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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Aug 26, 2013 -> 10:09 AM)
On the one hand, it is important to point out that most of the utility-generated electricity still comes from fossil fuels. You are correct that using an electric car doesn't mean you are using 100% green energy.

 

But you are also using a canard here that provides a false choice. First of all, even if on 100% fossil fuels, energy generated at the utility level is far more efficient than in individual gas combustion engines, so the move to an electric car does indeed reduce emissions and use of oil. Second, the utilities can, and slowly do, change over to alternative sources over time. So the more people rely on the grid instead of inefficient vehicular engines, the fast we add more energy capacity and as a percentage, more use of alternatives.

 

Using an electric car, right now, definitely reduces carbon footprint and oil usage. And it will do that more so over time. Though, as you said, it does not mean you are ONLY using green energy.

 

One other note: if people want to, in many or most areas now, you can opt for green energy from your electricity provider. The rate is only slightly higher, at least in my case. That doesn't mean you have a direct pipe to a solar array, but it means you increase the amount of alternative energy the utility has to buy or create, thereby increasing it by some amount with your choice.

Does this take into account the delivery of the energy as well? I have not seen this, but if true, this is a good point.

 

As for the second part I bolded, I wonder if this is just a way to offset some of the increased costs due to RPS's? It's probably that and a way to address the fact that some portion of the public wants renewables and is willing to pay more, and the rest who continue to want the lowest possible energy costs, regardless of source.

Edited by iamshack

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Aug 26, 2013 -> 02:48 PM)
As for the second part I bolded, I wonder if this is just a way to offset some of the increased costs due to RPS's? It's probably that and a way to address the fact that some portion of the public wants renewables and is willing to pay more, and the rest who continue to want the lowest possible energy costs, regardless of source.

There are complexities there I am sure, for the utility. They have mandates from state and feds and localities to meet, they have a required level based on consumer choice, they may already have a certain amount of ceiling room in terms of purchased alternative energy, etc. So it is likely not a perfect 1:1, I request green energy, ergo ComEd has to buy that much more of it and that much less of the regular stuff. But in the larger sense, it does increase the required amount purchased, in some fashion, to some degree.

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Aug 26, 2013 -> 02:22 PM)
There are complexities there I am sure, for the utility. They have mandates from state and feds and localities to meet, they have a required level based on consumer choice, they may already have a certain amount of ceiling room in terms of purchased alternative energy, etc. So it is likely not a perfect 1:1, I request green energy, ergo ComEd has to buy that much more of it and that much less of the regular stuff. But in the larger sense, it does increase the required amount purchased, in some fashion, to some degree.

At this stage of the game, I don't think it is really shaping what the utility is buying/developing. What it might be is a way for them to offset some of the costs for the mandates you mentioned.

 

I just wonder if they are able to use renewable energy required by their RPS directly to market to retail customers, or if that is not allowed....

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Aug 26, 2013 -> 04:30 PM)
At this stage of the game, I don't think it is really shaping what the utility is buying/developing. What it might be is a way for them to offset some of the costs for the mandates you mentioned.

 

I just wonder if they are able to use renewable energy required by their RPS directly to market to retail customers, or if that is not allowed....

Not sure about the RPS aspect. But, just like legal mandates, the level of consumer-requested green energy has to play a part in their plans. They can't sell 100 widgets of "green energy" to consumers but only through-put 50 widgets worth to those consumers. If/when the consumer requests start to approach their current level of purchase and/or production, they would have to adjust.

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Aug 27, 2013 -> 07:52 AM)
Not sure about the RPS aspect. But, just like legal mandates, the level of consumer-requested green energy has to play a part in their plans. They can't sell 100 widgets of "green energy" to consumers but only through-put 50 widgets worth to those consumers. If/when the consumer requests start to approach their current level of purchase and/or production, they would have to adjust.

Right...but if I am already mandated to own or contract for 20% of my portfolio as renewables, that is a whole lot of green energy consumers I can allocate those mandated renewables to.

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QUOTE (iamshack @ Aug 27, 2013 -> 10:36 AM)
Right...but if I am already mandated to own or contract for 20% of my portfolio as renewables, that is a whole lot of green energy consumers I can allocate those mandated renewables to.

Yes. If you are mandated 20%, and your consumer demand is 10%, you are good to go. But when the consumer demand level gets close to that 20%, say 18% and rising, you have to adjust.

 

I have no idea what the actual levels are of course.

 

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Remember when I said it was "for sure a head gasket" on my saturn?? wellll it's not. Its the engine....does 1800 for the engine, new belt, oil coolant plugs, and wires sound fair? The engine only has 66k on it

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Aug 28, 2013 -> 06:54 PM)
What is wrong with the engine?

 

It failed the compression test..Cylinder 1- 140 PSI, cylinder 2-180, cylinder 3-150, cylinder 4-70.

 

Prior to the test I had just talked to shops and they said it was the head gasket.

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A blown headgasket will fail a compression test.

 

The head gasket seals the cylinder head (where the valves are) to the engine block. If it's blown, there won't be a good seal in the compression chamber and you'll get bad compression test results.

 

There can definitely be other causes of bad compression, but it definitely doesn't rule out a bad head gasket.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Aug 28, 2013 -> 08:28 PM)
A blown headgasket will fail a compression test.

 

The head gasket seals the cylinder head (where the valves are) to the engine block. If it's blown, there won't be a good seal in the compression chamber and you'll get bad compression test results.

 

There can definitely be other causes of bad compression, but it definitely doesn't rule out a bad head gasket.

 

Interesting, I got the test professionally done and they recommended a new engine. Said they could hear the intake valve and rings leaking.

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That could definitely be another cause of a failed compression test.

 

Might be worth a second opinion given the cost here, but take their professional opinion after actually looking at your car over mine.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Aug 28, 2013 -> 08:49 PM)
That could definitely be another cause of a failed compression test.

 

Might be worth a second opinion given the cost here, but take their professional opinion after actually looking at your car over mine.

 

Could be worth a 2nd opinion but from what I've read it sounds like its the engine...Back to the original question, if it is indeed the engine how does $1840 sound for an engine with 66k on it plus a new belt, plugs, and wires sound? Comes with a 6 months parts and labor warranty.

 

The body on it is still practically flawless, and a diagnostic test showed that the only other thing wrong with it is an egr valve which I believe goes away when putting in the new engine. So with that said, and with money tight wouldn't it make sense to just go with the engine with 66k on it rather than dropping that 1840(or less) on another car with 2x the miles and potentially more problems that I don't know about?

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QUOTE (scs787 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 01:09 AM)
Could be worth a 2nd opinion but from what I've read it sounds like its the engine...Back to the original question, if it is indeed the engine how does $1840 sound for an engine with 66k on it plus a new belt, plugs, and wires sound? Comes with a 6 months parts and labor warranty.

 

The body on it is still practically flawless, and a diagnostic test showed that the only other thing wrong with it is an egr valve which I believe goes away when putting in the new engine. So with that said, and with money tight wouldn't it make sense to just go with the engine with 66k on it rather than dropping that 1840(or less) on another car with 2x the miles and potentially more problems that I don't know about?

Sure sounds like a reasonable price to me for that work. The question is, as you said, is it worth putting that into the car you own? How much is the car worth? And is now a good time to get something better, and put the 1840 towards that?

 

I remember when the engine on my first car blew out. 1986 Subaru GL-10, was 10 years old, had 180k on it, had been in 3 or 4 accidents, and two teenagers learned how to drive in it. The previous oil change, the mechanic showed me the little metal filings in the oil - said the cam shaft or one of a few other parts was likely warped, and would eventually fail. A couple months later, sure enough, driving down the road... bizarre noise from under the hood, followed by black smoke, and a stalled car. Cam shaft apparently "shattered into a million pieces" and rattled around the block. Engine shot.

 

Guy says, well, I can get a nearly-new engine for it, have it shipped, install it, new chain stuff... for about $2,000. I asked him how much the car would be worth then, and he said... about $2,000.

 

I was a month from leaving Ames, going to get a full time job elsewhere, and buying a new car anyway. So I just went without a car for a month or two then bought another car. A Saturn, by the way.

 

I had still owed the mechanic about $250 from a recent repair anyway, so he said he'd just take the car off my hands for the $250 and call it square. He said he could sell off some of the parts.

 

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QUOTE (scs787 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 01:09 AM)
Could be worth a 2nd opinion but from what I've read it sounds like its the engine...Back to the original question, if it is indeed the engine how does $1840 sound for an engine with 66k on it plus a new belt, plugs, and wires sound? Comes with a 6 months parts and labor warranty.

 

The body on it is still practically flawless, and a diagnostic test showed that the only other thing wrong with it is an egr valve which I believe goes away when putting in the new engine. So with that said, and with money tight wouldn't it make sense to just go with the engine with 66k on it rather than dropping that 1840(or less) on another car with 2x the miles and potentially more problems that I don't know about?

 

Sounds about right to me. I think I paid around $1400 for a V6 engine with about 80K miles on it a couple of years ago.

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 08:09 AM)
Sure sounds like a reasonable price to me for that work. The question is, as you said, is it worth putting that into the car you own? How much is the car worth? And is now a good time to get something better, and put the 1840 towards that?

 

I remember when the engine on my first car blew out. 1986 Subaru GL-10, was 10 years old, had 180k on it, had been in 3 or 4 accidents, and two teenagers learned how to drive in it. The previous oil change, the mechanic showed me the little metal filings in the oil - said the cam shaft or one of a few other parts was likely warped, and would eventually fail. A couple months later, sure enough, driving down the road... bizarre noise from under the hood, followed by black smoke, and a stalled car. Cam shaft apparently "shattered into a million pieces" and rattled around the block. Engine shot.

 

Guy says, well, I can get a nearly-new engine for it, have it shipped, install it, new chain stuff... for about $2,000. I asked him how much the car would be worth then, and he said... about $2,000.

 

I was a month from leaving Ames, going to get a full time job elsewhere, and buying a new car anyway. So I just went without a car for a month or two then bought another car. A Saturn, by the way.

 

I had still owed the mechanic about $250 from a recent repair anyway, so he said he'd just take the car off my hands for the $250 and call it square. He said he could sell off some of the parts.

 

The car is probably not worth that much but when I really think about it I think the right thing to do would be is to just get the engine with low miles.

 

Chances are I'm not going to find a car with 66k on it for that price unless it's heavily damaged or has other problems. With my Saturn I already know what it needs so there won't be any hidden problems. Like I said the body is close to perfect and I get great mileage with car..

 

Maybe it's just the fear of the unknown but I think the new engine is worth it.

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What year is it? If you plan on keeping it for another 3 or 4 years and it doesn't have any other major problems then you're probably ok. Just remember that there are about 1,000 other things that can eventually go wrong.

 

I just traded in my 1993 suburban that only had 145,000 miles on it. It ran like a champ but it had a handful of other cosmetic and mechanical problems and I didn't want it to keep nickel and diming me to death.

 

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QUOTE (scs787 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 10:48 AM)
The car is probably not worth that much but when I really think about it I think the right thing to do would be is to just get the engine with low miles.

 

Chances are I'm not going to find a car with 66k on it for that price unless it's heavily damaged or has other problems. With my Saturn I already know what it needs so there won't be any hidden problems. Like I said the body is close to perfect and I get great mileage with car..

 

Maybe it's just the fear of the unknown but I think the new engine is worth it.

 

How many of those 66k are in-town mileage? There's a big difference between 66k driving through and around the Chicago area, idling a lot and 66k driving on the highway with a constant speed and RPM

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QUOTE (Iwritecode @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 11:04 AM)
What year is it? If you plan on keeping it for another 3 or 4 years and it doesn't have any other major problems then you're probably ok. Just remember that there are about 1,000 other things that can eventually go wrong.

 

I just traded in my 1993 suburban that only had 145,000 miles on it. It ran like a champ but it had a handful of other cosmetic and mechanical problems and I didn't want it to keep nickel and diming me to death.

 

It's a 97. I ran a diagnostic check on it and the only other problem at the moment is the egr valve which should get taken care of with a new engine. Cosmetically it's near flawless, only problem is the "ceiling carpet"(couldn't think of a better word) is hanging a bit.

 

QUOTE (witesoxfan @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 11:08 AM)
How many of those 66k are in-town mileage? There's a big difference between 66k driving through and around the Chicago area, idling a lot and 66k driving on the highway with a constant speed and RPM

 

I really have no way of knowing do I? Would the company I'm buying it from even know/be truthful about it?

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QUOTE (scs787 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 11:25 AM)
It's a 97. I ran a diagnostic check on it and the only other problem at the moment is the egr valve which should get taken care of with a new engine. Cosmetically it's near flawless, only problem is the "ceiling carpet"(couldn't think of a better word) is hanging a bit.

 

As long as everything else is in good shape, you'll probably be fine.

 

There are a lot of things that don't show up on a diagnostic test (brake lines, shocks, belts, hoses, exhast system, etc...) Especially any original parts that are now 15 years old.

 

Although most of that is normal stuff that you'll have with any car. ;)

 

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Need some input from you guys...

 

I'm about to start looking at buying a car. Looking at an Nissan Altima. In your experience of haggling with dealers, how much below a dealer's list price have you been able to purchase a car? I'm not looking to buy brand new.

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Look around online, get an idea for what a slightly used Nissan Altima goes for and shoot for ~$500 below that. At that point anything you get in that $500 range is gravy.

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In other auto related news I got my first load as an OTR trucker today. Gary, IN to Bethlehem, PA... kind of a cool historical link to tie together a load I think.

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QUOTE (scs787 @ Aug 29, 2013 -> 11:25 AM)
I really have no way of knowing do I? Would the company I'm buying it from even know/be truthful about it?

 

No real way to be sure, but you should be able to make a somewhat educated guess. For instance, if the engine is 15 years old and has 60,000 miles on it then you figure it was either a lot of city driving (4k/yr is pretty low) or that the person just didn't hardly ever drive. Neither of which is really great for the engine. If it's 5 years old, then that would put you right around the nationwide average of 12k/year so you can bet there is atleast a good portion of highway miles in there.

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