Rickhamilton620's 1992 plastic appliance....

rickhamilton620

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If you want snow mobility, it still doesn't have enough ground clearance and observed MPG on some of those can be as low as 17mpg - yes, with the four cylinder. If you're going to do that, just save a bunch of money and go buy a beater WD21 Pathfinder. About the same size, about the same power and fuel economy, one hell of a lot tougher, cheaper to buy and maintain, etc., etc.
Interesting, is that 17 on the highway? If so, efff that shit!

Bah, you can get a Disco for cheap. My dad bought one for around a grand and besides the engine misfiring like hell (and ATF in the break system :confused:) it runs fine. :p
:lol: I'd rather make it completely home in the snow not "make it 5 feet before the car breaks down"! :p

*video cut for space constraints*

Foresters offer just enough capability for you to get stuck worse than most normal cars. And one of the most common post topics on the Subie Forester forums: "Help, got stuck in snow!" (A friend of mine was looking to get one for Park City recently. She bought a used Liberty CRD instead.)
I'd love a Liberty CRD, resale value is insanely high though and they're super hard to find locally.

Now, if you don't care about snow mobility, you still have the problem that the Forester doesn't get very good fuel economy in the real world - and if you weren't caring about the mobility issue, why would you buy a half-arsed Legacy wagon with a taller roof tacked on and a suspension lift in the first place? Just buy the Legacy wagon in that case.
IIRC, the Forester's Impreza based. I haven't seen a Forester and Legacy Wagon side by side though.

Ganador, ganador, cena de pollo. Overconfidence + crappy driving = that's trouble whereever you are and whatever you're doing.

Besides, the Saturn doesn't exactly have much ground clearance, so the Forester's an improvement. I like this idea, TBH.

(Obligatory disclaimer: I am from Texas and don't drive in snow. :p)
Indeed, the Saturn is pretty low to the ground, I was shocked to see last gen Civic's taller than my car! :lol:

My biggest worry with the Forester idea is the engine problems with head gaskets and such... Reading forums and stuff reveals big concerns about it...its not enough to cause me to veto buying one but it's raised an eyebrow for sure. A shame because it seems to be a solid car by every other measure. :)
 

ninjacoco

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I seem to be noticing a lot of midwesterners with snow and Imprezas on this board...just avoid ones that look abused/riced if you go that route, mmm'kay?

I saw a guy autocross a Forester once. Pure lulz. It had a ton of body roll, but seemed to do pretty well. Hell, it beat my time, haha.

Whatever you get, though: get it inspected beforehand if you don't trust your own judgement there. It'll save you from horrible Failtima-style headaches later. That known head gasket issue would have me worried. I don't know if Subie uses different motors on different option levels of its cars, so if there's a way to avoid that motor, I would.

IIRC, the replacement of the Failtima's head gasket was around $1800?, and that was a song and a dance compared to what they'd usually charge. (The guy at the shop felt guilty for not catching it when it started overheating and shutting off the A/C and knocked off a bit in labor costs and such.) Bad bad bad problem to have. Bad bad bad bad bad.
 
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Spectre

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Interesting, is that 17 on the highway? If so, efff that shit!
No, it was 17 combined... which is what my Pathfinder gets on a moderate day.

IIRC, the Forester's Impreza based. I haven't seen a Forester and Legacy Wagon side by side though.
So it is - but then that's even worse as they're about the same price on the used market, and the Forester is smaller!

My biggest worry with the Forester idea is the engine problems with head gaskets and such... Reading forums and stuff reveals big concerns about it...its not enough to cause me to veto buying one but it's raised an eyebrow for sure. A shame because it seems to be a solid car by every other measure. :)
And headgaskets on a boxer engined car = not a lot of fun.
 

katwalk

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A new forester, and a new outback are almost exactly the same size, just different shapes.
 

FDaihatsu

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Also, I've added Ford Escort and Mazda Protege to the list. The Protege seems nicer inside compared to the Escort though, even on high trims. :)
Living in a country where Mazda is the best-selling car brand pretty much since they started selling cars over here, I can tell you that Proteges are either very reliable or very unreliable. Some are indestructible, while some just fall apart piece by piece. I had the pleasure of driving a 1996 Protege that had, among several, a fuel distribute problem and therefore idled VERY roughly (think of a sine function and you're getting there), even stalling sometimes. On the other hand, I know of someone who has a 1994 Protege which simply refuses to go wrong.

Dunno how to differentiate between the gems and the lemons, but that's the fact.
 
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2Billion

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As someone who knows stuff about snow (unlike Mr. Sunny Texas), the problem with Foresters in the snow is the drivers, not the ground clearance. There's a lot of overconfidence that seems to come with the purchase of one, which leads to drivers doing very, very stupid things - the Foresters I see stuck are always stuck in the most creative and unique ways, only Jeep drivers can beat them in this area. So long as you're driving like a sensible person it's a perfectly capable car and fairly effective in a legitimately snowy area.

Not that I suggest buying one. It's probably bigger and more expensive than you need, and even if it's not as bad as someone who doesn't live with real snow thinks, it's not quite worth the trade-off.
 
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rickhamilton620

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I seem to be noticing a lot of midwesterners with snow and Imprezas on this board...just avoid ones that look abused/riced if you go that route, mmm'kay?

I saw a guy autocross a Forester once. Pure lulz. It had a ton of body roll, but seemed to do pretty well. Hell, it beat my time, haha.

Whatever you get, though: get it inspected beforehand if you don't trust your own judgement there. It'll save you from horrible Failtima-style headaches later. That known head gasket issue would have me worried. I don't know if Subie uses different motors on different option levels of its cars, so if there's a way to avoid that motor, I would.

IIRC, the replacement of the Failtima's head gasket was around $1800?, and that was a song and a dance compared to what they'd usually charge. (The guy at the shop felt guilty for not catching it when it started overheating and shutting off the A/C and knocked off a bit in labor costs and such.) Bad bad bad problem to have. Bad bad bad bad bad.
Autocrossing a Forester sounds like an interesting sight to see! :D But yeah, engine problems = red flags. I'll definetly get whatever I purchase inspected independently (what's a tactful way to go about it w/out insulting the seller?)

As far as alternate engines, apparently the turbo models don't suffer from this affliction, but because I'm a "simpler is better and less costly" person, I'm not even considering that route.

No, it was 17 combined... which is what my Pathfinder gets on a moderate day.

And headgaskets on a boxer engined car = not a lot of fun.
MPG's are a tad disappointing and yeah, again head gaskets :/

QFT

Rick, how much do you like the skin on your knuckles?
I like the skin very much :p XD but yeah...ditto what I said above

Living in a country where Mazda is the best-selling car brand pretty much since they started selling cars over here, I can tell you that Proteges are either very reliable or very unreliable. Some are indestructible, while some just fall apart piece by piece. I had the pleasure of driving a 1996 Protege that had, among several, a fuel distribute problem and therefore idled VERY roughly (think of a sine function and you're getting there), even stalling sometimes. On the other hand, I know of someone who has a 1994 Protege which simply refuses to go wrong.

Dunno how to differentiate between the gems and the lemons, but that's the fact.
Yeah, well the late Escort and Protege are largely the same car underneath here so it's not like I'd have any trouble finding help with it. and parts. It's hard to find an Escort that doesn't look trashed....a bit easier with the Protege.

As someone who knows stuff about snow (unlike Mr. Sunny Texas), the problem with Foresters in the snow is the drivers, not the ground clearance. There's a lot of overconfidence that seems to come with the purchase of one, which leads to drivers doing very, very stupid things - the Foresters I see stuck are always stuck in the most creative and unique ways, only Jeep drivers can beat them in this area. So long as you're driving like a sensible person it's a perfectly capable car and fairly effective in a legitimately snowy area.

Not that I suggest buying one. It's probably bigger and more expensive than you need, and even if it's not as bad as someone who doesn't live with real snow thinks, it's not quite worth the trade-off.
Yeah, over confidence can cause anything to get stuck, and you're right the more I think about it...one, while nice, isn't the best choice for me from a maintenance cost and reliability perspective.

the good news is....i still have a ways to go before the Saturn dies completely so my options are open until then.
 

Spectre

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(what's a tactful way to go about it w/out insulting the seller?)
Any honest seller isn't going to mind one bit if you have the vehicle checked out by a dealership. They might balk at a third party shop, figuring you might have a scheme going, but nobody honest is going to complain about getting the dealership to look it over at your cost. In fact, if they have problems with you having the dealership look at it, you should find some other car to buy.
 

Der Stig

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Eh, just get a Ducati Monster.



They're as practical as they are reliable!

:p
 

public

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Coming from a Mazda 323 driver; get a Proteg?. If you get the 1.8 with a manual, it should provide enough oomph and enough handling - and it should be screwed together properly. I'm talking the BG/-95 bodystyle though, have no opinion of the later ones.
 

rickhamilton620

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Failturn update. So in the "random thoughts: automotive edition" thread I mentioned my latest conundrum: Basically my car wouldn't start...it would barely crank over and eventually stopped completely. 2 Fridays ago, I bought a new battery and installed it in the car w/my Dad. However, it's a side mount battery and the negative terminal appears to simply be a bolt...and not like the positive one which looks like a proper terminal. While we were able to unscrew this bolt and cable fine for the old battery, for some reason we couldn't/can't get the cable and terminal bolt to sit tightly against the new battery. We were told by the uni. police that helped us that there are battery terminals available at wal-mart. We had to leave to pick up my brothers so the car sat disconnected until this Friday where we returned to finish the work.

My dad had gone and bought the new terminals (mistake #1...shopping w/out me- He knows even less about how cars work than I do) but they didn't fit the battery. I think he got terminals designed for "top-mount" batteries. For some reason...we never returned to wal-mart to get the right ones (I think he insisted there's only one...) so we did our best to get the negative terminal as tightly on the battery as possible. There's some sort of plastic surrounding the hole in the negative cable where the negative terminal goes through. Because of this, and a lack of the correct tools at the time, we were never able to get the negative terminal and cable completely screwed to the battery but we got it tighter than that first Friday...tight enough to successfully turn the car over. I was able to get the car home, but ever since then strange behaviors have been exhibited.

Basically, it keeps stalling/trying to stall at idle randomly. (like when at a stoplight) When this happens, I see a few lights on the instrument panel come on and bam...stalled. I would tell you what the lights were but unfortunetly, when i had my camera out trying to document the lights ..the fucking thing refused to stall. I do recall seeing the following..Check Engine light, temperature light, and I think a few more. The temp gauge has never reached into the overheat range at all..its in fact a bit below the middle hash mark, and the coolant resivour is full when checked with the car off. If I sense it about to stall...i can give it gas a bit and it won't. This has happened about 3 times since the car's been home. It's tried to stall twice but kept running on its own, and tonight it wouldn't start at all once but then started almost right away afterward. The car sometimes cranks a half step longer than usual as well. Also, I can see my dash lighting flicker very minutely...if I wasn't paying attention I would never notice...same happens with my car charger's blue LED light when plugged into the cigarette lighter. I believe these latter issues only happen while stopped as well.

While on the move..the car sounds fine, fluid levels check out, etc. It's only these fluke occurrences that happen. The only change I made since this Friday was pulling the fuse that is for the automatic seatbelts, as I believe that the driver's seat belt motor has a mind of its own and is responsible for the rapid drain of the other battery.

Any thoughts FinalGear hive mind? I'm going to see if I can either tighten the existing bolt more or find side mount battery terminals, but my dad insists that the loose terminal/cable probably isn't the problem, that there's something else wrong with the car. It's frustrating because I was supposed to visit my mother tonight but had to turn around 5 min into the trip after the car stalled at a red light by my house. I was honked at and given the finger by a guy in a Carbaged out eclipse. When i managed to get the car started (took about a min tops) I went to the gas station only to have it try to stall again....so I just drove home. Ironically on my return trip, the fucking car refused to stall...at all...I even drove around my development for about 5-10 minutes stopping randomly and at stop signs....no stall. It was only when my dad drove by and saw me that the car really acted strange. (refused to start on first try while he was there observing)
 
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Spectre

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There are different terminals for top mount and side mount batteries. There are also conversion terminals to allow 'top mount' type car terminals to connect to 'side mount' batteries.

Without pictures, it's hard to tell, but you may have ruined the cables and/or have generated a bad or intermittent ground.

Wouldn't be surprised if your alternator goes next.
 
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rickhamilton620

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There are different terminals for top mount and side mount batteries. There are also conversion terminals to allow 'top mount' type car terminals to connect to 'side mount' batteries.

Without pictures, it's hard to tell, but you may have ruined the cables and/or have generated a bad or intermittent ground.

Wouldn't be surprised if your alternator goes next.
I knew it....figures as much....as soon as I saw them in the box i figured that they weren't the right terminals. I should have taken pics and will do so tomorrow and update the thread. I hope the cable's aren't ruined too badly but I guess I'll find out if the car keeps acting up tomorrow with the right terminals. The old battery was side-mount so I figured it was a good idea to go "like for like" and double checked a "battery finder" on Advance Auto's website (closest place to my uni that sold batteries) that day.

Thanks for the help, as usual! :D
 

FDaihatsu

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Basically, it keeps stalling/trying to stall at idle randomly. (like when at a stoplight) When this happens, I see a few lights on the instrument panel come on and bam...stalled. [...]

While on the move..the car sounds fine, fluid levels check out, etc. It's only these fluke occurrences that happen.
It sounds like you have misfires, could it be a fuel distribution problem?
 

rickhamilton620

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It sounds like you have misfires, could it be a fuel distribution problem?
Hmm....maybe...I'll rule out the battery stuff first though and then that'll be something to investigate further :)

Update, I got the proper battery terminal installed, car started right away and drove fine. I'll be able to drive it to school later without issue I think.The real test will be tomorrow after it sits overnight. Hopefully it'll drive fine then. :)
 

rickhamilton620

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Failturn update - It's beginning to crack edition:

As many know in Random Thoughts: Automotive Edition, I'm hastily counting down the days until the Failturn is replaced when I get my school refund money.

So far the thing's continuing to hold up....but chinks are growing in it's plastic armor:

*The car usually refuses to shift into drive when it's cold started: I'll shove the lever into D and it'll just rev with little to no forward motion. Shifting into Park and into Drive again usually fixes the problem

*Speaking of the transmission, it's showing further signs that the end could be near: I've had several "Shift to D3" warnings appear while driving this weekend and today. Not good and I can feel the transmission sometimes bog from a stop..as if it's in the wrong gear. As usual, shifting to neutral, killing the engine, and restarting fixes this issue + the previous issue of the transmission not wanting to shift out of 2nd gear, resulting in it just revving its nuts off as forward progress crawls to a standstill.

*The muffler support has completely broken off, I'll take a pic of this component later.

*A/C's finally needing to be recharged. Obviously it won't happen :p

* Heat shield rattles continue to occur at idle...kinda annoying

* After the battery died at school, I pulled the fuse to the auto seatbelts. Sure, I have to slip under the latched belt but at least stuff like this doesn't happen like it admittedly did a few times before to unsuspecting passengers:


*the noticeable vibration at idle while in gear after driving for about 3 minutes remains... I've had the car stall as the idle speed lowers...I can feel the car bucking at idle...very annoying. I shift into neutral while at a stop to prevent this...when I do so, the engine idles normally...no vibrations/pulsation...no stalling. I do get a hesitation/pulsation and vibration though when accelerating from a stop if the idle speed is low.

So yeah, the failturn isn't long for this world. :p The good news is I've got 2 to 2,500k worth of budget to find a car suitable enough to replace it. While the money isn't exactly here yet, I figure I'll lay out my basic requirements since I'm sure it'll be interesting to some people:

* up to 2500 dollars in price
* reasonably fuel efficient
* reliable + safe (within reason)

I'd like to haves:
*Power options: I was spoiled by the Failturn's loaded (For a SL1 trim anyway...) status. It's just a bit of a nicety but not required.
*Cassette player or radio with Aux In: I'd rather have a cassette player because I have a cassette adapter already + I like factory head units. The radio with Aux In would work too, but I really don't want to fuck with FM transmitters and shit as they sound like garbage apparently.
*Easy entry and exit: My mom is a somewhat occasional rider in my vehicle. She struggles to get into and out of the very low to the ground Failturn due to her MS, so something that had seats higher off the ground would be awesome. Still....not a requirement, but would be awesome to have.

So far I've considered the Chevy/Geo Prism/Toyota Corolla, various generation Camry/Accord sedans, and the Honda Civic. I also included Mazda's Protege. Finally Cherokee remains a distant option, mainly due to the height of it's seats plus the reliable powertrain, but the gas mileage turns me off.

And with that, I'll update the thread once more when I get the money and start test driving prospective cars! :)
 
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_HighVoltage_

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So...is your total budget $2,500? Cos you know you have to pay sales tax, registration and all that...
 
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