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Old 11-02-2014, 09:38 AM   #441 (permalink)
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I owned an Insight and before I sold it at 62k miles. It had $7000 in warranty work performed at the dealership with no charge to me, more warranty work than every car I have ever owned combined that had a warranty over the last 45 years. That would buy me 21 Sentras and I can haul 5 people in fairly deep snow. Just the cost of warranty repairs and the warranty batteries are not known for longevity.

I did the math on my truck as it sat there doing nothing and the depreciation on the Fiesta. Not sure how James would keep his truck registered, tagged and insured for $150 a year. My annual cost was pretty low but easily twice that not inculding any maintenance or repairs.

For me, this thread made me realize that I could avoid enough in taxes, tags, depreciation, maintenance and repairs to pay completely for the fuel I now use in the bike and Sentra. Over 4k miles so far and no unexpected expenses. That could continue for years with my present annual mileage and every time we take the Sentra, the wifes Sorento sits in the garage which keeps the miles below 1k a month and extends the time when she will replace that vehicle which saves her money.

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Old 11-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #442 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I owned an Insight and before I sold it at 62k miles. It had $7000 in warranty work performed at the dealership with no charge to me, more warranty work than every car I have ever owned combined that had a warranty over the last 45 years.
Well, that's you. Bought mine used with 50K miles (now at about 180K). Total repairs (other than normal maintenance items like brake pads) have been an EGR valve, O2 sensor, and a rear wheel bearing/hub. Maybe $400 over 10 years. And original batteries are still doing fine, with rebalancing every year or two.

Quote:
I did the math on my truck as it sat there doing nothing and the depreciation on the Fiesta. Not sure how James would keep his truck registered, tagged and insured for $150 a year. My annual cost was pretty low but easily twice that not inculding any maintenance or repairs.
Different states :-) As it happens, I need to renew the registration on mine in a couple of weeks, so I have the card sitting here. Registration is $55. Insurance is a bit of a guess, but it's about $500/yr for both, and was about $350-400 when I had just the Insight. I forgot about smog check, which is about $25, but on the other hand registering a trailer would cost something - $12 or $24 depending on weight, possibly an extra tax based on original sale price.

Then, of course, my truck doesn't just sit there except when it's needed for hauling. There are a lot of places I go where you'd have to be nuts to take a low-clearance vehicle. It's another of those different conditions: if your life is such that you never leave pavement or smooth dirt, then the utility of a truck goes way down. (But OTOH your boredom quotient goes way up :-))
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:15 PM   #443 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
It's another of those different conditions: if your life is such that you never leave pavement or smooth dirt, then the utility of a truck goes way down. (But OTOH your boredom quotient goes way up :-))
Obviously, you are doing it wrong!
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:15 PM   #444 (permalink)
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Not necessarily, depending on the cost of the truck. See above for all the reasons that having two vehicles might be an even better solution.
jamesqf, my friend had a 4X4 pick-up as his only car, now has only a small car and trailer. He did not want to have two vehicles...See my points above for why someone would not want to have a pick-up as a second vehicle.
Maintenance will cost something. An older, "fully depreciated" truck will eventually have to replace something (tires, belts, hoses) or a brake caliper will seize, whatever. If you can handle the maintenance and repairs yourself, then great for you. Some people can't deal with that on second older vehicle.

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Am I the only one who sees a logical contradiction here? As in the family might be better off with 1 Insight for the single-person commute, plus a van for hauling the family.
I agree, for some families, that would work. But my point is it wouldn't work for everyone.

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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
I guess you don't live where I do :-) Around here, a lot of the non-main roads don't see plows that often. Even in town, after a big snow (which might not happen every year), a good many residential streets will wait weeks before being plowed - or melting, whichever comes first :-)
Again, that's my point! Your life situation is different from other people. Where I live, we average 40" of snow per year. Some years 80", others only 20". I live in a suburb, so we have plow trucks. The most I have to drive thru is 6", which my Sonic with snow tires does fine. I do not need a pick-up truck as second vehicle, never had one, never wanted one...my car is fuel efficient (not super efficient like your Insight) and my trailer works great for me

Thanks for all your eco-modding efforts to reduce our dependence on oil!
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:00 PM   #445 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Well, that's you. Bought mine used with 50K miles (now at about 180K). Total repairs (other than normal maintenance items like brake pads) have been an EGR valve, O2 sensor, and a rear wheel bearing/hub. Maybe $400 over 10 years. And original batteries are still doing fine, with rebalancing every year or two.



Different states :-) As it happens, I need to renew the registration on mine in a couple of weeks, so I have the card sitting here. Registration is $55. Insurance is a bit of a guess, but it's about $500/yr for both, and was about $350-400 when I had just the Insight. I forgot about smog check, which is about $25, but on the other hand registering a trailer would cost something - $12 or $24 depending on weight, possibly an extra tax based on original sale price.

Then, of course, my truck doesn't just sit there except when it's needed for hauling. There are a lot of places I go where you'd have to be nuts to take a low-clearance vehicle. It's another of those different conditions: if your life is such that you never leave pavement or smooth dirt, then the utility of a truck goes way down. (But OTOH your boredom quotient goes way up :-))
A car needing $7k in warranty work from 35 to 62k miles is "just me".

Maybe your $150 estimate was somewhat flawed.

The Sentra is $260 a year insurance, trailer is 0, trailer tags are permanent.

I mange to ward off boredom without playing in the dirt.

I did "play in the dirt" to make about $300k in tax free gains, and I bought a truck, then sold it when I was finished "playing in the dirt".

Ass-umptions may be your best bet for avoiding boredom.

I drove my 84 CRX (bought new, 44 mpg average for 50k miles) 180 miles in a snow storm bad enough to slow a Va state trooper down to 35 on the Interstate when I passed him. So much ice in the wheel wells you could not turn the front wheels enough to make a 90 degree turn. It took all of the next day sitting in the clean up area of the Benz&Ferrari dealership for the ice to melt.

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Old 11-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #446 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
A car needing $7k in warranty work from 35 to 62k miles is "just me".
OK, it's your car, because few if any Insight owners have reported such problems.

Quote:
Maybe your $150 estimate was somewhat flawed.
Maybe, but not by all that much. I did say that it was an estimate, you know, not an accurate-to-the-penny cost analysis. Regardless of whether it's $150 or twice that, it's still much less than occasional rentals would cost - and that's not even including the value of my time & aggravation.

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The Sentra is $260 a year insurance, trailer is 0, trailer tags are permanent.
Different states, different insurance rates, different trailer registration requirements, etc. As discussed above, those are all things that factor into the calculation of which option is best for any individual.

Quote:
I drove my 84 CRX (bought new, 44 mpg average for 50k miles) 180 miles in a snow storm bad enough to slow a Va state trooper down to 35 on the Interstate when I passed him.
But how deep was the snow in the travel lanes? Deeper than the floor pan? That's when whatever you're driving starts to turn into a snowplow.

Just as a practical matter, I doubt you see that much snow in the low-lying southern state of Virginia (as compared to the Sierra Nevada), and on the Interstates what you do get is likely to be smushed down into a couple of inches.

Last edited by jamesqf; 11-05-2014 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 11-04-2014, 02:12 PM   #447 (permalink)
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LOL, if Iwas crazy enough to drive in snow that deep, I'd take the wife's Sorento. My ground clearance only needs to be more than the lowest one in front of me, but I generally avoid driving in those conditions, since the much more significant danger is other drivers, over which any control is not exercised by me.

I'm sure both of our chosen climates have advantages and disadvantages. I must prefer more temperate or circumstances contrived to make that decision. I like the fact that cars here don't rot away, one reason why a 22 year old cheap car is an option.

Under your conditions as described, my choice would require reconsideration and might follow your choice more than my option as exercised.

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Old 11-04-2014, 03:45 PM   #448 (permalink)
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I put a hitch on the Focus for the bike rack. Once it's out of warranty I may tow a small utility trailer when I have a house.

I have two concerns - 1) How long will the clutch hold out as the first 20K miles on the car are city miles 2) It'll burn rear tires off quickly with any decent amount of tongue weight.

So I will have to add in some sort of airbags.

However - all of that once the car is out of warranty.
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Old 11-04-2014, 07:19 PM   #449 (permalink)
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Miller88, like many things in life, it depends...

I did a lot of trailer towing with my old '98 civic. Like doing 1500 mile trips towing a trailer with my motorcycle. I got 262K miles on the original clutch, clutch was definitely worn out, but head gasket died first...
Your Focus is bigger and heavier so braking and stability are better than my Civic. I would still not go much beyond 1000 lbs. The clutch is not a concern if you don't do a lot of hard starts on uphills. Drive moderately and it will be fine. Think about it this way, look on the data plate on the driver door frame, it will list the gross weight limit. If you add up the weight of the car, you, fuel, trailer, and cargo, if it's near the limit, the clutch can handle it easy...unless you abuse it of course!

If you read up on trailer set up. You should distribute the load so that the tongue weight is 10% of the total weight. Check it with a scale. This means only ~100lbs on the hitch, that's like throwing ~100lbs of potatoes all the way in the back of your rear hatch.
100lbs tongue weight is not going to wear the rear tires significantly more.

Good towing!
Rich

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miller88 View Post
I put a hitch on the Focus for the bike rack. Once it's out of warranty I may tow a small utility trailer when I have a house.

I have two concerns - 1) How long will the clutch hold out as the first 20K miles on the car are city miles 2) It'll burn rear tires off quickly with any decent amount of tongue weight.

So I will have to add in some sort of airbags.

However - all of that once the car is out of warranty.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:39 AM   #450 (permalink)
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I've been kicking around the idea of putting a receiver on my Mark VII. Of course that would be after the panhard bar.

I'm one of those who can't really justify owning a truck. I don't haul things very often and the only off-roading I do is to take my kids fishing.

I do like having a spare car, though since I'm pretty much dead set on not owning a new car. I do like those new Ford Focuses (Foci?), though.

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