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Old 04-03-2017, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,713,043 times
Reputation: 11465

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Bought my Scirocco for $1000 over 10 years ago. I have done some work, but it came to me with new rings and bearings in the engine, an overhauled tranny, and a new clutch. I have run it over 200K miles, once I sorted the fuel and ignition systems, it has been getting 37+ MPG in winter, and up to 42 in summer. Of course I have gone through a few sets of tires, brake pads, etc. But the basic car I started with for $1000 is still what I am driving today.

There are some quirks to these 80's VW cars, and by now I know most of them. One of the most important to know about is how the 5 or 6 wiring harnesses come together on the back of the fuse box, this tends to get oxidized over time, you need to clean those contacts, bone stock the ignition circuit goes through there, better to bypass that or put in a relay. Putting the headlights on relays is another very worthwhile mod.

*NOT* living in rust country - the Northeast or Midwest - is a huge money saver, you keep the same car, you learn all about it, you fix what breaks yourself.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
2,950 posts, read 3,188,994 times
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Driving a 1998 Honda CRV. I am the second owner. Had it 12 years. 265K miles. 65K when we paid cash for it.
Always change the fluids regularly. Find a good, cheap ''mom and pop'' mechanic that you will trust for years to come and you can drive the vehicle into the ground.
Need another? Shop CL or other rags for Honda, Nissan, or Toyota. One owner is best or at least a person who has all paperwork or a service history. Find one, take it to your mechanic before you lay out the cash.
I ride a bike, scooter, or walk whenever I can and the CRV sits. Her paint is sloughing off and I am thinking of getting her painted. Otherwise I love that machine and all the memories she holds. I wouldn't mind being buried in it, but I plan to be cremated, so guess she'll wind up on the scrap heap. Oh, well...LOL
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Old 04-07-2017, 06:53 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,347,495 times
Reputation: 3177
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
I try to keep <$0.10 / mile including the cost of the vehicle. (fuel, maint, and repairs)

econo car for generic gas burner folks ? ... a common Toyota and keeping it forever (as makes sense for repair costs)

My daily driver is ~$0.03 / mile including the cost of car ($35 bought at towing company auction). Free fuel (Waste Veggie oil) 50+ mpg (As it has since 1976)

I have a few TDI Passat Wagons B4V. $1200 - $2000. I enjoy their 1250 mile range between fuel stops. They are quite happy to drink WVO or Bio-D (brew your own fuel)
I put together a spreadsheet to check my own vehicle costs- and to easily compare them to other cars I'm interested in. Based on purchase price, fuel mileage, and an estimated gas price (I'm going with $2.50 per gal right now).

And you sir have got me beat. My hat's off to you- not many people are cheaper with their vehicles than I am. $0.03 per mile is impressive. My sad old Lumina that I paid $2600 for 11+ years ago is competitive... but more expensive than your ride at $0.046 per mile.

Have you ever tried running used motor oil in your VW diesel? Farmers do it all the time in older tractors- and it used to be common with heavy trucks before they went electronic (mixed in with regular diesel, that is). You'd have to be careful about filtering... but I imagine you're already careful with the veggie oil.

How hard is it to get a supply of veggie oil? See, diesel volkswagens don't really appeal to me on their own- the price of diesel negates most of their advantage over an equivalent gas-powered econo-box. Plus the gassers are more common, cheaper, less maintenance-intensive, etc.

But a free supply of fuel... that would make all the difference



Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
IMHO any depreciable item is NOT an investment.

Cars are depreciable plus they are at an added risk, they break-down, they get in wrecks, they rust. You can be a perfect driver and you may still see your car wrecked.

We got a new car in November and 2 weeks ago a city truck backed into it when it was parked, pushing it's trailer hitch ball entirely into our front end.

We try to define exactly what we need in a vehicle before we begin shopping.

Our last vehicle purchase was with the attitude that since our home is now on solar-power, we want to plug-in at home, to power our car from solar-power. Our goal was to reduce how much we spend on gasoline. Could we locate a plug-in hybrid that would fit within most of it's mileage entirely on it's electric charge.

In our minds if we can reduce buying gasoline to once a month, that savings will make the purchase well worth doing [if we can get city work trucks to stop backing into it]
I've been reading up on the Prius- looks like their plug-in version wasn't available until 2012... so it's still well out of my price range. But I may look into it in a few years.

Fuel costs really add up. Over a 10 year period, fuel costs can easily equal the purchase price of an equivalent NEW vehicle (depending on the price of gas and how many miles you drive).

I'm not sure I'd go for a hybrid over something like a Civic... not sure the savings would be worthwhile for how and where I drive. But a *plug-in* hybrid would make all the difference.
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Old 04-07-2017, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
... Fuel costs really add up. Over a 10 year period, fuel costs can easily equal the purchase price of an equivalent NEW vehicle (depending on the price of gas and how many miles you drive).

I'm not sure I'd go for a hybrid over something like a Civic... not sure the savings would be worthwhile for how and where I drive.
55-60 mpg makes a difference.


Quote:
... But a *plug-in* hybrid would make all the difference.
Our plug-in is great for the radius of the battery charge. after that the mpg drops down to the regular 55-60 mpg like any other hybrid.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:25 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,347,495 times
Reputation: 3177
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
55-60 mpg makes a difference.




Our plug-in is great for the radius of the battery charge. after that the mpg drops down to the regular 55-60 mpg like any other hybrid.
What kind of radius do you get on the battery charge?
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
What kind of radius do you get on the battery charge?
25 miles
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:17 PM
 
Location: trapped in the body of a dying animal
3,174 posts, read 1,347,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
25 miles
Exceeding the standard 55-60 mpg for the first 25 miles of my 35 mile (all highway) commute would be awesome. Better still if I can talk them into letting me plug the thing in at work.

I probably won't be replacing my old Lumina for a few years. After starting this thread and seeing other peoples' ideas, I put together a spreadsheet and did the math. In my current situation, the least expensive option is to just keep the vehicle I have for as long as it remains reliable. But once a vehicle replacement is required... a more efficient vehicle makes a lot of sense.

The 2011+ Civic gets 38mpg highway- and those are already getting close to a price I'd be willing to pay. But I may hold out for a plug-in Prius. In a few years, one of those (say with a salvage title) might go for a price I'd be willing to pay (well under $10k).

I've heard horror stories about battery replacement costs. Matter of fact a friend of mine just down the street recently got rid of her Prius when the battery went bad, and it was going to cost half the value of the car to replace it. But I've read up on this... and it turns out that like most vehicle repairs, the fix is far less expensive for the DIY crowd. Seems that most batteries can be repaired to nearly new condition just by replacing a bad cell or two and cleaning up corrosion on the bus bars. I can do that
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:48 PM
 
741 posts, read 545,672 times
Reputation: 504
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
For most people in the U.S., vehicles are their greatest expense second to housing. And it's a TERRIBLE investment. The vast majority of cars do nothing but depreciate- most very quickly. I have a hard time putting money into something that's going to be next to worthless in 10 years.

So what do you do to save on vehicle costs?
Buy used cars over few years.
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Old 05-04-2017, 09:20 PM
 
404 posts, read 344,334 times
Reputation: 807
In 1999 we bought a 1997 T-100 Toyota truck. We paid $9,700 cash. We're still driving that truck. It's our only vehicle since we retired ten years ago. It has never cost much at all for maintenance. It runs great. I think it has about 140 K miles on it now.
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Old 05-07-2017, 02:13 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,781 posts, read 37,451,783 times
Reputation: 20772
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkey-head View Post
I put together a spreadsheet to check my own vehicle costs- and to easily compare them to other cars I'm interested in. ..
Have you ever tried running used motor oil in your VW diesel? ...


How hard is it to get a supply of veggie oil? ..
... diesel volkswagens don't really appeal to me on their own- the price of diesel negates most of their advantage over an equivalent gas-powered econo-box. Plus the gassers are more common, cheaper, less maintenance-intensive, etc.

But a free supply of fuel... that would make all the difference
.
Diesels are happy to run on MANY fuels (originally designed to run on peanut oil).
Most popular FREE fuels are:
Jet A; (Add one qt of 2 cycle oil per 55 gal drum of Jet A) I have jet mechanic friends who have not bought diesel for 40 yrs, as jets must be drained for maint services
Reclaimed / excess Heating oil; (From abandoned tanks)
Used Motor oil : It is fine, just filter and blend with dino or bio-d

Bio Fuels
Algae is best, but expensive to extract, eventually it will be a viable feedstock
Canola: (Brassiere) Europe buys most of world's Canola for bio D fuel (Thus their new engines are warranteed to 100% Bio Fuel (USA SOY Bio Fuel is capped at 5% for warrantee)
USA Soy bio diesel is terrible (US Bio Diesel board is owned by US Soybean council (since they had so much excess oil to dispose of)

WVO: least desirable due to varied feedstocks / contamination (Check you sources for FFA's before committing to take for free).

FREE WVO really depends on your area and market / presence of "Baker Commodities" (or similar) who buy / collect and sell to Chinese to make cosmetics for USA and other markets)

My PNW home WVO is in BIG demand and hard to get free. At my TX home it is EZ to get free WVO as NO-ONE homebrews. You can build a processor for ~ $100 - $200. (+ used Electric water heater, usually free)


I consider my Diesels FAR less Maint intensive than my gassers.

No electronics, no ignition, no ethanol fuel hassles.

diesel = fresh filters 1x / yr and in VW, a Timing Belt ($12) every 100k. I do the Water Pump ($19) every other time (every 200k)

injectors / turbos go 300k+

I seldom buy new parts (turbos) but VW D parts are DIRT cheap.
early to 1999.5 VW diesels have identical engine block castings and can be dropped into ANY VW chassis from 1976 - 1999.5 - Van to Rabbit, Dasher, Golf, Jetta, Passt, Quantum, Fox... Find a decent body and 4 hrs to swap.
Suzuki Samarai is a very popular VW Diesel conversion, several companies make kits. but... I REALLY am not fond of VW diesels (aluminum head), they are just the most abundant and cheap to run, ez to repair / replace.

My 5.9 Cummins parts are very available and pretty cheap too. Those engines will go 1m miles (12v = NO electronics). I have a few extra 4x4 12valve chassis that will get a vintage cab / body dropped on for a 'fun' and practical vehicle. I am getting sick of broken Plastic in 1980+ vehicles, so looking for some 1950's wide bodies (Pickups, Townwagon / Carryall / Suburbans).

Diesels are forever (or at least will last my lifetime) I was 'weaned' on the smokestack of a tractor 16 hrs / day... I don't do coffee, so need a fresh snort of unburnt diesel fuel to get going in the morning (Reminds me of 4:30 AM Dairy Farm Boarding School...)
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