End of Buying Used?
Buying a used
car has up to now usually been a good way to
save money. You avoid the new car mark-up
and you take advantage
of new car depreciation which can be as high as 30 percent
off MSRP sticker after as little as two years. But,
the balance might be shifting in favor of new over used for the
simple and depressing reason that the stuff they are
putting into new cars to make the government happy is not likely
to live a long and largely trouble-free life. And when the new car
warranty runs out, that could mean a lot of trouble for you.
turbochargers sometimes not just one but two of them,
staged in sequence (as for example Fords new line of EcoBoost
engines) are becoming a fairly common feature in run-of-the-mill
cars. Family cars even economy cars. Turbos used to be found
almost exclusively in performance and luxury cars. Because turbos
which provide an on-demand increase in power are expensive.
So how come theyre being used more and more in economy-minded
and family cars? Because they also provide a fuel economy benefit
the flip-side of on-demand power. They permit the use of
a smaller-in-size (and so, more economical) engine, which makes
the government happy. The on-demand power (as when you want to accelerate
quickly to merge with traffic) makes consumers happy
and more, tolerate an engine that would otherwise be too small/weak.
is the expense. The down-the-road (and out-of-warranty) expense.
Replacing a crapped-out turbo can easily be a $2,000 job. And if
the car has two turbos
engines are also hotter-running, higher-stressed engines. This
historically has also meant shorter-lived engines.
Maintenance such as oil and filter changes is also
a much more critical factor with a turbod engine. Reportedly,
the latest designs are much-improved in terms of long-haul durability.
But the key word to draw a bead on is reportedly. The truth
is we wont really know how well these new-design turbo (and
multi-turbod) engines hold up until a large enough number
of them have been in circulation for a long enough period of time
at least five or six years. Long enough for them to be out
the rest of the article
[send him mail] is an
automotive columnist and author of Automotive
Atrocities and Road Hogs (2011). Visit his
© 2012 Eric Peters
Best of Eric Peters