• San Luis Obispo,
  • California,
  • United States

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What will 2018 bring

The Economist magazine suggests that, while things can always go bad economically, they are suggested, rather, that 2018 will be a good year.

I am hoping so.

I can contribute to a retirement plan out of earnings and I have been doing that for many years. I put in the maximum I could in 1994 and have put in the maximum ever since. I did so again at the end of 2017 and have one more year I can contribute before I am required to withdraw it over time. So a good economy and a good market will help the plan.

Unemployment is low here and in the U.S. and that is a good thing. Wages (including lower income people) are rising but not so much to overheat the economy.

So long as health is good (we are fortunate on that front). we will keep active and I will continue consulting for at least another year.

So 2018 looks better than 2017.  Let's hope!
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John2017-12-26 05:43 PMID: 2085335
I'm hearing that I should pre-pay my 2018 taxes to avoid the GOP Tax Bill already.

I just did my Company remittance today for 2017 (tax withheld on money the Corporation paid me). But I cannot settle up on personal taxes until next February or March.  Bon chance!
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John2017-12-26 05:44 PMID: 2085336
2017 went reasonably well and I'm hoping for several successes in 2018

Me as well. Signs are for a decent year to come.
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Jim Dettman (EE MVE)2017-12-27 06:02 AMID: 2085614
Been a pretty solid year here as well.

Think 2018 will be solid, although beyond that it might be iffy.  The tax bill here in the US was not a good thing I think....trickle down has never worked in the past, and I have no real expectation it will now.  We'll know in a couple of years.  I really don't know why they messed with it (well I actually do, but that's a whole different conversation), things were humming along well enough and now they really put a dent in the ACA with no replacement on the horizon.  That will hit a lot of people hard in 2019.

Vehicle wise we don't seem to be fortunate as the rest of you.  We get about 130,000 or so and then usually trade them in, which is generally about 10 years for us.  We just bought a new Kia Forte, which is a decent car.   If it holds up like the Spectra did, we'll be happy enough (outside of brakes and tires, we had to replace the EVAP purge valve and we had it just over 10 years).

I also have a 2005 Chevy truck with about 80,000 on it.   That I have to say is a piece of junk.   Mechanically it has been reliable enough, but the electronics were all done in Mexico and I've had nothing but problems.

 I've already repaired the heater control panel, radio lights, and replaced one ignition coil.   As it stands, the front speakers cut in and out, odometer reads "error", none of the trip meters or computer functions work, ABS is kicking on at low speeds, and it always seems like it needs a repair of some type.

 I bought it four years ago with 63K miles on it for $19K, which was a good price (it's 4WD with a crew cab and long bed), but it's been nickel and dime'ng us to death.   I'm guessing we've put another $3K into it since buying it.

 But with new trucks up in the $45K range, it's still worth it to keep fixing it, so I put up with it.   As far as doing what it's supposed to do (we bought it for towing), it does that well.

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John2017-12-27 06:16 AMID: 2085634
Best wishes to you (and everyone else) for a happy and good New Year.
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Kent Olsen2017-12-27 07:13 AMID: 2085669
Hi Jim,

The ABS circuitry is very simple.  There are only a few parts that it can be.

1)  The easiest thing to check is the fuse.  If the light is intermittent, it's not the fuse.
2)  Next is the brake fluid level.  If it's low, the ABS or (ABS and BRAKE) lights come on.
3)  Next is the wheel speed sensors.  If the truck has 4-wheel ABS there will be a sensor on each wheel.  If it's rear ABS the sensor will be on top of the rear differential.  The testing is slightly different, but a multi-meter is all you need.
4)  The last part is the ABS control box.  It's a pain in the ass to get to on my Fords (it's under the dash, above the radio).  Don't know where Chebby hides it.  If none of the previous tests show a failure, it's the control box.

You can save yourself some money and test the entire system in about 20 minutes.
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Jim Dettman (EE MVE)2017-12-27 07:26 AMID: 2085678
<<The ABS circuitry is very simple.  There are only a few parts that it can be.>>

 Thanks for the info.  System is working well overall and no error codes or check engine, so it seems like a wheel.  It only happens at very low speed (5 mph or less)

  Guessing it's either a wheel bearing or more likely the sensor, which GM had a recall on.  Apparently crud builds up on the sensor face, and it looses track of the wheel when the signal gets low, so it thinks the wheel is not turning.  They've also had a problem with the cap on the sensor falling off (which again would be an electrical component failing).   Again, anything that came out of Mexico seems to be cheap.   Dishwasher has failed a number of time as well, all electrical, and all from Mexico.   Quality is just not there.   Most of what the truck has suffered from has been cold solder joints or low grade components.

 As for the ABS,  I haven't had the wheels off yet....right now it's 0 outside, and I'm in :)

 No big hurry either as we don't drive it much in the winter.   Mainly use it for towing int he summer.