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About Xecho

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    USA - Tennessee
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  1. Let me toss another idea out there on the table... Place an ad to see if anybody around that area is looking to transport their car to the USA. You make arrangements to deliver their car and you get your bike and dog moved in the process. This used to be a common occurrence in years past. There used to be a company (I think it was called "Auto-Drive-Away") that helped get drivers lined up with cars that needed to be transported. I'd check that out before going to all the trouble with governmental red tape in buying / registering cars.
  2. A paint job is expensive. If you change the original color of the car, it's MORE expensive and a lot more difficult because of all the edges around the hood, trunk, wheel wells, doors, etc., etc. If you paint the car with 'rattle cans' it will come out striped... alternating stripes of shiny paint and dull, flat paint. That's because the paint dries between passes and has no time to 'flow' into a continuous coating. There's not a lot of paint in a rattle can and there's not enough air in the can to adequately atomize the paint. If you must paint it yourself, here's a few tips. The PLACE is important! Cool, no dirt, no wind, adequate ventilation. The Time is worth consideration. At night, bugs will be attracted! The preparation of the surface is a major factor. Old wax residue needs to be removed with thinner (acetone, etc.). Bugs and tar needs to be removed. Rock chips need to be sanded and 'flared' out to about 3" diameter. Masking tape can't be left on for more than a few hours or it will become part of the car. Buy or rent a compressor and a spray gun. You don't want to run low on air and you don't want to have to stop in the middle of the job to refill the paint. Install a condensation trap in the paint line. Heat build-up from the compressed air will condense water that will be blown out onto the wet paint otherwise. I'd recommend enamel rather than lacquer because it's easier to work with. It has a long flow time (stays wet longer) and it doesn't need to be buffed out afterward. Be sure you have a respirator... You DON'T want to breathe in the paint overspray!!! You might want to remove little chrome do-dads. (Silverado EFI, LE, etc.) It's easier to remove them than it is to clean and to mask around them. If you REALLY don't care about the nice finish, at least go with a compressor and paint gun instead of the rattle cans. Stay out of the sun, wind and bugs!
  3. I've been HAD again!!! Let me tell you the rest of the story - and the latest one... The KIA that I bought from the KIA dealership still had considerable warranty time - but the dealer had taken the warranty book out of the car when he sold it to me and so that was voided because I couldn't produce any evidence that the car had been serviced prior to my purchase. That KIA Rio (you may recall that I mentioned earlier) had an "Interference Engine" which means that it'll self-destruct if the timing belt breaks so I was a bit afraid of that happening. KIA recommends replacing the timing belt at 60,000 miles so I had it replaced at 52,000 miles just to be safe. Well, it broke anyway! I'd just installed: new battery tires wheel balance brakes rotors front-end alignment and then the new belt broke and the pistons hit the exhaust valves and destroyed much of the engine... but I got it all rebuilt. (The students in the Auto Mechanics shop at TCAT (Tennessee College of Applied Technology) did the rebuild - I supplied the parts.) I was "Afraid" of that car doing it to me again so I traded it for a Ford Escape Eco-Boost with 49,000 miles on it at the local Ford Dealer. (Factory warranty is 50,000) but I've learned not to rely upon a used car warranty anyway.) I decided to buy the dealer's "Car-DOC" maintenance plan and then I went elsewhere and purchased an "extended warranty" that cost me $2,000 - lump sum - up front, that covers only the drive train. My Ford Escape now has a little over 58,000 miles on it. (I've driven it about 9,000 miles since purchase.) Three days ago my "CHECK ENGINE" light came on and guess what? They told me, "You're going to need to find another way home." Engine coolant has leaked into one of the cylinder's combustion chambers and has eaten up the walls of the cylinder - which has destroyed the engine block! The cost to repair? - - - $7,860 !!! NO FACTORY WARRANTY!!! So I'm paying $300 a month for a car with a destroyed engine and I still need to keep up insurance for the next 4 years! WHY would anybody be SCARED about buying a CAR? The mechanic at Ford said another guy had the same problem as me last week and that the Ford Escapes are prone to this problem and that I shouldn't have bought an Escape! And not to buy ANOTHER one!!! Well.... there is a little light at the end of this tunnel... That extended warranty that I decided to buy for $2,000 ??? The Ford dealer contacted them with a repair claim and they have agreed to pay for a brand-new engine. That's ALL that has saved my bacon! I'm still on the hook for $100 (deductible) and for the sales tax of $586 but at least my car will be running. The new engine has been ordered and it has a warranty of 2 years or 24,000 miles. So should I trade it for something else? Incidentally, that Car-DOC maintenance plan that I bought from Ford includes the use of a courtesy car in the event that my car repair is delayed. They didn't offer me a ride home from the dealership! I had to call a neighbor to come and get me and to bring me home. Then, in talking to the service department and was waiting on HOLD - their advertisement on the Car-DOC plan played over the phone and told me about the courtesy car. So I arranged to have a friend drive me back to the dealership to pick one up. Oh, and that OTHER guy that had the same problem last week? He hadn't bought a supplemental warranty so he's out'ta LUCK! Even with a new engine, I'm reluctant to KEEP it. And I'm scared to go to the next CAR DEALER to do it all again! I wonder if I could get by with a bicycle?
  4. The fear that you are feeling is your common sense trying to protect you from a potential predator that can have dire consequences if you fail to heed. There’s a reason that car dealers share a reputation with scrupulous politicians, lawyers and outright shysters. They’re typically going to take you for a ride. Take for example the KIA that I bought just a couple of years ago from the local Kia dealership. It supposedly had considerable time left on the factory warranty but about a week after my purchase, I discovered that the dealer had removed the warranty book from the glove box. As you should already know, the factory warranty is contingent upon performing the required periodic maintenance as mandated in the warranty book and failure to comply with those maintenance intervals will void the warranty. Since I could produce no record of any maintenance prior to my ownership of the vehicle – it was actually sold to me without a warranty because I had no way to persuade the dealer to provide the information. I called the factory KIA representative to see if there was any online record of my vehicle’s VIN having a maintenance validation but after an exhausting all avenues of possibility, I had to conclude that I’d been ‘Taken’ once again. The fact is that the dealer conducts many ‘deals’ every month and thereby knows all the shortcuts, loopholes and shady shyster’s ways of making the most for himself at every turn. You on the other hand, he sees as his next ‘mark’ and as an uninformed bumpkin, you’re like a typical visitor to the Midway at the county fair. If you’ve got a friend who is savvy on the art of working the deal, by all means ask him to accompany you on your shopping trip or at the very least, try to learn as much as you can before you sign any papers that will obligate you and your family for the upcoming five years. I don’t consider myself to be foolish or an idiot, but I’ve been taken a ride on almost every purchase that I’ve ever made with a car dealer. They’re usually pretty slick operators – and you’re not.
  5. Okay, let's take a closer look at this. Why is there fear in the first place? It's because you're placing yourself into a position where you might not just lose your money, but also someone else's money that you're obligated to pay back. And - if it does happen, you're going to suffer a loss that might well be devastating. Yes, who wouldn't be scared? Maybe if your name is Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg it wouldn't be scary at all but for most average-income people, buying a car is a major investment. I've heard it said that for the average person, food is the only thing in the budget that costs more than the car - even more than the house because it must be continually replaced. If the car breaks or is destroyed before it can be paid for, then there's a loss that is devastating and it will likely take years of hard work and many rubles to recover. If you have to buy a car, you're forced into taking a chance that you really don't enjoy taking. You know you're going to lose. You just don't know how much or how badly it's going to hurt until after you've committed. That's why anyone with basic common sense has fear of signing the papers. The seller has no mercy. The lender has no mercy and the government regulators have no mercy. There's nobody looking out for your tailfeathers - but you - and you'd better not foul this up! Yes, that even scares ME and I ain't afraid of NUTHIN! So the bottom line is the same as it is with any gambling venture... don't risk more than you can afford to LOSE! I'll share a real-life story here. (Consider: "Finding out how that buck lost his antler can keep you from losing yours!") My friend, Gene, saw a car that he wanted very badly even though he wasn't in a position to make such an extravagant purchase. He went to Household Finance and borrowed money to place a down payment - and then he signed the papers to buy the car on credit. Gene couldn't afford the insurance but the lender required a full-coverage policy to protect their company's interests. So he bought a policy that could be paid on a monthly basis - at a much higher price. His budget was stretched to the point that he could barely afford to fill the tank with petrol. And then the worst thing happened. He missed an insurance payment and then the car was wrecked beyond repair. Insurance wouldn't pay off so Gene needed to buy another car. He sought money from his family to help him buy a 'beater' and he discovered that his insurance rates had gone up considerably so he only bought liability and property damage insurance - on credit - and all the while he was making payments on the wrecked hulk of the luxury car that lay in the weeds of the back garden. You probably know several people just like Gene in your own experiences. It's not an uncommon story. You routinely read about people who fake a car theft or they'll deliberately wreck the car for insurance in a desperate attempt to get out of the predicament that they've placed themselves into. And THAT is why it is fearful to buy a car - unless your name is Gates or Zuckerberg. The answer is - "Don't risk more money than you can afford to lose." Xecho
  6. This is a question that I've wondered about for years and I've asked a great many people - including drivers of (articulating lorries) semi-trucks but have never gotten a valid answer. Why doesn't engine compression slow down the vehicle equipped with a diesel engine (unless it's equipped with a "Jake Brake"?) The first time I came across this problem was when as a teenager, I was helping a neighbor on his farm baling hay. He asked me to turn the hay over to dry it with his diesel, David Clark tractor pulling a hay tedder. All went well until I started down a hill and the tractor took off freewheeling down the hill to my complete surprise. Our gasoline tractors, (Allis-Chalmers & IH Case) would prevent this 'run-away' condition by merely reducing the throttle. But with the diesels - there is absolutely no discernible back pressure to help you decelerate. (WHY?) Knowing that a diesel engine has somewhere around twice the compression ratio of a gasoline engine, I'd expect it to slow me down quite effectively when going down a hill but it seemingly has no effect at all on deceleration. Of course, the truck drivers are quick to point out that you can close the Jake Brake to help you slow down - but the question remains... Why does it NEED one? Xecho
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