Author Topic: Car Question Dilema  (Read 4786 times)

lax4life93

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Car Question Dilema
« on: July 23, 2014, 08:23:37 AM »
Hello All,

I have a question regarding my vehicle situation that I would value everyone's input on.

we obviously all know that in the MMM articles, it is preached that any vehicle under 35 MPG get rid of because it causing your money to evaporate right out of your wallet, but at the same time certain areas the lines can be fudged (like his large expensive house prior to the "new old house" project)

So here is my Question.... SHOULD I BE GETTING RID OF MY VEHICLEs FOR SOMETHING MARGINALLY MORE EFFICIENT?

Details:
- Girlfriend and I are a 2 vehicle house hold (with our currents jobs, this is required)
- Vehicle 1: 2008 Pontiac G5 2 DR automatic sedan.... excellent fuel economy, completely paid  for, only 120 000 km (87 K miles)
- Vehicle 2 (and the vehicle in question) ... 1999 Chevy S10 standard "mini truck" with 240 000 km (150 K miles)
- This has depreciated to the point where its only worth $3500, and will not really change in value
- I am a HUGE gear head.  I love to modify, maintain, and work on vehicles, so both vehicles NEVER see a mechanic
- I have had this truck for the past 8 Years, so it is mechanically sounds, and just went through a big maintenance kick
- Every time I drive this little truck, I fall in love with it again.  It satisfies my inner gear head need like no other.
- I utilize the truck bed often, and would struggle with a car or hatch back likely 25% of the time
- We don't drive as much as we use to.  I bike to work 3 times a week and drive twice.  Usually less than 200 km a week @ around 30 MPG.  Long trips or longer errands we take the fuel efficient car. Short stuff is bike/walk
- We have almost no debt, we save around 50-60% of our income

SHOULD I BE LOOKING TO GET RID OF THE TRUCK FOR SOMETHING MORE EFFICIENT WHEN:
a) the truck isn't worth anything to sell
b) is so easy to maintain and work on, with junk yard and used parts so easily available and cheap, and alot of work recently done
c) when it satisfies an emotional side of me that I value and search for through my hobbies and free time

Thanks for the help!! I realize I am emotionally attached to this, so other perspectives would  be nice.

This is my first post, so please let me know if I have left anything out
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 10:20:15 AM by lax4life93 »

frugaliknowit

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 08:32:25 AM »
It would be very helpful if you could tell us how many miles per year you drive and what kind of mileage you get so we can quantify the cost of keeping the beast.

lax4life93

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 08:37:01 AM »
I get around 27-30 mpg and drive estimated 15 000 km (9300 miles) annually ... This will likely be reducing as I advance my mustacian skills.

- Keep in mind, maintenance per km/mile is extremely low, as I source my own parts and do my own maintenance.

Forcus

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 10:36:52 AM »
I see no really compelling reason to get rid of either. A G5 is a rebadged Cobalt as you know and I don't think has a particularly high resale. Same for the Dime.

I would go the other way if you are a gearhead. Maybe lower the S10 and put on some narrow, hard tires, and some Moon discs and see what kind of MPG you would get. I left my narrow winter tires on my Focus to wear them out and was shocked when I got 1-2 MPG more during the summer over my standard tires. I can't help wondering what some lowering, those discs, a Home Depot air dam, etc., would do. S-10 lowering stuff is cheap. Might be a fun project..

lax4life93

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 10:49:53 AM »
Thank Forcus,

I have actually done a number of things to get the mileage where it is including lowering 2 1/5", exhaust, and misc others.

Next on the list is Cold air intake, Headers, Y-pipe, and working on the custom tune, where I think I can consistently get over 30 mpg (all sourced for nearly free from my hot rod buddies who are never satisfied)

The air dam and belly pan aerodynamics are something I would like to also implement pending some more research on the hypermiling forums.

I think my focus will be to simply reduce how much the two of us drive, and make fuel economy improvements where the payback period is reasonable rather than try to source a fuel efficient used hatchback with an unknown history and potential for headache.  I'm getting the feeling that this will be the best route.

Forcus

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 10:52:40 AM »
I think my focus will be to simply reduce how much the two of us drive, and make fuel economy improvements where the payback period is reasonable rather than try to source a fuel efficient used hatchback with an unknown history and potential for headache.  I'm getting the feeling that this will be the best route.

Yeah I'm definitely a hatchback fan but there are limitations especially if you are hauling tall stuff. Plus I don't like hauling gas cans and chemicals in the hatch.

AlanStache

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 11:06:13 AM »
obligatorily
XKCD

Point being do the math, work out the return period.  If you are hauling stuff and would have to rent a truck it might be cheaper to keep it.

Dont sell it because MMM says to, sell it because it is unneeded or the alternatives will get you to YOUR end goal quicker.

Last night I worked out that my 9 year old kitchen fridge costs 10$/month to operate, could I get that down some with a new more efficient fridge?  Probably.  But the pay pack period even on a great-craigslist fridge makes it this not the best place to minimize my power bill.

lax4life93

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 11:15:05 AM »
Thanks AlanStache,

I agree, there are definitely other places where optimizing will make a much bigger impact.
I wanted to make sure my emotional attachment wasn't skewing my judgment.

Nice reference to XKCD!
 I would feel that http://xkcd.com/1205/ is exactly what you are referencing with the fridge, but replace time w/ $$.

Joggernot

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 04:29:54 PM »
This forum, www.ecomodder.com, seems to recommend a warm air intake for mpg.  There are some mods and some driving tips for mpg available from the menu at the top of the page (65+ Efficiency Mods, 100+ Hypermiling Tips ), but I suspect you have already checked out this site...:)

beee

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2015, 08:34:17 PM »
Quote
- I am a HUGE gear head.  I love to modify, maintain, and work on vehicles, so both vehicles NEVER see a mechanic
- I have had this truck for the past 8 Years, so it is mechanically sounds, and just went through a big maintenance kick
- Every time I drive this little truck, I fall in love with it again.  It satisfies my inner gear head need like no other.

If it makes you happy, then definitely keep it. Looks like you won't be able to buy more happiness by selling your baby.

8 years is a long time when you're 26 (I hope my calculations are correct - you said that you finished school in 2012@24yo).

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2015, 11:42:57 PM »
Think about it, 12500km at 8L/100km uses the same amount of fuel as 10000km at 10L/100km :) Might be better saving by buying less.

A more badass option would be to get a trailer for the Pontiac. An even more badass approach would be a bike cargo trailer.

That said, I think keeping it isn't a bad idea if you a) aren't in hair on fire debt, b) saving a decent amount, and c) using the truck capabilities regularly. It sounds like you are meeting those criteria, so I'd say hang onto it.

Exflyboy

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2015, 12:38:57 AM »
Yeah keep it.

My Wife has an F250 to pull her horse trailer.. terrible MPG.. like about 7... But she only does about 12 miles a week to and from the horse arena.

Once in a while I need to haul the tractor somewhere or go pick up a backhoe from the rental place.. so its definately handy thing to have.

For lightweight stuff I have an 8*4 flatbed I pull behind my Dodge Neon..:)

Frank

DeltaBond

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2015, 10:20:04 AM »
I've noticed people getting totally wrapped up in the miles per gallon thing.  Heck, the greenest vehicle out there is an early 70s land rover thing, and believe me, they don't get a lot of mpgs.  A friend bought a hybrid when I bought a normal sedan, and her monthly cost was about $200 more than mine.  I asked her if she was saving $200 in gas every month, and of course, she wasn't.  My car wasn't trailing that far behind her hybrid with the gas mileage.

Point being, mpgs isn't really a good reason to get rid of a vehicle.  If you were commuting or driving a LOT for your job, that might be different, but even then, there is a lot of costs into changing cars.

JLee

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2015, 10:33:54 AM »
The known maintenance history, reliability track record, and emotional attachment are all very valid reasons for holding onto it. I wouldn't sell.

Cwadda

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Re: Car Question Dilema
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2015, 11:06:15 AM »
Another vote for holding onto it.