Author Topic: Questions regarding my auto situation.  (Read 5380 times)

teacherman

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Questions regarding my auto situation.
« on: September 11, 2013, 09:14:42 AM »
Hey mustachians! I have a quick question I'm hoping someone can help me with. Let me explain my situation and then I'll ask the question.

Right now, I am the owner of three automobiles: A 2004 Chevy Impala (w/238k miles), a 2001 Dodge Intrepid (w/140k miles) and a 1971 Chevy c10 pick-up truck (with lots of miles--odometer is broken). Currently the Intrepid is unregistered, sitting in our garage. The Intrepid and the Impala were both given to my wife and I by our fathers, respectively, when we got married. The c10 was purchased as a "hobby car" and needs a lot of work--I bought it last summer with the intention of restoring it (this was pre-MMM days).

99% of the time, the Impala is the only vehicle that gets driven. My wife and I work at a school together that is 15 miles from our house, so our daily commute is 30 miles for ~9 months of the year. We use the Impala for that. The truck is unreliable (needs work, remember) so I periodically use that if I need a vehicle myself, but my wife never does. Again, the Intrepid sits in the garage.

I feel like our vehicle ownership is highly inefficient. Our idea was that we would drive the Impala into the ground and replace it with the Intrepid, then run that into the ground. The truck was to be the "second car." However, we also just bought a house that needs restoration and so in reality, the truck restoration has lost all priority for the foreseeable future.

My question is this: Should I sell the truck, Intrepid, Impala, or any combination of them? Or should I just "use them up" and then replace them with something small and efficient when I've run them all into the ground? I am trying to use some theoretical numbers but can't seem to figure out what is best.

Last bit of info: The Impala has a lot of miles but still runs relatively well. The Intrepid has some serious body damage (been in several fender-benders) but runs fine. I don't think I could sell it for much. The truck runs ok but needs serious restoration or to be used as a work/farm truck.

If anyone has made it this far and would like to offer advice, I'd surely love your input!

Thanks,

teacherman

*edit: clarified my question
« Last Edit: September 11, 2013, 09:44:32 AM by teacherman »

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 09:44:02 AM »
You will never get the money out that you put in to either that truck or Intrepid. I would consider selling one or the other. They certainly aren't costing you anything by sitting there, but aren't making you anything either and are of no use if they aren't street legal. They are just taking up space.

I would keep the Impala if it's running good.

Mega

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2013, 10:08:48 AM »
Vehicles don't tolerate sitting well. Tires warp, gasoline thickens, rubber hoses crosslink and degrade, batteries die, etc.

When you go to use the Intrepid, there may be a big repair bill to get it back on the road.

Essentially all of your cars are worth somewhere in the $1000 range. Pick the one you like and keep it.

Regarding the truck, I don't know if it is a vintage vehicle, etc, but there is value in having a truck. Or you could buy a trailer and replace the truck. I don't think the truck is street legal without a working odometer.

teacherman

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2013, 10:27:45 AM »
Thanks for the input so far. One other factor in this is that in my city, I pay annual motor vehicle taxes. They amount to something like $350 per year...

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2013, 10:54:20 AM »
Thanks for the input so far. One other factor in this is that in my city, I pay annual motor vehicle taxes. They amount to something like $350 per year...

Ouch.

My exp with project vehicles is that they are time and money black holes.

One bonus with the truck might be that you can get antique plates for it which would be more cost effective if you kept that and sold the other one.

teacherman

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2013, 11:35:27 AM »
I'm definitely regretting the truck... Now my question to ponder is whether to keep the impala or the intrepid or both.

Forcus

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2013, 11:53:20 AM »
I had to laugh because I have a somewhat similar situation.

Until a week ago, had 6 cars, 5 registered, 4 drivable:

2009 Ford Escape (66k)
2005 Volvo S40 (179k)
2002 Ford Focus ZX5 (115k)
2001 Dodge Ram Cummins (151k)
1987 Mercury Grand Marquis (83k)
1974 International pickup 4x4 (??k)

Anyway we sold the S40 because of its high cost of operation and still relatively high value (relative to the Focus), and the Ram because I was barely driving it and a trailer would serve 95% of the Ram's ability. The Grand Marquis was my grandpa's so sentimental attachment means it isn't going anywhere, and I'm on the fence on the IH. It has some sentimental value but is in little bitty pieces right now so to make it useful would require hundreds of hours and many thousands of dollars. Not really my bag right now. Kind of like your situation.

Just sharing.

In any case If you have no real connection to the C10, it needs work, I say let it go. No real use to having it. Pickups are nice but a small trailer can be towed behind a car and for bigger jobs (e.g. towing), Uhaul rents pickups that tow for $19.95/day plus mileage.

The Impala I'm on the fence about. Could last awhile yet or could need a litany of repairs. I'd probably just drive it until a major repair is needed (e.g. engine or transmission). Then sell it for cheap (even needing a major repair it's probably still worth a grand). Or scrap it for around $300.

The Intrepid depends. I'm not a huge fan of the older Chrysler stuff especially the transmissions. And as someone noted that stuff doesn't like to sit. So it sounds like you are going to have to exercise the car a bit which means more money spent than now. If you felt good about the reliability, especially for the near / medium term, maybe getting rid of the Impala and driving this one wouldn't be so bad. And if a major repair comes along, sell it cheap / scrap.

OK, so next option. You said you just bought a house that needs a bunch of work. You probably don't want to jack around with car maintenance. Maybe you can find one newer (2000's) vehicle that is reliable, efficient, and useful. I think a cheap hatchback that can still tow might be a good option. Honda Fit, Ford Focus, etc. Even an Accord wagon or a Honda / Toyota / whatever minivan might work well. I don't yet have a trailer hitch for my Focus but I fold down the rear seat and can easily fit 10 bags of mulch below window level (it's about a 3.5 x 5 foot load area). Obviously hauling 2x4's and plywood / drywall sheets inside is an issue, but a roof rack or small trailer would be ideal. A FWD crossover might also work. Saturn VUE's are cheap, I also see Equinox's cheap as well. We have an Escape which fits even more than the Focus, is FWD, manual transmission, and gets just 1 MPG less than the Focus at around 27 MPG average (I'm not saying that 27 / 28 MPG holds a candle next to new cars or older hybrids but they also don't have the new car price). Just a thought.

ketchup

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2013, 01:03:59 PM »
Saturn VUE's are cheap,
Cheap crap in the four-cylinder CVT.  My parents had a 2003.  Transmission started acting up around 50k miles.  Known issue with the CVT; it was discontinued shortly after.  The V6 had a Honda engine and transmission which are just fine.  The vehicle as a whole was also cheap junk in my opinion, and the visibility was awful.  And if you're 6'1" like my dad, you have about a quarter inch of headroom so you can't see the horizon and you get motion sickness.

Just my two cents. I would never recommend one to anyone.  My parents sold that pile of garbage for $3000 a few years back, and the buyer overpaid by about $2500 in my opinion.  Looked brand new though, no corrosion on the plastic body.

prodarwin

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2013, 01:15:40 PM »
Saturn VUE's are cheap,
Cheap crap in the four-cylinder CVT.  My parents had a 2003.  Transmission started acting up around 50k miles.  Known issue with the CVT; it was discontinued shortly after.  The V6 had a Honda engine and transmission which are just fine. 

First part is true.  The CVT is a piece of crap.
The second part is false.  The Honda V6/Trans that is in them is the same as the Odyssey and has the same transmission problems.
The 3.0 GM V6 from 02-05 was also very problematic.


If you buy a 4 cyl auto from 05+ (traditional auto trans), it will be fine.
If you buy any of the 4 cyl manuals, it will be fine.

They are very reliable vehicles in those two configurations and can be had very cheap.  They also get pretty good economy for their size in the 4cyl/manual combo.

ketchup

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2013, 01:33:00 PM »
Saturn VUE's are cheap,
Cheap crap in the four-cylinder CVT.  My parents had a 2003.  Transmission started acting up around 50k miles.  Known issue with the CVT; it was discontinued shortly after.  The V6 had a Honda engine and transmission which are just fine. 

First part is true.  The CVT is a piece of crap.
The second part is false.  The Honda V6/Trans that is in them is the same as the Odyssey and has the same transmission problems.
The 3.0 GM V6 from 02-05 was also very problematic.


If you buy a 4 cyl auto from 05+ (traditional auto trans), it will be fine.
If you buy any of the 4 cyl manuals, it will be fine.

They are very reliable vehicles in those two configurations and can be had very cheap.  They also get pretty good economy for their size in the 4cyl/manual combo.
It did get me around 27-29MPG with the 4-cylinder CVT when I drove it, so it did have that going for it given its relative gigantitude.  It really didn't have that much interior space though given its size.  My roommate's '09 Kia hatchback has more room.  I did not like that car at all, so I'll stop my biased rant now.

teacherman

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2013, 01:35:47 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! Does anyone have experience with a Pontiac Vibe? I've heard good things about it and it seems interesting.

...At the same time, I'm thinking maybe I'll sell the truck and keep the two other cars running as long as I can. Researching older Impalas it seems people have had them for significantly longer than mine; with regular maintenance they can do quite well.

Mr.Macinstache

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2013, 01:37:51 PM »
If your c10 is pretty solid and a short bed, there's a good market for them.

mc6

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2013, 07:50:20 PM »
I had an '02 Impala and would call it the best car I ever owned--so wish I hadn't gotten rid of it. 

My advice--
My vote would be to sell the truck and keep both cars.  If you have a transportation back up plan for emergencies, sell the truck AND the least reliable sedan... 

teacherman

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2014, 09:02:10 AM »
I know I'm resurrecting an old thread here but I just wanted to share my joy: I finally ended up selling my old c10! I am very relieved to not have the stress of an extra car lying around. Glad to get rid of that expense and mental toll!!

That's all.

4alpacas

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2014, 10:20:45 AM »
I know I'm resurrecting an old thread here but I just wanted to share my joy: I finally ended up selling my old c10! I am very relieved to not have the stress of an extra car lying around. Glad to get rid of that expense and mental toll!!

That's all.
Nice!  Are you planning to sell the Intrepid?  Or are you planning to keep it?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Questions regarding my auto situation.
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2014, 03:50:53 PM »
Thanks for the feedback! Does anyone have experience with a Pontiac Vibe? I've heard good things about it and it seems interesting.

...At the same time, I'm thinking maybe I'll sell the truck and keep the two other cars running as long as I can. Researching older Impalas it seems people have had them for significantly longer than mine; with regular maintenance they can do quite well.

Pontiac Vibes are Toyota Matrixes in disguise. Great cars.

I'm also a fan of Civics and Accords.

I would sell all three vehicles for whatever you can get. All three are time bombs and not the greatest fuel economy rides either. Use the combined funds to get a more efficient vehicle.