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A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 01:49PM
Backstory: bought my Mom's 2003 Geo Tracker when she stopped driving a couple of years ago - I love it, the other half is so-so about it (too short) Has maybe 140K miles on it. It was a grocery getter when Mom drove.

Steering was feeling funky while we were in VT last week. Took it to the mechanic's yesterday to get checked out.

Short version: it's toast because there aren't parts available to fix it. Discontinued by manufacturer, nothing in junk yards.

Long version: it needs a steering shaft at minimum possibly rack and pinon, plus the valve gasket is leaking (replaced 3 years ago).

Sigh...I know this is a sign that it wasn't that good of a car.

The other half is going to push for an Escape again to replace it. BUT since I'm going to be the one buying it...and if I'm going to pay $25K and up I'll buy a long arm quilting machine or a horse first.

What does the collective recommend as far as SUVs? I'm definitely going the used SUV route with 4WD. Doing the Consumer Reports stuff etc...

TIA
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 06, 2018 01:57PM
We adore our Honda CRV. It's 10 years old and has 179K miles on it. We are actually going to be shopping for a small SUV as a replacement for mrs. cbelt3's Minivan. I like the look of the newer Honda HRV. Mrs. cbelt3 likes sitting 'up' and seeing far ahead. And her back issues won't really let her sit 'down' into a sedan. Any car we will buy used to avoid the 'out the lot depreciation', but Hondas keep their value like crazy.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: mikebw
Date: February 06, 2018 02:03PM
Some of the Geos were parts compatible with Toyota at one point. Anyone know if the Tracker was?
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 06, 2018 02:08PM
Also FWIW... it looks like parts ARE available...

[www.rockauto.com]
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 06, 2018 02:10PM
Quote
mikebw
Some of the Geos were parts compatible with Toyota at one point. Anyone know if the Tracker was?

I thought that the Geo Tracker was identical to a Suzuki Sidekick.



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 06, 2018 02:11PM
Quote
cbelt3
Also FWIW... it looks like parts ARE available...

[www.rockauto.com]

I was thinking that sounded fishy... A 2003 with "no parts available" when you can still get parts for many 1970's cars?

Lizabeth should get a second mechanics opinion.



Paul F.
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Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: February 06, 2018 02:12PM
Do a search on [www.car-part.com] I did some searches for a 2003 Geo Tracker, and there's tons of steering parts. I don't know the specifics of your model, but it seems hopeful that there's one out there.




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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 06, 2018 02:15PM
Here's the schematic of the parts you'll be looking for:
[www.gmpartsdirect.co]

Here is a replacement steering shaft ($62):
[www.1aauto.com]



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 06, 2018 02:18PM
Lizabeth,

The Geo Tracker and Dodge Raider are twins to the Suzuki Sidekick. Different packaging but the same basic mechanicals. Since you have a Tracker, has your mechanic checked to see if suitable parts are available from one of its siblings? Enough of them under all three of the badges were made that there has to be parts available for it somewhere. FWIW, my dad had a Sidekick. Loved it to death!

Robert
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 06, 2018 02:30PM
The Sidekick was an awesome offroad vehicle. My dad and I rented one once and accidentally took it offroading. It was able to go places that we didn't think possible. I was ready to buy one but found that it was cancelled.



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 02:30PM
I KNEW you guys would have suggestions! Printing this out and giving it to my mechanic - he's cool and a skier too, so he won't take it the wrong way.

He might have been trying local parts places he uses regularly instead of the internet. Which means it will take a little longer to fix if the parts are located.

WOOT!
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: davester
Date: February 06, 2018 02:31PM
I have two vintage vehicles that don't have parts available through "regular channels". Oftentimes, mechanics have one parts supplier that they use for everything...saves them time looking for things themselves. If the mechanic calls the supplier and he doesn't have it in his catalog or stock then it doesn't exist as far as he's concerned, whereas in reality there are scores of sources for those parts for those who can use google.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 06, 2018 02:32PM
I get the idea of fixing it, but if you have the means with out killing yourself -- something newer and safer seems like a good idea.

I dont think there is a "bad' CUV out there -- CX 5, CRV, Foresster, Rav -- etc. But since you keep things... maybe a Kia or Hyundia with the 10 year/100000 mile warranty...



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 02:52PM
Quote
jdc
I get the idea of fixing it, but if you have the means with out killing yourself -- something newer and safer seems like a good idea.

I dont think there is a "bad' CUV out there -- CX 5, CRV, Foresster, Rav -- etc. But since you keep things... maybe a Kia or Hyundia with the 10 year/100000 mile warranty...

My threshold with my cars has been as long as the yearly repair bill doesn't go over $2000 it's more economical to fix it. That said my 1989 Chevy Cavalier lasted until 2013 with repairs only hitting $2,000 every other year towards the end. Got rid of it in 2013 when it finally needed major, major work done. We literally drove it into the ground and got $500 tax deduction donating it to the Car Talk guys at NPR.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2018 02:53PM by Lizabeth.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: voodoopenguin
Date: February 06, 2018 03:07PM
I know where there's a Tesla.

Paul



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 06, 2018 03:10PM
I get it, I have driven several cars for many many years.

But safety technology has come so far -- saving a few bucks isnt as important as my safety.

Its a 15 year old car with 15 year old tech... regardless of the miles.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: February 06, 2018 03:22PM
Wait, you want a $25,000 horse? We should chat!
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Pops
Date: February 06, 2018 03:32PM
Too old a vehicle with 144K miles to invest in. It hurts, but call it quits and find a newer replacement.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: davester
Date: February 06, 2018 03:49PM
Quote
Pops
Too old a vehicle with 144K miles to invest in. It hurts, but call it quits and find a newer replacement.

I don't think mileage alone is a good determinant. We just gave my wife's Mercedes SUV with 270,000 miles to our daughter. It's been tremendously reliable, is still going strong, and has most of the safety technologies that most modern cars have (side air bags, stability control, etc), many of which came out on Mercedes and/or Volvo before making their way down to less expensive brands.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: February 06, 2018 03:53PM
[/quote]

I don't think mileage alone is a good determinant. We just gave my wife's Mercedes SUV with 270,000 miles to our daughter. It's been tremendously reliable, is still going strong, and has most of the safety technologies that most modern cars have (side air bags, stability control, etc), many of which came out on Mercedes and/or Volvo before making their way down to less expensive brands.[/quote]

agree smiley
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: February 06, 2018 03:57PM
Quote
jdc
I get it, I have driven several cars for many many years.

But safety technology has come so far -- saving a few bucks isnt as important as my safety.

Its a 15 year old car with 15 year old tech... regardless of the miles.

The collision tests change so it's tough to compare over the years. Most of the more recent safety advances are "meh". Some are for pedestrians. Things like traction control and back up cameras aren't significant enough, IMHO, to warrant dropping $25k+ on a car.




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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Ammo
Date: February 06, 2018 04:32PM
Quote
ztirffritz
The Sidekick was an awesome offroad vehicle. My dad and I rented one once and accidentally took it offroading. It was able to go places that we didn't think possible. I was ready to buy one but found that it was cancelled.

How does one “accidentally” go off-reading? Did the street suddenly end and you just ploughed ahead? :-)



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: jdc
Date: February 06, 2018 04:37PM
Quote
M A V I C
The collision tests change so it's tough to compare over the years. Most of the more recent safety advances are "meh". Some are for pedestrians. Things like traction control and back up cameras aren't significant enough, IMHO, to warrant dropping $25k+ on a car.

People drop double and triple that on new cars everyday... $40- 50K for a lux SUV is easy. Neighbors just bought a new MDX. $45K to start, looks like they got the tech package + $5K.

Highlander, Pilot, X3, F150, Silverado, BMW 4, Audi A5 -- all $40K

blah, blah, blah I will never buy a new car, blah blah.

Used cars have to come from somewhere, right?



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Winston
Date: February 06, 2018 04:37PM
Quote
Robert M
Lizabeth,

The Geo Tracker and Dodge Raider are twins to the Suzuki Sidekick. Different packaging but the same basic mechanicals. Since you have a Tracker, has your mechanic checked to see if suitable parts are available from one of its siblings? Enough of them under all three of the badges were made that there has to be parts available for it somewhere. FWIW, my dad had a Sidekick. Loved it to death!

Robert

Lizabeth said it's a 2003 "Geo Tracker".

[en.wikipedia.org] generation
In 1999, the Sidekick was discontinued, and a second generation Tracker was introduced, differing from the Sidekick's successor, the Grand Vitara. A Suzuki version of this North American-exclusive Tracker was sold in the North American market as a Suzuki Vitara . . .

The later (1999 and up) Tracker models reverted to a lightweight automobile-type rack and pinion steering, and thus unpopular with rural and off-road users since the rack and pinion is easily damaged.


[en.wikipedia.org])
Geo was a marque of small cars and SUVs marketed by General Motors as a subdivision of its Chevrolet division from 1989 to 1997. Its original slogan was "Get to know Geo." Formed by GM to compete with the growing small import market of the mid 1980s, the line continued through the 1997 model year, after which the remaining models were marketed under the Chevrolet name.



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Winston
Date: February 06, 2018 04:44PM
Also, the Dodge Raider was a rebadged Mitsubishi Pajero.
[en.wikipedia.org]
Also in 1987, a version of the Pajero/Montero was rebadged by Dodge as the Raider, which ran through 1989.


- W



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 06, 2018 05:07PM
Quote
ztirffritz
Quote
mikebw
Some of the Geos were parts compatible with Toyota at one point. Anyone know if the Tracker was?

I thought that the Geo Tracker was identical to a Suzuki Sidekick.

Correct.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2018 05:08PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Winston
Date: February 06, 2018 06:02PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
ztirffritz
Quote
mikebw
Some of the Geos were parts compatible with Toyota at one point. Anyone know if the Tracker was?

I thought that the Geo Tracker was identical to a Suzuki Sidekick.

Correct.


For models prior to 1999 when the Sidekick was discontinued.


- W



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Be seeing you.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: The UnDoug
Date: February 06, 2018 06:09PM
In September, I bought a 2015 Kia Sorento SXL (all the bells and whistles). It replaced my 2003 Buick Rendezvous. The Sorento had been a leased vehicle, and buying it CPO (Certified Pre-Owned) got me the balance of the 10 year powertrain warranty and a full one year warranty, plus other crap, I imagine.

It's nice (that is a HUGE understatement) to have a reliable car that I won't be worrying every day that it's just a matter of time till something goes wrong (I mean, I guess it still *is* just a matter of time, but hopefully not as little time as it was with my Buick). The changes in technology (particularly the "bells and whistles") is SO nice!!! Having Bluetooth (which my 2003 didn't have) is great! Built in USB ports, Satellite radio, etc., etc., etc.

I paid right about $25,000.



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 06, 2018 06:36PM
I like Click & Clack's method to determine wether or not to put money into an older car. Calculate the total amount of necessary repairs. If you would pay that amount for the repaired car in the shape it is in then fix it. If not, don't do it.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: February 06, 2018 06:38PM
WInston,

I stand corrected. Still, it means parts should be readily available one way or the other. smiling smiley

Robert
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 07:07PM
Quote
RecipeForDisaster
Wait, you want a $25,000 horse? We should chat!

Well...I have a trainer to buy horses from down in MD if I want to, Morgans/dressage.

What kind?
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 07:13PM
Quote
voodoopenguin
I know where there's a Tesla.

Paul

The other half is waiting for his Tesla 3 and no, he's not willing to go into space to retrieve it.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: February 06, 2018 08:30PM
Just ordered the part from 1aauto.com.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: February 06, 2018 09:24PM
Quote
jdc
Quote
M A V I C
The collision tests change so it's tough to compare over the years. Most of the more recent safety advances are "meh". Some are for pedestrians. Things like traction control and back up cameras aren't significant enough, IMHO, to warrant dropping $25k+ on a car.

People drop double and triple that on new cars everyday... $40- 50K for a lux SUV is easy. Neighbors just bought a new MDX. $45K to start, looks like they got the tech package + $5K.

Highlander, Pilot, X3, F150, Silverado, BMW 4, Audi A5 -- all $40K

blah, blah, blah I will never buy a new car, blah blah.

Used cars have to come from somewhere, right?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. If it's not worth spending $25k on, it's also not worth spending $40-50k.




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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: Winston
Date: February 06, 2018 11:23PM
Quote
M A V I C
Things like traction control and back up cameras aren't significant enough, IMHO, to warrant dropping $25k+ on a car.

Our 2004 Toyota Sienna has traction control. On a trip north from Atlanta December a year ago we had to get on some back roads due to icing on the interstate. There was one hill we never would have gotten up without traction control. I was able to drive with two wheels just on the edge of the road (on the left side, no less) where the road had some gravel, with the right wheels on what amounted to thin glare ice. Slow climb, but we made it. Trying to do this on the center of the road had us slipping sideways or even backwards.

Most of the time I don't give traction control much value, but that day it saved us.

Side curtain airbags are also high on my list of improvements. Doubt I'd buy a car today for regular driving that didn't have side airbags.


Good luck.

- Winston



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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: RecipeForDisaster
Date: February 07, 2018 04:36AM
I have a Shagya and Percheron (she's mostly my husband's). Our trainer is dressage but I am into hacking and very amateur dabbling in XC (jumping things in the woods). So we do a few different things, and will jump in the arena when footing improves. I have a hunter background but in 26 years I have tried everything, and my little horse is up for whatever!
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: rexs
Date: February 07, 2018 12:44PM
I just spoke to my sister in law the quilter, she said fix the car and get the long arm quilting machine.
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Re: A car rant...why oh why?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 07, 2018 12:49PM
Quote
Ammo
Quote
ztirffritz
The Sidekick was an awesome offroad vehicle. My dad and I rented one once and accidentally took it offroading. It was able to go places that we didn't think possible. I was ready to buy one but found that it was cancelled.

How does one “accidentally” go off-reading? Did the street suddenly end and you just ploughed ahead? :-)

We started on a mildly muddy dirt road. It rapidly narrowed to the point that we couldn't turn around. The options were to go forward or try to back up. Being the adventurous types, we forged ahead. Eventually we reached a point were going back wasn't even an option. I was sure were were going to be explaining to the rental car place why their vehicle was covered in mud, scratched all to hell, and flooded up to the mirrors. Dad kept on going and eventually we popped out of the woods behind an industrial park, drove down an embankment into their parking lot and out onto the highway. Mud was flying everywhere, but the vehicle handled it all like it was a Humvee. Probably better than an actual Humvee really.



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