Author Topic: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?  (Read 11822 times)

tj

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2015, 04:26:14 PM »
If family members are concerned with you getting stranded somewhere, then just invest in a AAA membership and get the extended mileage towing (since you work so far from home.) You can use it even if it's not your car (if you are the passenger), so consider asking if any of your carpool mates has it already as that would cover you on those trips.

AAA has worked out great for me, and usually also snags me a $10-$20 discount per night on hotel rooms when I check in. Since I'm doing those hotel stays anyway, it pays for itself just through that.

AAA has come and jumped my car several times, once they replaced a dead battery, they've changed flat tires for me, they came out when a friend I was riding with locked her keys in the car. Can I flag down someone to help me with a jump or change a flat myself? Sure, but it's damn hot here most of the time when this happens, and it's quicker, easier, and much safer for them to do it.

Thanks for this idea.  I didn't realize there was an option for extended mileage towing with AAA.  It's definitely something to consider given my drive.  I've considered what I would do if it got stuck around 50 miles from home and I'd planned to just pay the difference between the total miles and what the towing coverage that I do have covers (I have towing coverage through my insurance policy with USAA).  I will get quotes on both and compare the numbers.  Thanks!

I would not have towing on your isnurance policy, that gets recorded as an insurance claim and could increase your premium in the future. Keep towing seperate through a service like AAA or similar.

baffi

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2015, 04:30:30 PM »
The O2 sensor is used for emissions control--it won't affect your performance at all, but if it's not working, your car might be putting too much NO2 into the air.  It's an environmental thing.

The O2 sensor is used to determine air/fuel ratio and can definitely effect performance and especially fuel efficiency, and if they go out completely will make the car difficult/impossible to start/run.  But the most common thing for a minor check engine light is the fuel evap system, which doesn't effect anything but the EPA gremlins.

I just read briefly about the fuel evap system and it sounds like the only thing I can try to remedy on my own is the gas cap (which I already tried replacing) b/c a specialized smoke machine is needed to find small leaks.  I think I will just have to work to make up for any extra pollution this could be causing by doing other good things (like reducing driving and flying and getting a fuel efficient car when I do replace this one).

baffi

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2015, 04:39:53 PM »
If family members are concerned with you getting stranded somewhere, then just invest in a AAA membership and get the extended mileage towing (since you work so far from home.) You can use it even if it's not your car (if you are the passenger), so consider asking if any of your carpool mates has it already as that would cover you on those trips.

AAA has worked out great for me, and usually also snags me a $10-$20 discount per night on hotel rooms when I check in. Since I'm doing those hotel stays anyway, it pays for itself just through that.

AAA has come and jumped my car several times, once they replaced a dead battery, they've changed flat tires for me, they came out when a friend I was riding with locked her keys in the car. Can I flag down someone to help me with a jump or change a flat myself? Sure, but it's damn hot here most of the time when this happens, and it's quicker, easier, and much safer for them to do it.

Thanks for this idea.  I didn't realize there was an option for extended mileage towing with AAA.  It's definitely something to consider given my drive.  I've considered what I would do if it got stuck around 50 miles from home and I'd planned to just pay the difference between the total miles and what the towing coverage that I do have covers (I have towing coverage through my insurance policy with USAA).  I will get quotes on both and compare the numbers.  Thanks!

I would not have towing on your isnurance policy, that gets recorded as an insurance claim and could increase your premium in the future. Keep towing seperate through a service like AAA or similar.

Thanks for the tip!  It hadn't occurred to me that towing could increase the premium but it makes perfect sense that it could since every other type of claim tends to. 

Paul der Krake

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #53 on: July 19, 2015, 04:53:11 PM »
As an alternative to paying money to an awful company like AAA (which lobbies for all sorts of things that increase car use), take a look at your credit card benefits. Some of them offer flat fee towing services.

Discover is discontinuing theirs, but "premium" travel cards often have it.

norcalmike

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2015, 11:52:24 AM »
I drive a 92 honda accord with 150k miles. I'd drive it anywhere. And maintenance is cheap.
I had a car payment once. It sucked
« Last Edit: July 20, 2015, 11:59:06 AM by norcalmike »

zinethstache

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2015, 12:12:55 PM »
We drive our cars to the ground as others here do. Just have your backup strategy clearly lined out because when a major failure occurs, it will never, ever be convenient.

My employer is flexible and DH retired so this model works for us. DH does most maintenance which is nice and saves $$.

We get attached to our cars and have a hard time cycling to something different. It seems annually we will evaluate the "worse" vehicle to determine if its time for that car to be swapped out. So far in almost all cases we decide to press on with what we have and then it dies a horrible death:)

A car payment could make sense for short term use of cash for other income producing ventures. I sold my "car" to our credit union for cash to use on a property down payment. That was a few years ago now and I've since paid it off. The interest was insanely low. I was surprised that they would be willing to buy a car from me that was so old, but hey, I took advantage of the deal and never looked back.

Good luck on your decision!



catccc

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2015, 01:44:50 PM »
Just have your backup strategy clearly lined out because when a major failure occurs, it will never, ever be convenient.

This.  Actually, because of this, my family plans not to drive either of our vehicles until they stop running.  Just because, unfortunately, it is very difficult for us to get by without two vehicles, and if we were unexpectedly down to one, I wouldn't want to be under pressure or rushed to get a replacement.

We always planned on driving them "into the ground," but I was recently in an auto accident and we thought my vehicle was totaled, and we were very stressed out at the prospect of having to find and purchase a replacement in a rush.

So we plan to play it by ear, but won't replace anything before 200K miles, at the earliest.

GreenPen

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2015, 09:02:52 PM »
Oh dear, I don't want to be polluting extra either.  I did have my car tested for emissions about a year and half ago when I had to register it in Colorado for my temporary residence there and everyone was surprised that it passed the test with the great numbers that it did given its age.  Not sure if this is the same sort of measure or if it could quickly and drastically start polluting excessively but I do have that baseline measure of it having met standards.

I'm not sure what the laws are like in Colorado, but for California emissions testing, the "check engine" light is an automatic fail. So depending on the laws there, that might be a potential maintenance cost to plan for down the line.

It's actually possible to shut off the light with most (or all?) of the OBDII scanners. The last two times I needed to pass emissions, my car met CA's standards for emissions, but apparently didn't meet Honda's. I needed to turn off the check engine light, then drive around for ~100 miles to let the diagnostics run its course. The goal was to find that sweet spot where you have driven enough to give the computer enough data, but not too much since the light would eventually turn on.

dess1313

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Re: Driving a car until it stops running--good idea or bad idea?
« Reply #58 on: July 21, 2015, 01:12:26 AM »
I currently drive my 98 Corolla which was bought brand new by my family back then.  Its still going strong with 251000 kms on it.  Its needed some work, but the work has always been way less than monthly payments of a similar new car.  I'm in the same spot torn about what to do next.  Its generally needed 600-900$ per year in work.  thats been a battery, brakes, both set of shocks, a serpentine belt and pulley, and just recently an ignition lock and a starter.

I'm currently saving up for something newer, although when to bit the bullet is my problem.  Its not worth much to sell, but it still runs well and i do my own tire changing, and oil changes on it.  so basic maintenance is covered.  A lot of any 'issues' with it have been fixed now, so the forecast is looking good.  Value wise it would only sell for $1500 low end and maybe $2500 if i really waited and got lucky.  I want something bigger with a hatch back, but hate having to consider selling it for that low of a price when i know its been so well taken care of.  Everyone else around me has upgraded their vehicles a long time ago and bug me about it lol.  Its been 98% reliable so i'm reluctant to sell it even though i would love something newer.