Thoughts on DOWNGRADING car, I know, unconventional ;)

So, My 1995 Commodore has a suspected head gasket problem.

It will most likely cost around $1000 to repair. It is getting old.

I look for a newer car, don't want to spend another 8k or so on a depreciating item.

So I just got to thinking, has anyone downgraded their vehicle before? thoughts?

I like the old cars as they just go and go, as long as they have good heating/cooling and no rust, look good etc I like them. That means I'd have plenty more cash for other stuff.
 
I downgraded my car some years ago from a WRX to a Mirage. :eek:
It didn't take as long as I thought it would to adjust to it, especially as I am a longtime petrol head. I paid cash for the Mirage so I could stop having car repayments. Drove the car for maybe 6 years; it was extremely reliable and fitted a surprising amount in the hatch with the seats down.
One day I was driving down the freeway and a shiny new sports car went past. Uh-oh. Ended up upgrading the car. :eek:

I know quite a few people who have downgraded cars and all say the same thing. You get accustomed to what you have pretty quickly. That said, though I loved the vintage cars I owned years ago I shudder when i think of those manual chokes on cold mornings, no demisters, etc. Agree with you that if you have those basics, you just need something safe & reliable.
 
I "downgraded" from driving an older big $50k (RRP when new) car to a newer small $20k (RRP when new) car.

Differences noted on cheaper car:

Con:
no cruise control.
no climate control (the $20k car has aircon).
no auto headlight
noisier interior
stereo not as good (7 speaker/6 disc system on big car)
less airbags and a bit closer to the action in an unintended impact

Pro:
(heaps) easier to park
less fuel used - less time refuelling
lower maintenance costs (big car uses up lots of brake pads and disk, and I suspect more tyre rubber)
faster around corners

Cheers,

The Y-man
 
just fix it.

new headgaskets mean all new gaskets, fresh oil, coolant flush, better compression, re-seated valves....

just do it. it's $1000 versus $8000 ofr something else.
 
I Upgraded from an old work van Econovan to a new work van Hyundai Iload, and the difference was night and day.

Steve
 
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Thanks Bluie, good advice, as I'm a car noob and don't know what I'm talking about I often just have to take peoples good word.

The mechanic can't get me in for another 10 days, hopefully it doesn't spontaneously combust by then..

Thanks again! :)

just fix it.

new headgaskets mean all new gaskets, fresh oil, coolant flush, better compression, re-seated valves....

just do it. it's $1000 versus $8000 ofr something else.
 
borrow a mate's/parent's car?

if you cant, then you need to watch the temp gauge religiously. Check the coolant each morning before you leave and each evening before heading home, and top up as necessary.

or just add chemi-weld :p
Works for the Toyota 7M ;)
 
Cool thanks Witzl, I have to check the water levels every morning because it usually requires a 2 litre or so top up.

Chemiweld..? I'm interested! ;) But I'm also a car knob, so youre probarbly just taking the ****. :D
 
Cool thanks Witzl, I have to check the water levels every morning because it usually requires a 2 litre or so top up.

Chemiweld..? I'm interested! ;) But I'm also a car knob, so youre probarbly just taking the ****. :D

What does the coolant look like when you top it up? Is it clear or looking like mayonaisse?

If it looks like mayo, don't drive it......

Otherwise, it could just be a leaky radiator or hose (or pump or anything really....)

Cheers,

The Y-man
 
The Chemiweld stuff worked on my old Camry years back, but it's not a permenant solution and I'd still keep an eye on the water each day. Should see you through to next week though if you have to drive it. If it's very bad and you can't borrow another car, is a rental for a few days feasible?
 
Yep,

I sold my cars recently and purchased a ute. I feel nuded. However going to get a new 350z soon, to make myself feel better :)

I only did the ute as practicality for some renos.
 
Yep,

I sold my cars recently and purchased a ute. I feel nuded. However going to get a new 350z soon, to make myself feel better :)

I only did the ute as practicality for some renos.

Nit picking sorry - they're called 370z's now due to a slightly larger engine
 
Cheers guys,

Its not mayo like, the radiator water is still clear/green from coolant.

I've observed two things over the past 24 hours.

A/ Upon topping up before the commute to work this morning, I noticed that the spill over tub (clear tub) was pretty well empty, and the radiator was still full to the top, I topped the spillover up.

B/ Once I got to work, I popped the hood to see how it went and the spill over tub had gone down maybe 300ml, I could hear water dripping onto something hot.

I found water dripping from the bottom of the engine, at around the point where the engine meets the beginning of where a drivers feet would be (end of bonnet and where car begins) if that makes sense. Now, I don't know if this is just the air-conditioner or not. I drove with it on all the way to work.

Any observations from the technically minded?
 
If the coolants clean, not as much panic :)

If you have a leak to the back of the engine, it could be:

1. outer ring of head gasket
2. heater hoses

Is the water dripping out completely clear or got the green dye in it?

Cheers,

The Y-man
 
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