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Re: Buying an '89 200tq


Yep. My car is the 1988 version of the one you are looking at. I try
to keep it reasonably close to new condition (_all_ the window
switches work, etc., etc.) and spend an average of at least $100
per month on maintenance, year in and year out and I do a fair
amount of work myself. ($100 will replace about one window switch
if you don't do it yourself.) We won't even talk about the money
you can throw at the car if you start trying to make it go still faster.

My remarks were heavy handed because I wanted to get your attention.
You need to have no illusions about this car. It will cost plenty of money
to keep in top shape unless you are really good with a wrench. On the
other hand, it can be a pretty good beater car if you don't plan on a long
term relationship with the car and don't mind watching it slowly crumble
around you, don't mind those long seconds of cranking the engine
wondering whether it will start, and so on. As a commuter car, it is a
very safe car and shouldn't leave you by the side of the road very often.

The body will never rust out unless it has had collision damage. Also,
the core mechanicals are very strong and reliable. Unfortunately, the
ancillary stuff is complex and unreliable.  It has a very high pressure
hydraulic system for steering and brake assist which requires periodic
repair (pump, hoses, accumulator), a very complex fuel injection system
(Bosch CIS) which is difficult to keep in perfect tune, a very complex
A/C control system and lots of bells and whistles that break. The electric
window lifts and sun roof are often problematic and the electrical and
cooling systems are not exactly bullet proof. The biggest mistake a man
can make is to have this car be his wife's car. She will soon feel very
insecure about depending on the car or you.

Whether the car is right for you depends entirely on where you are
coming from. If you want a simple, low hassle, dependable commuter,
the type 44 is not a good choice. If you want a more interactive
relationship with your car, maybe even some excitement - mostly
good - that's a different matter. If you can imagine your chest bursting
with pride when the engine kicks over in less than a second hot or cold,
if you can fathom thinking about what you are going to replace next
_before_ it breaks, then maybe this car is for you. Plus, with a little
work, it kicks ass.

Best wishes whatever you decide.

DeWitt Harrison
Boulder, CO
88 5kcstq

At 08:57 PM 10/28/98 EST, you wrote:
>Thank you for your brutally honest information on the 200tq.  I must admit it
>did take me a bit by surprise!  I really have had very little problems with
>the 85 4k, so I was surprised to hear of all the potential problems and the
>upkeep necessary to keep the 200tq in shape.
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