4th Mar 2013, 17:30

I just heard on the news that buyers of new cars are getting less for their money as well. No spare tire, jack, useless AWD, etc. are all cuts and gimmicks that keep the car's price high, but enable the auto companies to offer less. I was really glad that a mainstream news company was getting out the truth like that.

On top of that, unlike old cars, where most parts can often be shared between models (Ford LTD, and Mercury Marquis parts can be swapped with the big Lincolns), today all the parts are proprietary, increasing part cost and rubbing out non-dealership installed ones. This can also be an issue in the long run as well, as there will be fewer of a specific part made, because it would only be useful on a single model or two.

Honestly, I don't see the reason to run out and spend $30,000 on a brand new car, when I could just buy a slightly older model for much less. It's not like a car these days remains "up to date" in terms of style and technology for more than 3-5 years anyway.

4th Mar 2013, 18:06

I guess that's why they came up with 7 year car loans to fool us. Use to be easy 3 year car pay off duration loans, and just one family member worked and owned a new colonial home and a new mid size car. Nowadays they buy new small imports and wonder where the good paying jobs went. That's the beauty of freedom; you can buy whatever you want. There's just less of it today.

5th Mar 2013, 12:10

Look at the high cost of classics and many street rods today. A lot of guys like myself want air conditioning, power steering, disc brakes, tilt wheel and power options on our cruise night and show cars in the past few years. A lot of middle aged guys are able to buy them.

5th Mar 2013, 20:42

Exactly. While there is no law that states a regular person can't own a fancy car or anything like that, he's just going to be under severe financial pressure to keep up his payments. Wasn't always like that though. And while there is no shortage of luxury vehicles on the market as well, they're costlier than ever before to buy and own.

6th Mar 2013, 07:13

Usually the reason for no spare and jack is for higher fuel mileage. Take away the 50 lbs of weight. Also, make everything in the car lighter with increased use of plastics and less metal.

You can buy run flats, but my issue is spending over $150 for new TPMs when they go bad. Even if the battery in the TPMs go bad, you have to reset the dash each time you drive.

All wheel drive is a great option by the way.

6th Mar 2013, 08:09

Cars are the second largest purchase behind a home that the average consumer makes. Take any era, and it's the salary at the time and the cost of cars. I remember seeing a new car for 12,000 back in the late 70's, and thinking who could ever afford it. In the interim salaries have risen at least until the 90s for most. Now with all the foreign pressure, we seem to be downsizing more and more.

6th Mar 2013, 20:41

Most modern drivers are so wimpy they wouldn't even try to change a flat themselves. They just call a garage, waste money and a couple of hours waiting. I think that was part of the thinking behind omitting spare tires (though I do agree it was mostly to cut weight and increase mileage).

Sadly, most drivers now, even most men, have no idea how to check their own oil or even open the hood. I've known men who had no idea if their car was a 4, 6, or 8 cylinder, and had no idea what that even meant. That is pathetic.

7th Mar 2013, 10:24

How about no oil dipstick in a 2012 Audi supercharged? It's read inside the car.

My Corvette has no auto trans dip stick, or a radiator cap or spare. I have so many dual readouts and a heads up display; even synthetic life left. Everyone also has cells. You call AAA Platinum 100 miles away and flatbed them. But I have yet to ever need road service personally. I have run flats, and even having the convertible with trunk, the large tires won't fit in there. I do my own maintenance, and am far from lazy.

8th Mar 2013, 00:06

"I've known men who had no idea if their car was a 4, 6, or 8 cylinder, and had no idea what that even meant. That is pathetic."

I bet they could remember sports statistics and other trivial things.

8th Mar 2013, 10:39

I disagree that modern cars come with less stuff. I'm only in my mid 30's, and even when I was in high school, typical options for most cars included AC, power steering, ABS, automatic transmissions, power windows, power locks, CD player, intermittent wipers, rear defrost window, and car mats. That wasn't exactly that long ago.

These days, just try and find a car that DOESN'T come with everything listed above as standard and then some. You won't find one. I can't even remember the last time I've driven or even rode in even the cheapest of cheap econo-cars that didn't have all of those above things. In fact, we rented what was supposedly the basic model of the Chevy Cruze a few months back, and it had a zillion whistles and bells. It even had a ton of controls for the radio, trip meter, volume, cruise control, and other stuff I wasn't even sure what it was located on the steering wheel. It had a remote key that opened the trunk and unlocked the doors.

I will agree that a lot of people these days don't actually even know how to change a spare tire, which is sad. But those little spare tires they stick in cars these days, work just fine for what they're intended for if you get a flat. I had to change a flat on my wife's car, and it too had one of these little thin tires. It worked just fine for the time it took to get a new replacement tire, and took me maybe 5 minutes to change. No biggie.

In regards to parts, well as someone who worked on his cars in high school pre-Internet, today it's WAYYYY easier today than it used to be to get parts for... anything. As all three of my cars are fairly old now, there are a whole slew of aftermarket parts makers for all of them, and all can be bought online fairly easily. No more trips to the salvage yard hoping they might have your model in there somewhere (I actually used to do this). Even the parts store near my house can usually have whatever part I need the same day. They have a network of warehouses, and in most cases if I need say - a water pump or a sensor, they'll have it that same day for me, waiting at the counter.

8th Mar 2013, 12:13

It's amazing how less money in your paycheck, will enable you to learn basic car maintenance. With car labor around 100 an hour plus parts, it's up to you.