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Old 13th September 2012, 06:29   #1276
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Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
Finally took my baby for a photo-shoot on the Highway 1.
That's a nice colour. Car looks good!

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Will change the tires to Nitto on all 4 corners once these are done.
What size are you planning on - stock 17" or larger? Couldn't figure out your wheel size from the pictures.


I'm not sure whether they come in the size you're looking for but have you tried the Dunlop Direzza DZ101 or the Direzza Star Specs?
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Old 13th September 2012, 07:20   #1277
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Well, that is wrong info ^^

"The 1997 Firehawk LT4 model, made by SLP Performance Parts and sold through Pontiac dealerships, had 330 hp (243 kW) and 340 ft·lbf (459 Nm) of torque"

Reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontiac_Firebird

But you are right. In 1997 the C4 was no more in production, the top dog was C5 with 345 Hp. Which was un challenged by the SS or Firehawk.
The restrictions for the Firehawks and Camaros are usually not the engine itself but breathing and other systems. This has always been the way GM has approached this issue. Almost all Corvette LT4s dynoed at 350+ hp by all accounts.

And also by all accounts, the 1997-'00 LS1s cannot run with the C4-LT4s.

All of this is immaterial to me since, I bought the car because I prefer the feel of C4s and also prefer the shape and the interior.

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VLOCT, do you worry about its spare parts availability since they won't be in production officially. I guess you will have to pay a little more than normal for aftermarket parts.

Are you going to do any precautionary replacements of parts on this?
No, the advice is don't fix anything if it's not broken. Parts are expensive but easily available. Nothing new in the 'vette world.

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That's a nice colour. Car looks good!



What size are you planning on - stock 17" or larger? Couldn't figure out your wheel size from the pictures.


I'm not sure whether they come in the size you're looking for but have you tried the Dunlop Direzza DZ101 or the Direzza Star Specs?
Nittos seemed to be the preferred manufacturer for 'vettes. The wheels are 17" stock.

Last edited by VLOCT : 13th September 2012 at 07:44.
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Old 13th September 2012, 15:35   #1278
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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I'm not sure whether they come in the size you're looking for but have you tried the Dunlop Direzza DZ101 or the Direzza Star Specs?
We have a few cars in our group running on direzza star specs. THe major problem is tire life- guys get only 10k-17k miles out of starspecs with street and occasional track use.

I would recommend Michelin Pilot super sports. Nice street tyre with good grip and 60k treadwear warranty. Reasonably ok on track. Expensive though.
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Old 13th September 2012, 18:05   #1279
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Originally Posted by Jomz

We have a few cars in our group running on direzza star specs. THe major problem is tire life- guys get only 10k-17k miles out of starspecs with street and occasional track use.

I would recommend Michelin Pilot super sports. Nice street tyre with good grip and 60k treadwear warranty. Reasonably ok on track. Expensive though.
Yep, tread-life was what I was concerned about regarding the Star Specs.

I'm currently running the Pilot Super Sport tyres on my car. Put them on last week so haven't had a chance to 'test' them yet.Love them so far!

Not that expensive. Were a few 10s more compared to the Dunlops. Only substantialy cheaper ones were the Kumho LE Sport tyres. Reason I didn't go in for the Kumhos was their lower wet grip ratings.
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Old 13th September 2012, 23:21   #1280
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This is a very Important Post, Thanks VLOCT

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
@ dr. abhijeet,

We'll have the same problem of liking too many cars. Buying cars also depends a lot on the family situation. Buying 4 cars in one year is a recipe for losing a lot of money fast.

If you can, ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly;

1. What kinda driving do I like?

2. What's the family situation?

Babies/kids - 2 doors are outa question unless, it's a personal car.

3. Aesthetics - are you fanatic about good looks?
4. What's your driving skill?

Still improving your skill - not a good idea to a get cars like 'vette, M5s etc unless you have total self control.

As you can see, I never tire of advising people to be brutally honest about your requirements, skill, family situation and budget. Wasting money on cars without knowing what one wants is well, you know what. You'll never recover it unless, you have plenty of it, of course. You need to do loads and loads of research before you plunk a single penny.
People have an expectation that due to easy availability of better cars & better pricing everyone who comes here would buy a fancy car.

While the statement above is mostly true there are various conditions that one needs to think about before deciding on what car to buy.

I will illustrate my case, when I decided to buy a car I was in no mood to buy an Accord/Camry/Altima specially the way enthusiast look at people buying these cars

So here were my requirements

- Max Budget of 20k, open to both new & Used cars
- Wanted a car which was powerful & fun to drive
- Wanted a car which was spacious - With an infant, most friends (Inclduing Mod Aah78)recommended to get a car which has good boot space & cabin space
- Wanted a car which is not more than 4-5 years old
- Wanted to buy a fully loaded car (Navigation, Leather & heated seats was a must, I hate sticking & removing GPS on windscreen & the wired mess it creates)
- My running is going to be low as I use public transport for office Commute so a vehicle with slightly high miles would be fine.

To be honest I had my eyes set on used TLs & TSXs as one of my friends here had bout a 2004 TSX for 12.5k in 2007 which had done around 70k. So I was pretty confident that I could find

Germans - Almost everyone warned me against buying a used German unless I was DIY person.

Jap Sports/Luxury - It looked like the Market had moved up since my friend bought his Acura, the only sub 20k cars were either more than 5 years old or had lot of miles on them, i really looked hard.

American - Wasn't too keen on them as the old ones were not that great & not too many new ones (post the meltdown) were on sale. Brand new which I liked were out of my budget. Overall didn't focus much on these

So I was slowly realizing that I may afterall end up buying the usual desi favorites i.e. the Accord/Camry/Altima/Sonata (was sure I am not going the civic/corolla size).

So decided that if I have to buy amongst these then they must be fully loaded & newer & the V6 variant. Checked out a few camry's, altima's nothing interesting came up, until i came across a fully loaded 2008 Accord V6 with Navigation & the works. Took an acquaintance who was also a mechanic to check out the car, he gave a thumbs up, the condition was good & I instantly connected with the car almost everything was spot on.

So here was a car which had following from my checklist

- Leather/heated Seats
- Navigation
- Premium Audio with a Sub(This was bonus) which also played MP3 + option for aux
- Big & Spacious
- A Current Generation model(another bonus)
- A V6
- Some miscellaneous features like, dual zone climate control, heated mirrors, both front power seats, 17 inch alloys, Auto headlight etc etc

Now the negatives

- It was an Accord the Desi favorite
- It had 60k miles which was slightly high for a ~4 year old car but the carfax was clean

So after some deliberation decided that it suited most of my requirements besides at the bottom of my heart I knew that I wasn't buying a 10 year old base model accord which most people buy, what I was buying was top of the line model of one of the most reliable cars.

Many folks in office still wonder why I spend so much money on an Accord as either they or someone they know who has an Accord have bought one for nearly one third of what I paid, I tried explaining but I don't anymore.

Hopefully in future with this as a family car I might be able to buy something which would be a pure enthusiast car
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Old 14th September 2012, 00:21   #1281
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Hopefully in future with this as a family car I might be able to buy something which would be a pure enthusiast car
Now that the family car is in place, let the real pain and fun start in deciding on the 'man toy' that we want. Real painful stuff this.

In my case, I do not seek my friends and family's advice on personal vehicles. I don't have the patience, nor the interest, in convincing them that Japs are not the god send answer to automobiledom. I rely exclusively on reading up on as much stuff on the models I'm interested and if possible, try out some test drives. Not always possible on certain cars though. In that case, I just go with my gut feeling and not the 'almighty data'. It has never let me down.

Realistic expectations are a must.

Case and Point - Nissan GTR vs. Ferrari. Every piece of statistic indicate the GTR to be more than a match for the Prancing Horse.

Then they did a comparo for the Best Drivers' Car in the world - the winners;

1. Ferrari
2. GTR

The comment from the drivers after the comparo and I quote, "After driving the Ferrari, the GTR felt like a garbage truck", LOLL.

Never discount your gut feeling.

Last edited by VLOCT : 14th September 2012 at 00:24.
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Old 14th September 2012, 00:59   #1282
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Checked out a few camry's, altima's nothing interesting came up, until i came across a fully loaded 2008 Accord V6 with Navigation & the works. Took an acquaintance who was also a mechanic to check out the car, he gave a thumbs up, the condition was good & I instantly connected with the car almost everything was spot on.

So here was a car which had following from my checklist

- Leather/heated Seats
- Navigation
- Premium Audio with a Sub(This was bonus) which also played MP3 + option for aux
- Big & Spacious
- A Current Generation model(another bonus)
- A V6
- Some miscellaneous features like, dual zone climate control, heated mirrors, both front power seats, 17 inch alloys, Auto headlight etc etc

Now the negatives

- It was an Accord the Desi favorite
- It had 60k miles which was slightly high for a ~4 year old car but the carfax was clean
Good Choice. Welcome to the Honda family.
Make sure all services are done by the dealer and not some guy like Jiffy lube. Accord typical oil changes at the delaer are cheaper than jiffylube.

OIl change, tranny fluid change ( I think this is due at 60,000 miles & I assume you have an auto), Just general inspection ( which is free at the dealer), maybe brake inspectiion.. and you are all set for the next 240000 miles.

I had an Accord -1991 model - which ran upto 30000 miles and still gave 30mpg.

And now for the bad news.
The accord will become a generation old in a few months.

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/201...hotos-and-info
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Old 14th September 2012, 01:11   #1283
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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Now that the family car is in place, let the real pain and fun start in deciding on the 'man toy' that we want. Real painful stuff this.
Never discount your gut feeling.
Thanks, but that's now atleast 2 years away.

I never discount my gut feeling, infact most of my purchases are based on gut feeling, ditto with this car, I sat in & liked it, read details much later.

I listen to advice but always take my own decision, even if its not a popular one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
Good Choice. Welcome to the Honda family.
Make sure all services are done by the dealer and not some guy like Jiffy lube. Accord typical oil changes at the delaer are cheaper than jiffylube.

OIl change, tranny fluid change ( I think this is due at 60,000 miles & I assume you have an auto), Just general inspection ( which is free at the dealer), maybe brake inspectiion.. and you are all set for the next 240000 miles.

I had an Accord -1991 model - which ran upto 30000 miles and still gave 30mpg.

And now for the bad news.
The accord will become a generation old in a few months.

http://www.caranddriver.com/news/201...hotos-and-info
Thanks, yes I am aware of the 9th Gen Accord but atleast now mine would be just one generation old & not Two.

I did get a full check up done at a Honda Dealer & the report came out good on most parts, whatever issues(Rotors & Brake pads) they pointed out were fixed by the Used Car Dealer whom I had bought my car from

One of the Recommendations was to change the In cabin air filter, they were asking $99, I looked up online, bought it for $10 from Amazon & installed it myself for free

I have a Pep Boys shop nearby & was planning to get the oil change done from them, should be fine right?
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Old 14th September 2012, 01:28   #1284
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Unless the vehicle is under warranty, I usually stay away from the dealers. Find a reputable private garage. It'll do you a world of good. There are plenty of excellent mechanics around.

When it comes to oil change, my advise is to stick with Mobil 1 5W30 full synthetic. I would not even use 10W30, seeing that you're in the colder climate. If the stealership does not have the oil, I usually bring it with me. Nowadays even the dealers are trying to save a buck by using Pennzoil and other manufacturers.

The only other oil I use is AMSOIL which you'll have to get directly from the supplier. I don't know of any shop that carries it. My 911 gets only AMSOIL. All the rest gets the Mobil 1 5W30.
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Old 14th September 2012, 01:32   #1285
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Do check what the prices are at the dealer.
Here, I pay $30 for an oil change and an inspection at my local Honda delaer.

Pep boys , I think it is almost the same. And the mechanics at pep boys/ jiffy lube / walmart etc are not trained by Honda.

Not that Oil change needs any training, but I've heard horror stories of quick in and out oil change places putting the wrong grade of oil , not changing to the right Honda OEM oil filter, using the wrong washer etc. I expect this to happen because it might be hard to stock filters, washers etc for various different makes & models.

If the dealer quotes much higher than Pep boys, search around. You will find an OEM honda dealer who comes close to Pep boys pricing.

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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
When it comes to oil change, my advise is to stick with Mobil 1 5W30 full synthetic. .
Do not mix synthetic with normal oil. It might harm your engine. If your engine currently has synthetic use Mobil1, which is good. If not you might have to flush the oil completely before you start using synthetic. Check the Oil grade with your owners manual.

Last edited by Jomz : 14th September 2012 at 01:39.
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Old 14th September 2012, 03:11   #1286
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What will be a good used sedan/SUV to buy around New England (CT) area for me? Below are my requirements.

5. Budget less than 20k, strictly
Agree with others that 20 K is on the high end of spend in case your stay is around a couple of years.

I drive a Mazda CX-9 and VW Beetle 2012 edition and for your requirements I would recommend the new line of Mazda CX-5 , stunning in my opinion and you will be able to get some relatively new ones for 15 K.

It is almost perfect both a DD as well as weekend runs , can vouch for the FE as my CX-9 gives me around 23 MPG.

http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/disp...Code=CX5#/home

My other picks-

Sedan - Nissan Maxima , Sonata ( around 15 K )
SUV - Hyundai Santa Fe , KIA Sportage 2012 edition, Nissan Rogue ( > 15K and < 20K)

All the very best and hope you get a great vehicle.
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Old 14th September 2012, 03:29   #1287
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Originally Posted by VLOCT View Post
Unless the vehicle is under warranty, I usually stay away from the dealers. Find a reputable private garage. It'll do you a world of good. There are plenty of excellent mechanics around.

When it comes to oil change, my advise is to stick with Mobil 1 5W30 full synthetic. I would not even use 10W30, seeing that you're in the colder climate. If the stealership does not have the oil, I usually bring it with me. Nowadays even the dealers are trying to save a buck by using Pennzoil and other manufacturers.

The only other oil I use is AMSOIL which you'll have to get directly from the supplier. I don't know of any shop that carries it. My 911 gets only AMSOIL. All the rest gets the Mobil 1 5W30.
Yeah usually dealerships charge too high, any reputed mechanic &/or shop should be fine.

I am still debating about Mineral oil vs Synthetic, is there a real world difference? On one of the forums I read some bad reviews about AMSOIL so was wondering. I plan to use Mobil Though, synthetic or not is the big question right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomz View Post
Do check what the prices are at the dealer.
Here, I pay $30 for an oil change and an inspection at my local Honda delaer.

Pep boys , I think it is almost the same. And the mechanics at pep boys/ jiffy lube / walmart etc are not trained by Honda.
Yeah will check the prices, as for trained & right parts well if they don't have right parts & expertise for an Accord they are not very good at their business isnt it
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Old 14th September 2012, 03:45   #1288
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I am still debating about Mineral oil vs Synthetic, is there a real world difference? On one of the forums I read some bad reviews about AMSOIL so was wondering. I plan to use Mobil Though, synthetic or not is the big question right now.
Absolutely no question about it, Full Synthetic (not blend) is the only way to go. Their heat dissipating qualities are far far superior to mineral oils and are less prone to breakdowns at high temperatures. Also, the reason why most manufacturers now have Mobil 1 5W30 as the recommended oil.

AMSOIL is an excellent oil but, expensive and not really required, in my opinion, if you are driving a family sedan unless of course, it's an M3, M5, CTS-V and the like. Not necessary really even for them since, I'm sure Mobil 1 5W30 should be fine. My 911 has near race specs so, I don't scrimp on oil quality.
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Old 14th September 2012, 04:41   #1289
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I am still debating about Mineral oil vs Synthetic, is there a real world difference?
In addition to the main differences as VLOCT mentioned, you get longer oil change intervals with Synthetic & lesser sludge.

The only negative aspect, is that a quart or mineral oil costs a little less compared to a syn-blend, and much less compared to a full synthetic.

With a syn-blend you get some of the advantages of full synthetic but oil change intervals remain more or less the same as full mineral oil.

If you do decide to switch to syn-blend or full synthetic, note that it'll take a couple of flushes to get all the old oil out.

If you stick to regular oil changes, there's absolutely no harm in sticking to the recommended oil - your engine will run well on it.
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Old 14th September 2012, 06:09   #1290
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All my cars go to Midas for oil change, filter change, tire rotation and misc stuff. For major work, i have an independent mechanic for camry. For infiniti, i prefer a specialist in Infiniti.

Most oil change + tire rotation + inspection cost me $26 at Midas. And this is for mineral oil. I always change at 3500 miles in both the cars. Mineral vs synthetic is always a debate. But what i believe is if its a pre-owned car and it ran on mineral oil most of the year, stick to it. No need to go to synthetic as it takes atleast 3-4 oil changes in order to get rid of mineral when switching to synthetic. But if its new, switching to synthetic early will do you good in long run. Again if you are keeping it for short term, why bother?

In my city, Pep Boys and Jiffy Lube has poor image of not taking care of vehicles and using not so good quality of oils. Midas uses Chevron lubes so they should be ok though Mobil 1 and Castrol are top notch brand.

There are many places where you take your oil and filter and they do oil and filter change for $5-$7 while you stay in the car.

Last edited by chevelle : 14th September 2012 at 06:13.
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