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Is that your only entertainment? (Spoiling your desire)
To blow your minds on a one-way track
From a distance…

Building knowledge out of flexible existence
Hunt for adrenaline is staggering, grand lack of emotions
You’ll never face conclusions, you’ll get what you want
Am I really an exception?

Is that your only entertainment? (Spoiling your desire)
To blow your minds on a one-way track
I tell you a lie and you make it a statement (Sleeping in denial)
You’re all wasting the time of your lives

Distance – Soilwork

This is been me for quite awhile now. At least feeling like i am wasting my life. Eh, not entirely but i work all week and then when i come home for the weekend i’m mostly watching tv, playing videogames or surfing the internet. I used to work in retail and i never had enough money to do anything. Fast forward to day i work in a factory and i came to notice many of the people there get drunk and party. Well that’s not really my thing, especially as an introvert.

So this song kinda fits that but including with me i tend to do the same things. Stuff that is probably meaningless but i do it anyway. And having to clean my apartment (and sleeping) i really felt like i wasted my weekend. Well i needed to clean my apartment, is one thing and i didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time cleaning (more like i need to organize) but i do question what i am doing with my time. I don’t get to hang out with friends that often anymore (mostly because they’re all busy) and finding metalhead friends is so far and few between as it is. I’m not that introverted to the point where i need to isolate myself from all human contact but it hasn’t been as simple as it used to be to find new friends that actually have the time to be friends. Most of the people i either hang out with now are people (at work) or my dad, stepmom and my stepsister. And while i mostly am just talking to people i’m friends with at work sometimes i’d like to go out and do something.

As i’m typing this, Sunday is practically over. I have to get ready for the work week in which i don’t get to be at home, i’m at my fathers place all week. That does really need to change, but i have not found a closer place to work yet. Been trying to find a townhouse with an attached garage. With the limiting funds though it’s not easy. While i am making more i have a income to debt ratio especially when i have a limit of money in my savings. Buying a new home is costly, but it’s either that or spending near as much every month for an apartment. And i am tired of apartment living. In any case this is a strain on me to find a closer place, either that or i’ll have to start driving home daily, which puts more wear and tear on my old vehicle. I don’t mind the mileage as the maintenance is kept up, but the roads here tear up vehicles. And having a pet at home, a cat this makes matters even worse. She likes being home apposed to my dad’s and i think it’s because of too many people/animals there. 2 cats and a dog. So i definitely need to find a new place pronto not only for my sake but my cat. But, at this point nothing is found. I may have to sacrifice getting a place with a garage but also my car is being used as a garage. It’s tacky, hence the requirement to find a place that has a garage, plus i don’t have to dust/scrape off my car in the mornings.

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car-coldShould you warm up your car Part I

I recently posted about whether you should warm up your car and i have found a few additional things, a few of them actually prove that warming it up will not damage it. (warning, contains explicit language)

But also too, modern cars don’t have oil problems like what some people say (your oil is like maple syrup). It may be true if you are not using the recommended oil for your car (where the oil is thicker) in which case you already may be doing damage to it if the car isn’t designed for the oil you are using.

So oil circulating through the engine is definitely not an issue, as the guy explained in this video, if you don’t have oil circulating through your engine by that time your engine is in trouble. But what he doesn’t explain is what the cold oil is doing to the engine. The oil needs to circulate (among other engine components, like the power steering, coolant) all these things need to work and for me to be able to drive and accelerate at a decent pace, i need at least 1.7x (1,700 RPMs) rpms. Most of the time it’s around 2x rpms. So waiting 30 seconds or waiting until the engine rpms settle isn’t enough for me. He doesn’t really exceed 1.5x (2x at the most) and most others will say don’t exceed 3x. Not only that he has a turbocharged engine. It may be best to just drive it cold and it won’t hurt it anyway.

One of the more major problems is that being in 32°F or below your defroster doesn’t work very well in the cold. It works much better when it’s warmed up, but it’ll take longer for it to work if you are driving the car and sometimes it won’t work right at all because all the air that is coming out of the vents can’t counteract the fog/frost forming on the windshield. I believe someone has said in a comment in a video or article somewhere to hold your breath while driving or breathe slowly. Why would anyone do this for the convenience of having a warm defroster is beyond me. While it’s true, less idling cars in the winter will reduce emissions and gas waste as the first video i linked proves, it only takes around 40 seconds to warm the car up so it’s not running too rich, driving off prematurely isn’t always the best. Some cars do not work right when they are cold and especially a critical component like the brakes or being able to accelerate moderately to get onto the highway is ideal. You need to get the car up to the speed traffic is moving on the highway and more times than not i see people not accelerating fast enough which causes either a slowdown in traffic or it causes the people on the on ramp to slow down and then it makes it more difficult to get onto the highway or tollway. In some driver ed courses they want you to gun it, at least 3-4x on the tachometer. I only need like i said 1.7x to 2x and on the highway i need at least 2.5x (up to 3x) but most of the time i can deal with 2-2.2x early in the morning as there is less traffic.

Much of the more common reasons why you shouldn’t warm up your car, is that people will start their car, with the key in the ignition and need to leave the doors unlocked so they can get back in,

which can invite thieves. Which is very true, which is why near the end of that video they recommend that you get a remote start. I do have one on mine, one that allows you to monitor whether someone is attempting to get into the car which then would signal to the remote and shut it down, causing the alarm to go off. This may be because my remote start is basically a feature of my alarm system. So if anyone is messing with my car, either kicking the tires or trying to push the car (rocking it) it may set off the alarm sensor and that includes trying opening the car door when it’s locked (which will automatically set off the alarm and the car will shut off). Also you need to have the key otherwise the car will shut off if you attempt to put it in gear.

It’s generally best to wait with the car, but as long as you can see it out your window to see if something is going on that’s ok too (and this is with the remote start). If you don’t have a remote start, then it’s best to wait with the car, it’ll be cold but again if you at least wait until the defrosters are working which is generally 2-4 minutes depending on the temp outside you may be better to drive off at this point. Some people won’t wait and just drive off despite there is no heat which will generally help the car warm up faster. If you don’t think your car is worth a remote start (or an alarm system), it’s definitely a good idea to consider getting a different car (and it’s not worth putting a remote start in if the car is on it’s last legs or you constantly run into engine issues) because you need to have the defroster working and everything mechanically sound before taking off. Some cars do not shift properly in the cold or they shift harder putting more wear and tear on the transmission and also it gives a chance for belts and other engine components to warm up adequately before putting a load on it. So bottom line, warming your car up is ideal in the winter so you are safer when on the road. Stuff breaks when they are at their most extreme so if something were to break it would most likely break when you are pulling out of the driveway with an engine that has only warmed up for 30 seconds.

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Snowed car.jpg

The long tired debate of whether you should warm up your car in frigid weather continues and there’s many articles saying you shouldn’t including this youtube video,

Articles and videos such as that saying you only have to wait 30 seconds if you have a car that has fuel injection (not ones with carburetors), but you only have to wait 30 seconds in any climate, according to some of these people.In the youtube video, it shows how a cold engine behaves, it’s running too rich and the excess gas is removing oil from the cylinder walls. Now i’m not claiming that they are wrong, but it seems counterintuitive that they would recommend you put on a load while extra fuel is being dumped into the cylinder chambers. They do not address that everything is spinning faster when you are accelerating (like belts, the engine components and transmission), so what is going on when you are driving off in a car that hasn’t been warmed up for a bit? It can’t be good. If you are driving off in a cold car the cold air would also keep the engine colder and it would be difficult to get the car up to a decent temperature.

It’s the same with these people that think that 3,000 mile oil changes are too soon. While it’s true that some modern cars don’t need it, not every car has an oil life monitor to give the owner an idea when to get an oil change. But that’s a different topic all together.

The best recommendation is to see what the manual states. Not only that you do need to have the defroster working so allowing the car to warm up 2-5 minutes is ideal. Even if you remove the snow or ice from the windows, they can still fog up or some additional snow may form if it’s already snowing outside. So having a properly working defroster is a must when driving. If it takes your car longer for the defroster to work, perhaps let the car warm up longer if needed. Allowing your car to warm up in cold weather is much safer. Engine components work better and if there is a problem, it’ll usually display on the dashboard, like the battery won’t charge or there is a problem with the ABS and other factors that the cold would impact on. It wouldn’t be good if you are taking a semi lengthy trip (like 30 minutes or more) only to find out the alternator crapped out upon the car starting up and the car is using the reserves in the battery as the alternator is the primary source of the vehicle’s power. Though the alternator or some other component could fail at any point, if the car needs oil or brake fluid you need to allow the car to warm up to detect whether there is a vital fluid in need of replenishment.

There are also engine block heaters, at least for those who do not own a garage, and storing the car in the garage during cold climates. Doesn’t do much when you are at work but the same applies as if you do not have a garage. Some people say that warming up your car is a waste of gas, you really shouldn’t need more than 7 minutes but some people like to be able to jump into a warm car (like having a remote start), but it is no way detrimental to the engine life unless of course the engine was poorly maintained, leaking or burning oil. According to these people that only take 30 seconds to warm up a car in cold weather it doesn’t harm the engine by driving off that soon and if that’s the case, warming it up won’t hurt it either. Most people who warm up their cars to get the heater working won’t change their habits, let alone those who are dead set that if you drive off 30 seconds after startup will have engine failures. With more car manufactures putting in remote starts, you might as well let it warm up for a few minutes, hop in.. get everything set up for the drive like the radio, seat and mirror settings and drive off.

Obviously warming up a car for 15+ minutes is a waste of gas and doesn’t really do anything, it’s not going to change those who wants to be in a hot car when they get in though, but seriously.. anything over 7 minutes to me is just overkill. Sometimes if i am driving and giving someone a ride and they are not ready in 5 minutes (after 5 minutes of warm up time, or whenever the engine temp gauge starts moving), i’ll shut the car off and wait until they are ready.

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2017-chevrolet-camaro-six-mo-design-635x357-04

Car buying can often be a headache and wherever you go there is often a problem with one car or another and depending on the brand and location can sometimes matter between getting a reliable car or a total lemon. But let’s get into that a bit first.. GM and Ford seems to get quite a bit of backlash, Ford; Found on road dead and GM well, we all know their cars can have some problems, especially electrical. But often people will convince themselves that a car brand is junk because a few parts are going bad or usually need replacing on one or more of the vehicles.

Personally i think it’s switching from car to car that is the problem. I have had the same car for 13 years and the car is 16 years old. Still runs like new other than a few upcoming problems mostly due to rust. These are fairly cheap problems and 99% of the time you want to get rid of a car that has engine or transmission problems. Though there are some people that will replace them. It’s pretty cheap if you have the right tools and a replacement engine/transmission. New cars are often plagued with problems ranging from various defects that was overlooked by the quality department. Sometimes though, buying a new car won’t have any issues. This goes into determining whether you should buy used or new. Lots of people buy new cars and don’t run into any problems. 1994 Ford Escort did well for my family and the same for a 2011 Jeep Wrangler. Buying new often starts the slate clean and there is no previous owner other than the dealer.

Next people will argue that Honda (or insert other vehicle brand) is better than any GM or Ford vehicle which is flat out nonsense. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=million+mile+ford
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=million+mile+chevy

While most of them are trucks or vans which often have bigger engines in (which can make a difference) these vehicles are often owned by companies or those who have a lot of income to drive 2k on the daily basis. For one those vehicles are still basically brand new, most likely well maintained with proper fluid changes and mileage tune ups. They didn’t get time to age. But even with me with a 16 year old car and less than 100k it still functions like it was just bought off the dealer. It all greatly depends on how you use the car and remember that i said a bigger engine means longer lasting. Well a cheap 4 cylinder car chances are it won’t have much horsepower until you floor it. Hondas 4 cylinder engines can be fast cars but chances are you may often be using 3-4 (thousand) RPMs in order to get it moving. My 6 cylinder engine only takes 2-3k RPMs and often times less than 2k with the right air/gas mixture.

So really it doesn’t matter on the brand. It could matter on the year/model because some that have been in production are often plagued with common problems, anywhere from gasket leaks to unintended acceleration these vehicles may be best to be avoided and it may be best to look for a used vehicle in that case. It’s also cheaper to buy used than new because new often means a heavy price tag and once you leave the lot that car is not worth the same when you bought it. Depreciation is one the worst things for a car especially when you bought one for 60k and it’s now only worth 10k. Well maybe closer to 40k but you sort of get the idea that buying new isn’t always a good thing. Of course buying new could ensure you get all the options you are looking for and you don’t have to worry about any maintenance for at least awhile (other than the basic necessities). For the most part anyway buying new does have it’s advantages like you are not having to buy new brakes/rotors for the first several years (or x amount of miles) and the same with new tires. They are already new, everything on the car is brand new so unless a part is defective or broken due to poor manufacturing it’s generally a good idea to be prepared for that but for the most part that money can be saved (if you are not spending most of it on the car loan).

Buying used, well does have it’s own advantages as well, you may have a lower insurance rate, less money to be putting down the car and depending on how used/old it is you may not have any car payments. But with being free of car payments may include car repairs. You also have to be knowledgeable on car mechanics or pay someone to have the car checked out. Chances are the car will leave you on the side of the road even with a check up. It could be that the high mileage on the vehicle caused a part to wear out or maybe the previous person often drove the car until the gas was empty destroying the fuel pump but it still worked the day you bought it but 3 days later it could have finally died. And sometimes these things die suddenly without warning.

I may just prefer to do this…

Buy a car and drive it until you can’t fix it due to parts being unavailable.

Seems counterintuitive because cars depreciate and lose their value over time and people say putting more money into a car than it is worth is not cost effective. Chances are to the average person who just gets into their car to drive to their destination and probably hasn’t seen the inside of an engine because often times we think a car is running well but then there’s transmission problems and you have fluid leaking out of the pan. That is when most people say it’s time to wreck the car at the junkyard. Just look at some youtube videos of people destroying their engine even though there could have been little issue with the engine itself but because the frame is rotting out they think the entire car is useless and needs to be destroyed further than it already is. Actually with some welding experience and a bit of knowledge on how to build car frames it’s quite easy to rebuild a car that has been rotted out beyond repair. All the frame is, is metal. The hard part especially for classic cars is finding an engine for it and i really don’t know that much about car restoration, how much it costs, ect.. other than the frame being metal which is really not that different from iron smiths back in middle ages and could be easy to do with some learning.

Or you could do what some car manuals state and keep the underside clear of salt and other debris that would probably contribute to rusting. Put some anti-rust paint and you should be good but needs to be done properly so moisture doesn’t get trapped behind the paint. Sadly this even happens to newer cars where the paint starts bubbling due to moisture in between the frame and the paint. I wouldn’t know the proper technique but for starters maybe rebuild the car in a non humid climate.

Even if you can no longer find the parts for the car, maybe the car could be used as a project for someone who needs a part or they may have the part you need. Sometimes you can special order parts where manufactures will make the part you require if it’s within their means but it could be costly. The average life a car has according to experts is 11 years. But there are still many that last up to 30 years. It depends mostly on whether the owner(s) are maintaining the car and how long they want to keep it for. The major problem of keeping an older vehicle is outdated safety features and less fuel efficiency. However, i believe that if more people held onto cars there would be a market for putting safety and more fuel efficency into the cars already on the road versus buying a new car. The mindset of buying a new vehicle instead of holding onto the same one makes cars disposable. In Japan cars that are less than 10 years old often gets put into the junkyard possibly due to more strict regulations but something about that seems fishy (it’s been awhile since i looked at the guidelines of owning a car in Japan). But as always to keep the economy going people have to buy a new car to keep the auto industries in business. I look at a car like anything else, it’s a tool that gets you from someplace to another and really the only time i’d buy a new one is if my old one can still be used and not discarded. Or if it absolutely can’t be used.

Even recycling it is costly so keeping it on the road makes me feel like i accomplished something in my life and someday that car would be a relic in a museum somewhere. Of course though if you buy a boring car, it won’t do too much to keep it running forever unless you’re really attached to it. The only way i’d buy one is if i plan on using it for 20-30 years. In which i am in the market for a truck, an F150. I don’t have a truck but i car but will keep the car along with getting the truck to haul stuff around. It can also haul the car around too. But i’m not buying it to replace the car.

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carmax-2-bloomberg1200xx3000-1688-0-152

Truthfully the answer is there really is no ‘good place’ to buy a car. Carmax is like any other used auto dealers. The main difference is there is no haggle price and you are not being watched like a hawk with some greedy salesmen.

I however do question whether or not they actually do perform that 125 inspection before selling the car.
https://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/carmax.html

If they were at all really concerned they’d give you how much pad on the brakes are left on the car, whether the tires need to be replaced and instead of focusing so much on the look of the car, we’d have to check the engine ourselves to make sure it’s in good condition. The biggest problem is so many of these cars come and go and it’s hard to keep track of whether or not something happened to the car like flooding or some other accident. But, as someone who hates buying new cars with the potential of it being a lemon and haggling pricing is just ridiculous, especially when the value of the car depreciates once you sign it and drive it off the lot. But if the very low rating on consumeraffairs is anything.. it’s really mostly a wonder if it’s just a site where people vent their frustrations at but a few of them were not properly informed. A cracked windshield review for an example in the consumeraffairs site, you do generally go through your insurance company. Not the dealer. If the crack was there when you bought the car, well maybe you should have looked a bit harder. Car buying is rough as it is, but you are still buying a used vehicle that has been driven and more than likely it has all original parts on it besides the oil changes. Which i do hope Carmax does prior to selling the car.

I also know that many used car dealerships often time sell cars with issues but it’s basically ‘as is’. If there was a transmission leak when the car was sold to a dealer, chances are it’s going to be sold that way. I’d like to think that Carmax is better than any other used dealer and if they are not fixing these obvious problems, then why would consumers trust a dealer that simply wipes away any leaks and put tape on it hoping that it’ll fall off once it’s being driven and the consumer happens to notice transmission fluid on the garage floor. This was never the case with the cars i bought there.

I had what any car owner dealt with, minor repairs. The biggest 2 was a head gasket leak (which was under warranty) and a new BCM module because certain things was not working in the car. The BCM module set me back $1000 but the car wasn’t exactly aging either. This certainly wasn’t Carmax’s fault nor the previous owners. It’s really just something that went wrong with the car. My tires also had bad belts on them which wasn’t really apparent until 5 years after i had the car. The tires did look fine but the tread was looking a bit shallow when the tires were going bad. But again this is normal for any used car. There are times when there are lemon cars and Carmax ends up with them. Hopefully they catch them and get rid of them but unfortunately with all the cars that come and go there it’s not really easy to find the bad ones. I do think Carmax should be more accommodating because it’s really easy to lose reputation when things go wrong and especially when ratings are not very good on consumer websites.

With any car buying, having mechanical experience is always a plus and while buying a newer used car, such as a 2015 can have some pretty new problems. It’s not always the case but at the same time Carmax should really understand that if someone is selling their car that is only a year old, there better not be anything wrong with it. People do get bored with their cars or the cars were just rentals that the rentals generally get booted after a year or two. With that being said, a car that is 1-4 years old is far more reliable than one that is 6+ years. Unless Carmax doesn’t even bother to check the condition of the engine, transmission and the rest of the car i don’t really see any reason to go somewhere else because more than likely any other place won’t even bother to check, they buy the car from someone and then resell it a day after it was cleaned and waxed. This then generally causes a fear of buying from a used dealership and people will only buy brand new and deal with the haggle price.

So is Carmax really worth it? I’d say if their extended warranty covers whatever engine or transmission problems i’d say yes, long as you follow their maintenance schedule you shouldn’t have any problems whatsoever. And tires, brakes or sparkplugs, well these things will go out when they go out. Brakes and spark plugs are easy to fix. Tires, well just check them before you buy the car, chances are they are not all season tires and you will want something with a little more grip anyway. I don’t think many dealers really put on good tires on new cars so it’s really still a good deal in my book and it’s probably around that time the tires on your new used car needs replacing depending on the condition of them. I got 5 years out of mine and the car handled decent in snow. Like with any other place, take your time to check everything over and Carmax generally has friendly, no pressure sales associates. Also you will be responsible for any defects/recalls. I don’t see the need why Carmax needs to do something extra when the car hasn’t been sold yet. If there is a recall, Carmax usually will do it after the fact or you can bring it into the dealer. It’s also a good idea if you are looking at a car at Carmax, find a couple you like and can afford. If something is wrong with the car you like and no other vehicles are in your price range, i might suggest holding off for now until you can afford a few different vehicles. Even the app is pretty good and you can ask your local dealer to ship the car you are interested. You may be out $200 though, so it’s only really worth it if you can’t drive to another dealer.

And unfortunately they don’t hold cars, it’s whoever has the money first. So it’s generally a good idea to keep an eye out. Once you have the money, the more often you visit the greater the chance you’ll find one that you like and maybe the salesperson can help you out with that.

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