Thursday, June 19, 2008

When i got the car, i looked it up in Kelly Blue Book and found that it's retail value was $1,450. I've put 70,000 miles on it, so i expected it's value had migrated towards zero. But one of the guys at work suggested it should be worth something. I looked it up again. It's now worth $3,560. That's right. I put 70,000 miles on it, and it's value has increased by two grand. I attribute this to increased fuel prices.

I talk about how cars don't have investment value. And you might think that this is a windfall. However, the car still works, and replacing it with something that gets as good gas mileage is unlikely. So it's not for sale.

I just did invest something into it. I bought a new windshield. Apparently it's not legal in Michigan to drive a car with a windshield cracked all the way across. It really wasn't much of a bother, as the crack wasn't quite in my direct line of sight. Still, i was never able to clean the inside of the windshield fully, probably a smoker in it's history. For now anyway, it's really clean.

But back to Michigan. No inspections in this state. So if you get pulled over, for anything, they notice your windshield and ding you with an extra fine. I got away with having to replace it, and going to a police station to have them sign off that i'd gotten it done. So, i got the windshield replaced right away. I'm really bad at the administrative stuff, but i did manage to get the signed ticket in the mail before the deadline. Also, the new windshield was cheaper than expected. Only $160 installed, with tax & everything. Still, it'd be nice if they gave you a list of what you need up front, like when you register it. I consider air conditioning to be more of a safety item in the summer than the cracked windshield. But i bet that Michigan doesn't care if you have it, or if it works. And so on. The windshield was number #3 on my priority list of repairs to do.


Stephen said...

Still, the other day, i put $46 into the gas tank. It may not be over $100, as many of my friends are doing, but it's a shock to me. At least i got 550 miles out of the tank of gas. But it has me wondering how much a bus ticket across the state costs.

DQKennard said...

What's the hit on mileage with the boat on the roof?

I've got a Focus wagon. Ford advertises the Focus as "up to 35 mpg". Yeah, I'm guessing that'd be for the 3-door hatchback. I get more like 26, which is less than I'd like, less that it should be able to get. As you've pointed out, there's no really good reason why mpg figures aren't better. The mileage is worse and the tank smaller than my previous car (Mercury Tracer), so the range is over a hundred miles less.

On the other hand, since I work two miles from my house, the commute doesn't use a whole lot of gas, even if I run around at lunch doing unnecessary errands for a few extra miles.

Plus, I've recently been walking to work 2-3 times per week. The time between fillups is really quite good, when the car is left sitting unused in the driveway.

Stephen said...

Canoe MPG hit: I haven't yet done a long enough trip with the Saturn to measure a hit. OTOH, i've put the 17' canoe on the Mazda 626. It's lifetime average is 37 MPG. On trips it would usually get 39, with 41 MPG on one extraordinary trip. You know, daytime (no lights), cruise control, single drive for a tank of gas, 615 miles in 15 gallons. It got 39 MPG with the canoe. Maybe 5%. That car got 27 MPG towing the 16' 65 HP outboard boat. I have little patience with vehicles that get less than 27 MPG.

The current Focus 4 door sedan, 5 speed manual has the 35 MPG HWY rating. However, that's nearly equivalent to my 2000 Saturn's 40 MPG HWY rating. That's because the 2008 EPA ratings are measured differently. So, a few months ago, Chrysler bragged about how they had 6 cars that get over, i think it was 26 MPG. At the time, it thought that this was a pretty low goal. But it's equivalent to maybe 32 MPG that i was used to. I fully expect to be able to get 40 MPG out of a new 4 door 5 speed manual Focus.

Stephen said...

Have i mentioned that the Saturn has gotten 49 MPG? I'm pretty sure it'll get over 50 MPG if i install a cruise control.

Craig Maloney said...

You must've been driving in Dearborn. They loves them some moving violations there.

Stephen said...

They do love moving violations in Dearborn, and even more in the 25 feet of Allen Park on the Southfield. However, when i pop over the rise to - OMG - it's the Allen Park Police RADAR Trap, i look down at my speedometer (and instantly have no idea where i am), and i'm doing 50 MPH.

It's a 55 MPH zone, so they pay me no attention.

This windshield thing did not involve a violation of any kind. No laws were broken, not even laws of physics.

Heisenberg may have slept here.

Stephen said...

The picture of my Saturn is one i've used before. So it was taken well before the windshield was fixed. See the crack? It goes all the way across. It's very hard to see in the original too.

So, how hard is it to take another picture? Well, the batteries probably need to be replaced, but there are some on the charger. Then it's a walk all the way out to the car. Then, is the lighting OK? It might just be a waste of time. Then all the way back inside to dump it on the computer. Why doesn't the camera have wifi?

But i do have a camera with wifi. The n800 has this little tiny pop out camera, and it takes 640x480 snaps, which is only a little bigger than what i want to post. No flash, but it's great at outdoor shots.

And not only does it have wifi, so i can push it up to the computer while sitting in the comfort of the, uhm, car, but i can do the whole blog post from there.

But really, the screen is hard to see outside, even if it's cloudy. And the bluetooth keyboard isn't as good as a real keyboard, even if it is three times faster than using the hunt and peck on the screen with the stylus. I wish i could just talk at it. I haven't gotten the software working yet. I also haven't gotten a good crop and scale program working on it yet either. Not hard to do.

I'm just so lazy.

Stephen said...

Now that i've gotten to drive it in the rain, there's another advantage to the new windshield. The wipers work better. The wipers are not new.