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


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 27th June 2014, 20:38   #3856
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chicagoland
Posts: 1,448
Thanked: 414 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
With Dodge deciding to discontinue the Hemi AWD, the SHO AWD will continue to rule the roost of fast family sedans.
By the way, I dont believe you bought an SHO. Where are the pictures???
Did dodge stop the R/T AWD on the Charger? And Chrysler did likewise for the 300? I did not know. Or are you thinking that SRT8 will always be RWD?

And yes, agreed, we need pictures to believe that it is the SHO
vineethvazhayil is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th June 2014, 21:06   #3857
BHPian
 
ToroRosso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 260
Thanked: 87 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
By the way, I dont believe you bought an SHO. Where are the pictures???
Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil;
And yes, agreed, we need pictures to believe that it is the SHO
Grrrrr. The lease is still not transferred. Anywas, this is what I have in my phone
Attached Thumbnails
Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-imag0549.jpg  

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-imag0551.jpg  

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-imag0555.jpg  

Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America-imag0550.jpg  

ToroRosso is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th June 2014, 21:17   #3858
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

Nice car, Congrats. Coming to Indianapolis sometime??
Don't forget to change the signature :-)
Jomz is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 27th June 2014, 23:42   #3859
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 vineethvazhayil View Post
Did dodge stop the R/T AWD on the Charger? And Chrysler did likewise for the 300? I did not know. Or are you thinking that SRT8 will always be RWD?
For 2015 Charger, the AWD is available only for SE and SXT, which are the V6 variants.
http://www.dodge.com/en/reveal/charger/#performance
Scroll to the AWD section.

I am not sure about the 2015 300 though. I couldnt find its specs. It's probably not out yet.
amitoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2014, 00:00   #3860
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

A 2 day rental experience with a Ford Explorer reaffirmed my preference for cars (as in sedans) as my medium of choice for personal transportation.

I usually do not rent, but had to this time because none of my cars could fit the luggage I wanted to ferry. Avis gave me a brand new Explorer XLT AWD (prod May 2014) with about 3500 miles on it.

The overall experience was about 6/10 over the 1000 odd miles I had it for.

It is a nice straight line cruiser for sure. Humming along softly, locked at 70-75 mph, I could easily hear the low/base notes in the music. No air noise, minimal road hum. The 27/28 mpg freeway consumption surprised me, to be honest, for an AWD vehicle of such bulk. The creature comforts were good. The media interface options were nice, the sound system was very nice. The disappearing third row seats yielded a large cargo space. The driver's seat was comfy. The console controls were easy and intuitive. The digital dashboard was fantastic. You'd do a 1000 straight line miles in a days work in this, without getting tired at all.

On the flip side this vehicle is ungainly, and there is no other way to put it. The driving characteristic is heavily skewed in favor of straight line driving only. Driving this one is similar to walking in an over-sized Donald Duck costume (feel sorry for those guys at Disney world). There are humongous blind-spots all around, the most notable one being the behind the drivers left shoulder and the one in the left front (the A pillar is massive and overcrowded). Despite the over sized mirrors, changing lanes and maintaining vision while turning left can be a chore. Downtown driving (without being obnoxious) could be taxing. Additionally, the vehicle is climb-on climb-off...literally. To add to its pachydermal woes, there is zero punch in 5th and 6th. You have to pull up to 4th or 3rd quickly for that slick lane change or merge from a ramp, or else be ready for a frustrated tailing driver, because this one does not hustle at all in the 5th or 6th gear. The suspension is soft and absorbs the irregularities on the road without much fuss, but after a few hundred miles on the freeway the bobble head effect becomes a bit irksome. The cargo cavity, although spacious, is very high (raised). Hauling half a dozen 55 lb bags higher than your waist can send a subtle reminder of your age. The console touchscreen is horrid. I actually feared I'll put a crack on the screen in trying to get a response from some icons.

A couple of days in this rig made me empathize with the maligned tribe of SUV drivers. Sometimes it may just be what they are driving that makes them bad drivers

Overall, would I rent one again? Probably yes, but only if a minivan wasn't available.

Last edited by NinadJoshi : 29th June 2014 at 00:02.
NinadJoshi is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2014, 07:24   #3861
Newbie
 
georgesraju's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 21
Thanked: 8 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by ToroRosso View Post
Grrrrr. The lease is still not transferred. Anywas, this is what I have in my phone
Hi ToroRosso, can you please share some details on the process of lease transfer. Especially, regarding the initial expenses that may have to be shelled out - whether we need to pay any sales tax, dealer fees etc. Also, do we have to get the vehicle assessed by the dealer for any unusual wear and tear which may cause us extra expense while returning the car at the end of the lease?

I am considering getting a car through lease transfer sites like swaplease.com sometime soon. Thanks in advance.
georgesraju is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2014, 08:04   #3862
Senior - BHPian
 
sajo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,426
Thanked: 563 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

All those looking to buy beater cars , from my personal experience, it can be quite a challenge. To begin with , not many dealers are interested in dealing at the lower end of the spectrum. Larger dealers may have them in their inventory, but only because they were traded in for new(er) vehicles from their lineup.
I couldnt stretch myself much to go for a price bracket beyond $5k, because of various reasons like a) I just landed here. b) I work for a small desi IT services company , and you know what all that entails.
Coming back to the car hunt. I started off by with a rigid criteria in my head of what I wanted from a car, viz., low miles, no immediate repairs, hassle free and easy to sell off without much of an economic hit. And yes, in the price bracket I mentioned above.
To begin with I started going through autotrader/cars.com/various other portals and quickly discovered that there wasnt much on offer there which fit my requirements. Craigslist was next, but visiting individual sellers when you dont have a car of your own is a pain. Still noted down a few numbers/addresses of dealers who list on craigslist and not on bigger portals and started visiting them one by one.
The thing to note here is, most of these tier-2 dealers get their inventory not from trade-ins , but from auto auctions. Apparently, these are closed door auctions (where only dealers are permitted) and hundreds of vehicles from fleets, or from financial institutions are auctioned off. A larger dealer might also get rid of cars that are sitting on his lot and unable to find a buyer , through auctions.
I paid a visit to a number of such dealers , from the fancy looking ones, to small, ones, to downright shady ones. Took many test drives , inspected many cars , but simply couldnt find a car which was worth the price being asked. Cars at dealerships run by Russian(quite a few of them in this business!) / Arab / Mexican folk tended to be priced okay-ish. But these places are likely to be located in far flung corners, with hand painted signs and lots with barb-wire compounds. A big chunk tended to be cars with rebuilt titles, so that was a point to be noted. Most of them would give you a carfax report if you asked for it, and some of them would allow third party inspections too, provided you leave some kind of security deposit with them.
The thing is, they tend to be reasonably priced because the cars were in iffy condition. You can make that sub-iffy condition too in many cases.
Undeterred, I did take many test drives, only to find something or the other feeling very wrong to my senses in almost all of them.
Did I tell you that prices quoted and KBB values were vastly off ? One Honda dealer in downtown even told me KBB is just a number and he isnt selling to KBB.
By now my patience was wearing thin, and I was rather desperate to close a deal on something. Then I came across a website called areacars.com , which lists these tier-2/3 places. A bit of exploring later found a place run by a mom-son duo , who claimed to not pick cars up from auction, but handpick them from individual sellers or franchise dealerships. Umm, yeah, right. But the limited number of cars on his dealership did look clean. He was also offering a 3000 mile/90 day engine-transmission warranty on each sale.
I checked out a couple of cars, and finally zeroed in on a 2002 Corolla LE. Clean inside out and new(ish) looking tires too. Everything on it worked and it made no untoward squeaks or noises. It had 100,030 miles on it. The TD was okay too, except the fact that I found the brakes to be a bit weak. A bit of haggling back and forth , and I got it for $5400 out of the door (on road price, for noobs like me).
Here is a cellphone pic :

Name:  IMG20140531WA0099.jpg
Views: 460
Size:  71.5 KB

A month and 800 miles later, I find a few issues with it.
- The brakes continue to get weaker. Its like stepping on a sponge now. This particular car does not have ABS.
- Vibrations creep in above 70mph. I hope its not serious. The tires are in okay condition. Above 80 they tend to reduce.
- The fuel needle and the transmission backlight (indicating which gear you are in) stays on even after I remove the key. The needle is accurate though.
- It is sloooow. Off the line that is. If I am not mashing my foot down off signals (and I dont) , even Fed-Ex delivery vans are much faster. Once it gets into its stride beyond 2nd gear, progress is relatively brisk.
- Its doing about 33 miles to the gallon. Its good that I dont have to fill it up as often as I used to fill up my rental dodge avenger which I had after landing here.
- Corollas of this generation are known to drink oil, as I read later. I hope I dont suffer from this.

Sorry for the long noob post , but I had to get it out of my system.
sajo is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 29th June 2014, 18:50   #3863
BHPian
 
ToroRosso's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 260
Thanked: 87 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgesraju View Post
Hi ToroRosso, can you please share some details on the process of lease transfer.
Hi George, In my case I have taken over an Existing Corporate Lease. So there were no Dealer Fees to be paid. But , the car was assessed by the Dealer and the Lease agreement was amended with the minor dings and wear/tear. (There were 3 scratches and a small dent on the boot in my car). He had an Extra set of document that had list of all the changes and the Odometer reading.

I had to pay the Registration Tax, since the tags were expiring in July.

Pls let me know if you need any more details.

Again, I went for the lease only because it was a Corporate Lease and the timeline is just what I needed.
ToroRosso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd July 2014, 23:22   #3864
BHPian
 
vulcanize's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NYC/Chennai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Got this in my e-mail and thought of sharing it with you all because of personal experience.
I totalled my car (a 99 Honda Civic EX) in 2003 due to being unaware of the perils of driving with "cruise control" in wet weather.

I was very lucky to survive the 55 mile speed crash in rush hour traffic on an S bend coming out of a tunnel where two interstates merge.
----------------------

DRIVING IN RAIN...This May Save Your Life. This is well worth a read! SAFE-DRIVING TIPS WHEN IT IS RAINING!

GOOD VISION IN A DOWNPOUR:

How to achieve good vision while driving during a heavy downpour. We are not sure why it is so effective; just try this method when it rains heavily. This method was told by a Police friend who had experienced and confirmed it. It is useful, even driving at night.

Most of the motorists would turn on HIGH or FASTEST SPEED of the wipers during heavy downpour, yet the visibility in front of the windshield is still bad. In the event you face such a situation, just put on your SUNGLASSES and miracles! All of a sudden, your visibility in front of your windshield is perfectly clear, as if there is no rain.

Make sure you always have a pair of SUNGLASSES in your car. You are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but also might save your friend's life by giving him this idea.. Try it yourself and share it with your friends!

Amazingly, you still see the drops on the windshield, but not the sheet of rain falling. You can see where the rain bounces off the road. It works to eliminate the "blindness" from passing cars. Or the "kickup" if you are following a car in the rain.

They ought to teach this little tip in driver's training.. It really does work. This is a good warning. I wonder how many people knew about this???

Another good tip:

A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago. It was raining, though not excessively when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence! When she explained to the Police Officer what had happened, he told her something that every driver should know:

NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON.

She thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain... But the Police Officer told her that if the cruise control is on, your car will begin to hydro-plane when the tyres lose contact with the road, and your car will accelerate to a higher rate of speed making you take off like an aeroplane. She told the Officer that was exactly what had occurred. The Officer said this warning should be listed, on the driver's seat sun-visor - NEVER USE THE CRUISE CONTROL WHEN THE ROAD IS WET OR ICY, along with the airbag warning. We tell our teenagers to set the cruise control and drive a safe speed - but we don't tell them to use the cruise control only when the road is dry.

The only person the accident victim found who knew this, (besides the Officer), was a man who'd had a similar accident, totalled his car and sustained severe injuries.

NOTE: Some vehicles (like the Toyota Sienna Limited XLE) will not allow you to set the cruise control when the windshield wipers are on.
----------------------------------

Mods, please feel free to move this post to appropriate thread if found to be not suited in here.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 3rd July 2014 at 11:32. Reason: Formatted for better readability. Thanks :)
vulcanize is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2014, 01:05   #3865
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

^^ Those are handy tips!
By the way, the sunglasses need to be polarized, otherwise it won't help.

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/sunglasses.asp
amitoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2014, 02:07   #3866
BHPian
 
josejoseph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Cochin
Posts: 634
Thanked: 316 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

What if it's raining heavy at night? Using sun glass is not an option at night.
josejoseph is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2014, 02:25   #3867
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

True. It can rain quite heavy during the day too, as I found out when driving from Toronto back to Nashua. For some time, the visibility was nearly 0. I asked my wife to take a video, but surprisingly, the video could not capture the rain. I thought of looking through the camera to drive but immediately realized the foolishness of switching from 3D view to 2D view.
amitoj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2014, 09:01   #3868
Team-BHP Support
 
Gannu_1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Madras
Posts: 4,355
Thanked: 8,056 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcanize View Post
Another good tip:
A 36 year old female had an accident several weeks ago. It was raining, though not excessively when her car suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air. She was not seriously injured but very stunned at the sudden occurrence! When she explained to the Police Officer what had happened, he told her something that every driver
should know -NEVER DRIVE IN THE RAIN WITH YOUR CRUISE CONTROL ON.
Hoax Slayer - Cruise Control Hydroplane Warning

Quote:
Brief Analysis

The message contains some valid information, but is nevertheless misleading and alarmist. Using cruise control in wet conditions certainly can be dangerous but it will NOT cause your vehicle to speed up and fly through the air.

However, the claim in the message that cruise control itself can actually make the vehicle accelerate and fly through the air in a hydroplaning situation is dubious at best. A CarPoint Australia article that debunks the claims in the email notes:

This is the key that makes a nonsense of the email. Modern cars take their speedo reading from the driveshaft or transmission. This means the cruise control bases its responses on the speed of the driven wheels, not the car itself. This is an important distinction and fail safe position.

If the driven wheels skid because they lose grip, the spinning wheels will cause the speedo to show a higher reading which will force the cruise control to release the throttle faster than most drivers. Regardless of whether the car itself slows down or speeds up, the cruise control will always reduce the throttle no matter what until the driven wheels slow down back to the pre-set speed.

If the wheels continue to slip under this scenario, this will always leave the car travelling more slowly relative to the road, not faster as described in the email.


The bottom line? Using cruise control in wet conditions certainly can be dangerous but it will NOT cause your vehicle to speed up and fly through the air. Engaging cruise control in any road situation that is less than optimal is ill-advised. Such road situations include not only wet and rainy conditions , but also icy roads, high traffic, poor visibility and rough, narrow, hilly or excessively bendy roads. However, do we really need an unverified and factually dubious email forward to make us aware of such factors? I would hope that not using cruise control in wet or other potentially dangerous conditions would simply be common sense for any responsible driver.
Car flew through the air? Might be a good idea to do some search on the internet to separate facts from fiction!

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 3rd July 2014 at 09:03.
Gannu_1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 3rd July 2014, 13:51   #3869
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Delhi
Posts: 2,548
Thanked: 4,529 Times
Default

Its a very old story that has been floating around on the Internet for more than a decade

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/wetroad.asp

The car taking off into the air is a bit much, but loosing control of the car in this fashion is not unlikely.

It also depends a bit where the cruise control pick up its speed signal. Its not necessarily the drive shaft or transmission, it could also be the speedo (either direct or via the ECU). But the effect is more or less the same. When a wheel/tyre starts hydro planning, it looses traction and subsequently speeds up. As the car is is still maintaining more or less the same speed, the cruise control wont adjust the throttle. in fact when it detects speed dropping it will command the throttle towards more power, i.e. Making it worse.

So yes, driving with the cruise control on in very wet conditions can get the wheels spinning occasionally and that could quickly lead to loss of control. I have experienced the spinning in wet conditions myself, both in my Mercedes as well as my Jaguar.

Im not sure , but I seem to recall that modern cruise control systems can detect these quick acceleration and prevent wheel slip accordingly. Its probably cruise control in combination with some other (traction) control system(s). But your car won't take off that is for sure.

Jeroen
Jeroen is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 4th July 2014, 01:57   #3870
BHPian
 
vulcanize's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NYC/Chennai
Posts: 82
Thanked: 78 Times
Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
^^ Those are handy tips!
By the way, the sunglasses need to be polarized, otherwise it won't help.

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/sunglasses.asp
That's correct. Thanks for adding that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gannu_1 View Post
Hoax Slayer - Cruise Control Hydroplane Warning



Car flew through the air? Might be a good idea to do some search on the internet to separate facts from fiction!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Im not sure , but I seem to recall that modern cruise control systems can detect these quick acceleration and prevent wheel slip accordingly. Its probably cruise control in combination with some other (traction) control system(s). But your car won't take off that is for sure.

Jeroen
Like I mentioned at the very beginning of the post - I have personally experienced the lift and hydroplaning of a 1999 Honda Civic EX which then went on to slam the left hand side concrete divider and while struggling to regain control, did a spin of 90 degrees and then proceeded to slam the concrete barrier on the right hand side of the freeway across four lanes.
Had angels on my shoulders since nobody hit me nor did I hit anyone else.

The best part was that even the airbags did not deploy for a straight headlong crash (just read on the news the other day that Honda was recalling a whole bunch of vehicles for airbag issues).

So YES, eleven years ago in 2003, the smaller and lighter older car with cruise control on wet freeways acted EXACTLY as per what the e-mail said and hence my post here about it.

I should also mention that the added factors were that I was coming out of a tunnel (and there was a slight dip in the roadway at the beginning of the S curve where there was a bit of water collected) and since it was the first heavy rain of the season the oil on the road from the vehicles had also collected and floated on the top.

The attached picture shows east bound traffic on the right. I was on the opposite side (left side of of picture) - west bound and the arrow shows the exact location where I started losing control entering in to the S-curve that is not seen in the photo.
Attached Images
 
vulcanize is offline   (1) Thanks 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 22:20.

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