First of all, I want to say that I enjoy your articles and your love of Panther and Fox body Fords. (Woot! —SM)
I’m writing to you about my 2005 Ford Focus SE ZX4 in the hope that you may give me some guidance.
I moved to the east coast (southeastern Virginia) from the Midwest in 2008. A year later, I received a brutal lesson in what coastal flooding can do to a neighborhood and when said flooding finds its way into a vehicle. My Focus sustained $3,500 in damages, and nearly all that amount was due to airbag and seatbelt system damage. I had insurance, so I was only out of my $100 deductible, but the damage cost was such that I now have a branded title due to flood damage.
As Volkswagen works to make amends with customers and the public, TDI owners ready to give up their illegally polluting cars are hearing conflicting messages from some Volkswagen dealers who are either unwilling to or begrudgingly taking in those cars on trade.
A TDI owner said when he took his car into Flow Motors Volkswagen in North Carolina last month the dealership told him it wouldn’t initially accept his vehicle for trade. The dealer originally had asked if the owner had found a willing dealership to take his car.
“ … Let me know as I have a couple of other diesel owners I will send if things worked out for you,” the dealer wrote in an email after they turned down the man’s diesel car.
“To say I’m irritated is an understatement,” the TDI owner wrote.
Volkswagen may discount new car purchases for diesel car owners trading in their illegally polluting cars, German news agency DPA (via Reuters) reported.
The discount would apply to older 1.6-liter models, according to the report, which would need more significant fixes than many other cars. According to Reuters, roughly 2.4 million cars in Germany are affected by the diesel scandal that has cost the automaker billions so far.
In America, more than 350,000 diesel cars would need significant fixes, according to Volkswagen of America chief Michael Horn. In the States and Canada, Volkswagen offers a “loyalty discount” to returning Volkswagen buyers. So far, the diesel discount only applies to cars in Germany.
Low Miles, One Owner… (photo courtesy: www.parknshine.com)
TTAC commentator cwallace writes:
Here’s what’s probably an easy question for you: Is it ever worth the money to update wear items on a car before trading it in?
My trusty 2007 Accord EX V6 is suddenly about to cost me some real money. With 154,000 miles on it, the tires are about shot, it needs new struts, there’s a crack in the windshield, and the rear main seal is starting to make a mess of my driveway. Plus, my commute just got a lot longer, so the lack of creature comforts (like sound insulation, for heaven’s sake) make me think I’ve got my money’s worth from this car.
Other than those things, it looks good for its age, and everything else works just as it should. All that dealership service paid off, is what I tell myself.
How do I know you love me? (photo courtesy: zazzle.com)
TTAC commentator dtremit writes:
Hey Sajeev —
Inspired by your recent Mazda3 Piston Slap, I thought I’d throw this question your way. Seems like something the B&B might have advice on.
I have a 2005 Mazda6 that is a rather desirable used car…on paper. It is in excellent condition mechanically, and has fairly low miles for its age (about 78k). Single owner, and I have maintained it well, though I am not sure the mess of receipts in the glovebox counts as excellent documentation. I have a good set of Nokian snow tires for it on steel wheels, which would go along with it. It would make a good car for someone for quite some time to come. (Read More…)
(photo courtesy: new.minimania.com)
TTAC commentator WheelMcCoy writes:
With MINIs, fun is directly proportional to repair bills. A couple with a 2009 MINI Cooper S bought an extended warranty which expires in February 2015. They hope to sell their MINI around then, but the run flat tires are worn down to their wear bars. To tide them over for 6 or 7 months, I suggested they buy some good handling low tread wear all season tires (they are in the Northeast) and an air compressor with goo. With normal tires, I’d argue they’d enjoy their MINI even more and might even want keep it after the extended warranty. But they are inclined on getting expensive run-flats to not hurt the resale value. Most likely, they will trade-in rather than sell on their own.
Appreciate your input and any alternatives we haven’t considered. (Read More…)
I currently drive a 2007 G35S that works great and has been dead nuts reliable since I bought it lightly used a couple of years ago. It also works just fine for my duties of pickup/drop off of my toddler at daycare. Despite being plenty quick, it’s kind of dull. I really miss having a daily driver that doubles as an autocross/occasional track-day car.
A few weeks back I attended a ford ecoboost event and got to hustle a Fiesta ST around an autocross course. I was pretty impressed and now I’m strongly considering switching over. I also like that it gets ~50% better fuel economy and the 17″ wheels mean cheaper replacement tires than the staggered 18″ setup on the G35 (plus, I think I may be harder on tires than most). Lower running costs wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit. (Read More…)
At what point are you willing to accept a low-ball offer for your old beater?
Is it when the tranny blows out? Or does it eventually come through the scourge of rust, and the constant breaking of electric doo-dads that no longer work all through your doo-dah-day?
Some folks simply get bored of their ride. While others just try to drive their cars until their bodies become the rolling representation of swiss cheese.
Everyone has a reason to curb a car. Thanks to the efforts of Nick Lariviere (<— Click the link!), and the cooperation of an automotive conglomerate with more money than some state governments, I now have 257,020 purely anecdotal examples of this type of personal decision making.
I now need to figure out one simple thing.
What does all this data tell me?
What makes an owner trade in their car?
This may not be a question for the ages. But the impact this question has on every automaker will very well determine their long-term successes and failures.
After all, manufacturers want you to become an evangelist for their chosen brand. Billions of advertising dollars can be hurled at the general public in an endless cacophony of overt and nuance ridden ways. But in the end, it’s the good graces and big mouths of us current owners that carries the most sway. No clever hamster, truck loving dog, or clueless celebrity can approach the collective influence of the word of mouth.
Your opinion matters most, bar none… and now with the potential of over 300,000 surveys and data sets to tabulate, I may need a bit of help with it all.
Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.
Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.