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Posts Tagged ‘Automobile’

Its been a while since i written a post, since i only have internet on my phone i haven’t been in a writing mood. Call me old fashioned but i prefer writing using a keyboard and mouse. Smartphones are great but the keyboard is too small and flimsy so i don’t really do much. I might try to transfer a topic i could write from my PC to my phone but it would require me moving a SD card back and forth.

But thats not the topic at hand here. Reading some posts on Facebook on EV or electric vehicles has got my attention, particularly the ones that say there will be 2/3rd of all cars will be electric by 2025. Now before i continue, EVs are not a bad thing. Its a great alternative for those who can’t be bothered with gas cars and in the long haul could save you a bit of money if circumstances work in your favor. They certainly will save you trips to the mechanic.

Some of this information may be inaccurate so don’t get angry if i said something completely wrong.

But anytime i hear of EVs replacing gas cars, you can hear an audible groan. For very obvious reasons which i will list below.

1. Charging takes too long. It has been easy and quick to refuel a combustion engine car, you are at the gas station and it takes as little as 5 minutes to fill up a tank with gas. However even with fancy quick charging EVs it’ll take at least half an hour. Not good for those who forgot to charge their car earlier. People will forget. I forget that i need gas in my car and while usually its not bad where im driving on empty others do.

With gas cars you drive to the gas station to fill up. You don’t fill it up at home or work so to recharge your car, it would take having to remember each day to plug it in. Some people say, you can charge these cars overnight but it takes remembering to do this. And some people will not ever have access to a charging outlet for that they park on the street or in an apt complex. Sure there might be someway to add outlets throughout where people park but it would have to be waterproof, not to mention this creates additional hazards when dangerous weather conditions cause damage to the area. So for many this really isn’t an option and people will opt to continue using gas cars.

2. Batteries are quite unreliable. For the most part anyways batteries are unpredictable and while if constructed well, batteries can last a lot longer, however investing in a vehicle can be a gamble sometimes with the increasing recalls and other defects car manufactures are plagued with its easily concieved that you would be lucky to get 10 years out of an EV battery. Most people junk their gas car when the engine or transmisson goes dead but in many cases, well maintained cars will last 20+ years before that happens but ive seen many cars get junked within 10 years. The warranty is up and the car was most likely badly maintained to begin with. While people claim they are getting 200,000 miles or over 10 years out of their EV battery. Either they are trying to decieve people in the name of getting off gas or they are just lucky, as generally its new technology and car companies are trying really hard at making these cars recall proof but even Tesla had a few problems with their power steering and possibly othet defects.

The other problem is heat. No battery can really survive under extreme heat and particularly areas where excessive heat lingers, makes it really difficult to believe you could get 10 years out of one of these EV cars before having to junk it due to the battery wearing out and no matter what they will wear out. If one cell dies in an EV battery, the whole car may not function as intended. Even if you could repair the damaged cell, it could get as costly as a gas engine rebuild. Over $1,500 and there is no guarantee that the battery will be good as new. At that point you may have to consider replacing a $3,000+ battery for a new one or to junk the car, which would increase waste as junked cars often sit in the junkyard for years deteriorating before a costly recycling process.

3.  If 2/3rd of vehicles on the road were electric, it would put tremendous strain on the electric grid.  We already have a high demand of electricity and while the cost currently is better than the insane gas prices that could change in a matter of years if we were to switch to EVs. In order for electric companies to meet these demands they would have to update the grid and more than likely would increase electric costs as a result. Its already a fragile setup as high energy demands during peak Air Conditioner usage, which is why its encouraged to only use the AC as little and and as low as possible. Otherwise if cost and electricity usage wasn’t a factor people like me would run the AC at 60F all summer. But instead so i can save money and the strain on the electric grid i keep it around 78F.

4. Mechanics loose, manufacturing loss and many jobs will be lost crippling the economy.  I don’t like visiting the mechanic as much as the next person, but in order to keep the economy running we need to give some money to others and while im not particularly fond of this way of thinking, i certainly would love to keep my job, my hours and while im only 38, i got to think of retirement. And i would like to retire sometime after 55 years. So i would like for the economy to thrive.

With EVs there are fewer engine comoonents but buying a gas engine will keep the mechanics working. Its planned obsolescence and a waste of resources but many people like myself are confined to one area to work. I am too tired to relearn a job and currently retail is a dying breed of jobs. So if you like the way the economy is, keep using gas cars.

5. Hydrogen cars are most likely a better bet. While true hydrogen cars are fully electric from little research, you could easily convert a gas car to hydrogen based and it may give mechanics a business boost for a short time. Maybe they will consider working on your broken down car a bit more (but the honest ones will most likely tell you to buy a new one if necessary). Hydrogen is basically water so instead of gas in the tank you can use water. In its hydrogen state however i don’t believe it can be stored for very long which is most likely why hydrogen cars never made it to use.

I think the oil companies wanted to have hydrogen at the ready instead of you refueling your car with a garden hose. So until our greedy friends finds a way to keep hydrogen or some other combustible source of energy, EVs are a stopgap.  The car industry loves this because they are hoping to kill most gas cars forcing people to buy EVs and then when another energy vehicle comes to fruition EVs will be obsolete so it would take more to convert.

Unfortunately this disposable way of thinking isn’t good for our future. By any means most cars should see 40+ years on the road but the average is 11 years making cars one of the biggest resource waste on this planet.  Recycling should only be necessary when the item is no longer sustainable.

EVs are not a bad thing and its good to reduce the dependance of oil however its trading one problem for another and creates new problems. While you can add smart meters to your home so you can monitor electric usage in real time and determine for yourself whether an electric car is right for you i can’t recommend buying an EV based on so many unknowns. The economy being a big factor, there really is not many options. As a hard worker in auto part manufacturing i don’t want to loose my hours or job,  because i have nowhere else to turn to. Im sure many mechanics agree. Im too tired to figure out another job field as i haven’t been in my current position for very long and it took a lot out of me to learn what i know now. Being in retail for 18 years took more life out of me than you can imagine. Mentally i feel like im 60 years old.. i can’t loose what i have gained recently and the million or so gas vehicles makes it possible for me to have a job i love so much and is sustainable for my future.

So consider this before buying an EV what impact it could have on the economy. But if you are looking for a job in auto mechanics or production, its wise to consider another field, especially if you are young. If possible take a few professions so you have a better future for yourself.

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CarMax logo

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Carmax is a great place to get a used or even a new vehicle for many reasons. One being (if they still do this) they won’t push you into buying a car. Carmax won’t haggle you for price, what you see on the car is what you basically pay for, which is great. You even get a five year warranty with the new car you just bought. However, once that warranty is over things get a little hectic. I even talked to a guy who works at an auto-part store who just bought a car, tried to make an appointment a week before his 30 day warranty “guarantee everything works or we’ll fix it for free” but, there was no room for an appointment so he was scheduled for a week later (2 days after the 30 days were up) & he didn’t get the 30 day guarantee because he came in after the 30 days. Well of course the owner of the vehicle wrote a letter to corporate saying that he wasn’t going to go back to Carmax again. Unfortunately i don’t remember the rest…

My story about Carmax is much better. They did a better job treating me even though i realized their repair shop is a bit expensive. They charge about as much as a regular dealer & every once in awhile i will take my car in to get the oil changed & for them to do an inspection to make sure everything on the car is running properly. 11 years & it still runs well, i thought there was something wrong with the A/C but they told me it was running fine. But when they took off one of my tires, they noticed that two lug nut bolts (also known as bolt stems) were broken off, right next to each other, most likely due to the crazy snowstorm of 2011. Before i took my car in every time i braked there was some kind of buckling that sounded like the rotor wasn’t completely stationary. Well.. in order for them to replace those bolts, they were going to charge me $120!

“$120!?!

You have to be kidding me!”

Well that’s what i thought in my mind, i declined it & even though the service consultant told me that it was unsafe to drive on just 3 working bolts. I had to sign a waiver & i was feeling nervous driving home.  Fortunately it was my day off so after i paid & got my car back i head towards Gurnee for an auto-part store. A friend also had some tools in that area so i figured i’ll head that way. Of course everywhere i went (had to take side roads) there were bumps & the speed limits were pretty high so it was hard for me to get home at lower speeds, i really wasn’t sure how fast i should have been going but after realizing that 40-50 seemed like a good area of speeds. It was really hard because many other drivers usually will drive the speed limit or higher. Which is a pain! What bothered me more was since gas prices are high why is everyone driving 55 or higher? Well i did make it to my friends place with the parts which only cost me $10. So you mean to tell me i would have had to pay $110 for labor? I ended up having to drive to my place because my friend didn’t have the right size for a particular tool & i really wanted to get it done so that i don’t have to worry about one of my tires falling off. Well needless to say with the right tools it would have been a fairly easy task. I could have done this for someone for about no more then $30 in labor.

It’s just shocking how even a place like Carmax would leave a person stranded if they can’t pay a particular amount of money for an easy fix. You’re pretty much screwed. If more then 3 of those bolts were broken off i don’t think it would be very safe to drive on it & i probably would have been forced to pay the amount for replacements. In all.. that was pretty screwed up, just for an oil change & a tire rotation. From now on i think i’ll be doing my own tire rotations.

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