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Posts By: Sajeev Mehta
My mother-in-law just moved from Ft. Meyers, FL to Akron, OH with her Mini Clubman S to be closer to her granddaughter. As a proud British person, she loves the car but is concerned about Midwest/lake effect winters and was thinking of getting a CUV/SUV. Having been a loyal reader of this column and the rest of TTAC, I made the foolish suggestion of just getting a second set of wheels with snow tires on them instead.
I say foolish not because it’s necessarily the wrong advice (though I want your input on that), but because now it’s my job to armchair it from 300 miles away with someone who’s not exactly a car person.
Over the last few years, I’ve had work done on my ’99 Ford F-150 at various places near my work. It seems that when a wear item goes (like ball joints), the mechanic wants to replace absolutely everything in the system — tie rods, pitman arm, trailing arm, etc. Or when the left side brake caliper goes bad, they want to replace the right one, too. Or give me all new hoses when I replace my radiator.
The reason the mechanic gives is always, “Well they are the same age, and if the left one is bad, the right one is not far behind.”
This gets really expensive really quick. Is this worth it? Why do mechanics always want to replace everything in the system, if only one part is bad? Is this strategy only to boost profit? Or is there some truth in their reasoning? (Read More…)
TTAC commentator Arthur Dailey writes:
I take our two out-of-warranty vehicles to a local independent garage for maintenance. The owner is 100-percent honest and that is the most important thing. No unrequired work or surprises. He brings out all the replaced parts, the containers and bills for the replacements. He is not the least expensive, but he’s certainly less costly than any of the local dealers.
I have one vehicle, bought new, that’s had all work performed according to the manufacturer’s schedule. However, when I bring it in now, the conversation may go like this:
Me: “The book says that the coolant should be flushed and replaced.”
Mechanic (later that day): “I checked the coolant and it would be a waste to change it now.”
TTAC commentator kericf writes:
I know you experienced the deluge of rain in Houston (Last October, and it was pretty bad. —SM). We live on the north side of the city and own a six-month-old 2015 Ford Expedition EL that has been outside its whole life (it doesn’t fit in the garage). It has seen much heavier rain than we had this weekend, but not a storm that lasted so long.
Water somehow got into the headliner and dropped into the interior. It does have a sunroof and roof rack. The dealership has only had it a day but hasn’t been able to figure out the source of the leak. It hasn’t leaked before. We are baffled and I have a feeling the dealership will be too.
TTAC commentator VolandoBajo writes:
Sajeev, my worthy and esteemed fellow Panther defender,
I acquired my ’97 Mercury Grand Marquis LS about six months ago and have enjoyed everything about it. I’m hoping to find a good source for a dual exhaust that doesn’t cost more than the book value of the car, and to convince my wife that the mileage increase will pay for the mod over time.
But my present problem is baseline fuel economy. I see repeated references to a 20 miles per gallon highway figure, but I can only manage 17 mpg at the best of times.
TTAC regular PrincipalDan writes:
With the price of gas dropping to levels not seen in many moons, a thought occurred to me: Many of us are driving around in an average vehicle that has an engine used by another vehicle advertised as having more horsepower and recommending premium fuel.
For example: Toyota’s 3.5-liter V6 powers the Camry and ES350, but the Toyota’s tests with 87 octane fuel while Lexus tests with 91 octane fuel.
Do the manufactures actually bother using different engine programing in these various vehicles? Or is greater horsepower just a premium fill-up away for those with lowlier vehicles with premium antecedents?
TTAC commentator Windy writes:
I just started the once-every-few-years process of shopping for a new car. When I ordered my Mini 12 years ago, I was able to pick from a vast selection of colors and options. Since then, automakers have dwindled down and constrained their available colors. I’ve played the configurator game with many marques, and the choices in color were frankly dismal for most cars.
I have a question that I don’t believe you have answered before in your talking about design features, and that is the weird obsession car makers have with exhaust outlets.
It’s ironic that as the initial Jaguar story neared publication, I ordered an aftermarket part to complete the (somewhat) light restoration of my 1988 Mercury Cougar XR-7. I mentioned getting “a factory part when buying the aftermarket brand” and nobody had a problem with this assessment.
But you won’t believe what happens next in this shameful attempt at clickbait… (Read More…)
I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that lovely 236 pounds-feet of torque.
In other words, can I just get the torque without the spending abyss and busting my knuckles? Small data-set wise, four-cylinder manual Jettas with 64,000 miles average a diesel premium of only $675. At that consideration point, say 2010-ish Jetta, there is no economy for the project and I could jump right into the lovely torque.
So my question to you, on behalf of Torque Lovers Everywhere: is it time to pounce on diesel?