Posts By: Sajeev Mehta and Steve Lang

By on November 24, 2015

BMW 318is

TTAC commentator tedward writes:

Hey Steejeev,

I thought I’d finally throw my hat into the ring as my wife and I are on the hunt for a second family car.

We currently own a ’91 BMW 318is and a ’13 Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen 2.5 — both manual, of course. In our previous lives as NYC residents, this was an extravagant stable that required personal sacrifice and demanded constant justification in casual conversation.

On one hand, we find ourselves with one real life car that fits us all; on the other, a relatively unsafe car that shouldn’t be relied upon (at 200,000+ miles) for day-to-day duties.

(Read More…)

By on October 26, 2015

Hi Sajeev and Steve,

I’ve always enjoyed this column, and several years ago I took a piece of the advice you provided: I bought a used Ford Taurus for a teen driver.

Anyway, I’m curious for your thoughts on what we should drive now. My wife and I have long commutes as well as 3 children. It’ll be a year before the oldest can sit up front and, at that point, the youngest can go from a massive car seat to a booster.

I log about 18,000 miles per year in an E39 M5. I have little time for it to be down, though I can borrow a relative’s extra car in a pinch. As expected, the car costs a few thousand to maintain per year, plus fuel is about $3,000 per year at today’s prices.

(Read More…)

By on September 28, 2015

 

grad dad

Riddle me this, GradDad…(photo courtesy: Honda)

TTAC Commentator Silent Ricochet writes:

After almost 6 years and 55,000 mostly reliable miles, the Cavalier must go.

I knew the car was aging and I thought it could make it another year. I recently graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree back in May and since then my Cavalier has been on a steep decline in terms of safety and reliability.

Within the last month alone, I’ve blown three brake lines, the first of which almost resulted in my death. Today, I got the car on a lift for the first time since perhaps last summer in an attempt to fix my third blown brake line (for the rear brakes) and what my two mechanic friends and I saw was horrifying.

The amount of frame rot was staggering. The two of them, with their eyes wide and mouths agape, looked at each other and then looked at me. “Why the f**k are you driving this thing?” One asked. The other said “You shouldn’t be. I’m surprised your parents let you, to be honest.” I thought they were exaggerating. They weren’t. The rust is unbelievably bad.

(Read More…)

By on September 4, 2015

2012_Toyota_Prius. Photo courtesy wikipedia.org

Steve (not Lang) writes:

My wife has a 2013 Prius with a total of 36,000 allowable miles over the 36 month lease through June 2016. The problem is she now drives more and is already at 37,500+ miles! At 0.25 cents per mile, it will add up quickly.

Should we just plan on buying the Prius from Toyota for 16,400 at the end of the lease term? Or should we take a negative equity hit today, cash out and buy a 2015/2016 Honda Accord Sport/EX? We could be looking at $4,000 in lease payment to roll into a new deal to get out of Prius. We kind of learned our lesson to not do a lease since now she drives a lot. (Read More…)

By on August 7, 2015

Tim writes:

Tim from Hooniverse here, looking to see what you and the B&B have to suggest.

I’m writing for recommendations to replace my ’69 Wagoneer as the Family Dirtwagon. The Wagoneer’s great as a 46-year-old classic, but it’s a 46-year-old classic, and is a little too old, project-y and fragile for what I need. We’re talking about the fourth car in the fleet, aside my wife’s Mazda5 (6MT FTW!), my ’64 Falcon and the ’62 Ranchero LeMons racer.

What’s it need to do?

(Read More…)

By on July 6, 2015

Mitsubishi GDi Engine (Dion)

Hi Sajeev & Steve,

“You have not covered extensively the problems encountered by GDI engines, especially Mitsubishi Dion (the engine is 4G63). As the revs go beyond the 2000 rpm, the ‘check engine’ light comes on, then eventually the engine — if forced — cuts off. After a few minutes, the engine can start but it does not take long before it repeats. I was told by a mechanic to buy a new pressure pump. This was fitted but the problem has not gone away. Please help!”

Ummm… we think your mechanic needs to keep away from Runaround Sue.

(Read More…)

By on May 13, 2013

(photo courtesy: erfabber.com)

Hey Sajeev and Steve,

I am about to graduate college (this week in fact) and before I start my new job I need a new/used car. I am lucky enough to be graduating college debt free and with an excellent new job lined up. I will be moving from bone dry Texas to rainy Seattle. (Read More…)

By on April 30, 2013

TTAC commentator Gannett writes:

This has now become an important question around our house: what’s the best/cheapest (not necessarily the same thing) way to drive 25,000 miles a year?

(Read More…)

By on April 12, 2013
TJ writes:

Hey Sajeev and Steve,

Need your assistance for a fellow panther lover (my aunt) who is going to be looking for a new ride this fall.

She currently has a Mercury Grand Marquis (her second or third) and loves the car and would replace it with another in a heartbeat if they were still for sale.  If you’re asking why she’s getting rid of it, there isn’t any particular reason. (Read More…)

By on April 5, 2013
Dear Steve and Jeev,

My girlfriend needs a car while in the midst of many other big financial decisions that severely limit her car budget. Here’s the situation. (Read More…)

By on March 8, 2013

I bought my first car six months ago, a dark green 2002 Subaru Impreza 2.5 TS. I purchased it from a local dealership for $5,800 with 97,100 miles on the odometer. Stick-shift, Subaru AWD, and sticky studded snows made this a solid candidate for the harsh Vermont winters. And while this past snowy season didn’t turn out to be too frightening, the car did. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2013

Hello Sajeev and Steve,

I need to get a bit of advice, and I need to get it from real car guys, so I decided to ask the two of you, and the B&B, to give me some input on my situation.

I currently drive a 97 Honda Prelude. I’ve had it for the last 5 years, and it has taken a lot of abuse from me. The problem is that the body has 230k miles on it, and like clockwork, every 2 weeks something goes wrong.

Let me list the things that are currently wrong with it: (Read More…)

By on March 4, 2013
I am in need of some car advice.

I’m working with about $2000 or so and I’ve found some cars in my area that I’m interested in.

They are a 1993 Eagle Talon with 86k miles for $1800, 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX V8 with 130k miles for $1400, loaded 1999 Taurus SE with 133k miles for $2100 and lastly, a loaded  2002 Ford Taurus SES with 115k miles for $2200. (Read More…)

By on February 14, 2013

Dear Steve & Sajeev,

For 14 years I have owned a 1998 Ford Windstar Northwoods Edition with the indomitable 3.8 Liter engine. I love this van! It’s been so reliable. $38,000 and 4 transmissions later, and old rusty is still trucking. Only had to do 4 head gaskets. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2013

Steve and Sajeev,

I have a 98 540 6-speed closing in on 184k miles, and I think it’s time to make some decisions on it. My commute is about 85 miles per day, 3-5 days per week. The things I replaced when I bought the car 60k miles ago are starting to wear out again (lower control arms). It has other issues as well. Some are imminent, others just looming. (Read More…)

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