Author Topic: Anything related to automobiles  (Read 30313 times)

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Offline cramx3

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #490 on: May 15, 2018, 02:15:43 PM »
I called another Volvo shop to quote this timing belt job.  Same job, same parts replaced, they quoted $850 compared to $1200 from the first quote, which had an option to go to $2000 with potential VVT service.  Damn.  Its a shop that specializes in a bunch of euro makes, and they have 4 stars on yelp, however a one-star comment ends with "The positive reviews have GOT TO BE pure buddy system bullcrap".  The positive ones do seem a bit more enthusiastic than a simply satisfied customer might write.  It seems to be a reasonably large business, unlike the sole proprietor with assistant I saw previously.

I know someone who owns a local car wash and also know for a fact that he makes BS yelp/online reviews to make his star rating higher.  Wouldn't be surprised if your instincts are correct.

Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #491 on: May 16, 2018, 10:17:24 AM »
Would he happen to be in Texas?  I checked out a forum post from a detailer who recommended this place in NJ, and he was in Texas, lol.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #492 on: May 16, 2018, 11:25:57 AM »
I wasn't part of it, myself, but I know of a bar in Philly that the patrons all sat there - locals, regulars - and posting reviews while joking about what they were writing with the bartender and manager.   Not exactly arms-length and objective.

Offline cramx3

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #493 on: May 16, 2018, 01:06:37 PM »
Would he happen to be in Texas?  I checked out a forum post from a detailer who recommended this place in NJ, and he was in Texas, lol.

 :lol maybe since he is in NJ, could of swapped it up to look different.

As for autos, my battery died Monday morning.  Got it replaced, but not only that, my bumped officially fell off.  I had it parked on the street outside my gf's apartment and I think someone tapped the corner of it knocking it off (I say tapped because it was kind of hanging onto it's last threads and I only saw a small scrape on the bumper).  I tie wrapped it back on and actually it looks better than it did before  :lol  I think I got myself anohter year in the car before I re-evaluate and look around again.  I had some money saved up for a down payment this year but I'll hold onto it.

Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #494 on: May 17, 2018, 10:14:42 AM »
As for autos, my battery died Monday morning.  Got it replaced, but not only that, my bumped officially fell off.  I had it parked on the street outside my gf's apartment and I think someone tapped the corner of it knocking it off (I say tapped because it was kind of hanging onto it's last threads and I only saw a small scrape on the bumper).  I tie wrapped it back on and actually it looks better than it did before  :lol  I think I got myself anohter year in the car before I re-evaluate and look around again.  I had some money saved up for a down payment this year but I'll hold onto it.

Is there anything else mechanically wrong with the car?  Otherwise just replace the bumper and keep driving it.

OK, another dealer quote of $1118.  Oddly, my second lowest of 4 quotes (ranging from $850 to $1800).  Trying to justify spending/saving the $268 by deciding its value.  I don't have to rent a car for the day (or 2, or 3..) it takes the dealer to do the job, and their warranty is better than an independent shop (which may be more perception than anything).  Maybe that $268 is nothing more than expensive insurance and convenience.

Offline cramx3

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #495 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:59 AM »
Nothing else wrong, so it seems.  Im cool with the tie wrapped bumper vs buying a new one.  I just don't want to put money into the car unless it's basic maintenance at this point.

Offline JayOctavarium

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #496 on: May 17, 2018, 10:31:02 AM »
Oh car woes. If it's not mine or my GF's, its the work car.

2004 Prius with 180k miles on it.

Getting not just a check engine light, but an indicator on that makes me feel as if the car is going to blow up :lol

It looks like the batteries are getting close to over heating.  Meaning I get to take it into a Toyota dealer probably Monday.  I have a feeling that if it is too much to fix the issue, my boss is going to tell us to park it for however long until he can figure out what he wants to do with it. Which sucks for me... as having that car makes my life a lot easier during the day :lol
I just don't understand what they were trying to achieve with any part of the song, either individually or as a whole. You know what? It's the Platypus of Dream Theater songs. That bill doesn't go with that tail, or that strange little furry body, or those webbed feet, and oh god why does it have venomous spurs!? And then you find out it lays eggs too. The difference is that the Platypus is somehow functional despite being a crazy mishmash or leftover animal pieces

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Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #497 on: May 18, 2018, 08:02:37 PM »
I moved about 6 months ago, and just noticed an E39 M5 in a driveway a few blocks down.  Gotta find that guy outside at some point and chew his ear a bit.

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #498 on: May 22, 2018, 06:20:32 AM »
I had to flatbed my car to Mini last Friday. It was having trouble running and the engine would cut down to like 400rpm if I took my foot off the gas. When I pressed in the clutch, the car would stall.

Just got a call from the dealership, and they're telling me I need a new engine. Something about head gaskets, oil corroding the coolant system, and coolant being found in the engine. I'm going down there on my lunch break to see what's up. The rep I spoke to says they can't say for 100% if it needs a new engine without doing 5-9 hours of tear down. In his experience, when these symptoms show up, it almost always results in an engine swap or a rebuild that costs more in labor and parts than just swapping the engine.

Now I'm wondering if this could be related to that vibration issue I talked about on the previous page.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 08:22:46 AM by Chino »

Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #499 on: May 22, 2018, 06:56:15 AM »
Ouch.  I can only guess what's involved in attempting to repair that.  It might be worthwhile for a capable and equipped DIYer, but paying for someone else's labor to fix this may well be more than a new engine.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #500 on: May 22, 2018, 08:37:32 AM »
I had to flatbed my car to Mini last Friday. It was having trouble running and the engine would cut down to like 400rpm if I took my foot off the gas. When I pressed in the clutch, the car would stall.

Just got a call from the dealership, and they're telling me I need a new engine. Something about head gaskets, oil corroding the coolant system, and coolant being found in the engine. I'm going down there on my lunch break to see what's up. The rep I spoke to says they can't say for 100% if it needs a new engine without doing 5-9 hours of tear down. In his experience, when these symptoms show up, it almost always results in an engine swap or a rebuild that costs more in labor and parts than just swapping the engine.

Now I'm wondering if this could be related to that vibration issue I talked about on the previous page.
Had it overheated recently? That's usually what blows head gaskets. Your car isn't so old that age would have gotten to it, unless they're really using shit parts.

If coolant is in the crankcase (milky sludge on the dipstick) then it's all over. On that car a new (or pre-owned) engine is probably cheaper than rebuilding the top. A new engine probably isn't required, unless you really overheated the hell out of it. A new cylinder head may or may not be, but that's something they won't know until they do a helluva lot of labor to find out. If the head is warped then it has to be replaced. If the gasket just blew then the head can be machined and reused. Either way you're looking at a pretty big check. My sympathies. In BMW world this is what kills cars.

One thing I would suggest is shopping the job around. There's so much labor involved that knocking $75/hr off will make a huge difference. As will some after-market parts. There might be a new radiator in your future, for example.

BTW, when pondering if you want to fix the car, how old is the clutch? That's another $1500 job that might be on your horizon.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #501 on: May 22, 2018, 08:49:33 AM »
I had to flatbed my car to Mini last Friday. It was having trouble running and the engine would cut down to like 400rpm if I took my foot off the gas. When I pressed in the clutch, the car would stall.

Just got a call from the dealership, and they're telling me I need a new engine. Something about head gaskets, oil corroding the coolant system, and coolant being found in the engine. I'm going down there on my lunch break to see what's up. The rep I spoke to says they can't say for 100% if it needs a new engine without doing 5-9 hours of tear down. In his experience, when these symptoms show up, it almost always results in an engine swap or a rebuild that costs more in labor and parts than just swapping the engine.

Now I'm wondering if this could be related to that vibration issue I talked about on the previous page.
Had it overheated recently? That's usually what blows head gaskets. Your car isn't so old that age would have gotten to it, unless they're really using shit parts.

If coolant is in the crankcase (milky sludge on the dipstick) then it's all over. On that car a new (or pre-owned) engine is probably cheaper than rebuilding the top. A new engine probably isn't required, unless you really overheated the hell out of it. A new cylinder head may or may not be, but that's something they won't know until they do a helluva lot of labor to find out. If the head is warped then it has to be replaced. If the gasket just blew then the head can be machined and reused. Either way you're looking at a pretty big check. My sympathies. In BMW world this is what kills cars.

One thing I would suggest is shopping the job around. There's so much labor involved that knocking $75/hr off will make a huge difference. As will some after-market parts. There might be a new radiator in your future, for example.

BTW, when pondering if you want to fix the car, how old is the clutch? That's another $1500 job that might be on your horizon.

It hasn't overheated since 75K miles ago when the water pump died. However, I have noticed that on a hot day, the cooling fans will stay on for 10+ minutes after shutting the car off. The car just passed 122K miles and the clutch is definitely on my mind.

I'm leaning toward not fixing the thing despite still owing $3600 on it (to a bank, not Mini). I can't wrap my head around spending a few thousand dollars only to risk having the clutch or transmission go a month after I repair it. I've wanted a mid-sized pickup or a large SUV for a while now. The dealer's online inventory shows that they have a 2015 Mazda CX-9 in the price range I'm looking for. I might try to work something out with them on that. I'd really prefer to not have to tow the car back to my house to just let it sit while I try and dump it on someone who's willing to change the engine.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #502 on: May 22, 2018, 08:59:23 AM »
Cooling fans remaining on is a good thing. If they're secondary fans in front of the radiator they don't do a whole lot. If they're electric engine fans they do a great deal.

And just to be clear, I wasn't necessarily suggesting an independent shop replace the engine. An outside mechanic might be able to replace the gasket much cheaper. The new (used) engine is just often times cheaper than repairing the head.

~115k is generally considered clutch territory. If they're using the same components BMW uses, pretty likely, bump that up to >140k. Sachs makes a pretty fine clutch.

And you're a bright guy, so I'm sure you're mindful of this, but buying a car from the same people that tell you your old one is toast is dodgy. They know they have you over a barrel.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #503 on: May 22, 2018, 09:20:08 AM »
Cooling fans remaining on is a good thing. If they're secondary fans in front of the radiator they don't do a whole lot. If they're electric engine fans they do a great deal.

And just to be clear, I wasn't necessarily suggesting an independent shop replace the engine. An outside mechanic might be able to replace the gasket much cheaper. The new (used) engine is just often times cheaper than repairing the head.

~115k is generally considered clutch territory. If they're using the same components BMW uses, pretty likely, bump that up to >140k. Sachs makes a pretty fine clutch.

And you're a bright guy, so I'm sure you're mindful of this, but buying a car from the same people that tell you your old one is toast is dodgy. They know they have you over a barrel.

Yeah. I'm not set in stone on it, just keeping it in the back of my mind.

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #504 on: May 22, 2018, 11:55:05 AM »
Dealer just said the repair will be $10,500 on the low end

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #505 on: May 22, 2018, 01:01:16 PM »
Dealer just said the repair will be $10,500 on the low end
I'm guessing that's a new engine and a new cooling system. Did they tell you what the actual damage was, or are they just assuming a new engine is the best way to go? The options are that the gasket is blown, the head is warped/cracked, or the engine block is cracked. If it's just the gasket an independent shop is going to come in closer to 2k. Book time is going to be ~14hrs. If you don't need a new head the parts aren't all that bad.

Sucks that things like this have gotten so expensive. When I was 18 I needed a head gasket for my Cellica and was pissed off that it was going to run me $600. Hell, I had my RX7 Wanker completely rebuilt for about a grand.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #506 on: May 22, 2018, 01:07:01 PM »
They can't give me an exact diagnosis without disassembling the majority of the engine. I told them to not bother. The techs ruled out the head gasket because when they put coolant in, the level doesn't change. It's going straight into the engine. If it was the head gasket, that wouldn't be the case. He said it was some kind of plug that failed and that allowed the coolant to get into everything else. They said I was going to need a new block for sure, and unless they can get into there, there's no way of knowing the extent of the rest of the damage (cylinders, piston heads, etc..). They said just dropping a whole new engine in would be cheaper than just getting a new block and transferring everything from the old engine into the new one.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #507 on: May 22, 2018, 01:49:41 PM »
That sucks. Do a search for Mini freeze plug failure and you'll find a lot of info. It's happened to more than a few folk. It's also been misdiagnosed by plenty of dealers, or at least exaggerated. If you were desperate it might be worth a second opinion, but I'd be so pissed off I'd just look to run as fast as I could from it.

Seems the motors in those things were manufactured by Peugeot. That actually explains a lot. The French have no business building cars.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #508 on: May 22, 2018, 02:05:16 PM »
Yep :/ I'm cutting ties with it completely. I'm done with it. It was a fun ride, but I probably wont be getting another one any time soon. I'd love one as a weekend cruiser, but with my commute it's a bitch of a daily driver now that the miles have accumulated like they have.

Offline ReaperKK

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #509 on: May 22, 2018, 09:23:17 PM »
Goddamn Chino that sucks. I was going to add some thoughts to the thread but Barto covered everything I wanted to add. Honestly mini's reliability is questionable at best. Anecdotally speaking my buddy has a 2016 that spew all it's oil out within 2 weeks of ownership of his new Mini.

What is your plan now? New car?

After doing a large overhaul of my bmw it's working like a champ now, I just need it to work long enough until I get my mustang delivered.

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #510 on: May 23, 2018, 08:51:16 AM »
I'm getting a new car for sure.

Offline ReaperKK

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #511 on: May 23, 2018, 07:51:41 PM »
Are you still thinking of getting a truck?

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #512 on: May 24, 2018, 05:59:49 AM »
I'd still love to get one, but that's probably not in the cards. I was planning on being able to build up a sizeable down payment over the next 8-10 months and then look at one, but I can't do that now.

I really don't want to take any more than $3K out of my savings for this, and I have just over $3K in matured bonds I'm cashing in (thanks first communion!). I'm really not looking to finance any more than $15K for 48 months. So when looking at trucks, that puts anything in my price range somewhere in 90K-110K mile territory. Seeing as I commute 70-100 miles a day, that's unfortunately not really going to work.

Basically I'm just looking for something big that will hold me over for four years.

I'm looking at this.



It's not my first choice, but I don't have time to shop around and it matches all my criteria. I liked my previous Mazda a lot and this is surprisingly sporty to drive. I drove three of them yesterday and all were great. The one above has basically every option other than the 20" wheels and the fancy review mirror that dims itself. It's got 50K miles on it. I think I'm going to pull the trigger.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 07:26:41 AM by Chino »

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #513 on: May 24, 2018, 09:09:10 AM »
The dealership was really being stubborn on the price of the vehicle I'm looking at. I couldn't get them to budge (I came at them with a good figure early on that got rejected really quick). However, I got them to put on new tires, brakes, and calipers, so that's kind of okay I guess.

I'm going down tonight to look at it on a lift and will be giving them a down payment if everything looks okay under there. I'll be taking delivery tomorrow afternoon.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #514 on: May 24, 2018, 09:41:59 AM »
The dealership was really being stubborn on the price of the vehicle I'm looking at. I couldn't get them to budge (I came at them with a good figure early on that got rejected really quick). However, I got them to put on new tires, brakes, and calipers, so that's kind of okay I guess.

I'm going down tonight to look at it on a lift and will be giving them a down payment if everything looks okay under there. I'll be taking delivery tomorrow afternoon.
If you know anybody who works on cars, you should take him along with you. You can pay him in lettuce or something. I know a bit about cars, but I can never see any problems when I'm inspecting them. Somebody who works on them will whip out a flashlight and point out half a dozen problems right off the bat. Barring that, tell the dealer you're driving it to another shop for a PPI. Should run you $150 or so, and buy you a tremendous amount of piece of mind.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #515 on: May 24, 2018, 09:45:17 AM »
Oh yeah, I meant to mention that and didn't. I already told them before I finalize anything with ink, I'd like to get under it while it's on a lift. I have a mechanic buddy coming down with me.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #516 on: May 24, 2018, 09:50:52 AM »
Oh yeah, I meant to mention that and didn't. I already told them before I finalize anything with ink, I'd like to get under it while it's on a lift. I have a mechanic buddy coming down with me.
Excellent. It always blows my mind how many obvious things a mechanic will find that I should have caught. Just knowing where to look for signs of oil leaks makes a huge difference, since after they clean it there might only be a drop or two. Also, did you see the tires before they replaced them? Worn evenly?
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #517 on: May 24, 2018, 09:55:51 AM »
Oh yeah, I meant to mention that and didn't. I already told them before I finalize anything with ink, I'd like to get under it while it's on a lift. I have a mechanic buddy coming down with me.
Excellent. It always blows my mind how many obvious things a mechanic will find that I should have caught. Just knowing where to look for signs of oil leaks makes a huge difference, since after they clean it there might only be a drop or two. Also, did you see the tires before they replaced them? Worn evenly?

Yeah. The wear looked pretty even to me. Hard to tell from tire to tire, but as far as the tread wear on each tire, all looked good. It had an alignment done about 15K miles ago according to the car fax report. The tires weren't that worn, so I'm assuming that was done along side a tire change as well.


Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #518 on: May 25, 2018, 09:37:25 AM »
Look for the date code on the tires.  Four digits representing the week and year they were made.  I replaced mine in pairs, and the date codes are clearly different by about 2 years.

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #519 on: May 29, 2018, 07:30:00 AM »
I ended up buying that CX-9 last week. I ended up getting the power train warranty and bumper to bumper warranty extended to 130K miles. I'm happy with the vehicle. It got plenty of power, but I do really miss the handling the mini cooper had. It's almost like I have to plan out and calculate a turn rather than just being able to throw the car wherever I need it to go.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2018, 10:56:39 AM by Chino »

Offline Stadler

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #520 on: May 29, 2018, 10:41:55 AM »
The dealership was really being stubborn on the price of the vehicle I'm looking at. I couldn't get them to budge (I came at them with a good figure early on that got rejected really quick). However, I got them to put on new tires, brakes, and calipers, so that's kind of okay I guess.

I'm going down tonight to look at it on a lift and will be giving them a down payment if everything looks okay under there. I'll be taking delivery tomorrow afternoon.
If you know anybody who works on cars, you should take him along with you. You can pay him in lettuce or something. I know a bit about cars, but I can never see any problems when I'm inspecting them. Somebody who works on them will whip out a flashlight and point out half a dozen problems right off the bat. Barring that, tell the dealer you're driving it to another shop for a PPI. Should run you $150 or so, and buy you a tremendous amount of piece of mind.

This.   My step son is now my go-to car buddy.   It's amazing what an impartial eye will find.   My Taco died (well, is dying) and I drove by a Ford F150 Sport Body in a 16 second drive-by he was like "yeah, looks good, but remember to ask him about x and y"; and that's not even getting out of the car.  I'll have him put it on a lift too, of course, but it's good peace of mind.

"Pay him in lettuce".  You kill me!  :)

Offline cramx3

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #521 on: May 31, 2018, 04:07:52 PM »
I spent a week driving over 2k miles around florida in a 2017 Mustang:



It was a base model, but still soooo much fun to drive especially while driving around Homestead Florida (which might as well been Alabama) as no one was around on the long straight flat roads.  Makes me really want to get one now, but my GF is very much against it as she thinks (and kind of knows) I will get in trouble.  Driving my 2010 Civic now makes me sad.

Offline Chino

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #522 on: May 31, 2018, 04:23:14 PM »
When we rented ours, I was blown away by how much trunk space and rear seat room it had. We had two adults in the back.

Offline cramx3

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #523 on: May 31, 2018, 05:07:58 PM »
When we rented ours, I was blown away by how much trunk space and rear seat room it had. We had two adults in the back.

We never tried to put anyone in the back, but the trunk was pretty spacious for all our luggage and bags.  I really enjoyed the cooled seats, especially since I had swamp ass by the end of every day.

Offline jasc15

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Re: Anything related to automobiles
« Reply #524 on: June 01, 2018, 12:43:54 PM »
I just bought about $600 in suspension parts, and I will probably tackle it this weekend.  Front and rear struts, mounts, boots and bumpers, and front sway bar end links which.  I'm actually looking forward to this job, which is surprising considering the control arm replacement i did about 2 years ago when I hated the world afterward.

I also bought some cheapo impact drivers and sockets from harbor freight to try making my day a bit easier.  They seemed way underpowerd compared to their ratings, and I just bought a used ingersoll rand driver on ebay and will return the HF ones.  Also, as with any time I do car repairs, I start going crazy reading about tools and trying to fill out my socket sets, etc.  I have lots of hand-me-down craftsman tools, but reading around makes me not want to augment with the new craftsman stuff.  However, being a bit of a dweeb about it, I also want matching sets.  Oddly enough, last time I bought a few sockets I didn't have, they were actually made in USA.  Maybe individual sockets are procured differently from sets??  Maybe I could get lucky again.