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Old February 24 2015, 02:58 AM   #1
Trekker4747
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Well, bought a new car.

My old car, a 2000 Ford Focus ZTS, had recently suffered some rather severe damage following a botched job at a garage, and haven't gotten anywhere with them in regards to reimbursement or compensation. It was an old car anyway and not worth much.

Anyway, this past weekend I bought a brand-new car with some sizable down payment, trade-in and 0% financing. The car? A 2015 Toyota Corolla LE.

Nice car, full of features and stuff.
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Old February 24 2015, 04:36 AM   #2
HIjol
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Does it have some bumper-mounted forward phasers or a dilithium chamber under the hood, or some-such, that you would like this Thread to discuss? (hint)
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Old February 24 2015, 04:51 AM   #3
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

It's a Klingon car. Get it? A Toyota KOR-olla.
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Old February 24 2015, 06:48 AM   #4
HIjol
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
It's a Klingon car. Get it? A Toyota KOR-olla.




With a Bose 48 Speaker Maximum Sound System, pre-loaded with the extended version of the Klingon Battle Music.

For those heavy traffic days.

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Old February 24 2015, 07:04 AM   #5
auntiehill
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Cool news! A new car is always fun.

So, what color did you get?
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Old February 24 2015, 01:05 PM   #6
rhubarbodendron
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

I have a Ford Focus as a business car. How do you rate your new car in comparism? If it's good I might get my bosses to buy me a Toyota when I'm due for a new car.
What'd interest me most is info about storage space, gas usage and easy maintenance (with my Focus you have to disassemble the complete front light if you want to exchange the bulb. And changing the battery is completely impossible for a layperson as you'll have to take half the car apart to get to it. Most irritating!)
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Old February 24 2015, 10:13 PM   #7
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Trekker, all I can say is, I hope your new car has decent winter traction. You can't live in this neck of the woods without that!
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Old February 24 2015, 11:06 PM   #8
Trekker4747
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Long story ahead! - But then, PICTURES!!!!

Well, keep in mind my previous car was a 2000 model I bought in December of 1999 and while it was the highest trim-level at the time minus a couple options (leather seats, power seats) and my current car is the second from the bottom of the trim-levels for the Corolla and a lot has changed from the top 15 years and the almost bottom today. Toyota's base models are also a lot different than what I'd expect to see in a basic base model today as the base-model current Focus-es I was looking at had more options in them than the bottom for the Corolla.

The base model Corolla didn't come with cruise-control, power windows/locks. remote entry, or the computerized interface for the radio and the steering wheel-controls. Oddly, it was only a few hundred dollars cheaper than the next trim level so there's little point I see in going with that one considering those few hundred dollars is virtually nothing over a multi-year auto loan.

I loved my Focus. And while I was looking to get a new car anyway, I planned to keep my Focus as a back-up as the car I wanted to get was a Mustang. But some crappy work done by a garage lead to engine-damage in the Focus and it has a number of other problems too. In short, it's worth far less than what it'd cost to fix it and being a 15-year-old car with 140,000 miles on it it's only going to have more problems down the road. I was a bit over-due for new brakes, possibly way over-due for new shocks/struts (though the original ones on the car were still performing fine) I needed new mounts of muffler and the CD-player was acting up.

Aside from the engine damage caused by that shop it otherwise ran fine with good gas mileage though I was probably due for a good tune-up as well.

I took in this past September as it started overheating on me enroute somewhere so I took it to first shop off the highway. They told me I needed a new thermostat, and coolant exchange. I replaced it, and after taking the vehicle home it was overheating again, took it back in, radiator flush and they looked it over. And felt that the sensor controlling the the gauge on the dash was failed or failing, a fairly expensive part to replace considering its location.

Drove the car home and a day later a hose or something in the engine bay broke emptying out the coolant reservoir and causing a good deal of obvious over heating.

Parked it, and got a hold of the shop again, they replaced the hoses/coolant for free and made a long "CYA" list of problems they thought the car had. I took it to a dealer mechanic I trusted and he told me the radiator was clogged.

A clogged radiator meant it'd be very hard (if not impossible) to do the coolant exchange and certainly impossible to do a proper flush. Both procedures would have revealed a clog in the radiator. At this point the dealer mechanic -who tends to be overly cautious in past problems I've had- gave a good deal on the new radiator but felt there could be a warped head on the engine due to the time its spent running while overheating.

Replacing the head would be pretty expensive and he said that removing the head could reveal other problems in the engine that'd start adding up and eventually overtake the cost of a new engine. So, in short, I'd likely need a new engine which would cost a few 1000 dollars with arts/labor. The dealer mechanic felt that had the original shop tested the radiator flow they would have seen the clogged radiator and knew to replace or unclog it. Which would have prevented setting into motion the series of events that lead to the potential engine damage.

I contacted that original service location I dealt with when this all began and tried to work something out with them on compensating me for the damages. I acknowledged that I played some part in all of this (as it was my failure to care for it properly that led to the clogged radiator) but they also failed to properly diagnose/fix the problem. In fact, I pointed out, I didn't understand how they did the exchange/flush without knowing the radiator had a clog. They refused to do anything other than refund my money for the services I had done. (around $300.) I refused.

I contacted some higher ups in the food chain and the woman I talked to also refused to give me anything more.

I contacted the BBB for the state the work was done in and this prompted more discussions with the claims manager, but she still wasn't convinced they played any meaningful role in the engine damage and still only offered the initial refund.

She said they didn't clog the radiator. I said while that was true, their service was inadequate and their failure to properly diagnose the problem lead to this engine damage. I asked her how they did a proper flush/exchange without noticing the clog. She said she didn't know. She had no automobile knowledge.

So, in short, she felt it was *my* fault that her people couldn't figure out the radiator was clogged from the flush/exchange. Or that the engine became severely clogged *after* my work there.

Contacting even higher up in the management scale didn't yield any results. I'm not going to bother with the trouble of small-claims court, so fuck it. I'm done with it.

So that's how the original 1701-D ended. The engine *may* be damaged, but my trusted mechanic felt it could not be, it could be but not severely, there's no way to know. So I more or less let the car sit and borrowed one of my parents' cars for a couple months.

I've been on-again, off-again car-shopping since December trying to find deals. Ideally I wanted to get a Ford. I cannot explain it, but it's just what I wanted. Local dealer offers invoice price plus all of the rebates/incentives so they're the ones I tried working with.

But, the way they were working back was crazy.

I got approved for 5.x% financing. (Just keep reading.) on a 60 or 72 month loan for this low price on the car. Alternatively, I could get 0% financing but that'd take away all of the rebates/dealer incentives pretty much meaning I was paying a little less than sticker for the car.

So, whether I went with the 5% financing with a cheap purchase price or with 0% financing with near-sticker price I'd end up paying the same amount of money. There was no-way to get 0% financing AND the lowest price for the car. This was for a 2014 model, so a car they've probably been sitting on for many, many months considering here it is February 2015 and 2016 models will likely be on the floor this Spring.

I didn't really want to get a Toyota but my dad had been talking to a dealer who had recently give him a good deal on his own new car and I agreed to go down there and talk with them this past Sunday.

They were running a President's Day sale with some good rebates and such. We were talking with the salesman on the car and ended up getting all of the pricing discounts, rebates, dealer incentives and such they had available. They also gave me $750 for my trade-in sight-unseen (just based off its records on the VIN number.) With my down payment and the 0% financing I got with my (higher than expected credit score) my payments on the car are $200/mo for 5 years.

My insurance didn't seem to go up too much over my old car's full coverage price.

So, I bought it Sunday night and went in to pick it up Monday afternoon when I went in to drop off my trade.

The old girl: I'll miss you, Lassie.



The new girl:





After I added my Star Trek "Fish"/Starship on the trunk lid and the Starfleet decal on the rear window.



It drives real nice and quiet, smooth, and syncs with my phone via Bluetooth, allowing for the hands/free voice commands to work to interact with my phone and to speak with callers.

If there's one complaint I have about the BT with the phone is that it puts it as one of the inputs when cycling through the sound-system. So when I reach it when flipping through the inputs (say from the CD player trying to go back to the radio) if I linger a moment too long it'll activate the handful of songs I have on my phone. This starts the audio-player on my phone which drains the battery faster. The Bluetooth drains it more enough as it is.

Near as I can tell there's no way to tell either my phone or the car to ignore the other as far as the audio files go.

The car has a back-up camera which has an overlay of the "footprint" for the car. So it tells you the space the car will occupy when parked. You just match the rectangle up with the lines of the parking spot and you're good to go. I've only backed up a few times, but I rely on looking rather than the camera. Haven't used it to back into a space yet. I rarely back into a space.

Good-sized trunk. I'd say a little larger than my old car had. It has the standard 60/40 fold-down seats and the emergency trunk release on the inside door. In my Focus the 'bench" of the rear seat would fold up in order to provide a flat surface for whatever was in the trunk. Not sure if this car does that. Given the seats have impressions in them for the butts of passengers and head rests I doubt it.

Right now it's a little awkward for me to drive because the placement of A/B pillars are different for looking around, size/shape of the mirrors and just the overall feel of the car from what I am used to. My driving has certainly "calmed" the last couple of days.

For being a 1.8(or something)L 4-cyl engine it has some good pick-up and go with it when accelerating down a highway ramp.

Fuel economy seems to be good, computer offers your avg. MPG, distance to E and gives you a chart on the MPG you're getting. I'm getting upper 30s/40 over the last couple of days.

I'm happy with it, I'm sure I'll get more happy with it as I get more and more used to it. Still nervous over driving it, again it sits different and seeing around the outside of it when driving is awkward still so I'm a little more cautious than normal when parking it. Though at work I'm parking far out (in one space) so I have room to park. It's got a great warranty on it from Toyota and expected to go 10,000 miles before needing an oil-change. So I should be good to go in the long run. And, well, to be perfectly fair and honest, Toyotas do last longer than Fords. I'm just nervous about all of the electronics in it. I didn't get the extended warranty which covers that stuff more than the factory warranty does. So, we'll see how it goes.

Now, if I can just find a way to download a Scarlett Johansson-sounding "voice" for the car when it talks while interacting with the phone I'd be set.

Trekker, all I can say is, I hope your new car has decent winter traction. You can't live in this neck of the woods without that!
Front-wheel drive and has traction-control. Seems to have decent torque so I should be good.

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Last edited by Trekker4747; February 25 2015 at 12:59 PM.
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Old February 25 2015, 12:02 AM   #9
auntiehill
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

^The new Star Trek Corolla, complete with Lens Flare!


Nice ride, man. I'm jealous.
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Old February 25 2015, 07:43 AM   #10
Avro Arrow
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Congratulations on your new car!

I have to say, though, that as a Canadian, this typo(?) totally made me LOL:

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
Seems to have decent toque so I should be good.
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Old February 25 2015, 08:08 AM   #11
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Wait. Do you really have that plate number? That is AWESOME.
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Old February 25 2015, 11:25 AM   #12
rhubarbodendron
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Sounds like a nice car you got! I'll definitely put it on my wishlist for the next business car!
Funny coincidence: my Focus is exactly 50 months old and I reached the 140,000 miles barrier last week Seems I drive a lot more than you do (but then it is a business car and my district is pretty large). So far I am quite content with it (it's my first Ford after 20 years of VWs and Opels), only the ABS annoys me: it always kicks in about a millisecond before I'd break anyway. Gotta have a look at the manual occasionally and see if I can switch the damned thing off.

My favourite in my office's current car pool is a Skoda Fabia. It's build in the Czech Republic but has a very powerful Volkswagen diesel engine. I drive that one with only 5 litres/100 km (2 gallons/100 miles). I am not sure what its maximum speed is. So far I've gone only 180 km/h (about 112 mph) but the motor was far from being at its limit. I'd estimate that 240 km/h should presdent no difficulty, provided you have a good road.
This car is slightly higher than most others (ideal if you have to drive offroad a lot). It's no 4-wheeler but performs well enough on forest paths and in meadows. The trunk could be a little larger imho (I'd estimate it's about 3-4 gallons less than my Focus'), but this way the passengers in the back seats have more legroom. Due to its greater hight you have a better view on the road. It's a bit similar to the 1960s Jeeps.
What I love best about that car is that it's so silent. Compared to the Focus which rattles very loudely even on very smooth tarmac, the Skoda is almost in stealth mode.
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Old February 25 2015, 01:12 PM   #13
Trekker4747
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

ABS kicking in before you do it anyway... Er.... You must be talking about something else. (Is it that feature where a car brakes for itself when it feels you're about to have a collision?)

ABS is the Anti-lock Braking System, it engages when you use the brakes and the car detects you're skidding/the wheels are locking up. So it "pulses" the brakes to maintain some form of traction to prevent you from sliding on unmoving tires, it helps you maintain control of the car when in the slide. It only engages in certain circumstances (you've slammed on the brakes, sliding on slick pavement) and you can usually feel it through the pedal as a series of pulses and you'll hear something of a "humming" noise as the system engages. It's a system you WANT and there's no way to turn it off on any vehicle I've ever heard of, short of disabling the mechanical/electrical components related to it by removing a fuse or other electrical component.

I'm not sure what the system is called but some newer cars have a system where a car can detect a collision is about to occur and it'll brake for itself if the driver hasn't done it soon enough. I sort of doubt this system can be disabled as well, but it's not a very common one yet. I don't have it in my new car, and I sort-of doubt it'd be in your car given none of the cars I've looked at over the last couple months had the system. Though it may have been available as an option or in higher trim levels than what I was looking at.

Again, it's sort of a safety-feature so I wouldn't think it could be disabled short-of messing with components of the car you're not supposed to mess with. I suspect having it gives one a deal on their auto-insurance rates as well. If it's that much of a problem, I suspect you can take the car to a dealer and ask. Some cars these days do have features in their electrical-related components that can be disabled or changed by equipment at the dealer and not by the end-user.

But, believe me, you WANT ABS. The auto-braking thing, perhaps not. But it also strikes me as something one wants just for that extra layer of protection.
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Old February 26 2015, 01:06 PM   #14
rhubarbodendron
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
ABS kicking in before you do it anyway... Er.... You must be talking about something else. (Is it that feature where a car brakes for itself when it feels you're about to have a collision?)
No, I do indeed mean ABS.
As you described it, it's when you break permanently and the car loosens the break in order to keep the wheels from blocking and to avoid sliding.
When I got my license, ABS was not yet invented and for more than 3 decades I've been using what over here we nickname "stutter break system" i.e. you break for an instant, let go, break again etc.
The damned ABS always reacts literally a millisecond before I do. Well, actually, we start simultaneousely but the ABS does it quicker. So when it's releasing the break I am just beginning to release it myself. The system, however, recognizes that as "break still on" and releases it very suddenly. That surprises me and being puzzled I take slightly longer than usual to put the break back on. And when things are really tight that lost millisecond can lead to a fatal collision.

Also, in some situations you *want* the car to slide as that might be your only chance of avoiding a crash. An ABS keeps you from doing that.

Surely it depends a lot on what you are used to and an ABS does indisputably have its advantages. But after half a lifetime it's difficult to adapt to a completely new "behaviour pattern" of a vehicle.
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Old February 26 2015, 07:54 PM   #15
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Re: Well, bought a new car.

Congratulations on the new car! It's actually good that it didn't work out with Ford because Toyota is the better brand based on objective quality data.

Oh, and to whoever is nutting on about ABS not being safer, safety statistics prove that ABS is a lifesaver. That's why insurance companies give you discounts for it, etc. Whatever "reasons" you have are just a rationalization to support the old brake's that you're used to.

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