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Old 02-14-2014, 07:08 AM   #1
JustPassinThru
 
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First Salt Bath!

Should I make the trip in the Yaris?

I have a 2012. It has only seen salt once, one 200-mile leg coming up from Florida just before New Year's. I washed it - weather was unseasonably warm the day I arrived; and parked it.

Other than that, it's never seen a salt rinse. Not last winter and not this winter. I have a beater, a 1996 Tercel, for snow duty.

Now...I've just been called in for a VERY desirable job interview. It's 1200 miles away; it's ten days from now and I'm out of work. So time is not a factor.

I can fly...expensive and I hate it. I can TRY to take the Tercel - it's got issues, as all old beaters do, but it's basically sound, I think.

Or I can take the Yaris, in comfort, with a working radio (the Tercel's is busted).

Thingofit is...the Yaris is, I'd decided, my last car. Times have changed and I won't be able to afford another new, nice car. I bought this one for a good price with cash...and THAT, as they say, is THAT.

I don't know I'll get the job, so however I travel it's speculation. And while it's good-paying there's no guarantee that ANY of us can afford luxuries in the future.

So...I'm wondering: HOW much harm does a relatively short immersion to road salt spray - and also that pea-stone sand they use out West - do to a car? Is it cumulative? Or is it that once it's exposed, the corrosion starts ramping up?

Sort of like...being a virgin. This Yaris had heavy salt-foreplay but basically it's virgin. After 2400-plus miles in slop, that won't be true.

Thoughts? I can leave early with the beater. It might even be possible to rent a car reasonably cheap.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:24 AM   #2
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While we love to keep our cars perfect, they're still a consumable item. Which is worth more? The opportunity for the job or prolonging the useful life of one of your cars? If you take the yaris, would you blue tape the entire front end to protect it or drive bare and hope for the best?
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #3
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my last two Toyotas went through over 15 Michigan winters each, with salt a regular part of life in the winters. I washed them as regularly as possible in the winter. both had very minimal rust at over 15 years and over 200,000 miles. you are way over thinking this. take the car. wash it after the trip. its no big deal. heck, id be more worried about using the tercel as a DD, as the yaris is infinitely more safe in the case of an accident, emergency maneuvers, etc...
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:49 AM   #4
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While we love to keep our cars perfect, they're still a consumable item. Which is worth more? The opportunity for the job or prolonging the useful life of one of your cars? If you take the yaris, would you blue tape the entire front end to protect it or drive bare and hope for the best?
Consumable, yes.

But this generation of Toyotas are well-nigh mechanically indestructible.

The Tercel has 241,000 hard miles on it - it started life as a rental car. I bought it needing a new engine with 239,000 miles on it. The replacement engine has 140,000 miles on it - and has been starting reliably in our lovely 20-below winter.

Oh, and it spent most of its life in the Carolinas - after the car-rental company finished, a student bought it. He got a job in the North a few years ago. So the Tercel only has about five salt winters on it.

I expect the Yaris will last as long, mileage-wise. Rust, corrosion, is another matter - I've lost a lot of good cars to corrosion that was just too expensive to patch.

No car lasts forever. But when the Yaris is as old as the Tercel is, I'll be long retired - and there won't be money for a new car. WILL. NOT.

I spent $15,000 of my savings keeping alive without work this year, and it's not over yet. That could have been my final Retirement Car, but it wasn't.

So, I've got to use a strategy in terms of having transportation in the future.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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Amtrak/greyhound?
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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Amtrak/greyhound?
Amtrash, no.

If you want an adventure, travel Amtrash.

If you actually want to GET somewhere...you're better off walking the tracks.

Greyhound is more reliable but the kinds of people on those things...gives me pause.

I'll see what I can cadge for a rental car. That actually makes as much sense as kicking the Yaris out of hibernation - it needs oil changed and other work done and I have to put the insurance back on it.
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:23 AM   #7
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I'm 8 years running in a high salt environment. To date, I do not have any apparent salt damage to my '06 Yaris. You are unreasonable paranoid about the occasional taste of salt.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:11 AM   #8
IllusionX
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i say drive it... spend the days there and wash it as soon as you come back. Salt & heat don't go well together.

that's about it, it won't rust/harm your car.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:44 AM   #9
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I will still be using my yaris 20 years from now, and it will get driven every single day in the Michigan winters. it is not a concern.
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
dj92
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If taxes are not high where you live (sadly, it's about 780$ here per year), I'd look for a W201 Diesel:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_W201
It doesn't consume much fuel and fixing it is a charm.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:48 PM   #11
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Wow, you sound so depressing! Take the Yaris. If you encounter any salt, wash it, especially the underbody. One or two encounters with road salt isn't going to rust it out.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:59 PM   #12
JustPassinThru
 
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Well, it's solved.

With some discount codes, I got a rental-car deal. One week, $200; unlimited mileage.

That's almost cheaper than driving my own.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Well, it's solved.

With some discount codes, I got a rental-car deal. One week, $200; unlimited mileage.

That's almost cheaper than driving my own.
So you paid $200 to rent a car instead of driving a car you already own and paid for, that performs the same function? And that $200 is almost cheaper than driving your own?



A simple car wash with under-body spray will clean off anything that may worry you.
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Old 02-15-2014, 05:20 PM   #14
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So you paid $200 to rent a car instead of driving a car you already own and paid for, that performs the same function? And that $200 is almost cheaper than driving your own?

Yup.

It also needs to have the insurance returned on it; and it needs about $100 worth of servicing done.

And those miles add up.

And I'm not PAYING for it - it's paid for. A car costs between ten and twenty cents a mile just in wear and depreciation. Do the math! A $22,000 car you run for 200,000 miles and then sell for $2000 as a beater or trade in.

I'm figuring this trip will run me 2000 miles; more if I have a lot of chasing around to do at the other end. Which I will if they offer me the job and I have to arrange housing.

So a $200 cost...is just paying for the wear.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:19 PM   #15
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I can see taking a rental instead of 2000 miles on your car. however, for someone so worried about a little salt during winter driving, im surprised driving such a relatively unsafe car all winter isn't more of a concern. it wont matter how much or little rust your yaris has in 15 years if someone T bones your tercel next week and puts you 6 feet under. just sayin.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:17 PM   #16
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I can see taking a rental instead of 2000 miles on your car. however, for someone so worried about a little salt during winter driving, im surprised driving such a relatively unsafe car all winter isn't more of a concern. it wont matter how much or little rust your yaris has in 15 years if someone T bones your tercel next week and puts you 6 feet under. just sayin.
It all makes more sense.

Flying would be maybe the same price, roughly but I'd probably spend $100 or so at the minimum, for cab-service. Or a rental there; and rental at the airport on short notice wouldn't be cheap. This is in a tourist mecca.

And I do not like to fly.

I did look into Amtrash. Fares would be $320 and I would need to find a way to get 100 miles from the train station to where I need to be. Another car rental.

No...this is the way to do it. If it were JUST about the road salt I'd probably have said the hell with it at this point, but getting the thing in for servicing (I don't have a place to do my own work) and putting insurance back on it ($$$) adds to the cost of that program
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #17
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Just saying, for the salt, here's what my Yaris looks like all winter long (approx. December to April)... I wash it 1 or 2 times during this period.

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Old 02-16-2014, 01:03 PM   #18
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Yeah, I get that. Outer sheet-metal rust-through is rare these days.

I had a Geo Metro...outer body, beautiful. No holes; but the front subframe rotted apart and collapsed. The car was a total loss.

Elsewhere here, there's notice that some parts of the Yaris front suspension seem susceptible to corrosion and failure. I'd like to avoid that; as I'd like to avoid the other, lesser inconveniences of working on a car where fasteners are all rusted, stuck, and with the hex-heads nearly gone.
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