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 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?

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photoluka
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PostSubject: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:58 pm

Hi there

My Nissan Primera 2004 (supposedly bullet proof) just blew it's head gasket or cracked its' cylinder head at only 86,000 miles (I'm not going to pay for the pleasure of finding out what worst case scenario it is.)

So I need to get a new car and I commute 50 miles a day to work (mostly motorway) and need a safe vehicle for that and my my family.
I could spend up to 1500 but am wondering if I could get something decent for sub 1k that will last a decent time. Pot luck I guess but any any advice suggestions welcome.

Cheers
Luka
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Joloke
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:13 am

Hi Luka

I am biased but id go for German Cars Wink

Depends on what size you need but cars that spring to mind for supermini-mid sized are VW Polo or Golf

For Larger cars VW Passat,plenty of BMW cars and of course (but i would say this) The might Mercedes 190 Very Happy

German Cars from the 80's are built like road going tanks if you need economy and longevity go for a diesel Wink

Ive just bought a Mercedes 190d with full history for 1200 150k on the clock but still drives like a new car and makes you feel very special Very Happy

Economical for a car of its size and the insurance was super cheap Very Happy

German all the way without a doubt thats what i say Wink

Jodie Smile

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shiningscotsman
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:59 pm

I understand the german car persepctive and in a lot of ways it is correct but they can be unforgiving and defy the point of Bangernomics if you happen to get a bad one that requires lots of attention to repair.

I myself am running my second BMW E39 528I which I got with Tax and MOT for 800 - everything works and it has electric everything - automatic- black leather interior even a heated steering wheel What a Face

However I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing goes wrong before its MOT as there is no such thing as a cheep fix on these cars.

I have always previously gone for and will again japanese cars.
WHy dont you consider Honda accord, Civic, maybe a Lexus Is200, Had my share of Nissan Primeras in the past and yours does sound to have let you down rather prematurely so maybe another primera???? Almera obviously another option.....Mazda 626 or 323f.....all very reliable or the sort of miles you are talking and relatively inexpensive to fix maybe barring the Lexus....its in the same fix price bracket as the german cousins.......

Best of luck
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penthouse
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:32 pm

I'd say a 1998-2002 Accord. I run one and do around 600 miles a week.

It's possible to get low 40s mpg but budget for high 30s from a 2.0 VTec.

Mine came with leather, cruise, climate, 6 disc swapper, electrics windows, mirrors and sunroof, five alloys, remote central locking, alarm, immobiliser, headlamp washers and a wad of receipts. For 400.
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photoluka
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PostSubject: Update!   Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:46 am

Well I went German and have got a lovely 1998 Mercedes C200 Auto Esprit Estate. It's in great condition, no rust and everything immaculate inside. It's got a couple of minor niggles (hopefully to sort out - replacement bush on the transmission as i have to nudge it around a bit into drive, and a replacement belt tensioner). It's done a 145k but it by far the nicest drive i've ever had. I paid 1200 which was probably a couple of hundred more than it could have been but time was of the essence and it appears good nick. Have done 500 miles in it so far without any new hitches.

So just need to get rid of the Nissan now - anyone mechanically minded interested...!?

Cheers
Luka
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Joloke
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:14 pm

We need Pics Very Happy

Cant go far wrong with an old Benz Wink

Only thing id Say with a W202 is keep an eye on rust if you get any get onto it right away as it when the 202 came out it was when Mercedes accountants were trying to cut costs,if you get a good one they are good though Wink

Make sure you do regular oil and fluid changes (including ATF) and you shouldn't have any problems Wink

Only other thing is make sure everything is well greased,everything on a Benz is well engineered and more often than not its lack of lubrication that kills moving parts Sad

Windows,Sunroof,Wiper mechanism keep them well greased and they will give a long service

I have to agree with you i have a fleet car too that's only a year old and i hate driving it now Rolling Eyes

Id rather drive my 20 year old Benz bounce bounce bounce




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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:50 pm

Cheers will try and get some pics up. Here is the one one i've got at the mo.
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No rust on the body work. There is some on the engine bay structure to the side of the washer container (its not leaking but i suspect filling splashes over the years has taken it's toll.) Its surface rust and i've bought a kit from halfords to try and tidy it up a bit. Not gonna worry too much about it though.

Have checked all fluids apart from the ATF which I will do. Its going into the garage to sort out the hopefully minor issues and he's going to give it a once over for me as well.

Silly question but what's best to grease with - copper grease?
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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:53 pm

What do you want to grease??

For threads I use copper grease.

Wheel bearings, normally a multi-purpose grease.

CV joints, higher pressure applications, specific CV grease.


If you want to protect metal work/body structure from rust then go down the Waxoyl or Dinitrol route.

I like the sound of the Merc. As with any autobox, you really need to keep that fluid clean and replaced fairly frequently. Autobox oil gets worked a lot harder than in a manual box and therefore degrades quicker. High temps kill autoboxes so keep the oil fresh and at the right levels.

Also, make you use the correct fluid. Dexron 2 or 3. There have been many cases of older autobox failures due to the use of Dexron 3 instead of 2. I couldn't honestly tell you what yours should use but Google is your friend Very Happy
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Joloke
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 6:15 pm

I know Mine uses Dexron IId though i was under the impression you could refill with Dexron III?

Ie/ you can use a newer standard of Dexron but not one older than the recommended?

To be honest mine needs changing but its going to have to wait until its warmer Rolling Eyes


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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:39 pm

Thanks Ian, how frequent is frequent for auto fluid in a car this age plus I'm doing 50miles a weekday? Cheers, luka.
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Joloke
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Just looked at the pic of your car,looks very Tidy Wink

I do like a Silver Merc they really suit Silver Very Happy

By the way if the ATF hasn't been changed in a while id do it as matter of course then about ever 30k afterwards though i know some people change theirs more frequent and at least every 12 months even if the mileage hasn't been reached for the next change.

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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:18 pm

seems to be a lot of talk on the mercedes forums the MB dealers say that the ATF is sealed for 'life'.
What sort of price would a garage charge for this? Looks like its best to do the auto gasket/ring/filter at the same time as well.

I take it changing the oil is very different from flushing it as I've read bad reports about that.
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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:07 pm

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Hmmm - maybe just a top up if needed
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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:11 pm

Joloke wrote:
I know Mine uses Dexron IId though i was under the impression you could refill with Dexron III?

Ie/ you can use a newer standard of Dexron but not one older than the recommended?

Personally, I think this is more than just a little risky. Older gearboxes manual or auto are very oil sensitive.

I believe most autobox failures are down to oil starvation as a result of filter blockage. Probably from the torque converter. Sealed for life isn't what it seems and many manufacturers have backed away from this now.

Dexron 2 is a mineral based oil.

Dexron 3 is ethylene glycol based with a load of additives. Apparently this is what dissolves 'certain' types of friction plates (blocked filters I hear you say??). I've heard of untold numbers of older autobox failures 'related' to the use of Dexron 3 oil.

If the manufacturers original recommendation is dexron 2, I cannot stress how important this could be and then change it as often as your engineering judgement/wallet can handle!

A single drain won't empty the box as a quantity of oil is held in the torque converter. When i've had autoboxes i've changed the fluid every 10k (a bottle of Comma Dexron 2 is about 20 and did me 2 changes).

A garage may charge you an hours labour plus oil and a gasket or two. Probably around 100.


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Joloke
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:59 pm

Hi Ian

Well mine needs changing and a friends fella is going to do it for me so no labour charges (apart from a few beers albeit) Laughing

I think mine needs topping up but hes going to look at it on Saturday Wink

I dont know whats currently in there but i have a new litre bottle of Dexron II just incase.

I suppose regardless to what people say about upgrading to Dexron III the book says II and it is still available Wink

But does it need to be Mercedes Fluid?

I know some are almost paranoid about using genuine Mercedes products Rolling Eyes

Do you think it matters so long as its the right grade?

I can get both Castrol and Vavoline Dexron II Locally or do i need to get Mercedes branded Fluid?

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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:59 am

If your autobox is changing gear smoothly with no untoward issues then the likelihood is that the level is right.

I've always used Comma oils in my boxes but the main thing is to make sure the oil spec is right.
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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:04 pm

Well looks like my merc is getting an Auto Transmission Oil change regardless. My gear issues have been diagnosed as an oil leak so needs a refill, filter/gasket and new sump pan. Also missing the dipstick. This and a few other things have caused me to shell out a bit more than id like on the "new wheels" but I'm hopefull once these bits are done it should be pretty solid. What's the consensus on how long you pump money into a 'banger' anyway?!

Plan to do the oil change myself and start doing a few bits myself (my haynes manual has arrived!). Just got to get over my fear of putting the car on jack stands and getting under it! Maybe I'll find a big curb instead!

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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Mon Dec 17, 2012 3:36 pm

I prefer to jack/support my cars on a major suspension arm/beam or chassis leg rather than the sills. Sills tend to bend.

How long do you pump money into an old banger??? How long is a piece of string.

Running an older car is always going to cost more day to day than a new car and I rarely find everything works absolutely how it should but its depreciation you don't pay for and for me, doing all the jobs myself, it makes a massive difference to the cost of motoring.

I'd persevere with your old Merc. Take the opportunity to learn how to maintain and mend old cars and don't give up easily.
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photoluka
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:35 pm

Cheers Ian - yes I agree. Have every intention of perservering with the Merc. Now it's had some work done on it, i'm hopefull that it will be trouble free. Apart from the specifics it went in for I asked the mechanic to give it the once over - couple of tires on the cusp and new front brake pads.

The new garage i'm using is also going to do the oil change for me FOC, which im very pleased about all though it was going to be my first attempt at an under the car DIY! Will now do the pollen and air filter which I think are fairly easy, possibly spark plugs although starting seems fine at the mo.

What do you recommend for a novice jack stands or ramps? Ramps sound more secure to me although getting on and off i've heard is a bit tricky.
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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:23 pm

Something along these lines would be my recommendation for a cheap, safe basic setup.

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I use one of these for bigger jobs.
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My VERY good lady bought it me for as a surprise xmas pressie a few years back, I love it (and her of course!).

I used to find I needed to go out half way through a job to buy a specific tool but that stopped a 5 years ago now and I've pretty much got everything I need. Its great to just get stuck into a job and not worry about what you'll find.
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Ian_Fearn
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PostSubject: Re: 50 miles a day for work - Bangernomics possible?   Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:36 pm

With respect to tyres, type your sizes into ebay and see if theres anyone local to you selling part worns.

I've had some serious bargain buys with part worns. Pirelli P6000's for my Ford Puma were effectively 3 for the price of 1.

Go into it with your eyes open though but its difficult to argue with 4 good tyres for 80 fitted. I'm sure i'll get nearly as many miles out of them as a new set.
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