Jump to content

Daily Driving An Old Car


Guest BJM

Recommended Posts

actual average mileage of my prius is 43mpg. 72000miles on a 2007. $22000 new. no maintance costs so far... just engine oil changes and a set of tires.

I have exactly the same # of miles on my 2005 Prius. I just bought my 3rd set of tires (@ 70,000 mi.), otherwise my experience (including gas mileage) has been the same.:)

I suppose in a perfect world where old cars last forever and don't break down I could have had the same service for overall less money than the Prius, and in the real world (for less $ than the Prius) I could've put up with a tow truck or 4 in the mean time and still had financial room for the repair costs. However that amount of money cannot buy the peace of mind that saving tons of CO2 per year for the same service provides.:cool:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Am somewhat opinionated, always bought new cars for the family but about 2/3 of the time my personal ones were more "experienced".

Since the '70s, cars have become lighter and more efficient but more importantly dramatically more comfortable to drive. For one thing before 1980ish, reclining seats particularly on the driver's side were a rarity. I know, parents did not allow daughters in "Airliner seats" in Nashes of the 50s but that was an exception.

In the late 80's it did get a bit absurd, the "16-ways" in Reattae was more marketting than reality but do have a very wide variety of positions available.

Also we were into the '70s before disk brakes became standard on things other than station wagons and the tires were so bad (got about 8,000 miles from a set of Wide Ovals on my Camaro) that the drums were mostly adequate. Again until 1984, standard (4 wheel disks on a 78 Trans Am were an option) four wheel disks were a province of Corvettes. Of course there was nothing wrong with disk/drum on a street car and the e-brake wa much simpler to accomplish.

But the bottom line is that the tires/brakes of the 80's were dramatically superior to anything standard in the '60s ("unsafe even in the driveway").

Engines: I had my first fuel injection in 1970 and never wanted a "poorly controled leak" since. Even the TBI which was something of the worst of both worlds was more efficient. I can still just about disassemble/reassembe a QJ blindfolded but have no desire to do so, FI is just that much smoother.

I remember Jaguars being great cars to prevent drunk driving, if you had too much to drink it would not start. (was infected by 3.8 6s at an early age, prolly why I like 3800s so much), also remember periodic infusions of Champion N-5 plugs.

Today, if I get in and it does not start on the first half rev even after sittiing for a month, something is wrong.

My usual personal driver this century stopped being a teen before I bought it. Of couse in reality my DD has been whatever Avis had waiting. Not saying new cars are not improved, aluminum blocks and VVT are both Good Things.

OTOH that is not enough for me to give up my 3800s (and a 2.8). Maybe it is just that to me, the present herd is "Good Enough" even though clustered from 1986 to 1992 but I have to say that few cars of the 60s and 70s can say the same (and have one of them also)

And the clincher: I sold a very nice 1966 Corvair Monza 'vert for enough to pay for both a 1986 Fiero GT and a 1990 Reatta 'vert, both running, presentable, with cold a/c, and both like 87 PON. Just a matter of following the curve.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Again until 1984, standard (4 wheel disks on a 78 Trans Am were an option) four wheel disks were a province of Corvettes. Of course there was nothing wrong with disk/drum on a street car and the e-brake wa much simpler to accomplish.

But the bottom line is that the tires/brakes of the 80's were dramatically superior to anything standard in the '60s ("unsafe even in the driveway").

My 1976 Mark IV has 4 wheel disk brakes with antilock. So did my 1978 and 1979.

I will be headed to the Chicago Auto Show next week. Just looked at the previews, and other than the Camaro and Challenger, both of which are old news by now, I do not see anything of interest.

To me the question is not whether to use an older car for daily driving, but why would anyone buy a new one when they all look the same and are about as exciting as a toaster, and cost $30,000 - $40,000 for anything that is not a bottom of the line econobox.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just curious, How long does a battery pack in a Prius last? How much does the pack of batteries cost? Can they be installed by a average mechanic, or say a retired mechanic at home? Does the Prius have to be smog checked like any other car? Does the Prius need regular (100,000 mile like most new cars) tune ups, and regular oil changes? What will the cost be in maintaining two propulsion systems should something go wrong?

Could the Prius beat the cost of my 1965 Standard European Type 111 VW that gets 41mpg at 100kph and 38 mpg average (city/hwy) on 5% ethanol laced regular fuel ?

Don

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just curious, How long does a battery pack in a Prius last? How much does the pack of batteries cost? Can they be installed by a average mechanic, or say a retired mechanic at home?

Rumor on the net is that the traction batteries last as long as an automatic transmission in a "normal" car, that is the life of the vehicle if properly maintained. My wife's 2001 Prius is still running strong on its original traction batteries. However I developed a bad cell in the battery pack of our 2004 Prius at about 60,000 miles. I don't know the cost of replacement as it was replaced for free (parts and labor), my "cost" was being without the car for a couples of days while they got the new pack in from where ever. I'd be careful doing it myself as high voltage DC with substantial current capability could be a recipe for electrocution or, at the least, inadvertently welding something.

Does the Prius have to be smog checked like any other car?

We've never been required to get a smog check for either Prius even though we've had the 2001 since fall of 2000 and the 2004 since the fall of 2003. But that is for California, your location may be different.

Does the Prius need regular (100,000 mile like most new cars) tune ups, and regular oil changes? What will the cost be in maintaining two propulsion systems should something go wrong?

There is a normal service interval for the Prius, every 5,000 miles. Covers things like oil change, rotate tires, etc. "Tune up" is not required at every 5,000 interval but does happen from time to time. All the "normal" things that any internal combustion car needs.

Could the Prius beat the cost of my 1965 Standard European Type 111 VW that gets 41mpg at 100kph and 38 mpg average (city/hwy) on 5% ethanol laced regular fuel ?

Don

I don't have cost numbers in my head. I guess I could fire up Quicken and get reports for both cars as to total cost and do a $/mi calculation. I do have all the numbers (pretty compulsive in some regards). For either you old VW or my Prius the fuel cost is probably not the big ticket item. Depreciation, insurance, registration, repairs, etc. are probably higher than fuel usage. Your older car probably has much lower depreciation, insurance and registration costs per year than the Prius, so I'd guess that unless your repair bill is very high it would be a cheaper car to run than the Prius.

I find that the dash MPG computer is usually, but not always optimistic. Also, my generation Prius has a bladder for a fuel tank and does not consistently fill up the same from one "tank" to the next. So the only number that I think makes much sense is total miles divided by total gallons so that the tank to tank filling variation is averaged out. I have also tracked all gasoline purchases and my "real world" gas miles is just a bit over 45 MPG. Your mileage will (not may, but will) vary based on your driving conditions.

My "daily driver" is not the Prius but is a 1990s vintage REI Novarra 18 speed bicycle. My guess is that my cost per mile on that is lower than your VW. :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1999 we got a new toyota tacoma standard cab pickup for the wife to drive and then a 2007 prius... because I was gone from home so much and was tired of constantly repairing the family car on my time off. My wife doesn't care to "put up" with the hassle of a older high mileage vehicle anyway. At least I haven't spent a ton of money for everyday transportation as the 1999 has averaged 23mpg for the 220,000 miles and 43 mpg for 72,000 miles on the prius with hardly any matainance expense on either one. BUT, now that has changed... the tacoma has a burnt valve...(i think). The check engine came on and a compression test shows 65psi in #1. Do I want to put any time and money in a newer vehicle when I should (and prefer) putting the effort in an oldie. In theory i've got time now since I retired. The '73 suburban could use valve guide seals, the '62 mercedes' trans needs work, the cadillacs, buicks, chevys, willys, pontiac, fords, de sotos all need LOTS of attention too...:rolleyes: and I forgot the la salle....

note to de soto frank ...my de sotos are '41 sedans and a '54 sedan 6cyl.:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Until I got married, I never drove anything newer than 1964. Now, my wife drives a 97 Dodge intrepid, I still drive a 53 kaiser, or one of my Studebakers as a every day car. I thought it was funny she ( your sister ) considers a 2004 old, haha, I have never had anything newer than 97, haha. money wise, a new car cost more than an old car. well, ok, maybe that cool 1937 Packard V12 is more but... haha

Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot depends on where you are. For 100 days (give or take a few) each year, a/c is a necessity if you need to go somewhere respectible "after 90".

All of my vehicles with more than two wheels have working a/c, one dual, one triple.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Could the Prius beat the cost of my 1965 Standard European Type 111 VW that gets 41mpg at 100kph and 38 mpg average (city/hwy) on 5% ethanol laced regular fuel ?

Don

The U.S. Dept. of Energy's web site has a very good comparison application ( Find a Car ). You can compare cars side-by side, inputing your costs and use characteristics. It makes these kinds of comparisons very easy. :cool:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Rumor on the net is that the traction batteries last as long as an automatic transmission in a "normal" car, that is the life of the vehicle if properly maintained. My wife's 2001 Prius is still running strong on its original traction batteries. However I developed a bad cell in the battery pack of our 2004 Prius at about 60,000 miles. I don't know the cost of replacement as it was replaced for free (parts and labor), my "cost" was being without the car for a couples of days while they got the new pack in from where ever. I'd be careful doing it myself as high voltage DC with substantial current capability could be a recipe for electrocution or, at the least, inadvertently welding something.

Replacing the 200V battery in a Prius is a very rare event, and in fact there is something of a glut of used batteries available. For a few hundred dollars they can be purchased and installed with relative ease and safety.

You are more likely to crack the engine block or transaxle case than ever need a new battery, however.

I did find out that the 12V battery ( a small, motorcycle-type) does tend to fail after 4-5 years, sometimes resulting in a loss in gas mileage for reasons I can't understand. If gas mileage in a Prius drops it's sometimes recommended to try replacing it to see if that's the problem.

There is a normal service interval for the Prius, every 5,000 miles. Covers things like oil change, rotate tires, etc. "Tune up" is not required at every 5,000 interval but does happen from time to time. All the "normal" things that any internal combustion car needs.

If by "tune-up" helfen is referring to replacing the spark plugs, the interval in the 2005 manual is every 100,000 miles. At 50,000 miles I pulled mine just to see if they needed attention. Every one was still exactly at factory spec to the .001 in. level of measurement. Those iridium plugs (found in many engines today, not just hybrids) are truly wonders.:)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that link Dave, problem is it only goes back to 1984. I did check the current cars that my wife and I are driving and the figures we get are far from the numbers the gov. gives. It must be our technique. Anyroad my 65 111 is a european model not sold here and gets about 7-10 mpg more than it's U.S. counterpart. I used to have a smog lic. here in Ca. and was surprised by the comment that PLY33 made that his vehicle had never been smogged. The state says, exempt for first six years, then bi-anual check forever with a gasoline engine over 50 cu. inches. Also I have been asking other people with Priuses about their batteries and quite a few of them have had battery packs turn turtle on them. The magic number seems to be about seven years and that seems on the high side. The EV fleet that I was once responsible for was using L-ion batteries and they were turning turtle on a average of five years. Batteries lasting the life of the car seems a little presumptous, still what does life of the car mean? I have owned that 65 Bug mentioned above for 42 years and my 69 Pontiac and my 76 Olds I bought new. So my question about how much is a battery pack going to cost is I think relevant. I also get the feeling that these cars have become very endearing to their owners, like the VW beetle has, or the rest of the cars we collect. Does anyone think these cars will have the support so they can be on the road forty years from now?

Don

Link to post
Share on other sites

A few additional comments to my original reply, several pages back....

I think the viability of an "old car" for a daily driver really depends as much on the driver's individual circumstances ( geographic/meteorlogical location, driving habits, mechanical aptitude, family situation...) as to the merit of the vehicle itself.

If you are handy, and have the time to do your own maintenance, or have a trustworthy mechanic and can afford to send the vehicle in whenever necessary, then you can deal with whatever mechanical issues arise.

ANY vehicle used as a daily driver is going to suffer from wear and tear...

Unfortunately, life does not grant you a handicap if you take a veteran automoble that's dry-rotted, brittle, and half-worn-out, and start pounding it as an everyday driver.

Do you really want to do that to a nice old car ?

It has been my personal experience that while significant others / spouses might tolerate or even enjoy a Sunday drive in an old car, they'll sing a much different tune when it's dead in the parking lot of the grocery store, or on the side of the road.

Then there is the issue of creature-comforts...

From a mechanical standpoint, I believe it is possible for vintage cars to be reliable daily drivers; have had several that were over forty years old, and were truly "gas & oil" drivers.

And my wife refused to ride in them because they were (are?) " ratty old junkers"...

But, now that I'm closing-in on fifty, and "free-time" has become scarce due to job & life pressures, I'd rather not spend all my free time working on my daily ride, so that it can get me to work tomorrow.

I also live in an area that sees a lot of snow and ice, and the powers that be fling a TREMENDOUS amount of salt on the roads. I can't take an antique out in that slop...

In the warm months, I usually choose to drive one of my antiques ('41 De Soto, '61 Rambler,

'60 Windsor, '28 Ford) over my "modern" daily driver ('97 Jeep wagon).

Have also witnessed the wear and tear inflicted on my "nice" '60 Windsor during the 10,000 miles I've put on it since getting it back on the road after and engine rebuild in 2006.

I think this is really a subjective question, the answer probably different for everyone.

After trundling along nearly 300 miles in my '28 Ford over the last couple weeks, it would make a decent driver, but it has its limitiations, chiefly that it does not go over 45 mph...

So that rules-out driving on Interstate highways... taking the milk route adds 30 minutes each way to my commute to / from work... many days, I ask myself "do I want to get up an hour earlier just to drive the Ford?" And being a coupe, it is a two-person car, one of whom is the driver.

So that limits Car-pooling.

I seems to remember there being someone here at AACA Forums that lived on Long Island, and either drove or knew someone who exclusively drove pre World-War I Cadillacs YEAR ROUND, no matter what the weather... I think that's the extreme end of the spectrum.

"Your results may vary..."

Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on what car it is, where it will be driven, and who is using it.

A 1920 open touring car would not be a good idea in Pennsylvania or Chicago on expressways in winter.

On the other hand, there is absolutely no reason why a 1975 Cadillac cannot be driven year round in Florida or California. They are not lacking anything a new car has except I-pod connections.

And if there was a wife that complained about riding in an antique car, I would get rid of the wife and keep the car.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 7 years later...

Ordinarily I don't bump threads this old but it's the most fitting existing thread I could find.

Besides........a bump after this long might be due.

Anyway.......When we were in Stevens Point (WI) this afternoon we stopped at Kmart as my wife needed to pop into the pharmacy.
I happened to park in front of an absolutely gorgeous car with B Collector plates (signifying the 3rd pair of collector plates) and hoped the owner would arrive before we left........and he (they) did.
I quickly got out of our car and remarked what a wonderful car they have.......as if they didn't know it...... 1f60a.png
They were a very nice couple, he being 91 years old!
We had a nice talk about his 1979 Ford LTD with........get this........31 HUNDRED miles on the odometer as it stood in the lot!........ 1f62e.png

The entire car was so pristine it looked as if it had been kept in a vacuum.
He said he's going to sell it because his eyesight may not be good enough to get his drivers license renewed....... 1f641.png
I suggested they keep the car and enjoy it as long as they can and THEN sell it.
I love serendipity....... 1f642.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...