Author Topic: Damn car  (Read 4253 times)

meadow lark

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Damn car
« on: February 25, 2014, 11:10:28 AM »
I am having problems with my car.  The back story : I couldn't care less about cars.  My whole thing is I want it to be very reliable.  Would prefer it had a radio.  Would like seats.  At least 3.  0-60mph?  Yes, please.  Cheap to buy.  Good MPG. And we have a little trailer to carry lumber/garden supplies, etc, so it needs to have a hitch or be able to install one and pull a little.   So basically, I just want super functional transportation that makes my life easy.
  So we have a 2004 Chevy Blazer that gets about 20 mpg.  Every year we spend about $2000 on fixing something.  So now it is starting to ride and idle really rough.  I haven't got an estimate yet, but I will this week, but I can see the $2000 flying out of my pocket.

Options- Sell to Carmax, get a little (my guess is btwn $500-$2500.). Buy a used car.  I see a 2008 Yaris on craigslist for $6k,  104,000 miles, but it is a standard and my wife might balk at that.  Don't know if I can pull with it...  But maybe we just need to sell the trailer f0r $350 and just rent a truck from haul every 6 months...
My wife's idea - buy 2 cheap (new scooters.). Around $2,000 all together, and try to just drive less.

I am looking for the solution that is cheapest over the long term...


AlexK

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 11:32:13 AM »
The yaris is a great car but not for pulling a trailer. My wife has a 5 speed Yaris and it has almost no torque off idle. I sometimes stall it and I've driven manuals my whole life. BTW not a single problem with the car in 80k miles and it gets 40mpg.

Exflyboy

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 01:25:16 PM »
by far the best investment you can make is to trade some of your time and learn how to fix cars.. I know its not everybody's cup of tea but my car has never seen the inside of a mechanic's shop since I started driving 0ver 30 years ago.

As to what makes a good AND CHEAP TOW VEHICLE..answer Dodge Neon.. easy to fix, parts are cheap and it will pull a thousand pounds no problem.. get the SOHC motor as these have more torque than the DOHC.. Manual transmissions are very good in these little cars too.

Frank

mh1361

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 01:39:48 PM »
by far the best investment you can make is to trade some of your time and learn how to fix cars.. I know its not everybody's cup of tea but my car has never seen the inside of a mechanic's shop since I started driving 0ver 30 years ago.

What about yearly inspections?

the fixer

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 01:50:24 PM »
What about yearly inspections?
Not every state has those...

To the OP: roughness at idle and while driving could be something as simple as a spark plug or wire. Those things are really cheap/easy to replace. You could go to any auto parts store and the people there will essentially walk you through what you need and how to do it. There should be a check engine light on, which you can get read out for free at any auto parts which will say for sure what the problem is. Other possibilities include more simple stuff like dirty fuel (cleaning out the tank is expensive but if it's not too bad you can just try to run through all the fuel and keep putting more good stuff in)

StarryC

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 05:22:06 PM »
I strongly encourage you to investigate spark plugs and wires and doing it yourself.  I know nothing about cars.  I had to buy a wrench set to do it.  But I did it.  Search for a video on youtube.  If it isn't your spark plugs, it's only be like $50 to find out! 



Milspecstache

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 07:09:04 PM »
If you are towing close to or above the towing capacity, always try to do it with a manual.  In a manual, as long as you don't ride the clutch, the transmission will handle it.  In an automatic, however, the torque converter will slip to get the torque it needs, increasing the tranny temp, and could eventually burn up the transmission.  Tranny coolers help with this problem but most cars don't have them.

Jamesqf

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 08:36:57 PM »
I am having problems with my car.  The back story : I couldn't care less about cars.  My whole thing is I want it to be very reliable.  Would prefer it had a radio.  Would like seats.  At least 3.  0-60mph?  Yes, please.  Cheap to buy.  Good MPG....
  So we have a 2004 Chevy Blazer...

There's your problem right there.  You have a list of things you want in a car, and then you buy something that is an absymal fail at all of them, excepting maybe seats & radio.  So go out and buy a pre-2000 Honda Civic or Toyota, problem solved.

m8547

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 09:02:12 PM »
If you are towing close to or above the towing capacity, always try to do it with a manual.  In a manual, as long as you don't ride the clutch, the transmission will handle it.  In an automatic, however, the torque converter will slip to get the torque it needs, increasing the tranny temp, and could eventually burn up the transmission.  Tranny coolers help with this problem but most cars don't have them.

My honda civic runs transmission fluid through the radiator, and I would be surprised if most newer cars didn't. It's not as good as a dedicated transmission cooler, but at least there is some cooling. It also monitors the temperature and will turn on a light (check engine light?) if it gets too hot. At that point you need to replace the fluid but probably haven't damaged the transmission if you don't keep driving.

Newer cars will lock up the torque converter to save gas. Sadly, they tend to unlock when they think you need more torque, like when towing. But I've heard that the newest ones are locked all the time except when they are shifting, which is why many new automatics get better gas mileage than manuals now.  If you have a tow/haul mode button, use it. Shifting to D3 might help reduce gear hunting, but it also might keep the torque converter unlocked. Newer automatics are smart enough to know if you're going uphill or pulling a load, and they will stay in a lower gear longer if they detect that (it's called Grade Logic on mine).

A manual is still slightly better, but automatics are not as bad as they used to be.

loki

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 07:14:36 PM »
I'd stay away from the scooter idea from a safety perspective, and just pick up a used Honda or Toyota. I don't know what towing limits are on smaller vehicles, but I know the tow limit on older Avalons is 2000 lbs.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Damn car
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 11:13:51 AM »
 Super Saver Skips Spendy Scooters! Buy a used Toyota and Honda. I second learning to fix your own ride. A skill worth having.