Weigh the facts when buying new or used

"It would be best to own something that has the latest in technology that way I will learn about all the new systems..."

Yeah! I bought a car!  A new car!  First one since 1986. Summer is here and as luck would have it Canada Day weekend was going to be my first significant drive.  I was excited.  The important word in that statement is “was”.

Why a new car?  I am a  mechanic.  Why would I suck up all that first few years’ depreciation to own a brand new car when I can do my own repairs and maintenance at a deep discount.  Well, lets see if I can rationalize this one.

It would be best to own something that has the latest in technology that way I will learn about all the new systems and be better prepared to service and repair them.

My new car has direct fuel injection, turbocharging, variable valve timing, a dual clutch gearbox, and a Haldex all wheel drive system.

All of these technologies are becoming quite common in the automotive industry and there are more and more of them on our Kootenay roads.  It was time I learned to live with them,  study their idiosyncrasies, learn their maintenance requirements (remember what I have said before;  “the guy who wrote the book never saw the car”).

Yeah, I know all these technologies have been around for years.  I could have bought into all these same technologies in a vehicle at least five years old.

Why not?

Well the truth has to come out.  I like to maintain cars and ideally I don’t want to own somebody else’s lack of maintenance.  It is sometimes very hard to find a really well maintained vehicle.

It is next to impossible to actually tell that some maintenance was done and that it was done properly.  Just because a vehicle was serviced at the dealership it was bought from does not mean it was well maintained.

Poor maintenance in the first 100,000 kilometres may not rear its ugly head until 150,000 kilometres and above.  Good maintenance is not just doing what the book says but it is a good start.  Did you just buy a fairly low mileage vehicle and only several thousand kilometres down the road figure out that it is using a fair bit of oil?

Once new technology gets some miles on it is when the faults start to show up.

Gasoline direct injected vehicles have carboning up problems.  How does one prevent that?  Variable valve timing is very sensitive to having clean oil with very stringent physical properties.  Dual clutch gearboxes need fairly frequent oil changes with the proper lubricants.

Haldex units also require fluid changes on a regular basis.  Long interval oil changes are sometimes too long when the proper fluids and filters are not used or the driving conditions are too severe.  Kootenay Pass on a 30 degree day sound familiar?

Back to my first long drive in my new car.  Two weeks before my trip I get a speeding ticket.  Made a mistake leaving Waneta on my way to KC Recycling.  The batteries I dropped off did not pay for my ticket.

Friday before the long weekend I decide to leave after dinner for Vernon.  Traffic is light and I am enjoying the handling of my new car. Remember I am usually at the helm of a minivan or an SUV pulling a boat.

Four speed traps within 10 kilometres either side of Rock Creek.  I figured three would be the limit.  Highway 33 is a 90 kmh speed limit not 100.  I thanked the officer for only giving me the minimum fine.  Time to check out how my new car’s cruise control works.

Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: nutechauto@telus.net

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

A B.C. police officer shows an approved roadside screening device. Photo: Saanich News file
Woman caught passed out behind the wheel in Trail

Police located the 38-year old in her parked but still running car, and had to rouse her awake.

Jade Osecki leading a Fridays for Future climate march in Nelson in 2020. Photo: Submitted
Nelson Grade 12 student Jade Osecki wins Suzy Hamilton Award

Carolyn Schramm was also honoured in this year’s environmental award for West Kootenay women

Photo courtesy of Mercer Celgar
Mercer Celgar to install new technology thanks to $4.5 million in federal funds

Project features process to improve fibre processing and address regional fibre availability issues

Asian clams versus native B.C. clams comparison. Photo: Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society
Invasive Asian Clams found in Pend D’Oreille River

Watercraft users and anglers are urged to clean, drain and dry gear

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Old growth in the Columbia Valley, in the Kinbasket area. (Photo submitted)
Wildsight: Old-growth forests are being logged in Golden

Wildsight says that Canfor has been logging old growth at the Blaeberry headwaters

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

COVID-related trash is washing up on shorelines across the world, including Coldstream’s Kal Beach, as pictured in this May 2021 photograph. (Jennifer Smith - Black Press)
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Most Read