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Hybrid Car Could Bsod On Highway

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Hybrid car could BSOD on highway

5/16/2005 2:43:02 PM, by Eric Bangeman

Since its launch, the Toyota Prius has become the most popular gas-electric hybrid automobile. Drawn to its excellent gas mileage, consumers have been so eager to get their hands on the car that they have been willing to pay US$1,000-2,000 over list price for used models.

Some 2004 and 2005 models have fallen victim to a software bug that causes the cars to stall on the highway. In some cases, the cars can be restarted immediately, but other instances have required a call to AAA for a tow into the dealership to get the problem fixed. A Toyota spokesperson blames a "programming error" for the situation and says owners of affected vehicles have been sent letters asking them to bring their cars into the dealership for what is described as an hour-long software update. Overall, it appears that fewer than 30 cars have been affected by the problem.

Steel and silicon have long existed side-by-side in vehicles with minimal problems. However, in a hybrid such as the Prius, where a determination as to whether power should come from the gas engine, batteries, or a mixture of both, what would otherwise be a simple bug could have more unfortunate consequences.

In addition to the Toyota Prius, Ford Escape, and the Honda models already on the market, several other manufacturers have hybrids in the works. Thankfully, the problem with the Prius appears to be an isolated one — hybrid cars have a bright outlook, especially with gas prices poised to stay above US$2.00 per gallon for the foreseeable future.

:angry: my rant...

OK i know gas is high and this doesn't look like these "program errors" are an everyday occurrence but i still like my muscle cars /classics/vintage ...How ever we care to describe 'em.At least you can figure out if it was electrical or mechanical. i don't care to have a car that i can't take a crack at trouble shooting the old fashion way. i don't like having chips and transmitters in my car. i'm tired of the "tech" at our service station saying, "Well sometimes the lil' computer chip gets confused or the sensor is just sensitive,and charging me much coinage to jack in to the computer that tells him what lame error has occured.

They sold me a car with a OS i can't cold boot or reformat...Shew...i feel better end rant. :rolleyes:

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Hi Echobay,

First of all, haven't seen you around lately, glad you're back!

From someone who has had to replace the computer in every "newer" car I've owned, I agree (wonder why I'm so skepical about computers??? At least its a $450 repair nowadays instead of the first one at $1500, but geez). And at least the computer could tell the DRIVER what is bothering it, instead of paying the Service Tech--but then again, I wouldn't be able to fix it anyway.... (and what would we spend our money on....)

Last car we bought, I wanted crank style windows, only to be told they weren't available or I was just crazy--and Hubby wanted power windows...sigh. Well, the back window of the car has plastic on it and an appointment to see the mechanic tomorrow--last car window motor cost us $350.....

I'm joining your rant :angry::unsure::)

Liz

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U.S. News had an interesting article a couple of weeks ago on the hybrid fad.

U.S. News "Invasion of the Green Machines"

Some interesting things were brought up in the article.

Prius, because of it's premium price, would take normal drivers 7 years or more of ownership to break even before beginning to recoup their investment. And the 42% more parts make that an expensive gamble that the car wont need expensive repairs before then. And the gas mileage figures are only a guess at best. It depends alot on where you drive, city stop and go driving is more efficient then out on the highway.

As for who buys these things, well the pro environment crowd seems to step up to the plate but without thinking of all the labor intensive 42% extra parts shipped from who knows where to put in car, or without thinking how those batteries will be disposed of without harming environment and of course the extra money needed to buy the thing requires a trade off in other things that it could have been spent on to really help the environment like solar panels on house etc. Also the early adopters wanting to have bragging rights, and then those who let others do their thinking for them and just have to follow the celebrity/save the earth crowd etc. to do what they say to do.

Like so many fad things, it will fade away when either the next new thing comes along, or they get the price down and it becomes so common everyone wants something else. And it gives the car makers something to brag about while ignoring making fuel efficient regular cars. They now build cars that are to big, to luxurious, to complex, to expensive especially to repair (and way beyond do it yourself repairs nowadays), and then wonder why people are mad at the auto industry.

As for things going wrong with modern computerized cars, how about the inexplicable times you can't even open the door with the wireless key fob, due to someone using something on same frequency? How about the same thing preventing you from starting car, or police (or terrorist?) stopping all computerized cars by jamming the frequency (I think there is another method to do it too)? How about the safety issues of power to auto lock doors and power windows shorting out and catching fire? How about the black box technology reporting your driving habits to your insurance company (or parents) ? Lots of things to consider nowadays, not much we can do about it though except to keep our old cars going as long as possible.

And I must add this one to my rant.

And the little things that drive you nuts, like my elderly neighbors trying to pass DEQ so they can renew their license tags, they don't like the idea of cigarette lighters so when they bought the used truck they removed the lighter (we do too), and other than the battery periodically running down and my hubby couldn't figure out the hidden draw, the little Ford pickup truck worked fine. But after 2 days of failing DEQ, and one mechanic later, they found out the cigarrette lighter socket had some connection to the emissions codes in the car computer and moisture must have seeped in and blown the fuse, didn't affect much except a slight alteration blip up in emissions. $1.25 for fuse, and they say they weren't charged for diagnosis and labor, maybe they got lucky and the mechanic took pity on them as they are elderly or they didn't want to tell us how bad the bill was? Anyhow they passed DEQ and have the 2 year tags now, but how awful for a couple in bad health who drive mainly to DRs and VA hospital, and to the store.

End of my rant too, unless I think of something else... :unsure:

God bless everyone.

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I'm joining your rant  :angry:  :unsure:  :)

Liz

Hey blim...

Thanks for joinin' the rant.

i've been lurking around. My keyboard has been acting up. ReALLY acting up. i'm not the best typer on a good keyboard. But i finallly got around to de-gunking it over the weekend. i was literally LOL as i saw a post {Hi hitest } about "food and keyboards" and related a lil' to much. Just got way to busy with the kids schedules as the school year ends :blink: i couldn't find enough time to get it done! i should have just bought a new one.It would have been less time consuming.

i'm babbling...Sooo...What was the topic?

Oh yeah...damn cars ,damn chips,damn bills. We didn't actually buy a hybrid {out of my price range, hope i didn't confuse ya}. But our van IS new and has that stupid sensor that "adjusts to the drivers needs".The downside 2 different drivers 2 different needs.It gets confused.i swear that's what the service tech said. All i could do was :lol: i mean if it had told me it was confused i could have ya know spend more quality time with it and talk over it's issues :D

i hear what you're saying about crank style windows. i'm all about them.Doesn't anybody watch ER? If my car plunges in to a lake i'm probably not gonna think to push the "electric" window button BEFORE i hit the water.

Ouch..No seriously, i'm feeling your pain there on the repair bills.

thesidekickcat Posted on May 17 2005, 06:20 PM

  U.S. News had an interesting article a couple of weeks ago on the hybrid fad.

U.S. News "Invasion of the Green Machines"

Hey tskcat...

Thanks for the link. Thought provoking ... i've really been wrestling out the pros and cons of the tech side. Hey i'll take tin foil hat for $500. i don't want my car to tell me where it's been and i don't want my car having some import chip telling it what to do.i want it to tell me what's wrong. i don't need a lowjack box either. Gez it's a mini van not a Jag. i have a problem with the remote keychain too. A cop friend of mine was saying she arrested a 15 yr old kid for car theft. Ya know how the kid did it? Some poor mook lost his keys at the mall and the kid found them and went out to the parking lot and set off the guys "panic button alarm" to find the car and off he went joy riding!

About 2 weeks ago i saw this article about RFID and almost posted about that too. i'm going to need 2 hats before i walk out the door at this rate.i can hear it now...Hey they're everywhere and everything is fine chant chant chant...Get use to 'em...Take your RFID chip like a good lil' girl!

Rave on tskcat...Thanks for the reply.

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Well, talk about Karma---we dropped the car off to get the window fixed, driving Son's car home from the shop----and the d*mn "Service Engine Soon" light pops on!!!! When we pick Hubby's car up, the Saturn gets to stay......Oi Vey...(hope its an oxygen sensor, they're comparitively cheap....)

*I love ER!! :) *

Liz

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Just to give some information on what the computer in the car is "supposed" to do.

How Stuff Works

I been trying to do some research on what exactly learns the drivers style of driving, but so far no luck. I know my Chevy Cavalier's computer learned my driving style same as with my Dodge SRT. Each of which have a similar engine make up, along with some type of Variable Valve Timing system similar to the VTEC in Honda's and Acura's, and the i-Tech's in Nissian and Toyota. Although there could be multiple drivers for one vehicle i think it can determine between the 2 separate people, but it takes time (as the mechanic would say it is confused) before it transitions between the different drivers. As an example, one drivers faster and have a heavy break foot, one drives slower and not so heavy break foot, that is two different understandings of the car computer, just a matter of time and distance before it recognizes the differences.

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i'm joining the rant. wow it's a chain rant. well anyways let me tell you something that you just don't get from these hybrids. i was feeling pretty down earlier and i went down to mikes and picked up my mustang. i took it out to some back roads in the middle of nowhere with plenty of room my pony to Gallup. i let her loose on the roads. the sound of the roar of the motor, the pull of the tires, the sling shot effect of the drags. the feeling of pulling a perfect 360 and carving the road without loosing control. even thought i don't own the mustang but i built it and if a single bolt or weld was not just right you feel it when you let it loose. it was a perfect machine.

BTW i just painted on the back end "there is more to life that just gas mileage"

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got to agree Mac, I love my 91 'stang

Also I think some of these hybrids are ugly looking

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Heh,heh, its a chain rant! Love it, Mac, you should start a chain rant topic :)

Back when I was 17, my mom got a "late 1960's" Mustang (don't remember the exact year)--back when they were cute and boxy and red :) I learned how to drive a stick shift just so I could drive that car! Still remember how to drive a stick shift, too (as long as it's on the floor and not the steering wheel....)

Liz

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ALright mustang talk.

I used to work at the local Ford Dealership (Mike Shad Ford if anyone had heard of it) and i was the new car porter. I was the one who checked in the cars after they got off the trucks, had both set of keys and also had the paperwork to say the car existed. Well to shorten the story, a 2000 Saleen (it was year 1999) came in off of a truck...well i am a teenager with a very dangerous car...I borrowed it for a night, like i did with so many other vehicles (most including this one without permission) and made the car run like it should be run. I kit about 130 mph on the interstate in 4th gear and two more gears to go. It was insane. I have never seen a saleen like that one, but the new generation cobra's and GT are smoking, even the new Shelby's are hot...although nothing bets "Eleanor" (Gt500 from Gone in 60Secs)

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Vile, I had to Google a Saleen, but boy, oh, boy, I bet you had a GREAT ride!! Way too much car for me--I liked my "now deceased" Cavalier Station Wagon, it practically drove itself. Is a Saleen "related" to a Mustang? I recognise Cobra and Shelby as Mustangs, but never heard of a Saleen. And remembering your high school stories, "You were very, very naughty!" :P

And the Saturn ended up being a broken EGR valve, (wait, where's the EGR valve on that list on your link?) sigh, which I suspected, since the sensor went off when the car was warmed up. I'm really good at diagnosing problems, probably due to the junkers I've driven, wish I could fix 'em, though (Ok, I really wish my husband could fix em, I have enough to do around here). I open the hood and see black hoses and grey shapes.

Liz

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Interesting thread and still going. Wow, so many rants and the trouble is the car makers probably aren't reading this.

Speaking of things on cars that bug people, is anyone else tired of beep beep setting of car alarms, or the actual car alarms themselves? No one even goes to look anymore to see what is really happening, due to so many false alarms.

The only rant I'm doing this weekend is about the recent thunderstorms, rain, hail, etcccc!!!! And it is raining again hours earlier than predicted. Not just showers, it is a steady downpour. But at least no thunderstorms.

OK! Ok! End of thunderstorm rant....for now.

Liz, the EGR valve as part of the emissions system should have a longer warranty then rest of car, so ask the place if it is still covered. Used to be 10 years warranty no matter how many owners down the road, I think.

God bless everyone.

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let me add a european view to this.

Most american cars are usualy massive v8's that are several ltrs big and have 130horse power

over here, in ireland, and the rest of europe. We have small cars, like 1.1 ltr engins with 4 cylinders producing 100~ horse power. And europeans use diesel quite a lot. Even if the inital cost of a diesel car is greater, it can become cheaper espically if you travel a lot. On the side note petrol here is about $1.28 per ltr. (3.2~ltr in a us gallon check google for exact ammount). Which also contributes to why people buy smaller cars and smaller engin sizes.

Id hate to say it but on the other side you guys are a little wastefull....

I do agree with keeping vintage mussel, high-performance supercars on the road. Why? well when a company like ferrari only puts out a car once every 3 days VS a company like VolksWagon who produce 1 car every 6 seconds you quickly relize they are not doing the damage.

And back to the bsod, hmm, windows embeded in "critical care equipment" bringing a whole new meaning to "bsod".....

Pierce

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Hi Sidekickcat,

Now that info on the EGR valve is something I didn't know!!!! Unfortunately the Son's car is a 1995 (natch!) BUT I'm going to call and ask on Monday anyways--couldn't hurt ;) Thanks!

And Pierce, you are so lucky to live in Europe! Its beautiful over there. I've been to Italy and Denmark. Another great thing about Europe is the wonderful transportation system with the bus and train systems (ahh, the smell of diesel fumes are coming back to me....)--and the towns are layed out so you can walk just about anywhere, a car isn't even necessary! Very smart city planning.

I also think I read somewhere recently that Europeans change their car oil a LOT less often than US--something like every 10 or 15,000 miles? (sorry, Pierce, I don't know metric, I'm old :) ) There was a very good reason, but I don't remember why.

Liz

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A lot of good points here.... ;)

Yep...I'm thinking of down sizing also on my 1/2 ton truck with the way the price of gas is going.

So I'm thinking of this one....you get the small car...but with adequate horsepower... :D

So what do you guys think..... :rolleyes:

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Most american cars are usualy massive v8's that are several ltrs big and have 130horse power

????? actually the average is a V6 that produces a lot more than only 130 HP. in the last 8 years there's been a big boom for 4CY engines for gas purposes. also the V8s here are on average more around 200 - 600+ HP totally depends on the price range and manufacture. sorry but i'd have to laugh at any V8 that only produces 130 HP. don't forget that there is a lot more to an engine than just HP. you can have all the HP in the world and if it's got almost nothing for tourqe you might aswell as go Flinstone with it and get a running start. plus it's nice that each year newer cars here have gotten lighter and lighter more like European.

over here, in ireland, and the rest of europe. We have small cars, like 1.1 ltr engins with 4 cylinders producing 100~ horse power. And europeans use diesel quite a lot. Even if the inital cost of a diesel car is greater, it can become cheaper espically if you travel a lot. On the side note petrol here is about $1.28 per ltr. (3.2~ltr in a us gallon check google for exact ammount). Which also contributes to why people buy smaller cars and smaller engin sizes.

so that's about $4.09 a Gal. wow you have my sympathy. at my local station in Colorado it's $2.02 a Gal. yeah unfortunately diesel is not nearly as abundant here as in Europe. it's been getting a lot better with the big push for the new diesel trucks here.

Id hate to say it but on the other side you guys are a little wastefull....

i love stereotyping. OH! OH! OH! can we do germans next? :D fortunately not all americans are soccer moms, so they have 2 children and live in a suberban neighborhood so of course they need a vehicle that can seat 8 and drive through artic tundra. :rolleyes: i personally agree with there being too much waste here aswell as every wheres. my mustang and others vehicle like saleems are NOT daily drivers. my mustang is one that has modified from the frame up for the soul purpose of mike to drag race as a hobby (he's a retired race driver). they are toys designed for a specific purpose and specific roads. for example European sports cars. there are a ton of windy curvy roads so the cars are designed for light weight high handling. BTW i've had the privilege of driving such cars on such roads in ireland. ohh how i loved it. Ireland has the best hilly roads in my opinion. your so luck. :D anyways in american the roads and environment are entirely different.

And back to the bsod, hmm, windows embeded in "critical care equipment" bringing a whole new meaning to "bsod".....

Pierce

yeah such a thing frightens me too. :unsure:

anyways the key is to find a vehicle that fits your particular needs. in my case for example as my daily driver i have a 1986 Ford Bronco. i need the ability to tow my trailer as well as mikes sometimes, seat exactly 4 people, i use the 4X4 often enough to justify the coast of one, enclosed storage in the back for things that i can't have outside in the elements, plus i'm a big guy and i need the room that it provides just the right amount of. i've hand built dual exhaust, shorty headers, (originally carberated since it's the 351W HO motor) added 650 CFM Holley throttle body which i rejeted down to what would've come with a 500CFM Holley, bump the timing just a little bit to let the engine breath a little better because of the altitude up here, shaved ported and polished the heads. people don't realize how much of a difference in gas mileage you can get with simply using better tune-up parts like higher current plugwires, the right oil, the right plugs for that motor and such. and i take proper care of it. heck for most people never check the gear fluid in their rear end and that in it's self will get you better MPG. for a heavy duty 4X4 that weighs more than most american trucks i'm getting 28.6 MPG in town with no towing or heavy load.

i think that if people would do some research that they would be very surprised at what they can still get out of their car.

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A lot of good points here.... ;)

Yep...I'm thinking of down sizing also on my 1/2 ton truck with the way the price of gas is going.

So I'm thinking of this one....you get the small car...but with adequate horsepower... :D

So what do you guys think..... :rolleyes:

i love it. what car is that, it looks like a late 80's mustang. but are you sure that will be fast enough for ya. :D

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Yes, well with a v6 you still looking at roughly 300 hp, a point on hp not being everything true. Such as a mazda rx8 rotary engin, which is a 1.3ltr with 250hp at 159lb of torque....

The only v8 i can think off hand thats in a car, is a mercedies or a bmw. The nissan 350z is the only car i can think thats v6, and everything else after that is 4 cylinders, inline or V. Thinking about it, even seeing a V8 is an event here. And a v6 is one, unless you see a 350z or a hiyunda V6.. and even though i live in the city you would be lucky to even see one.

Typicaly most american cars that try to break into the european market are clasified as "gas guzzelers".

A v8 producing ONLY 200hp is kind of a joke.. okay you need to spend more to get to the likes of Ferrari with a 3.5ltr engin with 400~hp. But i think a v6 or even a v4 is much better suited to a purpose where you only need 200hp. But what about "pulling power" you say.. well diesel is what you need if you want torque, and it comes with happyness that americans are finaly being exposed to diesel.

Yeah, irish roads arent great for cars, being bumpy, uneven and generally dangerous its a no brainer that people are dying on the roads. Heh, i wouldnt like to see the bill of replacing the undercarage of a european supercar every time you bring it in for service.

Oil changes are done in and around every 15,000 to 20,000 miles but it depends on the car. If you have a BMW m3, your talking about a full service every 1,500 miles or so. Something like toyota's VolksWagon's or subarus you could push to 20,000 miles.

Pierce

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wow you are so automotively deprived. the next time you get a chance to come to america you need to take it. in the old days i can name about 2 dozen different car with motor options from 4Cyl to V8s. on just a random average day here you can see everything from straight 4s to old straight 6Cyls to powerstoked V10s. there is a huge assortment of cars here. in fact i just saw a Ford Taurus SHO 32 valve V4 that pumps stock 320HP and 280FT. plus you got to remember that american car manufactures give more motor options than any others in the world. i've had to check before. for example my bronco there were 3 different motors to choose from.

straight 6

302 V8

351 V8

and then there were 2 different version for the straight 6 and 3 different versions of the 351. all of them have totally different power ratings. i'm curious are most European cars like that?

one of the things that we forgot about is that not all the different types of cars are sold overseas.

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yup, super small, super efficient cars

AND not to mention insurance on a 1.2 ltr for me is about $2000/year another reason not to be driving a dodge viper 5ltr v8 with 400hp, insurance costs more than the car!!!! well not quite, but almost. And cars are usualy twice as expensive here take the new v10 bmw m5, thats $180k here, and i think $120k in the states?

Pierce

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yup, super small, super efficient cars

AND not to mention insurance on a 1.2 ltr for me is about $2000/year another reason not to be driving a dodge viper 5ltr v8 with 400hp, insurance costs more than the car!!!! well not quite, but almost. And cars are usualy twice as expensive here take the new v10 bmw m5, thats $180k here, and i think $120k in the states?

Pierce

You stepped into my territory here Peirce B)

The Viper (we'll start with the V-8) run 5.2ltr 475whp with about the same torque depending on the tires 425-450lbs. The insurance on the car is figured many many ways and can't be determined by anyone other than an agent but the cost of a standard V-8 runs about $68000 large ones. Now the V-10 (Srt-10)5.8ltr starts at 505 cubic inch engine with 500hp and 525lbs of torque starting at $80 large ones. The engine gets any where from 10-14 mpg depending on if you can keep the speed above 35mph for most of the time. If you are driving in the city you will get maybe 10-12 and highway, you could push it to 20mpg depending on what octane level above 100 you use.

The M5 has more specifics than the powerhouse viper and probably cost more, but would be more cost effective. Here is the link to the details on the M5 Car and Driver Review

Although you can't really get ride of any muscle car, or change the amount of gas your car wants to guzzle, there are other cost effective ways to get around. LIZ was talking about the transportation over there with buses and trains. Here, you have to have a pretty popular city to, especially, have both, but usually only 1 runs through the cities, or you have to travel to even get to a bus or train. I know in Jacksonville FL we have both, but the trains aren't all that supportive for city travel, the AM-way Trains (magnetic train system, kinda like Disney World's train system) are when you are downtown, but around the outskirts and such, we have few buses that don't drive downtown.

This is also going to be the beginning of something new in mid-large size cities...Check this link out... London's Success in Hydrogen Busses

Also... Hydrogen Fuel

and... Lengthy. About San Fran being the Hydrogen City

The hybrids coming out, although are more computer based engineering, are going to be the wave of the future. You will see more popular vehices such as SUV's like Ford's Escape Hybrid and Honda's Ridgeline are going to have V-6 engines with 230-300hp, and incredible gas mileage. The V-8's will always be gas guzzling small-block (old school big-blocks) bored out and primed just to fit the needs of the power envious driver. You can't be without or atleast no experience driving one.

QUOTE (rv56 @ May 22 2005, 08:02 AM)

A lot of good points here.... 

Yep...I'm thinking of down sizing also on my 1/2 ton truck with the way the price of gas is going.

So I'm thinking of this one....you get the small car...but with adequate horsepower... 

So what do you guys think..... 

i love it. what car is that, it looks like a late 80's mustang. but are you sure that will be fast enough for ya. 

MAC it looks like a Civic Hatch-back maybe 1990-92 with a big-block stroker with a super huge Blower on top of it and possible SuperCharger and large cracks, i bet that car flips over the front end before it rolls down the road...you can almost hear the picture when you click on it....just imagine a really load Harley Davidson next to your ear, burning nothing but alcohol.

**Sry guys, i wasn't trying to knock anyones thoughts, just adding to the insanity or inflation and deprivation** much respect to all and thoughts

Edited by Vile_DR

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The only people in ireland that can tell you how much your going to pay is the insurance company.

The genearal idea of insurance cost equasion is

age x engin size x hp x cost = $$$

so

21 x 5ltr x 475 x 68000 = ...

actually let me fill out an online quote.

and it breaks down, 4.1ltr max engin size, couldnt insure it if its left hand drive, and it basicaly stoped me half way through,

but i would estimate that a dodge viper for me 21, 1 year of insurance, 3rd party (if i wipe out my car i dont get the money back on insurence, if somebody else does i do get the money) would be about $15,000 anually... it would cost more than the car every 5 years...

Pierce

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