Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP Worldwide > The International Automotive Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 14th May 2013, 22:22   #2626
BHPian
 
NinadJoshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maratha Country
Posts: 289
Thanked: 243 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterMorgan View Post
Guys, i remember there was discussion happening few weeks back on how people use rentals to avoid putting high miles on their personal rides to increase resale values.
>>>

Would like to hear your thoughts on this! Thanks!
Buying a car of your liking and not using it when you should most, is like keeping your own tux 'safe' in the closet and going to the wedding in a rented suit I usually laugh at the idea of a rental, because the money you'd retain on your resale by keeping your car in the garage for just a week is far less than the money you'd blow needlessly on a week's rental. Makes no sense. Of course, there is no argument against people who'd respond with "I rented a minivan for just 25 cents a day because I had accumulated 34 million miles on my freq flyer card which I ported on to Hertz" etc. In that case take the rental, but for most other occasions I think my argument stands.

Money aside, why wouldn't/shouldn't one take the opportunity to drive some place other than the daily <office+-grocery+-weekend social> commute? Isn't that why we buy cars? If your car turns into a subway, then something is wrong.

An average driver between the ages of 25 to 50 drives around 18K miles a year here. By that standard you have some catching up to do. Take the Jetta and give her a nice trip, mate!

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 14th May 2013 at 22:23.
NinadJoshi is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2013, 23:34   #2627
BHPian
 
DexterMorgan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toronto,ON
Posts: 75
Thanked: 37 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Guys, Thanks for posting your opinions!

I just wanted to share your thoughts on this, since the topic was being discussed few weeks back. And BTW, when i mentioned rental, i meant flying to Florida and renting there, not driving rental from NJ all the way to FL and back. That will be absurd, nor do i have millions of frequent flier miles.

Cars are meant to be driven and should be.
DexterMorgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th May 2013, 23:49   #2628
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Chicago
Posts: 23
Thanked: 9 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
We have done 700-800 mile trips in the Forester. It is ok, pluses are the great visibility, good ride/handling for a CUV and generous space. Minuses are the transmission and noise.
Great! Supposedly Subaru reduced the noise a lot with the '14 Forester and also the transmission is changed to a more efficient CVT which is getting good reviews. I'll do a short review once I get hold of it and drive for a while.
vineeth47 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 01:09   #2629
Senior - BHPian
 
chevelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sacto
Posts: 1,286
Thanked: 496 Times
Default A lifetime of an experience

Disclaimer: Treat this post as my personal experience of owning an Infiniti G35, issues faced, service experience at a dealership and the on going discussion about rental vs own car for long trips.

Since we are on the topic of rental vs owned vehicles for trip. Here is my 2 cents on my recent experience of a 1210 miles trip i did last weekend.

I had booked a Standard size rental for a 4 day trip to LA and Palm Springs from Sacramento. Best deal was - $210 with tax and insurance of rental car.

Another option i had was to take my trusted '05 G35 Sedan with 118k on odo.

I was in 2 minds which one to take. Finally, i thought of taking my own car thinking that $210 saved would go towards fuel and won't lose much on resale as it has already high miles on odo and i will keep it for a year atleast.

The trip was great overall. I averaged around 22 mpg. Most of them were freeway miles and speed in access of posted speed limit. Sorry i won't say how much i did but lets say, it was safe but above posted speed limit.

Before starting on this trip, i did a basic service - oil change, filter change, air filter and cabin filter change and tires rotated.

When i was returning from Palm Springs (105 F ) to LA, disaster struck. A sudden jerk and all warning lights came on. Service Engine soon, VDC Off and Slip Lights came on. I immediately pulled over, switched it off, checked all fluids and made sure nothing visibly bad has happened.

I sent an email to a friend(Hats off Chid) who was introduced to me by the_trooper (Ravi) asking for some help regarding this issue. As soon as he got my mail, he called me and told me this could be an issue. A that time i was already in Riverside Infi but it was great for Chid to call me offering any assistance i wanted. Thanks man, i owe you one).

Meanwhile, i called local service center hoping for some answer and possibly read the code to see what was wrong. Palm Springs Infiniti service dept was closed on weekends - (What a waste). I called a couple of local repair shop but all were apprehensive about servicing an Infi citing complex workings of engine and not enough resources to work on it.

So i took the big risk (as told later) and drove 60 miles to Riverside Infiniti that had open service dept till 6 pm on a Saturday.

Reached there with time to spare and immediately they got me in. Told me it could be a cam sensor failure and that it could have caused engine failure if the sensors would have decided to cease up thereby leaving me stranded. Luckily it didn't happen.

They ran the code and it was a cam sensor failure on Bank 2. They quoted $340 to fix it. Now while they were at it, i decided to get Spark Plugs changed too. I got a good quote of $323 ($30 less than Sacramento Infi and $20 more than local shops specializing in Infiniti's). So they started working on it and we were given a loaner vehicle and the service guys comes and invites me to their repair shop.

Lo and Behold, another disaster struck. The intake tube was broken and it was being held by a tape. When i got it, i could see a green tape from outside. When these guys removed the cover and other parts to work on sensor, they showed me that the tube was broken and it was sealed with a glue thereby running on lean mixture which could have potentially caused engine failure in near future. So i had them fix and the cost was $175.

But i have to give full credit to their service department. They had it ready it in quoted 1.5 hours. They washed it, cleaned it, changed key fob battery without me telling them. It was a great experience overall and everything was streamlined for me. It was a great experience dealing with Riverside Infiniti. I would say if anybody in LA has any problems with Infi, do give this dealership a try. They are not stealership when it comes to service department ($20 more than a regular shop that goes towards a loaner vehicle is great IMHO).

With this sorted out and me out on the road again. It was good to know that this service would serve me for a good 1 year hopefully not causing any other problems.

Overall, i saved $210 which i used towards gas ($220) but ended up paying $880 for getting the car fixed. If i had rented a car, and such problems came up on their car, it would have been a lot of time lost and don't know what would have happened. The good thing is, this happened in a big city. If it would have been in remote area, it could have been a problem. So a lesson learned. Make sure it is in tip top shape. So while it was a little failure, i take huge pluses from this experience.

Will i do another 1200 mile trip on G35 in near future? - A big resounding YES!

After all this, here are a few positives and negatives of G35 having done around 30k miles since i owned it

Positives:

+ Looks (Even after 10 yrs of similar design, i love how it looks)
+ Interior (Good features, good quality)
+ Comfort (A great long distance car. Very comfortable, good cabin and cargo space, reclining rear seats are awesome)
+ Power (A free revving v6. Very good pulling power from low speeds)
+ Makes the right noise (Great intake n exhaust notes after 2500 rpms)
+ Very stable at high speeds
+ Great fun while cornering.
+ Reliable (Cost $500 in repairs apart from regular preventive maintenance after 120k miles and 8 years)
+ Great driving position and great view from drivers seat.
+ Never bottoms out.
+ No rattles from interior
+ Immense after market potential.

Negatives:

- Road and Wind Noise
- Crappy tires installed by previous owner
- If parts fail, potentially expensive. Paying for premium name.
- Paint gets bad very easily. Need lots of clay to get rid of trappings
- Needs to be a little lower for better looks.
- Well known failure of Bose CD Player - Yep! Mine just went out.

Thank you for reading and sorry for long post.

Last edited by chevelle : 15th May 2013 at 01:14.
chevelle is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 01:16   #2630
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,448
Thanked: 415 Times
Default Re: A lifetime of an experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post

Will i do another 1200 mile trip on G35 in near future? - A big resounding YES!
I think that is one of the apprehensions that come up in a lot of rent vs drive your own car decision making process. What happens if I have trouble? With rental car typically they will get to you and help you with the car. With your own car, you are left to figure it out yourself. You got stranded in a well traveled and inhabited area of the US, so you got some sort of support. I wonder what would have happened had you been in the middle of yellowstone national park or so! (I wish that such a thing doesn't happen to anyone). I don't think I have an answer for this. I will just go by what comes to my head first thing when I have to pick between the two.
vineethvazhayil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 01:31   #2631
BHPian
 
Jomz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Detroit, MI,USA
Posts: 766
Thanked: 256 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

My experiance when my '91 Accord broke on an 800mile road trip.

Pasted from another thread.

The most fun part was when she blew her alternator when we were on a 1000 mile road trip ( to and fro - chicago- Michigan uppper peninsula).After 200 miles the batt light lit up.I had to keep 3000+ rpm to keep the alternator from charging the battery.But still she did the 350 miles to Milwaukee on 3rd gear.I had to keep third gear to keep speeds at 55-65ish otherwise at 3k rpm in 5th I'd be doing 80+ which is sure recipe for a ticket.

Reached Chicago somehow- and after some sight seeing the alternator problem some how vanished.

Then on the way back- the alternator problem again came at Milwaukee- back to gear 3rd gear.Somehow managed 350 miles on third gear.

When it showed 50 miles to home on the GPS i thought - what the heck - I have 100 miles free towing on my insurance, shift to 5th and get the engine churn easily. 10 miles after making that stupid decision the car ran outta battery and stalled.

Well.. i thought I'll call up AAA my insurance company, but plans change - when i looked at my cell phone no signal. The nearest town is 25-30 miles away and there is nothing on the state highway as far as I can see.(This is happening on US141 near crystal falls, Wisconsin- Michigan border)

The movies like "wrong turn" and "the hills have eyes" flashed through my mind. I just popped the hood and stood there. Later i came to know that it was a state forest or so.

Sometime later a guy in a rickety old pickup stopped next to me. He listened to my story & offered to remove the battery and charge it for me. He removed the battery. He drove me and the battery to his cabin.

His house was a old cabin in the woods.I got more scared seeing his house. And also that he is a laid off worker- i was seriously scared. All the thoughts about laid off workers having issues with immigrants flashed. On top of that he really showed disdain for honda (rather all imports)

Another rusted ISUZU in front of his cabin made me feel like- man now I've met the stereotype american redneck psycho. he must've killed the guys in the ISUZU.

I looked where he kept the keys for his GMC, just in case he attacked or so, the escape plan was- take the keys- jump into GMC and take off. Crystal falls, MI is not far away- they must have a police station.

We hooked up my batt for charging- the charge indicator showed dead and he told it'll be 2-3 hours for charging. Meanwhile I believe, seeing that I was nervous he offered to put his GMC batteries on my car and bring it from the highway to his cabin. That actaully made me more worried.

Well anyway he turned out to be not a psycho. He brought is spare batt in the GMC ( he had one) and we picked up the honda and brought it back.

it was around 12am when my battery showed full charge.I needed the headlights since it was dark. He pulled out one of them bulbs and told one head light should be enough, if the cops stop you tell him the alt and batt issues.

God bless him- he was a nice guy didn't ask any money for his services- just wanted me to drink 1 beer with him for all that. I just got scared for nothing.

I thougght that was the end of everything but- once i started moving i realized that that night the fog had rolled in. I need both my headlights.
Stopped by the side.. while the car was still running plugged in the other bulb. I was scared to stop for the fear that the car would not start again.

After both headlights plugged in I needed 5K rpm on the engine to keep battery charged. I was doing 80 from there to home in fog, through deer country- I was actually looking for a cop- if somebody pulled me over I coould've told my situation to him and he might have gone ahead clearing the way. From this point the next town is where I live.

But still nobody pulled me over. I reached home by around 1am. Never ever more relieved to be home.

Well, you should have a story for each car owned right- this was for mine. The issue was a blown alternator, around 200$ repair

Last edited by Jomz : 15th May 2013 at 01:49.
Jomz is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 01:38   #2632
BHPian
 
Jomz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Detroit, MI,USA
Posts: 766
Thanked: 256 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Writing this in a seperate post , so that it is more readable. Please forgive my excited College kid kinda writing.

I've seen the best of american hospitality in the most remotest of locations with broken down cars. Guys, this is a nice country and people are really helpful. I would not worry much.

Would I take my 285k mile Honda on a roadtrip again??.. I would not plan to.

Last edited by Jomz : 15th May 2013 at 01:41.
Jomz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 02:21   #2633
Senior - BHPian
 
chevelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sacto
Posts: 1,286
Thanked: 496 Times
Default Re: A lifetime of an experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I think that is one of the apprehensions that come up in a lot of rent vs drive your own car decision making process. What happens if I have trouble? With rental car typically they will get to you and help you with the car. With your own car, you are left to figure it out yourself. You got stranded in a well traveled and inhabited area of the US, so you got some sort of support. I wonder what would have happened had you been in the middle of yellowstone national park or so! (I wish that such a thing doesn't happen to anyone). I don't think I have an answer for this. I will just go by what comes to my head first thing when I have to pick between the two.
Funny thing. When we rented a Explorer for Mammoth Lake vacation, on the way, we got a alert saying Engine Oil 0%. Change oil now. This was from Budget and car had some 8k-10k miles on odo. We called them and the lady told us to pour couple quart of oil in it and drive. They reimbursed for the oil later on.

I think in order to get their road service and other assistance, you need to take a full insurance from them which is around $30-$45 per day which adds up to the total. Most of the time, when we rent, we just take car liability insurance since everything else is covered by our insurance and credit card companies.

And as i mentioned in my review, a failure of a car - be it rental/owned in a remote area is always risky. Either ways we have to wait till help arrives. So that is something one needs to calculate before taking long trips. It is something that is always on cards and one has to be prepared. I had similar scare in Death Valley last year. Luckily, nothing came out of it. Just think - 110 F, Dry heat and stranded on road with no help for atleast 50-70 miles in any direction.

And yes, i did went with my head when taking G35 to LA. I should have listened to heart if i was to save some money. But then, i wouldn't have got such exceptional service at Infi Riverside - something that is missing in Infi dealerships of Sacramento. Its all good at the end. Everything fell in place at right time so cannot complain

Last edited by chevelle : 15th May 2013 at 02:24.
chevelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 02:23   #2634
Distinguished - BHPian
 
amitoj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 2,904
Thanked: 1,427 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Very tempting, is this a good time(Memorial Day long Weekend is coming) to visit WM or is Fall a better time?
Long weekend will be crowded everywhere. The drive up Mt Washington will be very frustrating in a crowd. They have special sunrise drives twice a year. Look for the next such drive and try to go there. But there are plenty of other places to explore in the White Mountains region. Any time of the year is a good time to go there.

As for fall, the entire New England area is supposed to be very good (and it is!) but this year i intend to go to Maine and Vermont, specially the scenic byways of Maine.
http://www.visitmaine.com/attraction.../scenic_byway/
amitoj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 02:28   #2635
BHPian
 
Superleggera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Kannur/Boston
Posts: 286
Thanked: 66 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I have owned Toyotas and Hondas during my past stay in US, and never both gave any issues. Due to some cash crunch, this time I wanted to buy something which is reliable and powerful same time pocket friendly. My original plan was to keep the car for 6 months and buy something better. I kept looking for couple of months and decided to by a 2003 Nissan maxima, which has run around 100 K miles.
I would say that this is the best car I have every owned. The power and handling is just awesome. Itís a real sleeper and the 3.5 L VQ35 can put many of its counter parts to shame. I have completed 1 year with the car and I donít have plans to sell it now.
I havenít driven the latest generations of maximaís, but based on my experience I would definitely consider maxima as my next new car.
Superleggera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 04:35   #2636
BHPian
 
NinadJoshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maratha Country
Posts: 289
Thanked: 243 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by Superleggera View Post
I have owned Toyotas and Hondas during my past stay in US, and never both gave any issues. Due to some cash crunch, this time I wanted to buy something which is reliable and powerful same time pocket friendly. My original plan was to keep the car for 6 months and buy something better. I kept looking for couple of months and decided to by a 2003 Nissan maxima, which has run around 100 K miles.
I would say that this is the best car I have every owned. The power and handling is just awesome. It’s a real sleeper and the 3.5 L VQ35 can put many of its counter parts to shame. I have completed 1 year with the car and I don’t have plans to sell it now.
I haven’t driven the latest generations of maxima’s, but based on my experience I would definitely consider maxima as my next new car.
Superb cars until they run. Owned a Maxi SE 3.5L that I drove for 113K miles but let go in '09 because of the repeated O2 sensor issues. The V6 was still sublime when I let her go. Was my highway mile eater, and wouldn't have hesitated in buying one again had she been a little easy on issues post 110K miles. Got tired of the frequency with which the CES light kept coming up on the dashboard.

Oh, and the Bose sound system died rather quickly too...never really had the heart to spend 700 on it. No CD's for me in the Maxi. I remember I had bought an MP3-to-FM converter from Walmart which I used to plug into the DC outlet and listen to MP3's streamed over FM on the radio. Pretty neat device, except each time you left one FM zone and entered another you'd have to re-adjust the frequencies on this device because some local FM channel would interfere with this tiny device. Fun times

Another peeve I had is I never really found a good servicing shop for her...all Nissan dealers in my vicinity are absolute crooks, and I did not really have a great experience with local small shops with the Maxi...just her bad luck I guess.

I must have made runs from DTW to NY/NJ/MA/DC literally 40-45 times with her and loved the way she ate the turnpikes. At a 75mph cruise she used to give me 32-33 mpg consistently.

Hope yours remains trouble free. Cheers.

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 15th May 2013 at 04:38.
NinadJoshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 21:18   #2637
Senior - BHPian
 
chevelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: sacto
Posts: 1,286
Thanked: 496 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
Oh, and the Bose sound system died rather quickly too...never really had the heart to spend 700 on it. No CD's for me in the Maxi. I remember I had bought an MP3-to-FM converter from Walmart which I used to plug into the DC outlet and listen to MP3's streamed over FM on the radio. Pretty neat device, except each time you left one FM zone and entered another you'd have to re-adjust the frequencies on this device because some local FM channel would interfere with this tiny device. Fun times
I don't know if it is common with Nissan and Infiniti, but their cd players from Bose are a disaster. Almost everybody has faced this problem and it is a pain to have it fix. My G35 uses same Bose sound system and it went kaput last month. It gave Check Disk error and I looked online for solution, I came to know that it is pretty common in Nissan's and Infis. I thought of putting in a new double din but the cost is too high - $800-$1000 depending on what you buy. The faceplate itself is a cool $200. The cost of repairing is $500 and chances are the issue will occur again.

I use Coby Wireless FM Transmitter. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

It has decent quality and the secret to not changing the radio station at all times is Frequency 87.9. It is always available everywhere you go without any issues.

Last edited by chevelle : 15th May 2013 at 21:19.
chevelle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 21:24   #2638
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,448
Thanked: 415 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
I don't know if it is common with Nissan and Infiniti, but their cd players from Bose are a disaster.
I thank my lucky stars - In our Infiniti M, we don't use a cd player at all. ! Being a newer car, there are enough other media options to never have to use a cd player.
vineethvazhayil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 21:32   #2639
BHPian
 
NinadJoshi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Maratha Country
Posts: 289
Thanked: 243 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
I don't know if it is common with Nissan and Infiniti, but their cd players from Bose are a disaster. Almost everybody has faced this problem and it is a pain to have it fix. My G35 uses same Bose sound system and it went kaput last month. It gave Check Disk error and I looked online for solution, I came to know that it is pretty common in Nissan's and Infis. I thought of putting in a new double din but the cost is too high - $800-$1000 depending on what you buy. The faceplate itself is a cool $200. The cost of repairing is $500 and chances are the issue will occur again.

I use Coby Wireless FM Transmitter. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

It has decent quality and the secret to not changing the radio station at all times is Frequency 87.9. It is always available everywhere you go without any issues.
Wow, looks like there's a myriad of FM transmitters available now...back in my younger days I had just a few handful to choose from And yes, the Bose CD players in Nissan cars suck. I'd rather have a crappy unbranded cd player than a dead Bose in the car. Do present day Nissan/Infi's still come with Bose's?
NinadJoshi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th May 2013, 21:53   #2640
BHPian
 
DexterMorgan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Toronto,ON
Posts: 75
Thanked: 37 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinadJoshi View Post
Do present day Nissan/Infi's still come with Bose's?
Nissan still comes with Bose. Not sure about Infinity.

How does Bose sound quality compares to other branded audios like Fender (VW), JBL (Toyota) or Infinity (Hyundai i guess ??) etc?

O.T.- I recently purchased Bose on ear headphones from Costco as they were on deal. Returned it after 2 weeks as the right speaker conked off and also, they were hurting my ears on prolonged use. Huh, So much for a brand name
DexterMorgan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in Europe Saarth The International Automotive Scene 25 9th November 2015 17:43
Car of the Year 2012 -North America volkman10 The International Automotive Scene 0 10th January 2012 17:31
President and COO of Toyota North America joins Chrysler highwayblaze The International Automotive Scene 11 9th September 2007 21:58


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 13:29.

Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks