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sheepdog

Rip Off

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Had to deliver a puppy yesterday, agreed to meet some folks in the big city, fortunately it wasn't one of our big long trips. At least e got the pup to them, but then our car wouldn't start. This is the newer one, with only 150,000 miles on it, not the old one with 350,000 on it. Cold miserable day to be broke down. Only up side was that we had agreed to met at Bass Pro, so I finally got to see the new NRA gun museum they just opened this summer. It's really great, if you get a chance to get to Springfield Missouri, do be sure to check it out. They have Annie Oakley's guns, and a gun given by Napoleon Bonaparte to some French minister, that is all gold plated, filigreed, inlaid, absolutely amazing looking gun, that was made many hundreds of years ago, so you know the gold on it was not a microscopically thin layer like then can do today, I suspect the gold on it alone was worth many thousands of dollars. I can't figure out how that keep the glass on those cases so clean! I'd think there would be a good supply of drool on them from all the gun enthusiasts looking at the collection. I'd hate to have their Windex bill! That glass was so clean you could hardly even tell you were looking threw glass cases at the guns. I sure saw more than one I would of loved to have taken home.

 

But I digress. Back to the car stuff. We got ahold of hubbies buddy, so he got his son in law and family who wanted to do some Christmas shopping anyway to bring their truck and car dolly, and they brought the van too so the family could take it and do their shopping and we could use their truck to pull the car hauler dolly and our car home. Another advantage to small cars, it was pretty easy for them to simply push our car up on the carrier without having to use any winches or anything, just ran it up there with only the 3 of them pushing, and if you want to be honest, really only one was doing much real pushing, 2 are rather feeble and decrepit old dudes with bad backs and bad hearts.

 

So we brought the car home, took it all the way into town first so they could get O'reilly Automotive to put some sort of computer tester on it. It showed to be an 02 sensor by their tester. Anyway, my real gripe here is the price difference in parts. The factory original part from Ford was over $200. The exact same part put out as aftermarket part was $18!!!! Now that is one hell of a difference in the same part. Certainly pays one to check into alternatives whenever dealing with buying car parts.

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150,000 miles on the newer car? I've never had a car that did over 25,000 miles, and that's after a whole decade of driving around. Usually, the banks and the insurance refuse to have anything to do with vehicles that have over 75,000 miles.There are car diagnostic accessories available for sale - some of them even establish a Bluetooth connection to your smart phone and enable you to look up what your car is trying to tell you, and find a bunch of forum posts and contact information for garages that could possibly help you resolve the issue. I've never really needed one so I haven't got any experience with using them - the only issue I have is when the batteries die after two or three years of use or if a malfunction causes the headlamps to turn on (it happened exactly once, and ever since I've never used the Auto setting on the headlamps or the windscreen wipers).

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Wow, 10 years and only 25,000 miles!? Don't go much do you? Don't think I've ever bought a car in my life except once that had less miles on it than that. I shudder to think how many hard miles my old Datsun pickup had on it, and my Datsun station wagon had over 200,000. Doesn't matter much about banks, when you buy older high mileage cars you can pay cash for them outright, they aren't worth much so you only have to get liability insurance, saves you tons of money that way.

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I've been thinking about saving money by buying a pre-owned vehicle, but there are always concerns about reliability. Typically the reliable old cars are bought off other people who are either friends or family - in all other cases, the vehicles are sold because they eat through batteries a couple of times a year, or there's a crank shaft that keeps falling apart. I've never had any problems with factory-fresh vehicles, but I find it annoying that the odometer reads about 8-12km when the car has just been delivered. I'd like it to start from a perfect zero, so the odometer reading would be like a story of yet another chapter of my life. There's a sentiment that's attached to every bit of it when one holds on to it for more than half a decade, and having that little extra on the odometer skews things a bit.

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There are some major savings between new and pre owned. For example, the depreciation hits your new car the second you drive it off the lot, it is now a used car, therefore not as valuable.

But where the savings really come in is also a lot dependent on how mechanically inclined the owner is. If you have to pay an expensive mechanic to do simple things to a used car, your savings might not be so great. If you can install a new starter, fuel pump or other common problems, you are far better off with a used car in the savings department. In many cases, the car part you have to buy will be a lot less than one months payment on a new car. And if you are talented enough to rebuild transmissions and overhaul engines, the savings are tremendous. You can also save a ton of money if you don't live in town and can have a parts car or 2 sitting around your place. We bought one Ford Aspire for $500, it was running when we bought it but was pretty rough, we've already used probably $2,000 worth of parts off of it if we would of had to buy them new. We bought a whole door one time for $25 when the glass company wanted $45 to replace the window glass. So a lot of it depends on your own abilities and the situation you live in.

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