By on February 25, 2014

Chris writes:

Dear Sajeev,

Back in 2005 I purchased a new Honda CR-V. It recently rolled over 200,000 miles. It has never given me any trouble or needed anything but normally scheduled service and the usual wear items (tires, brakes, battery). It has survived the New England winters rust free. Most importantly, it’s paid for.

Is there anything proactive I should do to keep it on the road, maybe even for another 100K? I don’t mind investing now if it will save me major repairs later. As trouble-free as it’s been I can’t see replacing it (nor am I in a position to right now), but given the mileage I feel like I should be waiting for that other shoe to drop! (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2014

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Most marriages don’t last nearly as long as Irven Gordon’s Volvo P1800 has lasted. And most couples probably don’t spend as much time together as Irv has spent in his beloved car.

Irv says he hadn’t even heard of Volvos until a few days before he bought the car, on June 30, 1966. At the time, he was fed up with his turbocharged 1963 Corvair Spyder, which he says was constantly making him late for his middle school science teaching job by breaking down en route. While thumbing through a Car and Driver with a car savvy friend, he stumbled upon an ad for the local Volvo dealership, with a photo of a P1800. “These are great cars,” the friend told him. So down he went to Volvoville in Huntington, NY, and took a P1800 convertible for a spin. He drove for three hours, and then bought the much less expensive coupe, for $4,150, or $30,000 in current dollars, approximately his then annual salary.

That first weekend, Irv rolled 1,500 miles, returning to the dealership on Monday for his car’s first checkup. He hadn’t planned to drive through the weekend, but he says he was having too much fun to stop—up to Boston, down to Philly, and all over in between before returning to his home on Long Island. He’s been driving the P1800 enthusiastically ever since. On September 24th of last year, he hit 3 million miles.
(Read More…)

By on November 11, 2013

Phil writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I have a question related to maintenance on a 2011 Kia Optima SX Turbo. It currently has 45k miles, and I have owned it for only 4 months (had 20k when I took ownership of it). As you can see, it is driven a whole lot, almost exclusively on the great interstates of the Southeastern US of A. I average 5-6k per month. I am an outside sales rep. and drive from SC to MS and everywhere in between weekly.

My question is this: (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2013

It was like finding a living mammoth, or one of those miniature elephants that still inhabited some islands off the coast until about four thousand years ago. There, in the video, was Grace Braeger pulling up to the gas pumps in her 1957 Chevy, which she had bought new, back in the fall of 1957, about the same time my parents and my brother and I had gone to the car store to get our ’57 Chevy wagon, when I was 4. We had bid ours adieu 8 years later. But the memories surged as I watched Ms. Braeger pump gas. The chrome gas cap cover doubles as the back of the tailfin, and there it was, flicked back to accommodate the nozzle. Then the scene shifts, and I’m riding shotgun, watching Ms. Braeger hang a right and then a left, steering hand over hand—with gusto and panache!—a necessary technique in the days of five turns lock to lock.
(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 1, 2013

Take a look at this piece of…

272,522 miles. No fooling. This 1996 Volkswagen Passat 5-speed sedan has traveled a distance nearly equal to 11 times the circumference of planet Earth.

It also visited the dealership well over 50 times during that time period as well. Which is just barely good enough for…

(Read More…)

By on March 11, 2013

Some things in life are just plain goofy when you start thinking about them a good bit.

Consider the lyrics to the Lynyrd Skynyrd anthem”Sweet Home Alabama”, coupled with Forrest Gump dancing with his childhood love.

Or Born In The USA as a song frequently used to further political candidates. When the lyrics point straight at the constant screwing of the common man by the powers that be.

Finally we have the Honda Accord. A car renowned for quality, and yet, enthusiasts bitch about it more and more with every succeeding generation.

(Read More…)

By on March 4, 2013

I haven’t recommended a new Lincoln in well over 20 years now.

With rare exception, the brand never lives up to the hype of whatever a Lincoln was supposed to represent at various times in recent history. The ultimate luxury coupe that was the Mark VIII. The import fighting LS. The Lexus/Mercedes wanna-be that was the Lincoln Zephyr.  All of them were flops in the new car marketplace for a long list of good reasons.

Even the Lincoln SUV’s, then and now, seem to be little more than overpriced Fords with razor thin chrome accents. While the current alphabet soup of names makes it nearly impossible to recommend any new Lincoln without delving into a smartphone for confirmation that the MK-whatever is indeed an MK-whatever.

There is only one Lincoln truly worth it. The Town Car.  An old one. A well used one. But maybe not as used as this one. (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2012

True Miles Unknown. For some folks these three words conjure up the fear of a car with more miles on it than the Grateful Dead. Others simply head on off to Carfax and try to approximate the mileage figure.

(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2012

 

755,507 miles.

This Ford F250 has truly lived up to all the rigors of what a long lasting truck represents. Mileage beyond the moon. Scuffs aplenty. Vinyl seats.  Not to mention an engine and powertrain that truly stood the test of time.

(Read More…)

By on September 7, 2012

The first generation Insight was a commercial failure. Eight years yielded fewer than 20,000 unit sold and a lingering doubt about the genuine interest in two seat commuter cars.

Honda tried again with the CR-Z, and apparently George Orwell’s early Animal Farm analogy about ‘four being better than two’ may be all too true for the American automotive marketplace.

Nobody wants an uber-frugal commuter car with two seats. It’s either four or no sale.

(Read More…)

By on June 13, 2012

Dave writes:

Sajeev,
I’m a sales rep for a corporate auto supplier in the Detroit area. I currently drive a 2008 Dodge Magnum SXT that I put around 5000 kms per month and currently has 165000kms. Bought it as a lease back with 30000kms in 2009 and it’s completely paid off.

My question is – Do I drive the Magnum for another year, putting the mileage up over 200000 and far reduce the residual value or do I trade it in on a low mileage Explorer, Flex, or Durango and start the process over again getting more cash value for the Mag. There’s no real reason to dump the Magnum – It’s in fantastic shape and aside from regular maintenance and some front end suspension work, hasn’t emptied my pockets.

Just looking for another point of view and some insight into what the residual value over time and mileage looks like for the situation.

Thanks,
Dave (Read More…)

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