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The Official Cars Discount / Thrift & DIY Questions and Bragging Thread.

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Thrift Vader, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    Cheap, high miles.

    Can be clean as. But if the engine is tired. Pass. I'd rather buy a low mile car with a broken windshield.

    Mechanicals first.
     
  2. Nobleprofessor

    Nobleprofessor Senior member

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    Someone asked me about buying a BMW 5 series or a 7 series (from 1995-2001) and I started thinking about what I have had to spend on my car.

    I bought my 2000 BMW 740iL 4 years ago with 159,000 miles. I now have 228,000 miles. In the 4 intervening years, I have had to do the following repairs and maintenance:

    Replaced the battery twice, one was free as the battery was under warranty -- $200
    Replace Tires - $400
    Replaced the coolant reservoir and coolant level sensor around $120
    Replaced the radiator -- $400 (includes labor cost at shop)
    replaced rear brake pads $100
    replaced passenger door lock actuator $250 (includes labor cost at shop)
    changed the spark plugs - $75
    replaced one ignition coil - $70
    replace fuel pump and fuel filter -- $500 (includes labor cost at shop)


    That adds up to $2115 in four years and 68,000 miles. I doubt I could have driven a new car and spent less than that in 4 years!

    Even if I figure in the cost of 12 oil changes (some done by me and some at a shop) with an average cost of $50 each, that brings the total to $2715. Less than $3000 in 4 years and almost 70,000 miles.

    So, I decided to figure out the TOTAL operating costs for my car. I added up the cost of the car + insurance + gas + maintenance and repairs + licensing and taxes. I added it all up and my total ownership costs is 23 cents per mile.

    According to AAA, the average operating costs in the USA is 57 cents per mile (for all car styles). The average operating cost for a large sedan is 69 cents per mile. Those amounts for the miles I have driven would have been $38,760 and $46,920 respectively. I spent a total of $15,728 for my car including everything.

    A few sites I have seen provide the average operating costs and the cheapest vehicle for 5 year operating costs was a Toyota Prius at approximately 30 cents per mile and the average cost of a small sedan at 46.4 cents per mile.

    Despite the conventional wisdom, my 740iL has been extremely cheap to own and is more than twice as cheap as the smallest and cheapest average cars.

    Lately, I have been trying to figure out what to do with my 3 cars (two E38 BMWs and my 92 Ford Truck). This has definitely made up my mind. I'm going to sell the newer 2001 BMW 740iL (133K miles) and keep my truck and just keep driving the 2000 BMW 740iL!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    That's some amazing stats.

    Have been a long term fan of the idea that a top tier, well built car will be cheaper to live with than a new cheaply made car. With large engines being economical as a small car.

    You just confirmed it.
    You got a great car there.:nodding:
     
  4. Cj52racers

    Cj52racers Senior member

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    Awesome write up noble! Really cool to read.

    Did a battery change this afternoon. Absolute pain in the ass. All the post bolts were locked up and rounded off. Took 45 minutes with a channel lock to pull em out a thread at a time. Fun times
     
  5. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    That cost of ownership is way lower than I would have expected to be honest!
     
  6. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    Hey guys new to this thread and to tell the truth I've come begging . I am looking to buy a used vehicle for my daughter 12-15 K range mostly around town and some local freeway stuff. I only drive trucks so I don't know jack about cars any recs appreciated
     
  7. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    What kind of weather will she be driving in? I also assume safety is paramount. If your winters come with ice or snow then winter tires are the best investment you can make for safety.

    Something with high IIHS ratings will also be important.

    Other than that, I think a small SUV or mid sized sedan with AWD would probably work best. 50-70k miles will likely get you into the budget range. Nothing too snooty like a German, Japanese probably works best to tick the boxes. Rav4, CR-V, or Rogue for small SUV or something like an Infinti G25 could be found for a good deal these days with AWD. Otherwise you're looking at FWD Altimas, Accords, Sonata or Elantra etc which aren't terrible. You don't want to get too crazy here haha.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  8. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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  9. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Toyota Prius. I am serious. Very practical and can be cost effective. Pretty sure its up there in reliability as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    I was actually going to add that going with a hybrid model in any of the aforementioned cars/makers might actually get your daughter some additional cred with her peers.
     
    2 people like this.
  11. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    Hate to say it. But a Prius might be right. They actually have aftermarket support for visual mods too.(wheels,bodykits,etc)
    Just get the latest gen if possible.
    Nothing wrong with buying your daughter a chicks car.
     
  12. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    I really have no problem with a Prius except that we live in the Prius capital of the universe and my daughter is less than enthusiastic. Maybe a better way to go about this is to find something we like and then ask opinions might be simpler. I suggested I give her my 2014 Tacoma ski truck and I buy a new one.My wife quashed that idea
     
  13. jcman311

    jcman311 Senior member

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    Well there is a reason everyone owns one.

    Not a bad idea to gather some ideas and comeback. I would say as general guidance to avoid volkswagen and chrysler products. (Litigation and reliability concerns)
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    12-15k will buy a really nice miata. Pretty damn reliable and you can get the hardtop in the price range as well. Should even buy an NC which is way more livable and could possibly buy a PRHT model (power retractable hard top).

    On a more practical note, but not really since it's an easy year round car in california, you have so many options in the 12-15k range. Elantra's are decent, mazda 2/3/6 should be available used in that price range, as well as the usual corolla/camry/civic/whathaveyou.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  15. Thrift Vader

    Thrift Vader Forum Mechanic

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    I'm going to say . . If i had a daughter who needed a car that would be comfortable and reliable wifh space for her to live with and can fit her friends in it? And apart from mechanical piece of mind. Has to be cool enough for her to be proud of it?

    Craigslist samples . I got bored.
    http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/5848536529.html
    Needs the steelies and hub caps imho. But fresh and super cool. Simple to fix. And cheap to own. Win.

    Or one of these? Test drove one and was impressed. Surprisingly economical. Well built. And flexible as a daily you could live with. -also cool.
    http://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/5851110562.html

    These are fun to drive. Ladies like them. Not sure about maintenence costs. But a warranty would go a long way with this.
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv/cto/5852868787.html

    So hot right now. .
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/cto/5854029813.html

    Honestly, in your shoes? I'd have this detailed to the max. And throw her the keys. :nodding: you just don't see Ghia's this clean no more. Timeless. Reliable. Stylish.
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb/cto/5853944840.html

    Meh. Browsing is fun.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  16. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    +1 on the fiat 500.

    College students with big cars/trucks are a dual edged sword. Everyone wants to borrow/use the car for transporting ish and you look get put in a weird position when your friends want to use it. A small, fun car, thats good on gas is a huge plus.
     
  17. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    Totally forgot about the Mazda 3, nice suggestion RTC. Great little car. Mazda 6 or CX-5 (small SUV) are winners if you want her in something slightly more "substantial", the latest gen for either can be found within your budget with low miles.

    Dat Karmann Ghia tho.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  18. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Senior member

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    I wouldn't send a kid to college with an old car or project car unless they really enjoy working on them. You have more important things to worry about in school. I'm just a glutton for punishment...

    Parameters should be:
    -Safe
    -Low maintenance cost
    -Capable of running with long oil change intervals (if someone forgets to do it...)
    -Low cost of repair if something happens.
    -Reasonably fun to drive if something happens.

    From what I've seen, a car with a sunroof is a huge plus for her demographic. It's pretty great in the summer, especially in that area.
     
  19. Numbernine

    Numbernine Senior member

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    Thanks interesting list. Ive owned so many VWs with so many stories I can't even remember them all .First was in 1969 it was a '67 bug paid $1200 IIRC named it Oscar. They all had names. That Fiat caught my eye tho I'll check it out Hopefully they're improved since we used to say the name meant Fix It Again Tony
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Fueco

    Fueco Senior member

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    A Subaru Brat would be a subtle statement.
     
    2 people like this.

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