Phil from Bustednuckles has some very useful advice. I've taken the liberty of borrowing much of his post, because it deserves the widest circulation.
Lurch came out and said that [the Biden administration] is going to be mandating changes to cars and both light and heavy trucks because Climate Bull****.
This is on top of them already going after gas stoves and now air conditioners.
The newer refrigerators and washing machines are already very expensive running jokes compared to the ones made even twenty years ago.
Every time the government sticks it’s collective nose into consumer goods everything turns to absolute ****.
. . .
Basically if something has a proven track record and works, we can’t have that anymore.
***** these ***holes I say.
Now would be a good time to get ahead of the game and start looking around for some of these older things that still have life in them. The average price of a new car has got to be over $35 grand by now.
If you can find a decent rig from fifty odd years ago, spending half that much restoring it will get you a rig that will last for years and you will be money ahead.
Even if you have to get it from another state and have it trucked in you will be money ahead.
There won’t be a kill switch in it either.
Same goes with refrigerators and laundry machines.
There are guys out there who specialize in restoring old refrigerators and there are still plenty of outfits around that can repair old laundry equipment.
***** these new computer controlled/ energy and water efficient pieces of ****.
They don’t work worth a damn to begin with and they have a life span measured in months, not years anyway.
There's more at the link. The comments from Phil's readers are also worth your time.
Seriously, that's good advice. When I look into the engine compartments of my car and Miss D.'s, I'm at a loss to figure out what needs doing and how to do it. My first car was a Morris 1100, followed by a Chevrolet Firenza 1300. In both vehicles, the engines were so well laid out (in accessible engine compartments) and so simply arranged that a shade tree mechanic could do almost anything necessary to keep them running - no computers, no covers concealing fiddly bits, no drain plugs carefully positioned behind half a dozen vital components that had to be removed before changing the oil. One took it for granted that one could do one's own maintenance if necessary. Today? Not so much - unless you have a computer in your garage that can diagnose issues, then issue step-by-step instructions to three robotic assistants to do the actual work. Sheesh!
As for large appliances . . . when we moved to Texas, we were gifted an older clothes washer and drier by a friend. The drier is still going strong. The washer gave up the ghost last year, but Miss D. didn't want to spend the inordinate amount of money demanded by local stores for a new unit. Instead, she shopped around and bought a used, refurbished unit. After a bit of fiddling to get it into fully working order, it's performing well for us, and we saved hundreds of dollars. (Have I ever mentioned how thankful I am that my wife is more mechanically minded and repair-oriented than I am? She's a gem!)
New vehicles and appliances are just about unaffordable for most of us, with recent-model used examples rapidly going the same way. Around here we still sometimes find older used vehicles and appliances for sale at halfway affordable prices, and plenty of small repair shops that will restore them to operation for a manageable fee. They aren't short of business, and the way things are going, that doesn't look like changing. Take Phil's advice while used examples are still available!
It is worth following his advice, especially for appliances. When we moved here 2 years ago, we brought an old washer and dryer with us since we knew they'd be hard to find here.
However, with complicated systems like cars, you need to choose one you can easily and reasonably get parts for, so you don't want to go too old or unusual. You also want to make sure the bones are solid and do other standard used car checks
100% agree. they will eventually outlaw the parts to keep them running though. their aim is to price us out and force us into their "15 minute" slums/cities where they can control us completely. i'm beginning to think they are aliens and we are just farm animals raised to feed the mother ship next time she sails this way. they're herding us up for the harvest.
There is probably a sweet spot between the 1950's energy sucking appliances and the newest ones that fall apart in a year and are unserviceable. The first steps toward energy efficiency probably had problems, the last ones (todays) are POS, but somewhere in the middle they got the balance- like Eric Peters says about cars, the late 1990's through the middle 2000's are generally great years, they finally got the things to run right and be less polluting, but without the ridiculous mandated effort to pick the very last apple on the top branch. AKA the Law of Diminishing Returns.
When Cuba was cut off from U.S. trade in 1961 they were stuck with maintaining what they had and to do so without a supply chain of spare parts. Fleets of continuously running & maintained classic U.S. cars still prowl Havana offering taxi service. Well done! We may be there soon fabricating parts & turning wrenches.
Thing is, in many parts of the country, older units have rusted away. Texas doesn't have a terrible winter, so no salt. Neither does Phi's area. Up north, things are different, and old cars and trucks are much more rare.
Sounds like the plot from Jupiter Ascending. Not the greatest movie, but the story line was interesting.
Eh, there's a lot of engine swaps in those old beasts, and an awful lot of bailing wire too. Mostly unreliable and dangerous as hell.
When will everyone finally say enough! Damn. Keep adapting to every restriction they place on us isn’t the way to live. Sooner or later we have to demand common sense leadership and I think everyone here knows what that will take. Won’t be pretty or fun but they won’t live without a damn thing that makes them comfy or happy and I don’t want to either.
Jim from down the Bayou
As far as cars,in Michigan the life of a car isn't limited by the running gear but by the body rusting. My car is 10 years old and has rust holes coming through the right fender.
For washers and dryers, if you want a new unit that is as good as old stuff, find a Speed Queen dealer near you. They sell basically 'civilian' versions of laundromat washers and dryers, and are built tough.
They are not high efficiency, which means you'll spend about... $40-60 more a year in utilities than with an HE system that will poop the bed in 2-5 years.
Sure, you can't buy them at a big store, but it's worth it to find a real appliance shop or even travel across state lines to buy them if needed.
Also, check out youtube videos of appliance repair guys. The main killer of washing machines is fabric softener. Followed by excessive detergent. For me, with my wife's allergies, a quarter cup of Dawn Dishwashing Liquid works the best. Removes grease, fats, most stains and doesn't have a horrid after smell.
My house came with a 50s beer fridge in the garage & a 60s fridge in the kitchen, both work just fine. Kinda small but couldn't find anything new that will fit without major cabinet work. Now I have to sacrifice a chicken to the refrigerator gods so they don't get mad for talking about them.
I have a 25-year old washer and a dryer of the same age. Learned how to fix quite a few things on them in the 20 years we've had them. Have not had to do much, just replace those things that, in the functioning of the machine in question, rub, turn, or otherwise move. The first few times something needed to be replaced, my wife was ready to buy a new "energy-saving" appliance. I had to remind her of the new appliances we had in the place we had rented - that they didn't work - we had to run the dishwasher or flush the toilet twice, and that using cooler or less water is not a savings when you have to run a second cycle. I think I finally convinced her.
I live in Indiana; if my truck wasn't rusting its body away, I would keep it for another 200K miles.
While the idea about older cars and trucks is great, the problem will be when there is no more gasoline because Climate Change/CO2 etc. The jerks that hold the reins will find a way to kill this country most assuredly.
Thanks from me on posting Phil's article. It is men like Phil, me and quite a few gearheads and tool nerds on our site that will be kings coming soon. We know how to fix things and able to devise and build work arounds to many of the old cars/trucks and appliances. But, we are getting old and we have many stories about trying to pass along our knowledge, wisdom, experiences and even tools and a majority of young men are not interested.
Everything now is 'planned obsolescence'... grrr...
"sweet spot...." yeah, i have a refrigerator, roper brand. i bought it used in 1994 and it is still keeping my beer ice cold out in the shop even after several moves and a couple years laying on its back in storage. my new frig won't run on a generator either. had roper washer too that lasted almost forever. finally retired it when i couldn't get a minor part for it. it still washed but didn't have all the cycles.
cuba- most of those classic cars are running lawn mower engines and such. still look kool though.
For washers and dryers check out Speed Queen, their residential ones are the same as their commercial ones just without the coin operation. They are all made to be repaired as laundromats get way more use and cant just replace everything every couple years.
An interesting trend is starting to be noticed by Insurance companies. When a electric vehicle is involved in a significant but repairable crash, because of uncertainties with the status of battery pack the car needs to be scrapped. In the same crash a car with an internal combustion engine can be fixed. This is going to cause the cost of insuring an electric car to increase. Electric cars may not be near as popular (because of total cost of ownership) as people expect.
I have a huge LG fridge/freezer that I bought almost seven years ago because big family. Two years ago in the midst of Pandemic shipping crisis the cooling completely failed and replacements were scarce and had a 3+ month wait list. Found a talented local appliance repair guy who really knew his stuff. He had to cut out the compressor (?) and weld in a new one, explaining that all major fridges use the same compressor which has a plastic gear inside which always fails after a few years. The new one he put in has a metal gear inside. Much like many of Denninger’s home repair articles, these things are failing due to going cheap on key components. The repair guy also had me order a few of the needed brand name parts myself because he said when he orders them there are always problems which he suspected were due to him not being the official repair guy for that brand in the area. Problem is I am very remote and rural and calling every major brand when looking for a replacement they explained that the warranty meant if it broke they would send a local repair guy they had contracted with, I would ask them to look up and tell me who, and they would reply that there is no local guy of theirs nor a third party guy they could send, so effectively any warranty or extended warranty I could get was useless.
I replaced the timer switch on a Whirlpool dryer myself last year - the original one had basically frozen solid, and replacing the dryer would have cost $500+ even at Scratch 'n Dent! Looked up the model number, ordered the replacement part for $80 and watched some videos on the Whirlpool website - and hurrah! Working again.
I may also have hit the sweet spot with our cars, inadvertently. Mine is a 1999-2000 Accura Legend, that goes like a dream (well, once some small things were fixed!) and my daughter drives a 2003 Montero Sport. The way things are going, and the expense, complexity and unreliability of newer cars and trucks - we may be driving those vehicles indefinitely.
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