Piston Slap: Do I Need A New Car, Sanjeev???

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
piston slap do i need a new car sanjeev

Cass writes:

Dear Sanjeev: (facepalm – SM)

As a matter of coincidence most of the vehicles I’ve owned have been covered in previous Piston Slap articles and I’ve noticed a recurring theme: at one point, a point likely occurring far prematurely than hoped, I’m going to have an issue which according to your previous advice will require either a new engine or a whole new car.

(BTW I’ve noticed this seems to be be the number one prescribed solution – could you just sum up all future articles as “get a new engine or a new car” that way then?)

So quickly to my question – should I just go ahead at looking at replacing my cars right now? Yeah, it’s a bit premature but I feel like the sooner I start, the better prepared I will be, financially and work-load-y, to go shopping for a new one when the time comes.

And also, how the heck do I prevent this in the future? Do I just have phenomenally bad luck at picking a long-lasting car or is that the just nature of the automotive world today – a world where planned obsolescence means I’ll be switching out rides at 60k miles no matter what I buy?

Sanjeev answers:

It’s true, that Sajeev jerk gives advice that turns into a new engine (usually of the LSX-FTW variety) or a new car (usually a Panther) because he’s an idiot. I look forward to the day when I can permanently replace him here at TTAC and shame his parents for giving him such a silly, silly name. Wait, you give that keyboard back YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS AWAY FROM SANJE…

Sajeev answers:

Aside from misspelling/autocorrecting my name, your letter “sees” everything in the wrong light. Overly generalized concerns do not compute, especially with absolutely nothing outside of abstract notions to discuss. Make, Model, Year and problems encountered? No, none of that is necessary! But I digress…

Perhaps your notion on planned obsolescence is a summation of your concerns. While a genuinely worrisome manufacturing/engineering defect shows up with every manufacturer, that’s the exception…not the rule: the majority of cars available today could drive 200,000 miles with minimal expenses outside of basic maintenance.

My point? You should lease a new car every 3-4 years. Think about it: the vehicle is always under warranty, the money factor in many leases is essentially zero and you never worry about anything. It’s like renting an apartment versus buying a home. I’d budget accordingly and start leasing as soon as possible.

Or just get a clean Panther with good service records. Obviously: TAKE THAT SANJEEV, YOU AIN’T THE BOSS OF ME!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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3 of 32 comments
  • Myheadhertz Myheadhertz on Dec 04, 2013

    How about a 3-year lease on a high mileage 2006-10 Panther? There are car lots on Boulder Highway in Vegas that could do the deal. Just pennies a day and you pay here!

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Dec 04, 2013

    So, the conclusion is, buy a Panther, and swap in an LSX ? (new car, AND new engine, win-win)

    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Dec 04, 2013

      There are a few exmples of this in existence, and I definitely approve. Putting GM engines in Ford chassis has long been proven to be an extremely effective strategy. GM builds great, cheap, hipo engines but often puts them in front of lousy drivetrain parts and Ford tends to build too large and heavy per displacement engines that are expensive and fruitless to modify, but often use stronger driveline components.

  • Bob65688581 Small by American standards, this car is just right for Europe, and probably China, although I don't really know, there. Upscale small cars don't exist in the US because Americans associate size and luxury, so it will have a tough time in the States... but again Europe is used to such cars. Audi has been making "small, upscale" since forever. As usual, Americans will miss an opportunity. I'll buy one, though!Contrary to your text, the EX30 has nothing whatsoever to do with the XC40 or C40, being built on a dedicated chassis.
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉