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Guest BJM

Daily Driving An Old Car

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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 ?


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:

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

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.:)

Edited by Dave@Moon
Added 12V battery paragraph (see edit history)

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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?


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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..."

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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.

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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 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

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