Sunday, January 29, 2006

How we drive them

I was reading this post over at Whizbang and recalled a conversation I had with Milady the other day.

When I started driving 35 years ago, a car with 100K on the odometer was probably a dog. Nowadays we drive them well past that mark with no problems. Honda is probably the most frequently used example, routinely going well past 200,000 miles without a problem.

Of course, 35 years ago, we didn't have computers and fuel-injection and we didn't drive like we do now. Back in those days you worked on your car yourself. Every 6000 miles you lifted the hood and changed the oil, then got out the tools and changed the plugs, points and condenser. Generally, a car was kept until it approached 100,000 miles and was about 10 years old.

Nowadays, we have better cars. My Ford F-150 is four years old and is approaching the magic 100K mark. It also has the original spark plugs. It is due for a tune-up at the 100K mark. Its first tune-up. My daughters Honda Civic is three years old and has over 100K on the dial. Hell, my 96 Honda Goldwing has well over 100K on it and is only using the 3rd set of sparkplugs. The only reason I might trade it in the next couple of years if I decide I want another motorcycle.

The premise over at Whizbang was that the major auto companies are in trouble because they build so much better cars. Bullshit. The major auto companies are in trouble because they don't do the market research. They don't spot trends and they don't keep up with quality. New car prices are too high for an entry-level buyer.

Our driving habits have changed over the years. We put a lot more miles on a car than we used to.


Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

My hot rod has 225,000 miles on it and still purrs like a kitten. Automakers did themselves in by building and focusing on the SUV group. You notice how cheap you can get those suckers for, now. The ones that were priced in the range of $50,000 or so. Yep, they are all losing a TON of money.

Pawpaw said...

Dunno, Nick. We got the car last month. It is a 94 with 100K on it. I had my son, and ASE mechanic go over it and he said it is good. We got a good deal on it, under Kelly. It ought to take her through college. She'll be a junior next year.

Anonymous said...

The Bluesmobile is hitting on 475,000 miles and still going, still going.

Pawpaw said...

Hell, Nick. Write it up as a long day. Did I say 94? That ride is a 2004. It is only two years old. It has 100,000 miles. We are baffled as to who put that many miles on an automobile in two years. The one thing we agree on, is that it has to be road miles. No way you could put that many city miles on a car in two years.

I've seen the Bluesmobile. Leaned on it two weeks ago. It is still running, with nearly a half-million miles on it.