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Old 27th March 2015, 17:56   #4606
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Autozone does it for free. Do check out one near you.
Autozone has VAG-COM??

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAG-COM

In other news, My wife has accepted a job offer from GM Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac,MI. There is a lot of interesting work going on in the Volt.

Last edited by Jomz : 27th March 2015 at 18:01.
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Old 27th March 2015, 18:07   #4607
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Autozone has VAG-COM??

In other news, My wife has accepted a job offer from GM Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac,MI.
They dont. But I have seen VW cars hooked up there.

Congrats! Are you guys in MI now?
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Old 27th March 2015, 18:12   #4608
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

No, I'm still with Cummins. No plans of moving, Yet. :-)
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Old 27th March 2015, 19:10   #4609
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Have you considered leasing a 2015 CRV? While you dont actually own the car, if you are a person that likes changing cars every 3 years and who wont exceed the miles limit, I personally feel a lease makes a lot of sense in terms of the amount you end up paying for a brand new car. Only remember you cant really modify it and there are a limited number of miles(usually 30K, but correct me if im wrong) you can drive over your lease period.
The flipside to the coin is -
1) You always forever in your life end up having a car payment.
2) You are at hook for damages (dents and dings), wheels etc. when you turn in your car
3) If you really do the math, consider payments etc. - Most often than not, the lease doesn't make financial sense. It comes to a heart vs. brain decision.


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In other news, My wife has accepted a job offer from GM Powertrain headquarters in Pontiac,MI. There is a lot of interesting work going on in the Volt.
Congratulations to her! When does she start? The other guy I referred to you, he landed a job at Confrmis - they make knee replacement products.
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Old 27th March 2015, 19:21   #4610
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Thanks Vineeth, she starts in July.

Good choice on the medical sector, automotive is highly cyclical - medical not that much.

Like for example , with the recent drop in gas prices lot of fuel efficiency improvement projects got reassigned. Such stuff does not happen much in the medical field.

But still it is always fun to see a 50l engine power up and deliver 2500 Horses.
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Old 29th March 2015, 09:30   #4611
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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  1. How much did the extended warranty cost you and is it really necessary to have one?
  2. Can I buy it just at the time when the manufacturer warranty is about to get over?
  3. I'm thinking of buying the WeatherTech floor mats. Which one's do you use? I currently have the mats from the dealer which are carpet one's. I also added Michelin mats which I bought from Advance Auto Parts. Will these hold good or should I go for the WeatherTech? The only thing with these mats is that they are a bit expensive ($189 for all rows, cargo not included).
  4. And finally, where is the Aux port located? I see the three ports which are for the home entertainment system inside the center console. Do I need to use some kinda converter?
Sorry for the delayed response, busy week and I didn't realize that I couldn't respond in quote which led to post deletion. Quick pick by aah78 :P

# I bought extended warranty when I was nearing 36000 miles mark from a dealer in Georgia for 1550, IIRC. I bought it because I plan to keep the car well past its factory warranty and there are quite a lot of electronic stuff that can go wrong.

# I am not using any mats as I live in Tucson and there are only two weathers here, lovely weather and devilish hot.

# You will need a aux to RCA converter, Why do you need Aux when you have Bluetooth?

# I am using synthetic oil since 10000 miles, have 3M tints 5% at back , quarter and rear glasses use a dashcam and a radar detector. I did change the windscreen once, 480$. I am currently on 2nd set of tires, I have almond interior but it has held well so far.
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Old 29th March 2015, 18:21   #4612
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

On a different note, how does one understand the depreciated value of a car wrt to insurance policies? Back in India, the insurance quotes do provide the value of the car as considered by the insurance firm to decide the premium. Here I haven't seen any of the same being mentioned whenever I went shopping for insurance.

How is the total loss value calculated out here i.e. on what value of the car?
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Old 29th March 2015, 18:43   #4613
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I believe they use the blue book value to settle for total loss.
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Old 29th March 2015, 18:53   #4614
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

There is also something called Black Book that dealers keep referring to. It seems like something that only dealers or insurance companies have access to.
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Old 29th March 2015, 22:09   #4615
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
On a different note, how does one understand the depreciated value of a car wrt to insurance policies? Back in India, the insurance quotes do provide the value of the car as considered by the insurance firm to decide the premium. Here I haven't seen any of the same being mentioned whenever I went shopping for insurance.

How is the total loss value calculated out here i.e. on what value of the car?
The total loss value is calculated based on what it will cost you to replace your car with a car of the same model year, same features, same condition in and around the area you live in. GEICO in my case looked a listings of 2009 Forester Limited in my area and estimated my cars value as an average of those listings. I see a problem when you have a rare car and cannot get any comparable listings, not sure what will be done then.

Source - I went through this process last year.
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Old 30th March 2015, 04:54   #4616
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I believe they use the blue book value to settle for total loss.
You mean KBB? I am a lil vary of insurance firms using that coz the valuations don't really consider all the factor. If I as a buyer try to bargain below KBB value, I'm pretty sure so will the insurance firms.

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There is also something called Black Book that dealers keep referring to. It seems like something that only dealers or insurance companies have access to.
Ah could be. One of my guess was auction values. When I was negotiating with the dealer, as a last attempt he showed me the auction value of my car (same model, miles done, model type) on a website (forgot the name) that requires a dealer based membership.

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
The total loss value is calculated based on what it will cost you to replace your car with a car of the same model year, same features, same condition in and around the area you live in. GEICO in my case looked a listings of 2009 Forester Limited in my area and estimated my cars value as an average of those listings. I see a problem when you have a rare car and cannot get any comparable listings, not sure what will be done then.

Source - I went through this process last year.
Thanks. That is interesting. Do share more on the experience. But I wonder how transparent will that process be?! Did you get to negotiate - say the amount quoted by them is a lot lesser than what is quoted in the market for similar cars or even by KBB standards.
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Old 30th March 2015, 05:13   #4617
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Thanks. That is interesting. Do share more on the experience. But I wonder how transparent will that process be?! Did you get to negotiate - say the amount quoted by them is a lot lesser than what is quoted in the market for similar cars or even by KBB standards.
I was given retail listings of similar cars that they considered to calculate the value. I could locate them myself too. I'm sure there is negotiation room, if I felt it was a real bad deal. It is not kbb values they use, but real listings. There is no black book or kbb involved.
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Old 30th March 2015, 22:14   #4618
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by dr.abhijeet View Post

# I bought extended warranty when I was nearing 36000 miles mark from a dealer in Georgia for 1550, IIRC. I bought it because I plan to keep the car well past its factory warranty and there are quite a lot of electronic stuff that can go wrong.

# I am not using any mats as I live in Tucson and there are only two weathers here, lovely weather and devilish hot.

# You will need a aux to RCA converter, Why do you need Aux when you have Bluetooth?
I too will follow the same path and get extended warranty when i near the 30k mile mark. Too much electric & electronic stuff scares me.

The weather which we have here definitely calls for heavy duty mats so planning to get a good one soon.

If a new person boards the car and wants to connect his/her phone to play music, its a pain to stop the car, pair that device and then roll. Though this is a highly unlikely situation but I wanted to be ready.

Thanks a ton for your reply. I will certainly fall back on you whenever I have more questions

I bought the cleaners attached below from Walmart yesterday. The left one is for the dash and the other one is for the rest of the leather portions. Tried them and they did a fantastic job.
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Old 31st March 2015, 05:16   #4619
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

My friends Highlander is giving trouble, it was idle for two weeks and now the battery shows "Not charged".

How do we know if its time for a replacement? OR is there a way to charge it?
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Old 31st March 2015, 06:28   #4620
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Did you not try jump starting the car ? If so, did the battery not charge even after the car ran for sometime ? How old is the battery ?
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