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Old 09-15-2007, 11:57 AM   #1
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which car to buy?

i'll be needing to replace my '94 civic dx soon as the body is rusting apart badly.

what is the best car i can buy in terms of reliability, ease of fixing things myself, and FE?

i'm like to spend under $5k.

if i find a really nice insight for 6 or 7K, then maybe that could be a possibility.
a VX? an HX?

geo metro?

seems pretty dang hard to find a VX in good shape that's not more expensive than buying something newer with half the mileage.

thanks for ideas.
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Old 09-15-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
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what area are you in?
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:17 PM   #3
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MA, right?

I would go for the insight, mehbe a first gen prius, then look at the vx.
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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yeah, i'm in western MA, probably the worst place in the world to own a car and not have it completely ransacked by the salt on the roads during the winters.

my girlfriend recently bought a '96 civic dx sedan, 100,000 miles, for $2500.
not a speck of rust because the owners had just moved from maryland. awesome deal, right? didn't need anything except for brake shoes.

thanks for the ideas, SVOboy.

with regards to the hybrids. how much concern should the battery life be?

say, if i look at a 2000 insight with 120K miles, would it need a new $5,000 battery?

i'd much prefer an insight over the prius, but the first gen could be cool as well.

thanks,
ben
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Old 09-15-2007, 12:29 PM   #5
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Well, at least for the insight, I know the biggest thing for FE is to not use the batteries at all, so I figure a dead pack wouldn't kill you too bad, if it was dead. Iono for sure though, mehbe someone smarter with hybrids can chime in.

Have you seen any used insights for sale?
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Old 09-15-2007, 04:20 PM   #6
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Battery life is not that much of a concern on a hybrid if the car is driven with any sense at all. There is a thread on cleanmpg.com about a guy with a Prius1 that, at last count, had just over 318,000 miles on the original engine AND battery. He spends quite a bit of time driving on interstates at 80 mph and above. There are some cabs in New York that have a couple hundred thousand miles on them and they are still using the original batteries. Battery life was something that people who opposed hybrids used as a way of discouraging people from buying them. As more actual data comes in, battery life is becoming a non-issue.
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Old 09-15-2007, 05:01 PM   #7
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Battery life was something that people who opposed hybrids used as a way of discouraging people from buying them.
Given many people's experience with short lifespans for batteries in notebook computers, cordless drills, cell phones, some automobiles etc., don't you think that they had some justification for being skeptical about battery packs in hybrids? Storage of braking energy is an excellent FE strategy, but it only works as long as the battery packs. It's still early for being very conclusive on the subject of hybrid battery life, but I do hope they last. That'd be a big worry for me if I had one - although it wouldn't stop me from getting one.

I've never had good luck with batteries and battery packs. As a result, my electric lawnmower has a cord and so do all my drills. I've had about a half dozen cordless drills in the past and have no desire to buy another one.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2TonJellyBean View Post
Given many people's experience with short lifespans for batteries in notebook computers, cordless drills, cell phones, some automobiles etc., don't you think that they had some justification for being skeptical about battery packs in hybrids? Storage of braking energy is an excellent FE strategy, but it only works as long as the battery packs. It's still early for being very conclusive on the subject of hybrid battery life, but I do hope they last. That'd be a big worry for me if I had one - although it wouldn't stop me from getting one.

I've never had good luck with batteries and battery packs. As a result, my electric lawnmower has a cord and so do all my drills. I've had about a half dozen cordless drills in the past and have no desire to buy another one.
I depend on my tools for a living and one thing I've learned about batteries is they must be cared for correctly. Typical users run cordless items completely dead. Then they leave them on dumb chargers for days. The batteries get rundown , hot cycled, and overcharged. It doesn't take much abuse to kill a battery. I've found that lower voltage drills from professional grade manufacturers last the longest. My oldest drill is a porter cable 12 volt. It lasted 5 years and was stolen(it still makes me mad[don't buy porter cable cordless now because there no longer commercial grade]).
I've also found that most chargers are "dumb" and care must be taken not leave batteries charging for long periods of time. What typically kills a tool battery is one dead cell. If a tool battery can be opened the offending cell can be found and replaced for 3-5 dollars.
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Old 09-16-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I depend on my tools for a living and one thing I've learned about batteries is they must be cared for correctly. Typical users run cordless items completely dead. Then they leave them on dumb chargers for days. The batteries get rundown , hot cycled, and overcharged. It doesn't take much abuse to kill a battery. I've found that lower voltage drills from professional grade manufacturers last the longest. My oldest drill is a porter cable 12 volt. It lasted 5 years and was stolen(it still makes me mad[don't buy porter cable cordless now because there no longer commercial grade]).
I've also found that most chargers are "dumb" and care must be taken not leave batteries charging for long periods of time. What typically kills a tool battery is one dead cell. If a tool battery can be opened the offending cell can be found and replaced for 3-5 dollars.
The Prius prevents it's battery from being used in the manner described above ie., run it dead and overcharge it later. It's battery ECU keeps the battery at 40-80% charged and typically, it runs at around 60% charged.
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Old 09-16-2007, 02:29 PM   #10
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http://boston.craigslist.org/nos/car/421276194.html
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