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Thread: Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

  1. #40281
    Teen Wankeler thevictor390's Avatar
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    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).

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    Quote Originally Posted by thevictor390 View Post
    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).
    Frying pan, fire.

    http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Re...en&model=Jetta

    Occasional problems on this vehicle are failures of the Timing Belt and the Mass Air Flow Sensor. Periodic problems on this vehicle are failures of the Water Pump and the Vacuum Hoses. Failure of the Timing Belt and Mass Air Flow Sensor apply to 4 cylinder gas and diesel engines only. Failure of the Water Pump applies to 6 cylinder engines only. The cost to repair the Timing Belt is estimated at $28.00 for parts and $117.00 for labor on gasoline engines and $63.00 for parts and $227.00 for labor on diesel engines. The cost to repair the Mass Air Flow Sensor is estimated at $380.00 for parts and $65.00 for labor. The cost to repair the Vacuum Hoses is estimated at $25.00 for parts and $65.00 for labor. The cost to repair the Water Pump is estimated at $81.00 for parts and $208.00 for labor. All prices are estimates based on $65.00 per flat rate hour and do not include diagnostic time or any applicable sales tax.
    An occasional problem on this vehicle is failure of the Ignition Switch. Failure of the Ignition Switch may prevent the vehicle from starting. The cost to repair the Ignition Switch is estimated at $28.00 for parts and $136.50 for labor. All prices are estimates based on $65.00 per flat rate hour and do not include diagnostic time or any applicable sales tax.
    And a not-uncommon sort of review from Edmunds users:
    Although my 1998 Volkswagen Jetta was two years old when I purchased, it had low mileage (it still has low mileage) so I was enthusiastic. I loved the style, the way it handled, and the way it drove. BUT it is a piece of junk. I have had to replace every window control on it, the axels, side trim, throttle body, it quit on the interstate when the coil went out, and on and on. And it is expensive! To have the transmission serviced was $500! I will never purchase another VW of any kind. I still have it because I have too much in it to be able to recoup any expenses but I am going to have to do something with it.. I can't afford to "drive" it!
    I just sold my Jetta with only 80,000 miles on it. I had planned on keeping it for a lot longer. It just completly fell apart. It was a great car up until 80,000 miles, and then it just went downhill. Everything broke on this car, EVERYTHING. It just isn't reliable.
    Last edited by Spectre; October 7th, 2012 at 3:29 AM.
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    has a fetish for terrible cars rickhamilton620's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevictor390 View Post
    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).
    My God man...how did you let that happen?!? That Jetta doesn't even offer the comfort of a nice cabin for when he's broken down on the side of the road:

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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickhamilton620 View Post
    My God man...how did you let that happen?!? That Jetta doesn't even offer the comfort of a nice cabin for when he's broken down on the side of the road:

    Still better than the Fisher-Price interior of a Saturn.
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    has a fetish for terrible cars rickhamilton620's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Still better than the Fisher-Price interior of a Saturn.
    A chinese car likely has better fit and finish tbh, the dash plastics in that thing...hell the way they engineered the upper part of the dash was ass backwards. Just a rattly buzzing mess of a car.*

    The "gen 2" refresh cars gave the interior nicer materials but it was still pretty poor i'll admit.
    Last edited by rickhamilton620; October 7th, 2012 at 4:09 AM.
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    "The way I see it a car enthusiast is somebody who is enthusiastic and interested about the motor car in all its various shapes and forms from supercars to East German 2-strokes made of cardboard. Everyone else is merely a car elitist IMO." ~ Captain 70's

    "
    COCOBOT WILL DESTROY YOUR CLUTCH AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE." ~ NinjaCoco

    "A tad firm??? That's like saying the Titanic took on a tad of water or that being thrown into a pit of angry cobras is a tad dangerous or that bungee jumping without a bungee is a tad hazardous." ~ Spectre on the Mazda2's ride quality

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    Ballroom Blitz Hbriz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickhamilton620 View Post
    A chinese car likely has better fit and finish tbh, the dash plastics in that thing...hell the way they engineered the upper part of the dash was ass backwards. Just a rattly buzzing mess of a car.*

    The "gen 2" refresh cars gave the interior nicer materials but it was still pretty poor i'll admit.
    Are you feeling okay? Bu..but it was beige? I distinctly remember you saying how nice your Saturn's interior was at every opportunity!
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevictor390 View Post
    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).
    1) He overpaid by about 3 grand
    2) how Is it any better?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Frying pan, fire.

    http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Re...en&model=Jetta





    And a not-uncommon sort of review from Edmunds users:
    And just to add insult to injury all the Audi/VW dealers I been to charge pretty much same prices for working on VWs as they do for Audis. So you get a mid-range unreliable POS AND have to pay premium pricing for parts/services.

  8. #40288
    Blind_Io's Avatar
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    Place $2250 of cash in a pile, soak in petrol, light on fire. It will be cheaper in the long run than going broke paying for a VW.
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  9. #40289
    is a Queen Topgearfanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickhamilton620 View Post
    My God man...how did you let that happen?!? That Jetta doesn't even offer the comfort of a nice cabin for when he's broken down on the side of the road:

    Wrong year, that's a Mk4 Jetta interior, 1998 is Mk3.
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  10. #40290
    British/Columbian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevictor390 View Post
    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).
    Mk III Jettas.

    Top Gear Top Tip: Avoid
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hbriz View Post
    Give the guy a break. Ever heard of positive reinforcement?
    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    We tried that earlier, didn't work. Beatings now.

  11. #40291
    Ilpav's Avatar
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    Now that's a dumb choice. IIRC one of the criteria for the car was "above all: reliability"...
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  12. #40292
    has a fetish for terrible cars rickhamilton620's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hbriz View Post
    Are you feeling okay? Bu..but it was beige? I distinctly remember you saying how nice your Saturn's interior was at every opportunity!
    I've readily admitted many times the quality shortcomings of the interior, particularly the multipiece (dashtop "sits" atop dash face...the meeting point is rattles just waiting to happen) dash construction, but there's other aspects of the interior that kick some modern compact's asses:

    Door trim: entire door trim was (albeit thinly) padded vinyl wrapped, with a cloth section above the armrest:



    That padded vinyl was not only a nicely grained material but extended all the way into the map pockets, something only seen on luxury sedans today. those same materials covered the rear doors as well Today's cars in the segment widely said to have "good interiors" fall flat when it comes to the doors:

    Civic: hard plastic

    Focus: soft touch uppers only on SEL and Titanium and then only on the front doors

    I could go on...

    The headliner was NOT scratchy cardboard, but instead a plush material that felt good to the touch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Topgearfanatic View Post
    Wrong year, that's a Mk4 Jetta interior, 1998 is Mk3.
    That was part of the joke...I was suggesting that he at least get a Mk4.
    ____________________________
    "The way I see it a car enthusiast is somebody who is enthusiastic and interested about the motor car in all its various shapes and forms from supercars to East German 2-strokes made of cardboard. Everyone else is merely a car elitist IMO." ~ Captain 70's

    "
    COCOBOT WILL DESTROY YOUR CLUTCH AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE." ~ NinjaCoco

    "A tad firm??? That's like saying the Titanic took on a tad of water or that being thrown into a pit of angry cobras is a tad dangerous or that bungee jumping without a bungee is a tad hazardous." ~ Spectre on the Mazda2's ride quality

    FinalGear's Dash-Stroking Whore

  13. #40293
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    Quote Originally Posted by thevictor390 View Post
    My friend whose Saturn died finally found a car - 1998 Volkswagen Jetta GL with 97k miles for $2250. On the way home from the dealer the check engine light came on.

    I guess I should be happy to have steered him away from the SL2 coupe with head gasket issues? (guess what happened to the first Saturn).
    In MA, all usedcars with less than 125k miles purchased from a licensed dealer must come with a warranty that at the very least ensures the car passes inspection. A CEL will insure a failure so the dealer is obligated to take care of the problem (not just clear the CEL).
    Ref: http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer/a...ranty-law.html


    On other topics:
    http://blog.hemmings.com/index.php/2...the-motor-car/
    Epic amounts of want. I found a full set for $60 + $3.99s/h. I am very tempted to get it.


    On on even further topics:
    A coworker of mine just got a Scion FR-S. Walking through the parking lot back to our cars, I asked him if it was a manual. His exact reply, word for word "No, but it looks like it would have one." When he saw the half confused half disgusted look on my face, he added "its got paddle shifter mode though!"
    Last edited by CrazyRussian540; October 7th, 2012 at 6:55 AM.
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  14. #40294
    Ik ben niet alleen lekker met kaas! NooDle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by narf View Post
    Mine will tell you when the temperature drops to 4°C or lower while on the move as well
    so does mine, but it takes a while to "feel" the outside temperature. So it'll say it's +10° while it's actually -10° because of the first reading in the garage

    Doesn't help all that much if the icon turns on while you're upside down from sliding on black ice
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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickhamilton620 View Post
    I've readily admitted many times the quality shortcomings of the interior, particularly the multipiece (dashtop "sits" atop dash face...the meeting point is rattles just waiting to happen) dash construction, but there's other aspects of the interior that kick some modern compact's asses:

    Door trim: entire door trim was (albeit thinly) padded vinyl wrapped, with a cloth section above the armrest:



    That padded vinyl was not only a nicely grained material but extended all the way into the map pockets, something only seen on luxury sedans today. those same materials covered the rear doors as well Today's cars in the segment widely said to have "good interiors" fall flat when it comes to the doors:

    Civic: hard plastic

    Focus: soft touch uppers only on SEL and Titanium and then only on the front doors

    I could go on...

    The headliner was NOT scratchy cardboard, but instead a plush material that felt good to the touch.



    That was part of the joke...I was suggesting that he at least get a Mk4.
    Rick, most cars even in the shitbox class don't have scratchy (sputter-covered) cardboard for a headliner, and haven't for years.

    Also, there's a reason why most cars don't use that full foam-back vinyl on the doors. In places where you're not chipping ice out of your undergarments for a couple months out of the year, the summer heat causes the vinyl, foam backing, and the door card to all decay and debond from each other in a few short years and then it looks like ass unless the manufacturer uses materials and adhesives generally uneconomical to use in low-end cars.

    Remember the discussion elsewhere about GM's idea of low cost anything? Yup - 'low cost' door panels. They disintegrate fast in the Texas (and for that matter California) sun and in short order look like you have curtains attached to your doors. The larger the expanse of foam back, the bigger the flap of material will be.

    So, like many things GM, looks better than you'd think at first glance, but when you actually have to live with it or you look closer at it, you find out it is crap.
    Last edited by Spectre; October 7th, 2012 at 11:46 AM.
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    Sgt. Maj. Buzzkill narf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NooDle View Post
    so does mine, but it takes a while to "feel" the outside temperature. So it'll say it's +10° while it's actually -10° because of the first reading in the garage

    Doesn't help all that much if the icon turns on while you're upside down from sliding on black ice
    It does take a while to adjust, yup - if the turn out of your driveway tends to get icy you should not rely on the car's indication
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    kinda wants a title public's Avatar
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    A couple of days ago, I jumped into the Sapporo after having driven the BMW for a week. Surprisingly, the Mitsu felt damp, cold, iffy and behind the times; on Friday it had been a brilliant highway machine and somehow all that kudos had been erased from my mind. It wasn't helped by the feeling that due to the lower beltline, I felt I sat on the car, not in it; the BMW feels more like a bathtub in that respect. Today, I gave the Mitsu a break: I let it warm up properly, dialled some Herb Alpert from the USB stick and gave it some gas on the surrounding roads and highways.

    It's not a piece of shit. The ride is way better than on the BMW and it's got way better lungs; despite there only being a 10-hp difference between the cars, the engine's sheer size (2.4 litres vs 1.8) gives it some good, old-fashioned grunt when needed. In the 5-series, when you put it in the proper gear and bury the throttle, the car makes a pleasant noise but the only needle that moves is the fuel consumption gauge. Don't get me wrong, I like the M43 engine a lot, but there are things the Sapporo still does well. Its presence is justified.
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    Der Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by public View Post
    i chose the most sensible German car I could find that still evokes some sort of driving and ownership pleasure, and accounted the eventual repairs/maintenance into the budget. The general idea was also to find one that requires the least of hassle with its maintenance schedule. I don't think this one is going to bite me in the ass.
    This is because you did it right- almost no options and no silly technology packed add ons. That's the ruin of German cars. Just ask Adrian about his 4500 € shocks
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  19. #40299
    kinda wants a title public's Avatar
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    So far, what I need in terms of electronics is a new dimmer switch for the dashboard illumination, it likes to go all night panel-y like the Sapporo every now and then. And the windshield washer hoses are split, but that's not exactly electronics.
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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Stig View Post
    This is because you did it right- almost no options and no silly technology packed add ons. That's the ruin of German cars. Just ask Adrian about his 4500 € shocks
    You know what's likely to happen now that you've posted that, right?
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