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About gramparsons

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  1. I like the Mazda 3 and VW Jetta (especially the TDI) better than the Corolla, from a style standpoint. Both of those cars look premium, where the Rolla says "economy car." Having said that, I steered away from the Jetta TDI in 03 (even though I REALLY LIKED the Jetta) because of the AWFUL quality reputation.
  2. Isn't it funny how things work in cycles? You sound like you're speaking of a GM car from the 70s. Folks are still very loyal to Honda and Toyota--and that doesn't help. They tend to give them a pass maybe more than GM or Ford owners, when we should demand quality from all of them. A friend of mine has a Tundra that left him stranded with very few miles on it--bad fuel pump. Said it's the first car he's ever had do that, and he won't buy another one. They're on top, and their getting lazy. I think the early 90s were the high water mark for Toyota and Honda in terms of quality. Cost cutting, increased model lineups, compressed engineering and production schedules--they all take a toll. On another note, you mentioned you bought a 2003. Never, ever, ever never ever, buy a first year model. I think that's probably why you're having so many problems. I don't even like buying a 2nd year model, but I needed a car. I think the 3rd and 4th years of a product cycle they'll have the production process nearly perfected, and a lot of bugs and defective components worked out.
  3. American (california I think). At around 70 or 80k I had a little shudder under braking, tried to convince my tire man I needed new brakes and rotors or have them turned, but he convinced me to wait. For some reason there's no more shudder . . must have worked itself out. Next time I go with a tire rotation I'll have him look again--I expect it's getting close. I thought mine was maintenance free--but yeah the corrosion was TERRIBLE.
  4. I have to give my C-Roll commuter some props. I've rolled over 111,111 miles, with ZERO defects. I haven't had to return it for a single warranty item even. I have the original brakes and rotors on there, which haven't been turned. I am on my second set of tires. That is a remarkable feat. The engine still runs like a top. Until recently I'd been doing 5k intervals with Mobil 1, but no longer feel that's cost effective, and have switched to Conventional at the same interval. There's still that low-speed 2nd gear shimmy that worried me to death when I first got it new . . but now I don't even think about it. Just one of those things. I don't drink the Toyota kool-aid. I think the quality reputation is overrated, a perception formed when Toyota built better cars. The Tundra has all kinds of problems, and the new Camry and Tundra are rated "below average" by consumer reports, who have just changed their policy to no longer recommend a Toyota just because it is a Toyota (didn't know they did that anyways). I also own an F150 (06) that's been perfect so far, and a Pilot (07) that's had a few warranty issues. I'm actually rooting for the domestics and hope they can make a comeback, because I genuinely believe they're making good stuff now, while the imports are falling off some, and things are more competitive than ever. Still, if I had it to do over again, I still think Toyota builds the best small car. As plain and hard to look at as mine is, it sure has delivered as promised. I'm hoping it'll go another 200k. EDIT: Unless you count excessive battery corrosion . . I haven't had a car this bad on battery posts in 20 years. Had to replace the battery and part of the wiring . .
  5. I prefer the exterior styling of the Focus. Crisp, proportional, unpretentious. Having said that, I bought the Corolla--refinement, economy, value, etc. They don't look anything alike, IMO.
  6. We have an '04 Corolla and an '01 Honda Odyssey. I like the Civic. A lot. But we've had problems with our Honda. Replaced steering pump. Looks like we're going to need a new transmission (per the dealer). Luckily, I have an exended warranty. But a busted power steering pump and transmission at under 60k? Please. That level of suckness reaches the worst of what Detroit used to offer. For me, the shine is definitely off of Honda for me. Almost across the board I'd prefer the Honda to the Toyota (Accord to Camry, Civic to Corolla, Odyssey to Sienna, and Pilot to Highlander), but for my money I think I'll stick with Toyota.
  7. Someone mentioned the Toyota being easier to work on . . . . just looking at the space available in my engine compartment, and comparing that to the cram-job of the pictures I've seen of the new Civic, I'd say working on that thing will be a comparative nightmare. But I'd still pick the Civic in its second model year.
  8. This is my own home-grown theory, but it works for me. I think the smell is mold/mildew. When you turn your car off with the AC running, the coils (or whatever) are still very very cold. Since there's no air blowing over them, they condense. This moisture leads to the mold/mildew smell. The solution? Turn your A/C off right before you get to your destination. Don't make yourself uncomfortable, but you should be able to time it where it's still cool in the car but the regular outside air has had time to warm the coils up a bit to reduce the condensation. Seems to work for me. I don't have that smell any more. I'm sure someone who actually understands Air Conditioning is liable to call me out on this--please correct me if I'm wrong.
  9. If it were me, I wouldn't worry about it (but I'm definitely not like most people in this regard--pardon my tangent here, it's certainly no judgement on the author of the thread). My '04 is becoming the true road warrior. Ran over an impressive retread the other day, knocked out the plastic insert where the fog light would go, left nasty claw marks on the facia . . combine that with the other well earned battle scars, and I'm past the point of letting it bother me. The way we (Americans) regard our cars strikes me as interesting. We paint them to a beautiful (but relatively fragile) high gloss and chrome, and hurdle them through the most difficult and varied of environments, and consider them "old" when they get the inevitable road scars. I think Delorian might have been on to something with the stainless steel panels. It's really a triumphant marketing achievement, that they've convinced the buying public that they drive a less than desirable car if the finish is less than pristine or it doesn't look like the newly redesigned models. I think I've resoved to treat the 'Roll as the machine it is. No more, no less. I certainly don't sweat the chips and scratches as much. Having said all of that, I guess that's just the station in life I've reached. 10 years ago I'd be replacing the Toyota Emblem too.
  10. I'm going with balance. It's not that expensive to try, and more than likely it wasn't balanced before--it just so happened you couldn't feel it when the tire was in the other position. I've had that before--a balance issue surface only after I've rotated my tires. When you take it back, be sure to remind them you've paid for the rotation already--so they don't need to rotate them again, and they don't need to charge you for a rotation simply because they remove the tires.
  11. I would think the EPA would drive 'em all the same.
  12. It's ugly. Honda is putting on a how-to-make-it-great-looking clinic with the forthcoming Civic. If I had it to do all over again, the new Civic would probably win. I find the Jetta, Mazda 3, and Ford Focus to all be better lookig to, but a combination of reliability (for all three) and economy (for the Mazda and Focus) keep them out of my personal running list. The new Civic has it all though, if they can return to form on some of the quality issues Honda's been having. And maybe that's a big if. Course, with my shimmies and pulling and rattling in my corolla I guess they don't have to do too much.
  13. >>this is why I believe that the environment is not the driving force behind this but its an attack against a way of life that people dont agree with and includes anti-capitalist socialists and communists. What way of life? We already have laws in place that regulate the economy that an average vehicle fleet must get. Why not apply similar/modified laws to Trucks and SUVs? As far as "freedom" to drive whatever and whenever you want--there are laws in place that require you to wear seatbelts, helmets with motorcycles, no off-road ATVs, etc. So, somewhere, somebody decided that some things were safe and others were not. I suggest that large SUVs are generally unsafe and should be put in a different class, requiring special training and licenses. And that says nothing about their outsized environmental and consumption impact.
  14. c21 that cracked me up I cant stop laughing. gramps you insulted many other people besides me because they all thought it was interesting to list their car names as well. you can think Im purple with orange eyes it matters not. Why would anyone be insulted by what I find boring? Soccer and NASCAR bore me, but I wouldn't expect that to upset soccer and NASCAR fans.
  15. >>I dont engage in profitless pissing contests which only exist to gratify a persons puffed up pride with a transparent need to make them feel better about themselves than they do so I stay out of that senseless bs. Right. It's way more interesting to know what people named their Corolla. I have no need to "feel" better about myself. You just have a tendency to make blowhard statements that need a response. >>I dont have the need to harr**** people for their beliefs and condescend them with a superiority complex, but at the same time Im just as free as them to express mine so if you dont like it then tough tacos thats a personal problem of yours that youll just have to learn how to deal with. So when someone responds to your outrageous comments, that's called "har****ment?" It's not bait. I just think you're wrong. That's why more than one post is allowed per thread--you know, all that messy disagreein' and stuff. >> either way we'll all disagree about something but we can agree to disagree and move on. That implies that we both have made reasonable arguments and have both come to reasonable yet differing conclusions. That hasn't happened here. You make broad, sweeping pronouncements (namely, that government should fix prices, and that conservation doesn't work), and when someone--how dare they--begs to differ, you get all bent out of shape.