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Wouldn't it be great if we could have cars designed to last 30 or 20 years?

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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:17 AM
Original message
Wouldn't it be great if we could have cars designed to last 30 or 20 years?

Think about it, you buy a car when you are 30 and don't have to buy another one until you are 60.
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. with appropriate preventive maintenance
any car will last 30 years.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. true but most don't. I'm talking about 90% of cars made being on the road in 30 years
Edited on Mon Dec-29-08 08:27 AM by RGBolen

sold with 25 or 20 year warranties.
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. It could be done
Edited on Mon Dec-29-08 08:30 AM by BlueCollar
Design a car that requires no maintenance whatsoever.

Guaranteed to perform reliably over it's life-time.

Now all you'd need is someone who could afford to buy one.

edit: spellcheck
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Exactly. Shrink wrap it and put it up on blocks in storage away from the sun.
The only problem you will need to deal with is the hardening of its 'plastic' parts as the solvents that keep them pliable escape the material.
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Hardly
I repeat: Preventative maintenance
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #8
43. I think "hardly" is exactly right.
Setting aside that hours of operation is more important than years of age, after about 12 years it will be a challenge to find new parts for preventative replacement. It would become ever more hard as the vehicle aged.

The "pm's" would become less and less trivial with time. Replacement of parts can indeed be done at some point before they fail completely. Replacing something before it fails is the definition of PM. But you must have some replacement parts to work with.

Replacement parts aren't produced forever. As someone who buys "used" and takes vehicles out to 15 years post-production I can personally swear to that.

No one thinks of regluing a headliner whose foam backing has dried out and is splitting or replacing seat fabric that is wornout as PM stuff...at some point on the way to 30 years of age things would pass from being what is thought of as minor preventative maintenance (tires, brakes, suspension, belts, bands, cooling systems, etc) to what is recognized and better characterized as 1)major repair and 2) restoration.

Despite millions of collectors and restoration hobbiests who scrounge and even forge their own parts, America doesn't have the logistical support (let alone the interest) to get half of its cars to 30 years of age.

On a separate but related notion...even if any one person could get one car out to 30 years after its production, would it really be a safe and environmentally friendly thing to do? In an ideal world I think I'd rather see people in mass transit and alternative energy cars.














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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
22. Even a Kia?
Who knew? :shrug:
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Veritas_et_Aequitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
2. They already exist.
I've seen Volvos older than I am still operational and on the road.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. In Cuba they still drive cars from the '50s. nt
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Dreamer Tatum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
45. Despite all the GM, BMW, Mercedes, and Ferrari dealerships there, too.
:sarcasm:
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 04:12 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. The point is that the cars were made to last then
and it has been possible to drive them for 50 years 9no doubt with a lot of maintenance). We all know WHY they drive those vehicles (no choice).

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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
39. my 82 volvo is a year younger than i am and she still runs well
there are a few problems, of course, but i don't have problems with her other than things that wear out over time.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
5. Practically all metal would have to be eliminated to avoid rusting.
Even then there may be a problem with fatigue in the product used to replace the metals.

My Cavalier is starting its 11th year of operation. My monthly average loan cost is now at $119 and decreasing $1 each month.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. And plastic. It would have to be constructed with good thoughts. nt
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. The best car I ever owned was
a Cavalier wagon. The next best was my Volvo.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
40. Depends on the weather.
Out here in California you see tons of old cars because they don't rust. The reason is that most parts of California never see snow, so the average car out here never sees road salt.
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ogneopasno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
7. I have three 38-year-old cars.
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ogneopasno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #7
21. ....and I have to pour a lead additive into the gas tank to get them to run. There is that.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
9. My Volvo is 19 years old now.
Further, many people own cars made 50 or more years ago. Here in Minnesota, they're driving them around all summer, and there are gatherings of them on a regular basis.

The reason we don't keep our old cars is that we grow bored of them and stop maintaining them. Keep a vehicle maintained and it will continue to be useful.

That said, modern cars with all their electronics are unlikely to survive, since the proprietary parts will no longer be made and will render the cars unusable. Older cars do not have such components.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
11. No. I had an 18 year old Honda that appeared to want to run forever.
Eventually, the interior was wearing out from use. The steering wheel would leave flakes of itself on my hands.

That aside, newer vehicles tend to have better mileage and safety features. A 30 year old car suffers from old technology.

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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:41 AM
Response to Original message
13. I've always kept my vehicles for about 14 years, bought them used
(usually a year or two old with low miles), and kept it up, feeling that it was still more cost effective to repair any problems than buy a new one. Of course the car has to be pretty sound to begin with and one I enjoy, so I guess I've had pretty good luck in that department.

Of course most companies don't build them to last that long, and because of that, some vehicles are more costly than others to maintain (more parts with built in obsolescence).

I've noticed a growing trend in dealerships who aren't selling many cars to gouge customers on the repair end (because many are holding onto and repairing cars I suppose). And although it's nothing new, more repair shops seem to be doing unnecessary repairs. So be sure to get second and third opinion on repairs (particularly costly ones). I recently went into one local repair shop with what seemed obvious to me was a leaky hose (for steering fluid). They gave me an estimate for over $1000 for all kinds of phony problems related to fixing the problem. My suspicions were confirmed by another repair shop who simply replaced the hose for $60.
Things are getting desperate, me thinks.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
14. Be even better
if there was only one model and it was black.
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BlueCollar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:58 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. now you're talking...n/t
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Let me guess...a private or parochial school?

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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #17
27. I think you know that I meant
Anyone for T. :)

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FreakinDJ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
18. My commuter buggy is 15 years old and going strong
Ford 4 banger doing 600 miles per week @ 32 - 34 mpg

Just rebuilt the head last year and polished the ports and chamber while I was at it. Gave me 2.4 mpg improvement.

One thing about American made - you can work on them without having to pull the motor and transmission
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IDemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
19. My '93 Toyota only has 45k miles on it. It should last another 60 to 80 years :)
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
20. Economically speaking yes it would
Changing the drivers mindset (mine included) will be hard. There is something about driving down the road in a late model vehicle. A sense of pride or accomplishment or something else unexplainable.

I know that I can usually drive 5 - 6 years before I get the urge. Once it kicks in you start looking at new cars and start wishing and wanting the new style, the new technology or safety. Currently I am driving a 2001 model with 135K miles, that has held up remarkably well. But I am feeling the itch to purchase, just can't justify the payment right now.

Yes we have been programed to buy new cars as part of the American way of life. But then it is one of the things we work for in that American way of life. It is the only indulgence that I really have. That and the travel it allows me to do, I love driving across country.

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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
23. But then you'd be driving a 30 year old car and missing out on the improvements made
during that time.

Any engineer could make a car that would last 100 years, but it might cost a small fortune. Designing anything means balancing initial costs, operating costs, repair costs etc vs utility, appearance, comfort etc. Is the proper term planned obsolescence, or design life?

Back to my initial point, I do drive a76 Chevette as my back-up car and I used to drive 64 Nova. They're good cars, but they handle differently and the Chevette's brakes aren't anything to write home about. The '92 Olds gives me a safer ride.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 11:55 AM
Response to Reply #23
35. But by that logic, shouldn't all 100 year old houses not have central heat and air?
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. It's one thing to retrofit a building, quite another to retrofit a machine.
Not to mention, I have personal experience with retrofitting a 150 year old house with central heat. It's way better than it was, but nowhere as uniformly comfy as a newer house.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:44 AM
Response to Original message
24. road salt.
there's a reason that cars generally last longer in the south than the north.
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all.of.me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
25. Didn't you ever own a Toyota?! nt
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
26. i`m rebuilding a 87 crx....
for about a thousand dollars i`ll have a "brand new" car that gets 40 mpg. i just sold a 92 honda with 250,000 miles that`s still being driven everyday. i sold a 80`s dodge mini van with 200,000 miles that is still running.

regular maintenance is the key to keep a car running 20 yrs or more
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Iggo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
28. We had those.
They turned the sky brown.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
29. huh?
I have a jeep that is 22 years old.

Have an F-150 with 110K miles and is 11 years old - and is showing no signs of slowing down?

I think American made cars will do exactly what you suggest. They do need to be regularly serviced.

My wife has an Impala - her daily driver - with 110K miles. Gets 30 mpg. Big trunk - roomy enough inside.

I think American cars, on a whole, get a bad rap. I do wish the F-150 would do better with gas mileage. - but it is driven only locally - maybe 100 miles per week.
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tuckessee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #29
31. Call us when you get to 250,000 to 300,000 miles.
That would equal 20-30 years worth of average driving.
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. I have 185K on my eleven year old Saturn.
So far, other than brakes, batteries, oil changes and tires, it's needed the following:

an alternator and belt.

I would not be surprised to see it last to 250K.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 08:13 PM
Response to Reply #31
50. did you read my post . . .
I have a jeep that is 22 years old.

That is within 20-30 years. No rust. No mechanical problems.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
30. commie
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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. LOL!
:spray: :spank:
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
32. I have an 88 dodge colt. It still runs.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
33. We do. Our 'new' car is a 1991 Chrysler Le Baron. The other is a 1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
So, that's an 18-year-old car and a 32-year-old car. Both "American-made." :shrug:
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
34. My Oldsmobile is about to turn 50 years old
It is all about maintenance.
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deaniac21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
38. Hey, they still drive 1955 Chevrolets in Cuba.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
41. My last three cars have all been 20 years old or more.
I haven't paid more than 2K for any of them. It's nice not to have car payments and to lower my insurance payments. The first one lasted 14 years, the second one five and the last one is still doing fine since I bought it two years ago. It should last another five years if I service it properly.
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hunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
44. Our cars last that long, no problem.
We've got two cars over twenty years old. They'll go to thirty easy.

I hate buying cars, new or used. I bought a new car once when I was young, but I won't do it again. It's nice to drive a car that you don't have to worry about. Somebody dings my door in a parking lot, I don't care. If I'm sitting in the car when they do it I laugh. If I forget to lock the door, who's going to steal a cheap old stereo with a broken cassette player?

Best of all, the bullet hole in one of my cars is real. Nobody was in it when it happened, it's just one of those mysteries of not-so-good neighborhoods.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
46. No, it would be an economic disaster...
Modern capitalism is going to go down as the craziest, if probably not the worst, civilization in history.
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aldo Donating Member (297 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 04:17 PM
Response to Original message
48. Already cars last many years longer than they used to
as recently as the 70s, when they would rust out after 3-4 years. Now they last 10 to 15 years, easy -- including Amer. cars.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-29-08 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
49. We have some. Our Honda Accord EX.. 18 years old and still going strong
Edited on Mon Dec-29-08 05:50 PM by SoCalDem
My mother in law's 1970 Torino with 33K original miles on it..still runs great..

My husband's 1988 Dodge truck is 20 this year..over 200K miles on it

Until we sold it last year, we had a 1988 Toyota Corolla wagon, that we paid $500 for in 1996, and every member of our family had for "their" car at least once or twice..

and we drove our 1973 Maverick until we gave it to our son in 1989 when he turned 16 (I was pregnant with him when we bought it new)...He drove it until 1996, when it finally went to car-heaven..
My son still loves & drives his 1974 Super beetle



Making cars last decades is all about MAINTENANCE :)
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