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JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Phone posted:

Both of those cars are poo poo. If you ever want to deplete your 6 months savings, I highly recommending buying a VAG product and keeping it for 5 years. Something made out of plastic will break and it will cost you 5k to fix it because Hans thought that Step 1: Remove Engine is an acceptable thing to put into a repair manual.

poo poo, just reading "put car in service position" is enough to clench my rear end in a top hat. Yes, because removing all front bodywork, lights and bumper mounts is a perfectly normal thing to have to do when replacing an alternator.

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JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

VideoTapir posted:

Do they at least make the bodywork and lights easy to remove?

They're not too bad if everything is unmolested, but half the time the bumper skin has been hit and poo poo's broken off/scummed together/ready to fall off and guess who's going to get blamed because he worked on it last?

Also cars that have been repainted poorly will never look right when you put them back together.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

They're better than a PT Cruiser. That's about all the good things I can come up with. A Honda Fit has basically equivalent cargo room as an HHR and is a much better car with much better fuel economy.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

The only time the plug-in version of the Prius makes any goddamn sense at all is if you're in California and commute on HOV-lane equipped freeways.

You can get a sticker from the DMV that will allow you to drive solo in those lanes with the plug-in; you'll sit there with us plebes if you get the standard version.

This also applies to the plug-in Fusion and C-Max's as well.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

It was at the beginning, but the DMV only issued a set amount of hybrid HOV placards and then stopped, citing congestion concerns. I want to say it was 50,000 placards, but don't quote me on that.

I wouldn't be surprised if they did the same thing to electric cars in the near future, seeing the popularity of the Tesla, Leaf, Volt, etc. in California metro areas.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Pretty sure Corollas of that vintage use a timing chain that -usually- lasts the life of the engine.

Thankfully, timing belts are becoming less and less common, no matter how many times I warn/nag people about changing them, far too many people don't listen and send otherwise decent cars to the boneyard.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

The ability to stop on snowy surfaces is 100% a function of the tires. If you're close to changing them
now, and your little accident happened last winter, it certainly could have been easily avoided by having snow tires. 4wd or Awd or whatever-the-gently caress wheel drive has nothing to do with it. It just seems that way 'cause typically 4wd trucks/suv's have more aggressive tread designs.

And don't make the mistake of driving on snow tires in the summer, they're like grease in hot weather. I wrecked a perfectly good car when I was a kid doing that, cranked the wheel to avoid stopped traffic and just slid into the other car.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

H110Hawk posted:

The new 1000 speed automatics are all like this in my experience with rentals. Turning off "eco" mode makes it way less aggressive on shifting, you just won't get the EPA mpg which is obviously the only reason they have so many gears and stall the engine at a full stop.

Yeah, all the new fleet vehicles I service are like that. Between the little cars coming with limp-dick CVT's and the larger cars having ridiculous numbers of superfluous gears, my latest bitches are generally transmission-related.

I mean....it's fun to have a low first for snappy acceleration, and a nice tall cruise gear makes for quiet highway driving, but six gears seems to be about optimum, any number above that just hurts drivability around town without tangible benefits.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

2008 is a whole new platform, new V-6(4.0l), six-speed auto is new, reliability is....not new. It's been said before, but transmissions are the weak link, when they go it's never cost-effective to fix 'em, so the van goes to the boneyard.

E.F.B

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Yeah, that's a decent description of them. I'm supporting a fleet and the last of our old-school Mopar minivans died the other day-transmission, of course- but I know our drivers beat the unholy gently caress out of them. I always do the timing belts AT THE PROPER INTERVAL so I guess something had to go.

We just got a few new ones with the 3.6 and I'll be curious to see how these hold up.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

The Gen3 Prius drove so numbly that I went across the street and bought a Fit Sport. Mileage is a little lower and it's not exactly a speed demon either, but the engine revs nicely and the handling's great.

Edit: the new Gen4 Prius is on a new platform and is supposed to handle better, so it might be worth a test drive.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Garrand posted:

Proposed Budget: 2k.
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Sedan, 4 door preferable
How will you be using the car?: Around the town usage, mainly. I try and bike as my primary mode of transportation but bike infrastructure to certain areas around here sucks and public transport is inadequate for me so there are times where I absolutely need a car. Also would like something where I can actually take people places in.
What aspects are most important to you? Ease of maintenance, reliability.

I'm basically craigslist hunting, but this is the first time I've ever actually bought a car so I'm terrified of buying a lemon. I've never been a car person; outside of "timing belts" which seems to be the warning cry of almost every used car I've looked up I really don't know what to look for in a good used vehicle. I am mechanically handy, so I'm not worried about basic maintenance, but I'm trying to avoid more complex things which are going to cost me lots of money. I'm honestly not planning on driving a whole lot, and if that changes it'll only be once I get a better job, so MPG isn't super important to me as long as it's not an awful gas guzzler.

What Grumpwagon above me said, plus stay away from -any- small vehicle manufactured by Chrysler. Every goddamn thing they make that's not a large car/truck is a dumpster fire of horrible build quality and shredded timing belts.(well, the newish 3.6 is an ok motor, but you ain't seeing one for $2k)

The Cobalt is a typical mediocre-at-best GM vehicle but the Ecotec drivetrain is decent and you can get 'em fairly cheap.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Speaking from a mechanic, I've had nothing but misery in terms of parts prices and available diagnostic info for post-redblock Volvos. I could see owning one as a 'fun' car, but I wouldn't want one for a DD, especially with that many miles. The turbo/stick models are pretty fun to drive.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Priuses are great and all, but the headroom is dicey for very tall people. If you don't fit(ha) in a Prius, try a Fit. Similar low TCO, fantastic reliability, tons of room, more fun to drive, a little worse mileage. I cross-shopped both of them a couple years ago.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Any particular reason? I'm looking at buying a V-6/6-speed manual coupe next year.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS


Bill NYSE posted:

In-laws picked up a Flex last year and it's a really nice ride.
My wife is ready to toss in her 08 Focus for something newer; I've basically convinced her on a Prius (thanks, thread!) but she's undecided between that and a Honda Fit because of the $10K price difference. Any meaningful reason she should decide against the Prius if she's in agreement with the 'appliance::vehicle' concept?



A Fit is an excellent choice, it's generally neck-and-neck with the Prius in Consumer Report's total cost-of-ownership.

I cross-shopped the Fit Sport with the Prius in 2012 and liked the Fit better, it's much more fun to drive and has better visibility, at the cost of a few MPG.

The current Fit and Prius are 'new' models now, but they're still pretty similar to the 2012's that I drove except the Fit has a little more power and the Prius has a better rear suspension.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Paddle-shifting automatics turn the visceral joy gleaned from a perfect mechanical dis/engagement into a stupid video-game-style timing exercise. gently caress 'em

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

With all due respect to IOC, I would probably(depending greatly on visual condition) go with the newer, higher-mileage example.

Why?

Because a vehicle that new, with that many miles, is most likely a highway driven commuter, and highway driving is generally the best thing for a vehicle. All operating temps are always up there, meaning any accumulation of moisture in fluids has the best chance of evaporating away, the brakes don't get used as much, the transmission doesn't shift that much, the engine just thrums away in a tall gear at lowish RPMS.

Meanwhile, older, low-mileage vehicles tend to be driven by the proverbial little old lady to church once a week, and that's the worst thing you can do to a car(outside of a steady regimen of drag racing and autocross . Occasional short trips don't get the fluids warm enough, the engine oil runs off of cylinder walls, brake rotors rust, seals harden in one position, etc. And because 'it's never driven', scheduled service can be nonexistent or rare.

Now these days it -really- shouldn't matter much in the case of a 1-4 year-old car, materials are far better than they are even 10-15 years ago and both vehicles should be fine. But when you get up to ten-fifteen year-old cars, the 'cream puff' that has very low miles will often have a host of trouble once it's regularly driven again. If you're planning on restoring the vehicle, great, who cares? But if it's a driver, a somewhat newer, higher-mileage vehicle with good service records can often be much more reliable.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

effectual posted:

Anyone have experience with the Honda Fits or Chevy Sonic?

Been trying to decide between a 2012 fit or 2013 sonic, since they're around the edge of my price range (~13k) and appear to have good, similar reviews. I still need to test drive too.

I have a 2012 Fit Sport and it's really a fantastic vehicle, the tall roof makes for quite comfortable seating and good visibility, the cargo capacity is unbelievable, you can fit(ha!) dressers and lumber and all kinds of poo poo into it, and being a Honda, the reliability is second to none. I have 105K on mine and not a single thing has ever broken or failed. Nothing.
I did front pads at 70K and tires at ~65 K. That's it.(it's due for plugs and fluid change though, I'll do it next service)

The part I like the best, and what sets the Fit apart from all the other little hatchbacks, is that it's a goddamn blast to drive on tight roads. The steering is very quick and once you get the incredibly lovely stock tires off of it, it hangs in corners a long time before finally gently understeering, the Sport model has a rear sway bar and better suspension tuning.

My only slight gripe is that it's a little underpowered, but like old Miatas, that's part of the fun, you learn to hold as much speed as you can through the corners. In reality, the engine's fine, it revs happily and has enough torque that the automatic version isn't particularly doggy off the line.

I didn't cross-shop a Fit against a Sonic, but I did drive a Yaris and a Note, and the Fit drove and a lot better and the interior was nicer, although it was more expensive. I get an average of 33mpg in mixed city/highway driving.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Just FYI, being towed after a rear-ender can mean anything from 'massive frame damage' to 'the taillight are all busted and the cops say it's unsafe to drive',* so it could be anything.

If it's gone 100K since then, drives OK, tires look OK and the hatch shuts/fits OK, I -might- take a chance on it if the price was right.

*source: I used to work a second job at a tow company and it was common for cops to order everything involved towed away.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

We got a couple of Chrysler 200's for our fleet, and Kyoon is dead-on, the engine feels like a slug 75% of the time, and the transmission is programmed to actively sabotage what little power the motor does make. It's also pretty agricultural-feeling, but at least it feels better than the older 2.4 in regards to NVH.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

We just got a Fusion Hybrid in, and I'm fairly impressed with it. Real-world 40mpg, the inside feels better to me than a Prius, and I genuinely like the styling. Obviously, I don't know what LT reliability will be, but the hybrid system is licensed from Toyota, so there's that.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

I wish I could find a video I've seen a couple times which is a compilation of the crashes at a particular intersection - most of them are somebody running a red light at lowish-moderate speed.

The crashes with sedans just fling them into the curbs with medium damage, but every_single_SUV(and most pickups) rolls over easily and they slide on their roofs/sides into poo poo. I always knew, instinctively, that the whole 'I FEEL SAFER' bullshit was just that, but watching crash after crash confirming it was surprising.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Thermopyle posted:

Modern SUV's are safer according to the statistics.

I'm not going to argue about it, only to say that electronic stability control won't do poo poo when you're t-boned in an intersection.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

My co-worker and I do the same 43 mile commute, most of it is 75-80mph freeway miles. He gets about 42 mpg with his Gen3 Prius, I get 33mpg with my 2012 Fit.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Caseman posted:

Proposed Budget: 10-15k
New or Used: Used
Body Style: Hatchback
How will you be using the car?: Commute, the occasional road trip
What aspects are most important to you? I'm pretty set on getting a Japanese or Korean car, fuel economy and dependability come first but it would be nice to get something marginally fun to drive.
I wanted to make it to the Mazda dealership today but I'm pretty burned out on telling people I'm not buying a car yet. Any models I shouldn't miss before I make my decision?

I was in the same boat you are and ended up with a Honda Fit Sport. They're hard to find used at a decent price, but they're a lot more fun than a Note/Yaris, especially with better tires. Reliability and resale value is phenomenal.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Bill NYSE posted:

Also, wife finally decided on the Fit and got the package with paddle shifters and holy poo poo that is a fun, responsive automobile!

I've been pimping the Fit in this thread for exactly this reason - well, that and it's anvil-like reliability. If you don't need the extra 30% fuel mileage of the Prius and you have enough $$$ so that you don't have to buy the cheapest possible econobox, the Fit is a pro-tier choice.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

We have a couple of 2015 Dodge 1500 four-door pickups in the fleet with 3.6 V-6's and they drive exceptionally well for being the poor-man's truck. I wouldn't buy one for towing, but even loaded up with 1500lbs, they're certainly zippy enough.

I think when you say "V-6 pickup", people automatically think of some poor old gasping 4.2 ohv F-150 or vibratory 1989 Chevy 1500 w/4.3. The new V-6's with VVT and 6+ speed automatics are a whole 'nother ballgame.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

The old Ford I-6 is kind of a special case though, it's torquier at low RPMS than the base V-8 and is the same displacement. It's like a throwback to 1958 when trucks were for hauling only, had four speed granny-trannies and 4.56 rear gears.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Nitrox posted:

Unless you had rodents or fire under the hood, the answer is never "you need a new engine harness".

Or have a 6.0 Powerstroke. Done several of these, turn out that making all the engine wires about 1/2" too short on a paint-shaking motor is a bad, bad idea.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

I'd buy the newest, lowest-mileage Ranger(2012?) I could find and call it a day, but that's just me. I find the newer Tacos to be huge and way, way overpriced for what they are, and buying one just to commute with seems kinda a waste. Rangers are are at least as reliable as modern Toyotas, and the '98-up models have a modern front suspension that drives way better than the old ones.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Northstars, other than the very early ones that leaked oil from the lower block/main bearing web like sieves, were very reliable. There were some complaints of the head studs pulling out of the block slightly and causing head gasket failures at high milages(150-180K miles) but they fixed that by...'01, I believe. There are insert kits that fix it but you have to pull the motor to do it and that's a nightmare.

SRX's......had issues.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

IRQ posted:

The Prius is bar none the most reliable driving appliance money can buy and buying one a few years older could very well be worth it if mileage and reliability are your major concerns. Also you don't need to buy from a lot if you're securing financing yourself (but do get a PPI), and you'll do better on pricing that way.

Eh, I think the point could be argued that a Honda Fit is at least as reliable as a Prius. But you make a valid point.

And the Prius transmission shouldn't be called a CVT , its stunningly simple and robust design has nothing really in common with what's normally considered a 'CVT'.

Conventional CVT's are really a pretty piss-poor design that looks great in theory but are constantly chewing at themselves and only work well on small cars with little torque. Which is going to bite a ton of people in the rear end in about four or five years as current models age.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

Yeah, it's a helluva design, isn't it? I'm a drivetrain guy, spent my entire adult life building diffs mostly, and transfer cases/manual trannys just to keep things interesting, and I was floored when I saw the diagrams of the Pruis drivetrain.

Everybody always asks me how they work and they only visceral way I can do it is to show them a open differential on a stand, then imagine an electric motor/generator driving one axle shaft and a gasoline powerplant driving the other side, with the pinion shaft being the output to the wheels. It's an oversimplification, but it shows how both motors are needed for full speed yet either one of them can drive the vehicle and how the regen system charges the batteries at coast/idle.

I'd own one in a heartbeat if an addiction to Mazda rotaries in my misspent youth hadn't given me a love for manual transmissions hooked to high-revving engines.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

We have some 2014 and 2015 Impalas in the fleet, and one of them has 224,000 miles on it already(it gets driven from hospital to hospital 24/7). It's held up extremely well, no real issues except it needs new cats, CEL went on about a month ago with the dreaded P0420. Has the 3.6V6 with whatever auto they came with. The others are up about 80k miles.

The quality of GM and Ford's newer stuff is so much better than it used to be, it's amazing.

euphronius posted:

Yeah

But only if I can get the black Chevy symbol. Or is that after market .

I think it's only black on the highest trim level, but it does cone that way from the factory.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

I'd try to find a Chevy Trailblazer with the Atlas 4.2 straight six. Gonna be tough to find one under 3K, but they'll tow 3500-5000 pounds very well.

Grand Cherokees of that era have horrible brakes and the 4.0 isn't really powerful enough for your 5000lb load (boat + trailer + people + gear + parts + beer) plus a Grand Cherokee.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

IOwnCalculus posted:

Later WJs have decent brakes, the bigger problem is they shred through rotors.

True, when was the switch? '99, I think. The WJ's have better brakes but endless issues with rear wheel bearings/seals. I changed at least 2 a week for years in the early-mid 00's.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

monsterzero posted:

Thanks! I'm looking at TrailBlazers now. Are the badge-engineered siblings okay? Can I get a 9-7x?

The GMC and Olds versions are exactly the same except for trim, never actually worked on the Buick or Saab. Wikipedia tells me the Saab is slightly different in terms of suspension.

I, personally, would try to stay with Chevy/GMC because they're the most common in boneyards and if you buy a cheap one you're most likely going to have to buy parts occasionally.

JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

monsterzero posted:

Good point.

If I feel like telling my friends to meet me at the marina and go with a truck, would the i6 Silverado/F150 and the like be good tow rigs? Would single-cab/short-bed be undesirable with a boat/trailer that will end up being at least 26' long?

The problem with trying to really low-buck a used pickup is that all the full-sized poverty-spec pickups have had V-6's since ~1995(when Ford's torquemonster 300 I6 went away), and none of them are up to the task of towing much at all. So you're probably going to have to find one with the low-end V8 in it, if you want to go with a pickup.

As for length, it's true that a long tow vehicle helps stability, but a full sized pickup with some gear in the bed should be fine if you're careful.

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JnnyThndrs
May 29, 2001

HERE ARE THE FUCKING TOWELS

two_beer_bishes posted:

Looking for a tow vehicle for a (3) horse trailer. I'm looking for less than 15 year old full size trucks and under $10k. 4WD is a must and a manual transmission is preferred but not required. No preference for gas over diesel and I'd prefer towing ability over fuel economy. Bumper hitch is preferred over a 5th wheel setup. Larger cab would be nice too, room for 3 or 4 adults.

You don't have a lot of options here, a average three-horse trailer weighs, what, 5000lbs? And three horses themselves are another 4000lbs when you factor in some tack and feed, plus a few people in the truck, you're right at 10,000lbs, more if you haul large horses.

In the real world(not the imaginary world of manufacturer's advertising-generated towing capacities), 10Klbs is a -lot- of weight to drag around and, more importantly, stop. If you do want to run that off a bumper-hitch(I wouldn't), you'll need a very good receiver/hitch ball setup with a load-distributing hitch setup.

The optimal vehicle would be an extended-cab turbodiesel 4wd Powerstroke/Cummins/Duramax one-ton truck, and I'm sure you already know that.
The issue is, at your price range, you're going to be stuck with an older truck with a fair amount of miles on it. You're also going to have a -very- tough time finding a stickshift - GM quit offering 'em in ~'07, Ford in 2011, Dodge still does but they're rare. Personally, every stick shift equipped H/D pickup I've seen for years is either a)beat to absolute poo poo, or b)owned by some coal-rolling moron or c) both.

Duramaxes are fine after 'O4, when they fixed the lovely cracking-injector issue, GM makes the best automatic with their Allison 1000 trans. Dodge has a good engine with the 5.9 Cummins, but their auto trannies up until ~08 are terrible. After that they went with a 6.7 and six-speed trans that is ok, but your price cap will be an issue.
Ford started out strong with their 7.3 Powerstroke, but the 6.0 has nightmarish turbo issues and wiring-harness problems and the 6.4 has endless hassles with DPF and EGR issues. The new 6.7 is fine once they fixed a couple things in the first couple years(2012-2013), but you're not going to find one for under 10K.

You -could-settle for a gasoline-powered truck, either the V-10 Ford or the 8.1 Chevy are good choices, but they're not near as common as the diesels and fuel economy is pretty bad. They quit making the 8.1 around '07.

I'd either try to find a cream-puff 7.3 Ford truck owned by some old dead guy, but those are going to be 14 years old at the minimum, or a clean Duramax from around 2005-2007, as the newer body style is likely to be over your cost limit. Dodges are an option but I've found that the older trucks kinda fall apart around the engine and anything with the 5.9 Cummins will have the abysmal four speed automatic - if you can find a good stickshift example, buy it.

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