Bringing a southern car to a northern climate

SolarAndWood Posted By SolarAndWood, Feb 23, 2013 at 10:33 AM

  1. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    We just bought an older low mileage car from southern Florida. It arrived yesterday and it was pretty stunning to see a 12 year old car in far better condition than the local 1 to 2 year old stock with similar miles we have been looking at. So, other than it not having seat heaters in it, is there anything else I need to think about? It is undercoated, not quite like a new one here, but is protected.
     

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  2. bubbasdad

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    I would change the anti freeze or at least test it. And look at a new battery. Those items don't get much of a workout in S Florida.
     
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  3. jharkin

    jharkin
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    Agree with Bubba. Plus you'll probably want better tires for winter.

    And I always changes all the fluids and filters on a used car as a matter of course so you know where you are starting maintenance wise.
     
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    The Suburban is sticking around for snotty weather, firewood, compost and camp duty so the all seasons should be fine. I'm checking the antifreeze today as that is definitely still an issue here. I also have read that they sometimes put different thermostats in southern cars?
     
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    That car, being a volvo, is good to go. You're not dealing with a kia. The stat, the antifreeze, will be fine and it probably even has an OEM block heater. Maintenance will be typical for any used car purchase. Just hope that the automatic transmission holds up, that's the weakness on modern vehicles.
     
  6. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
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    The antifreeze is probably NOT fine. In southern and southwest, they often do not use the same coolant to water mix ratio ans they use in the colder climates.
    A person I know drove out from Cali to the east and when they hit the central US, guess what froze up and cracked the radiator tank?
    Sucks to need a radiator when on the road. Also try and check what oil they have used in it. Synthetic vs. standard, grade etc. Oil grade used can also be different in different climates.
    Better to be safe with minor maintenance and fluid checks & changes, then have a hefty tab to pay for just assuming.
    Nice looking ride!
     
  7. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck
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    Dump all the fluids. Change filters & screens. Get the unit to a point where you (know) what you are starting with. From then on standard maintenance as per mileage. Cheap compared to shop rates for repairs/breakdowns.
     
  8. nate379

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    50/50 mix is pretty much normal. Antifreeze is also anti boil....
     
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  9. granpajohn

    granpajohn
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    and anti-corrosive.
    Volvo (or any other Euro car) would not let it out with anything less.
     
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    Thanks Hogz, my wife looks pretty good driving it too;) Its always a crapshoot buying sight unseen but I was pretty pleased when it came off the truck. Almost felt bad exposing it to road salt for the first time.
     
  11. begreen

    begreen
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    Pay close attention to the tires. The heat and very hot pavement in FL accelerates aging. Look for any cracking or drying out of the rubber. Also, as you go north the tire pressure will change dramatically. Add air when you it cold weather.
     
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    Tires were definitely low when it came off the truck. But, they are new as part of the deal so in good shape there.
     
  13. MasterMech

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    +1 on testing the anti-freeze. Who knows when it was changed last and it will lose it's anti-corrosive properties over time.

    Same reason I recommend a transmission fluid flush/service too. Unless you can prove it has been done on schedule.

    Have a look at the usual, brakes, steering, suspension components etc. But outside of that, sounds like it's good to go already!
     
  14. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    All the hoses, belts, coolant etc look freshly done with OEM parts. It was a single owner and probably just had its 30K service done at the dealer.
     
  15. MasterMech

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    I would still double check the coolant since even old coolant can look good. Hydrometer type testers are available for cheap. Usually $10 or less.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    thanks MM, will do.
     
  17. flyingcow

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    i agree with this. Among the usual service items i do, I change the tranny oil/filter every 30,000 miles. It's very often an over looked maintenance item. Not an expenvie $$$$'s in the long run. A "new" rebuilt tranny is pricey.
     
  18. flyingcow

    flyingcow
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    I also bought an southern vehicle. 2006 gm pickup. It is amazing when loooking underneath. I usally will buy used, and if i do again it will be a southern one. Cost me $500 to fly down and drive back to Maine.
    faltbed.jpg


    Just the pickup, had the tractor.
     
  19. JustWood

    JustWood
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    I'd get some oil in the doors. I bought a car from Florida a bunch of years back and within 2 winters of driving up here the bottoms of the doors were rotted right out. The rest of the body was good.Talked to a body shop guy and he said cars in the coastal regions get sea salt settled in the doors . Get them up here and our 6 months of road salt aggravates the situation. Cost and effort very little for some peace of mind.
    I've been buying pickups and class 8 trucks down south for about 15 years. You absolutely can't beat the value. And a mini vacation in the winter flying down there to pick them up.
    Solar, if ya don't mind me asking . What did it cost to get shipped up here?
     
  20. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Where do you go looking for the vehicles?

    Matt
     
  21. JustWood

    JustWood
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    Google search for car dealers in a specific area.
    Subscribe to a Sunday edition of a paper in a major southern city.
     
  22. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    It was less than $500 shipped from Miami to my door. I was in Florida for a trade show but by the time I got from Orlando to Miami and then put 1400 miles on the car, that $488 was looking like a good option.

    Matt, unless you have a lot of experience buying used cars, I would watch EBay for a while. It took me a while to figure out what constituted a bargain as I haven't bought a car in 5 years. I was originally looking at only hybrids and tdis, but I got a lot more car and have $10K to spend on gas still in my pocket.
     
  23. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood
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    The difference is stunning. You really see it under the hood. 2 year old cars don't look this good here let alone 12 year old cars.
     

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  24. Locust Post

    Locust Post
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  25. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    The wonky 5 cylinder. Timing belt is important. It will be the tranny that kills you if the body and the timing belt holds up.
     

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