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Old January 4th, 2017, 10:42 PM   #35281
ChrisZwolle
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A Kia Picanto in the Netherlands is € 3,600 more expensive than the exact same car with a manual gearbox.

The weight difference is indeed small: 20 kg more for automatic transmission. But CO2 emissions of the automatic version is 125 g/km, while the manual version has 100 g/km. The CO2 tax explains € 1600 of the € 3600 price difference.
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Old January 4th, 2017, 11:05 PM   #35282
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Does the Bothnia sea ever freeze enough to allow snowmobiles driving over ice between Umea and Vaasa? (theoretically if not for ice breakers)
Yes and no.

Yes, it freezes, almost every winter.

No, it is typically almost impossible to cross. Even if ice looks nice and even from distance, it is not. The narrow part of the Gulf of Bothnia is quite shallow and it is like a double-ended funnel. Enormous horizontal forces cause the ice to break into big slabs, and those slabs form pack ice, i.e. mountains and walls of even 10-20 meters high,and barely passable. Yes, and there are those ice breakers. There are number of harbors on both sides of the gulf to be kept open all year long (for qualified vessels only).

(Because of shallow sea, the N-S sea fairway for vessels of max depth 16.2 meters is only about 1.5 kilometers wide at the narrowest point. The shallow sea increases the probability of pack ice to form.)
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Old January 4th, 2017, 11:44 PM   #35283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
A Kia Picanto in the Netherlands is € 3,600 more expensive than the exact same car with a manual gearbox.

The weight difference is indeed small: 20 kg more for automatic transmission. But CO2 emissions of the automatic version is 125 g/km, while the manual version has 100 g/km. The CO2 tax explains € 1600 of the € 3600 price difference.
That gearbox most probably is a past-times torque converter, and therefore barely eligible as the baseline for discussing modern options.

The rule of thumb: whatever you have learned about automatic transmission more than 10 years ago, forget it.

The automatic transmission (including the "robot" boxes) have gained a lot of new market share in Finland. 10 years ago, about 25% of the new cars were sold with an automatic gearbox while currently the share is more than 50%. The usual price difference is some 1000-2000 euro at the low and mid-range cars. Quite often there are marketing campaigns to sell automatic box models at zero additional price.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 12:05 AM   #35284
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Couple years ago I read some 'horror stories' about Austrian customs issuing huge fines for Austrian citizens that had bought Swiss cars and not transferred them, or taken too long to do so. I'm not sure how large is the CH-F/D/I/A used market though. Diesel is more expensive then gas in CH and considerably cheaper than gas on surrounding countries.

Speaking of cross-border car ownership, the Dutch customs did a "stakeout" in one of the parking lots of a major employer here in my city. I live 15km from the Belgian border, many professionals live just across the border (lower taxes, easy to build your own custom-designed house with 80% less restriction than in Netherlands etc), but some do not live there, but drive Belgian-plated cars. That is technically illegal if done for more than 14 consecutive days (a Dutch resident driving an own car registered in other country). It is rumored they were fining some people trying to cheat the system (if you actually live in Belgium, you can drive BE car as must as wanted in NL).
In Italy some people register illegally their cars in foreign countries to save money on taxes and insurance.
For example, in Bulgaria, the average insurance is around ten times cheaper than in Italy and there is no car tax. With the help of some shady businesses is possible to get the car registered in Bulgaria without actually ever have been there. A similar scheme also applies to Romanian plates. Of course this practice is plain illegal and is prosecuted if discovered.
Moreover, foreign-registered cars allow to avoid many traffic fines, especially those issued by automatic machines (fines for speeding and for entering in limited traffic zones in cities).
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 12:08 AM   #35285
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Yes and no.

Yes, it freezes, almost every winter.

No, it is typically almost impossible to cross. Even if ice looks nice and even from distance, it is not. The narrow part of the Gulf of Bothnia is quite shallow and it is like a double-ended funnel. Enormous horizontal forces cause the ice to break into big slabs, and those slabs form pack ice, i.e. mountains and walls of even 10-20 meters high,and barely passable. Yes, and there are those ice breakers. There are number of harbors on both sides of the gulf to be kept open all year long (for qualified vessels only).

(Because of shallow sea, the N-S sea fairway for vessels of max depth 16.2 meters is only about 1.5 kilometers wide at the narrowest point. The shallow sea increases the probability of pack ice to form.)
Do ferry lines like Stockholm-Helsinki, Stockholm-Turku, Helsinki-Tallin or Umea-Vaasa use ice-break ships? Aren't they very expensive?
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 12:36 AM   #35286
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Do ferry lines like Stockholm-Helsinki, Stockholm-Turku, Helsinki-Tallin or Umea-Vaasa use ice-break ships? Aren't they very expensive?
No, the ferries are ice-breakers themselves. (The exception is the Umeå-Vaasa route, as the ferries are smaller. Using ice-breakers is exceptional there, too.)

The axle power of the strongest icebreaker Urho is 16,200 kW. The biggest ferries m/s Silja Serenade and m/s Silja Symphony are about twice more powerful than Urho: 32,500 kW. Separate engines are used to make electricity: 3100 kVA on Urho and 14,000 kVA on the ferries.

January and early February are low-season and prices are low. The lowest list price for a day cruise Helsinki-Tallinn is 14 euro per per person. On a Helsinki-Stockholm route, Viking Line's lowest list price is 59 euro one way for a cabin of max persons. The respective rate is 25 euro on the Turku-Stockholm route. The price increases at the higher cabin categories.

The ferries do not collect their income from the tickets but from restaurant, shops and cargo.

Last edited by MattiG; January 5th, 2017 at 08:42 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:41 AM   #35287
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If I'm buying a used car I most definitely prefer ones that were bought as new from Estonia. Sure, the roads here are worse than in Western Europe so the suspension components might've been under a bit more stress but at least I can research the car's history: all insurance cases connected to the car, service history (if done at the dealership), odometer readings at technical inspections.

This is where the US beats the EU by a country mile. There you can easily check any car's odometer history and whether the vehicle has been written off. In Europe it's easy to buy a car with 500,000 km from the Netherlands and sell it in Estonia with 180,000km on the clock (happened to a friend of mine. He found out the real odometer reading later on when e-mailing the original dealership in the Netherlands).

It's easy to buy a car that has been written off completely in an accident in Estonia, fix it up in Lithuania and sell it back to Estonia like nothing had ever happened to it (happens a lot).

Until an EU-wide database with odometer readings, insurance claims, service history etc is implemented, buying a used car that's been imported from a foreign country (which is the majority in many EE countries) will always remain a huge gamble. However, many EU countries would probably be very reluctant to implement such a system, e.g. Germany where selling used cars to EE is a huge business.

Do you need an EU-wide system for this? The USA does it pretty much by private interests completely - the individual states make records, and private companies just search all of them for you to make those reports. It would seem easy to make the same system searching German and Eesti databases (and the other EU states...)

But sometimes you end up with "odometer fraud warning" when someone wrote the mileage as 162 000 km instead of 126 000 km and then next record ends up being 140...

One curious point about US is many states consider anything beyond 100 000 miles (160k km) as "exempt" i.e. odometer has no legal value. I imagine it dates back to when American cars had only 5 digit odometers and would roll over at 99 999.9, which lasted until the 1980's...
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:43 AM   #35288
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USA [...] km
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Old January 5th, 2017, 01:53 AM   #35289
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
Do you need an EU-wide system for this? The USA does it pretty much by private interests completely - the individual states make records, and private companies just search all of them for you to make those reports. It would seem easy to make the same system searching German and Eesti databases (and the other EU states...)

But sometimes you end up with "odometer fraud warning" when someone wrote the mileage as 162 000 km instead of 126 000 km and then next record ends up being 140...

One curious point about US is many states consider anything beyond 100 000 miles (160k km) as "exempt" i.e. odometer has no legal value. I imagine it dates back to when American cars had only 5 digit odometers and would roll over at 99 999.9, which lasted until the 1980's...
My family had a Ford Escort from 1996 (I think) that had a 5-digit odometer. When we scrapped it 11 years later it had 'only' 60,000km... but were 260,000km in reality.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 5th, 2017, 02:02 AM   #35290
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My grandfather had VW Jetta from 1995. These ones had electronic odometer, 888 888 on LCD display.
But they count only to 299 999 and then to zero for no obvious reason
VW diesel engine exploded very shortly thereafter so perhaps it is by design
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Old January 5th, 2017, 08:36 AM   #35291
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Older BMW stopped their couting at exactly 299'960 km (I guess the same goes for miles, since it's such an odd number)
However these electronic counters are halfway secure in their couting mechanism. The sensor seldomly fails and as long as no shady person has manipulated them, their counting is trustworthy.

In earlier days, if the speedometer cable was defect (e.g. one gear was eaten), you wouldn't have noticed this immediately. You just thought that the tolerance seemed somewhat high (more than the usual 2km/h). But the major side effect was, that the km/milage counter didn't work properly, too.

Eitherway shady people have always been modifying counters, so that's the last thing to trust. More important is to check general maintenance and if the used car was in any kind of accicdent (although fender-benders aren't that bad, they will decrease the value depending on the repair quality) That said I would never buy a car imported from the USA, since almost all of them where totaled write-offs which have been repaired in a shed in e.g. a baltic country.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 12:54 AM   #35292
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The Scandinavian deep freeze. Down to -42 °C in Kautokeino, Norway.
Now: Outside -20, inside +22.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 11:20 PM   #35293
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I've just discovered some old sparklers at home... from Yugoslavia. They still work, but they almost explode when I light them.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 11:50 PM   #35294
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I've just discovered some old sparklers at home... from Yugoslavia. They still work, but they almost explode when I light them.
That's the exact reason why now all fireworks are required to have an expiration date. When they're old, they become unsafe.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 12:10 AM   #35295
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Quote:
The devices burn at a high temperature (as hot as 1000°C to 1600°C, or 1800°F to 3000°F)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkler#Safety_issues


:O
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Old January 7th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #35296
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Not a lot more than a flame from a burning candle (600 - 1400°C):
http://www.derose.net/steve/resource...flametemp.html
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Old January 7th, 2017, 05:55 PM   #35297
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I thought it was 200°C or so.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 07:07 PM   #35298
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Not a lot more than a flame from a burning candle (600 - 1400°C):
http://www.derose.net/steve/resource...flametemp.html
Still, the impact is not about the temperature only. Basically, the potential energy is the absolute temperature times the mass. The impact depends on how quickly this stored energy can be released. A candle of 20 grams and a firework rocket of 200 grams have quite different characteristics. :-)
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Old January 7th, 2017, 07:48 PM   #35299
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These days we're having very low temperatures around Italy, especially in the North-East, well below the seasonal average. This morning there were -9°C in Cervignano del Friuli (little above sea level) and -17°C in Tarvisio (elevation around 700m).
The last time I remember so much cold in NE Italy was in December 2009.
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“The transponder’s personalised signal would be picked up when the car passed through an intersection, and then relayed to a central computer which would calculate the charge according to the intersection and the time of day and add it to the car’s bill” - Nobel Economics Prize winner William Vickrey, proposing a system of electronic tolling for the Washington metropolitan area, 1959
In real life, electronic toll collection was first introduced in Bergen, Norway in 1986, and well into the 21th century many countries still struggle to implement it.
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Old January 7th, 2017, 08:01 PM   #35300
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Much of Europe has been getting winter weather this week, though the brutal cold has shifted east, particularly in Scandinavia.

Look at Lithuania, -1 at the coast and -24 near the Belarus border. A huge difference for such a small country with no mountains or Gulf Stream.

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