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Last post Author Topic: We Are the Idiots  (Read 7600 times)

40hz

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #25 on: December 11, 2014, 07:01:06 PM »
@SJ - can't say my personal experience with Fords, Buicks, Toyotas, and Nissans over the years syncs with what you're saying. My GF's job puts at least 50k miles on a car each year, and we're both shocked if we don't get at least 250k miles out of whatever we buy before we decide to retire it. But I'm not a mechanic. So if you're correct in your analysis, I guess we've just been far luckier than most car owners.

And if so - Yay! ;D

Shades

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #26 on: December 11, 2014, 08:23:39 PM »
I totally agree with Stoic Joker. When I was in the military, my unit had several brand new cars at our disposal, some were diesel, some were standard fuel.

The rule was that for us to do our job reliably, standard fuel cars needed to be replaced after 100.000 kilometer, the diesels were re-assigned to different duties after 150.000 kilometers. There was only one car (my favorite, a diesel) that was longer than a year with our unit.

Of course, it was the military, so the cars were not treated as "maintenance-friendly" as they could have been. Same attitude people have with lease-cars, I guess. All in all, the diesels were better survivors than the standard fuel cars, with a lot less maintenance costs. But in any case, 100.000 kilometer is really a "magic" number for any car.

Modern cars are not really more efficient with fuel than older cars. They're about the same. New cars are much heavier nowadays, because of all the safety features, noise cancelling padding and electric gizmo's that people take for granted now, but were highly coveted options a few years back.

With some TLC old cars last just as long as new ones. I heard often enough about people pushing cars over 1.000.000 kilometers. And the story of those people were almost always the same. The gist is/was: no wild driving and proper maintenance at very regular intervals, using only manufacturer/factory approved (engine) parts and lubricants.

Of course, spending a lot of money on an old(er) car to keep it running reliably or buying/trading in a car every few years likely won't matter much, cost-wise. Unless you are capable (know-how and having the necessary tools & equipment), which reduces incurred costs significantly. Anyhow, people will choose the latter way, just because they're addicted to the new car smell.

Ten years ago I had an 15+ year old Peugot 205D (the cheapest, most spartan model). It had a very basic, old-fashioned diesel engine and on average (including highways) it would consume 1 liter of diesel every 20 kilometer. If I skipped the highways and made an effort I could manage 25 kilometers per liter. And that with an engine that had already 300.000+ kilometers on the clock.

In my experience, diesels today, with common rail injection and what not, barely go 15 kilometers per liter, even when you make an effort. At least in Europe you hardly notice the difference between having a diesel or standard fuel engine in your car anymore. Road taxes, fuel prices and trade-in values are still quite different.


TL:DR
New cars are hardly better at anything than older cars. Other than giving the consumer a (false) sense of safety that is.
 

MilesAhead

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2014, 09:27:13 AM »
@SJ - can't say my personal experience with Fords, Buicks, Toyotas, and Nissans over the years syncs with what you're saying. My GF's job puts at least 50k miles on a car each year, and we're both shocked if we don't get at least 250k miles out of whatever we buy before we decide to retire it. But I'm not a mechanic. So if you're correct in your analysis, I guess we've just been far luckier than most car owners.

And if so - Yay! ;D

That's totally within the normal if those are highway miles.  Stop and go around town is much tougher on everything than get on the highway and engage cruise control type driving.   I do have to admit my knowledge of the particulars is dated.  When I was working in the field it was transitioning from the vast majority of cars being rear wheel drive to the transversely mounted engine front wheel drive type.  My last job as a mechanic was in the 1980s sometime.  Once it became obvious I wasn't going to be a new car customer I lost interest in makes modes and features.  I determine the make of automobile by reading it on the car.  :)

But some principles remain the same.

Edit:  As far as longevity the autos I encountered that lasted the longest were Checker Cabs.  Now and then we would get one in for new tires and a front end alignment.  I swear they must need to put notches on the steering wheel to keep track of the odometer wrap around on those things.  I think they were only retired by being totaled in a collision.

« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 09:33:24 AM by MilesAhead »

40hz

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2014, 10:33:31 AM »
That's totally within the normal if those are highway miles.  Stop and go around town is much tougher on everything than get on the highway and engage cruise control type driving.

Good point! :Thmbsup: However, where we are (SW-CT) our highways are so congested that stop & go and highway crawl (typically between 5 and 40mph) is the rule rather than the exception during the work week. Poor planning, too few lanes (three on average), never-ending road work, and far too many entrances for a highway makes I-95 one of the worst routes in the country. CT is almost famous for it.

map.png

On I-95, the main N-S route through the state, traffic crawls from Porchester on the New York state line all the way through and past New Haven CT. That's roughly 55 miles of unpredictable speeds. On a Sunday morning I can easily go from where we live to Stamford in 22-23 minutes doing the speed limit. On a weekday between 7:00am and 8:30am, or 4:00pm till about 7:00pm, it takes at least an hour.

And cruise control? We don't get to use that much on the roads around where we live. I usually only engage it once we enter Massachusetts, Rhode Island or  New York north of The City. ;D
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 10:43:06 AM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2014, 11:51:11 AM »
If you have enough time to average 50,000 miles a year...that traffic can't be that bad.. ;) However the national average that insurance rates are based on is 15-20k per year. So at that rate we're looking at 7-8+ years to get over 100k, and that is plenty of time for the rubber chassis parts to start drying out and making the handling start getting sloppy.

MilesAhead nailed it with the highway mileage being easier on a vehicle. Car lots frequently use this phenomenon to explain away high odometer readings on really clean newish vehicles by simply stating that they were a "Salesman's Car" ... Meaning that they were frequently (or exclusively) used for long trips so the mileage on the clock is not (to be perceived as) a detractor. Highway miles tend to get put on a vehicle much faster so the rubber parts are still fresh...because they haven't had time to age, dry out, and start cracking.

Hell, just look at the progression of vehicle inventory through various types of car lots to see what the real  averages are:
 0-30k - Dealerships never want to have anything on the lot over 30k because they like to stick to the cream on the top and auction off the rest.
 20-40k - Reputable used car lots like vehicles in this range because they can still be sold high, and no major issues can be expected.
 50-70k - Still safe to buy from low budget lots that tend to focus on offering "affordable" cars..
 70-100k - Buy here/Pay here (because the bank won't touch it...), and the warranty if offered is extra...
 100k+ - Happy Sam's (over)used auto emporium. These are cash only operations that offer in-house financing at loan shark rates. That will frequently sell and then repo a vehicle upwards of 17 times before they just give up and crushing the damn thing for scrap metal. These people are known for what is referred to as a "Tail Light" warranty ... The instant the tail lights disappear off in the distance (or around the corner)...you stuck with it..

Our company has several vehicles also (vans of various sorts), and they average 20-30k+ per year. However their usage is primarily in the city so the constant stop and bake, then go like hell (ab)use causes then to wear out quite quickly. We never keep a vehicle past 150k because by that point they are worn out to the point of being scary and way too expensive to fix.

One other side note is that the environment the vehicle is operated in can also be a major factor. The Florida sun is flat-out brutal. So regardless of which brand/quality of windshield wipers I get, I'll never get more than 3 month out of them before they get cooked out to the point of being dangerously ineffective.

40hz

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2014, 12:10:20 PM »
If you have enough time to average 50,000 miles a year...that traffic can't be that bad.. ;)

Beg to differ. Come up here and give it a try. Or just google for info about I-95 in CT. ;D

Stoic Joker

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2014, 12:25:37 PM »
If you have enough time to average 50,000 miles a year...that traffic can't be that bad.. ;)

Beg to differ. Come up here and give it a try. Or just google for info about I-95 in CT. ;D

Oh, I'm familiar with the drill. Which is precisely why I don't bother commuting to one of the bigger cities in the area where I could make more money...and then waste it on gas getting there and back.

Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle. :D

crabby3

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2014, 01:00:47 PM »
Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle. :D

No amount of leather is gonna help you on I-95.  :(  ... any state.

40hz

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2014, 01:31:07 PM »
Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle.

No. (I think CA is the only state that does - or used to if my biker day memories are correct.) But people do it here anyway. Unfortunately, in slowdowns where I am we have an uncommonly large number of lane switchers and breakdown lane runners. They cause more than their share of accidents. They smear more than a few unfortunate lane splitters too. Problem here is the splitters tend to fly in order to get through as quickly as possible. In the meantime, almost anybody can be expected to suddenly lug out of their lane at any time without signalling. They do this to "get a better look ahead" because they're stuck behind an 18-wheeler; switch to a lane they think is moving faster; or they're just trying to get off one of the too many exits we have to take local roads. In a dinky state like CT nothing's that far away from anything else so local roads aren't anywhere near the hassle they are in some places. And with entrances to '95 only (at most) a few miles apart, it's easy to get back on if you change your mind.

FWIW, if I were still riding I wouldn't take my bike up on I-95 around here. Not even on a bet. In the 70s, my buddy and I would ride our bikes all the way up to Boston for school in September, and back home again in May, and not think twice. But these days? I wouldn't even consider trying it. :tellme:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 01:53:58 PM by 40hz »

Stoic Joker

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2014, 02:33:53 PM »
Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle.

No. (I think CA is the only state that does - or used to if my biker day memories are correct.) But people do it here anyway.

It's still allowed on CA - According to my brother (who lived there for many years).


Unfortunately, in slowdowns where I am we have an uncommonly large number of lane switchers and breakdown lane runners. They cause more than their share of accidents. They smear more than a few unfortunate lane splitters too. Problem here is the splitters tend to fly in order to get through as quickly as possible.

Yes, one of my favorite pastimes is to do YouTube searches for (funny) motorcycle fails - Many of which feature lane splitting boo-boos that could have easily been avoided with a smidgeon of common sense. But having ridden since 1977...I have more than just a bit of a 6th sense about reading traffic to know when the odds are in favor of whatever stunt I may be contemplating..


In the meantime, almost anybody can be expected to suddenly lug out of their lane at any time without signaling.

I live in Florida ...(e.g. Snowbird State)... The only thing turn signals signify is what they're not about to do. :D


They do this to "get a better look ahead" because they're stuck behind an 18-wheeler; switch to a lane they think is moving faster; or they're just trying to get off one of the too many exits we have to take local roads.

Yepper, that's pretty typical of anywhere. This is why the splitting lanes at a high rate of sustained speed is basically idiotic, because it deprives you of the time necessary to read traffic and keep a viable escape route available. OTOH I have split small packs at 120mph on I-95 more than once ... But don't tell Crabby3.. ;)


In a dinky state like CT nothing's that far away from anything else so local roads aren't anywhere near the hassle they are in some places. And with entrances to '95 only (at most) a few miles apart, it's easy to get back on if you change your mind.

 Ay yes, the proverbial picking of ones battles. While I seldom use surface streets, I will - in a pinch - switch to them quickly if an accident or other issue causes traffic to backup to much to allow maneuvering.


FWIW, if I were still riding I wouldn't take my bike up on I-95 around here. Not even on a bet. In the 70s, my buddy and I would ride our bikes all the way up to Boston for school in September, and back home again in May, and not think twice. But these days? I wouldn't even consider trying it.

Understood, but I would. Now I ain't saying I'd enjoy it...but I'd do it ... Even if it was just to say I did.. (eek!) Mind you having 35+ years of contiguous riding experience is a really good cheat in those types of situations.

One of Clint Eastwood's less famous movie quotes was "It's good for a man to know his limitations". And oddly enough IMO he's right ... Which is why I do on the odd occasion err on the side of caution and take the truck. But that's usually when I get one of those funny feelings that I learned long ago it's best to trust.

40hz

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2014, 03:02:35 PM »
^+1 on trusting that type of hunch. I've learned I ignore them at my peril. My track record for them being correct is pretty good. I don't think it's anything psychic. I just think it's experience combined with backburner analysis of your environment coupled with some half-conscious odds calculations. "Educated anticipation" I guess you'd call it.

Whatever. Works for me. And I've learned to trust it. :Thmbsup:

crabby3

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #36 on: December 13, 2014, 09:18:28 AM »
Do they allow lane splitting in CT?? ...Remember I'm on a motorcycle. :D

No amount of leather is gonna help you on I-95.  :(  ... any state.

OTOH I have split small packs at 120mph on I-95 more than once ... But don't tell Crabby3.. ;)

luck (luhk) - noun

1. When opportunity meets preparedness. (c3-pedia)

2. Good fortune; advantage or success, considered as the result of chance.

1 + 2 = SJ ?

Something to ponder over: Many men and women have switched from smoking to chewing.
Vehicle doors (on either side) could open at any moment.  Any season and almost any speed.
Great 'opportunity' to clip the handle bar, lose some fingers or just a leg.

If your DC contributions suddenly stop... :(   I'll always remember you as the Male Trinity from The Matrix Reloaded.

Stoic Joker

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #37 on: December 13, 2014, 03:54:03 PM »
Something to ponder over: Many men and women have switched from smoking to chewing.

I've actually no idea how this is related, but after smoking for ~35 years I'm currently doing the E-cigs. Been at it for 9ish months...and it seems to be working quite well.


Vehicle doors (on either side) could open at any moment.  Any season and almost any speed.
Great 'opportunity' to clip the handle bar, lose some fingers or just a leg.

I know ... But the pack - of 6 vehicles - I was referring to was doing about 55 (in a 70..) when I chose to violate their airspace. So door opening wasn't a likely factor, and nobody was going to be doing any lane changing given their alignment. For the below 10mph crowd it's usually easier to just take the sidewalk to a side street to slip around any congestive obstructions.


If your DC contributions suddenly stop... :(   I'll always remember you as the Male Trinity from The Matrix Reloaded.

I confess ... I've never been able to watch that scene without giggling, because much of it reminds me of my youth..

crabby3

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Re: We Are the Idiots
« Reply #38 on: December 14, 2014, 09:00:45 AM »
@Stoic Joker -- Hopefully it's not this side street   ;D

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