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Old 16th September 2013, 23:23   #3151
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Glad to precipitate a conversation on brake fluid replacement. Most people don't even know that they need to be replaced on a periodic basis, just like all other fluids.

Next topic probably should be the so called everlasting auto transmission fluid. Good one, that one.
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Old 16th September 2013, 23:44   #3152
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Hi Guys,

Don't we have to get any wheel alignment or balancing done to the car like we did in India? The service manual for my car doesn't mention anything about alignment or balancing. It suggests rotating the tires every 5k miles.

Any ideas?
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Old 17th September 2013, 00:02   #3153
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hi Guys,

Don't we have to get any wheel alignment or balancing done to the car like we did in India? The service manual for my car doesn't mention anything about alignment or balancing. It suggests rotating the tires every 5k miles.

Any ideas?
I don't think any one does regular wheel alignment here in US. All they do is tire rotation and wheel balancing.

First time I took my car for wheel balancing/alignment/rotation to a tire center (just as I used to do in India every 5K kms), the guys didn't do alignment saying the roads here are good and only require rotation and balancing. Wheel alignment is generally done in garages.

Have to agree to what they say, cause after 15K miles on the new tires, I do not see any uneven wear. You should be good with balancing and rotation.
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Old 17th September 2013, 00:35   #3154
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hi Guys,

Don't we have to get any wheel alignment or balancing done to the car like we did in India? The service manual for my car doesn't mention anything about alignment or balancing. It suggests rotating the tires every 5k miles.

Any ideas?
Regular alignments is important for a car. One of the reason's which I sold the S2000 was the previous owner did not do regular alignments.

In cars which are designed for track use and are only street driven, the cars may not go out of alignment at all. But the alignment adjustment bolts need periodic adjustment & movement so that, an alignment settings can be changed if required & the bolts don't rust in place. This is really important if the owner ever plans to track the car.

In my case, I wanted to improve my autocross times, so I took it to a race shop for alignment. ( This race shop is in Louisville, KY & TorroRosso, we highly recommend this shop for suspension related stuff). The shop owner found that - eventhough the alignment was correct for street use, the bolts have not been touched in 5-6 years and was rusted. So I could not get it aligned for track settings. In case if I was adament for track settings, I might have to change control arms for like $1000.

So, his recommendation was to get another s2000 whose bolts could be adjusted. Soon after that I got a buyer who offered me 14K for the car ( I had bought it for 16k), I sold it.

So cheap mechanics and dealers may say anything about not needing alignment, But guys do yourself a favour and get an alignment- atleast once a year, from a reputable suspension shop.
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Old 17th September 2013, 00:53   #3155
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Most people don't even know that they need to be replaced on a periodic basis, just like all other fluids.

Next topic probably should be the so called everlasting auto transmission fluid. Good one, that one.
.I had the following done to my car as well during the 45K service. I intend to repeat at the next 45K mile mark.

- Transmission Flush and Refill - 87$
- Coolant Flush and Refill - 100$
- Brake Fluid Flush and Refeill- 118$

Pending - Power Steering Flush,Will probably get this done at the 50K oil change.


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( This race shop is in Louisville, KY & TorroRosso, we highly recommend this shop for suspension related stuff)..
Jomz - Could you let me know the place? My F150 suspension is completely messed up. I will give them a visit this weekend.

Edit - Congrats on the TSX. Would love to hear your thought process regarding the Lease/Buy? I am evaluating a similar option now.

I had another query as well - Has anyone used Ameriprise(Costco Auto insurance) . For some reason, strangely my Insurance went up with StateFarm though i had no tickets or violations. I got a comparitively lower quote from Geico, but heard Ameriprise is the cheapest now for similar coverage options.

Last edited by ToroRosso : 17th September 2013 at 00:56.
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Old 17th September 2013, 02:34   #3156
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Jomz - Could you let me know the place? My F150 suspension is completely messed up. I will give them a visit this weekend.

Edit - Congrats on the TSX. Would love to hear your thought process regarding the Lease/Buy? I am evaluating a similar option now.
The shop is Winning Formula in Bardstown, KY. Ignore the Porsches & Spec miatas around.

So the lease process started when I dold the s2000. I calculated the total money which i lost on the s2000 in the 2.5 years I owned it.

1, Cost depreciation :- 2000
2, Interest paid on car loans:- 1500
3, Extended warranty :- 1500
4, Taxes on 16K car price :-1120

Altogether I spent 6000 on a car in 2.5 years. With this kind of expenses I thought a lease of ~10k for 3 years would make sense. Because it would be a new car.

In Indiana we pay taxes only on the Lease price - end of lease price.

Once decided on a lease, wanted to find the cheapest luxury brand Jap midsize car.

TSX had great deals since this is the last model year.

Got an offer of 320 per month, taxes included - lease for 3 years, 10k miles per year. Down payment of 400.

Extra miles over 30K are charged 20c a mile. I thought I would buy miles if I need it.

Anyway this was my thought/ purchase process.
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Old 17th September 2013, 06:50   #3157
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Next topic probably should be the so called everlasting auto transmission fluid. Good one, that one.
There seems to be a transmission repair shop on every street corner in the USA. Of course, they have a lot of AT's on the road. Again, I would go by what the manual says. And if your AT has a dipstick, not all do, check the fluid level regularly.

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Don't we have to get any wheel alignment or balancing done to the car like we did in India? The service manual for my car doesn't mention anything about alignment or balancing. It suggests rotating the tires every 5k miles.


No matter what country, but I would only do an alignment or balancing if there is something wrong. So if you feel the car vibrating, when it pulls to one side or when you notice the tires wearing unevenly. In either the US or Europe I have never ever had an alignment or wheel/tire balance done without something wrong. To add to that, I probably had more alignments and balancing done in the three years in the USA than in the thirty years in Europe. Contrary to popular believe, India is not the only country with bad roads. The roads around Kansas City, including the highways, often had monumental potholes. Especially after the winter and it took many months for them to get repaired. Bend many a rim and that would always lead to an alignment too.

Even on rotating a lot of modern cars with modern suspension don't require rotating any more and you won't find it in the manual. When you rotate be sure you're aware on how to rotate. Back to front or cross wise. Depends on the car and the tires. Again, the manual should tell you. Just about all tire manufacturers still advise to rotate.

My personal opinion is that it really depends on the car and the tires. On my Jaguar which is rear wheel drive and has a suspension set up that will give a heel-toe wear. So there is rotated (back to front) every 5-6000 miles.

On our Ford Focus, front wheel drive, the tire wire is very even, just the front tires wear quicker. Never rotated, just replaced only the front ones when they were worn and the next time they were about to replaced so where the rear ones.

There is plenty of information out on the web on rotating tires. But should you put the best tires on the front or the rear, or visa versa? Many would say you need the best (i.e. with the most thread) on the front.

This is an interesting video showing something to the contrary:
Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 17th September 2013 at 07:05.
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Old 17th September 2013, 08:30   #3158
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Hi Guys,

This comes quiet late; but as they say, better late than never.
Got myself a subaru brz. Been about a month and half into the ownership and just love it. Had been reading all the posts in this thread, but never got time to post.

Took it to Caleveras road in CA and had a great time there. Arroximately 12 miles of twists and turns and a good car to do this stint. Will post more regularly now on.

Thanks a lot to everyone here in the forum. Posts related to Insurance and buying guide helped me a lot.

Thanks,
Gautham
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Old 17th September 2013, 19:22   #3159
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As far as wheel alignment, I guess depending on car and road conditions - once a year or 20,000 miles is a decent estimate.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
There seems to be a transmission repair shop on every street corner in the USA. Of course, they have a lot of AT's on the road. Again, I would go by what the manual says. And if your AT has a dipstick, not all do, check the fluid level regularly.

No matter what country, but I would only do an alignment or balancing if there is something wrong.
Another point to consider is that the car manufacturer may have a different change interval in the manual than what the transmission manufacturer recommends.
eg. on my car, BMW recommends this "lifetime" or 100,000 mile fluid change for the transmission, whereas ZF, the manufacturer recommends more frequent changes. Doesn't change the fact that most people don't end up changing fluid anyway as it is an expensive job.

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Got myself a subaru brz. Been about a month and half into the ownership and just love it. Had been reading all the posts in this thread, but never got time to post.

Took it to Caleveras road in CA and had a great time there. Arroximately 12 miles of twists and turns and a good car to do this stint. Will post more regularly now on.
Very nice!! - that's the first on the forum I guess. Congratulations on the car - would love to read an ownership report if you can put one up.

Last edited by aah78 : 17th September 2013 at 19:26.
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Old 17th September 2013, 19:32   #3160
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Hi Guys,

This comes quiet late; but as they say, better late than never.
Got myself a subaru brz. Been about a month and half into the ownership and just love it. Had been reading all the posts in this thread, but never got time to post.

Took it to Caleveras road in CA and had a great time there. Arroximately 12 miles of twists and turns and a good car to do this stint. Will post more regularly now on.

Thanks a lot to everyone here in the forum. Posts related to Insurance and buying guide helped me a lot.

Thanks,
Gautham
Congratulations on a wonderful car! You are going to have a lot of fun driving it! A little insight on your buying process would be great - like why did you choose the BR-Z over the FR-S, as the the Scion version is cheaper, but of course the Subaru version has more kit. Also, any plans on getting more power out of the boxer 4? There is a ton of talk about the chassis being able to handle a lot more power.
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Old 17th September 2013, 19:34   #3161
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Originally Posted by gatham.psb View Post
Got myself a subaru brz. Been about a month and half into the ownership and just love it. Had been reading all the posts in this thread, but never got time to post.

Thanks a lot to everyone here in the forum. Posts related to Insurance and buying guide helped me a lot.
I can't wait to receive mine! Paperwork got done last week, should arrive this weekend or on Monday. Paid insurance today, not as bad as I feared.
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Old 17th September 2013, 19:37   #3162
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Another point to consider is that the car manufacturer may have a different change interval in the manual than what the transmission manufacturer recommends.
eg. on my car, BMW recommends this "lifetime" or 100,000 mile fluid change for the transmission, whereas ZF, the manufacturer recommends more frequent changes. Doesn't change the fact that most people don't end up changing fluid anyway as it is an expensive job.
That could happen. Mind you, I don't buy the lifetime whatsoever. My Jaguar XJR's AT is supposed to be sealed for life etc. But every XJR forum is awash with horror stories of these boxes breaking down if you don't take care of them and give them a flush once in a while. Anything over 100.000 miles probably could do with a flush. I did so mine. Cost a bundle, some of these AT fluids are hugely expensive. I think my AT flush was somewhere around $400-500. Labour plus fluilds and filter.

I also believe that when you start work on an AT you should get it really flushed and not just drain and refill. The flushing requires some special equipment that circulates fluid through all the internal parts of the AT. That's the only way to really get a proper fluid change. Also, a good shop will after the flush, drain and drop the sump, change the filters and check for any heavy residue. Dropping the sump is the best way to check that, have a look on the inside, run your finger over it if you feel any grit/filings.

Refilling an AT requires strict adherence to the manufacturers prescribed procedures. On my Jag it can take easily an hour. That's just the filling and the various readings you must take, including IR temperature readings during warm up cycles. And you need a special tool to check the various levels during filling.

All in all, it took my shop about 3 hours for all of the above. They did this for a living and had all the machinery, filters, flushing equipment etc.

Jeroen
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Old 17th September 2013, 21:11   #3163
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I'll stick to the transmission manufacturer's recommended schedule over the car manufacturer.
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Old 18th September 2013, 00:27   #3164
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As far as wheel alignment, I guess depending on car and road conditions - once a year or 20,000 miles is a decent estimate.

Very nice!! - that's the first on the forum I guess. Congratulations on the car - would love to read an ownership report if you can put one up.
Thanks a lot. Will come up with a detailed ownership thread after the first oil change.

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Congratulations on a wonderful car! You are going to have a lot of fun driving it! A little insight on your buying process would be great - like why did you choose the BR-Z over the FR-S, as the the Scion version is cheaper, but of course the Subaru version has more kit. Also, any plans on getting more power out of the boxer 4? There is a ton of talk about the chassis being able to handle a lot more power.
Choices are limited when you need a fun to drive, rear wheel drive car. Test drove the 370z and it felt a little heavy. Steering response when pushed was great, but not as much as the BRZ/FR-S. Other options I considered were the BMW 328i and Infiniti G37. Almost went ahead with the G37, but the kid in me wanted fun badly. The only option in AWD i considered was the Impreza WRX STI. But the looks of the twins (BRZ/FR-S) had me floored.

Between FR-S and BRZ, the choice was simple. This is my first car in USA and the better kit and interiors won me over. This will be daily driver for a long time to come. The dash has elements inspired by Nissan GTR (the HVAC controls etc on the limited trim in BRZ), also the inbuilt stereo and GPS on the brz. And Scion as a company does not exactly have that great name in the tuner community. Scion would have worked out cheaper. I was also offered a new grad discount. But i was sold on the BRZ.

Power Increase is on the cards. But not for a few thousand miles. The car does not feel slow. Compared to a camaro or mustang it does feel slow. But its more fun in the corners compared to them. At present, i feel that the car has enough power for my driving skills and my driving conditions. Once i feel more confident about the car's limits and my limits, i will consider the same.

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I can't wait to receive mine! Paperwork got done last week, should arrive this weekend or on Monday. Paid insurance today, not as bad as I feared.
Awesome! which color did you pick? Congrats in advance!
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Old 18th September 2013, 01:36   #3165
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Awesome! which color did you pick? Congrats in advance!
Thanks. Went with the DGM Limited. I picked the BRZ for the same reason as you, the interiors. The FR-S 10 series would have been OK as well, but it only comes in that one colour. (And the heated seats in the BRZ are definitely a welcome addition in Michigan.)
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