rescue or replacement. I could not get my knee under the steering wheel of the Toyota, despite having tilt steering (still novel for the low-end market at the time) and the extended cab with the seat all the way back. And I'm only 6'3", and with only marginally over-proportioned legs, if at all.

The Ford was comfy, and as far as I know went without major mechanical problems before its untimely end due to drunk driverism.
* Note that this is not the same thing as "I can fit inside of it while fucking."
Yeah, for this, if you're over about 26, you need at least a station wagon, but better a pickup or Suburban, but mostly if you're over 26 you can afford a goddamned hotel room.
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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 22 Sep 2011, 19:37

Speaking of room, I was disappointed earlier today when I saw one of those Smart cars park in our neighborhood and only one clown got out.

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Highway
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway » 22 Sep 2011, 20:24

I am much less comfortable in my wife's Honda Accord than I am in my Honda Civic for the same reason. Even with the fancy power seat all the way down and the tilt wheel all the way up, it feels like the steering wheel is in my lap, as opposed to in front of my chest like my Civic.

Another dimension that is frequently messed up is the space between the B pillar (at the trailing side of the door) and the steering wheel. Many Chrysler Co. vehicles I've been in can move the seat very far back, but it moves back behind the B pillar, so it's still no easier to get in.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Aresen » 23 Sep 2011, 00:04

Jake wrote:Just finished negotiations for a new car, and have realized how weird my personal car-buying priorities are.

-
-

So why this car in particular?

BECAUSE I CAN FUCKING FIT INSIDE OF IT!*
I would consider the ability to enter a vehicle more or less a prerequisite to driving it, so I don't consider that at all weird.
jake wrote:* Note that this is not the same thing as "I can fit inside of it while fucking."
Which, in my teenage years, was considered a highly desirable option. Of course, I was much more flexible then.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 23 Sep 2011, 00:41

Aresen wrote:
Jake wrote:Just finished negotiations for a new car, and have realized how weird my personal car-buying priorities are.

-
-

So why this car in particular?

BECAUSE I CAN FUCKING FIT INSIDE OF IT!*
I would consider the ability to enter a vehicle more or less a prerequisite to driving it, so I don't consider that at all weird.
jake wrote:* Note that this is not the same thing as "I can fit inside of it while fucking."
Which, in my teenage years, was considered a highly desirable option. Of course, I was much more flexible then.
And it was your folks' car.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by pistoffnick » 23 Sep 2011, 10:28

I will never buy a Dodge again.

The latest truck repair was almost $600 to replace a brake line. Its a little steel tube that carries brake fluid from the reservoir back to the rear brake caliper. When you step on the brake pedal, the fluid pressure travel along that line and causes the caliper to squeeze thus slowing your forward motion. Unfortunately the brilliant engineers at Dodge decide to route it through the frame, over the gas tank, and in other innaccessible areas.

This has been the least reliable vehicle I have ever owned.

I want my Toyota Lancruiser FJ40 back. Dead simple, reliable, plowed through anything, parts were cheap.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ayn_Randian » 23 Sep 2011, 16:29

pistoffnick wrote:I will never buy a Dodge again.

The latest truck repair was almost $600 to replace a brake line. Its a little steel tube that carries brake fluid from the reservoir back to the rear brake caliper. When you step on the brake pedal, the fluid pressure travel along that line and causes the caliper to squeeze thus slowing your forward motion. Unfortunately the brilliant engineers at Dodge decide to route it through the frame, over the gas tank, and in other innaccessible areas.

This has been the least reliable vehicle I have ever owned.

I want my Toyota Lancruiser FJ40 back. Dead simple, reliable, plowed through anything, parts were cheap.
I was formerly proud to be a Chrysler fanboy, but their quality has noticeably declined in the past 10 years or so. I have a Sebring and between the undersized braking system (which has already required a $1000 repair) and the fact that the freaking battery is located right above the left wheel (requiring removal of said wheel for replacement), my next car will not be a Chrysler. It makes me sad, in a way.
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Highway
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway » 23 Sep 2011, 19:33

We got a first year Dodge Neon, which may not have been the best choice, but honestly it wasn't horrible. What it was was exceedingly cheaply made. It's not like it broke down all the time, but we did replace it in about 6 years and in that time it had some annoying problems. A recall that the dealership botched. Seriously, if I get a recall / repair notice, and make an appointment with you for a week from now, HAVE THE DAMN PART READY. Don't take my car, look for the problem, then tell me it'll have to wait until tomorrow for you to get the part. Problems with a wire rubbing, setting off the CEL, necessitating a Saturday morning service before we were leaving for a driving vacation, which didn't actually fix the problem so that the light came on 100 miles into our trip. An AC system evaporator going bad.

We replaced the Neon with a Honda Accord, which we've now had for almost 11 years. We've also had a Civic for 14 years. We don't drive a lot, the Civic has 84000 miles on it. Both cars feel newer than the Neon did at 6 years. And our service experience has been entirely the opposite. So there's no way I'll get a Chrysler / Fiatsler product. Even though I think the 500 is pretty cute.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by the innominate one » 23 Sep 2011, 20:07

The rule I've heard is never purchase a car model in the first few years after it's introduced, so they can work out the problems in the design.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway » 23 Sep 2011, 20:46

Yeah, that's a rule I know as well, but if we'd waited a year or two, it would have been the one that didn't look as good. It's also something that more recently has gone away as a rule of thumb. It tends to apply more to cars that have poor repair records in the first place, so it's one of those things that is easy to see in hindsight, but not that simple or straightforward in practice.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by JasonL » 23 Sep 2011, 20:49

My first car was a dodge Aries k. I've seen all I need to see.

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 23 Sep 2011, 21:55

JasonL wrote:My first car was a dodge Aries k. I've seen all I need to see.
Roughly same here. We owned a K car at some point and that was a piece of crap if ever there was one. Mopar may have meant something once, but Chrysler should have been left to die the first time.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer » 24 Sep 2011, 13:25

I've never owned a Chrysler, although we came perilously close to a first-series Voyager minivan (we instead got a tried-and-true Ford Crown Victoria wagon that made it from 1984 to 1998-9 without major problems and with LOTS of miles, although less miles than my first car, which was a '69 Fairlane wagon that made it to 249000 miles, although it had to have a tranny rebuild at 199000, although to be fair that was shortly after Hugo, where we'd had to use it to tow 5-ton trailers full of downed trees out to the landfill, exceeding it's trailer-towing-package specs by almost a ton.

And I'm intrigued by the Fiat 500 because the Top Gear guys are so enamored of it, but I don't think I could own one unless I had the money to hire a repair truck to follow it around. I'm willing to change my mind, but that's my default until I hear otherwise. Of course, I'd be seriously tempted by a Focus, but I'm leery for the same reason.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Highway » 24 Sep 2011, 14:22

My parents have a '87 Grand Voyager, which is still running. Really, of the 80's Chrysler cars, they were probably the best from a design and execution standpoint. Yeah, they have a reputation for bad seals, and blown transmissions, but I also think that might be partly blamed on their usual users (Mommy-van!) eschewing normal maintenance.

The Fiat 500 is one of those cars that I find intriguing also, but think that the Top Gear guys like because it's a quintessential European small car. There really are fundamental differences in the way vehicles are used on either side of the Atlantic. VW's sell tremendously well over there, and don't have nearly the reputation for being an expensive-to-repair crapwagon that they do in the US. For whatever reason, they break down much more frequently in the US, and the dealers have an absolutely atrocious reputation for screwing customers, inability to fix things, and just out and out douchebaggery. It's not due to any factor anyone can really pin down anymore (since Westmoreland shut down). So VW's are super polarizing: Some people talk about how they run great. Other people recite a list of painful stupid repair visits, many times the same thing over and over and over. I tend to feel that VW's are better than before the mid-90's, when they'd be cool, but trim bits would just fall off, switches would just not work, and the interiors made you feel punished by teutonic brutalism. Not to mention the rampant electrical system issues.

The early reviews I've heard of the 500 point to some of this 'Euro vs 'murica' difference again. The standard engine in the US is regularly reported as underpowered for US driving style, which destroys the point of it (MultiAir efficiency at lower power requirements). It's interior is great for some, terrible for others. We'll see how it sells.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by the innominate one » 24 Sep 2011, 14:27

lunchstealer wrote:I've never owned a Chrysler, although we came perilously close to a first-series Voyager minivan (we instead got a tried-and-true Ford Crown Victoria wagon that made it from 1984 to 1998-9 without major problems and with LOTS of miles, although less miles than my first car, which was a '69 Fairlane wagon that made it to 249000 miles, although it had to have a tranny rebuild at 199000, although to be fair that was shortly after Hugo, where we'd had to use it to tow 5-ton trailers full of downed trees out to the landfill, exceeding it's trailer-towing-package specs by almost a ton.
You're not fooling anyone, just say sex change. This is a judgement-free zone. Perv.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Stevo Darkly » 25 Sep 2011, 21:07

I have a 2002 Chrysler Sebring convertible and I've been really happy with it.

Except the thing that AR mentioned, about having to remove a wheel to get the battery out.

And the fact that putting the top up and down (there is a mechanized thing that does this for you) tends to break the wire that goes to the rear-window defroster. (The mechanic recommends un-plugging the wire when I put the top down and replugging it when I put the top up. Yeah, that's real convenient. I can raise or lower the top with the touch of a button, but first I have to crawl into the back of the car to find and disconnect a wire.)

Also, the car just hit 100,000 miles, which seems to be the signal for all sorts of repairs and replacements. (Most recently it looks like I need a new catalytic converter.)

But aside from that ... I really have been happy with the car, no fooling. As attested by the fact that lately I have been in a mode of getting stuff repaired and replaced instead of thinking about buying a new car, as I might if I were less attached to it.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ellie » 25 Jan 2012, 14:59

Bleh, car is in the shop after dying on David last night and stranding him for two hours (keeping him from class). $30 tow, because I am an idiot and didn't double-check that I'd gotten the premium AAA membership. Waiting for the official diagnosis, but the AAA guy said it's probably the alternator. Mostly at the moment I'm just annoyed that I had to leave my cell phone with David (his broke like two months ago and he can't be arsed to get a new one, apparently) and call the mechanic from my desk at work. I have a weird thing about not liking to make personal calls where my coworkers can hear. It's not like it's against the rules, everyone does it, I just ... don't like it.

Anyway, here's hoping for a relatively cheap and easy fix.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer » 25 Jan 2012, 15:42

Ellie wrote:I have a weird thing about not liking to make personal calls where my coworkers can hear. It's not like it's against the rules, everyone does it, I just ... don't like it.
Image
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by tr0g » 26 Jan 2012, 10:39

I'm currently shopping for a new vehicle, since the current 2001 Chevy Silverado has 205,000 miles and a tendency for the 'Check Engine Oil' light to come on. I bought it new, got my use out of it, and now it's time to move on. Mainly I want a nicer truck. The new trucks have leather seats and more room and all kinds of electronic gizmos, like iPod integration and Bluetooth. So it's either an F-150 or a Toyota Tundra. Chevy/GMC and Dodge can DIAF for the bailout, and the Nissan Titan just doesn't have the shiny unless you get a crew cab, which I don't want.

Plus, with full sized pickups, there's no issues about fitting into the damn thing like there are with the smaller trucks. I sat in a Nissan Frontier for all of 15 seconds and that was it for me. I'm not spending my morning commute feeling like a rat stuck in can.
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Ellie
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Ellie » 26 Jan 2012, 10:52

Just a battery. Got out for $180 including the tow. Not great for ye olde budget, but not bad at ALL, especially given how old this car is.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by Jadagul » 26 Jan 2012, 16:37

tr0g wrote:I'm currently shopping for a new vehicle, since the current 2001 Chevy Silverado has 205,000 miles and a tendency for the 'Check Engine Oil' light to come on. I bought it new, got my use out of it, and now it's time to move on. Mainly I want a nicer truck. The new trucks have leather seats and more room and all kinds of electronic gizmos, like iPod integration and Bluetooth. So it's either an F-150 or a Toyota Tundra. Chevy/GMC and Dodge can DIAF for the bailout, and the Nissan Titan just doesn't have the shiny unless you get a crew cab, which I don't want.

Plus, with full sized pickups, there's no issues about fitting into the damn thing like there are with the smaller trucks. I sat in a Nissan Frontier for all of 15 seconds and that was it for me. I'm not spending my morning commute feeling like a rat stuck in can.
Huh. I've rented a U-Haul pickup a couple times for moving purposes, and driving that thing terrifies me. It's so huge! I feel like I'm taking up two or three lanes with it.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by lunchstealer » 26 Jan 2012, 17:09

tr0g wrote:I'm currently shopping for a new vehicle, since the current 2001 Chevy Silverado has 205,000 miles and a tendency for the 'Check Engine Oil' light to come on. I bought it new, got my use out of it, and now it's time to move on. Mainly I want a nicer truck. The new trucks have leather seats and more room and all kinds of electronic gizmos, like iPod integration and Bluetooth. So it's either an F-150 or a Toyota Tundra. Chevy/GMC and Dodge can DIAF for the bailout, and the Nissan Titan just doesn't have the shiny unless you get a crew cab, which I don't want.

Plus, with full sized pickups, there's no issues about fitting into the damn thing like there are with the smaller trucks. I sat in a Nissan Frontier for all of 15 seconds and that was it for me. I'm not spending my morning commute feeling like a rat stuck in can.
Depends on who makes it. Test drove a '90 SR-5 Extracab with tilt steering and captains chairs and so forth, basically the most deluxe compact truck in existence at the time, and couldn't get my knee under the steering wheel with the seat all the way back and the wheel tilted all the way up. Then drove a Ranger and had no problem whatsoever. Was at the time one of the most comfortable driving experiences I'd had. I was test-driving the cars he was looking at to make sure they had a good car I could borrow if my '69 Fairlane were to suddenly explode, and Toyota would've made the sale if they'd understood how to design a cab for people over 6 feet tall. But the Ranger served well until it was killed 9 years and 120k+ miles later by a drunk driver (my dad was unhurt). It's been replaced by another Ranger that's still trouble-free going into its thirteenth year.
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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by D.A. Ridgely » 26 Jan 2012, 17:15

lunchstealer wrote:
tr0g wrote:I'm currently shopping for a new vehicle, since the current 2001 Chevy Silverado has 205,000 miles and a tendency for the 'Check Engine Oil' light to come on. I bought it new, got my use out of it, and now it's time to move on. Mainly I want a nicer truck. The new trucks have leather seats and more room and all kinds of electronic gizmos, like iPod integration and Bluetooth. So it's either an F-150 or a Toyota Tundra. Chevy/GMC and Dodge can DIAF for the bailout, and the Nissan Titan just doesn't have the shiny unless you get a crew cab, which I don't want.

Plus, with full sized pickups, there's no issues about fitting into the damn thing like there are with the smaller trucks. I sat in a Nissan Frontier for all of 15 seconds and that was it for me. I'm not spending my morning commute feeling like a rat stuck in can.
Depends on who makes it. Test drove a '90 SR-5 Extracab with tilt steering and captains chairs and so forth, basically the most deluxe compact truck in existence at the time, and couldn't get my knee under the steering wheel with the seat all the way back and the wheel tilted all the way up. Then drove a Ranger and had no problem whatsoever. Was at the time one of the most comfortable driving experiences I'd had. I was test-driving the cars he was looking at to make sure they had a good car I could borrow if my '69 Fairlane were to suddenly explode, and Toyota would've made the sale if they'd understood how to design a cab for people over 6 feet tall. But the Ranger served well until it was killed 9 years and 120k+ miles later by a drunk driver (my dad was unhurt). It's been replaced by another Ranger that's still trouble-free going into its thirteenth year.
All my life I have loathed large cars and driven trucks only when absolutely necessary. The prospect of having something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4WD, though, or something similar occurs to me on family trips, especially in snowy country. But I'd never make such a car/suv or whatever it is my daily driver.

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Re: cars and how they get that way

Post by tr0g » 26 Jan 2012, 18:13

D.A. Ridgely wrote: All my life I have loathed large cars and driven trucks only when absolutely necessary. The prospect of having something like a Jeep Grand Cherokee with 4WD, though, or something similar occurs to me on family trips, especially in snowy country. But I'd never make such a car/suv or whatever it is my daily driver.
My hobbies require a truck. You can't fit sheets of plywood, motorcycles, or any of the myriad other things I haul about in the back of a small vehicle. Alas, I am not yet bemonocled enough to have a spare vehicle.

Well, actually I am, but my 'spare' vehicle is a project 1975 Chevy K-5 Blazer. Even less suitable as a daily driver, even assuming it ran, which currently is iffy.

For family trips, the wife drives her Toyota FourRunner.
Jadagul wrote: Huh. I've rented a U-Haul pickup a couple times for moving purposes, and driving that thing terrifies me. It's so huge! I feel like I'm taking up two or three lanes with it.
After 6 years in the Army driving armored vehicles, all passenger vehicles seem kind of small. It's a question of familiarity. I hate little cars because the sightlines are so poor. Everything blocks your view.
Yeah but how can you tell at a glance which junk a raccoon is packing? Also, gay raccoons? - Hugh Akston
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