Last post on Jun 23, 2010 at 9:49 AM
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#21 of 30 Re: That's what is so cool about Mercs [anythngbutgm]
by steve_ HOST
May 28, 2010 (2:06 pm)
lol, well, Mercury has been on my mind this week with Ford's shut down announcement.
I'm painting a bedroom - gonna blame it on the fumes.
#22 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [kathyc2]
May 30, 2010 (6:00 am)
"...don't look at the cost to get from point A to B, but rather the fun to get from A to B..."
There were several good responses to the delemna posed by this discussion. I think kathyc2's suggestion of focusing on the joy of the ride and the pleasure of ownership, instead of the cost of ownership, is the key to justifying the expense of owning a high maintenance car. To extend this thinking further, if you're a compulsive person who only or mainly thinks about the cost-per-mile of operation, it's a mistake for you to drive a European luxury car. That's because the driving pleasure and other attributes of a luxury car are trumped by your compulsion.
One of my friends fits this stereotype. Although he could easily afford an C or E-Class Mercedes, or its equivalent, he used to drive K-cars, which he purchased at the end of the model year, to get a lower price. His second car was a used econobox, like, say, a Tercel. Now he drives a miled up '00 Camry and an Echo. And to complete the picture, Mark actually enjoys driving. It's just that his definition of enjoyment has to accommodate his "do-it-ala-cheap" guilt demon. Mark needs to get a life. He even acknowledges his compulsion, which sometimes drives his wife nuts, but he can't seem to shake it loose.
Another good suggestion that some of you have put forth is to buy used, and stay away from the high end, most complex luxury cars. And, when selecting a used car, evaluate the previous owner as much as the car and the deal. Did he/she maintain it well, and drive it with reasonable care. Well, that's what I did when I recently bought a '07 A4 Quattro 2T, for my wife as the primary driver. This car is a delight to drive, and it's got the nicest interior of any car we've owned. If its cost of ownership turns out to be on the high side, well, so be it. We're concentrating on enjoying our ride, and practicing a "have fun, be happy" attitude. In the unlikely event that this A4 should turn out to be a money pit, we'll replace it. Anyone know where I can locate an older, low maintenance A8?
#23 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [hpmctorque]
May 30, 2010 (8:27 am)
Some people take more pleasure in having money than spending it. My Mom is the same way; she can't enjoy going out to dinner because the whole time she's thinking about how she could have made it for less. My theory is after you have taken care of the necessities, the extra should be for things you enjoy whether it be a nice car, vacations, etc.
I bought my 2002 325CI in 06 w/ 53K miles, and 4 years and 30K miles later I've put around 1K in repairs; the most expensive of which was to replace the string system that keeps the headliner tight on the rear pillars when the top is up. Of course maintenance and wear and tear items are significantly higher than on domestics, but I knew what going in so I was prepared. I tried a couple of independent shops that specialize in German cars, but was not happy with them for one reason or another. Ended up going to the BMW dealer for service, and although posted rates are higher, they usually give me a discount of some kind or another.
Since someone else took the first couple years hit on depreciation by leasing, the percentage I've taken in 4 years is probably less than if I would have bought a new domestic for the same amount as I paid used. One of the things that has impressed me the most is after 80+K miles, the leather seats look new without any sag or creases.
It's a beautiful weekend, why not go for a joy ride on some twisty curvy road and really enjoy your A4? if you ask real nice, your wife might even let you drive part of the way.
#24 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [kathyc2]
May 30, 2010 (9:47 am)
"Some people take more pleasure in having money than spending it."
Great choice of words - simple and direct - that describes some people perfectly, kathy.
"...after you have taken care of the necessities, the extra should be for things you enjoy..."
The rational side of my brain says "bulls eye!" You only live once. The depression era mentality in me cautions that you can't go wrong by being frugal, because you never know. Well, the fact is that it can be a mistake to be too frugal. I had an associate who said about money, "you can spend it now, or you can spend it later." He didn't consider leaving it or willing it to be a viable option. Of course, great minds will differ on this point, which maybe even he didn't entirely believe. However, it does resonate.
#25 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [hpmctorque]
May 30, 2010 (10:04 am)
I think a "low maintenance" A8 is like a "low maintenance" S-class or 7er. Older ones might have less gadgetry to go wrong, but they require just as much physical maintenance. Some of the old tech can be less stable, like the COMAND units in early W220s and electrics in older 7ers. It's a balancing act...older is much cheaper, but has its own set of risks.
And I do agree, it can be possible to be "too frugal". Remember, you only live once...of course one should whenever possible live below their means and have a nest egg, but live a little. We still have things relatively good, and in this devolving world, I can't say I believe future generations will be so lucky. I am thinking that way as I get older, especially about free time. I once traveled maybe every 5 years at most, and didn't take much time away. Now, I think I would rather travel at 33 than 73...as there's no guarantee any of us will even make it that far.
#26 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [fintail]
May 30, 2010 (11:31 am)
Well said. All true.
#27 of 30 Re: Trapped Between High Depreciation, and Expensive Maintenance and Repairs [andys120]
May 31, 2010 (8:45 am)
I agree with andys120 almost 100%, but I would add a few comments.
1. Believe it or not, some dealers offer excellent service at a reasonable price. For example, my local BMW dealer(Swope BMW in Louisville, KY) performed the Inspection II service(AKA 60K mile or "Major" service) as well as a brake fluid flush on my wife's 2004 X3 for less than $400. That said, I also have an excellent indie shop(Performance Specialties, Louisville) that I use for some service- particularly on my older Bimmers.
2. Join the national Marque club. As an example, BMW Car Club of America members can often get 20%-25% discounts on parts/labor from BMW dealers and/or indie shops. Membership also wires you into a network of enthusiasts who can help you find decent shops and vendors as well as assist in diagnosing and resolving problems.
3. Check out my 318ti Club Sport blog entry to see an example of an older BMW that has been remarkably inexpensive to own; repairs and maintenance costs(which include five sets of sticky street/track tires) have averaged almost exactly 5 cents per mile over the almost 15 years that I've owned the car.
#30 of 30 Re: And now... Audi [anythngbutgm]
Jun 23, 2010 (9:49 am)
Herr Stadler should look at what happened to GM after they became #1 and what happened to Toyota after they took over from GM. Market share isn't everything.