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Archive for the ‘gas prices’ Category

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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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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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I”m going to say this clearly. When gas prices go up so does everything else. The question is why are gas prices going up? For awhile it was in the $3 range & i think even a little lower then that. Why? Perhaps we can blame President Obama Bin Laden. No.. seriously, i feel we are continuously letting idiots run the office. Companies are finding ways to save money, layoffs, cuts, flexing, and many don’t allow overtime. Prices go up in some places & more scams are taking place worse then it did before, like my post about file sharing.

I had to cut back on driving as well as not being able to buy certain things i used to like going out to eat or even eating that much. But like everyone else we have to have money to survive. I don’t really see many solutions here. Last several weeks i saw the gas prices dropped but that’s practically nothing. It’s still $4 a gallon & it’s not even the same pricing around the globe. The economy hasn’t always been good but i don’t think it’s been this bad, or at least i haven’t seen it this bad before. I can’t afford to buy new work clothes or clothes in general. I have been trying to make stuff last as possible but sometimes things just fail anyways. For awhile i had a roommate but she couldn’t hold down a job or even pay for her half of the bills. It got to the point where i just kicked her out & decided i can do better on my own. It’s not by much but i can’t even go out anymore. I don’t want to spend the gas & i feel like im just living my life just to survive. Most people get to go out, have parties or go to shows/concerts. With me i can’t even drive to a friends house. I basically just sit at home on my computer all day because i have nothing better to do with the amount of money i have.

I just find it amazing how i don’t really see that many others suffering or hurting from the lack of funds but maybe perhaps they don’t live on their own. But gas needs to be brought back to $1 again. Something that people can afford. I hear people say when gas drops down to like $3.. oh well at least it’s not that bad.. not bad? Um really.. are we that naive? With each generation it seems to go up & while people complain it’s not that bad.. This generation is the worst it’s ever been & has been proven to hurt the economy. Yeah lets use more credit cards to balance out & fix the economy while consumers are in debt from too much money spending.I feel like the entire industry is stealing our hard earned money. If we don’t make sales at our job they start cutting back. Well how much money do you need to make?

And what about gas prices? Is it because we’re running out? Is it because of radical environmentalists? If so lower the prices & work on a solution to the environment. You don’t need high gas prices for an incentive. That will just put less money in everyone’s pockets so they won’t have time to find a solution.

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READ FIRST: I do not condone file sharing, i have downloaded & even shared some stuff in the past & sometimes i do download. But for every album i download that i like, i purchase. So before you attempt to condemn me read the rest of this material first.

Ok we all know what happened to Napster when the big bad music corporation found out & even Metallica got involved. It got shut down & rebuilt so if you download something you’ll have to pay for it. Then came iTunes & more digital downloads so people can save money. However, labels still saw a decline in sales due to the fact people are only buying one or 2 tracks from an album. This also became worse as more file sharing programs & direct downloads came into place. P2P programs like Kazaa & limewire were found liable & instead of the labels trying to shut down these programs, they decided to attack individuals who are distributing the files. One lady got fined $1.2 million for sharing 24 music tracks. Only, 24 tracks.  The labels wanted to set an example for others to try to curb file sharing. But it didn’t stop there. Recently they went to the internet providers, like Comcast & put a cap on how much a person can dl & high bandwidth users would get flagged & would receive a phone call or email saying that they need to stop using so much bandwidth or their service will be terminated.

It didn’t start off too bad but then many users were getting flagged & it became a problem since this was kept behind the curtains but then Comcast announced the cap & everyone was given a monthly bandwidth meter on their comcast user profile. But even then they got rid of it because since users knew how much they were using they decided to use more, kinda defeating the whole process of eliminating file sharing users. So, labels decided, lets go to the firesharing programs like uTorrent & report people who are file sharing. Well technically, an IP address isn’t a person so it never held up in court & ended up as a closed case? It stopped right here. I haven’t heard of any news or anything so perhaps they have given up but i really don’t think so.

When you think about it, when someone is sharing a new movie it doesn’t just give people less incentive to go out & buy it but not only that the movie loses sales & then the company who sells the movie doesn’t get a good revenue. If you enjoyed it then BUY IT. Don’t sit there & say.. oh well i saw it already & i already have it on my computer so it doesn’t really matter does it? Some people are using downloading as an excuse, well i don’t have the money, the person is dead he won’t care. Regardless of the reason you downloaded something, companies won’t like it. Even if you download a band’s discography & go out to purchase them all companies will still most likely frown upon that.  If all your doing is weeding out the albums you don’t like so you don’t have to buy them companies still won’t like it. Basically they want you to buy an album regardless if you enjoy it or not.  They don’t care if you don’t like it. Well.. some of them do care to a certain extent. Either way when you download something it’s considered stealing.

The thing that bothers me the most is this.

If a record company wants to sell an album you want, but can’t afford it then you can’t buy it. But if the reason for not being able to afford it is gas prices, which everyone or almost everyone is suffering at the pump, then why don’t the labels go after the gas/oil companies? Possibly because there is nothing they can do about it but however you think it, if labels are really losing money they’re losing money because no one has any money left because of GAS PRICES!!

If oil companies are allowed to rip people off & steal their money just so they can fill their tank then so can people with music downloading or file sharing. Hey well if i’m spending $100 a week on gas then i’m going to download $50 worth of music then. Again, read the disclaimer at the top of this post. Rather then suing people, putting them in jail badmouthing them (example: CHRISTIANS!) then why can we just leave it alone. If i download a new movie who’s right is it to snoop on what i do with my computer?

Oh i shared a movie & now the companies are looking at me for it. So who’s looking at the oil companies robbing us at the pump? NO ONE! NO ONE IS DOING FUCKING SHIT ABOUT THIS! What happened to $1 a gallon? Oh well i guess oil companies wanted to buy Rolex watches for the workers.

In conclusion, if your going to dl something, BUY it or DELETE IT. Because downloading something you enjoy & you have the money for it is just stealing & wrong. And to the oil companies & to whoever allowed gas prices to raise up $3, FUCK YOU! I HOPE YOU DIE ON THAT HARDWORKING CASH. KARMA IS A BITCH & YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS ATROCITY! The economy is FAILING because of this! Either this economy needs to fail or recover i can’t stand it lingering from ok, to bad & back again. It needs to be fixed once & for all!

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