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Lildreamer's advice: Learn you car.

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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:15 AM
Original message
Lildreamer's advice: Learn you car.
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 04:39 AM by lildreamer316
Pick one you like. Do your research BEFORE you buy. And in research, I mean surf the internet for hours on end. HOURS.
Go to sites of enthusiasts for your car, make and model. Trust me, they are out there. There are fan boards and groups for almost any kind of car ever made. Be inventive and creative; ask your sons and daughters about their friends who are in car clubs. Bet they know someone who is on a board; someone who has info. At the very least they can give you search terms. Check the car audio competition sites. Follow the links.
Find what goes wrong with that car the most....& the least.
Find out about paint. What colors absorb heat. What colors resell best. How many layers of clearcoat are on it; make sure you get a good amount if you have to repaint. Does this model tend to peel?
LOOK at others like it on the road. NOTICE what is wrong with them consistently. Do you always see ______s with the same thing wrong with them?
Find out about car detailers. Make sure they don't buff your car the wrong way and put too many swirl marks in the paint.
Find out about sunroofs. Does your company have a history of leaky ones? Of ones that seal well? This can impact resale to a major degree, not to mention your comfort and repair bill.
Find out what other models in your year range have interchangeable parts with yours.
Use ebay. Get a parts list from the repair manual. It has the ACTUAL part #s on it. That way, if you have to call a dealership for a part, you can sound like you know what the fuck you are talking about.
BUY the Chilton's guide when you get your car. It's worth it.
Ask other owners about their long-term ownership experiences with the make of car you like. Do ________s tend to have timing-belt issues? Are ________s notorious for popping head gaskets over 100k miles? etc. etc. "What do I need to know?"
Listen to your spouse if they are a gearhead. Sure, some of it is just too much to handle. But sometimes you will learn something.
If you have one of those lenient junkyards that will let you roam the lot to find your replacement parts, JUMP ON IT. Many a time my ex walked in for one part and walked out with 3. He was a sneaky SOB like that. Go figure. But it also helps you see and learn more about the car.
Remember the dealership is ALWAYS the LAST resort, unless you have a great warranty. Even then, watch them like a hawk. Ask questions. Hang around as long as they'll allow. Be very observant.
Use connections shamelessly. Use your conniving nature/wiles shamelessly. Flirt. It works.
Sometimes, the cheap way is NOT the best way out. But you have to learn to know when it is, and when it isn't.
Sometimes a perennial weakness in a car line is actually fixed. After ten years of __________s having such and such always go bad; sometimes they finally get their shit together at the assembly line and improve the design/quality of said part. Your well-chosen and vetted mechanic should know this .
Speaking of, FIND said well-chosen and vetted mechanic. If you are a woman, this will be the first one who does not act condescending in any way - the one you don't have to bring your 'heavy' along to intimidate. (This is assuming the mechanic is your average one..and not a woman. Of course this is not always true)
I'll be honest...it took me six years to find mine. I'm not letting him go.
I tend to buy cars and keep them forever. Sometimes it's a learn-as-you-fix process, but I always try to really understand what went wrong, and the best way to fix it, each time it happens.

The best I can say is that I have assisted my other half (different ones) two times replacing an alternator. Once in a CRX where we were assured that we would have to get the car on a lift and drop the drive axle to get to it....we managed to get it out around the side of the engine instead. THEN we opened it up and replaced the brushes, since that was the only part of the damn thing that was worn out.
Then this year my now husband and I changed the Pontiac's alternator in the club parking lot. Took four hours and lots of cursing, but we saved a couple hundred, or three. Was worth it to us.

Sorry about the ramble. Hope someone can use the advice.

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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:22 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd need to have OCD to do all that stuff
:hide:
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:26 AM
Response to Original message
2. You coulda said all that in three words:
"Be a gearhead."

:D



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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. ....
shhhhhhhh. I'm trying to recruit. :D
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Ah




Gotta admit, I have an advantage: a car that makes it easier to be a gearhead.

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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Do tell!!
????
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:40 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. ...


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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Ranchero? First gen?
Or am I wayyyyyyy off?
Nice!!
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. !!!
EL CAMINO!!! :spank:







Second generation '64-'67. (It's a '65.)

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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Fuck.
That was my first thought, but I'm not familiar with early Caminos. Just the late-model ones.
Sorry, sorry. :blush: :dunce:
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:30 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I like this advice:
Find what goes wrong with that car the most....the least.

:shrug:
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Yep, but I really should edit that. Damn. n/t
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
8. get one o' these
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
13. Oh, and DO NOT BUY A CAR IN A HURRY
Beg, borrow, steal or ride the bus if you must, but buying a car when you need one right away is how people get ripped off. If your car is on it's last leg (errr... tire) start looking at potential replacements while it's still functional. At least figure out what your options are and narrow it down to a few models.

If you're buying used, get your trusted mechanic to look at it first. If you don't have a trusted mechanic, have AAA look at it. Use any minor issues they find to talk the price down.

Look at Consumer Reports, epinions, the enthusiast sites for hints about the car's issues (like you said.) Avoid any model with electrical problems- trying to get them diagnosed and repaired is an enormous pain, and cars with electrical gremlins will leave you stranded somewhere eventually.

When you're looking at a model, make sure to find out if it has uncommon, special tires like run flats or otherwise crazy expensive tires or common ones that are frequently on special. Over the life of the car it matters, and you'll always need tires when money's short, it's a rule.

Ask your mechanic (assuming you've found one who is cool and not a sleaze out to rip you off) what car he'd get his teenage kid. This is a good indicator of what's affordable, safe, and something he doesn't mind working on.
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