Monday, May 17, 2010

100,000 Miles on the Car and it has to do with Triathlon (Partly) and a Little Review

My current car is a SAAB 92X Aero, also known as a SAABaru, because it is actually a Subaru WRX Sportwagon. Why is a Subaru WRX Sportwagon rebadged as SAAB? It has to do with the, previous, intimate relationship between SAAB, GMC, Fujitsu Heavy Industry, and Subaru. Needless to say GMC thought SAAB needed a low cost, all wheel drive car, and Subaru happened to have some excess capacity, so there you go.

So, in 2005 I needed a lower car payment and had to get rid of the two (2) cars I had. One used Honda Civic, I think a '97, and my dearly missed 2003 Mazda RX-8. I got a $6000 rebate on the SAAB and that saved my ass from going upside down too badly. I had not started doing duathlons or triatlons when I got the car, that would be about 9 months later. The car turned out to be nearly perfect. When I put the seats down I can fit my bike, or any bike, in without taking the wheels off the bike. The reason the car has so many miles is because I do so many weekend races, I have family in WI, and I have about a 30mi round trip to work. That all adds up to over 20,000 miles a year on the car. This weekend it just turned a 100,000 miles.

Aside from gas and oil changes the car has not required much else. At around 20,000 miles the dealer put new tires on the car for free. The tires were Bridgestone Potenzas and they wore very fast and uneven. I had the same tires on my RX-8 and they were gone by 18,000 miles. I rotated them on the SAAB every oil change, or two, and they still wore fast. At around, I think, 50,000 miles I put Kumho All Season tires on the car and those tires have been great, and they cost about half as much as the Bridgestones. Around 80,000 miles the air conditioning pulley gave out. I could still drive the car, and luckily it happened in the winter, so the AC was not needed. That cost about 200 bucks to fix and has been the only thing on the car to break. Last week, at around 99,500, I had all four pads and rotors replaced and the brake system flushed. The brake job was less than 800 bucks. In about 10,000 miles I am going to need to replace all the belts, plugs, and the water pump and this will probably run about a grand. After 100K every car needs the work done.

I guess this is something of a review of the car. It has all-wheel drive, is a 5 door hatchback with folding seats that can carry a ton of stuff, handles great, gets good mileage (about 25+ on highway and 20+ in the city), accelerates great, and starts every day. So, after all that, I gues the point is to say the SAABaru has been a really great car up to this point. It is going to need to go another 50-100K miles before I can get something new/different. The car will be paid off in about 15 months and then I will need time to save up money.
At some point I will have to post a picture of the car.

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