Probably apples and oranges. Most things on Japanese cars last longer without failure and I can believe your Camry still rides like new. It's just in my opinion a new Camry still rides/handles poorly. A new Audi or BMW will handle and ride much better than a comparable Japanese car. I have an 2000 I30 and a 1997 A4 so I have direct experience. The I30 is just over a year old and rides worse than the A4 and it never did handle as well as the A4 does today...
The failure rates for German automatic transmissions I was using came from BMW and Audi forum postings from some fairly in-the-know folk. My A4 only has 67K on it so I have no personal experience and sinc I am expecting to trade it for a new A4 sometime in the next 3 months I hope not to have the experience.
Off the wall question: A couple of nights ago I sat down and watched "The Fast and the Furious". One of the main characters talk about double-clutching vice old grandma shifting...what is double-clutch?
thanks in advance,
Buy or lease a new car. Period. If you are "confident" (which in this climate -- both economic and terrorist related takes on a new meaning) in your outlook for your employment (and your W2 can justify it) and our economy (it is not a question of if it is a question of when) here are some thoughts.
1. Often Jan - Feb (especially Feb) are key months to acquire a NEW vehicle (dealers are often very hungry then, i.e.)
2. Interest rates NOW are really low -- even for German cars
3. If you have no gremlins (credit wise) in your closet, you will be able to lease or buy a new car -- there will be a dealer or a finance arm of a dealer or manufacturer that will "get you done"
4. You may find that VW of America (to name but one) has a "recent college grad" program or a first time car buyer program -- which offers attractive financing (just make sure you build a good history -- and this goes for everything you buy on credit)
Now, assuming your personal employment outlook is "acceptable" -- now is a fantastic time to get into a car -- on the other hand, if you are likely to get laid off, well -- "keep your powder dry." Do not buy an old "dead or practically dead" car and plunk down $10,000 or don't borrow $10,000 for Pete's sake.
If you are really desperate for transportation and really having trouble with your employement crystal ball -- keep as liquid (financially) as possible. Someone, somewhere has a "new car" for $200 - 300 a month on a 39 (or less) month lease -- don't buy trouble is my point. And don't go too far out on a limb in either time or amount of payment (manage your obligation that is).
But keep as much of that $10K as you can -- even though this recession is very likely to moderate and end in 2002 -- it "ain't over yet!"
Repeat after me: "I will keep my powder dry. . .I will keep my powder dry. . .Ohmmmmmm, Ohmmmm. . ."
Been there, done that (made the mistakes that is), Mark.
Visordoc, what you described is rev-matching. Double clutching is more like a combination of actions including rev-matching. The website you attached provides a good explanation of what those two things are. In modern manual trannys it's not that important to do double clutching. In short in double clutching, let's say you downshift from 4th to 3rd to make a corner. You engage the clutch, move the stick from 4th to neutral, let go of the clutch, "blip" or touch the throttle to match the revs, engage clutch, move the stick from manual to 3rd, let go of clutch, and if you match the revs right, wah-lah, smooth transition. Rev-matching is always a good idea to reduce wear-and-tear on the clutch.....and of course, provides a smoother ride for yourself and your passengers. It just takes time to practise and honestly I still can't do it well 100% of the time. Maybe 80% of the time :>
I guess the only problem with their comparison would be the price difference. I had been looking at the BMW 330i until I drove the A4 3.0. Using Edmunds pricing (TMV) I compared the two as equally equiped as I could get (Leather, Memory Power Seats, Sport Package, Xeon, Cold Weather Package (heated seats)) and got:
BMW 330i 5spd - $42,407
A4 3.0 Q 6spd - $38,418
Now according to MY math that's closer to $4K than $1K. I guess if you get the base models it might be closer as the A4 has a bit more standard equipment but whenever I see the $1K figure thrown around I start wondering because that wasn't what I was getting.
If I were in your position, I would lease or finance a car. Establishing a good credit rating is something that will benefit you in so many ways. A credit rating is nothing more than a way for lenders to determine how risky it is to lend money to you. Strangely enough, the only way to enhance this rating is to borrow money and pay it back on time. Paying cash for a car (or anything else), no matter how much, does nothing to enhance your credit. Financing or leasing, even a cheap Kia, will give you a positive credit reference that lasts for years. And trust me, you will be wanting to borrow money a frightening number of times in your future.
The flip side of this is that defaulting on a auto loan or lease will royally screw your credit rating for years, so make sure you buy within your means. Take a good look at your finances and come up with a monthly payment that you can afford without undue pain. There are plenty of auto sites that offer calculators that will help you determine what you can afford, and what price vehicle will fall into your range.
My apologies if you are some sort of econ/finance doble major or math prodigy and know this already, but if you work at establishing good credit at 22, your 30, 40, and 50 year old selves will thank you endlessly.
Ive been looking in classified ads and such, and have been noticing 2-3 year old A4s in the 20-24k range. Is there anything I need to look out for? Im looking at cars in this range, and this is one attractive option in my search.
Im primarily looking at 1.8ts although I might accept the 2.8, but it has to have a manual.
Most drivers that have sporting intentions now use the heel and toe method to scoot around corners or make a smooth transition when downshifting. It is rather awkward to explain but here goes:
The driver engages the clutch pedal and begins to brake somewhat as well,
The shifter is brought into play and driver begins moving from 4th to 3rd etc.,
While applying light pressure to the brake the driver rolls his right foot and blips the throttle,
Driver should be ready to shift down at this point
and the trans should allow that to happen when the throttle is blipped,
Once the trans allows you into the lower gear release the clutch and slide your right foot over to the accelerator to power out of the corner.
This is a very simple explaination of heel and toeing and it takes practice, practice, practice. When done properly and you'll know when you do those corners become even more fun!
A couple of good resources: Jackie Stewart has a book out, Bob Bondurant's high performance driving is another good book. There are some great videos at Blockbuster as well for drivers and race fans in the special interest section. My favorite was one by Mario Andretti. They may also have a Bondurant or a Skip Barber video as well. If you can't find these in your area try Motorbooks.com for all sorts of driving and car books/videos. Happy Motoring!