Drivers who were in a collision often follow the recommendation of their insurance company when it comes to fixing the car. By doing so, they hope for a more accommodating insurance company. They also are likely to end up with a car that has lost a lot of value. In collusion with insurance companies, low-cost collision shops use knock-off or used parts. (Read More…)
TTAC contributor David Holzman writes:
My brother Tom’s Prius has been suffering neglect: a scraped door here, a tear in the bumper there, and my heavens, enough dirt to coat all the government buildings in the Washington DC metro area, where Tom lives and works, and pretty soon a two year old Prius is looking like a common beater. He has no plans to fix all this ugliness, but if there’s a logical, cost-benefit case to be made, he will definitely be swayed, as will his wife. (Read More…)
There’s a liberating feeling when you have to fix some interior component on a beater transportation car (e.g., my destined-to-become-a-track-car 1992 Civic DX) and you don’t care about color matching. Item #3,491 on the list of Parts Whose Failure Doesn’t Stop You From Driving, But Still Drives You Crazy: the glovebox door latch. (Read More…)
Saab owners receive two pieces of bad news today: Their allegedly “iconic” and “quirky” brand that supposedly embodies everything that is good in Sweden, turns out to be a dud. It landed with a thud at the very bottom of the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey.
Probably more disconcerting to a Saab owner: Repairs that are more complex than the exchange of wear parts have become next to impossible, because someone at Saab literally pulled the plug. (Read More…)
For some time now, there’s been something of a low-scale war going on between OEMs and aftermarket parts suppliers just below the national media radar. The issue: whether or not aftermarket structural parts are as good as OEM parts. Ford has been a major proponent of the OEM-only approach, making the video you see above in hopes of proving that aftermarket parts aren’t up to the job. But the aftermarket is firing back, and they’ve made their own video in direct response to this one, which you can view after the jump.
Your worst nightmare. A pleasant drive along a yawning rural two-laner is met by a sudden ‘jolt!’ You quickly take your foot off the accelerator. Was it a transmission shudder? A miss in the engine? Some gravitational push from a UFO? After a couple of mini-jolts it looks like problem number one. You do what you can to not stress the tranny. But it gets worse and worse until ‘jolt!’ ‘JOLT!’ ‘Veeeee!!!!’ The engine spins over to the high rpm’s with nothing left to propel it. The tranny is toast… and now the fun begins.
When your 1980 Porsche 924 craps out minutes after the start of its first race and you’re in rural Texas, parts might be a little hard to find. You won’t get far with a blown head gasket and big ol’ notches burned in the head itself. But, damn, the clock keeps ticking! The Moose Knuckles team called every junkyard within 500 miles, but nobody had any 924 (or Audi 100) cylinder heads. In fact, nobody had ever heard of them furrin thangs. (Read More…)
$110 an hour. That’s what certain European dealerships will charge for their $15 an hour technicians. Now granted you’re paying for the nice marble floor and a waiting room filled with old magazines, cable news and pretzels. But still that’s an awful lot of money to part with. In fact, a lot of dealerships make an exceptional living out of highballing the repair cost and lowballing the trade-in value once the customer sees the repair estimate. One outfit in particular with nearly ten dealerships in my neck of the woods clears the two million dollar mark just on this homegrown recipe for consumer disaster. So how do you avoid it?
I’d been wondering if I’d damaged the fuel pump when I ran out of gas a couple of months ago, for the only time in my 350,000-400,000 lifetime miles. Sometimes, after coasting in gear I’d feel the Accord 5-speed subtly hesitate as I gently pressed the gas. But this morning, the engine seemed to be gasping for fuel, and the check engine light–a species which is well known to cry wolf–was blinking at me as if it really meant it. Instead of to the espresso joint, I headed to the local mechanic.
Sajeev, you always hear the advice to have a used car inspected before purchase by a reputable mechanic. But how do you implement that advice at your typical car lot? Dealer or independent, I can’t imagine they are excited about having someone drive off for several hours.
How does the B&B make this work? Leave your existing ride? Partially fill out a purchase contract? Leave your kids the showroom? Ideas, please, on how I phrase this “request” and what is reasonable to guarantee my return with their vehicle.
TTAC Commentator osnofla writes:
I have a 2000 Kia Spectra GS manual with about 97k miles on it and lately it’s been doing something really weird. I’m pretty sure it has to do with the clutch. When I upshift the engagement is very rough, especially below 3k rpm. It kind of lunges forward and stops and forward again then finally picks up roughly around 3k rpm and the rest of rev range is smooth. On top of this there is also the matter of the tightening the belt for the power steering because it squeals at full-lock and fixing the brakes because I’m pretty sure the rotors are warped and need new pads and shoes.
So actually my question is whether I should actually fix these things since — and I’m going out on limb here — the repairs probably cost more than the car is worth. I’m in grad school and will be for the next year. As a result, I have very little money to go out and get another car, though my parents said they could help me out if I really need it. I’m not really attached to this car at all even though I learned how to drive with it. I just don’t see that many options for my tastes: I like manny tranny wagons and hatchbacks. Should I use my parents money while I still can?