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Old 01-21-2010, 02:17 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Hmmm collapsible columns were required in 1968.
The big loophole was the light truck exemption, that allowed my '87 Chevy Astro to be manufactured with a non-collapsible column 20 years after the fact. In a 35 mph crash, the steering column impaled the driver, and the car (van) failed the tests. Yet GM continued to make and sell the Astro alongside the safer Venture minivan, to save a few pennies using the old killer steering column.

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Old 01-21-2010, 02:33 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Assuming we take the same driving risks is a very flawed assumption.

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Old 01-21-2010, 02:37 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Cutesy game playing. You or I driving in a 2010 auto is/am/are much safer than you or I is/am/are driving in a 1990 Geo Metro or a late 80's Civic.
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Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:17 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Back on topic here.

I got a $5 gift offer from the local Chevy dealer. Stopped by an asked them if they had any cars for sale that got the 78 MPG my Insight had averaged on the trip to the dealer.

The salesperson babbled something about the upcoming Volt, gave me my 5 bucks and I left.

165 miles worth of free gas .

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Old 01-21-2010, 03:34 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
Cutesy game playing. You or I driving in a 2010 auto is/am/are much safer than you or I is/am/are driving in a 1990 Geo Metro or a late 80's Civic.
I don't disagree, I also don't care because my chance of dying in either vehicle is extremely low. In 14 years driving I've been involved in (as a driver OR passenger) 4 collisions, 3 of which were in cars that today would be >20 yrs old, and none of those collisions took my life. Meanwhile because I am thrifty about my possessions, I have been able to afford the luxury of an adventurous lifestyle, putting more life in my years (a sure thing) rather than trying to put more years on my life (a gamble at best, even the healthiest and most careful individual can fall prey to chance) .

I'm not suggesting anyone else needs to follow my example, if you need a car with the latest safety gizmos to feel good, go for it! If you need a car with blue paint to feel good, go for it!

I just feel that we need to keep things in perspective, for the time being about 2.5 million people die in the US each year and about 42000 of those deaths are in motor vehicles. That means based on raw averages we have a 1.68% chance of dying in a car accident as opposed to other causes. Because I don't have any specific figures, let's pretend that 20% of those deaths are drivers, or passengers of drivers who take risks I simply *do not* take, like driving intoxicated, driving with no seat belt, driving while distracted, driving a vehicle that is poorly maintained, driving with an unreported impairment, etc.

So now I have a 1.35% chance of ultimately dying in a collision, regardless of what age my car is. Now let's say that occupants of a 2010 car are 10% less likely to be killed in a collision than occupants of a 1990 car (frankly I doubt the difference - while real - is quite that big, but let's go with it for discussion) - so that means my likelyhood of dying in a collision while driving a 2010 car is 0.135% less than my likelyhood of dying in a collision while driving a 1990 car, as compared against all the other things in the world that can kill me.

My cost of ownership on my 1992 Tempo including fuel for 1000 miles per month driving, the $4/month it adds to my car insurance premiums (I also have a 2001 blazer with comprehensive coverage on the same policy), the $8/yr it costs me to register it, etc... is about $1000 compared to the appx. $10,000/yr it would cost me to own and drive a 2010 Prius. Those "extra" $9000/yr I'm saving let me vacation in Maui, beautify my home, throw extravagant parties, and altogether put tons more life in my years, while only "costing" me a 0.135% greater chance at losing years from my life.

Sounds like a bargain to me, but if you don't see it that way that's fine too - I'm not out to change minds, just to keep things in perspective.
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I always realize how good of a car my '88 Escort with 503K miles is when I look at those $20-$30K window stickers. Of course that's not the only car I have, but I figure why buy a new one when I have a '97 in the garage with less than 26K miles on it that I bought new and is rarely put on the road unless I'm taking trip of 500+ miles round trip and I also have other cars that are in between the two extremes including another '88 Escort I bought last summer with only 80K actual miles and it didn't cost anywhere near what they want for a new car. If I were going to buy a new car now it would probably be a new Mercury Grand Marquis to use for comfort on longer distance driving because of my back injury. My dad has a '99 Grand Marquis and is able to squeeze about 28-29 MPG out of it on the highway running 65-75 MPH. Since I usually get in the slow lane on the interstate and run about 55 MPH I figure I could achieve low to mid 30's which wouldn't be bad for a full size car with a V8.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Paid off my house driving recycled wrecked cars. Used the equity to build a much more expensive house. Sold it 3 years later for a $165,000 profit. Built another house with the profit, so that one was basically free as far as money spent.

The cumulative compounding effect of not having made a house payment or a car payment in the last 15 years.

Priceless

Never needed an air bag or a collapsible column, a crush zone, or a stronger roof since 1966.

Heck I drove an Austin Healey Sprite with a door sill so close to the ground you could almost drag your fingers on the pavement. It did save me from an accident when a gent in a Ford Galaxie was backing up into my car at a stop sign and I whacked his car on the trunk brfore he hit me LOL.

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Old 01-21-2010, 04:09 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovel View Post

Now if I was in charge of a company like AutoZone or Napa, I'd start hosting low-cost classes for the public on evenings and weekends for how to perform basic repairs to your own car, to keep them safe and on the road. Gear the class to be friendly to both genders, and focus on the types of repairs that can be done with simple tools in a driveway or carport - and offer a discounted model of code reader for OBD2 cars to attendees. That'd pay itself off pretty quickly I'd guess, with those same freshly empowered individuals feeling confident enough to lift the hood and at least check their own oil and tire pressure once in a while. The challenge of course would be in reaching non-gearheads to get them in the door in the first place. Ah, well, I'm just rambling anyway
Sounds like a great idea. Even though my everyday car is a car with over 500K miles I'd be willing to bet it's mechanically safer than 75% of the cars on the road, because I do most of my own repairs and do them in most cases long before there's any danger with the worn out parts. I just replaced the tie rod ends and ball joints on my '02 Escort the other day, but they were changed as soon as there was any signs of wear. I rarely drive that car, but my 18 year old son drives it almost daily and I want to know it's in top notch condition. Almost anyone can do a large majority of their own automotive repairs if they will buy a service/repair manual like Haynes or Chilton's and following the step by step instructions and best of all for dummies like me they have pictures. Yes, it takes some of your time, but it also saves hundreds of dollars on almost any repair. The parts for my '02 cost less than $110., but if I'd taken it to a garage to have the work done it would have probably cost $400-$600. I was able to do the repairs in an afternoon.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:19 PM   #39 (permalink)
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The parts for my '02 cost less than $110., but if I'd taken it to a garage to have the work done it would have probably cost $400-$600. I was able to do the repairs in an afternoon.
That, I think is a barrier to good maintenance for a lot of people - with all due respect to the mechanic I understand that having a well equipped shop, with good equipment, well trained employees, and business overhead cost money and needs to be paid for, but anyone with a 15 year old car that's in fair shape and just needs a few little worn out bits replaced - they're not going to go to a mechanic because they don't see any value in putting $1500 into a car they could only sell for $1000 on craigslist if they had to.

But if they felt empowered to put those new pieces on themselves for $150 because they can do the labor themselves, they might choose to do it and put off having a car payment for a while longer - AND all of society would benefit from that person's car being repaired and safer/cleaner, vs. them just driving it unmaintained until it really falls apart.

I'm not saying everyone would take advantage of it, but some would. Hell my sister is a frickin' pr0n model and does all her own vehicle repairs including engine rebuilds... so it's not like the stereotypical "gear head male" is necessary to turn wrenches and follow repair manual steps.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:20 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post

Heck I drove an Austin Healey Sprite with a door sill so close to the ground you could almost drag your fingers on the pavement. It did save me from an accident when a gent in a Ford Galaxie was backing up into my car at a stop sign and I whacked his car on the trunk brfore he hit me LOL.

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All the talk about safety is OK, I believe in being safe, but I owned a rag top '78 MG Midget back in the early eighties and turned it over one night. I was injured, but even with the car sliding on and coming to rest on it's top the convertable top frame only colapsed about 2-3". Most of my injury was on my left arm where the car slid on it's top and my arm was between the rag top and the ground. I also wasn't wearing a seat belt which probably contibuted to part of the injury to my arm.

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