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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:36   #1
Capacitor
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Default best option for a travelling salesperson?

My uncle is in sales, and travels a lot,

ok, so he has to drive about 60,000 miles per year (yes, you read that correctly)
So he blew the mileage on the warranty pretty quick, and a lease would have the same problem.

i'm trying to think of the best option for them, not just fuel, but in maintenance for the car.

They bought a brand new 2006 car (non-diesel/non-vw) and killed it (mileage). I think they paid over $40k for it and ended up selling it for $5k in just about a years worth of use.

the only two things I could think of were either a cheap diesel or something like a $1000 "beater" (ie: a car you just use til it dies and get another one, and keep doing it cuz it's cheap).

with the mileage, I'm wondering how the costs would work out for a diesel, obviously we're talking a lot of timing belt jobs, and other assorted things.

But I just can't seem to think of a good solution, aside from the crappy cars.

Again my questions of comparing a '74/'76 mercedes diesel turbo vs a VW come to mind, but I haven't seen any thoughts on that. the mbz's run about $4k to $8k in price which is about the same. I've just had a few bad experiences with mbz's in the past (oil bearing went, etc)

Anyone got any bright ideas that will last the long term?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:53   #2
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a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k buy it used with 70 or 80k Change the upper intake and drive till the wheels fall off buy these cars real cheap and they run fora quite awhile. Also the infamous corrolla is a good bet and the newer ones have timing chains.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:55   #3
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Frankly any car today should stand up to 60,000 miles a year. At least for four or five years.

You never know when something bad is going to happen. It happens on VW's BMW's FORD GM Toyota .... in other words everyone.

Now normally someone driving 60,000 miles a year is driving mostly highway and that is usually the easiest miles for a car. I would suggest that he buys what he would like and make sure it gets all the maintenance listed in the owner's manual properly done on schedule.

If it were my choice I, of course would chose VW Diesel. I average about 60 mpg on the road and driving that kind of mileage that would save me some serious money.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 10:58   #4
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He's going to miss a lot of sales calls if he keeps having $1k cars break down on him no?

There are a coulpe people on here, couriers I think, who put on that kind of mileage. They'll be around sooner or later. I don't think he could go wrong with an 03 jetta/golf with a 5spd for durability (provided he keeps up on maint) and mileage.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:22   #5
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The last car they got was the new corrolla.
They're usually pretty bad for rust, but theirs didn't have that issue. it was just pure mileage drove the value down right quick.

that GM sounds like the dodge spirit I had (don't ask).

I once had an astro van, timing belt went WHILE I was driving, in the middle of heavy traffic on the highway (going 100), just went...
Scariest moment in my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Antsrcool
a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k buy it used with 70 or 80k Change the upper intake and drive till the wheels fall off buy these cars real cheap and they run fora quite awhile. Also the infamous corrolla is a good bet and the newer ones have timing chains.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antsrcool
a low mileage 3.8 litre GM run it till 225k

A-men, mine's like the friggin' Energizer Bunny. Cheapest cars I've ever run.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:37   #7
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Any particular model of GM car?

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Originally Posted by dieseldorf
A-men, mine's like the friggin' Energizer Bunny. Cheapest cars I've ever run.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:41   #8
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Take your pick. That engine has been used across many, many models. It has a very good reputation for durability and longevity. Leaks are a common problem when DEX-KILL is used.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:41   #9
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I love my VW, but would never depend on it for my livelihood!

My 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI (3.8l w/supercharger) with 246K miles (30mpg) with never a major repair is the one I would use!

What does your Uncle sell? How much space does he need? How comfortable does he like to travel?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capacitor
I once had an astro van, timing belt went WHILE I was driving, in the middle of heavy traffic on the highway (going 100), just went...
Scariest moment in my life
Ummm... Astro/Safari vans don't have timing belts. And the 4.3litre engine that came in them had a pretty-well bullet proof timing chain, as it was just a chopped small-block chev (read short chain, tested, long term design). Do you want to try again?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:48   #11
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the timing chain went. sorry. I have a habit of calling them both the same thing. timing belt/chain as I'm not a mechanic and can't keep track of which vehicles have which.

I think it was a 92 (but can't be sure). I only paid $1200 (cdn) for it.

it totally died in the middle of driving, got it over to the shoulder before I was killed, towed it, 2 different mechanics at 2 different places said it had snapped and would cost more than the van cost to fix. I ended up scrapping it - sold for parts to another place.
and if you're going to ask how it got to the shoulder without any power (no engine), it's a little thing in physics called "momentum".

Unless you're taking me to task for using the wrong term (sorry I'm new to this), you tell me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex
Ummm... Astro/Safari vans don't have timing belts. And the 4.3litre engine that came in them had a pretty-well bullet proof timing chain, as it was just a chopped small-block chev (read short chain, tested, long term design). Do you want to try again?

Last edited by Capacitor; February 14th, 2008 at 12:20.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 13:11   #12
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I'm not really sure what he sells exactly. I think it's some sort of business investments/insurance.

He doesn't need much space. But they also use it for the family car.

They had a van for a while (he inherited when his parents passed away), but that thing was a real dog.

So a 4 door sedan or beetle or something roughly that size is more than enough.

BTW it seems like no matter what make or model car you pick, you may always have problems.

The car I wished I could have kept was an 04 Passat GLX AWD (brand new at the time). but man did that thing suck gas. Sure it was "silent" on the road (no noise) and soooo smooth driving you'd never notice a bump (even a bad one) or gravel or anything else. smooth as glass. that and it kinda sucked for maintenance costs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie75
I love my VW, but would never depend on it for my livelihood!

My 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSEI (3.8l w/supercharger) with 246K miles (30mpg) with never a major repair is the one I would use!

What does your Uncle sell? How much space does he need? How comfortable does he like to travel?
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Old February 14th, 2008, 13:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capacitor
My uncle is in sales, and travels a lot,

ok, so he has to drive about 60,000 miles per year (yes, you read that correctly)
So he blew the mileage on the warranty pretty quick, and a lease would have the same problem.

i'm trying to think of the best option for them, not just fuel, but in maintenance for the car.

They bought a brand new 2006 car (non-diesel/non-vw) and killed it (mileage). I think they paid over $40k for it and ended up selling it for $5k in just about a years worth of use.

the only two things I could think of were either a cheap diesel or something like a $1000 "beater" (ie: a car you just use til it dies and get another one, and keep doing it cuz it's cheap).

with the mileage, I'm wondering how the costs would work out for a diesel, obviously we're talking a lot of timing belt jobs, and other assorted things.

But I just can't seem to think of a good solution, aside from the crappy cars.

Again my questions of comparing a '74/'76 mercedes diesel turbo vs a VW come to mind, but I haven't seen any thoughts on that. the mbz's run about $4k to $8k in price which is about the same. I've just had a few bad experiences with mbz's in the past (oil bearing went, etc)

Anyone got any bright ideas that will last the long term?
A couple of things you said do not add up.

1. Is there really that much of a price difference between same model (Toyota Corolla?) car due to the border between two countries?

2. If a car is only worth 5k (after paying significantly more for it) it is almost a no brainer to keep driving it. You really do not want residual value in the car, just the ability to go 60,000 miles per year.

So given you can locate a 2003 Jetta, New Beetle, Golf, your uncle is a definite candidate for a TDI. He will be doing a (100,000 miles T/B W/P about every year and a half. No reason why he should not be able to put a min of 500,000 miles on it (8.3 years at your stated consumption) This is far from a bright idea, but this is precisely what the TDI was built to do.

Good maintenance is the real key. (outside of not damaging the vehicle)

Last edited by ruking; February 14th, 2008 at 13:36.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 13:51   #14
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1. yes the price difference between Canada and USA is horrendous!
In some cases the US price is about half the Canadian one - even with our dollar at "par"

Some examples:
An HP/Compaq notebook (picked random models) in Canada run around $2500, sometimes you're lucky and it's a bit less. The same notebook in the US runs about $800.

Gas prices - don't even start. We pay per "litre" (about 1/4 gallon) about $1.00

Televisions and other electronics. A 47" LCD TV brand new in USA (from Best Buy) is $1400, the same exact model in Canada is about $2000

It's sickening. And even with our supposed "Canadian pricing" on cars, it's still MUCH cheaper to buy it in US, drive it across and pay whatever at the border. Especially for non-current cars.

2. its just the choice they made, not mine. My aunt said it was just costing too much to keep up, maybe they just had a bad dealer or whatever. I don't know the details, and again, not my choice on the corolla.

and for the rest, I agree with what everyone has been saying here. it's all good advice and I've passed it on. We'll see what they end up getting

As for me, I plan to keep my 01 golf (A4 ALH O1M 146k miles) going for as long as I possibly can!

I love the smell of diesel in the morning

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruking
A couple of things you said do not add up.

1. Is there really that much of a price difference between same model (Toyota Corolla?) car due to the border between two countries?

2. If a car is only worth 5k (after paying significantly more for it) it is almost a no brainer to keep driving it. You really do not want residual value in the car, just the ability to go 60,000 miles per year.

So given you can locate a 2003 Jetta, New Beetle, Golf, your uncle is a definite candidate for a TDI. He will be doing a (100,000 miles T/B W/P about every year and a half. No reason why he should not be able to put a min of 500,000 miles on it (8.3 years at your stated consumption) This is far from a bright idea, but this is precisely what the TDI was built to do.

Good maintenance is the real key. (outside of not damaging the vehicle)

Last edited by Capacitor; February 14th, 2008 at 13:54.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 15:27   #15
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Agree with ruking, a good well maintained 03 Jetta Sedan or Wagon would be ideal and you are in the best spot in Canada to buy one. There are a lot of lease returns out there and some of the used car dealers specialize in the TDIs.
Don't buy it from a VW dealer (unless it is a really great deal) and don't get an automatic unless you go up a few years and get a 6 speed DSG.... Make sure there is a maintenance history and the correct oil has been used.
The timing belt on the 03 was the first of the long life timing belts and has to be changed every 160K Km so make sure it has been done if your car has more than 160K on it...
I have a 03 and averaged 52.6 Mpg lifetime so far so they will save money on fuel.
If they have the money to spend I would look at the brand new CRD VW Jetta's coming out this summer. There should be a demo model in the showroom soon with cars arriving this summer/fall. Great mileage and much more power and torque than either the ALH or PD engines. Not sure how much they will cost but the rumour was below $30K.... Check out some of the news articles on the home page....
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