Author Topic: time to switch to electric car?  (Read 1159 times)

TheBeeKeeper

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time to switch to electric car?
« on: September 03, 2018, 08:25:42 PM »
we have a 2011 CRV we got used about 3 years ago, and it's great for our family, especially for carrying our bikes and kayaks
We don't drive much relatively, about 7K miles/year, and thought we would drive the car until it died.
Unfortunately Hondas have an AC disease. Sure enough, our AC just died, and unfortunately can't survive here the summer without it. Repairing it costs more than 1,000$ 

we could either
1. bite the bullet and fix it, hoping the compressor doesn't die again any time soon (the Honda AC disease could strike again any time)
2. switch to a more economical car, maybe a good opportunity to get an electric

All I know about electric cars is that the technology keeps improving

Most of our trips are short, almost no car commuting to work/school, but I would like to keep having a roof rack for bikes and kayaks - we do use that a lot in at least 6 months of the year, and I saw some electric cars cannot carry such 'toys' on the roof. I would also like to change to winter tires for the snowy season

Any suggestions or thoughts?

thanks!



gooki

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2018, 04:20:55 AM »
How far do you travel with bikes/kayaks?

My 2 cents says repair your current car, and buy a used Tesla Model 3 in 2 to 3 years time.

Ecky

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2018, 05:11:11 AM »
Sounds like a pretty steep bill to repair the A/C. What failed? If it's the compressor, you replace the compressor, expansion valve, and drier, then vacuum and refill the system. Parts should come out to less than $300 and you'll have a brand-new zero hours compressor, good for just as long as the original one lasted. Even at $100 and hour labor there's no way it's a 7+ hour job.

Many systems just develop a small leak, and need a valve or gasket replaced. When I had my 90's Civic I found the leak was at the low pressure fill port. I bought a kit online to replace it for $10, took about 10 minutes, then I drove my car to a garage and had them purge and refill the system for ~$75 (if I remember correctly).

TheBeeKeeper

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2018, 05:49:14 AM »
Sounds like a pretty steep bill to repair the A/C. What failed? If it's the compressor, you replace the compressor, expansion valve, and drier, then vacuum and refill the system. Parts should come out to less than $300 and you'll have a brand-new zero hours compressor, good for just as long as the original one lasted. Even at $100 and hour labor there's no way it's a 7+ hour job.

Many systems just develop a small leak, and need a valve or gasket replaced. When I had my 90's Civic I found the leak was at the low pressure fill port. I bought a kit online to replace it for $10, took about 10 minutes, then I drove my car to a garage and had them purge and refill the system for ~$75 (if I remember correctly).

Honda placed the AC unit in an unreachable place under the entire engine. Need 3-4 hours of work to take it apart and then put all the parts back in place. The compressor+ clutch  + sometimes need to replace some more small parts, come to 600$
The Honda compressor is notorious for failing, thus Honda provides extended warranty on the AC for 7 years, but we're over that time frame :(

TheBeeKeeper

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2018, 05:58:33 AM »
How far do you travel with bikes/kayaks?

My 2 cents says repair your current car, and buy a used Tesla Model 3 in 2 to 3 years time.


most trips are short, within 20 miles, once or twice a year longer trips, up to 250 miles each way, with bikes, not kayaks.




 

MrOnyx

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2018, 06:06:30 AM »
If Honda compressors are notorious for failing, it strikes me that there really ought to be an aftermarket alternative that you could go for that would be more reliable.

I could be entirely wrong, but it seems like somewhere, a parts manufacturer would see that and develop their own compressors that are designed to fit into Hondas, but are more reliable and stronger than the genuine Honda parts. Gaps in the market have a habit of getting filled, no? Genuine parts are always expensive, but they are not always compulsory.

Maybe have a look around, see what information you can find. This doesn't solve the placement issue of having to take apart an engine to get to the part you're talking about, but if there is a more reliable alternative out there, it could save you needing a new one so often.

nereo

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2018, 07:45:39 AM »
I would start with an independent, certified mechanic with good reviews in your area - Ecky is right, $1,000 is a redonculous amount to spent an AC repair, particularly for that car. A leak check (basically dye in the line) and compressor test should cost < $100, and will pinpoint the problem.

Looking more specifically at electric cars - yes they can be great, and in general I highly recommend getting one.  However, whether it will fit into your life is another matter.  I'm unaware of any electrics that won't accept a roof rack and two kayaks, but maybe that/s the case for some? My coworker has a Leaf and kayaks with them.
'Range anxiety' is a big mental hurdle for some but not a serious issue for most - i'd only worry about it if you are in truly rural areas and/or frequently make trips exceeding 150 miles. Even then the infrastructure is built out enough that you can do long road trips with some basic planning to make a 30 minute charging (and food) stop along the way. My cousin has done the drive from New Hampshire to DC several times (~500 miles) and finds it both simple and about almost as fast as with her old SUV.  I see no reason why you can't make your 2x/year trips going 250 miles each way planning for a recharging stop somewhere in the middle.

Its also worth considering your electricity rates, whether you can install a fast-charger in your home (which can set you back $1,000 or so), and if your work or other frequently-visited place offers free charging (mine does, yay!).

Lacking most of the part which wear out in an ICE, an all-electric should last you for a very long time given your driving habits; rust is probably going to be what ultimately does it in if you are only driving 7k/year (or an accident).

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2018, 05:48:19 PM »
Sounds like you might be looking for a reason to switch to an electric. But if not, don't have the dealer do it. $1000 sounds like a dealer price. Find a trustworthy independant shop and buy a rebuilt compressor. It will save you big time. If you do buy an electric know that the compressors for them could be even more expensive because it is electric driven and not belt driven. Different design that only 1% of cars use means $$$.

Linea_Norway

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2018, 03:49:47 AM »
Winter tires under an electric car is no problem. All Norwegian electric cars use them.

My colleague just told me that her family owns an old diesel car and a Nissan Leave electric car. They are now mainly using the Nissan, even on longer trips when they go to the mountains. Friends of hers have a similar car and go on even longer trips, just taking 1 loading stop on the road.

I don't think a roof rack should be a problem for electric cars, but just check with the dealers which types can have them. There is one Tesla that can even pull a hanger, but loses range when it does. Tesla does have some issues with their logistics, like 6 months waiting period for a new front window. I would go for a more common car brand.

genesismachine

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 12:22:08 PM »
Sounds like you probably don't drive enough miles for an electric to make a lot of sense. The roof rack things might not apply to many electric cars. I have snow tires on mine and there's no issues.

Agreed that even spending $1k on AC would be a better idea than buying a new car. Just registration/title transfer fees would probably come close to that $1k.

Syonyk

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2018, 06:15:49 PM »
"$1000 repair bill?  Better spend $30k instead!"

The repair will be cheaper than a new car, or even a used car, in just about every possible situation out there.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: time to switch to electric car?
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2018, 06:20:55 PM »
"$1000 repair bill?  Better spend $30k instead!"

The repair will be cheaper than a new car, or even a used car, in just about every possible situation out there.

I completely agree.  If one's front door needs replacing, one does not purchase a different house.