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Old 08-13-2008, 09:44 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
I'm at a similar point with my 98 GMC truck. It's 10 years old, over 150,000 miles and absolutely nothing is wrong with it,
My Son has my GMC truck. Just went to 200,000 miles. Runs fine, no leaks, just did the normal maintenance on it.

To OP......Anyway, I do not like the fit or focus. Not saying they are bad, but just my personal taste in looks only. I hope your Dad likes the focus and it serves his purposes. It should also get decent gas mileage.

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Old 08-13-2008, 12:14 PM   #32
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this thread is ancient. let the thread die.

don't waste your time or time will waste you
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Old 08-13-2008, 04:06 PM   #33
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Continuing to bump this historic thread...

Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
I'm at a similar point with my 98 GMC truck. It's 10 years old, over 150,000 miles and absolutely nothing is wrong with it
I'll throw my hat in the ring. 2002 GMC, 175,000 miles, only problem is a front end rattle that I think is probably a worn control arm...and I do abuse the front end.

My scientific dirt test has been going on for over a year, and was at least a year old last time.

When I buy a new DD it will be a hard decision. I would like something that will get good mileage, but comfort is a must. I'm 6' 4" and I will require something that has ample legroom and headroom.
I can't help but recommend a VW for that concern. I'm not as tall as you but I share many of the same comfort requirements, and was very surprised when I sat in a VW.

I'm partial to GM & American vehicles, but I'm not impressed with their offerings for a smaller vehicle.
The new Camaro V6 will start somewhere around 22k or 23k, and be EPA rated 28mpg highway with the base model 6 speed manual; any of us will get over 30mpg combined with it. I won't be able to buy a new car for a long time, I think, but if I can get it I'll probably give it some taller's got a lot of torque at low RPM, with a very flat torque chart.

It's a lot bigger than past Camaros, and there ought to be a decent amount of room.

Some of the Hyundais out there are nice looking cars, and maybe their quality has improved
It has definitely improved a lot. They learned their lesson with those Excels, just like your friends did. That new Genesis coupe is going to be good competition for the new Camaro, and will be available with a 4 banger too.

Then again, the Kia Amanti is also a nice looking little car, but I've never ridden in one so the jury is still out on that.
I still have my doubts about Kia, even though I think Hyundai bought them out.

Don't forget the Chevy Volt...expensive purchase but cheap to fuel for an average commute.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:38 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
LOL, that sounds like me, "Drive em' till the doors fall off". ...

My 74 Chevy pickup with well over 300,000 miles had another problem. After about 20 years of door slamming the nader pin broke off with about an inch of the surrounding metal. I figure it was stress cracks in the metal from age. I mounted the Nader pin onto a 4" x 4" x 1/4" steel plate, and placed it behind the broken panel. I then bolted it down with like 15 or 20 small bolts. Never had a problem with that again either.
What is a "nader pin"? (Always thought it was a hold I would have to have had used on Ralph Nader to keep him in the back seat of my Corvair...)
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:17 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Well, sure. After 100k miles the Ford will be ready for scrap, and the Honda will finally be broken in...
hmm... so I guess all the 150k+ Ford Contours out there are fluks?
I paid $16.2k for mine in 2000. I sold it in 2008 with 168k on it for $2.8k.

And it didn't look like a jelly bean!

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Old 08-14-2008, 05:28 AM   #36
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The tempo we had in the family went to 220,000 before Lucas Transmission Fix wouldn't help the tranny any more. (and that got the last 60,000 out of it) actually think it was a mechanic buggered up something with the linkage when he put a new neutral safety switch in it and it would have gone on a bit longer.

Wile-E was just over 200,000 when the head gasket went, and the bores are beautiful.

As far as I'm concerned, "Import reliability" is a myth, it's all in the maintenance, and honda's have historically had a more aggressive/proactive maintenance schedule, and owners that keep it out of fear (I don't want it to go wrong and have to wait for $$$ parts from Japan...) and smaller domestics have historically suffered from "throwaway car syndrome" from their owners. There's been some notoriously unreliable motors, dieing from sludge etc, but in the main, engines since the mid 80s have been very long lived when looked after.

A further issue with domestics is that mechanics just assume they know how to fix them, so if a domestic manufacturer introduces some new or different tech, Billyjoebob is just gonna barge in and screw it up, whereas he might actually think to look up procedures, specs, recommended fluids etc for a Toyota or Honda. Take a look at the infamous Ultradrive A604 from Chrysler, weaknesses in original design? yes. Probability that transmission shops and mechanics unfamiliar with it will do something that causes certain failure? 90% usually by insisting that regular ATF or a "Universal" ATF will work fine. No, it needs a Chrysler 7106 spec fluid, ATF +3 originally, now upgraded to ATF +4, it always has done, and it's always been in the specs. There was a chance that in extreme conditions the tranny would overheat and melt stuff, putting the wrong fluid in makes it a certainty. Programming upgrades try to avoid undue slippage and stress nowadays, but you can still wreck them with the wrong fluid. So it's infamy really derives from 10% marginal design and 90% pigheaded stupidity of people that serviced them.

Then you get the dinosaurs who "only fix domestics" and you take your front wheel drive Ford, GM, or Chrysler to them for front wheel bearings, and again 2 weeks later, and again 2 weeks later, and again 2 weeks later... and finally discover that they haven't got a freaking clue that FWDs usually need anywhere from 150-200ftlb torque preload on the bearings and have been doing them to 27-30ftlb as if they were circa 1970 RWD front or back hubs. And then you get "I've been in this business for 30 years and I've never heard...."

Or as a relative has done, you take your Ford Contour in for a cooling system flush and you ask them if they are going to use the Ford recommended antifreeze for mixed metal cooling systems to avoid corrosion issues.... and you get it back.... and they haven't, so you waste Sunday afternoon with the hosepipe doing it yourself anyway....

So if you wanna find out exactly how reliable Hondas are, take one to a "domestics only" mechanic and tell him it's a re-badged Chevrolet.

So anyway, Focuses in particular I think are a somewhat decent car, and should be capable of very high service miles if well looked after, do the transmission services on the severe service schedule though (For pete's sake Ford, you should know by now that ATF doesn't last forever) Used, you'd want to avoid the early years, teething troubles. They seem to hold value reasonably well up here compared to other Fords, 3 yo off lease ones were on the forecourts at around $8,000 in the spring here, before the rise in price of 4 cyl cars in general.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 08-14-2008, 06:26 AM   #37
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The nader pin is the post on the B pillar (front seat) or C pillar (back seat) that the door latches onto. It is named after Ralph Nader, and had to do with the Corvair. In the fire & rescue community we call that the Nader Pin.

And one quick note on Ralph Nader... I don't remember who said this, but I think it is a good quote... "Corvairs are good cars despite Raph Nader, and cheap because of Ralph Nader."

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Old 08-14-2008, 06:52 AM   #38
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I'd take the Focus too! It's not a bad little car I just wish it had a better stereo! I'm all about the price I can talk the dealer into that is under MSRP. I've gotten them to 21k on a Mustang GT Premium and 13.5K for a fully loaded Focus, I'm about to take that one.

The prices I've been able to talk the Kia dealers down to on fully loaded Optimas is making me look at those though. 19k with leather, sunroof, navigation, upgraded sound, power everything, V6. If I could talk the Honda dealer down to that I'd get a loaded Civic, but I can't, so forget it.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:28 AM   #39
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I'm with you RW, take care of whatever you buy and it will last, doesn't matter what brand.

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Old 08-14-2008, 08:59 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Greyg View Post
I'm with you RW, take care of whatever you buy and it will last, doesn't matter what brand.
That is largely true, and preventative maintenance can make a world of difference, but some of the old saws are true.

Example: VWs have electrical problems. I was an active member of a VW forum for a while, and nearly all of us had some electrical problem at one point or another. Are there people with VWs with no electrical problems? Sure, plenty of them. However, I firmly believe that VWs have substantially higher than average instance of electrical issues. And what preventative maintenance can you do to prevent electrical problems? (You can clean the battery terminals and check the ground points, but even people who do that on a regular basis have electrical problems on VWs).

So the key is to figure out what works for you, then treat it right.

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