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Blake Noble

So You're Burnt Out With Your Daily Driver ...

24 posts in this topic

I see we recently had one of those so called "hypothetical situation" threads posted here in the Lounge, so I thought I would start one of my own.

So, let's say you're tired of your daily driver. You know it's been reliable 80 percent of the time. You know it's a good car. However, you're also tired of the confusing fuel economy, the dying gas gauge, the puzzling glitches with the O2 sensors, the bugs that have bored their way into the ABS system (which caused you to skid into a ditch), the deteriorating paint and bodywork, and the styling which you keep losing your infatuation with every day.

What do you replace that car with? The word "replace," in that sentence, meaning what do you trade it off to?

Some additional criteria/information/whatever: it can't cost more than $175 a month for 48 months; it has to be a later model vehicle; it cannot be built by Toyota; it has to have charm and distinction; it should have at least a V6 engine.

Let's see what you suggest. After a few posts, I'll share what I have on my mind (which may surprise a lot of you). If someone guesses it correctly, you won't win a prize, but you'll have the distinction of being the mind reader who creeps me the hell out.

Also, inb4 white 1995 Honda Accord. If you post it, at least give suggest one additional car that isn't a Honda .... or an Accord ... from 1995 (anything from that model year doesn't fit my criteria anyway).

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91-96 Caprice. At this point you probably need something that will withstand 500,000 miles of abuse and torture, and still run like a top.

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Well, nobody guessed it and I'm in a "shocker" kinda mood so ...

saab9-3ss.jpg

Yeah, it's wrong-wheel drive. But there is a lot I do seem to like about it, that fact aside. For starters, I think it's a quite handsome machine. Secondly, no one drives a Saab. And last but not least, the ignition key is between the seats.

There's one for sale at a lot here in town for somewhere around $7k, an '04 I think, in red like the one I pictured.

Old habits die hard, so my runner up is a Magnum.

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If you haven't had any major issues, then nothing. You've had a hard enough time finding something that wasn't an unreliable pile for a daily driver. Just stick with it.

Also, if you're going to school or whatever, I really don't think it's a good idea to burned yourself with car payments.

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I get wanting to drive something different, but I'd go with the Magnum.

If the Saab in town has over 85k on the clock, then I'm going to forget it. I'm tired of dealing with higher mileage cars.

The Camaro, I've noticed on my 80 mile trip to and from work, is beginning to feel a little fragile. Don't get me wrong, though. It wants to give all it has to give, but after 136,000 miles of service, "all" doesn't exactly mean the glass is full anymore. It's half empty at best.

It isn't like I've ragged the car out, either. You can do all of the regular, preventive, and reactive maintenance you can possibly do, but at the end of the day the car is going on 13 years old and it's pretty much traveled the distance of the equator about 6 times. Looking at it that way, it seems fitting that I retire the car.

Yeah, I'm going to catch some crap from folks with higher mileage cars on here, but the core components to my car are original, including the clutch (except for the clutch master cylinder). I think 136,000 miles on all of that, with many of those miles having come from torturous city driving, is very respectable. Sure, I've seen better, but it's still nothing to shake a stick at.

Anyway, I did manage to find a sub-85k mile Magnum in nearby Mount Sterling for $8,500, but it seems somebody already snatched it up (it's no longer available on the lot's website).

One last issue I'd like to mention and rant for a month about: when looking for a new car, I've really come to re-realize so many newer cars are so unbelievably dull, front-wheel drive is damn near unavoidable, and interesting front-wheel drive cars are few and far between.

I love Pontiacs as much as anybody else here, but 2003 to 2004 Grand Ams and G6s are so common, it's like swimming in a Chilean swimming pool filled with dirty dish water. Grand Prixs are just as bad if you're looking at the four-door model. A two-door 2002 or 2003 Grand Prix GTP Supercharged would be nice, but I've yet to encounter one. Continuing on the same path, while touching base with home, I can't find a reasonable mileage, unmodified 2002 Trans Am as much as I can find a pair of 36 inch waist jeans to fit my 29/30 inch waist frame. Also, I'd rather spend a night sleeping in a friend's Toyota than be a card-carrying member of the Sunfire club.

Solstice? Pftttt. Trying buying one of those at a reasonable price, ditto the coupe, which is Pontiac's equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster.

Chevrolet Impalas are boring and the 2000 to 2005 model is as ugly as a meat butcher's wife, and the Monte Carlo is gawd-awful with the 3.4L, which is all I can find around here. Older Buicks are too cushy for my tastes, except for the Rivera strangely enough, which is too old for me to really consider buying anyway. The last run of late model Oldsmobile reserves are beginning to dry up, so I can't find a nice last-gen Aurora to save my scalp.

A Caprice, while ignoring my criteria, would last a damn long while, but I would rather buy one already converted into an Impala SS, so in that case I'd rather just buy an actual Impala SS, which are hard to find not repainted in baby blue and thrown on a set of donks. The Caprice is only sexy if you rip the first three buttons of her blouse off, undo her grandma bun, and throw her glasses in the trash. If it wasn't for the Impala SS, I'd honestly bet that we would have all forgotten about the Caprice and mainly it's inner beauty by now.

Anyway, I'll end my rant here. So far, the Saab is in the lead because, if I do have to break down and get a nose-puller which is looking likely, I'd at least take comfort knowing it was designed with the spirit of a bunch of Swedes in mind.

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If you haven't had any major issues, then nothing. You've had a hard enough time finding something that wasn't an unreliable pile for a daily driver. Just stick with it.

I don't know what "sticking with it" would entail. Right now, though, because the car keeps feeling more and more fragile, I'd bet sticking with it would mean breaking down. In the cold. In a south-midwestern snowstorm.

Also, if you're going to school or whatever, I really don't think it's a good idea to burned yourself with car payments.

True, but I do have the extra money for it. That is subject to change, but I'd rather not focus too much on that and keep the momentum I've built up going.

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As much as I like Saabs, higher milage ones are a PITA to deal with unless you know it's history.

Try a Saturn Aura, not as many out there, and I've seen many good examples around 10 grand.

Of you can get one (and XR) with the V6 and the 6 speed, it might even put a smile on your face.

My buddy has an 07 XR, and besides the steering shaft (a common problem on this car), it has been a great car to him...

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As much as I like Saabs, higher milage ones are a PITA to deal with unless you know it's history.

Interesting bit of info ... concerning mostly. I'm not going to write the car off, but I will double my cautiousness about checking the car out should I buy it.

Try a Saturn Aura, not as many out there, and I've seen many good examples around 10 grand.

Of you can get one (and XR) with the V6 and the 6 speed, it might even put a smile on your face.

My buddy has an 07 XR, and besides the steering shaft (a common problem on this car), it has been a great car to him...

That's a very good suggestion, dave.

One caveat, though: these things are amazingly popular with Kentuckians, so they aren't uncommon down here. My cousin owns a blue XR. My mother drives a base as base can be Berry Red XE, which by the way I managed to find out that it's twin brother can be had for a little over $9k and he likes to wear Pumas.

I'd like to find a three-door Astra, though. There's a car that you really don't see everyday and it's far more entertaining than a Cobalt.

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If you haven't had any major issues, then nothing. You've had a hard enough time finding something that wasn't an unreliable pile for a daily driver. Just stick with it.

Also, if you're going to school or whatever, I really don't think it's a good idea to burned yourself with car payments.

More good advice that will go in the crap can....

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What do you mean by "fragile"? If the core components are running fine, the auxiliary stuff is easier to fix. Don't spend money just to spend money.

If you're THAT worried about car car breaking down. Take whatever you think you'd spend per month in payments and set that aside in a separate savings account. Use that money for the smaller repairs as needed.

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What do you mean by "fragile"? If the core components are running fine, the auxiliary stuff is easier to fix. Don't spend money just to spend money.

If you're THAT worried about car car breaking down. Take whatever you think you'd spend per month in payments and set that aside in a separate savings account. Use that money for the smaller repairs as needed.

Common sense!

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More good advice that will go in the crap can....

*sigh*

Regardless if I might just be a neurotic mess, but there's something about that car that makes it seem like not it's up to handling an 80 mile round trip 5 out of 7 days of the week in sub-30 degree weather.

I just don't want to lose my job because I couldn't make it to work because of my car. That's pretty much the bottom line.

That, and it would be nice to step up to something ... else.

ritchey032.jpg

The derogatory rancor reflected in that remark I don't intend to dignify with comment.

... Okay, kudos for changing it up. +1 for you.

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So would you like me to post a white Toyota Camry or a green Honda Accord? That meets the criteria of not having a white Accord. :P

Ha-ha. :P

On another note, I can't figure out why, for the life of me, the Camaro doesn't get decent gas mileage anymore. It's lucky to average 22 mpg highway anymore. The fuel injection system isn't all that dirty and the car doesn't need a new fuel filter. My driving habits haven't changed, either.

For the record, for the first few months I had the car, I could get 30 plus mpg.

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Our Malibu was acting up (rough idle, surging, low fuel economy) and they re-flashed the ECM and it was fine even though it was exhibiting coil pack symptoms.

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Hmmm ... interesting, Vee.

You've had a hard enough time finding something that wasn't an unreliable pile for a daily driver.

You had me thinking on this one ... well, more or less double checking myself.

In all honesty, the last reliable vehicle I had was my '98 Firebird.

I was expecting a resto project to be a DD with the Monte.

The Regal was a confusing mess.

Now this Camaro has had a history of teething problems since I've had it. Plugs, wires, coil packs, catalytic converter, muffler, clutch master cylinder ... all of these items had to have been replaced and there's now a new host of issues cropping up with the car.

I've been out more on this car than any other I've owned.

Here's where I ask an interesting, but simple question: What determines reliability? From what I've always gathered, you mostly chalk it down to cost of ownership.

If so, I don't think this car is hitting that mark if I'm honest. I had a mostly trouble free experience with the Sonoma (my biggest gripe was the four-pot) and Firebird: I wasn't out much except for a few upgrades and routine maintenance on either vehicle.

I've said the above before.

I've thrown off on the car dozens of times. I don't think it's worth much more trouble. I'm sick of bantering about it.

I didn't get to check out the Saab today due to bad weather. That's on the agenda for tomorrow.

I will have a solution for this after the holidays. If I see I'm working with decent hours well into January, then without a doubt I'll be financing something.

If not, I'll take what I've earned, sell the Camaro, and move up. It might be in a price bracket a grand or two higher (I've had to keep it under 4k for my DDs for various reasons), but at least I'll find cars that are newer. Lower mileage is becoming more and more of a must. Will I manage to gain some ground? I'd like to think so.

I know what I like in a car, but I'm going to have to start being mature about things and, unfortunately, make some compromises. That means no more V6 Camaros or Firebirds built before 2001 with over 100k, for starters.

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*sigh*

Regardless if I might just be a neurotic mess, but there's something about that car that makes it seem like not it's up to handling an 80 mile round trip 5 out of 7 days of the week in sub-30 degree weather.

I get this. I had a car like that ... sadly, it was my former "Silver Bullet" 1988 Monte Carlo LS ... the one that acted as if it was a 1995 Lumina Coupe.

In some ways, I wish I had it back ... but I was so glad to see it go ... nickeling and diming me every which way ... and it would suddenly decide to stop working when I needed it the most.

*shrugs*

That, and it would be nice to step up to something ... else.

I get this, too.

Lately, I've been wondering myself why I bought the '79 CC. I enjoy driving it ... especially the fact that people GET OUT OF MY WAY and do NOT fight me for lanes during the work commute. BUT, it would be nice to have a slightly newer car for daily ... which is why i almost bought an '89 CC, but the asking price was WAY too much, imho.

Cort | 37.m.IL.pigValve.pacemaker | 5 Monte Carlos + 1 Caprice Classic |

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"May your days be merry and bright" ... Irving Berlin/Bing Crosby ... 'White Christmas'

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