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200 miles a day. What would you do ????

Discussion in 'General Automotive Discussion' started by ronsupercar, May 20, 2004.

  1. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    1,576
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    4RE-Ron
    Hey Guys I have a tough decision to make and need your help..

    I Travel from Orlando to Tampa daily (100 miles EACH way) to get to work..
    I drive a 95 Nissan Altima..(Daily beater) The car has about 275,000 miles and now needs help..
    The car has full insurance, but if it gets totalled I would not get the money back..
    The car needs:
    Rebuild on engine and transmission (due to miles)
    Both front axles
    new breaks and disc
    rear drums
    new radiator (small hole which leaks)
    new shocks and struts
    new springs
    2 new tires
    new timing chain
    thighten all loose bolts..

    After all of that, I will have a new car to drive back and forth. And I would know what I got....
    I feel it's not worth me fixing..Again, insurance will never cover all I would put into it..
    If I buy a new beater for $3-$4k, I could be purchasing someone elses headaches..
    I refuse to buy new or newer used car and add 200 miles a day on it.

    I don't plan to leave work yet, but working on some plans to start my own gig. Til then, it's 200miles a day...

    How would you handle this issue......

    HELP
    Ron
     
  2. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    6,786
    NewRotic
    Full Name:
    Otto
    Dig a big hole bury the Max

    then buy a Volkswagen with a TDI

    Wonderful car for long hauls like that
     
  3. Erich

    Erich Formula 3

    Sep 9, 2003
    1,138
    Poway CA
    Full Name:
    Erich Coiner
    I would be looking for a car coming off lease. 2 years old or so.
    Then drive it into the ground.

    One of these days the Altima is going to leave you on the side of the road, in the dark 80 miles from home. Not living thru that one, would be worth $$$$ to me.

    Erich
    2003 Altima (nice ride)
     
  4. EspritSE

    EspritSE Formula Junior

    Dec 1, 2003
    509
    Colorado
    Full Name:
    Craig
    If it were me, I'd donate the car as is to the Job Corps. They are always looking for project vehicles to train with. Write off the donation on your 2004 tax return, and buy a Honda Goldwing for the commute.

    Craig
     
  5. 911Fan

    911Fan Formula 3

    Apr 15, 2004
    1,291
    Southern California
    I think Kia and/or Hyundai makes sub-$10K cars with 10 year/100K mile warranties. Not much fun but you're just looking for a commuter.
     
  6. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    6,987
    I would write that car off, and start with one of the new super economy cars (honda 55+ MPG, toyota 50+ MPG)
     
  7. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    1,576
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    4RE-Ron
    Thanks for the support guys, but I need more ideas. I did think about the Jetta TDI but looking for more options.

    If I purchase a vehicle off lease, I would have to make payments.. I don't want to drive a car that far that I have to make payments on. And the warrenty would end after a few months...

    Keep the ideas coming....
    Thanks
     
  8. Aureus

    Aureus Formula 3

    Since you don't want a 3-4k beater... why not a 2-3k beater? A Volvo 740GLE or a 740 turbo will be that (or less) and will run till 300k+ with no problems outside of a worn interior ... and that depends on the car. Mine has basicaly a pristine interior... the cruise control did fail around 160-170k and the tranny ate it around 327k miles.

    So... if you wanted something reliable, cheap and won't be a pain to drive I'd look into a good ol' Volvo.
     
  9. Billy10mm

    Billy10mm Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    643
    Westchester
    Full Name:
    Billy Ng
    I would just like to second WriterGuy's suggestion. The Jetta or Golf TDI's are incredible long-haul machines. They get about 55mpg stock, but with a performance chip gas mileage improves (as does power) to about 70mpg. They also tend to run forever without problems ... make sure you get a stick, automatic transmissions, even when properly taken care of, last half as long as manuals treated equally well.

    With the gas prices going the way their going and with diesel still relatively cheap, it would be a wise financial (and somewhat fun) decision. The TDI's also tend to hold their resale very well.

    Bill in Brooklyn
     
  10. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    How about an older M-B diesel. They last forever. You could buy an old 240D for a few thousand, drive it for two years (100,000 miles), then sell it for about what you paid for it (still a few thousand) when you decide to move. Diesel is cheaper than unleaded (at least in MO) as a bonus. They might not be the most stylish, but it wil get 30+ mpg and in Florida you wouldn't have any cold weather issues.

    As an alternative, a sportbike would be a good alternative assuming you have the wrists and back for it. Some get great mileage and last a long time. Several years ago in Motorcyclist they featured a CBR900RR with 200,000 miles on it. The guy commuted a huge distance everyday like you do. When dyno tested, the motor actually made the same power as it did when new. Amazing.
     
  11. Billy10mm

    Billy10mm Formula Junior

    Nov 11, 2003
    643
    Westchester
    Full Name:
    Billy Ng
    As far as mileage, my VFR got 40mpg, my 3 929s all got around 35mpg, my Valkyrie gets 27mpg, and both of my LTs got/get 45mpg .... fantastic mileage not exactly a strong point, but my reason for replying to this was to correct your comment on having the "back and wrists for it".

    If you sit correctly on a sportbike, which is to say that you arch your back concavely (it will feel as if you're sticking your buttox out), you will support your entire upper body with your lower back muscles (which will also become very strong over time) For years I put 25K miles a year on sportbikes and have never had wrist or back problems. Granted, this position does not feel natural (unless you're a Marine), but give it a little practice and it'll be come second nature, make you looser on the bike, will take all weight off your wrists when braking, and will help you move around on the bike more.

    Bill in Brooklyn
    Motorcyclist first and foremost
     
  12. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    200 Miles a day. What would I do? I would move.
     
  13. dherman76

    dherman76 Formula Junior
    Owner

    Feb 25, 2004
    601
    Boston
    Full Name:
    Darren Herman
    Agreed.
     
  14. b-mak

    b-mak F1 Veteran

    I third that motion.
     
  15. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
    369
    SoCal
    I commute 100 miles a day roundtrip on my bikes (90% of the year) and it is a good solution for me. However, I would probably feel different about it if it was 200 miles and in Florida where it can rain a lot, even if it is just a little every day.

     
  16. Kevallino

    Kevallino Formula 3

    Feb 10, 2004
    2,248
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Kevin
    I thought this was gonna be a thread about a road trip.

    My commute is about 8 blocks - either move or find a job closer?

    Otherwise the diesel options suggested sound good, or you could step up to a classic MBZ 300D like this http://www.collectorcartraderonline.com/caddetail.html?/ad-cache/10/5/0/71955050.htm

    188K miles on it - just gettin' broke in...

    (no affiliation - just tried to find a nice clean blue one)

    Cheers
    Kevin
     
  17. writerguy

    writerguy F1 Veteran

    Sep 30, 2003
    6,786
    NewRotic
    Full Name:
    Otto
    Seriously find a 3 or 4 year old VW TDI and put XM in the dash, I used to drive a Passat TDI as my Road Warrior when I was on the Road doing Sales

    Now Canada so remember Km's but that thing got like 1290 km between tanks and I was still getting paid Mileage so it paid for it's self in a year

    I had that smug "I'm so smart" thing going for a while there then....

    Best option
     
  18. Bimmerista

    Bimmerista Formula 3

    Feb 7, 2004
    1,757
    Carrollton, TX
    Full Name:
    Mike
    Jetta TDI is a great commuter. Affordable and low maintenance.

    I'd go for that...stay away from BMW 3-series (Funny b/c thats what I drive) but those are higher maintenance vehicles. Passat GLS would be a great car too. If its a problem finding diesel stations in FL, stick w/a regular 1.8T Jetta.
     
  19. ronsupercar

    ronsupercar Formula 3

    May 2, 2002
    1,576
    Orlando Fla.
    Full Name:
    4RE-Ron
    Definatly a great idea, but not an option..
    I love the Orlando area and my parents baby sit my two little girls after they get out of school...
    WIN/WIN .. I refuse to let a stranger watch them.. (been there, done that) NEVER AGAIN....

    I've been doing this commute for almost 3 years now and I am use to it. Long 10 hr days SUCK, then I drive home...(Night construction SUCKS too!). But I figure this may be my last year of this pain..

    I have already thought of the VW TDI.. Great choice. I just wanted my wife to hear it without my influence.. The Volvo is new to me.. I didn't know it was a 300k mile type of car..

    Please keep the replies coming. This is a great deal of help.....

    Thanks for help
    Ron
     
  20. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
    369
    SoCal
    About 10 years ago I picked up an old 1977 Volvo 265 (with the notoriously bad V6 engine (same engine as in the DeLorean)). When I got it, it had 321,000 miles on it. I drove it for another few years before passing it on to a friend of mine who drove it for another few years. All in all, another 7 years of driving was put on that car, after 321K. (likely put it over 400K)

    It was retired under a program California had to get rid of old cars (it was still running strong, my friend wanted a car with newer interior). My friend got $1,000 for it, I paid $1,400 originally, about $400 in repairs under 7 years total (my friend and I).

    So it came out to about $100 per year, including repairs and depreciation.

    And that was the notoriously bad V6, supposedly the 4 cylinders are even more bullet proof.

     
  21. Evolved

    Evolved F1 Veteran

    Nov 5, 2003
    8,206
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Another vote for the TDI. They are not reliable for around town runabouts in areas with steep hills and get constantly turned on and off. A college buddy was true road warrior and he would drive nothing else for years. He had 300+k on one of them. He stuck with them after he got a job where he could walk to work and the reliabilty just dropped way down. Same make/model just two year difference. Not a good car for two miles at a shot I guess.

    They are built to go longer then you can on interstates. I think he got up around 50mpg when in the midwestern states(no hills). I don't see all the hub bub about hybreds that get the same MPG as a diesel with the same or worse acceleration numbers.

    I drove a BMW diesel around Europe for a while a couple years ago. Great car. They've come a LONG way from your fathers diesel powered oldmobile toranado.
     
  22. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    I see - It's all about sacrificing for the kids! :)

    I used to commute an hour each way - I hated it!

    How about some sort of Honda or Toyota? They always seem to go forever.

    I also like the idea of putting satellite radio in the car.
     
  23. tjacoby

    tjacoby F1 Rookie

    Nov 1, 2003
    2,856
    Vancouver Canada
    Full Name:
    tj
    a colleague swears by the TDI, drives everywhere instead of flying.

    Also good success with old Accords - pick the age/$. Throw-out when the rust = size of the car.
     
  24. Seth

    Seth Formula 3

    Feb 8, 2004
    1,532
    Texas
    go for the W126 mercedes diesel, 300SDL or something similar... very good cars, and have a great classic look... however i am slightly biased because i have one... these cars can be picked up for less than $5000 and are the best highway cars out there, they can cruse at 80-90 all day, and arnt, that slugish in the city... you wont be dissapointed...
     
  25. Z0RR0

    Z0RR0 F1 Rookie

    Apr 11, 2004
    3,445
    Montreal, Canada
    Full Name:
    Julien
    Don't forget Toyota. Back in europe, we had a 4x4, 2.4L, turbo diesel, put around 400 000 km on it, and sold when we moved to Canada ... the thing just wouldn't quit! Some Corolla of some sort, while being ugly and lame would do the job.
    I've heard good and bad with VW.
    Volvo station wagon can't be killed either... and you can do it all with these cars. I wouldn't mind an 850. Not too outdated styling wise and you can be sure your grand-kids will drive the car!! LOL
     

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