So long 02 Sonata, you served me well

So, after that crazy fuel and brake lines incident last fall, my high pressure and return hoses blew on my power steering this past Thursday. My mechanic could have repaired it for $580 out the door,
the same dealer who fixed my fuel and brake line wanted $844+tax. Needless to say, I traded ol' girl in for a shiny new 2013 Elantra GLS. Ol' girl had 145K and was starting to whisper sweet nothings in my ear...like "Money Pit." Much as I wanted to fix it and save up some cash to get a Tucson, it just wasn't in the stars. I'm digging the Elantra so far, especially that it has heated seats for the killer Chicago winters. But it gets hella better mileage than my Sonata does. Plus the traction control and ABS is something I didn't have before. The sucky thing is that it comes with no spare tire, just this inflation kit. WTF? Dealer said spare kit for this Elantra is $400 with jack & kit, rim, tire and mounting. It's $99+29 shipping on eBay, without the tire. http://www.ebay.com/itm/200758762064?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649
Dealer said full size spare won't fit in the cavity of the Elantra GLS but I put the full-size spare tire for my old Sonata (which is 16"x6", not 16"x5.5" like the Elantra has) in it just fine. Spare tire cover has plenty of extra room. So, gonna find me a full size rim, get a cheap 16" tire and be gold.
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wrote:

Hope you enjoy the upgrades. Probably many new features compared to your old car. I understand the money pit thing.
Many cars, especially smaller ones, are sans spares these days. Mixed feelings. I cannot recall the last time I needed a spare, it was well over 25 years. But traveling on some dark and lonely roads, it is a nice security blanket.
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Yeah, I've been good to my Sonata but at 145K, the likelihood of something else going wrong was just too great. I should have cut my losses when those lines rusted out but you live and you learn.

Yup, same here. I haven't needed a spare since someone taught me how to use those plugs. However, I appreciate the tire pump thing being included. One thing that stinks is having plugs to patch the hole but then nothing to inflate it after it's been plugged. Plugs are useless without good pressure still left in the tire. More useless when the sidewall gets a tear. Still, I found a new full-size rim online for around $165 shipped. Just need a decent used tire for it and I'm good to go. I'm guessing it'll add 30 or so pounds to the car which might knock off a mile or two on MPG but it'll still beat the MPG on my old Sonata.
Sadly, I'll now need a jack and lug nut wrench. I was able to find the parts for Hyundai's jack and wrench kit parts but someone said Harbor Freight has a cheap jack and lug wrench so I might just go that route.
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Thee Chicago Wolf (MVP) wrote:

My son carries a floor jack in his car. He got it at Harbor Freight. I have a small type spare tire in my 06 Kia. A tire gets destroyed once or twice per year and I am glad I have a spare. I also carry two cans of inflate stuff and a bunch of rope plugs and tool.
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wrote:

Meantime, at least you have a tire to put on if you have to call Roadside Assistance. Don't forget that feature if you ever get stuck.
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Thee Chicago Wolf (MVP) wrote:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/200758762064?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Ah, the money pit excuse to buy a new car. Why not just admit you wanted a new car? :-)
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On 4/22/2013 5:49 AM, Voyager wrote:

Any sizzer jack would work but you probably could get a parts yard Hyundai one. I also would look for a space saver spare that has the same bolt pattern at a junk yard... Otherwise I thought that the space saver tire/rim was more like $80 new? (if you got the jack elsewhere)
I am fixing up our '99 Elentra for my son to have a 2nd car in Chicago. It only has 156k miles on it. Turns out the timing belt and water pump were OK but both are 10 years old and it had not had radiator fluid changed often enough. So over a 2 year period total repair cost to have it all ship shape: $1500 tranny rebuild (due to an old mistake catching up with me) $450 rear struts and alignment $150 timing belt & water pump $350 AC compressor replaced/installed = $2450
Car payments for a new car over 2 yrs: aox $6000
In this case the old Elentra makes more sense. I could sell the car now or after he's used it for 2 yrs as a "walking man's friend" for about $2250. Meanwhile it is cheap to insure, we don't care if it gets dented sliding on snow/ice, etc.
I confess, I am Scottish. Second confession is I bought a new 2013 Accent a month ago and love it! KWW '64 Beetle '03 Santa Fe '99 Elentra '13 Accent
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I have a couple junk yards nearby (good ol' Victory) so I might see if they have any Hyundai's with jacks and wrench still in them. Otherwise Harbor Freight has a 1.5 ton jack for $20 out the door. I can find a lug wrench anywhere. Cheers from another Chicagoan too.
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
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So I spent $1300 in September to fix my fuel and brake lines that rusted out plus evap stuff and hoses. Then I dropped $200 more to find a last evap leak and convince the state I dropped enough money to give me a waiver for a plate sticker. Then I buy 4 new tires for $350 and new front rotors and brakes for $200. Then my power steering hoses blow and it'll be at least $580 to fix that. So 1300+200+350+200=$2050 later, you think I am using the money-pit excuse to drop another $580 on a 145k mileage car that within 6 months has cost me $2050 (and doesn't have working A/C)? These things happen in threes and I wasn't sticking around to find out what number 3 would have been.
I did not want to buy a new car but there is no sense in throwing good money after bad. I *loved* my Sonata. I wanted to fix it but the likelihood of some other major expense happening with it was way too great. I just cut my losses. I'll probably recoup some of my losses in the oil changes and fuel I won't have to spend money on this whole year.
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
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Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP] wrote:

I still drive a 1994 Chevy K1500 pickup. It works hard as a plow and firewood truck and I put $1,000 to $1,500 per year into it. Everytime it needs significant work, my wife asks me why I am putting money into a truck that isn't worth it.
Well, my analysis is like the other gentlemen that replied: I figure how many months of new truck payments I need to get back my repair money. A new truck equipped to plow snow is around $40 grand which yields payments north of $500/month for any reasonable loan duration ($556 for a 72 month 0% loan!). So, $1,000 of repairs is paid back in less than 2 months and even $2,000 would be less than 4 months. And that isn't counting the extra insurance cost as I would have to carry collision during the term of the loan. I might save a little with better gas mileage and fewer repairs, but I am still nowhere near the $6,672 annual break-even point with my repair costs.
Consumer Reports did an analysis some years ago and they went as far as they had data (something like 14 years as I recall) and the "money pit" scenario never developed. It was ALWAYS cheaper to repair the car you have rather than trade for a new one.
I always chuckle when I hear this excuse as I can almost always prove it wrong with a few quick calculation.
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wrote:

There are a lot of intangibles in the calculations. Down time, getting the car to the garage, the insecurity that the car will let you down on a trip, stress, etc.
How many miles do you put on the plow truck? Pretty hard to justify 40k to replace it, probably cheaper to pay someone to plow for you. (unless you are generating income by plowing).
I'd rather cut my losses at some point and buy a newer vehicle. Not to mention the new goodies that come with it.
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On 4/22/2013 8:08 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Good point about down time and other intangibles. I had an '85 Crown Vic wagon that I could drive with no problem... took a little finessing because it tended to stall when stopped. My wife got stranded a time or two with it when the kids were small. I was able to drive over to where she was, start it and drive it home. But she didn't trust the car. TURNS OUT there were so many vacuum tubes on the motor that if one was cracked or melted you would not know it and it would cause stalling. Fixed it right before I was "convinced" to sell the car. It also makes a big difference if you can do repairs yourself (or have a GOOD, reasonably priced repair facility close by) vs paying a high priced dealer.
I would also argue that if you had bought a Renault Alliant, a Yugo, or an AMC Gremlin (certain years) you probably WOULD have a money pit that would not make sense keeping on the road. Also if you had a car that had been in a flood or wrecked then it may have issues that make it unreliable.
In general, however, one can keep things running. Now aesthetics.... the EPA has left us with few options in the paint department. Base coat/clear coat paint tends to peel after a while and look bad - the '99 Elentra is one such example. I did find a place where a "hobbyist" would paint it for around $1250 - good job usually - but with the economy such as it is I don't think I have that much to plunk down on it. As I also confessed, my wife "convinced" me to get a 2013 Accent a couple of months ago... so I understand your point about a new car - just have to be sure I stay employed so I can pay for it. :o KWW
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KWW wrote:

Should have replaced the hoses BEFORE problems set in. That is how I maintain my cars. My old cars run as well or better than my new ones.
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On 4/27/2013 7:34 AM, Voyager wrote:

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KWW wrote:

Things like that also just happen now and then. Doesn't mean the entire car is bad or can't be trusted. I've seen many new cars that had problems before they hardly were off the lot.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

My truck has never yet left me stranded. I do most of my own maintenance and minor repairs so I inspect the truck often. I almost always find issues (stiff u-joint for example) before they fail. I change belts and hoses before they fail. Most things that strand a vehicle are due to poor maintenance. Catastrophic failures are very rare, even with older vehicles if they have been maintained well.
I trust my old truck as much more than my newer vehicles. It has far fewer things to go wrong. No air bags, no ABS, no power windows or seats (the most troublesome things on my three newer vehicles), etc.
I don't drive it a lot, 142,000 miles in 19 years so less than 10,000 a year. It does more than plow. It is my daily driver to work in the winter when I can't ride my motorcycle. The bike gets about 5,000 miles a year and the truck the balance.
There are no losses to cut with respect to getting a new vehicle. One gets a new vehicle because they WANT one, not because the economics justifies one. That was my point. I am not knocking that at all, I just laugh when people seem to lack the courage to simply say "I wanted a new car so I bought one." They try to camouflage the reason with things like "it was a money pit, etc." Strange we humans at times...
I actually test drove the large Toyota (Tundra??) when it first came out a few years ago. I got a $50 Home Depot gift card for doing a test drive so I figured I couldn't lose! I drove my old Chevy to the Toyota dealer and drove their truck. I honestly did not like it much at all. It had far more power than my Chevy and I am sure would have at least matched the gas mileage, but that was ALL I liked about it. It was too high to climb into and out of, the visibility backward was terrible. I had a small car pull up behind me at a light and it COMPLETELY disappeared behind the tail gate! That truck did not have the backup camera, but I can see where you would have HAD to have one. The front pillars were thick with huge blind spots given the new roll-over protection requirements. The steering felt vague and the brakes were excessively touchy.
I came back the the dealer was sure I'd buy it given what I drove up in. When I told him I liked my old Chevy better I am sure he thought I was blowing smoke up his nose, but that was my honest answer. That was many years ago and I still am content with the Chevy. However, the rust is getting pretty bad now. I think it will pass PA inspection only one more time (PA is pretty tough on rust) so I may get one more winter out of it. But, come next spring, it will be 20 years since I bought it new and I will have to trade.
Another reason I have kept my 94 is that I like standard shift and this is simply not available on pickups anymore unless you get the very heavy duty diesels. I really don't want an automatic, but have no choice. If I could have gotten a standard shift truck, I probably would have traded up several years ago.
I am waiting now for the GDI engines that Chevy is supposed to release this year. That may give me some incentive to trade up next year, but sure wish they would offer a manual gearbox!
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On 4/22/13 5:26 PM, in article 2Oidt.9180$ snipped-for-privacy@newsfe25.iad, "Voyager"

I have been driving my Dad's 1962 1/2 ton Chev pickup since 1970. I agree it is cheaper to keep and old one fixed. I have antique plates on it which are $60.00 for five years, no inspections anymore and it runs great, plus I can fix most anything that needs to be fixed.
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Did they factor in the owner(s) living 12+ miles from work? Did they factor in having to also drive and drop off kids to school *on time* with 100% reliability when the school is 12+ miles away? Did they factor the cost of missed days of work and wages to employee and cost to employer for having the car in the shop? Lost vacation / sick days used to be off work while the car gets fixed, only assuming the employer allows sick and vacation days to be used as such? Added cost of having someone else fix it quickly and correctly the first time? What if not fixed correctly the first time? What if there is no money to fix the car or continue to maintain it? What if they person is *not* a "car guy/girl" who can DIY? What if this is the only family car? What if this car also carpools another spouse to work?
Cars from the 90s and older are far more easier to maintain and fix than modern cars. To say I am skeptical of anyone's anti-Money Pit argument is grossly understated. Those stats may work for the person whose kids/spouse are grown and drive their own car and the person has infinite time to dick around with their car. My time is a bit more valuable. I've replaced my own valve cover gaskets, various evap hoses, spark plugs and other parts on old Sonata myself. I don't have the time nor money to baby my car to the point of a car wash every week and a full detailing by myself a couple times a month. I was *meticulous* with my car maintenance and changed things when they needed to be changed. And lo and behold, it still broke down. It lasted me 12 years with not one single thing going wrong. I did not see anywhere in my schedule of maintenance to change the high pressure hoses for my power steering or I would have and would likely still be driving my car. A couple hundred bucks to replace some high pressure hoses with labor and I would have, but not for $600.
Send me this almighty report from Consumer Reports that details the mythical ideal situation whereby no one should ever need to buy a new car if they keep pouring money into their current car and they are all expert mechanics who can install all the parts on their own and work walking distance away from home and their kids school and they never need their car for any other utilitarian purpose? This report does not exist and whatever it was that you read doesn't factor in any of what I mentioned above.
- Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP]
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Thee Chicago Wolf [MVP] wrote:

This analysis was probably 10 or so years ago and I don't keep my CR magazines that long. And you can only see their data if you are a subscriber, which I am guessing you are not.
How much each month did your new car cost you? How many months of those car payments and higher insurance costs would it have taken to recover $600? I'm guessing two months at the most and probably less.
I don't know of any maintenance schedule that specifically says to replace high pressure hoses, or often even heater or radiator hoses. However, almost EVERY manual tells you to inspect items such as these on a regular basis and replace them when required. It isn't rocket science to know that rubber and plastic parts age. When they start cracking, getting stiff, etc., the end is approaching. And high pressure hoses rarely fail catastrophically. Those on my truck started with a slow leak which I saw during a routine engine cleaning and inspection. I had them replaced with no downtime as my local dealers (Chevy, Chrysler and Hyundai) all will drive me to work and pick me up at the end of the day.
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they

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It's not a big issue one way or the other. I'm fixing up my old Kia Rondo for about $700 because I like it and you can't buy them in the U.S. anymore. I may get the new car bug someday but not yet, I like this one. It is, however, far cheaper to fix it then get something else at this point.
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