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Worst car you have ever owned?


heymisterk

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Riffster, it's nothing personal. But I just don't share your suspicion of the of CR's reliability data gathering method. I am happy that you have had good luck with your BMW.

 

I have followed Consumer Reports' advice for the last 20 years when it comes to reliability, and they have not steered (ha-ha) me wrong. While you want proof that their method of data gathering is scientific, I would say, alternatively: Prove to me that I have reason to be suspect.

 

What I said is that Consumer Reports has consistently ranked European cars much below Asian nameplates when it comes to reliability; Bence's initial post seems to confirm that, and he is, indeed, an insider.

 

I have also ahd luck with my Chevys though, I am driving my Cavalier today but damned if they missed the 71 degree forecast, I still put the top down.

 

In 13 years of ownership, (bought used) I have replaced two fuel injectors, thermostat and water pump. Not too bad.

 

The water pump went out due to my negligence to replace the belt, which wears out and damages all the stuff connected to it.

 

The surveys you refer to do not seem scientific to me, if you trust them that's all you need to know.

 

I am a numbers guy, my work requires analysis of numbers and I have to know what is behind those numbers, until I do they do not mean much to me, just my nature.

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I think the members from Detroit just minused you. [lol]

 

The "members from Detroit" can amuse themselves in any way they want old mate...including spendings hours under their useless Ford junk heaps trying to get them to go. All the while I shall sail gracefully by in an ultra reliable Toyota.

 

By the way, I've had plenty of the Ford dustbins in my time and I have learned the hard way.

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The "members from Detroit" can amuse themselves in any way they want old mate...including spendings hours under their useless Ford junk heaps trying to get them to go. All the while I shall sail gracefully by in an ultra reliable Toyota.

 

By the way, I've had plenty of the Ford dustbins in my time and I have learned the hard way.

 

Game on brother... Bring on that Toyota and let's see what it can (can't) do! [biggrin] Did you know that Toyota had another banner year in the sheer number of recalls again in 2012?

 

 

What kills me is so many of your bad experiences sound like they were with cars that were ready for the rubbish by the time you acquired them.

 

@Bender - You do know you're complaints are about a car you engineered and built, right? Too funny!!! I worked on a lot of those that people put together that really shouldn't have had a wrench in their hand. They were very cool and very fast once you sorted everything out, but could be scary if you didn't know how to drive it.

 

Some very cool cars out there... love the Alfa!

 

@Ol Fred - How is that new Taurus Interceptor? How do you think it compare to the competition???

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All the while I shall sail gracefully by in an ultra reliable Toyota.

 

Cheers to that.

I believe the whole recall thing was blown way out of proportion. I just heard this year that Toyota once again is on top in terms of sales.

 

I would love to buy an American car, but until one of the Big Three comes out with their version of the Prius - and make it just as reliable - I will stick with Toyota.

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Amazingly, being as old as I am, I haven't really owned that many cars.

 

1st was a 1952 Cadillac. It was old and worn out and I was too stupid to know how to fix it.

2nd was a 1960 Oldsmobile. Great car, gave it to my dad.

3rd was a 1968 VW Bug. Great car, goes without saying.

4th was a 1958 VW Bug. Had to sell it when I got drafted.

5th was a 1972 Datsun Pick Up. Good vehicle, lost it during the divorce to the groupie.

6th was a 1973 Chevy Monte Carlo, Incredible car, my sister still has it.

7th was a 1954 Rolls Royce Silver Dawn, made a TON of money with that car.

8th was a 1973 Camaro. Came to me with the new wife, got totaled in a crash.

9th was a 1976 Cadillac Seville. Great car, gave to my son.

10th was a 1952 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. Beautiful car...a TON of work to keep running.

11th was a 1958 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, just sold it a few weeks ago.

12th was a 1974 Mercedes 450SL. GREAT car...goes without saying.

13th was a 1982 Jaguar XJ-S. Sexiest car on the street...but a typical Jag.

14th is a 2004 Honda CR-V, wife loves it, can tow it behind the motor home.

 

Not too many cars considering I bought the 1st Cadillac in 1965.

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The surveys you refer to do not seem scientific to me, if you trust them that's all you need to know.

 

 

I don't know exactly how scientific the poll needs to be:

 

CR sends surveys to subscribers, which includes questions about things on their cars that have broken and things on their cars that have not.

 

We fill them out.

 

Once a certain minimum of surveys is completed and mailed back, the magazine prints the results.

 

German makes have consistently trailed Asian makes in the survey of reliability.

 

It's probably not perfect; nothing is. But to deny that there isn't some sort of "trend" in the data seems ludicrous.

 

Case closed, in my opinion. But I think if you talk to owners of a majority of Toyota/Honda owners, they will confirm this. Certainly my mechanic - who services all makes - confirms this.

 

If anything, I think probably the reliability of an expensive German car is even worse than the results because I doubt anyone who forked over $50K for a new BMW would want to admit that that their car is a piece of - expensive - junk.

 

With regards to your Cavalier...I can't explain that one. But I do think you got lucky; can't explain it any other way. But be happy!

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a '72 Vega that I used a "conversion kit" to install a 327ci 300hp heads engine into, this engine also had 11/1 semi-dome pistons, a Weiand tunnel ram w/2 Holley 750s & 236/376 camshaft kit.....it also had a mid 70s Camaro tranny & rear end (which had to be narrowed 8")

1st time I cranked it, every plastic flap I hadn't already cut from the engine compartment melted, the fenderwell flaps caught fire.....1st time I drove it, the windshield popped out, the (shortened) driveshaft broke, and while towing it home a front balljoint gave out.......sold it to my bro in law after that.

 

a 69 1/2 Dodge Dart 340 GT.....fast, but the trunk just wasnt big enough to carry enough starters/alternators/voltage regulators to last me from payday to payday.

 

my late "string" of aluminum block V engines....every one of them had the malady of the headbolts backing out, blowing the headgaskets.

 

Now, I drive an older Silverado, with a cast iron 350 Vortec that just can't be beat!

 

I too, unfortunately, had a 1972 Vega. That was without a doubt, the worse car I ever had. Although, mine didn't have a 327, mine was just the stock POS aluminum 4 cylinder. At 45k miles, driving down the interstate at about 65 miles per hour, the engine blew. I was about 20 miles from the nearest exit. A cop drove by and saved us. Now, the best car I ever had was a toss up between an 81 Datsun (Nissan now) 200SX and a 95 Saturn. I used to drive 120 miles a day back and forth to work, and I put over 200k miles on both cars, with relatively few problems.

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Nevermind these "advertisments". Before You buy Your next car, ask owners of such cars how much they are satisfied with theirs.

Words of wisdom from Bence (as usual).

 

I'd just like to add one thing...

 

Ask your trusted repair garage which popular/common cars they rarely see in for repairs....

 

P.

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If anything, I think probably the reliability of an expensive German car is even worse than the results because I doubt anyone who forked over $50K for a new BMW would want to admit that that their car is a piece of - expensive - junk.

 

With regards to your Cavalier...I can't explain that one. But I do think you got lucky; can't explain it any other way. But be happy!

 

Frankly I think you have a chip on your shoulder about people with money, that is how it comes across and that's why you make comments like that. You have a problem with it right?.

 

Like I already said, BMWs come with a bumper to bumper warranty of at least 4 years and 50,000 that can be extended to 100,000 miles for about $2,000 this includes all maintenance. Do you not think that such an awful product would bankrupt the company?.

 

Tell you what, lets have a friendly wager, I can request 4 years of service records on my BMW if you request the last 4 years of maintenance records on your car.

 

I think you are taking Consumer Reports as the ultimate word and that's what it is as a blanket statement, I am not going to try to change your opinion because I do not care enough.

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As for Consumer Reports: The BEST truck I ever had was an '89 F-150. CR rated this truck average to low.

 

Anyone who would know anything about light trucks would know they missed that one big time. And you just can't destroy the EFI striaght 6 they used.

 

Also, CS does not have any reference or data on how easy it is to work on, or how costly a car is to fix. That thing called "operating cost". That's actually what really matters anyway, isn't it?

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@ Stein - You make great points that most have missed. The technical term is 'Cost of Ownership". If you compare most foreign products (Asian and Eropean) to similar American products today, the American products are way more economical to own and operate over time.

 

For the rest of you, I have been in the industry in technical areas all my life. I'll refrain from telling you what you should be driving. I learned long ago that it's a personal choice and there are many reasons why one person may choose one brand over another. Many times it's from a previous experience. It can be tied to strong emotional reasons. But, I will say this... If it's because of some old POS 1972 Vega, Pinto, K-car, whatever; please put that behind you and consider that the industry has come a long way since then. You think every model Toyota built in 1972 was better? They too made some real crap then - real laughable stuff too.

 

So, what I offer is consider your homeland when you purchase anything - including your cars. Buying foreign hurts your neighbors, friends, and family in the long run. For those of you raising kids, what are they going to do for jobs when they grow up? America needs a manufacturing base. Without it, America will be in deep trouble.

 

And while the American companies are now Global corporations (they had to become global to stay in business as our gov't cut trade deals with foreign interests), consider that all engineering and as much manufacturing that can be done in North America remains here. All those Hondas and Toyotas that they claim are "built in America" are mostly parts that were engineered and built into assemblies and then shipped to an assembly plant in the south so they could be "final assembled" here. It's the way of doing business today.

 

Sorry - I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks.

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I'll say that cost of ownership sometimes includes depreciation, meaning resale value of the car after a given number of years so that kind of throws things off a bit if you buy a car because you like it.

 

The main thing of all, to me is how you drive your car, it has to do a lot with durability and maintenance.

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Also, CS does not have any reference or data on how easy it is to work on, or how costly a car is to fix. That thing called "operating cost". That's actually what really matters anyway, isn't it?

 

The last CR issue had a full length article on just that. It ranked cars in each category by what it cost to drive per mile. It was an interesting read.

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Frankly I think you have a chip on your shoulder about people with money, that is how it comes across and that's why you make comments like that. You have a problem with it right?.

 

Like I already said, BMWs come with a bumper to bumper warranty of at least 4 years and 50,000 that can be extended to 100,000 miles for about $2,000 this includes all maintenance. Do you not think that such an awful product would bankrupt the company?.

 

Tell you what, lets have a friendly wager, I can request 4 years of service records on my BMW if you request the last 4 years of maintenance records on your car.

 

I think you are taking Consumer Reports as the ultimate word and that's what it is as a blanket statement, I am not going to try to change your opinion because I do not care enough.

 

For the love of...

 

Apparently, there are now two things we can't discuss in the Gibson Lounge: Politics, and a Consumer Reports Auto Reliability Survey. Never would I have thought that saying that CR ranks Asian models more highly than Euro models in reliability would be fighting words. I thought that comment was a neutral as the Swiss.

 

I do find it interesting that you are not going to try and change my opinion because you don't care enough, but are willing to exchange and examine four years of maintenance records to see who is "right." That, Riffster, is where I don't care enough. If you don't care enough, why the heck would you take issue with the survey in the first place?

 

To your point of having a problem with people with money, I will only say that buying a new Prius ain't cheap. I bought it because I believe in the hybrid technology. I could have bought a BMW; I chose not to; all is well.

 

This conversation has taken too much of my energy for a busy Tuesday; it will take no more of it. I hope we can talk in the near future, but perhaps stick to guitartalk.

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I have owned something like 120 cars and trucks and motorcycles, always had good luck with Ford, my first was a 1950 Ford Custom, a old cop car, still had two spotlights on it, sweet car, overdrive 3 speed on the tree.I had a 1959 Chevy El Camino with wrap around rear window, 283 auto, black on black. A stunning visual car. I have had De Soto's, Dodges, a great Merc Cougar, a Corvette(1976 pos), a 1967 GTO, to many trucks to go into, I still have my dads 1959 F-100, the only truck he ever owned, darn thing must have over 300k, I had a Austin Healy Bug eye, a MGB, Karman Ghia, three VW bugs (the old ones), one VW Golf, four Toyota's, still drive a 03' Tundra I bought new, it has 43k on it.I had a sweet 63' Impala, a 71 Toyota Landcruiser, a 59 Chevy station wagon, a Ford Falcon. And my favorite truck, a 1954 Ford with a T-bird 312 pumped thru 12 inch glass packs loud as hell. A 1964 Dodge Police car with a 413 with dual quads on a riser! Straight from the factory! It was scary fast. A 1952 Triumph 650, a 1965 Honda 250 scrambler, a 1949 Harley knucklehead w/sidecar, a 68 Triumph Bonnie, a 74 Honda CB-750, a 66 Bultaco.My favorite car was my 1974 Alfa GTV 2000, handled great, the worst was a 1980 Volvo, that thing blew fuses like a 3 dollar.....easy girl....

 

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Has it been awhile since you owned or drove a Ford? You might be surprised. Over 46 years I owned mostly GM and Chrysler products, a couple VWs, and a couple Toyotas, but never a Ford. A couple years ago I needed a small pickup and got a 2000 Ranger with low miles and it has been very reliable. Have spent some $ on it as it is now 13 years old so needed brakes, ball joints, a strut support and a set of tires, but those would need replacing on any brand. Also traded for a '11 Mustang with their 305HP V6 as my highway cruiser and that has been a dream, but only 14K highway miles on it so far. So after a lifetime of driving and never having a Ford I suddenly find myself with two of them and so far so good.

 

Hello!

 

First of all let me tell You, I approach this subject with an european eye. Ford USA (or Ford Australia for instance) is one entity, and Ford Europe is a completely different.

 

I am aware of the US (and Australian) product range just out of nostalgia, since I've owned four Fox-body Mustangs and one Mustang II when I was young and believed that I am the "mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the unroadworthy" [biggrin]. These were real fun cars, easy to work with. Not the bests, but great for a hobbyist.

 

Remember Ford is a trust, a "family of brands". When I agreed on the generalization about Ford-Toyota (which was a very simplified opinion), I was thinking about the philosophy of the whole Groups - not one specific brand of it.

 

Cheers... Bence

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That Vega conversion is hilarious. Speced out on paper it might have looked like an awesome killer - but as you found out a little too much motor for that little engine compartment - lol.

 

in the late '70s-early '80s Vegas (usually wagons) with 283s 327s,& 350s (all the available smallblocks)were pretty common here in N.E.Bama...the Ford boys shoehorned 289s, 302s & 351s into Pintos.

my biggest mistake was using a "junker" for the project, & using a solid motor mount on the "pull" side, & not beefing up the suspension 1st, or the steering, or, or, or....

i'm only 90 miles from Atlanta and the "Super-Shop" there sold conversion kits for $99.95, but no-one made headers for the kit, so a set of Camaro headers had to be cut/welded/beat....as did the center floorpan....

 

you're right, OMG what was I thinking?

 

but, the story had a happy ending, bro in law used it in a '57 Bel-Air he was building.

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...So, what I offer is consider your homeland when you purchase anything - including your cars. Buying foreign hurts your neighbors, friends, and family in the long run. For those of you raising kids, what are they going to do for jobs when they grow up? America needs a manufacturing base. Without it, America will be in deep trouble.

 

And while the American companies are now Global corporations (they had to become global to stay in business as our gov't cut trade deals with foreign interests), consider that all engineering and as much manufacturing that can be done in North America remains here. All those Hondas and Toyotas that they claim are "built in America" are mostly parts that were engineered and built into assemblies and then shipped to an assembly plant in the south so they could be "final assembled" here. It's the way of doing business today.

 

...

 

Hello!

 

I like Your thinking.

 

Unfortunately - as You stated - "companies are now Global corporations"... Speaking about one of the european brands of The Big Three: they use chinese transmissions, switches and electrical connectors, upholstery made in Hungary... Diesel engines from France (from another trust)... The percentage of locally built components are around 20%! All the product information is created mainly in India (almost for all brands!). And this is the usual way for most of the car companies within the frames of The Big Three. Independent companies will have to follow if they want to remain in the game.

 

Let me share a real horror-story with You: A couple of european makers cast intake and exhaust manifolds locally in their own countries, then they send them over to Hungary (2000 kilometres away) for deburring (!!!) and they ship them back. Insane, but they save pennies on the each piece which sums up in millions. Short term thinking, they forget that they increase the unemployment rate in their own countries, thus decreasing the number of their very own potentional customers.

 

Globalism dooms the welfare states on the long run.

 

Cheers... Bence

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@ Stein - You make great points that most have missed. The technical term is 'Cost of Ownership". If you compare most foreign products (Asian and Eropean) to similar American products today, the American products are way more economical to own and operate over time.

 

For the rest of you, I have been in the industry in technical areas all my life. I'll refrain from telling you what you should be driving. I learned long ago that it's a personal choice and there are many reasons why one person may choose one brand over another. Many times it's from a previous experience. It can be tied to strong emotional reasons. But, I will say this... If it's because of some old POS 1972 Vega, Pinto, K-car, whatever; please put that behind you and consider that the industry has come a long way since then. You think every model Toyota built in 1972 was better? They too made some real crap then - real laughable stuff too.

 

So, what I offer is consider your homeland when you purchase anything - including your cars. Buying foreign hurts your neighbors, friends, and family in the long run. For those of you raising kids, what are they going to do for jobs when they grow up? America needs a manufacturing base. Without it, America will be in deep trouble.

 

And while the American companies are now Global corporations (they had to become global to stay in business as our gov't cut trade deals with foreign interests), consider that all engineering and as much manufacturing that can be done in North America remains here. All those Hondas and Toyotas that they claim are "built in America" are mostly parts that were engineered and built into assemblies and then shipped to an assembly plant in the south so they could be "final assembled" here. It's the way of doing business today.

 

Sorry - I'll get off my soapbox now. Thanks.

I plussed you on this. Here, Here. Finally someone explained the real story about buying foreign cars. My reason why I will never buy foreign. Keep on your Soapbox, I'd like to hear more about the US vs. Foreign Car industry. Pay the American engineers and manufacturing. If you buy foreign, you may be keeping some "Assembly Americans" in their job, but most of your money is going out of the country. [thumbup] to Blueblooded.

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I actually work in the automotive manufacturing industry....for the last 45 years.....

 

A couple of points.

 

1. I worked with UAW members. They took advantage of the company's weakness, until the company finally closed the factroy, (they're now in a 'Right To Work' state).

So, the UAW members lost their job...but so did I.

 

2. The 'bail out' of GM was/is really a bail out of the UAW pension system. GM will never pay that money back. I therefore, will NOT buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle.

(my choice).

 

3. A Canadian bus manufacturing company sells buses to cities in the US, (New Flyer Industries). Buses are paid for (80%) with Federal tax money. So US dollars are funneled to Canada.

BUT.... US-built buses are not allowed to be sold in Canada! (again, your tax dollars at work).

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I actually work in the automotive manufacturing industry....for the last 45 years.....

 

A couple of points.

 

1. I worked with UAW members. They took advantage of the company's weakness, until the company finally closed the factroy, (they're now in a 'Right To Work' state).

So, the UAW members lost their job...but so did I.

 

2. The 'bail out' of GM was/is really a bail out of the UAW pension system. GM will never pay that money back. I therefore, will NOT buy a GM or Chrysler vehicle.

(my choice).

 

3. A Canadian bus manufacturing company sells buses to cities in the US, (New Flyer Industries). Buses are paid for (80%) with Federal tax money. So US dollars are funneled to Canada.

BUT.... US-built buses are not allowed to be sold in Canada! (again, your tax dollars at work).

 

That is a way over-simplification of the problem.

 

Just as much of the problem was management and the white-collar end of the business: If you are constantly 10-20 years behind the Japanese brands in terms of design and reliability, don't be surprised if no one buys your car. In addition, my perspective is that management viewed the UAW membership as mere peasants.

 

The Big Three is starting to turn it around, and I hope they continue to do so.

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