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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:52 pm 
King of the Skip Monkeys
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Location: Moomin Valley
With VW group cars the electrics are a pain, expensive but easy to fix. What I didnt like about them is the premature wear of turbo chargers.

80x MK3 Ford Mondeos, TDDI and TCDI models. All of them did between 400,000 to 650,000 miles each. Only one had a turbo failure. These cars were thrashed, cheap fuels, pattern or Ford parts and they just went on and on. I was offered one when I didnt need it and wished I'd bought it. Chain driven engines.

My own was on its original alternator despite the engine sucking up flood water in 2007 and bending a valve. Their biggest weakness was the flywheels, they need them every 40 to 60 thousand miles. The suspension wears quickly too but there are aftermarket kits that sort this.

Rear calipers seize at a moments notice plus the handbrake mechanism joins in too. Fuel pumps seem to be ok. They seem to eat turbo pipes by blowing holes in them (a loud 'wooshing' sound along with no acceleration) - easy repair. They dont seem to suffer the malaise of a failing mass air flow sensor or exhaust gas return valve. window mechanisms take approx 20 mins to fix as opposed to 4 hours with a Passat.

These cars were taxis, hard lives and minimium servicing but they worked and were tough as nails. The Mk4 that followed.... AWFUL!!! Its only because the owner buys them 20 at a time and at a heavily discounted price does he bother with them anymore.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:47 pm 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
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Location: New Forest, UK
MikeD wrote:
I tend to go for the "buy something 3-4 years old and keep it until it falls to pieces" approach just too avoid having to buy them too often. I shouldn't think that that's the most economical plan, though.


Good strategy! Depreciation is minimised (and usually the biggest cost) - I did this on my last car (Saab 9000), and apart from two big bills (£500-700) it cost very little over 8 years: and that was with main dealer servicing. I bought it for £7500 at 5 years old (list price £31000) and chopped it in for £700. Depreciation at £850 pa.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:08 pm 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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hamster wrote:
MikeD wrote:
I tend to go for the "buy something 3-4 years old and keep it until it falls to pieces" approach just too avoid having to buy them too often. I shouldn't think that that's the most economical plan, though.


Good strategy! Depreciation is minimised (and usually the biggest cost) - I did this on my last car (Saab 9000), and apart from two big bills (£500-700) it cost very little over 8 years: and that was with main dealer servicing. I bought it for £7500 at 5 years old (list price £31000) and chopped it in for £700. Depreciation at £850 pa.


We can't usually spend much on a car, our Y reg Volvo cost us just under £1600 and has lasted 3 years quite expensive to maintain too, and is probably worth about £300 now so that's a depreciation of just over £500 pa, before that my brother in law bought us a Rover 45 Y reg for £1600 we had no say in it he just told us that's what he had got and my husband collected it, it had bold tires and a blown head gasket, it lasted about 18 months before the gearing went completely, we got £80 scrap for it. We usually get about three years out of our cars, but I'd prefer at least 5.

Alison


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:42 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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hamster wrote:
MikeD wrote:
I tend to go for the "buy something 3-4 years old and keep it until it falls to pieces" approach just too avoid having to buy them too often. I shouldn't think that that's the most economical plan, though.

Good strategy! Depreciation is minimised (and usually the biggest cost) - I did this on my last car (Saab 9000), and apart from two big bills (£500-700) it cost very little over 8 years: and that was with main dealer servicing. I bought it for £7500 at 5 years old (list price £31000) and chopped it in for £700. Depreciation at £850 pa.

I personally think that sort of era of car (Saab 9000, and say mid 90s) was about where things had evolved to being, on balance, ideal where a lot of cars were concerned.

Enough technical advancement such that although still very complex, really, there were things that weren't overly imposed on with technology.

Take throttles, for example - around that time, typically, you'd see a normal petrol car, have a traditional cable operated throttle, with a TPS to monitor it's position as input to the electronics; probably some kind of IACV to provide idle control, and mildly assist in engine speed to assist with driveability.

If the throttle body / butterfly gets dirty you can easily clean, without typically having to reboot or relearn anything; if the cable frays or gets stiff, you can easily replace; if the TPS plays up / goes bad, you can test and replace individually; if the IACV plays up / the-rabbit-dun-died you can always either clean, or replace.

Fast forward only a short bit, to ETMs - problems with software, problems with tracks in the circuitry, problems with serviceability if they get dirty. Expensive to replace, more prone to complete failure, and essentially all or nothing / big bang. Are they really a superior solution? I get, there's some benefits - being able to modulate driver input to something sane (perhaps in terms of easy traction settings), easy implementation of things like cruise control and / or speed limiters.

Outside of that, though - which are marginal gains at best - all it seems to bring is more expense and pain, and on normal vehicles, no appreciable gain for the owner / driver.

Same with auto-transmissions - now I get that electronic control and significant improvements in manufacturing and quality control have made huge improvements in the serviceability of both engines and gearboxes - but beyond a certain point, and I think the over-imposition of technology has just resulted in more downside, slightly worse serviceability, for very marginal end-user improvements. I have quite a lot of experience of autos from the 90s, and the early autoboxes with software control (when they evolved from being, largely, hydraulic "computers"), they had sensors for various salient measures, input to / from the engine ECU, simple, yet fairly robust software, and possibly some modes or button switches.

This then evolved to more software and less selection - claimed, but not really true, "fuzzy" logic, and problems becoming evident that were purely about the software actually causing issue with the hardware. Transmission issues that existed purely in the digital domain - yet if left unchecked or without update, could truly cause issues with the hardware.

Dizzy caps, and main coil, versus coilpacks on the wires? Again, more problems that could be caused, rather than more simple, easy to maintain, and not that costly, individual parts.

I think all those sorts of examples are why I still really see some ideals in the mid 90s in how cars tended to be put together. Yes, I'm aware that on the flip-side, where, say, diesels are concerned, technology made them much more performant, and perhaps a bit less agricultural. But also introduced certain weaknesses or reduced robustness for types of engines where, if nothing else, that, along with their simplicity, was what gave them some degree of advantage.

I suspect that there's some that prefer cars a lot older than when I see the sweet-spot in terms of technological involvement. I think what I struggle with, though, is there was a period, at least, where - either due to immaturity or extending the metaphor too far, it truly increased fragility.

Like MTBs, I can't help but think, many cars / engines / transmissions were at their optimum around the early to mid 90s.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:52 pm 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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Neil wrote:
hamster wrote:
MikeD wrote:
I tend to go for the "buy something 3-4 years old and keep it until it falls to pieces" approach just too avoid having to buy them too often. I shouldn't think that that's the most economical plan, though.

Good strategy! Depreciation is minimised (and usually the biggest cost) - I did this on my last car (Saab 9000), and apart from two big bills (£500-700) it cost very little over 8 years: and that was with main dealer servicing. I bought it for £7500 at 5 years old (list price £31000) and chopped it in for £700. Depreciation at £850 pa.

I personally think that sort of era of car (Saab 9000, and say mid 90s) was about where things had evolved to being, on balance, ideal where a lot of cars were concerned.

Enough technical advancement such that although still very complex, really, there were things that weren't overly imposed on with technology.

Take throttles, for example - around that time, typically, you'd see a normal petrol car, have a traditional cable operated throttle, with a TPS to monitor it's position as input to the electronics; probably some kind of IACV to provide idle control, and mildly assist in engine speed to assist with driveability.

If the throttle body / butterfly gets dirty you can easily clean, without typically having to reboot or relearn anything; if the cable frays or gets stiff, you can easily replace; if the TPS plays up / goes bad, you can test and replace individually; if the IACV plays up / the-rabbit-dun-died you can always either clean, or replace.

Fast forward only a short bit, to ETMs - problems with software, problems with tracks in the circuitry, problems with serviceability if they get dirty. Expensive to replace, more prone to complete failure, and essentially all or nothing / big bang. Are they really a superior solution? I get, there's some benefits - being able to modulate driver input to something sane (perhaps in terms of easy traction settings), easy implementation of things like cruise control and / or speed limiters.

Outside of that, though - which are marginal gains at best - all it seems to bring is more expense and pain, and on normal vehicles, no appreciable gain for the owner / driver.

Same with auto-transmissions - now I get that electronic control and significant improvements in manufacturing and quality control have made huge improvements in the serviceability of both engines and gearboxes - but beyond a certain point, and I think the over-imposition of technology has just resulted in more downside, slightly worse serviceability, for very marginal end-user improvements. I have quite a lot of experience of autos from the 90s, and the early autoboxes with software control (when they evolved from being, largely, hydraulic "computers"), they had sensors for various salient measures, input to / from the engine ECU, simple, yet fairly robust software, and possibly some modes or button switches.

This then evolved to more software and less selection - claimed, but not really true, "fuzzy" logic, and problems becoming evident that were purely about the software actually causing issue with the hardware. Transmission issues that existed purely in the digital domain - yet if left unchecked or without update, could truly cause issues with the hardware.

Dizzy caps, and main coil, versus coilpacks on the wires? Again, more problems that could be caused, rather than more simple, easy to maintain, and not that costly, individual parts.

I think all those sorts of examples are why I still really see some ideals in the mid 90s in how cars tended to be put together. Yes, I'm aware that on the flip-side, where, say, diesels are concerned, technology made them much more performant, and perhaps a bit less agricultural. But also introduced certain weaknesses or reduced robustness for types of engines where, if nothing else, that, along with their simplicity, was what gave them some degree of advantage.

I suspect that there's some that prefer cars a lot older than when I see the sweet-spot in terms of technological involvement. I think what I struggle with, though, is there was a period, at least, where - either due to immaturity or extending the metaphor too far, it truly increased fragility.

Like MTBs, I can't help but think, many cars / engines / transmissions were at their optimum around the early to mid 90s.


Can you tell me, I'm thinking of getting somewhere b/w an 04 plate and an 06 whether it is best to go petrol or diesel, bearing in mind all I know about cars is they have four wheels, they have engines and need cam belts and oil changing regularly.

Alison


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:58 pm 
Gold Trader
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Go for what looks like a well looked after vehicle Alison, and worry about whether it's diesel or petrol second...

For what it's worth, my Dad's '01 plate petrol 2.0L Mondeo has just sailed through it's MOT this morning, like it does every year. It does need a new clutch now, but it's gone round the clock twice on the one that in there now 8)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:04 pm 
Karma Queen / Cake Meisterin
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LikeClockwork wrote:
Go for what looks like a well looked after vehicle Alison, and worry about whether it's diesel or petrol second...

For what it's worth, my Dad's '01 plate petrol 2.0L Mondeo has just sailed through it's MOT this morning, like it does every year. It does need a new clutch now, but it's gone round the clock twice on the one that in there now 8)


I had been looking at Mondeos, my brother rates them, it's just most I've come across are diesels and I've never had one. I know that diesel is more expensive than petrol but I hear it lasts better in a diesel, but then I also hear that diesel engines are more expensive to maintain, oh the dilemma, Maybe I should just concentrate on state more than what it offers.

Alison


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:05 pm 
Special Retro Guru
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Isaac_AG wrote:
Can you tell me, I'm thinking of getting somewhere b/w an 04 plate and an 06 whether it is best to go petrol or diesel, bearing in mind all I know about cars is they have four wheels, they have engines and need cam belts and oil changing regularly.

Alison

You'll probably get several different takes on that.

Personally, unless I did a lot of miles, I wouldn't bother with ageing diesel cars. Older ones, more mechanical, less hit with the wizard stick, and although typically unrewarding to drive, did seem pretty bomb proof. Newer than that, but still not that new, and they always seem to be a bit temperamental at a certain age, whereas in days gone by, seemed to trade on their simplicity and robustness.

It's complicated, slightly, in certain line-ups, where the diesels engines seem to fill a certain gap in grunt in the engine line-ups and certain models (ie somewhere in the middle, you may find there's an uninspiring petrol engine, or a reasonably peppy diesel).

Most NA engines, in recent times, seem to be OK, with semi-regular oil changes, and seem reasonably robust. Sure, both petrol and diesel engines can suffer with electrical or sensor maladies, but then semi-modern diesels do tend to be typically pretty complex.

For myself, if I wanted something from that era, and I wasn't driving starship mileage, I'd go for a reasonable powered petrol - ie not an underpowered one, somewhere in the middle of the range, that doesn't have to be thrashed to get the car to move with any pace.

Of course, maintenance and service history matters, too - as well as how mechanically sympathetic it's been treated - but that's what I'd do.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:06 pm 
The Guv'nor
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MikeD wrote:
I tend to go for the "buy something 3-4 years old and keep it until it falls to pieces" approach just too avoid having to buy them too often. I shouldn't think that that's the most economical plan, though.


Certainly what we've always seemed to end up doing, think it works out fairly economically.

Isaac_AG wrote:
Can you tell me, I'm thinking of getting somewhere b/w an 04 plate and an 06 whether it is best to go petrol or diesel, bearing in mind all I know about cars is they have four wheels, they have engines and need cam belts and oil changing regularly.

Alison


Bad luck on the Rover :(

Question is a bit general. At that age and with your annual usage (10K or so was it?) I'd err towards petrol. Yes, a diesel will use less fuel and probably be better suited to a big shooting brake / MPV than a mid capacity petrol motor (say 2.0) BUT a modernish turbo diesel has the ability to generate big repair bills. Any one of a failed turbo / injectors / DMF could see you double your initial investment to get it back on the road. Up to you if you think it's worth it I guess!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:17 pm 
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Oooorrrr....you could just get one because you like the colour....we are girls after all!! :lol:

(Just not green, green is an unlucky colour for a car)

:facepalm:


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