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Posted: 7/30/2002 6:35:46 AM EDT
Thinking ahead to my next vehicle, and I'm thinking I want a renewable vehicle. No no no. Not a soybean-electric car. I mean the car itself should be renewable. Bolt on a new water pump. Replace the starter. New clutch, and it continues to run forever. Obviously parts availability is an issue. Ease of maintenance is a factor too. I'd really prefer japanese, would consider a VW (But no bugs/busses/ghias). 30mpg or better. Compact or Midsized car. So, without further ado, your opinions please...
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 6:47:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/30/2002 6:48:52 AM EDT by Dave_A]
The question is, will you be doing the 'renewing' yourself... If so, I'd reccommend you pick a domestic vehicle, specifically GM. The repair parts for most imports (made here or elsewhere, makes little difference) are considerably more expensive than their domestic counterparts. Also, many of these cars are considerably harder to work on (due to the 'How much can I get out of a 1.0L-1.8L straight-4' mentality of (perticularly Japanese) import carmakers. Sometimes simplicity is a virtue... Of course, we all have our preferences, but I'd reccommend a GM 'old fashioned' pushrod motor (pick your size, any size) over 'vtec' et al any day, IF you are going to fix it yourself... Of course, if you're feeding the local mechanic, part prices are the least of your problems... Then just pick a car, any car, and don't buy a Ford or Toyota (I've seen Ford and Toyota motors (2 of my parents cars) blow (the Ford blew a head, the Toyota threw a rod) at the 6yr mark :(...). Of course, my personal experience with GM is well out of the 30MPG range (Firebird, V8, 24mpg highway), but they're the one company I've heard (and had) the least amount of engine trouble with. As for which car, a Grand Am (mid) or Sunfire (compact). Of course, if you really want a Japanese car, get a Mitsu...
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 6:53:37 AM EDT
Find an older Gm vehicle with the 'Iron Duke' 151 4-banger. Damn things run forever, and GM parts ar e cheaper, and the vehicles are generally asiser to work on. Avoid front wheel drive. The ultimate run-forever vehicle is the 1974 thru 1987 (truck) 0r 1991 (Suburban, Blazer) GM truck. Even the bodies are available panel by panel on the aftermaket. If you can beat the rust, it will outlast you...
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 7:09:54 AM EDT
Late 70's, early 80's Mercedes Benz diesel. You can find them starting around $1000 for a functioning but not quite perfect on the inside or outside specimen, or $5k-10k for a complete cremepuff with low miles, everything works, original paint, etc. The engines will last at least 500,000 miles (and one so far made it to 973,000 before needing to be replaced) with a little TLC - our '81 240D manual is at 247,000 on the original engine and trasmission - and still gets around 30MPG (getting 550+ miles between fill-ups is awesome!). The turbo models get around 24-26, but have much more get-up-and-go than a 240D (around 22 seconds for 0-60 for a manual version, 24-25 for the automatic). The only drawback is parts - if you can do most of the work yourself, you have nothing to worry about here, though. Otherwise, it can be expensive to take to a shop. You get a car that is relatively easy to fix yourself, large knowledge base of owners and parts availability on the 'net, will last damn near forever, and gets you there in the class and style only an older Mercedes can provide. the_reject
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 7:36:37 AM EDT
I've done CV joints, routine maintenance in the past, I'm sure I can handle most any parts swapping job that doesn't require expensive tools expected to be used only once in the life of a vehicle. Perhaps breaking out uses and eliminating the mileage requirement on the Run Forever Vehicle (RFV) by going with a japanese subcompact modern daily driver and a Utility RFV would make it easier to fill both bills. My bro had an 88 Suburban (I once saw a used car dealership sign "88 Suburban $x,xxx" next line said "Mechanic on duty 24 hrs). But his suburban required way too much "renewing". Left a bad taste for me, and I'm already not keen on american built vehicles.
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 7:50:50 AM EDT
CHeck out Suburu. 4 bolts engine comes out. I don't have one but I did look at them and well, they were interesting as to how they went about making the maintenance on car easier. I can't remember the name of the vehicle but it was a 2 door hatchabck. Ben
Link Posted: 7/30/2002 12:40:56 PM EDT
My '93 Nissan has 300,000 on the odometer and is still going strong. Parts are more expensive than for a domestic vehicle but it easier to work on than anything from Detroit in the past 10-15 years.
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