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Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:48 pm
by adam61
We've been pretty non-Boglehead with our vehicle purchases. Typically having 2 vehicles and when the older of the 2 hits about 8 years 60,000 miles (typically out of warranty at this point) we start to look to replace it. Many here suggested it made more sense as long as it was reliable to keep it closer to at least 120-150k miles and/or 13-15 years. So I had the Boglehead longer-term focus depreciating asset discussion with the wife and we decided to keep it at least 3-4 more years.

Of course Murphy's law in the last 6 months it's needed a new alternator (high-performance vehicle so a bit more expensive) $1,100 installed, New Thermostat and control ($500), Sunroof we don't even use just broke and became not air tight ($1,400), Power seat failed on driver's side ($900), and now the main computer control has been acting funny (Radio/NAV just shut off randomly), sometimes volume changes on it's own, etc.

Even these costs aren't more than a new car would be on a monthly basis. But the time she's had to take off work and other things make me the bad guy a little bit, so I wanted to do a gut check. Big stuff like the engine and tranny have been rock solid, but the electronics and the fact it's a luxuryish car have made every little repair into a big unexpected expense.

How do I "stay the course" as we say, or is it time to abandon ship. I admittedly have trouble analyzing problems like this where there's a lot of different inputs and costs to all options vs just MAX YOUR TAX-DEFERRED accounts :)

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:40 pm
by adamthesmythe
You haven't got a lemon (a car that was manufactured with many defects that appear immediatelly after purchase). You have an unreliable (and expensive) car. I don't know of any "high-performance" cars that are not maintenance hogs, at least on average.

It's simple, if high maintenance charges and frequent trips to the mechanic are a nuisance, buy a more ordinary car, ideally from the manufacturers known to have superior reliability.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:47 pm
by abonder
It doesn’t sound like a lemon, just parts failing as the vehicle gets older. I think that, in general keeping a car longer is a sound fiscal strategy, it might be a less sound strategy if you have an expensive, less reliable car. Some (not all) German luxury cars come to mind. Also, it generally helps to have a good independent mechanic, to keep up on the scheduled maintenance, and to avoid the dealer except for recall work. If you post more information about the car specifics it might help us to understand.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:48 pm
by onourway
It sounds like you have an expensive, unreliable car that is being serviced at a dealer. Changing any one of those variables should make staying the course more palatable.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:08 pm
by iamlucky13
It's not technically a lemon, but it's also not old. If I were having that much trouble after only 60,000 miles, I don't think I'd ever buy from that manufacturer again.

But already owning the car, I'd also probably stay the course as long as the drive train is sound and I could find less expensive places to have repairs done.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:26 pm
by ChinchillaWhiplash
I have an 01 Porsche with 90k miles that has needed less than this. Some things will be standard maintenance like water pump at around 60k in a higher end performance car, but a lot of the other stuff shouldn't go bad. One thing that could have cause a number your problems is the sunroof leak. I would not be surprised if it was what caused your seat issue and the CPU problem. A lot of cars have the computer located under the seat. If that stuff got wet, then those can go bad. If the car is in a harsh outdoor environment then the weather stripping could dry up and leak around the sunroof. Car might be fine otherwise.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:35 pm
by adam61
Yea lemon wAs more a buzz term, I understand it is well past any lemon law at this point or definition. It’s 2012 Genesis R-spec with about 75k miles. Because it’s fairly uncommon even Away from the dealer the repairs are similarly costly because the parts aren’t common or easy to find refurbished or off brand parts for.

I plan to wait at least the 18 months until the powertrain is up leaving more exposure, but may look more at replacing it then or within a year after. Our “power”/“luxury” is past is but I am very interested in EV cars which is an immature market with its own issues so I’m not sure what she would want to purchase in 12-24 months.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:46 am
by SmallCityDave
Sounds like these are dealership prices.

Hyundai is not yet know for it's quality or reliability and choosing a luxury car from them may not have been the best long term decision.

Perhaps selling the car in it's current state and adding an extra thousand or two and getting a "gently used" Accord, Camry, Avalon, Lexus ES or Maxima?

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:17 am
by onourway
Yeah, first high-end luxury vehicle from a brand not known for exceptional reliability which means low-volume, high prices, and possibly nobody but the dealer willing to work on it. This is pretty much the trifecta.

It could have been worse though. You could have bought a W12 Volkswagen Phaeton. :D

I would consider selling this vehicle if the hassle is becoming an issue. Nearly any other model should do better. I would consider if there is a specific independent shop that is convenient to you that specializes in one or two brands of vehicles, and consider buying your next vehicle from them. Or just buy a Lexus as mentioned.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:26 am
by barnaclebob
adam61 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:35 pm
It’s 2012 Genesis R-spec with about 75k miles.
Your problem is you tried to keep a Hyundai into old age. There is a reason their prices are so much lower than similar spec'd competitors.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:31 am
by THY4373
I have owned a fair number of average reliability domestic sedans purchased used between 70 and 85k miles. Kept then until they were 15-18 years old with about 180k miles on them. I haven't had issues like this and I agree those prices seem high.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:45 am
by SlowMovingInvestor
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:26 am
adam61 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:35 pm
It’s 2012 Genesis R-spec with about 75k miles.
Your problem is you tried to keep a Hyundai into old age. There is a reason their prices are so much lower than similar spec'd competitors.
See this thread

viewtopic.php?t=273895

Hyundai's lower prices have nothing to do with quality -- their reliability and quality is very high these days although I don't know about that particular model.

In an old office of mine, one co-worker had an expensive German import, another a cheap Hyundai. The one with the German import used to continually have to take his car to the shop for one reason or the other, the one with the Hyundai never did.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:50 am
by Smoke
$1,100 for an alternator that costs at most (depending on engine) $138 -$151 remanu, lifetime warranted.
AutoZone
No special removal of motor mounts or other parts to increase labor?

Run, do not walk from this estimate.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:17 am
by mmmodem
We recently got rid of a 2009 Hyundai Sonata after the 10 year warranty lapsed. It did leave us stranded once a couple years ago when the engine stalled. It was repaired under warranty. DW would've gotten rid of it at that instant as she has zero tolerance for unreliability. That basically means we swap cars for the day and I have to take the vehicle to the dealer for repairs. The wherever is we'd have to pay for a new vehicle.

I honestly don't know what the big deal is. I drop the car off in the morning and take the shuttle to work. I might be an hour late to work so will stay an extra hour and take the shuttle back. A new car payment will far exceed any repairs I'll have.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:57 pm
by adam61
Whole separate can of worms but the plan was an EV possibly a Tesla if it was soon or a more heavy comparison when more new models came out if we kept it. Am I up a whole mother reliability issue there? They seem to be low maintenance after initial fixes, but fairly early adapter with a bit unstable business model which worries me.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:04 pm
by SmallCityDave
adam61 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:57 pm
Whole separate can of worms but the plan was an EV possibly a Tesla if it was soon or a more heavy comparison when more new models came out if we kept it. Am I up a whole mother reliability issue there? They seem to be low maintenance after initial fixes, but fairly early adapter with a bit unstable business model which worries me.
Unstable business model.
Are you close to a dealership, your local mechanic will not be working on a Tesla for a while.
When that battery pack goes I doubt it will be cheap.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:24 pm
by onourway
We know several friends and family members that have Tesla’s locally with the nearest dealer 3.5 hours away. They have ranged from almost no issues to several, but all remain happy customers because Tesla goes above and beyond with service, either sending a technician to them, or a flatbed truck if they can’t fix it on location, with a loaner delivered as well. Can’t imagine they can sustain that level of service for long, but it sure makes for enthusiastic early adopters.

Battery pack is unlikely to be a major repair risk. There is now a large enough sample size of high mileage vehicles to show there is no systemic problem.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:47 pm
by alfaspider
SmallCityDave wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:04 pm
adam61 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:57 pm
Whole separate can of worms but the plan was an EV possibly a Tesla if it was soon or a more heavy comparison when more new models came out if we kept it. Am I up a whole mother reliability issue there? They seem to be low maintenance after initial fixes, but fairly early adapter with a bit unstable business model which worries me.
Unstable business model.
Are you close to a dealership, your local mechanic will not be working on a Tesla for a while.
When that battery pack goes I doubt it will be cheap.
Battery packs going out haven't been a significant concern for Teslas. There are Model S Teslas with 300k+ miles on the original battery pack. What breaks with Teslas tend to be ancillary items like door handles.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:57 pm
by Living Free
Lemon. Or perhaps this is not too unusual for certain luxury car brands (Germans in particular at higher mileage; this is news to me about Genesis reliability). You should not go through this with a car like yours that is just not that old. If I get a luxury brand in the future I'm going with Lexus or Acura.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:54 pm
by stoptothink
SlowMovingInvestor wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:45 am
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:26 am
adam61 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:35 pm
It’s 2012 Genesis R-spec with about 75k miles.
Your problem is you tried to keep a Hyundai into old age. There is a reason their prices are so much lower than similar spec'd competitors.
See this thread

viewtopic.php?t=273895

Hyundai's lower prices have nothing to do with quality -- their reliability and quality is very high these days although I don't know about that particular model.

In an old office of mine, one co-worker had an expensive German import, another a cheap Hyundai. The one with the German import used to continually have to take his car to the shop for one reason or the other, the one with the Hyundai never did.
Look at the reliability rankings, Hyundai is right up there. We gave our previous vehicle to my FIL 2yrs ago when we bought a new one; '09 accent, not a penny in non-regular maintenance over 10yrs, two owners, and nearly 200k miles. There are 5 Hyundais between my family and my wife's, not a single problem vehicle among them.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:05 pm
by michaelingp
I think it's just car biorhythms, so to speak. In this day and age, selling a 6 or 7 year old car with 75,000 miles on it doesn't make sense. A lot of people think that's the sweet spot for buying a used car. My 15 y.o. Honda has 170,000 miles on it, and has had virtually nothing but wear items replaced.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:07 pm
by macarose
Your mechanic is ripping you off. Get it fixed at an independent repair shop that has an established presence in your community. There is no reason why you need to pay $1100 for an alternator that can be found at car-part.com for less than $200.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:28 pm
by Katietsu
I think that you are not a good candidate right now for keeping a car for many years. You do not need to DIY, but you do need to have a trustworthy reasonably price mechanic and hopefully know enough to navigate the repairs. I kept my last car to almost 250,000 miles. At 150,000 miles, I had an out of town dealership recommend $8000 of work. I knew enough that most of the “problems” would give symptoms in advance of really needing the repair completed. I think I eventually had $700 of the work done. And I was glad to get back to my trusted local mechanic.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:46 pm
by jibantik
Getting a car serviced at a dealership is the biggest scam since Dave Ramsey's smart vestor pros getting 12% returns.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:50 pm
by simplextableau
Instead of spending $1,100 to fix a sunroof you don't use, you could have spent $10 on silicone and sealed it up.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:11 pm
by iamlucky13
barnaclebob wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:26 am
adam61 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:35 pm
It’s 2012 Genesis R-spec with about 75k miles.
Your problem is you tried to keep a Hyundai into old age. There is a reason their prices are so much lower than similar spec'd competitors.
Hyundai has a decent reputation for reliability, and 75,000 miles isn't old age.

But perhaps their foray into the luxury market led them into features they hadn't matured as much as in their more basic cars, especially in the 1st generation.

Now that I know what car it was, I observe that there was one failure of an item related to the powertrain (alternator - which itself may well have been a different part than used on their higher production-volume models, which would have fewer electric-hungry features), and the rest were convenience features: thermostat, sunroof, power seat, and infotainment system. Maybe this is part of a luxury car learning curve for Hyundai.
alfaspider wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Battery packs going out haven't been a significant concern for Teslas. There are Model S Teslas with 300k+ miles on the original battery pack.
I don't want to take the time to look up the data again, but there is a really great project among Tesla owners to track battery longevity (as reported by the car's computer) that shows a very wide range of results. Some were lasting a really long time, but I'm pretty sure some had worn out before even 100,000 miles. I dug into the data a little bit a few months back, and it appeared to support my suspicion that it is highly correlated to where and how the car is used. Lithium ion batteries wear out faster:

* When charged at high rates (frequent use of super-chargers)
* When discharged at high rates (driving hard)
* When kept constantly topped up (plugging in even after short trips)
* When at high temperatures for long periods of time (living in hot climates)
* When deep cycled (Regularly stretching a charge to the limit)

Tesla appears to have some good software in place to mitigate factors like plugging in all the time or deep cycling, but there are limits to how much they can mitigate hot climates, hard driving, and excessive super-charger use.
alfaspider wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:47 pm
What breaks with Teslas tend to be ancillary items like door handles.
Hmm...I remember thinking Tesla was going to have a lot trouble with those when the S was introduced, but I honestly never went looking to see if users were complaining until you mentioned it just now. It looks like the Tesla forum is filled with discussions about it.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:18 pm
by iamlucky13
simplextableau wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:50 pm
Instead of spending $1,100 to fix a sunroof you don't use, you could have spent $10 on silicone and sealed it up.
On a related note, if you have a sunroof leak, the first thing to try is cleaning it.

Most sunroofs don't actually fully seal. Water weeps past the gasket and collects on a lip/gutter hidden by the interior trim. There are holes at a couple points around this gutter that drain the water away from the cabin.

Out Subaru Outback started leaking this winter. When I researched the above information, I then found the drain holes on our sunroof were clogged up with sediment that had accumulated over 6-7 years of use. I used a wire to clear the initial blockage, then dribbled water onto the gutter, and was rewarded with a steady stream of water trickling out underneath the car. We've had no more leaking since then.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:47 am
by adam61
As far as the sunroof it was never used but popped off the right rail completely it stuck up 4 inches in the back right and 1 inch front right, it wasn’t a minor cosmetic issue. We paid $150 to pop it into place and disengage the motor at an auto glass place. The price I quoted was fixing it.


The alternator I quoted at 4 places thinking the dealer quote was too high as it was for new. The other 3 ranged from $600-800 installed and was a 2-3 day wait for parts where the dealership had one in stock and did it same day, so I had to eat that.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:59 am
by Jags4186
Sometimes you just get unlucky. We have a “reliable” Subaru Impreza with 65,000 miles or so and just did around $2000 of work to it. Struts, breaks, rotors, tensioner, new tires, alignment. Particularly annoyed about the tires as they weren’t that old but bad struts caused the tires to wear all unevenly.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:13 am
by Nissanzx1
I’ve been around cars all my life. These are mostly reasonable repairs. If you think this is bad, try owning a similar aged 7 Series. Hyundai is not awful, but the quality level is no where near Lexus for instance.

The prices you are paying are at the very high end of the spectrum. No reason your car should ever be at the dealer. Find an independent who won’t stick you. Rent a $20 compact car for two days and get the cheaper repair price. We always keep an extra car here for this sort of thing.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:18 am
by sunny_socal
Note to self: don't buy a Hyandai

OP: Stick to Toyota and you'll never need to post a thread like this again. (I also like Honda but recently they've had some issues)

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:51 pm
by cudavid
Smoke wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:50 am
$1,100 for an alternator that costs at most (depending on engine) $138 -$151 remanu, lifetime warranted.
AutoZone
No special removal of motor mounts or other parts to increase labor?

Run, do not walk from this estimate.
Not true, think 2019, not 1979
BMW water cooler alternator, price it, then labor! I have spent 4 hours putting some in.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:56 pm
by SmallCityDave
alfaspider wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:47 pm
SmallCityDave wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:04 pm
adam61 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:57 pm
Whole separate can of worms but the plan was an EV possibly a Tesla if it was soon or a more heavy comparison when more new models came out if we kept it. Am I up a whole mother reliability issue there? They seem to be low maintenance after initial fixes, but fairly early adapter with a bit unstable business model which worries me.
Unstable business model.
Are you close to a dealership, your local mechanic will not be working on a Tesla for a while.
When that battery pack goes I doubt it will be cheap.
Battery packs going out haven't been a significant concern for Teslas. There are Model S Teslas with 300k+ miles on the original battery pack. What breaks with Teslas tend to be ancillary items like door handles.
I think the lifespan of the battery pack is about 10 years.

Re: Lemon or Just Getting Used to Having an Older Car???

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:01 pm
by Smoke
cudavid wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:51 pm
Smoke wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:50 am
$1,100 for an alternator that costs at most (depending on engine) $138 -$151 remanu, lifetime warranted.
AutoZone
No special removal of motor mounts or other parts to increase labor?

Run, do not walk from this estimate.
Not true, think 2019, not 1979
BMW water cooler alternator, price it, then labor! I have spent 4 hours putting some in.
What exactly is not true? This is not a BMW
Look up the price at autozone.

Cost in my area for replacement https://www.yourmechanic.com/book/
https://prnt.sc/myi4ny
$484.11

I believe reading comprehension is still the same 1979 or 2019