Archive for car

Leaf Energy calculations

I’ve been considering getting a Nissan Leaf, but it doesn’t look like it makes financial sense. Just looking at operating costs(never mind the capital cost), the problem is that we routinely exceed our PG&E energy baselines. The baseline price is $.11/KWh, Nissan claims a full charge of about 100 miles @ $.11/KWh would cost about $2.75. I drive maybe 50 mi/day so about $1.30/day. The problem is that we exceed the cheaper pricing tiers of energy and any additional usage often costs the max rate of $.40/KWh. At that rate, a full charge costs over $11, or for my 50mi/day usage that’s $5.20/day. Compared with my Prius which gets about 45mpg at $3/gal roughly $3/day, that’s actually a lot worse. Only when gas is $5+/gal does it actually make sense over $.40/KWh.

Now obviously there’s more to it than just operating costs. Having a zero emissions vehicle and using the carpool lanes are big factors. But for most people, they look first at where they are saving money, and for me it doesn’t. Another option is to significantly reduce my energy consumption to get down to $.11/KWh. Or I could install solar panels on my house which is something I’ve been considering, but that sure is a backwards way to solve the problem and is a huge capital cost.

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Acura Transmission part 2

When I picked up my car, the Acura dealer didn’t even charge me for the extended warranty, so I got a new transmission all for free. The bad news is that it looks like there’s a huge number of these transmission problems on my car. I saw a ton of posts here about how many people have had their transmissions replaced. I see quite a number of posts from people who are on their 3rd or 4th transmission meaning that a replacement doesn’t fix it. There’s even a class action lawsuit at www.hondatransmissionsettlement.com. My car wasn’t covered in the settlement, but thankfully Acura still replaced it for free. These kinda problems make me want to get rid of my car, because it still makes me nervous. I may do that next year.

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Acura service to the rescue

The automatic transmission on my 2002 Acura TL has been feeling funny. It felt like whenever I hit the gas, the transmission would have a hard time catching the gear and it would slip out under some acceleration. So I took the car in and they confirmed that my transmission was slipping. They said a transmission replacement would normally cost a whopping $5500. But they said because I was a good customer(bought it at the same dealer and had most of the services done there), they’d do me a favor and put my car on the extended warranty for $500 and then cover the repairs under that warranty. This is obviously an excellent deal for me(assuming they aren’t lying to me), and they’ve made a loyal customer out of me for this. If I had to replace the transmission at the retail price, I’d probably just buy a new car and never buy another Acura again.

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