OT: Talking Cars Tuesday Year-End Event

Submitted by JeepinBen on August 23rd, 2016 at 9:45 AM

In awesome news, next week is a Game Week! That also means the end of OT season and thus, our last car thread of the offseason.

August used to be the best time to buy a car, due to the  end of hte Model Year and the new ones coming out in the fall, but now launches happen just about any time.

So, who's got car questions? Car answers? Is your car the best tailgate car there is? Football!!


swan flu

August 23rd, 2016 at 9:51 AM ^

Took my wrx to my mechanic because I'm afraid my center dif (viscous coupling) might be on its last legs... He also believes my pedal box assembly and pressure plate should be replaced.

I hate cars right now.

Okay mostly I hate Toyota for all their cost(read:quality) reductions that they implemented after becoming a major stake holder in Subaru.


August 23rd, 2016 at 9:58 AM ^

Well, let's see:

Chance to plug a blog I started on automotive car culture in SE Michigan!


Went to Woodward last Saturday, the M1 Concourse events got rained out :(

Going to Hines Park Cruise this Sunday, and Frankenmuth Cruise in a couple weeks.

Got my catalytic converters fixed (FINALLY). Tore up my arms something fierce swapping out mufflers last night :(

The Mad Hatter

August 23rd, 2016 at 10:00 AM ^

Has been leaking PS fluid from the HP hose for over a year now.  It's an expensive repair to have done at a shop and a pain in the ass to do yourself, so I've just been topping off the fluid every few days.  Messy, but no big deal.

Unfortunately, because of the ever-present fluid on my driveway, I didn't notice that my trans was leaking  / low until the car slipped out of gear a couple weeks ago.  I added some fluid and it seems fine now, but I need to get up under there this weekend to find the leak.


August 23rd, 2016 at 10:22 AM ^

out of the steering box seal. I read getting the pittman arm off was a pain in the ass so we decided to have the shop do the repair when my son could afford his half of the cost. So for months we kept refilling the fluid. Finally had it done: the shop complained that getting the pittman arm off the old unit was a pain in the ass.

oriental andrew

August 23rd, 2016 at 12:43 PM ^

It's actually been pretty good and no issues with PS or tranny leaks. Do have some minor oil leaks, although I think that was bad gaskets by oil filter and/or drain plug. Replaced it all and now good. 

The thing I hate about my I35 (and all Nissans of this vintage, apparently) is that the exhaust system is apparently completely uncoated/treated, so i've had the following completely rust through within the last 9 years we've lived in IL: both exhaust flanges (A-B and B-C), exhaust hangars, and brackets. 

This has resulted in the pipes hanging low and hitting the crossmembers and other random things under there. I've hacked up a fix, which was to strap on a piece of member on the crossmember secured with large hose clamps to support the exhause pipe. It works, but still annoying. My wife took it to the dealer when I was out of town and they saw it and said, "Great idea - definitely cheaper than replacing all the brackets/hangers and it gets the job done." They undid it to check out the exhaust system, then put it back :)


August 23rd, 2016 at 10:05 AM ^

I've had the same car for 11 years (2005 Saturn Ion) and I'm gonna need a change soon. Any advice for a first-time buyer in a market that's changed a ton since I last got a car? My biggest cares are:

- Safety

- Cost (<$30K)

- Fuel Economy

I'll check back in about later to read all of your responses, snarky and otherwise.


August 23rd, 2016 at 10:26 AM ^

I can give a good answer with some more info from you. What size are you thinking? What's priorty #1? (Size, sportyness, cargo room, # of passengers, etc.)

In terms of what you've listed, there are TONS of cars that will fit what you're looking for, but we'd need more info. For $30K you could get a Subaru BRZ or a Dodge Caravan. Or many other things in the middle.

Safety - All new cars are going to be MUCH safer than your Ion. I'd argue that you want to do a few "extra" things on the test drive to make sure that the car is safe enough. For example - lots of headlights suck! (The new Cherokee's are awful). Take a test drive in the dark.

Cost - You can get a lot of car for under $30K. What features are important? At this point I think NAV is a waste of money assuming you have a smart phone, but something like Bluetooth is a must. Typically the "sweet spot" for new cars is a mid-level model. Not fully loaded, but not the base.

Fuel Economy - what kind of driving do you do most? Some cars will be better in the city, others better on the highway. The Mileage Sticker is mostly crap, but it does provide an A-to-B comparison between models. YMMV.

I've mentioned on here before that I like car and driver's buyers guide. check over there for some advice as well.


August 23rd, 2016 at 12:18 PM ^

we live in a platinum age of cars. You can almost blindly buy one and get a good, decent car. 

Im a car $lut. I usually find something in every car that I like. 

I do have some pet peaves:


A) Complexity: I shouldn't have to go through 8 screens on your info tainment system to get to the HVAC controls. HVAC controls should be manual and present. You want touch screen backups, fine. If I ever find the person or committee that decided to bring smart keyes online and jack up the price of the keys by 400% I'm going to murder them and claim justifiable homicide. 

B) Complexity by design: My $35K Uber Vehicle shouldn't be sidelined by the UberMagna sensor that the manufacturer tied 45 things into. Similarly, no one sensor should stop my car unless the engines about to grenade. My cars should be robust. 

C) "For example - lots of headlights suck! (The new Cherokee's are awful)." This drives me CRAZY. I'm not sure what the federal light standards are but many cars, from many manufacturers seem to have $hitty lights. It shouldn't be hard to engineer good lamps, and the safety should seem obvious. 



August 23rd, 2016 at 10:35 AM ^

The best piece of advice I can give is not to listen to any advice.

Most of it consists of "Get a (car that I have now)!"  or "Don't get a (car that I once had that I hated)!"  Anecdotal evidence sucks; people have this idea that if they had a car that was crap, every car of the same make and model and possibly everything ever made by that company was crap.  And the same if the car was awesome and lasted half a million miles.

These days, car quality between automakers is almost completely indistinguishable.  Quality rankings like JD Power tend to fluctuate wildly year to year, which is an indicator that most companies basically have it together and the rankings are susceptible to tiny changes.  And truth is, a huge number of "initial quality" survey problems are infotainment systems that don't work like consumers want them to.

You gotta spend a lot of time in that car, so as silly as it sounds, cupholders are more important than airbags, so to speak.  There isn't anything out there that's a deathtrap.  You should try out different cars to see what you're comfortable with.  If you live in a city with a big auto show (Detroit, Chicago, NYC, etc.) or even a medium-sized one, auto shows are wonderful places to get an idea of what you want.  Then go test drive the ones you liked.  You can use fueleconomy.gov to compare fuel economy - but the difference between, say, 32 mpg and 28 mpg is about $150-$200 a year in fuel costs, so keep that in mind when comparing prices.

In general, though, pay little attention to this or that specific recommendation, because people always place way too much value on anecdotal evidence.


August 23rd, 2016 at 11:14 AM ^

Assuming no suppliers have falsified their records and installed bombs in dashboards - any brand new car is going to be "very safe". Unless there's a glaring flaw (like Takata bags, or F150 overlap crashes, etc), all cars clear a certain safety bar, so focus on other aspects of the shopping list.


August 23rd, 2016 at 12:16 PM ^

Takata should've taken the Tesla approach: claim the airbags were being beta-tested and point out that cars with airbags are safer than cars without them so on average they're still coming out ahead.  Or perhaps the Google approach: the accidents weren't technically our fault.  (Admittedly a tough sell if the airbags just blew up on their own.)  Admitting there's something wrong with the car you built is soooooo dinosaur, not the Silicon Valley way at all.


August 24th, 2016 at 8:13 AM ^

We get it.  You have a connection with one of Big Three automakers and so you have an undying bias against Tesla.  

So, how many Ford recalls are in progress right now?


And how many people have been killed by the GM ignition fiasco?

So one person who decides to let the car auto-drive while not paying attention and crashes into a semi truck and gets himself killed is a condemnation of the car and the company?  Shouldn't we condemn GM or Ford and mock their right to exist because of the GM's ignition issues?  Or what about the Ford Explorer mess a while ago?

I have no personal or financial ties to Tesla.  I test drove a P90D once but decided against buying it.  Instead I bought something else but am having second thoughts, and thinking that I should have bought the P90D or the now-available P100D in the first place.  

The Mad Hatter

August 23rd, 2016 at 10:48 AM ^

If safety is the #1 priority, Volvo should be at or near the top of your list.  Although they're owned by a Chinese company now so maybe they stopped caring about safety.

My 99 S80 got rear ended by an Econoline van.  Caved in his bumper and grill.  No damage other than a small scratch to my car.

It was expensive to maintain though.


August 23rd, 2016 at 10:55 AM ^

I've purchased two Ford Fusion SEs in a row and, for the money, could not be happier. I'm a life long car guy on the retail end of things. While I love cars, I also view them as a necessary and costly tool. Therefore, I want want that does the job reliably and won't break the bank. Fusion has been that car. 30+ mpg, roomy, and safe. I buy used cars because I drive a fair amount. I didn't spent $30k on the two ('10 & '15) with just over 20,000 on the clocks at time of purchase.

Naked Bootlegger

August 23rd, 2016 at 12:30 PM ^

I also have a soft spot in my heart for Saturns.  My wife drove her bare bones Saturn SL for 16 years.   I gave up my 6 year old SL1 for a Vue once we had kids.  Drove the Vue for 8+ years - then Saturn died.

Good luck vehicle shopping.   Lots of good choices out there.


August 23rd, 2016 at 1:25 PM ^

but I knew two people who put over 200K on their original Saturns with no issues, just maintenance costs. 

they just drove the piss out of those cars. They seemed bare bones but pretty well put together. 

I asked them what their next ones would be and they both picked VW. I asked why when the Saturn had treated them so well.... they said styling. 

The irony was that they each got vehicles with the VW 1.8T and both had sludging problems that killed the engine. 

All that said, I'm not sure what the subsequent generations were like. 

Michigan Arrogance

August 23rd, 2016 at 12:42 PM ^

Your best bet is a civic. Hands down the best decision economically. I personally can't stand riding in them however. In general: 1) test drive a lot of models, 2) find 2-3 you really like, 3) go to the web and find rankings from usnews or kbb to see which have the best resale and mpg values and whatever else you care about. 4) never lease(unless you have unique circumstances) or buy brand new(unless you have close to 100% cash)

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad

oriental andrew

August 23rd, 2016 at 12:46 PM ^

That's a LOT of cars. What about style? SUV/CUV, sedan, hatch/wagon, sporty? Do you do outdoor activities and want something that can accommodate a trailer hitch? AWD/4WD? Bells and whistles or plain jane? American/Japanese/Korean/European? Any brands you do NOT want? 

Most cars can accommodate iPhones now. Some cars have Android Auto, which I would definitely go for if you have an Android phone. Bluetooth is pretty standard. 


August 23rd, 2016 at 1:19 PM ^

Those bells and whistles are major decision factors mainly because I've never had them. And the country that makes it is probably near the bottom of the list, provided it's a major car manufacturer.

As for style, I guess I assumed it would be another car. Not opposed to SUVs or trucks, etc., but I just feel more confortable behind the wheel of a car.