Automotive

To winter beater or to not?

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  • Jun 30th, 2016 9:45 pm
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[OP]
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Dec 24, 2009
817 posts
459 upvotes

To winter beater or to not?

Who here has a "winter beater"? Doesn't have to be a crap car but a car you use for winter when you store your other baby. Do you think in the end it was worth it or would you now prefer to drive your nice car year round?
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Aug 10, 2011
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Somewhere
I would do it if I had a two seater, RWD convertible sort of thing.
:confused:
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Dec 23, 2015
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Newmarket, ON
If your nice car is an old classic like a 1970s Corvette or something then definitely get a winter beater. If your nice car is any modern car, chances are it was designed to be driven in the salt daily and not rust. I drive my Acura TL almost every day all winter and the car is 7 years old and has no visible rust at all on it. Just run it through a car wash once in a while.
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Jan 27, 2006
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Woodbridge
My 2008 Nissan Altura Coupe 3.5SE would've been my winter beater but insurance changed all that. :(

I'm not going to buy a POS used car to drive around for 4-5 months. Like I said even if I was driving Nissan GT-R I would drive it all year around. Wrap it with Continental ExtremeWinters DW and you're set!

Unless you have a second decent vehicle I don't get storing it.
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Feb 26, 2004
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bembol wrote: Wrap it with Continental ExtremeWinters DW and you're set!
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Sep 5, 2002
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If your main car is suitable for driving then drive it. But if it's a 95 miata then get something else... But not a junk box... Get something decent.

Or like the other guy said you'd be driving a junker for 5-6 mos of the year...

I know people who have BMW 3 coupe as their only car and it's fine in winter...
Originally Posted by uruha:
I saw a customer returning a book at Costco + telling the employee that the book was good.
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Jan 11, 2004
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Toronto
90% of the rfd community drives a beige corolla as a winter beater.
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Sep 21, 2004
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I've been doing 2 cars for the past 15 years or so. I use to drive 1 car exclusively in the summer and 1 exclusively in the winter. The car not being driven would be stored.

Now I drive the family "beater" year round. Summer car is only for perfect days. If it's going to rain, I don't bother.

The philosophy behind how I drive the garage Queen has changed as the car has gotten older. The car can't be replaced anymore and has significant sentimental value which basically trumps everything else. As a result, it only goes from my house to my house or work where I have a secured parking lot. Car isn't worth a lot monetarily but that's not the point. All the above basically dictates the requirement of a beater that can handle the kids and the dog and shopping cart.

Is it worth the hassle? For me, Yes. The added cost is minimal. The cars are paid off. Insurance on the Queen is seasonal. Maintenance is reduced as they split mileage now. The hardest thing is finding the parking space. I have enough but have to move 1 car to get the other out.
Sr. Member
Nov 3, 2008
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Toronto
I've been doing it for 5 years. Except my winter beater is my 'nice' car. I have a '96 A4 bought new back in the day. Could never find anything worthy of replacing it with, so I kept it until I finally bit on a fiat 500 Convertible that I use in the summer. I have a great mechanic who has been able to keep the Audi going strong with minimal cost, but the biggest problem with using an older car as a beater I find is having it sit around without use. That takes more of a toll on the car than if I drove it all the time. Especially since it isn't stored close by I don't even go by and start it up or try driving it regularly. Hoping to get a couple more winters out of the A4 until the new Tesla's show up.
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Sep 29, 2005
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Pickering
I have a year round "bus" and the summer "beast", with my Wife about to get her G2 I've been thinking about getting a winter beater but space is limited on my driveway, would need to be a small hatch like the Mazda 2.
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Oct 6, 2007
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akito925 wrote: 90% of the rfd community drives a beige corolla as a winter beater.
and their "nice" car.
[OP]
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Dec 24, 2009
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Another benefit see is mileage is halved between two cars. Good for resale to have lower milage especially in a German brand where everyone think 100k is end of life
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Sep 5, 2002
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smacd wrote: and their "nice" car.
? What do you mean... Corolla is their nice car.
Originally Posted by uruha:
I saw a customer returning a book at Costco + telling the employee that the book was good.
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Nov 2, 2013
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Personally my opinion has been that if you're paying that much for something to put a smile on your face, might as well enjoy it as much as you can, rather than watch it sit and depreciate during a portion of the year.

Plus to have an additional vehicle means additional insurance and sometimes parking costs.

For some people I could understand though, as a used german financially stretched them to the bone, so it is their "baby". Though in that scenario I'd question your finances.
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Jul 17, 2008
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winter beaters. What a waste of money and 1st world problem. You better put a scarf around your "summer beauty" during winter so it won't catch a cold.
[OP]
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Dec 24, 2009
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So you guys would let a mint e46 m3 rot in the winter
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Jun 20, 2010
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My summer car is 14yo with clean underbody and not a spot of rust, so yes, I drive a beater in the winter. Beater also helps keep the k down.

Last few years was a WRX which I just sold, new beater is a 08 civic EX-L coupe.
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Jan 15, 2006
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Richmond Hill
My winter beater is my daily driver year round. I store my summer car from November 1st to May 1st.
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Oct 6, 2007
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EP32k2 wrote: My winter beater is my daily driver year round. I store my summer car from November 1st to May 1st.
This is the way to do it, if you truly have something special. Otherwise, drive an average car year round. The savings in depreciation will in no way be more than the cost of acquiring and running the beater.
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Jul 19, 2010
611 posts
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Calgary
I have three winter beaters, 01 Integra, 07 cobalt and a 07 Silverado..

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