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Re: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?

Probably turning down the thermostat is a better idea. BUT in Canada and the UK, water temperature in the tank has to be 55 degrees centigrade-- to prevent formation of Legionnaire's disease. Apparently that is not a requirement in the USA. But is it a good idea? That would be worth finding out. Th...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much energy does water heater use when I'm not home?
Replies: 32
Views: 2671

Re: $32k Subaru Outback or $14k Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Here's a quick update. I realized that the Outlander Sport isn't as safe as I originally thought so I decided against it before ever taking it for a test drive. it sold within a couple days -- I'm surprised the dealer had it marked so low since small CUVs are so popular now. My wife and I test drov...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $32k Subaru Outback or $14k Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Replies: 38
Views: 3891

Re: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Encla

Additionally, does anyone have experience with fitting/using convertible car seats in the lambda platform vehicles (Acadia, Traverse, Enclave), as well as the Highlander? Eventually we will transition to convertibles, possibly notably large ones such as the Britax Marathon. So just curious how thes...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Enclave?
Replies: 57
Views: 4337

Re: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Encla

Regarding the Lambda's, we have a '10 Traverse. Reliability-wise '12 and up are much better. '09 and earlier had issues with timing chain stretch and then failure. The warranty has been extended from 100 to 120K. Rectified in '10. The '09 models had a specific issue with the transmission whereby the...
by NHRATA01
Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New vehicle...GMC Acadia, Chevy Traverse, or Buick Enclave?
Replies: 57
Views: 4337

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

Synthetic oil is for sustained high-temperature operation. I was told that synthetic oil also helps during engine start in cold temperatures. Sunny, I don't really know, but I doubt it. I imagine that small variations in oil viscosity have little to do with cold-start ability. Your engine is hard t...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

I respectfully have to take several issues with your post. This post is absolutely correct. The company I worked for routinely Interfaced with GM engineering. Many customers will not trust the oil system, which is a real shame, because GMs oil change indicator is every bit as brilliant as their engi...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil

Change your oil once a year at least, preferably in the late fall. There is no reason to use synthetic oil in a car that has normal use. Use what the owner's manual says. Synthetic oil is for sustained high-temperature operation. If the oil level increase over time, you have a problem with too many...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Change due: Synthetic vs Regular Oil
Replies: 33
Views: 2725

Re: SAT preparation

Since you can have her take the test multiple times, why don't you have her just shoot from the hip on the first go round? I took my first SAT in '94 as a sophomore. My mom had insisted on enrolling me in a prep course even though I was a pretty good student. I was acing the practice tests in the st...
by NHRATA01
Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SAT preparation
Replies: 30
Views: 2256

Re: Repair or replace old Taurus?

I would either take the car for scrap value, or donate it to charity (I believe running is even optional) for the $500 tax deduction. At this point the repairs exceed the vehicle's value. Also a head gasket may or may not be an open and shut case. The head may be warped or the block surface not flat...
by NHRATA01
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair or replace old Taurus?
Replies: 32
Views: 2701

Re: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?

Why the aversion to ethanol? Do a test. Run a few tanks of gas with ethanol and a few without and track mpg. I always...always...average 10% higher with non ethanol gas. I look at ethanol as "filler" that dilutes gas. Also, ethanol kills small engines. Heard a small engine repair guy said...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What octane gas do you use to fill your car?
Replies: 76
Views: 5310

Re: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak

http://images.pennwellnet.com/ogj/images/ogj/93223601.gif Sorry for the digression but I figured all the enginerds out there would enjoy. So about a 6% difference. That makes sense that it would be noticeable if comparing two systems both in good condition, but might be overshadowed in practice by ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jun 10, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak
Replies: 50
Views: 2768

Re: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak

Not necessarily true. R22 is actually a superior refrigerant from an efficiency standpoint vs R-123 or R-134A (much as the older R-12 was even better). I'm just curious what the efficiency difference tends to be between R12, R22, and R134a. I'd hear the statement made that the original compound was...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak
Replies: 50
Views: 2768

Re: bidet for a boglehead

user5027 wrote:Bidet for a boglehead?

Dampen the toilet paper under the sink faucet. A boglehead bathroom is small so the sink is beside the toilet. :D


LOL! Well done, I got a good laugh out of that one. :D
by NHRATA01
Mon Jun 02, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bidet for a boglehead
Replies: 19
Views: 2179

Re: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak

A system old enough to use R-22 is probably very inefficient. You'll probably be able to pay for the system with the savings on electricity. I'd skip the test and get a new system. Not necessarily true. R22 is actually a superior refrigerant from an efficiency standpoint vs R-123 or R-134A (much as...
by NHRATA01
Wed May 21, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice regarding hard to find HVAC freon leak
Replies: 50
Views: 2768

Re: Should I buy a fun car?

Perhaps an E46 M3 convertible would fit well? ie - older, better value, but still an awesome machine (one of the better looking M3s IMO) S54 is an expensive to maintain engine. Rock solid though, would last 100s of 1000s of miles. More than, say a Chevy SBC V8, probably. But looking at his other ch...
by NHRATA01
Thu May 08, 2014 4:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I buy a fun car?
Replies: 59
Views: 3103

Re: BRK: What am I missing?

Well aside from the fact this forum generally shuns individual stock picking, personally I would be worried about a corporation who's most two influential leaders are 90 and 83. As unfair and cold it may be, at some point they will pass, and the market will react, probably more harshly than it did w...
by NHRATA01
Mon May 05, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BRK: What am I missing?
Replies: 40
Views: 3538

Re: Riding Lawn Mower

I'm a believer in you get what you pay for on this one. I know a number of people, including myself, that had cheap Craftsman tractors and got 5-10 yrs out of them. For <$1K, it isn't that bad a deal when you consider paying for a JD (and I'm not talking about the HD/Lowes versions) will cost you q...
by NHRATA01
Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding Lawn Mower
Replies: 29
Views: 8070

Re: Projects/Kits for 12 yr old son

How about radio controlled electric (or even gas) cars/trucks? I built one in 7th grade (electric), learned a lot about electronics as well as mechanical things like suspensions and transmissions. Then had a lot of fun playing with it outside in the dirt. Certainly fostered the hot-rodding hobby I d...
by NHRATA01
Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Projects/Kits for 12 yr old son
Replies: 15
Views: 2720

Re: Buying no load Vanguard mf's...is there always a fee

I'll add that at Ameritrade (and probably most other mainstream brokerages), there is no transaction fee if you set up a monthly recurring investment. Prior to becoming a boglehead a couple years ago, I had set up a recurring investment in the Vanguard 500 index after opening an Ameritrade account. ...
by NHRATA01
Fri Apr 25, 2014 1:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying no load Vanguard mf's...is there always a fee
Replies: 22
Views: 2208

Re: NYC Comic Con

I took my much-older kids there last fall (ages 12 and 15.) There is no way we would ever go back, and under no circumstances would I take a two-year-old. Comic-Con NYC is a gigantic convention floor filled with tables and booths of people selling their overpriced comic-related stuff. There is very...
by NHRATA01
Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: NYC Comic Con
Replies: 12
Views: 855

Re: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA

Being the nerdy engineer, I have a running spreadsheet of my Roth IRA+401K for each year that I add to month-by-month which tracks values, expenses and returns, as well as calculated my current asset mix amongst stocks, bonds, international and REIT (what I consider my 4 major asset classes that I h...
by NHRATA01
Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How often do you rebalance to maintain your AA
Replies: 35
Views: 1966

Re: LED bulb prices

IMO the question is more about LED vs CFL, To my thinking, I would take LED hands down over CFL. Perhaps I am biased against CFL.....I know people say the new ones are much better than the earlier ones....but wherever I see CFL and am aware of it, I find the light very harsh. Plus a number of CFL's...
by NHRATA01
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED bulb prices
Replies: 118
Views: 13626

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

I am definitely not doing at dealer. Is 3 hr labor reasonable? Thanks I'm just a shadetree mechanic, but you could replace the entire oil pan in only 30 minutes. I would suspect that it greatly depends on which car. I know I was surprised at how much of a PITA it was to replace my starter. On my ca...
by NHRATA01
Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 2519

Re: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plu

On a '99 Camry, I would drill out old threads in the oil pan and re-tap with a slightly larger drain plug. Be sure to run a magnet to gather all shavings. Entire process would probably take ~40 minutes to do yourself and for very minimal cost. No need to replace the whole pan due to threads strippi...
by NHRATA01
Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto repair - "Threads getting thin in oil pan drain plug"
Replies: 40
Views: 2519

Re: advice requested from engineers

As a mechanical engineer and a hiring manager in a facilities engineering organization, I'll echo the sentiment that as long as the school is accredited, it will be fine. RIT is well known in the Northeast, but I can't speak to it's reputation across the US (BTW I went to Clarkson, which is similar ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: advice requested from engineers
Replies: 85
Views: 4766

Re: Where do you invest your child's savings?

What I did was start a savings account for each of my kids (right now 6, 4 and 2). Once they each hit $2K (2 of the 3 have) I started putting any future gifts they received into a large cap no transaction fee fund of relatively acceptable ER from T Rowe Price via my Ameritrade account. I started thi...
by NHRATA01
Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you invest your child's savings?
Replies: 30
Views: 1542

Re: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle

The hardest part about finding a stripped vehicle is almost no dealers order them that way. Particularly outside the subcompact market, or pickup truck (since contractors prefer them in a basic trim level). You'll be stuck with a factory order and then you have little wiggle room to negotiate - as w...
by NHRATA01
Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle
Replies: 52
Views: 3593

Re: mid term investing for auto purchase

I don't think that's a bad idea at all, it's pretty close to what I do. I started off with a 5K lump sum in VFINX (the vanguard 500 index) in mid '11 and added 300 every month. The logic being to take what is a typical monthly car/lease payment and invest it with the goal to build up enough for a ca...
by NHRATA01
Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: mid term investing for auto purchase
Replies: 3
Views: 458

Re: WHat to do with current market conditions

Thank you- Looks like some short term and intermediate bond funds are doing well now. is this a good time to buy more bonds? Because the interest rates have been dropping for the past few weeks while the market semi-corrects. No one knows the future but it is fairly reasonable to expect rates to re...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WHat to do with current market conditions
Replies: 21
Views: 1218

Re: preventing rust on car exhaust system

There really isn't much you can do. You may be seeing the external rust, but likely it wasn't the major contributor to the exhaust system needing replacement. Engine exhaust is harsh and contains a number of acids, as well as a lot of moisture, which adding temperature make for a perfect environment...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventing rust on car exhaust system
Replies: 28
Views: 1726

Re: Roth IRA $11,000 Vanguard

I agree you can't go wrong with a Target Retirement fund, it will give you a nice asset mix with a (granted, predetermined) risk tolerance appropriate for your age. The expense ratios are still quite minimal. IMHO after a few years of growth and contributions, then you can start to split it out and ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA $11,000 Vanguard
Replies: 14
Views: 2101

Re: SUV Vs Sedan

If you don't need the utility of an SUV/CUV, or have a family of 4 or less, I really find them to be a waste compared to a nice sedan. As someone who actually enjoys driving, SUV/CUV's are: Slower Handle worse Brake worse Worse gas mileage All of which are inherent when you take what is essentially ...
by NHRATA01
Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SUV Vs Sedan
Replies: 50
Views: 4067

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

The more air space that is in the gas tank the more evaporation of the gas will be. Liquids evaporate in air so keep your car filled up with gas maybe not letting it run down past 1/4. Gas tanks are pretty well sealed. Typically a car will lose 1/8 of a gallon per year . You may actually lose more ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3605

Re: Car Tires

The mention was made of "compressed air" and it reminded me of nitrogen in tires: http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=191& Like said on the link it's generally a waste of money. If you can get it for free, sure there are minor benefits. Most of them would be rem...
by NHRATA01
Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Tires
Replies: 22
Views: 3004

Re: Car Tires

wheels failing due to corrosion I have chrome plated steel cast wheels. Due to northern salt and a corrosion on the inside bead surface, one of the wheels have very slow leaks. I think the salt gets under and flakes the plating and gives air a path to leak. It got better with new tires installed a ...
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Tires
Replies: 22
Views: 3004

Re: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?

I'm a car guy but I fixed that issue real early. Bought a toy fresh out of college in '01 that only sees good weather and daily drove beaters. Then when I had a little more money I daily drove off-lease used cars until they started to fall apart and I spent more time under them than driving them. 1....
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?
Replies: 64
Views: 4896

Re: I don't understand bonds...

I'm not an expert but a little clarification on the inverse relationship between bond values and interest rates. Basically say you trade bonds. This is different than buying an individual bond and holding it to maturity - then you are correct, you won't lose money. But say you're a trader, and you b...
by NHRATA01
Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I don't understand bonds...
Replies: 20
Views: 1907

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

People laughed at Obama when he said it.....but look at your tires. They will show a maximum cold pressure. Put your tires to that pressure, which is more than what the marketing weenies put on the door plackard (remember explorers and firestones? Both Ford and Firestone engineers said more pressur...
by NHRATA01
Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3605

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

A "K&N Airfilter" will help a little. I have read that the oil that the K & N filter uses (you have to periodically oil the foam filter) slowly evaporates into the intake air and can ruin (fowl) the MAF (mass air flow) sensor. MAFs sometimes can not be cleaned (with tuner cleaner)...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3605

Re: School District Not Allowing me To Invest

Thanks again for all the responses. I have been trying to get advice on this topic since August. I have learned more in one day than in the last 4 months combined! To answer some of your question: Here in NY I am in tier 4. What that means is that I had to pay 3% of my salary for 10 years for my pe...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: School District Not Allowing me To Invest
Replies: 82
Views: 6639

Re: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy

A cold engine will use more gas. Until an engine comes up to temperature (>about 165F), and your oxygen sensors reach about 600 degrees, the car operates in what is known as "open loop" where it tends to run rich. Open loop is basically a lookup table for how much gas to add to the cylinde...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: devices to maximize a car's fuel economy
Replies: 64
Views: 3605

Re: engineering certifications

Well, I throw out the possibility you could do a 2 year "engineering technology" program for starters, to at least get a foot in the door. It's like engineering-lite but if you can handle the math I would imagine upon completion you could probably bang out an MS in 3 years. It's really tou...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: engineering certifications
Replies: 15
Views: 1125

Re: LED lightbulbs

About 2 weeks ago I bought a pair of the Cree bulbs, a 60W equivalent and a 40W. I tell you, I don't think you can find a more perfect replacement for a traditional incandescent and even sans-rebates the HD price is not bad at all (~9.99 for the 40 and 12.99 for the 60). I had been using the Philips...
by NHRATA01
Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lightbulbs
Replies: 186
Views: 14410

Re: Three Fund approach and Vanguard minimums

I would agree with the second post, in that below 10K the expense differences between admiral and investor shares isn't something worth losing sleep over. For instance total stock investor is 0.17%, admiral is 0.05%. Which sounds like a lot but on 10K is $5 in a year vs $17.
by NHRATA01
Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Three Fund approach and Vanguard minimums
Replies: 10
Views: 1276

Re: didn't there used to be a rule in the NFL regarding nois

Would it be legal to open the top of a domed stadium (if it opened) when it was raining when the other team's offense was on the field and then close it for the home team? It is kind of the same thing with noise. No, there is a rule (in both the NFL and MLB) that the roof position is determined an ...
by NHRATA01
Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: didn't there used to be a rule in the NFL regarding noise?
Replies: 14
Views: 1261

Re: 17 year old seeking advice!

Hi all! First of all, I would like to thank everyone who takes the time to read this. I understand that I'm a clueless teen who many of you will resent posting on your forum - I hope not to be too much of a bother. On the contrary, I think the only thing we will resent is not having had the wisdom ...
by NHRATA01
Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 17 year old seeking advice!
Replies: 10
Views: 948

Re: Dividends... when will we know how much?

I see. Thank you, Code. Then what are the arguments in favor of dividend investing? In my understanding, it's more beneficial for individual stock investing. Individual stock pricing is dictated more by what the market thinks the stock is worth - from my experience I haven't really seen a stock pri...
by NHRATA01
Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Dividends... when will we know how much?
Replies: 29
Views: 3232

Re: bigger SUVs that carry 7

P.S. and per the original poster's specs, he needs something to tow a "light trailer" which the clear winner is either the Suburban or Sequoia. And this is not even mentioning the elephant in the room with this conversation...reliability. Now with that in mind, I can tell you there is a c...
by NHRATA01
Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bigger SUVs that carry 7
Replies: 55
Views: 3152

Re: bigger SUVs that carry 7

As a Traverse owner, I will say I don't think the 3rd row is that comfortable for adults - we have 8-person seating with the 2 benches, no captains chairs. Also there's only a little bit of luggage space in the back with the 3rd row up (though certainly better than the much smaller Highlander). I wa...
by NHRATA01
Thu Nov 14, 2013 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bigger SUVs that carry 7
Replies: 55
Views: 3152
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