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The Auto Shop


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Ok, so im driving a '93 Ford F-150, automatic (shaddup), and its at @ 160,000 miles. Its a great truck, but my last oil change & checkup seems to have confirmed my suspiction: im leaking tranny fluid. I had to change it out a few times last year, and that's not common, as i understand it. I fear one mechanic mighta put in the wrong kind once, but anyway....


So it had this problem before, where the transmission'd slip a bit. I stop too quick, or go in reverse (espeically for turns, or small/slow parking lots, etc), the truck dies out...but itll start right back up. If it doesnt die out, it vibrates a bit. Also, it takes a second to kick when i hit the gas, then it, well, feels like it kicks. So, i got the idle air valve changed out, seemed to go away.


Now, its back with a vengence. Fluid level (while runnin hot) seems ok, i guess, but the problem is consisent: i basically have to start it back up at least once on the drive back from work/class.


1) am i damaging said truck while driving it like this?


2) What could it be? that leak? Timing? (im looking for suggestions that dont sound like "massive transmission overhaul" here... :D )

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  • 1 month later...

....looks like transmission, might be alternator, too. Anyway, here's an interstin article on auto insurance in '05...


Best & Worst Cities for Auto Insurance in 2005   

A Runzheimer International study shows that a midsize car such as a Chevrolet Malibu could cost $5,162 to insure in Detroit but only $758 in Roanoke, Va. 


There's good news and bad news about auto insurance for 2005.

The good news: The insurance industry projects a 1.5 percent increase in average annual insurance expenses, which is the smallest increase in five years, according to the Insurance Information Institute.


The bad news: Drivers in many cities will pay much, much more than the national average of $870. Indeed, drivers in Detroit could pay nearly 6 times the average this year, or $5,162 in annual insurance premiums, according to an annual survey by Runzheimer International, a vehicle costing consulting firm based in Rochester, Wis.


Drivers in Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., Los Angeles and New York City also face the highest annual car insurance payments in the country, Runzheimer added.


Meanwhile, some smaller cities in the South and Midwest are ranked as having the lowest insurance rates. Runzheimer said annual premiums in Roanoke, Va., are expected to be the lowest at $758, while those in Wapakoneta, Ohio, are projected at $871.


All Runzheimer estimates are for a midsize sedan, such as a Chevrolet Malibu, that's driven in a 50-mile radius of the city by a male or female driver who is over the minimum driving age and has a clean driving record. The insurance premiums calculated include coverage for collision, comprehensive, bodily injury, property damage and uninsured motorist coverage.


The insurance institute attributed the overall low rate of increase in insurance expense to safer cars, fewer car crashes, fraud-fighting efforts and new anti-theft technology.


But between 35 percent and 50 percent of stolen vehicles never are recovered, according to car theft studies. The most popular stolen vehicles recently have been Honda Civics, Accords and Toyota Camrys. Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular days for car thefts, and Mondays and Tuesdays have the highest theft recovery rates, the insurance group said.


And Robert Hartwig, senior vice president and chief economist for the nonprofit group, said rising medical costs and auto repair costs as well as jury awards remain problems. The typical medical bill for a car crash ranges from $6,000 to $9,000 but can extend into the tens of thousands, the institute said.


"Unfortunately, while drivers today are filing fewer claims, those that are filed cost more," Hartwig said. "It costs more to repair cars, particularly following accidents involving sport-utility vehicles."


The institute said several factors, including the state a driver is in, affect the price of auto insurance. Other factors are:



Type of car insured

Safety features on the car

Amount of miles driven and type of miles

Driving record

Family claim record, including the number of crashes and their severity

Age, gender and experience of the driver

Credit-based insurance score

Here's the Runzheimer list of the five most expensive cities for auto insurance premiums:


Detroit, $5,162

Philadelphia, $4,142

Newark, N.J., $3,482

Los Angeles, $3,225

New York City, $3,127



Runzheimer's list of the five least expensive cities for auto insurance premiums:


Roanoke, Va., $758

Wapakoneta, Ohio, $871

Chattanooga, Tenn., $911

Green Bay, Wis., $948

Raleigh, N.C., $949


Most Stolen


Here is the NICB top ten list—the number in parentheses is the model year most stolen:



Honda Civic (2000)

Toyota Camry (1989)

Honda Accord (1991)

Chevrolet C/K 1500 (1994)

Dodge Caravan (1994)

Ford F-150 (1997)

Toyota Pickup (1986)

Acura Integra (1995)

Nissan Sentra (1987)

Oldsmobile Cutlass (1986)

The HLDI lists the five most stolen vehicles for the 2001-2003 model years as follows:


Cadillac Escalade EXT

Nissan Maxima

Cadillac Escalade

Dodge Stratus/Chrysler Sebring

Dodge Intrepid

The CCC reports the ten most stolen vehicles for 2003 are as follows:



1995 Saturn SL

1998 Acura Integra

1994 Saturn SL

1999 Acura Integra

1995 Acura Integra

1997 Acura Integra

1996 Acura Integra

1994 Acura Integra

2002 Mitsubishi Montero

2000 Honda Civic


..and here's a good one on the hybrids & their mileage.



Honda Insight  61/66 mpg 

Toyota Prius  60/51 mpg 

Honda Civic Hybrid  48/47 mpg 

Volkswagen Golf TDI  38/46 mpg 

Volkswagen Jetta TDI  38/46 mpg 

Volkswagen New Beetle TDI  38/46 mpg 

Volkswagen Jetta Wagon TDI  36/47 mpg 

Honda Civic HX VTEC-E Lean Burn  36/44 mpg 

Ford Escape Hybrid 2WD  36/31 mpg 

Toyota ECHO  35/42 mpg 

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