From: Mark A on
"SMS" <scharf.steven(a)> wrote in message
> It's amazing that in 13 years both Toyota's MSRP and street prices have
> gone up by so little, even though the standard equipment level is now much
> higher.
> I remember what we paid for the 1996 Camry, as well as the MSRP.
> The MSRP has gone up by $1366 (with the same options we purchased at the
> time), but ABS is now standard equipment, RKE is now standard equipment,
> TPMS is standard equipment, engine immobilizer is standard equipment,
> there are a lot more airbags, and it's a larger vehicle with a more
> powerful engine. Part of the increase is due to the higher destination
> charge, the actual base MSRP price increase was only $697.
> The street price has gone up by slightly over $1000, based on equivalent
> rebate programs at the time we purchased (and this is not based on
> haggling, it's based on an "All in Stock at This Price" advertised price.
> If you factor in what the 2009 model standard equipment cost as options on
> the 1996 model, the prices have actually come down.

Yes, I noticed that. I think I paid more than 25K for my 1998 Camry V6 XLE
(no moon roof, no leather). When you consider inflation, the price has come
down quite a bit.

From: SMS on
Retired VIP wrote:

> You are sold on synthetic oils. That's fine and I have no problems
> with you buying them and using them. Just don't try to tell me that
> my life experiences with cars and conventional oils are invalid
> because they don't back up your prejudices. If it wasn't for you and
> folks like you, the manufactures of synthetic oils would have a very
> limited market, mostly tropical and arctic climates.
> Oh, by the way. I do use synthetic oil in my snow blower.

That is in fact the problem that the synthetic motor oil manufacturers
originally faced. Their products were used in cold climates, in
non-automotive applications (snow-mobiles, snow blowers, ORVs, etc.) and
in some high performance engines, but not in normal, mass market
passenger cars. They created marketing campaigns to convince naive car
owners that oil with a synthetic base stock was better for their
vehicles than oil with a petroleum base stock. The problem they faced
was that there is absolutely no data that shows any benefit, either in
fuel economy or engine protection. Fortunately, lack of data is often
not an issue in convincing someone to spend more money for no benefit.
From: Hachiroku ハチロク on
On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 10:47:30 -0400, Mark A wrote:

>> I have a cabinet that looks like a car stereo stock room. Original head
>> units for my Celica, Supra and Scion, a couple Sonys, a couple JVCs, an
>> Eclipse, a couple of graphic EQs and a half dozen amps. Just trying to
>> decide where to put them!
> As I recall, the top of the line BA's that I got were on-sale and they cost
> $750 installed.
> Back in 1998 Blaupunkt was not bad. They were typically used as OEM for BMW,
> VW and other German cars. The main reason I went with Blaupunkt was that the
> faceplate was a flat black without any fancy displays, and it looks OEM to
> most people (makes it less prone to theft).

I've had a couple of 'BlueDots' in a couple cars, starting with a 1979
unit in an '80 Corolla. Great radios, and decenct sounding cassette unit.
My next one cam in a 1985 Jetta (new) and the stereo was almost as bad as
the car. I was pretty disappointed.

Of course, I've also had a couple of Alpines break down, too, without any
harsh treatment. I've had a couple of Kenwoods and they are great. The
most whiz-bang unit I ever had was a Fujitsu-Ten "Dashboard Wizard" that
would turn on a tape at a specified time, or could be programmed to change
to the radio and tune 88.5 just in time to hear "All Things Considered".
It had no internal amp and needed an amplifier added, and like all F-Ts
had a great sounding cassette section and a mediocre radio.

Surprisingly, some of the best radios (and I mean JUST radios) I ever had
were the stock Clarion units in new Toyotas. They could pick up stations
from East Cupcake loud and clear.

From: Hachiroku ハチロク on
On Sat, 19 Jul 2008 10:41:04 -0400, Mark A wrote:

> "SMS" <scharf.steven(a)> wrote in message
> news:Kymgk.15790$uE5.8332(a)
>> Can you still buy Japanese Camrys in the U.S.? When we got our 1996, the
>> west coast had mainly Japanese-made models, and the East Coast had mainly
>> U.S.-built models. They were slightly different, as sometimes when I buy
>> parts they need to know where it was built.
>> It's rather ironic that more and more "foreign" cars are made in the U.S.,
>> while more and more "American" cars are not built in the U.S..
> I don't blame the American workers for the difference between US cars and
> Japanese cars. There is very little (if any) difference in quality between a
> Japanese made Camry and one built in the US.

Yup. The designers and engineers are under considerable pressure to cut
costs and maximize profit. However, this is true with ANY auto
manufacturer! What I think is happening is that Toyota, Nissan Mazda et al
have such a great handle on their assembly methods that they are able to
spend a little more on parts instead of getting the cheapest they can.

Also bear in mind that the auto unions in Japan are run by the companies!
So with the union run by the company, they can cotrol labor costs,
something the US manufacturers have little control over.

> The problem seems to be with the American car company designers and
> engineers, not the people who assemble them. I really don't blame the
> engineers either, since they are placed under very tight budget constraints.
> American cars (for the most part) have gotten themselves into a quandary in
> that they typically need to sell for a few thousand dollars less than a
> Honda and Toyota, and the customer base of American cars tends to be people
> with less income than buyers of cars from Japanese manufacturers. So the
> quality of the American cars seems to be always a little less, which is a
> difficult cycle to break since they are told to make them to sell less than
> Japanese cars. Coupled with the very high pension and health care costs they
> have to pay retired union workers, and the American companies are not able
> to effectively compete head-on with Japanese cars in most cases.

From: aarcuda69062 on
In article <7gu384l7kcvmicpal15hdrkeqbiqed8j4u(a)>,
Retired VIP <jackj.extradots.180(a)> wrote:

> If it wasn't for you and
> folks like you, the manufactures of synthetic oils would have a very
> limited market, mostly tropical and arctic climates.

Can you describe what the oil temperature difference at the valve stems
and piston ring lands would be in an engine running in tropical versus
moderate versus arctic climates would be?

Can you describe what the differences in oil shear at the lifter to
camshaft interface and rocker arm tip to valve stem tip interface would
be in an engine running in tropical versus moderate versus arctic
climates would be?

> Oh, by the way. I do use synthetic oil in my snow blower.