I am 57, rebuilt my first salvage vehicle in 1973, a 66 Chevy van, with 42k miles.
Maybe 200 rebuilds over the last 35 years. In most cases byt the time I sold the car I had recovered all of my operating costs.
The last one is my 94 VX
$3060 purchase price
$1500 cost to repair
Plus some serious horse trading, IE good old bartering.
It had 27,492 miles when I bought the car. 2 days ago I replaced the ORIGINAL tires that were made in March 1993. Today I replaced the original timing belt that was on the car since September 1993.
I kept the old tires, plenty of tread left.
4 Michelin X 175-70-13 for $231 total including mounting and balance. The dealer replaced the timing belt and told me the original fan belts we in good shape!
I was really worried about my gas mileage dropping significantly with the new tires, so today I did a short fill up of 2.75 gallons for 160 miles, slightly over 58 MPG, so the difference is slight.
The tire noise is 50% less, steering effort is down about 20% and the ride quality is significantly improved. Around here they grind the concrete on the interstates and groove them for wet traction. The original Bridgestones would track in the grooves and make the car drift, while with the Michelins this effect is practically nonexistent.
It just makes people mad when I tell them what it cost me to drive.
Whoops! What's this? On line #89 it says,
"89 speed up going downhill and coast(?) going uphill"
I thought it was the other way around. At least that's how I do it; coast downhill and hold a steady speed in the highest gear without going full throttle on the uphills. 3/4 throttle seems to work best for most cars. Feel free to quote me on this, I won't sue for copywrite violations.
Its interesting to note that you injected your own personal bias against hybrids based on the common misconception that the vehicles in your example are interchangeable.
Honda Fit, EPA class "Small station wagon" EPA mileage 28/34
Pontiac Vibe, EPA class "Small station wagon" EPA mileage 26/31
Toyota Prius, EPA class "Midsize car" EPA mileage 48/45
At least try to stay within the same size class. Nobody cross shops the Honda Fit with the Toyota Prius.
Actually, I would disagree. I'm not biased against hybrids as a technology. I started off shopping FOR a Prius. When I couldn't find one that was under $20,000 I decided to crunch the #'s to see if it was worth it for me to buy as a money saving work car. I have since decided that hybrids aren't worth the price premium (as clearly shown in the data).
With gas prices where they are many people are cross shopping the Prius, Fit, Vibe, Mazda hatchback, the Nissan Versa, etc. Anyone who needs the storage space of a hatchback would look at this type of car as they are very similar in size because of the hatchback (although I ended up excluding the Fit because it was a tad too small for me in terms of rear storage space compared to the Vibe/Matrix).
Many websites that you go to that lists the top 10 fuel efficient vehicles has both the Prius and Fit in the list (and not the Vibe on most... but rather the Corolla, which includes the Matrix for Toyota's sales #'s anyhow).
You can put any car you want in the spreadsheet. Those were the top 3 cars I was shopping and comparing and used in my list. When I started doing the web searches to research a more fuel efficient car ... here is what I found and it is the reason I started looking at the Fit myself (had never heard of it before that to be honest).
I apologize for offending any Prius or other hybrid owners with this data. People buy cars for different reasons. Some people get a $45,000 car just because they like that car (I did with my 300C SRT8).
My quest in doing this was to buy the car that got the best gas mileage for the buck (that also had a hatchback for larger storage space). There are droves of people ditching their lower mileage car to buy a Prius or Civic Hybrid because they think it will save them money. Most people don't do the math though.
My conclusion, current hybrids are clearly not the best bang for the buck and that is why I decided to go with a fuel efficient gaser for now.
__________________ 2007 Vibe (base-5 speed man) MODS = Added CC, 15% Tint, New wheels, Nav/DVD, Polk speakers, Infinity sub/amp, Console Outlet, MODS = ScanGauge II, Perm. alum. grill block, belly pan, Removed antenna, Tire pres. 44 psi Future MODS = Removable lower grill block, Clear fog covers, 195 deg. therm, Rear spoiler, Full belly pan