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Old 1st August 2012, 16:54   #1111
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
@ Jomz,

75 mph @ 4000 rpm. Man, that's a stressed engine.
It is stressed. It is designed to handle that. And there are a lot of s2000's who crossed 200K miles even with all that stress. I the design which made cruising at 4000rpm reliable.

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Getting higher BHP and fixing the turbo lag for the GTI is actually pretty easy. A simple remap will do.
I agree, there are quite a bit sportscars among friends- including 2 Evos's , 1 C5 corvette , 2 GTi's ,2 s2000's, 1 Viper (1st gen), 2 E46 M3's,many WRX's etc. My best friend has a GTi and I've autocrossed and driven with him many times. My opinions on the GTi are from driving his Gti.

The problem with a remap is - it voids warranty. Every owner wants that peace of mind. I've extended warranty on my car till 2015. I prefer to enjoy OEM cars than to modify them.

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The whole point of usable power is that, you don't need to full throttle to get to the sweet spot, unlike the S2000. If one keeps driving like that on a regular basis, we'll pretty much torpedo the engine, sooner or later, not to mention the stack of speed violations that'll pile up pretty quick. If you do a rolling run from, say 60 mph with a car like the GXP, the GXP will pull ahead initially (256 bhp @ 5300 rpm) due to the lower rpm sweet spot for the power delivery and massive torque advantage it has. The final speed of course will depend on the gearing.
I don't completely agree. The acceleration is a function of torque on the wheels. And that depends on the gearbox. Whenever I take the s2000 out. I redline her in 1 st , 2nd and 3rd gear. 8000 rpm in 3rd gear is just 65mph. I had the s2000 for 2 years and have only 1 speed violation, and that was for unsafe accelaration - surprisingly.

And it is this gearing which gives s2000 a 5.4s 0-60 time compared to a 5.5 s 0-60 time of a Solstice GXP, inspite of having lower torque. Source (0-60 Times | 0 to 60 MPH and Quarter Mile Times for Fast Sports Cars, Muscle Car and 2011, 2012 and 2013 Luxury Car performance stats!).

My point is not to showcase my S2000. In your 2.0l turbo motor GM has 256 Hp. S2000 has 240Hp from 2.0l NA. Both are good engineering. You want to feel the torque like a dragster, I like revving up like an F1 car. People have their preferences.

I don't know why VW derated the GTi and I rag my best friend everyday about that. That design attitude alone is a big turnoff for me fir the Gti (-making a nice engine and derating it significantly for a sportscar)

Nobody makes a cheap, lightweight no holds barred sportscar anymore. What we get is high horsepower luxobarges.

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Old 1st August 2012, 18:17   #1112
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I know a lot of people like to do that and I would too if I bought an older car (say pre-2000) but personally, I don't think it necessary for the new stock of cars.

First oil change after a 1000 miles, I can live with. I know some auto-mfgs still offer this with their cars. (Mercedes does, I know and I think BMW does it for the M cars but I'm not sure).

But transmission fluid - no way I'm changing it out until at-least 50,000 miles for automatic, maybe earlier for manual.
[On that note - I have to change the tranny fluid in my car soon.]

Of-course, there's no harm changing out your fluids sooner than recommended but I'd rather stick to the part manufacturer's intervals rather than the car manufacturer's recommended intervals.

Theres a whole lot of debate that goes on regarding fluid change intervals and I don't think anybody's willing to budge .
you will see a noticeable increase in MPG if you ae flushing transmission at around 50K miles for the first time. It's not about saving gas but the feeling that you were choking the car all this time

I saw an increase of about 15% when I did that and changed air filter (yes it was clogged).
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Old 1st August 2012, 19:17   #1113
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I never understood the Jap philosophy of power delivery @ high rpm for road going cars. Never really enjoyed that kind of driving except on the track, where it's great. Still could use some beefy torque.
I think both sets of cars are purpose built that way. The Japs to rev it high and enjoy that way, and the GTI for eg. is meant to be a comfortable cruiser also when you need it to be. I cannot think of driving for hundreds of miles at 4000 rpm, however it is very ok to do that for 5 minutes! I guess Jomz enjoys revving for miles and miles and listening to the roaring engine all the time. To each his own!
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Old 1st August 2012, 21:40   #1114
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I also don't understand the idea of high powered FWD cars. That's just asking for a lot of understeer and torque-steer. The worst combination for a fun car. They end up having complex suspension which ultimately increases the kerb weight of the car.

@Jomz,

Almost all modern cars are designed to do well over 200K, provided they get proper maintenance. That's simply not news anymore. Very few people however, keep it that long. 65mph@8000 rpm in 3rd gear when redlining??? That somehow doesn't sound right. If redlining the GXP, I'll be well over 100 mph in 3rd.
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Old 1st August 2012, 23:24   #1115
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I also don't understand the idea of high powered FWD cars. That's just asking for a lot of understeer and torque-steer. The worst combination for a fun car.
That is why i told Golf R is more fun than a Gti.

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65mph@8000 rpm in 3rd gear when redlining??? That somehow doesn't sound right. If redlining the GXP, I'll be well over 100 mph in 3rd
Redline speeds on an S2000, from some post in the s2000 forum

"1st- 37 MPH
2nd - 57 MPH
3rd - 79 MPH
4th - 101 MPH
5th -128MPH
6th -155MPH"

The speeds comes to gearing , Since s2000 has low torque, the gear ratio is short so that it can accelarate fast. Torque on the wheels can be changed with proper gearing. Max power cannot.


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Almost all modern cars are designed to do well over 200K, provided they get proper maintenance. That's simply not news anymore. Very few people however, keep it that long
I agree, But when the car cruises on the interstate with a stressed engine at 4000rpm- I thought 200K was really amazing engineering.

This is with no waterpump change, timing belt change, nothing.. Just oil changes. That is all what is in the owners manual.

For a comparison the E46 M3, which I cross shopped quite a bit, needed $1000 in maintanance every year. I'm yet to see an E46 M3 with 200k miles. The E46 M3 is quite a capable car, But I needed something which is easy on maint.

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I guess Jomz enjoys revving for miles and miles and listening to the roaring engine all the time. To each his own!
True.. Reminds me of F1. Espicially with an F1 like digital dials.


Anyway, as I told s2000 is not the discussion topic. Let us get back to the topic shall we??

Last edited by Jomz : 1st August 2012 at 23:26.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 02:03   #1116
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Well Jomz, if all we had to do was what they said in our Owners Manual, then most cars would not need major maintenance? Unfortunately for us, older any car gets, it will require maintenance. They haven't made one yet for which that statement is not true.

As someone who owned a 740 iL for 11 years, I can tell you Beemers are expensive to maintain after their warranties run out. In fact, they're among the most expensive cars to own after the warranty period. Maintenance I and Maintenance II are the standard BMW service requirements, alternating every 15000 miles and they cost around $500 each. So unless something is broken or you're putting 30,000 miles every year, I don't understand why an M3 would need $1000 per year in maintenance. If someone is driving 30K every year, he is better of with a cheap commuter for daily use.

I am hoping all fun cars be topics of discussion in this forum. After all, these cars are easily available for reasonable prices here. If someone gets directed towards a real fun car from the usual 'Honda/Toyota is the greatest' conversation, I would consider my job done.

Heck, I'm hoping that FIAT would some day bring Alfa Romeos (not the Chrysler versions) to the US. That's really is the one major brand I have a hankering to drive and/or own. I so badly want to own one for a few years. Reliability be damned. Come on, FIAT..

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Old 2nd August 2012, 02:24   #1117
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Actually, all fun cars should be topics of discussion. These cars are easily available for reasonable prices here. If someone gets directed towards a real fun car from the usual 'Honda/Toyota is the greatest' conversation, I would consider my job done.

Heck, I'm hoping that FIAT would some day bring Alfa Romeos (not the Chrysler versions) to the US. That's really is the only major brand I have never driven or owned. I so badly want to own one for a few years. Reliability be damned. Come on, FIAT..
I hope all these discussions lead to such conversions for prospective buyers. It's my principle too, You can afford cars here that you cannot in India. So while you are here, why not?
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Old 2nd August 2012, 08:11   #1118
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Well Jomz, if all we had to do was what they said in our Owners Manual, then most cars would not need major maintenance? Unfortunately for us, older any car gets, it will require maintenance. They haven't made one yet for which that statement is not true.
False.

Trust me when I say the honda engines don't need major maintanance till 200k on an s2000. Source

200,000 Mile Club - S2KI Honda S2000 Forums - Page 3

the major maintenance on that thread is just replacing timing chain at 180K miles and , maybe wheel bearing replacements. There is a reason why Honda and Toyota are loved & that is because this reliablity

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
As someone who owned a 740 iL for 11 years, I can tell you Beemers are expensive to maintain after their warranties run out. In fact, they're among the most expensive cars to own after the warranty period. Maintenance I and Maintenance II are the standard BMW service requirements, alternating every 15000 miles and they cost around $500 each. So unless something is broken or you're putting 30,000 miles every year, I don't understand why an M3 would need $1000 per year in maintenance. If someone is driving 30K every year, he is better of with a cheap commuter for daily use.
Please, the prices on maint 1 & 2 (Actually they are called inspection 1 & 2) are way off for an E46 M3.

Please refer the following link for a service special offer which charges inspection 1 for $950 & Inspection 2 for $1250.

SOUTHBAY AUTOHA‹S || E46 M3 Inspection 1 and Inspection 2 Promo! - MFest Forums

And the parts which have to be replaced in the inspection are in addition to the prices quoted for inspection 1 & 2.

If you can give the contact of the dealer who does inspection 1 & 2 for $500 for an M3 , there are quite a few of my friends who would want to use that dealer.

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Old 2nd August 2012, 11:07   #1119
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@Jomz,

I'm not interested in getting into an argument with you on Honda/Toyota greatness. They're overhyped, period. There is no maintenance free Honda or Toyota or any other car manufacturer in existence. It's your choice if you want to believe that all the maintenance they'll need is what is said in the owners' manual. Good luck with that.

Like I said earlier on this forum, ask a New York cabbie what make he would have for his cab. He would laugh Hondas and Toyotas out of existence. The most popular Ford Crown Victorias are known to put upto a million NYC miles. Try that on the Japs or any other manufacturer and see your maintenance bills.

The rates I quoted was when I owned my car which I sold in 2009 for a 2008 Cadillac CTS-V, in the IL/OH area. By the way, Ill take that V against the mighty M series, 3, 5 and 6 all day long. That car really cured me of my German car fetish for good, except for the 911, of course. And I would really appreciate it if you would please stop patronizing me.

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Old 2nd August 2012, 16:38   #1120
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@Jomz,

I'm not interested in getting into an argument with you on Honda/Toyota greatness. They're overhyped, period. There is no maintenance free Honda or Toyota or any other car manufacturer in existence. It's your choice if you want to believe that all the maintenance they'll need is what is said in the owners' manual. Good luck with that.
I do believe they have amazing quality. I used to believe they are overhyped till circumstances forced me to buy an accord with ~280k miles. I have not seen any other car run like that @280 K miles. I speak from experience and I have the ownership report of that car in this forum.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...here-us-2.html (Finally bought a car.. Here in the US...)

If you want to believe otherwise, it is a free world.

I design truck engines , that is my job. That is how i have quite a bit enthusiast friends. I know it is possible to design a maintenance free engine for 300K or 400k. Whether OEM's want to sell those or not , is a totally different story.

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And I would really appreciate it if you would please stop patronizing me.
Sorry if you felt like being patronized. I was correcting the wrong facts you have posted on the forum. Inspection 1 & 2 on an E46 M3 do not cost the same as inspection 1 & 2 on a 11 year old 740iL. If you still insist they can be done for $500 each, My friend with the E46 M3 would want to check that dealer out. Anyway IN is close to both IL & OH.

Anyway we are way offline here. PM me if you guys want opinions on Mitsu Evo's, WRX's , E46 M3 , Z4M's ,miata's, GTi's etc.I could connect with an actual owner of those cars and give a feedback about them. Did you guys know that you can get an used Lotus Elise for as less as 20-25k?? That would be a fun litte car.
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Old 2nd August 2012, 21:21   #1121
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@Jomz,

It's rarely the engine/tranny that's the problem. It's usually the peripheral items like fuel pumps, electronics, a/c compressor that fail. My point was, there are plenty of American and European cars that have done 200K plus miles easily, not just Japanese.

The rates I quoted were from pre-2008 for the Beemer and they're correct for that time period. In any case, I wouldn't recommend anyone to buy an M series BMW as your daily driver and put a ton of commuter miles on them. They are designed as performance vehicles, not for stop and go traffic.

I've been in North America for close to 20 years now and am on my 12th car now, and mostly performance vehicles from a wide range of manufacturers. So, I am on this forum to let people know that there are choices available to all. Hopefully, some of these would be buyers would like to sample something different and be pleasantly surprised that there is life outside the world of Japanese automobiles. Peace..
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Old 2nd August 2012, 22:21   #1122
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I've been in North America for close to 20 years now and am on my 12th car now, and mostly performance vehicles from a wide range of manufacturers. So, I am on this forum to let people know that there are choices available to all. Hopefully, some of these would be buyers would like to sample something different and be pleasantly surprised that there is life outside the world of Japanese automobiles. Peace..
That is quite a bit of exposure to performance vehicles. I'm sure that the forum readers would have good insights about cars available in the US from your experiance with different cars. It is that discussion of various views which makes this forum worth reading.

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Old 2nd August 2012, 23:27   #1123
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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
I've been in North America for close to 20 years now and am on my 12th car now, and mostly performance vehicles from a wide range of manufacturers. So, I am on this forum to let people know that there are choices available to all. Hopefully, some of these would be buyers would like to sample something different and be pleasantly surprised that there is life outside the world of Japanese automobiles. Peace..
VLOCT - I would say you should start a thread on all the cars you owned, what you liked and disliked about each of them etc. I think it might help others who are looking for affordable performance without jumping into something stupid in a different country. What say?
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Old 3rd August 2012, 00:10   #1124
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Japanese vs. European vs American vs Korean - its all in the perception.

Honda and Toyota are still cashing in on the reputation they built thru the 90s and early 2000s. The quality has gone downhill and cost cutting seems to be the only focus of new development but still people are buying these.

Hyundai/Kia has cashed on this big time (They have their own perception problems though) and now the japs face the consequences of taking shortcuts.

The Americans are suffering from the perceptions built in the 80s and 90s too. They have improved a lot but people are still wary of them.

So tale a chill pill and buy what you fancy - the probability of getting a lemon is almost the same no matter what manufacturer you choose.
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Old 3rd August 2012, 23:46   #1125
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@mohit,

Totally agree with you. However, as you well know, we Indians are totally averse to going outside our comfort zone and it takes a whole lot of prodding for our thought process even to budge to try something new especially, when it comes to automobiles. I find it quite exhausting, actually.

@vineeth,

While I would be more than happy to detail my experiences, we all have to divide the the 24 hrs we have a day to a zillion things. So life's priorities just has to take precedence.

Besides, my outlook on automobiles are skewed towards performance, road holding, front wheel feedback, steering precision and weightage etc. So there is a built-in bias towards such cars. This makes it difficult for me to be interested in cars like Accord, Camry etc unless they have been substantially modified. I would rather drive a pick-up truck, much more interesting. Majority of the people are looking for people movers and reliability and fuel economy are their main and usually only concern/interest and hence, the success of Accord and Camry.

That's the reason the reviews of my 911, Solstice GXP and the Ducati 999 on this forum are more of a narrative style of the driving experience than, a list of positives and negatives. Reliability is not very high on my list of reasons for owning a car. I learnt a long time ago that 'You gotta pay to play'. The trick is to find a way to make the 'pay' part reasonable. My solution is to have a reliable fun commuter car that does not cost more than $5000. That way, I don't put more than 5000 miles each on my other cars per year, which makes it cheaper for insurance, extended warranties and maintains excellent resale value. This also ensures they stay in my garage protected from the elements and the miles they get are just pure fun miles. For example, my GXP's factory warranty is expiring shortly and I just got a quote of $1195 for a Major Guard extended warranty from GM for an other 4 years/32000 miles. That's cheap, but you get that rate because of the low miles on the car, 14,400 in 3 years. Major Guard by GM, in my opinion, is the best factory warranty in the market, bar none, is transferable to the new owner or, the balance will be reimbursed if, you sell the car. It's bumper to bumper but, you can't get it after the factory warranty has expired.

Having said all that, I've been pleasantly surprised by many cars by their utter reliability and even when they needed repairs, they were quite cheap to fix. Some examples would be, my current '97 Mustang, '02 Ford Crown Victoria/Police Interceptor, '84 Audi Sport, '89 Mazda 929, '87 Nissan Patrol. Cars like the BMW 7 series and CTS-V, I would not even think of owning without warranties. I probably should write a review of the CTS-V, one of my all time favourites and the only reason I gave that car up was my hankering for a true performance convertible. GXP fits that bill for me perfectly.

My experience is that, while most Indians I meet like the cars, they are baffled by the logic of owning such automobiles. Some time ago I was telling a friend of mine that I was out carving some corners, his response "Why"?
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