Let's talk cars, already — The Bump
Dads & Dads-to-be

Let's talk cars, already

This is the dad's section?  Shouldn't we be talking shop?

My grandfather was a race car driver and a founding member of the SCCA.  He made sure I know how to drive a stick by age nine.  He also had a pretty decent car collection so by the time I was 15 I had driven a Model A, Model T, Triumph Gloria, Triumph TR6, MGB, '46 Ford, '38 Plymuth, '64 Impala, first gen RX7 among others.  Our family vacations to visit my grandparents were a lot of changing oil, charging batteries and checking spark plugs.
    As a kid the only family trip we took was our annual trek to Laguna Seca to see the historic car races.  So for about the last 25 years I have been going to these races, which are incredible.  Bucket list for sure if you're a gear head.
   
   I don't personally own anything special  car wise, but I still do own my first car which is a 1983 Jeep CJ-7.  I've had it for 20 years and it's marginally in a state of disrepair but then again, Im only home two days a week so I couldn't really drive it if I wanted to.  I cant wait to give my son his first ride in it though in a few years.
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Re: Let's talk cars, already

  • My parents grew up on farms and with my dad traveling a lot I got to learn how to change tires.  I remember one year I had to change our van's tires roughly 20 times.  My parents had 3 children in Catholic schools at the same time so they didn't replace tires often.

    I have never been much of a gear head and with the modern vehicles, it is usually cheaper and easier to have a good mechanic do the work.  I did do my own work at times on a 1979 Buick Skylark that I had.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • Wulfgar said:

    I have never been much of a gear head and with the modern vehicles, it is usually cheaper and easier to have a good mechanic do the work.  I did do my own work at times on a 1979 Buick Skylark that I had.
    I would have to agree with this.  New cars are so much more wildly reliable than old cars, there's almost nothing to do besides change the oil.  The Accord my folks bought in 1990 went 300k+ miles without a real problem - change the oil and go!
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  • I'm not a gear head either.  I am slowly learning more though.  I have a buddy that races Mazdas and he is always getting on my case about not knowing anything.  So he sees it as his duty to teach me.

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  • Prime said:
    I'm not a gear head either.  I am slowly learning more though.  I have a buddy that races Mazdas and he is always getting on my case about not knowing anything.  So he sees it as his duty to teach me.
    better start studying rotary technology!  Fascinating, rotary engines.... just a couple moving parts for an entire engine.  I believe with a few technology breakthroughs, rotaries could take over.... with all the kinetic mass etc

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  • Let's see. I don't know much about cars, but every time my car has something go wrong with it I learn a little bit more. I bought my first car, a manual V6 '96 Mustang at age 19 in 2004 for $3900. I was driving my parents '88 Taurus at the time and my neighbor was selling his Mustang. It was perfect timing and the car has done great. It now has 170k miles on it and still has the original clutch.

    When my son was born my wife gave her parents her '99 Mustang back because we needed something bigger. Her dad got it basically for her to drive, but she didn't really own it. That's when we bought the '04 Mazda Tribute.

     

  • My first car was an 81 Honda Accord hatchback, manual transmission.

    My first truck was a 93 GMC Sonoma, manual transmission.

    When I was in college I did not miss one NASCAR race on TV.

    The biggest job I have ever done is replacing a transmission on a Cadillac.

    If I had the time I would certainly do a lot more with my cars on my own.  I am glad that I know enough about them that I can bring it into the shop and tell them what is wrong and what they need to do to fix it.

    I seriously do not know if my father could even change oil.  I never once saw him working on a car growing up. 

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  • My first car was an 81 Honda Accord hatchback, manual transmission.

    My first truck was a 93 GMC Sonoma, manual transmission.

    When I was in college I did not miss one NASCAR race on TV.

    The biggest job I have ever done is replacing a transmission on a Cadillac.

    If I had the time I would certainly do a lot more with my cars on my own.  I am glad that I know enough about them that I can bring it into the shop and tell them what is wrong and what they need to do to fix it.

    I seriously do not know if my father could even change oil.  I never once saw him working on a car growing up. 


    Here's a story about a young boy learning how to change oil from his dad: The dad asked the boy if he wanted to help change the oil. The boy said yes. They hopped in the car and drove to the mechanic. Dad gave the mechanic 20 bucks and then they went and got ice-cream. The dad told the boy to make enough money to pay someone else to do the dirty work.
    ladyjenna13Wulfgar
  • modern cars are very difficult to work on..... you need to have a diagnostic computer, cables and usually a lot of specialty tools.  Most of the problems with new cars are so abstract and buried within the system that you kind of need to know exactly how to proceed before you proceed.
        Most of the work that I do is on motorcycles.  My main bike which is a BMW is approaching 90,000 miles and I have done about 95% of the work on it myself. 
        Of course an oil change at the dealership will run about $400 and I can do the oil change, Throttle body sync, valve adjustment in under an hour - while saving myself about $1200.
        There are lots of things that I leave to professionals, but when you're saving $1200 every other oil change....... it pays to know to how do some basic work.
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  • $400 for an oil change? I hope they're sprinkling in some fairy dust. How often do you need to do these oil changes?
  • polooo27 said:
    $400 for an oil change? I hope they're sprinkling in some fairy dust. How often do you need to do these oil changes?
    I dont use synthetic oil because I ride a fair amount of traffic and dirt from time to time, so I go a little cautious with 3k miles changes.
        Guys that have my same bike and do a lot of highway will go as far as 10k on synthetic.

     BMW dealers (both bike and car) in the last 10 year have gotten really expensive.  Just to change the battery in a car will run you about $700.  In the old days, you could go to an independent dealer but those days are over.  Now when the car is serviced, it has to be connected with BMW North America in yet another way that companies now sell you things that you dont own - the Cloud.
        Just like music you "buy" online thats stored in the cloud the cars are becoming the same way.  If I ever buy another BMW motorcycle, it wont be newer than probably 2006.  My bike is a godamm tank - the new ones are just way to focused on other things
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  • Wow, so just BMW in general is that pricey? I knew imports had higher maintenance, but I had no clue it was like that.
  • After a quick glance on repair pall a battery in a BMW is $300. $100 for labor and $200 for parts. Oil change is $100.

     

  • polooo27 said:

    After a quick glance on repair pall a battery in a BMW is $300. $100 for labor and $200 for parts. Oil change is $100.

    for what car?
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  • Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:

    After a quick glance on repair pall a battery in a BMW is $300. $100 for labor and $200 for parts. Oil change is $100.

    for what car?
    3 series I, 7 series I was about the same. wasn't for sure which to pick so I just clicked on the ones I see the most of.
  • polooo27polooo27 member
    edited February 2014
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:

    After a quick glance on repair pall a battery in a BMW is $300. $100 for labor and $200 for parts. Oil change is $100.

    for what car?

    Which car do you think would have the highest maintenance so I can explore? I have an hour to kill before I go home. I finished what I was working on and don't really care to start on something else today.
  • ladyjenna13ladyjenna13 member
    edited February 2014
    My mom has a Mercedes, and they rape her purse everytime she goes in for service.

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  • Speaking of high-end German cars, my uncle went all out on his Mercedes.  He dealt directly with the company.  Ordered it through the company.  When it was done, he flew to Germany with his buddy to pick up the car.  They stayed for a week so he could drive it on the Autobahn to France.  Once in France by the Channel, he loaded it up on a ship for the states, and headed to England to play St. Andrews, before heading to NYC to pick up the car and drive it back here.

    Lucky bastard.  Never even thought of inviting his Godson (me).

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    Wulfgar
  • polooo27 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:

    After a quick glance on repair pall a battery in a BMW is $300. $100 for labor and $200 for parts. Oil change is $100.

    for what car?

    Which car do you think would have the highest maintenance so I can explore? I have an hour to kill before I go home. I finished what I was working on and don't really care to start on something else today.
    ill have to ask my buddy again - he broke it down for me the last time we talked.  He's a tech at the biggest BMW dealer in the country.... you wouldnt believe the shit that goes on there.
     
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  • I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
  • OK - my friend just got back to me and here's how it breaks down.
       the labor rate is $200 an hour, and there are a ton of electrical tests that need to be done before you can even tell the car you're about to replace the battery.    Many times, you have to update the entire cars' software which takes a bunch of time because most or all of the new batteries aren't lead acid anymore, so most of the cars have to be reprogrammed.
       my buddy, today actually billed $850 for a battery change today (of which he only got paid $60) is going to lose money on it because he spent almost three hours doing it.
       BMW in particular is engineering themselves out of business with things like this and ridiculous start/stop crap.   They try to innovate without developing anything and they put it all on the dealerships to just figure it out so it just falls to a lot of over worked, under paid techs that have thousands of dollars in debt for school and exotic tools.
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  • Wow, that is crazy, not sure what my mechanic charges for labor, but it's probably not over $100 an hour. Did you say something about them engineering themselves out of business over the past couple days? I know I read that somewhere this week. And I thought there was a book price on stuff, Can you really charge 3 hours of labor is it's only supposed to take 1 hour? Doesn't seem right.
  • polooo27 said:
    I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
    it doesnt really matter what car it is these days - they are all painfully complicated.  Also nothing is American, or Italian anymore - all cars are global.
        Our Passat's engine was made in Germany, the transmission was made in Japan, seats are from Mexico.... and the entire car (minus the interior) was assembled in Tennessee by a computer.  I open the hood and have almost no idea where I would even start.  Fluid levels, fine but serious work.... im going to need to learn how to plug the car in for sure
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  • RatpastaRatpasta member
    edited February 2014
    polooo27 said:
    Wow, that is crazy, not sure what my mechanic charges for labor, but it's probably not over $100 an hour. Did you say something about them engineering themselves out of business over the past couple days? I know I read that somewhere this week. And I thought there was a book price on stuff, Can you really charge 3 hours of labor is it's only supposed to take 1 hour? Doesn't seem right.
    well this is the environment that BMW has created for the people that work on their cars.  They pay you 1 hour to change the battery in a car when it actually takes you three so they only have to get away with paying you one hour but can hide behind saying things like "if you hustle you can make more money" which of course is just not true.
        My buddy, a lot of the time will be at work till 10, 11 or even midnight because someone either promised the car would be done the next day to a high profile client, or he has a day off so the car cant sit for a whole day, or he got a big job, like a 6 hour job that took 10 hours and he just wanted to finish.
        Another good friend of mine that I work with was an award winning Mercedes tech - we're talking one of the top guys in the nation.  He finally quit a few years ago because of stuff like this.
        So yes, absolutely - they are engineering themselves in the ground.  The last good car they made was the E46.  period.  thats the last car they made that was built to last.
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  • polooo27 said:
    Wow, that is crazy, not sure what my mechanic charges for labor, but it's probably not over $100 an hour.
    yeah at least for BMW, starting last year, you have no choice but to take it to the dealer.  
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  • Well this house is all "gear head". We have 4 late 80s early 90s mus.tangs. 2 of them are my husbands babies (literally) they are both high to mid 9 second cars and you can literally eat off the engine. Both full interior so yes he does drive them on the street and my kids enjoy them. 1 is mine, its just a mild toy that I take when Im tired of my mommy SUV. The 4th was just purchased and is a complete restore project for DH and DS to do together, it will get sold eventually tho. DH grew up working on cars and drove a 72 che.velle all thru high school. He had 2 of them featured in magazines by the time he was 14. His first trip down the quarter mile was at 14 as well. His dad currently has 5 cars that are either fully restored or on their way to being, ranging from 50s to 70s in various makes.
    Cool!  9 second mustangs..... thats a lot of work and time right there.  its amazing how much has changed in a relatively short time as far as cars goes.
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  • Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
    it doesnt really matter what car it is these days - they are all painfully complicated.  Also nothing is American, or Italian anymore - all cars are global.
        Our Passat's engine was made in Germany, the transmission was made in Japan, seats are from Mexico.... and the entire car (minus the interior) was assembled in Tennessee by a computer.  I open the hood and have almost no idea where I would even start.  Fluid levels, fine but serious work.... im going to need to learn how to plug the car in for sure
    When I said that I met more in lines with import tax and the higher priced cars that are higher priced mainly because of their name. I don't need a status symbol, but then again if I was making $500k per year I would probably have a different story.
  • polooo27 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
    it doesnt really matter what car it is these days - they are all painfully complicated.  Also nothing is American, or Italian anymore - all cars are global.
        Our Passat's engine was made in Germany, the transmission was made in Japan, seats are from Mexico.... and the entire car (minus the interior) was assembled in Tennessee by a computer.  I open the hood and have almost no idea where I would even start.  Fluid levels, fine but serious work.... im going to need to learn how to plug the car in for sure
    When I said that I met more in lines with import tax and the higher priced cars that are higher priced mainly because of their name. I don't need a status symbol, but then again if I was making $500k per year I would probably have a different story.
    you can get a pretty nice car now for $14, some of them with a 10 year warrany
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  • Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
    it doesnt really matter what car it is these days - they are all painfully complicated.  Also nothing is American, or Italian anymore - all cars are global.
        Our Passat's engine was made in Germany, the transmission was made in Japan, seats are from Mexico.... and the entire car (minus the interior) was assembled in Tennessee by a computer.  I open the hood and have almost no idea where I would even start.  Fluid levels, fine but serious work.... im going to need to learn how to plug the car in for sure
    When I said that I met more in lines with import tax and the higher priced cars that are higher priced mainly because of their name. I don't need a status symbol, but then again if I was making $500k per year I would probably have a different story.
    you can get a pretty nice car now for $14, some of them with a 10 year warrany
    Yup, and there's not much wrong with any of them. I imagine I'll have to make a couple car purchases sooner than later. I'm going to try to keep the ones I have now going for as long as I can though.
  • polooo27 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    polooo27 said:
    I think I'm sticking with the simple American stuff. It's not in my personality or bank account to spend that kind of money.
    it doesnt really matter what car it is these days - they are all painfully complicated.  Also nothing is American, or Italian anymore - all cars are global.
        Our Passat's engine was made in Germany, the transmission was made in Japan, seats are from Mexico.... and the entire car (minus the interior) was assembled in Tennessee by a computer.  I open the hood and have almost no idea where I would even start.  Fluid levels, fine but serious work.... im going to need to learn how to plug the car in for sure
    When I said that I met more in lines with import tax and the higher priced cars that are higher priced mainly because of their name. I don't need a status symbol, but then again if I was making $500k per year I would probably have a different story.
    you can get a pretty nice car now for $14, some of them with a 10 year warrany
    Yup, and there's not much wrong with any of them. I imagine I'll have to make a couple car purchases sooner than later. I'm going to try to keep the ones I have now going for as long as I can though.
    yeah you really cant go wrong these days unless you dont do any research at all or go in way over your head..... cars in general these days are pretty amazing
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  • Depending on how much money I have saved up. I'll buy the best thing I can find used for the money I have. That's what I did for out last car. Bought an '04 Mazda Tribute in '09 for $8,500 (not the cheap version either). I couldn't find a deal within a thousand of that so pulled the trigger. Or I'll buy a new Ford. My dad used to work there so I can get the A plan discount.
  • polooo27 said:
     I'll buy a new Ford. My dad used to work there so I can get the A plan discount.
    thats pretty tough to say no to - they have a lot of really good new cars.  I think Ford might be the only American car company that has made a lot of progress in the last few years.... well them and Tesla
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    Wulfgar
  • When I was shown the discounts I didn't think it was that great. Maybe 5-7% off MSRP. I thought that's what you could get them for without the discount. I'd have to look into it further when the time comes.

     

  • yeah thats not a discount - especially off of "MANUFACTURER suggested Retail".
       if you want a new car, find the dealership you like, email their fleet manager and ask him to send you the invoice of the car you want.  Fleet managers get incentives to move cars and dont care about profits as much.  If you buy from the salesperson, the only way they can make money is by screwing you.  Talk to the fleet manager.
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  • Yeah, I was disappointed when I saw the price sheet. I guess you can still get dealer rebates so there might be a way to take advantage of it still. I'd probably go to multiple dealerships and see what they all offered me. Most likely our next cars will be used as well. We're saving up for a big house right now so after that purchase we probably won't have much.
  • polooo27 said:
    Yeah, I was disappointed when I saw the price sheet. I guess you can still get dealer rebates so there might be a way to take advantage of it still. I'd probably go to multiple dealerships and see what they all offered me. Most likely our next cars will be used as well. We're saving up for a big house right now so after that purchase we probably won't have much.
    yeah the reason that Im in the pickle im in now is that when my wife and i were both working, a new car seems like a piece of cake.  Fast forward a year, baby pops out and we were already in the motion of buying a house.  now that wifey isnt workin..... a car and a house is a lot of monthly payments....
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  • Ratpasta said:
    ..... a car and a house is a lot of monthly payments....
    And that is why we don't drive new cars. Everything we drive is paid for. They might not be the most luxurious vehicles and they might have some miles on them, but they're paid for.

    I think the most I ever paid for a vehicle was $15k and that was A LOT more than the next most expensive vehicle I ever owned. We are looking at buying a Honda Odyssey now. I'm looking in the 2007-2010 range because I can not justify the price difference between that and something newer.

    I also grew up working as a tech in dealerships and doubt that I would ever buy a brand new car. I've worked on way to many of them that were built on a friday, or a monday after a holiday. Besides, they lose to much value as soon as they roll off the lot.

    I'm cheap too :) but honestly can not imagine spending $40-$50k on just a car. I've bought a lot of houses for less than that.
    Proud 40 year old, first time daddy!
  • That is why you buy new 15k vehicles then you drive them until they are dead.  I am the opposite of a lot of people here, I tried the used vehicles before but put way too many miles on them to have them last prior to being paid off.  I was making a lot less money then though.

    I can't see me buying a 40 or 50k vehicle anytime soon.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker


  • spotco2 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    ..... a car and a house is a lot of monthly payments....
    And that is why we don't drive new cars. Everything we drive is paid for. They might not be the most luxurious vehicles and they might have some miles on them, but they're paid for.

    I think the most I ever paid for a vehicle was $15k and that was A LOT more than the next most expensive vehicle I ever owned. We are looking at buying a Honda Odyssey now. I'm looking in the 2007-2010 range because I can not justify the price difference between that and something newer.

    I also grew up working as a tech in dealerships and doubt that I would ever buy a brand new car. I've worked on way to many of them that were built on a friday, or a monday after a holiday. Besides, they lose to much value as soon as they roll off the lot.

    I'm cheap too :) but honestly can not imagine spending $40-$50k on just a car. I've bought a lot of houses for less than that.
    yeah, id never spend that much on a car either.... thats a lot of dough.
           Our main car was a 1990 Accord for years.  It had 300k on the clock and the baby was in the mail.  Wife made the point that the Accord was a good car but nowhere near safe enough to haul a family around.  I didnt particularly want a new car but having it be covered bumper to bumper for 7 years is nice if for anything piece of mind
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  • spotco2 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    ..... a car and a house is a lot of monthly payments....
    And that is why we don't drive new cars. Everything we drive is paid for. They might not be the most luxurious vehicles and they might have some miles on them, but they're paid for.

    I think the most I ever paid for a vehicle was $15k and that was A LOT more than the next most expensive vehicle I ever owned. We are looking at buying a Honda Odyssey now. I'm looking in the 2007-2010 range because I can not justify the price difference between that and something newer.

    I also grew up working as a tech in dealerships and doubt that I would ever buy a brand new car. I've worked on way to many of them that were built on a friday, or a monday after a holiday. Besides, they lose to much value as soon as they roll off the lot.

    I'm cheap too :) but honestly can not imagine spending $40-$50k on just a car. I've bought a lot of houses for less than that.
    I agree with every word of that. Cars lose a lot of their value in 3 years. I know people who just can't stand driving something that someone used to own though. So buying new is worth it to them. That would be my only exception, but at the moment I'm ok with used cars.
  • polooo27 said:
    spotco2 said:
    Ratpasta said:
    ..... a car and a house is a lot of monthly payments....
    And that is why we don't drive new cars. Everything we drive is paid for. They might not be the most luxurious vehicles and they might have some miles on them, but they're paid for.

    I think the most I ever paid for a vehicle was $15k and that was A LOT more than the next most expensive vehicle I ever owned. We are looking at buying a Honda Odyssey now. I'm looking in the 2007-2010 range because I can not justify the price difference between that and something newer.

    I also grew up working as a tech in dealerships and doubt that I would ever buy a brand new car. I've worked on way to many of them that were built on a friday, or a monday after a holiday. Besides, they lose to much value as soon as they roll off the lot.

    I'm cheap too :) but honestly can not imagine spending $40-$50k on just a car. I've bought a lot of houses for less than that.
    I agree with every word of that. Cars lose a lot of their value in 3 years. I know people who just can't stand driving something that someone used to own though. So buying new is worth it to them. That would be my only exception, but at the moment I'm ok with used cars.
    there are soooo many great cars out there now used.... a little patience and cash .....
    image
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