General Auto Chat

Discussion in 'Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Airplanes Talk' started by Maxvla, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Continuing from the Changstar Saga post...

    A few hours after mentioning the first gen Insight, a somewhat local Insight popped up on craigslist. Everything looks great, 2002 with 83k never wrecked, paint in great shape, even some custom leather seats (only came with cloth) that look well made and in the style of the originals. Only problem is no manual = no lean burn mode for the best mpgs. The CVT can 'only' do about 50-55mpg not the 60-70 the manual can. Plus the manual would be more fun.

    [​IMG]

    https://tulsa.craigslist.org/cto/5239250242.html

    Still, I'm very interested if it's truly a grandma-driven car. It's priced a little high for the year, but if it's truly in amazing shape it is a good price. I sent him an email asking about recent maintenance and when the battery was replaced, as, having read up on InsightCentral forums, the battery pack is usually only good for about 10 years and this one is 14-15 years old.

    Never bought a car from a private individual before, and it's a 2hr drive just to see it. InsightCentral has a great post about what to look for when inspecting one of these cars I can print out and use as a checklist.
     
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  2. LFF

    LFF Friend

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    Well...I'll post here since it's auto-related.

    About two weeks ago I was involved in a car accident due another idiot and the result was that my car was totaled. I had to get a new car up and running in a pinch and ended up just fixing my old '97 BMW 328i.

    The major issue with it is that is has NO radio. Can you guys recommend a good one. GPS would be nice but my main focus is music and the ability to play FLAC. Budget right now is $150.00 but I can save up if the unit is worth it. Open to suggestions. :)
     
  3. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Not a lot of FLAC support out there. The best 2 I found in your budget are:

    Pioneer X8700-BS $133 - http://amzn.com/B00O8B7BAE

    Sony MEXN5100-BT $128 - http://amzn.com/B00SCS2622

    Noticed on the Pioneer there might be some restriction on the FLAC support - "FLAC: bit of 16-bit w/ sampling rate of 8-44.1kHz"

    The Sony doesn't specify about its' FLAC support, even in the manual.
     
  4. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    the Amazon page for the Sony does mention FLAC support.
     
  5. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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  6. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    I meant in regard to its file rates, as I mentioned the Pioneer's potential issue just before.
     
  7. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

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    hello,

    sorry, my bad. i was a bit confused, which isn't all that unlikely at my age. :)
     
  8. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    Bluetooth speaker on the passenger floor and your phone, :)ha ha ha, hey don't laugh til you try it.
     
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  9. insidious meme

    insidious meme Ambivalent Kumquat

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    Ugh, 3 years ago, I was exactly in your shoes. Luckily I was able to get some nice cash for my totaled car as a down for the next one.

    I'm guessing you're avoiding as all hell the hook up the flac playing dac to an auxiliary port on a head unit. Hope you get something that works for you.
     
  10. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Copied from CS:

    Drove 2 hours to see the Insight. Really neat car, amazing that it was possible 20 years ago (development then release). The interior was bigger than I expected, ample headroom and comfortable seats, power from a stop was perfectly fine, though accelerating from say 55 to 65 took a while. I drove about 20 miles through different speeds and liked the mechanics. It reminded me of the MR2 Spyder I test drove a year or so ago, agile, light, stiff, and loud (road noise).

    I'd never driven a stop-start engine setup before and temporarily forgot as I drove away at first, then was reminded as I came to a stop. To me, the stop-start system is a little too aggressive. It stopped the engine before I actually came to a stop. If I were setting up a stop system, I'd say wait for complete stop and 1 further second. As it was, little stop sign stops that most people don't actually completely stop at cycled the engine back on a bare second after stopping it. I wonder about wear in that instance.

    On to this specific car, I did a thorough inspection of the interior and exterior armed with some notes from InsightCentral forum. The interior was in excellent condition for its age (15 years), only the blown speakers would have to be replaced. There were no trouble codes from the ECU and everything worked, even the auto-down driver's window which is a common fail point. It had the right tires on it, Bridgestone RE92s which are critical for getting the most mpg from this car, though they are quite expensive at nearly $100 per tire plus fees. The exterior was quite a different story, unfortunately. In the pictures on Craigslist the paint looks great, can't see any wear really. Both skirts covering the rear tires had significant scarring, likely from tire shops unfamiliar with removing skirts since hardly any cars have them anymore. Both driver and passenger mirrors had even worse scarring on the paint side from his wife scraping them on the sides of the garage (he suggested this excuse). There were quite a few chips and dings on the front of the car and all 4 wheels had curb scraping the entire circumference of the lip.

    After the test drive (solo), I walked to him and said that the mechanicals were in great shape, everything worked well. I started to talk about the exterior condition being much rougher than I had expected. As I was finishing my sentence he broke in saying I should keep shopping and that this car's exterior was in fine condition for its age. I then began to think of what I would pay for the car, still interested, if only for my mother who needs the mileage, but isn't so caught up on cosmetic appearance. I began to bargain with the guy by saying "I don't think I can pay $5500 for your car" expecting him to discuss the matter and perhaps ask for my offer. Instead he immediately stood up and very curtly thanked me for coming out and forcefully wished me a safe trip home, ushering me out of the building. I guess he's not the bargaining type. I might have paid $4000, maybe $4500 for the car, still a fair offer, based on the research I've done, but I wasn't offered the chance.

    In the end, I still think it's an interesting car, but given the sports car style road roughness and noise, and the lack of a back row, and as Dave has brought up, the safety is not as good as it could be, I don't think I would get enough use/enjoyment out of it to justify its semi-premium cost for a car of that age. It's not the right tool for the job.

    Riding home I noted how much quieter and smoother my Grand Prix was, and more responsive to acceleration demands, and also the 22mpg I had gotten on the 230 mile round trip. [​IMG] It sounds strange after the praise I just gave of the Insight, but it made me appreciate my Grand Prix a bit more.

    I like the new Civic and it will probably be the best choice once it has aged a couple years and I can get one for $13-15k. I will have to confirm when they release of course. I did like the 2013 Accord, but I don't think it lines up enough with my wants, mostly that it's too big and while efficient for what it is, not where I want to be. The Civic should be between the Insight and Grand Prix in suspension roughness, so that it's somewhat firm, but not punishing or too sofa-like. With the right engine it should have the pull of the Grand Prix while being quite efficient for a non-hybrid. Guess I'm sticking with the ole' Pontiac a while longer. And Honda has promised the most quiet Civic ever, so maybe it will approach the Grand Prix's road noise. I test drove either a 7th or 8th gen Civic when I bought my Grand Prix and the road noise was almost as bad as the Insight.
     
  11. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Max, you rock! It was back in 2012 when you started the new car saga! Way to keep it going.
     
  12. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Much like audio, I'm tough to please when it comes to cars (or anything, I suppose).

    When I was at the violin institute this summer with a world renowned bowmaker teaching my class, some of the work other students (mostly older than I (33)) this teacher said was satisfactory (maybe for that class I guess) truly horrified me. In the end, I think all of my work in the class was perhaps only a step or two behind the teacher. My boss calls me meticulous, I call myself slow, but the work is excellent.
     
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  13. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    Something else I forgot to mention, my now 9 year old car, despite replacing the front bumper, a front passenger door, and rear bumper from parking lot incidents (none of which were my fault), has nary a scrape or ding on it. That guy thought his 15 year old car with literally 50-60 dings and scrapes was normal. It took a lot of control not to roll my eyes when he said that.
     
  14. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Buying used is always an adventure. I recently was trying to get my oldest son a CHEAP first car. You should have seen some of the crap people are trying to sell as "good" condition. In the end, I got lucky and found that my boss was selling a 2005 Prius. He had kept it in perfect condition and it only had 80k miles. I spent more than I would have liked on a first car for a kid, but at least I know he's starting with a car that taken care of.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the reports on battery life for these "early" Prius models. His is still under warranty and plenty of folks are running these things well past 250k miles with no drop in MPG.

    I also grabbed a 2005 Yukon for a "dog" truck. We've got three English bull dogs and I don't want them in our "good" cars. I found it on Craigs List. The mileage was a little high, but the guy was a former chief engineer and was crazy about maintenance. He over did everything. The thing is in amazing shape for very little $$. The dogs love their new truck! ha ha...

    So, the good cars are out there, but you really have to wade through a lot of crap or folks who want way too much $$ to get to them.

    Good luck on the hunt, keep us posted.
     
  15. audiofrk

    audiofrk Guest

    Subscribe

    Can't find subscribe button on android chrome
     
  16. DaveBSC

    DaveBSC Friend

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    My girlfriend's 2006 Milan is starting to crap out (burning through oil at a rate of 1qt per 1000 miles or less, and A/C problems) so we're on the hunt for a "new" car for her, specifically 2012 CPOs. She knows she wants a V6 and leather seats, but otherwise doesn't have too many preferences. Turbo 4s make her nervous due to the expense of replacing one, and the few options with Turbo 4s (Mazda CX-7, Acura RDX, Hyundai Sonata 2.0T) don't really interest her anyway. The CX-7 and Sonata also have absolutely horrendous reliability records, so those were immediately written off.

    What we've looked at so far: 2012 Mazda CX-9 Touring: This was first on the list to try. Tons of space, and handles surprisingly well for such a huge car. Credit to Mazda's suspension engineers. Road noise isn't great as you would expect from a Mazda, but it's not as bad as the Mazda3 or Mazda6. We crossed it off because the steeply raked windshield requires you to duck your head too much when getting in, and the lack of thigh support from the seats was noticeable even on a relatively short test drive. The tech also sucks pretty hard. Mazda's NAV/infotainment system is now among the best available in mainstream cars, but it's only just now becoming available in most of Mazda's cars after debuting in the new 3. What they had in 2012 was this piece of crap.

    [​IMG]

    After the Mazda, we drove a 2012 Acura TL SH-AWD. The last time I put any real time behind the wheel of an Acura was a 2005 RL, and not much had changed. Nasty looking fake wood, nasty plastic trim pieces, globs of buttons splattered all over the center stack, and what has to be the shittiest feeling steering wheel leather in any "premium" car on sale. Seats were ok, nothing special. Driving experience was bland, steering was overly light and completely numb. I still completely fail to understand the appeal of Acura at all, at least beyond the MDX. Obviously TL is out. Also, the fancy "ELS" branded stereo (apparently made by Panasonic) is dogshit. Far worse than the CX-9's Bose setup.

    Next, 2012 Legacy 3.6R Premium. Okay, nothing great. Outdated 5-speed with the H6 engine is a turn off, and she's not interested in the 4cyl/CVT combo. The H/K branded "premium" stereo is no better than the ELS system in the Acura. Road noise not as bad as a Mazda6, but definitely not good either.

    Next, 2012 Nissan Murano. The only one on the lot Nissan could show us was an SV with cloth, but we took it out anyway. She likes most aspects, but didn't like the seats. Again not enough thigh support, and not very comfortable overall. Not sure if this just related to the cloth, we'll be taking another SL out to be sure. Murano is a maybe. One downside is that pickins for top trim LEs are pretty slim, and so most dealers are at least not advertising very good deals, we haven't done any actual negotiations yet though.

    Next, 2012 Hyundai Azera. Wow the interior packing of this thing SUCKS. Legroom is fine, but the width is a joke for such a large car. The dash towers above you so high in the passenger seat that I felt like a child sitting in mom's car. Total lack of refinement too, tons of mechanical, wind, and road noise. Immediately off the list.

    Next, 2012 Nissan Maxima. Not too shabby. I wouldn't have paid $40K for one for sure, but as a $20K CPO, not a terrible deal at all. Better in pretty much every way than the Acura, and the Infiniti donated NAV system works well. Surprisingly quieter and overall more refined than the last G37 I drove. Some trim pieces are a little cheap feeling, but it's still a step above mainstream family sedans, if not a huge step. The NAV interface is definitely better than what any of the usual suspects had at the time, particularly better than Honda. Maxima is a maybe,

    Ruled out: Mazda6 for its total lack of refinement, and tech just as shitty as the CX-9s. Accord: also noisy though otherwise better than the Mazda6, but the interior layout is just godawful and hideous to look at. Camry: boring boring boring. Buick Lacrosse: pillbox visibility. Chrysler 300: she hates the styling, no confidence in quality or long term durability. Ford Edge/Explorer/Flex: again no confidence in quality or long term durability. Seriously the list of TSBs on these things is a mile long. Traverse/Acadia: blah design, blah interior, shoddy quality. Hyundai Santa Fe/Veracruz: ancient designs. Not interested in Kias. Avalon is too old man for her, Venza is a remote possibility, but she generally prefers the Murano. Highlander is over her budget, as is the Pilot which she's also not interested in anyway. Volvo S60 because of maintenance costs. German cars for the same reason.

    As of now she's likely leaning towards either a Maxima or Murano, but she's open to any other suggestions if you folks have any. She wants to stay under $25K, and below 45K miles. She wants to get at least 100K miles out of whatever her next car ends up being. Again V6 and leather are requirements, she'd strongly prefer a 6-speed autobox over 5, and she's ok with CVTs provided they are any good and have a solid reliability record. The Max and Murano do, most other Nissans don't. She wants a good NAV/info/phone interface.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  17. Maxvla

    Maxvla Friend

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    My coworker has a 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan that he really likes. It looks great from the outside, haven't ridden in it, but he bought it a year ago for about $19k so you might be able to find a 2013 or even 2014 within your 25k budget. Big interior without looking overly large outside. Fuel efficiency is reasonable at just over 30mpg highway in actual driving.
     
  18. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    I just bought a new Acadia for my wife and wouldn't agree. The interior may be "blah", but in the high-end models it's far from shoddy. I do think the radio interface isn't great, but the Ford set up is such a pain in the ass to use the Acadia feels great! Drives great, good motor and gear box. Good mileage. Nice leather. Large. We're enjoying it. Perhaps things have improved since the 2012-ish vintage stuff?

    I drove almost all of the "larger" SUVs - Edge, Explorer, Flex, Acadia, Kia Sorento, Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot, BMW X5, Audi Q7 (We ruled out all the full sized options like Yukon etc.. because we have an older model already for the dogs) -- In the end we ruled a few out for things like crap motors (Kia, wish they had the diesel here, we drove it in Europe and it was ok), some for price (X5/Q7, we're not into having a status symbol and like our disposable income to go elsewhere, but these are nice rigs), interior space etc... They all seem to be a compromise in one place or another.

    In the end, I just let her pick out what she liked, which isn't always what I like. If she leaned towards something silly, or unreliable, I'd have said something, otherwise I just helped find it and negotiated the deal. She's going to drive it every day, so I wanted her to have the car she likes... and she does.

    One last thing... in today's day and age asking a car to go 145k miles isn't asking much of it; that kind of reliability should be a given.

    Good luck with the hunt!
     
  19. DaveBSC

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    I forgot to mention, no RWD. We're in the snow belt, and so she wants either FWD or AWD.
     
  20. DaveBSC

    DaveBSC Friend

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    I considered it, but the interior design in the pre '13 model is much crappier than the current car. Also, the rate of repair for Acadias that are now 4 and 5 years old, combined with the large pile of TSBs doesn't give much confidence that the Acadia will be holding up well when it reaches age 9 or 10. The '12+ cars DO seem to be better built than the '11s and earlier, but the CX-9 still has a much better record, as does the Murano, and she really doesn't need all of that space or a third row.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015

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