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Title: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on June 12, 2017, 01:14:40 pm
Hello All, I am (as noted in the subject) in need of a new vehicle.

I am not a usual user, so let me lay out my situation. I am getting smaller, not larger, over the last decade. I no longer own a truck, and rent when I need one. Most of my shows, and transportation, is done with a very small trailer, that I built specifically to pull behind a sedan. For four years, I used a 1991 Saab turbo, 5 speed standard. It aged out, at 300K, and too many problems to fix. I then bought a 2004 Saab 9.5 turbo, five speed automatic. I REALLY liked driving a sedan, after decades of trucks and vans. But this car is no longer up to the task. One thing that has always been problematic is the clearance. Not so much from a towing standpoint, but just a driving standpoint. It bottoms out in front on parking blocks put up in parking lots to keep you from hitting the edges of the lot. The transmission has also been not great. I know that in general automatic is now better for towing that standard, but even though this car is rated at 3500 lbs towing, and pulls it find from the engine standpoint, the transmission always has to be massaged manually. Now there are lots of little things going wrong, and it is no longer economically reasonable to keep the car.

So what I need is something to tow 3500 lbs comfortably. Most of my towing is in the 1700 lb range, but I do occasionally have a heavier load. The trailers have brakes, and I have always had brake controllers installed in the tow vehicles. I want something that is comfortable to drive. It is also used for everything else. This is one reason I have loved the sedan. I get over 30 MGP freeway at over 75 MPH, and over 20 MPG towing. I use the vehicle a lot for trips to the dog park, all town driving for dates and eating out. Traveling, both business and personal.

If it is a pickup, I need crew cab, one seat won't cut it.

I want to spend in the low teens. I can pay cash, and don't like having payments.

Tell me your experiences on vehicles that you think might fit my needs.

I of course have unwittingly left out valuable information, and will update as answers point out my negligence.

Regards, Jack
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on June 12, 2017, 01:19:49 pm
Now should be a buyers market for cars as detroit appears to have passed peak auto sales. There should be bargains coming off lease too. At some point detroit will shut down production and the supply may tighten up, but now seems good for buyers.

JR
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Steve Litscher on June 12, 2017, 01:39:54 pm
Ford Flex with Ecoboost with the factory towing package (this is critical - towing package includes anti-sway control, integrated hitch, wiring harness, and improved cooling system).

I just bought a 2014 Flex AWD w/towing pkg, certified-pre-owned with 19K miles for $24k. I didn't get the Ecoboost, and wish I would've. That said, it still tows our 6x12 single axle trailer quite well. A little more torque would be awesome, hence the Ecoboost suggestion.

It has tons of room inside; fold the seats flat and we're able to fit most anything in it. I did a small hotel show (2 mains, 5 wedges, lights, mixer rack, stands, cables, etc) and fit everything in the Flex.

There was a change to the 3.5L non-EcoBoost motor in 2014, I believe. Otherwise they're more-or-less the same. Should be able to find a 2012 or 2013 Flex in the low teens, in good condition.

FWIW, I've had 15-18 vehicles in my lifetime, and the Flex is my favorite so far. Super versatile, very functional, and it rides/tows extremely well.

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Steve Crump on June 12, 2017, 02:18:02 pm
Hello All, I am (as noted in the subject) in need of a new vehicle.

I am not a usual user, so let me lay out my situation. I am getting smaller, not larger, over the last decade. I no longer own a truck, and rent when I need one. Most of my shows, and transportation, is done with a very small trailer, that I built specifically to pull behind a sedan. For four years, I used a 1991 Saab turbo, 5 speed standard. It aged out, at 300K, and too many problems to fix. I then bought a 2004 Saab 9.5 turbo, five speed automatic. I REALLY liked driving a sedan, after decades of trucks and vans. But this car is no longer up to the task. One thing that has always been problematic is the clearance. Not so much from a towing standpoint, but just a driving standpoint. It bottoms out in front on parking blocks put up in parking lots to keep you from hitting the edges of the lot. The transmission has also been not great. I know that in general automatic is now better for towing that standard, but even though this car is rated at 3500 lbs towing, and pulls it find from the engine standpoint, the transmission always has to be massaged manually. Now there are lots of little things going wrong, and it is no longer economically reasonable to keep the car.

So what I need is something to tow 3500 lbs comfortably. Most of my towing is in the 1700 lb range, but I do occasionally have a heavier load. The trailers have brakes, and I have always had brake controllers installed in the tow vehicles. I want something that is comfortable to drive. It is also used for everything else. This is one reason I have loved the sedan. I get over 30 MGP freeway at over 75 MPH, and over 20 MPG towing. I use the vehicle a lot for trips to the dog park, all town driving for dates and eating out. Traveling, both business and personal.

If it is a pickup, I need crew cab, one seat won't cut it.

I want to spend in the low teens. I can pay cash, and don't like having payments.

Tell me your experiences on vehicles that you think might fit my needs.

I of course have unwittingly left out valuable information, and will update as answers point out my negligence.

Regards, Jackf


I have to say before I start, that I used to give my friends grief about driving minivans. But, not to long ago I watched a touring band load their gear in a VW minivan (the Chrysler version) and was really impressed at how much stuff they could fit in it.

That put me on a hunt and I ended up buying a Nissan Quest used (read some really good customer reviews). I have had it about a year. It is a 2013, I paid $22,000.00, but it was loaded and only had 30K miles. Finding a Chrysler, Honda, Nissan, VW etc in your price range should be doable. I purchased it to haul around a gigging band's gear and could fit 4 people, drums, bass amp, guitar amp, and acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar.

Then I discovered when I wasn't hauling band stuff, it is cool how much sound gear will fit. Of course, it won't haul enough sound gear for a full scale setup, that it is where the trailer would come in.
I have never towed with it and can't give an opinion on that use. I will say I did install a hitch and the van sets low, so if I were getting serious about towing I would want to install air shocks or what ever is available to lift the rear.
I don't have the manual in hand at the moment, but I am sure it is rated at 3500 lbs towing.
Mileage is about 20 for me, other owner's may have better results.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on June 12, 2017, 02:21:05 pm
Hello All, I am (as noted in the subject) in need of a new vehicle.

I am not a usual user, so let me lay out my situation. I am getting smaller, not larger, over the last decade. I no longer own a truck, and rent when I need one. Most of my shows, and transportation, is done with a very small trailer, that I built specifically to pull behind a sedan. For four years, I used a 1991 Saab turbo, 5 speed standard. It aged out, at 300K, and too many problems to fix. I then bought a 2004 Saab 9.5 turbo, five speed automatic. I REALLY liked driving a sedan, after decades of trucks and vans. But this car is no longer up to the task. One thing that has always been problematic is the clearance. Not so much from a towing standpoint, but just a driving standpoint. It bottoms out in front on parking blocks put up in parking lots to keep you from hitting the edges of the lot. The transmission has also been not great. I know that in general automatic is now better for towing that standard, but even though this car is rated at 3500 lbs towing, and pulls it find from the engine standpoint, the transmission always has to be massaged manually. Now there are lots of little things going wrong, and it is no longer economically reasonable to keep the car.

So what I need is something to tow 3500 lbs comfortably. Most of my towing is in the 1700 lb range, but I do occasionally have a heavier load. The trailers have brakes, and I have always had brake controllers installed in the tow vehicles. I want something that is comfortable to drive. It is also used for everything else. This is one reason I have loved the sedan. I get over 30 MGP freeway at over 75 MPH, and over 20 MPG towing. I use the vehicle a lot for trips to the dog park, all town driving for dates and eating out. Traveling, both business and personal.

If it is a pickup, I need crew cab, one seat won't cut it.

I want to spend in the low teens. I can pay cash, and don't like having payments.

Tell me your experiences on vehicles that you think might fit my needs.

I of course have unwittingly left out valuable information, and will update as answers point out my negligence.

Regards, Jack

What country are you going to be using the vehicle in?

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on June 12, 2017, 02:24:56 pm
Since no one has suggested a sedan yet, I'm going to jump out there and say the Ford Panther platform cars. This would be the full sized Crown Vic, CVPI, And Grand Marquis. They have a near bulletproof drivetrain thanks to the police car use. They are body-on-frame cars just like a real truck. They are able to tow pretty much anything an F150 would tow. And the civilian versions are pretty nice inside and comfy to drive.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on June 12, 2017, 02:40:01 pm
Hi, Jack...

Two words: turbo diesel.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Chrysander 'C.R.' Young on June 12, 2017, 02:54:13 pm
My Nissan Xterra has enough room for gear for smaller gigs and enough power to tow a pretty substantial trailer.  Might suit your needs, OP.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: lindsay Dean on June 12, 2017, 03:21:14 pm
Throwing my hat in,
Toyota 4runner or tacoma rear wheel drive v6 automatic transmission
solid  quality, built to last. any year from 1998 up no tail drop
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on June 12, 2017, 04:53:06 pm
What country are you going to be using the vehicle in?

Hello Scott,
I live, and gig, in Utah. I use the vehicle 90% in the western US, with some travel in the east.

Regards, Jack
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on June 12, 2017, 05:34:47 pm
Hello Scott,
I live, and gig, in Utah. I use the vehicle 90% in the western US, with some travel in the east.

Regards, Jack

Ok,  wanted to make sure you were not in EU.

Most of the recommendations seem to ignore your frugality requirement.

Here is my take -

Cost no object, Mercedes GLK Turbo Diesel.

Cost a factor:

Subaru Outback or XV



Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Hite on June 12, 2017, 11:49:05 pm
Hi, Jack...

Two words: turbo diesel.

I love my Sprinter, 28MPG all day long, posi-traction is great in snow and rain. Maybe a used Metris? Must be some floating around to be had under $20k.

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Hayden J. Nebus on June 13, 2017, 01:25:19 pm
Since no one has suggested a sedan yet, I'm going to jump out there and say the Ford Panther platform cars. This would be the full sized Crown Vic, CVPI, And Grand Marquis. They have a near bulletproof drivetrain thanks to the police car use. They are body-on-frame cars just like a real truck. They are able to tow pretty much anything an F150 would tow. And the civilian versions are pretty nice inside and comfy to drive.

I think Tim's on to something, since you like sedans. I think you'd want to get a proper crown vic-interceptor (the unmarked versions have regular interiors I think) for their suspension and drivetrain upgrade. I have a friend with a early 00s Vic interceptor and it's a beast.

 Plus when not towing you'll have tons of trunk space.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Stephen Kirby on June 13, 2017, 01:31:30 pm
What is the percentage of tow use?  A good V6 sedan like a Mazda 6 (Ford Fusion) or Honda Accord can pull an occasional 3500.  I used to tow a 14' outboard with a 2nd gen 4cyl Accord.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on June 13, 2017, 02:41:05 pm
What is the percentage of tow use?  A good V6 sedan like a Mazda 6 (Ford Fusion) or Honda Accord can pull an occasional 3500.  I used to tow a 14' outboard with a 2nd gen 4cyl Accord.

While it's true that the most humble of cars can pull a rather large load, it's STOPPING and CONTROLLING that load that counts. I wouldn't want to regularly rely on a small car to pull a lot of weight. I larger car or smaller truck is a better answer. Also, trailer brakes. Trailer brakes are the answer.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Caleb Dueck on June 13, 2017, 06:16:18 pm
What is the percentage of tow use?  A good V6 sedan like a Mazda 6 (Ford Fusion) or Honda Accord can pull an occasional 3500.  I used to tow a 14' outboard with a 2nd gen 4cyl Accord.

The other question is how long the transmission and drivetrain will last under 'abuse'.   
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Art Welter on June 14, 2017, 12:34:23 am
Hello Scott,
I live, and gig, in Utah. I use the vehicle 90% in the western US, with some travel in the east.

Regards, Jack
Jack,

Sedan Delivery.

The Sprinter and the various versions are great haulers, but not a sedan.

An appropriate sedan for you, would be a Subaru Outback. Hauls assets!
That said, after my ex offered to sell the 2015 gifted Subaru Outback back to me for $25K, I reviewed the 2006 Mustang as my primary "tractor".

The 2015 Outback was the most silent car I have rode in, and hauled 3600 pounds of trailer cross country no problem with a complete trailer neophyte (the EX) towing it.

My primary ride has been a 2006 Mustang for some time, not giving it up. Had a very good installer do the hitch with a class III receiver, over the  capacity, but fits my hitches.
After installing adjustable air shocks on the Mustang, it can haul the trailer(s) with no problems (kids, don't do this at home, it is only rated for 1000 pounds...) and just "feels" better to me than the Outback, except for the right front brake is a bit sticky-bad down here as the roads seem to have a slick from sea sand and salt that is as bad as snow when it rains.

MPG is not great, the Mustang gets 25 MPG when not aggro, and about 15 MPG with the trailer, but it gets from here to there eventually (John Kay- Steppenwolf).
From here to there is fun!

Art


Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on June 14, 2017, 01:27:28 am
Jack,

Sedan Delivery.

The Sprinter and the various versions are great haulers, but not a sedan.

An appropriate sedan for you, would be a Subaru Outback. Hauls assets!
That said, after my ex offered to sell the 2015 gifted Subaru Outback back to me for $25K, I reviewed the 2006 Mustang as my primary "tractor".

The 2015 Outback was the most silent car I have rode in, and hauled 3600 pounds of trailer cross country no problem with a complete trailer neophyte (the EX) towing it.

My primary ride has been a 2006 Mustang for some time, not giving it up. Had a very good installer do the hitch with a class III receiver, over the  capacity, but fits my hitches.
After installing adjustable air shocks on the Mustang, it can haul the trailer(s) with no problems (kids, don't do this at home, it is only rated for 1000 pounds...) and just "feels" better to me than the Outback, except for the right front brake is a bit sticky-bad down here as the roads seem to have a slick from sea sand and salt that is as bad as snow when it rains.

MPG is not great, the Mustang gets 25 MPG when not aggro, and about 15 MPG with the trailer, but it gets from here to there eventually (John Kay- Steppenwolf).
From here to there is fun!

Art

I assume you drove to emergency room so it knows the way if you are incapacitated.

I will post some pics after this weekend.  We did a couple of gigs out on the west coast.  My partner went out into the desert and found a cherry Ram minivan with the divider, flat floor, window cages etc.  He drove it back in 2 1/2 days.  This month we say goodbye to the Chevy Venture and Olds Silhouette that have served us well.  Both took an ungodly amount of gear and abuse and never stranded us.

The E350 just had the diesel injectors serviced, new oil cooler, EGR delete and a mild tune kit.  It joins the Ram and my F150 which is now a company vehicle.

I keep reminiscing but when I wandered in here almost 3 years ago it was me and the Venture van.  Fun to see what you are doing Art.

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: drew gandy on June 16, 2017, 01:45:22 pm
Maybe a used Metris? Must be some floating around to be had under $20k.

Not so much.  I've been watching the Metris but I have yet to see a used one under $20k yet.  I'm currently on the hunt for a mint 2003 Ram van 1500 SWB since they're the last "full size" van that will fit in a 6'8" parking garage. 
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tom Roche on June 23, 2017, 04:31:49 pm
Hello Scott,
I live, and gig, in Utah. I use the vehicle 90% in the western US, with some travel in the east.

Regards, Jack

I'm also behind the Zion Curtain. ;)

While it's not a sedan and won't get 30 MPG, I find the 2nd generation (2001) Jeep Grand Cherokee to be very practical.  I needed something to haul drums & sound equipment, have good tow capability (6500 lbs w/ V8), and be a good winter vehicle (4x4). 

I haven't towed much with it since I can carry most of my gear in the cargo area.  With the rear seats folded down the cargo area floor is completely flat -- no wheel well humps to deal with.  The hatch area is large, too, which allows me to get KW181 subs in wheels down.  Compared to trucks and most other SUVs, this model Grand Cherokee is a fairly small vehicle, but I think it makes excellent use of interior space.  Just another option.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 06, 2017, 06:37:03 pm
I find the 2nd generation (2001) Jeep Grand Cherokee to be very practical.  I needed something to haul drums & sound equipment, have good tow capability (6500 lbs w/ V8)
Jack,
An appropriate sedan for you, would be a Subaru Outback. Hauls assets!
The 2015 Outback was the most silent car I have rode in, and hauled 3600 pounds of trailer cross country no problem with a complete trailer neophyte (the EX) towing it.
Art

Cost no object, Mercedes GLK Turbo Diesel.
Cost a factor:
Subaru Outback or XV


Hello Again,
I have been reading the answers, and looking into what is suggested. I would do the Subaru, but I am questionable on the towing capacity. Subaru lists it at max 2700 lbs. Also have questions about the transmission. There is some chatter that it might not be suitable for towing. Can't find anything to back this up, or refute it. I am surprised that Art says it is the quietest car. This is big to me, but Consumer Reports says that the constant variable trany is loud. Now I don't know what to think.

The Flex seems not me. I have looked into it, and am revisiting it, but it seems too Big Toaster for me. Setting that aside, it seems out of my price range for mileage. Kind of the same with the Toyota and Something Else. The Ford Crown Vic route seems interesting, but find not any around here.

Oddly enough, the Jeep Cherokee stands out. I say that, because I have not been a fan of Jeeps. It seems that they are expensive to drive, (trying to get away from that with the Saab), and not very comfortable. BUT, our house guest has one, and we went to Moab in it, and I really liked it. Comfortable to drive, much quieter than our two cars. I am wondering about it's trany. It has 8 or 9 speeds, depending on year. That seems ideal for towing, to me. I really had fun switching to manual to see what gear we were currently in, because I could not hear or feel it switching. Any experience towing with the 8 or 9 speed transmissions? Also, it gets about the same mileage on the highway as my wife's Subaru, but not as good as the Saab.

The towing capacity on the Jeep seems all over the place, depending on model, engine, and tow package.

Regards, Jack
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Rob Spence on July 07, 2017, 12:16:12 am



Hello Again,
I have been reading the answers, and looking into what is suggested. I would do the Subaru, but I am questionable on the towing capacity. Subaru lists it at max 2700 lbs. Also have questions about the transmission. There is some chatter that it might not be suitable for towing. Can't find anything to back this up, or refute it. I am surprised that Art says it is the quietest car. This is big to me, but Consumer Reports says that the constant variable trany is loud. Now I don't know what to think.

The Flex seems not me. I have looked into it, and am revisiting it, but it seems too Big Toaster for me. Setting that aside, it seems out of my price range for mileage. Kind of the same with the Toyota and Something Else. The Ford Crown Vic route seems interesting, but find not any around here.

Oddly enough, the Jeep Cherokee stands out. I say that, because I have not been a fan of Jeeps. It seems that they are expensive to drive, (trying to get away from that with the Saab), and not very comfortable. BUT, our house guest has one, and we went to Moab in it, and I really liked it. Comfortable to drive, much quieter than our two cars. I am wondering about it's trany. It has 8 or 9 speeds, depending on year. That seems ideal for towing, to me. I really had fun switching to manual to see what gear we were currently in, because I could not hear or feel it switching. Any experience towing with the 8 or 9 speed transmissions? Also, it gets about the same mileage on the highway as my wife's Subaru, but not as good as the Saab.

The towing capacity on the Jeep seems all over the place, depending on model, engine, and tow package.

Regards, Jack

Go to a dealer and find one that is like one you might be interested in. Then, open the drivers door. There are two important stickers. One lists axel capacities and tire specs.
The one on the "B" pillar, yellow or maybe yellow & white, will list the capacities of this vehicle as it left the factory.  The available carrying and towing (tongue weight) is going to vary depending on which options were installed. That's why the marketing numbers are all over the place.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Stephen Kirby on July 07, 2017, 01:38:13 am
My son has been towing a car trailer around with an 97 Grand Cherokee, 5sp auto.  3.73 rear end, 5000lb listed towing capacity.  With his brother's race prepped Civic on it, it's got to be well over 3500lbs.  They yanked it up to Laguna Seca from the Central Valley couple of weeks ago making 65 over the mountains when they had a free run.  He told me that the '04s and up  have 6500lb tow capacity.  Both of them are mechanics and live cars.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Robert Healey on July 07, 2017, 12:08:15 pm
My son has been towing a car trailer around with an 97 Grand Cherokee, 5sp auto.  3.73 rear end, 5000lb listed towing capacity.

I have an 1998 Jeep Cherokee (regular, not Grand) with the 4L I6 engine that I like a lot. I don't have a tow package, but with a transmission cooler and a hitch it is supposed to be a great tow vehicle. It is also a very reliable vehicle in the engine and driveline with normal preventative maintenance - but it is 20 years old with 175,000 miles. I have had to replace essentially every piece of rubber in the vehicle including gaskets, bushings, and rubber hoses. Suspension and steering components are also reaching the end of their life. If you want something that you can leave alone for 300k miles without worrying about major maintenance, a 20-year old Jeep isn't it.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: lindsay Dean on July 07, 2017, 02:21:05 pm
Toyota 98 and above 4runner or Tacoma v-6 auto.
 Every Toyota ive owned has had over 300,000 on them with original drivetrain body bushings bearings a/c still running and driving tight
beyond normal maintenance service. my wifes highlander has 316,000 original drive train .
The build quality is superior to
 dodge, chevy, gm, ford, and any of that 160,000 crap they build
that need practically
  every part bolted to them after and around that mileage point.
                Trust me the engineers know this and don't care.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 12, 2017, 08:03:03 pm
Well, a friend of mine that has been working on this for me found a 2004 Porsche Cayenne turbo with 67K miles, for $16K.
I will be spending a bit more than expected, on a bit older car, but wow, it sure is much nicer than what we have now.
Will be holding off until tomorrow to seal the deal, but it seems like we are doing it.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 12, 2017, 09:03:19 pm
Good choice! I almost got one (non turbo v8) for my wife. All reports are that they are extremely reliable and great driving vehicles.

Make sure the coolant tube under the intake has been replaced with the metal version. Thats about the only thing to watch for.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 12, 2017, 09:17:40 pm
Good choice! I almost got one (non turbo v8) for my wife. All reports are that they are extremely reliable and great driving vehicles.

Make sure the coolant tube under the intake has been replaced with the metal version. Thats about the only thing to watch for.

Thanks for the advise. Yes, Consumer Reports lists them as extremely reliable, in all areas except inside electrical, and that one is quite low, which I take to be window switches, and the like. Which is what I have a lot of problems with with the Saab. *sigh*

Again thanks for the intake help.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 12, 2017, 10:02:28 pm
Thanks for the advise. Yes, Consumer Reports lists them as extremely reliable, in all areas except inside electrical, and that one is quite low, which I take to be window switches, and the like. Which is what I have a lot of problems with with the Saab. *sigh*

Again thanks for the intake help.

Being a shared platform in the VAG family typically those electrical gremlins are poor grounds. They get grungy after several years, but a good clean 'n' tighten usually has them working well again. Unfortunately finding all the ground points can be tough.

The coolant pipe that runs under the intake was plastic from the factory. They are prone to cracking and leaking coolant. Often times the leak is slow and the coolant cooks off before it has a chance to puddle under the car. Keep an eye on the coolant level if you have a plastic pipe. Otherwise, there's a metal version of the same pipe (from another car) that solves the problem.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 13, 2017, 10:24:56 pm
Being a shared platform in the VAG family typically those electrical gremlins are poor grounds. They get grungy after several years, but a good clean 'n' tighten usually has them working well again. Unfortunately finding all the ground points can be tough.

So, I bought it!

And it won't start. Dead battery. Do you think this is the problem?
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Ike Zimbel on July 13, 2017, 10:58:59 pm
So, I bought it!

And it won't start. Dead battery. Do you think this is the problem?
Could be. Every used vehicle I have ever owned needed a new battery. As well any vehicle that I owned for more than five years needed a new battery as well. They do wear out.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 13, 2017, 11:32:06 pm
So, I bought it!

And it won't start. Dead battery. Do you think this is the problem?

Jump it and see how it does. If its charging, then I'm sure it will be fine. Probably will need a battery. They don't like to sit too long.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 13, 2017, 11:42:27 pm
Jump it and see how it does. If its charging, then I'm sure it will be fine. Probably will need a battery. They don't like to sit too long.

Tried to jump it and failed. It has the battery under the drivers seat, but jump connectors under the hood. It had more life with the cables connected, but wouldn't turn over. I will give it a go tomorrow, with a fresh start, and try again.

And possibly another battery under the subwoofer.

So far it has started zero times since I drove it off the lot.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Tim Weaver on July 14, 2017, 02:28:00 am
Tried to jump it and failed. It has the battery under the drivers seat, but jump connectors under the hood. It had more life with the cables connected, but wouldn't turn over. I will give it a go tomorrow, with a fresh start, and try again.

And possibly another battery under the subwoofer.

So far it has started zero times since I drove it off the lot.

Sounds like it needs a new battery. It won't even jump start with a really dead battery.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on July 14, 2017, 10:02:06 am
Let me guess:  When you went to drive it off the lot, they already it started and running for you, right?  If so, the low-life bastards knew it wouldn't start on its own, and they got it going with a big shop battery charger/booster.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on July 14, 2017, 10:53:38 am
A bad starter motor can symptomatically seem like a dead battery (it draws excessive current). In fact a bad starter motor can kill a good battery, too.

JR
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: g'bye, Dick Rees on July 14, 2017, 01:21:17 pm
A bad starter motor can symptomatically seem like a dead battery (it draws excessive current). In fact a bad starter motor can kill a good battery, too.

JR

Yup. Best bet is a rebuilt starter.  You could put new brushes in the old one but if the armature is worn too much you'll still have a lot of xtra resistance which will pull current away from firing the plugs.

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 14, 2017, 01:46:32 pm
Ha! Turns out it is a feature, not a bug!

No really, a Porsche safety feature.

If it is turned off with the turn signal engaged, the lights on that side of the car light up. This is to give yourself light to change a tire or some such.

So I turned into the driveway, and it didn't cancel the turn signal, and drained the battery.
All is well again today. But what a stressful night, and start to the morning.

(I'm kinda feeling like I am stepping into a realm where I am not fit to tread.)
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on July 14, 2017, 01:55:52 pm
Ha! Turns out it is a feature, not a bug!

No really, a Porsche safety feature.

If it is turned off with the turn signal engaged, the lights on that side of the car light up. This is to give yourself light to change a tire or some such.

So I turned into the driveway, and it didn't cancel the turn signal, and drained the battery.
All is well again today. But what a stressful night, and start to the morning.

(I'm kinda feeling like I am stepping into a realm where I am not fit to tread.)

I really hope you enjoy your car but one note of experience.  You bought an 85k irrespective of what you paid for it.  The maintenance  is commensurate with the acquisition cost.  I can tell you as an owner of a couple of BMW 7 series sedans and an S65 - The only thing more expensive than the S65 has been the turbo-diesel E350 van. 

Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Jack Arnott on July 17, 2017, 01:34:28 pm
I really hope you enjoy your car but one note of experience.  You bought an 85k irrespective of what you paid for it.  The maintenance  is commensurate with the acquisition cost.  I can tell you as an owner of a couple of BMW 7 series sedans and an S65 - The only thing more expensive than the S65 has been the turbo-diesel E350 van.

This is a great point, and not taken lightly. I am also pondering my future vehicle algorithm.
I remember thinking in 1999, when I bought my first large format console, that the company selling it had to have some kind of great selling system. Everything they had was for sale. So obviously they were depreciating at a constant rate, and just updating the cost of things continually.

With vehicles, it has always been, run them into the ground, and then get another one. It seems that I need to have a clearer plan, now that the stakes are going up. To run them until a certain date, or mileage, and upgrade from there, while I still have equity. Perhaps have a certain amount of money set aside per year, and have this added to the equity to trade up.
Title: Re: The age old connundrum of what vehicle to buy.
Post by: Scott Holtzman on July 17, 2017, 04:34:05 pm
This is a great point, and not taken lightly. I am also pondering my future vehicle algorithm.
I remember thinking in 1999, when I bought my first large format console, that the company selling it had to have some kind of great selling system. Everything they had was for sale. So obviously they were depreciating at a constant rate, and just updating the cost of things continually.

With vehicles, it has always been, run them into the ground, and then get another one. It seems that I need to have a clearer plan, now that the stakes are going up. To run them until a certain date, or mileage, and upgrade from there, while I still have equity. Perhaps have a certain amount of money set aside per year, and have this added to the equity to trade up.

You are exactly right.  You can defer cash flow but you can't defer the true cost.  The money is being spent.  Eroding equity is just another way of trading future value for present opportunity.

This is why keeping books and managing your business by the P&L is much wiser than the bank balance.  Makes it much harder to lie to yourself.  Keeping positive cash flow is much easier than generating a true profit.  If you can have an honest 10% on the bottom line, respecting the B in EBITDA you are doing well.