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Carl Heideman
Carl Heideman
4/22/22 4:25 p.m.

Like most of the hive, I have too many hobby cars and here is the trap: One has an issue, so you go to the next one, because that's faster than fixing the issue.  Then, that one has an issue, so you go to the next one.  Soon, they all have issues but now you're overwhelmed. For me, sometimes the "issue" was that they were just low on fuel.  And I'd spend the whole night going back and forth the the gas station until my credit card got flagged for fraud. I changed my mindset and said I'd fix issues before moving to the next car.  That solved my problem. So it's not about the number, its about your system.

But I also have a fairly new, reliable, daily driver that I trust someone else to fix for me even though I can fix it myself. I use my time not fixing that car to keep the others in good order.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/22/22 4:27 p.m.

Three for two drivers.

Though the V60 is in for service for a few days warranty work (which I'll cover in a new thread).  If they hadn't given me a loaner we'd be without a net, at least if it rains.  I won't drive the Manic Miata in real rain because tires and because 20-year-old top.

 

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
4/22/22 4:41 p.m.

n+1, where is how many you currently own.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
4/22/22 4:43 p.m.
Slippery said:

n+1, where is how many you currently own.

Or n-1 if you are married. Where n is the number of cars that will lead to divorce.

Opti
Opti Dork
4/22/22 4:49 p.m.

Only one if you buy a GM. 

I kid I kid. I did one for a long time when I was in college and it always worked out, but there were nights when I was putting a water pump or opti on at midnight to make it to a 7 am class or shift, and I did it in what is generally considered a pretty unreliable car.

When I started making a little money I was done with that, and have a rule that I will always have an extra drivable car. Wife has a Volt that chevy doesnt like working on so its always long wait times and I can put her in the truck and drive my camaro. When the camaro drops a lifter I can drive my truck.

I generally have extras though as soon as I thin the herd back to 3, I pick up another one. The firebird has only been out of the driveway for 3 or 4 weeks and Im working on picking up a basket case ranger for real cheap to try and save.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
4/22/22 4:55 p.m.

Right now my wife has the CX9 I get through work. I have an Element, older Ranger and Civic (not running). About to get a Mazda3 through work and the Ranger will get sold after the garage is done. Really keeping the Element in case something happens with my job since that would mean both our daily drivers are tied to work.

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/22/22 4:57 p.m.

In reply to Tk8398 :

One.  Just one reliable enough for me to be confident in it.  My last was a 1997 that never once left me stranded.  After 20 years.  I replaced it with another new truck. It's now going on 6 years old and still hasn't caused a single problem. 

rickjames
rickjames New Reader
4/22/22 5:18 p.m.

I work in IT where we have a backup concept known as RAID.  Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID  The theory being that having more cheaper disks works out better and cheaper than a few expensive disks. 

I use this analogy at work when co-workers ask "How many cars do you have??".  I have a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Cars.

That said, I think the answer to this question is {N project cars + 1 Honda}

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/22/22 9:23 p.m.

I buy my DD new, and dont mess with it much, so i always know i have a reliable car for work.

I typically have a few projext cars, but never as commuters 

yupididit
yupididit PowerDork
4/22/22 9:51 p.m.
AAZCD-Jon (Forum Supporter) said:

If you keep buying the same model as your back-up car, chances are that you can always get one running.

Not actually sure how many I have registered/insured at the moment.

Let me get one lol

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/22/22 9:58 p.m.
Carl Heideman said:

Like most of the hive, I have too many hobby cars and here is the trap: One has an issue, so you go to the next one, because that's faster than fixing the issue.  Then, that one has an issue, so you go to the next one.  Soon, they all have issues but now you're overwhelmed. For me, sometimes the "issue" was that they were just low on fuel.  And I'd spend the whole night going back and forth the the gas station until my credit card got flagged for fraud. I changed my mindset and said I'd fix issues before moving to the next car.  That solved my problem. So it's not about the number, its about your system.

But I also have a fairly new, reliable, daily driver that I trust someone else to fix for me even though I can fix it myself. I use my time not fixing that car to keep the others in good order.

 

Racingsnake
Racingsnake Reader
4/22/22 10:40 p.m.
dxman92
dxman92 Dork
4/23/22 1:50 a.m.

One for me. I drive a stick shift appliance and tinker with my bicycle to fill that urge. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
4/23/22 9:42 a.m.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
4/23/22 10:28 a.m.
rickjames said:

I work in IT where we have a backup concept known as RAID.  Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID  The theory being that having more cheaper disks works out better and cheaper than a few expensive disks. 

I use this analogy at work when co-workers ask "How many cars do you have??".  I have a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Cars.

That said, I think the answer to this question is {N project cars + 1 Honda}

But the idea behind RAID is that you still have to swap out hard drives on a regular basis, you just don't risk losing data or uptime compared to having all your bits in one bucket.

The theory fails when you are 40 miles outside the range of roadside assistance and your fuel pump calls timeout.  Uptime is now zero.  You have two or three cars at home but that isn't going to help you get home.

 

I am swapping a transmission and fuel pump in my oldest (registered) car because I don't feel like swapping the winter tires off of my newest.  It also has developed an appetite for $35/liter power steering fluid and the rack is a $1200 part in a very inconvenient place...

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
4/23/22 11:00 a.m.

This is why my dailies tend to be new(er) cars.  My current daily is a '18 Land Cruiser with 24k miles on it.  I don't expect to have to do anything but tires, oil changes and brakes on it for at least 100k miles.  I buy my wife new(er) cars that are under warranty for the same reason.  My main project car is my 996 but honestly now that I've gotten it set up, it really just needs normal, regular maintenance.  The corrado has the possibility of being a continual project car just due to the fact that it's a 30 year old VW, but it's been totally mechanically rebuilt and I've put about 1000 miles on it sorting it out...

In the winter I only have 1 daily, the Cruiser.  During the summer I suppose I really have 2.5, the Cruiser, the 911 and my KTM.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
4/23/22 11:18 a.m.

2. In my case, one daily and one tow vehicle for all the bike stuff I do, but it could even be one reliable daily and one cheap rusty beater. In the past, I've also been okay with one car and one bike as a backup but there are too many times where a bike wouldn't cut it now that my life is more complicated.

I don't care how good the maintenance I do is, there always seems to be something that goes wrong where having a backup takes the stress out. Maybe you break a bolt, realize you have to order another tool mid-project, find something unexpectedly worn out, etc - it is nice knowing I can always wait a week to finish it if I have to. The backup doesn't have to be able to go on a road trip, just get me around town and to work and back.

for a while I would have said you only need one if it is new enough, but lately my friends with one new car even seem to have problems. failing turbos, electrical glitches, aftertreatment problems, a rear axle that ate itself, a wiped cam lobe, etc. Granted, most of them got dealer loaners as the cars were under warranty, but I currently have two friends renting cars longish term until theirs are fixed. Pretty expensive for even a cheap rental for a month.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/23/22 11:56 a.m.

Depends on the situation.

Right now I have 1.5.  I have a reliable daily and a motorcycle as a backup.  Looking for another backup vehicle (XJR in specific)

When I lived in L.A. and I was surrounded by cheap survivors, I had 9 plus two motorcycles.  They were like outfits that I wore based on where I was going.  Headed out for an evening of dinner and drinks?  Take the E30 cabrio.  Headed to a job interview at Hollywood Hot Rods?  Take the 62 Caddy.  Off for a an overnight in the canyons?  Take the 73 Impala Wagon.

I had more cars than I did pairs of shoes.

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UberDork
4/23/22 1:39 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

1 2013 Mazda 2. 180000 miles. All mine.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
4/23/22 2:37 p.m.

For the two of us it was three. Van had an electrical gremlin and a random pothole took out a control arm bushing in my Jetta bad enough to have to fix immediately. Glad I had the truck for a few days to shuttle the kids around. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/23/22 3:19 p.m.

To be fair. My wife has her Honda. I have a MGTD  as potential back up. Plus the Jaguar which is a project car.   
 So while I only have used the one.  There is plenty of mobility. 

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/23/22 8:24 p.m.

We have two drivers (soon to be three), and we've been making due with 3 cars. My wife typically gets the newest/lowest mileage one (her '16 Pilot which is closing in on 100k), and I work with the two high mileage ones ('06 Rav4 w/216k and our '17 Odyssey with 209k).  Prior to the Odyssey, it was my '01 Mustang GT which had 307k.

With two of my drivers over 200k, it's a smart move to have a backup.  Right now the Rav4 is in the middle of a rear subframe replacement (with a healthy dose of "while I'm in there" tasks), and right on cue one of the power sliding doors on the Odyssey snapped a cable, and it needs some new front brakes, as well.  Once I finish those two jobs, my wife's Pilot will be up for the timing belt/water pump/etc. job.  So hoping I can keep playing whack-a-mole to keep the fleet afloat!

rallyxPOS13
rallyxPOS13 Reader
4/23/22 8:29 p.m.

For Beater Theory, the number is 4.

I've found with three cars and two drivers, I've often found that one of the POS's is on jackstands for something major, and a parts shipping delay, or broken bolt lays up another car for more than a weekend, and you need that 4th car (typically a tow rig) to get to/from work.

See also: Never own 12 jackstands.

Tk8398
Tk8398 HalfDork
4/24/22 12:32 a.m.

That's what always happens to me, I have to plan for 2+ weeks to get parts, and like for example now I am waiting for a thread chaser to try one last time to get the engine mount bolts back in my Boxster but the only one I can find that would work is backordered for 5-6 weeks, then if that doesn't work I need to either try to talk someone into coming to my house to help me do it or part it out even though there's nothing really wrong with it, but because of that (and not having another car), my Subaru needs the transmission swapped (again) because all the used transmissions I can find have bad second gear syncros, and while the engine is out to do that there are some new oil leaks to fix, and the AC leaks so I need to change the seals and have it charged, and I can't do any of that until I buy another car and do enough work to that to drive it while I fix the Subaru.  Or, I could order a new car and wait 2+ years and hope I don't get scammed by the dealer.

I'm not sure if having 1-2 more old cars would make this issue better or worse though lol.

Dirtydog (Forum Supporter)
Dirtydog (Forum Supporter) Dork
4/24/22 10:03 a.m.

In general, I would say 2 vehicles.   One for utility, and one for daily/comfort.  In my case, I have 4, two utility, two for comfort.  Sometimes you don't feel like hopping in an SUV, that's what my XJ8 is for.

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