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Old 03-05-2012, 11:18 AM   #21
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FYI - the Consumer Reports annual car guide is in April and is supposed to come out tomorros (March 6).
I received my April CR magazine in the mail on Friday. It's my favorite CR issue of the year and lots of interesting reading. Even discussed the new cars last night in a phone conversation with my dad. I'm not actively looking for a new vehicle, but like to read about them in anticipation of the next purchase.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:02 PM   #22
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Three words: BUY A HONDA!
That's ironic, because I'm just now tussling with the Honda dealer about fixing a known defect that affected the alignment on my 2007 Civic. It's been ticking me off and I was seriously thinking of trading it in. But today, they offered to fix it for $165 instead of $620. I still need to get new tires, because the alignment has screwed up the set I have now that have 13,000 miles on them.

Generally, you are right, though. My 1994 Accord served me for 13 years, and the daughter of a friend has continued to drive it since 2007.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:22 PM   #23
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For us it's been buy a Honda or a Toyota for most of the last 30 years. That said, I would love to buy a great, reliable American small car. They're getting more competitive all the time - hopefully before I die...
Wait for the long-term reliability on the Chevy Cruze, it might just get there. Interesting that GM and Ford are now making the cars they SHOULD have made 15 years ago, when Honda and Toyota were pounding them and taking their lunch money, it just goes to show how arrogant their management was, thinking "Buy American" was Latin for: "Our citizens are so stupid they will buy inferior quality forever:..........
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:43 PM   #24
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Wait for the long-term reliability on the Chevy Cruze, it might just get there. Interesting that GM and Ford are now making the cars they SHOULD have made 15 years ago, when Honda and Toyota were pounding them and taking their lunch money, it just goes to show how arrogant their management was, thinking "Buy American" was Latin for: "Our citizens are so stupid they will buy inferior quality forever:..........
There's probably blame to go around. Americans didn't seem to want anything from the big three but large cars, trucks and SUV's. The margins were better than small cars and they were so far off the mark on small cars they probably just ceded those markets to Japan and others. Even now, Americans swing wildly as to what they want according to gas prices, it's not like any carmaker can change models at a moments notice. But hopefully the big 2 realize they need to be prepared with competitive small cars. And as much as I like Toyota, they got sucked into the big theme with the big truck and SUV's, and got burned like the domestic makers - but at least they had solid small cars too.
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Old 03-05-2012, 02:55 PM   #25
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There's probably blame to go around. Americans didn't seem to want anything from the big three but large cars, trucks and SUV's.
Could be true, or else they knew the Big Three could NOT make a dependable car so they just didn't buy them, and the manufacturing capacity went to the other lines. I remember the Chevy Cavalier and Potiac Sunbird lines, they had PERPETUAL rebates of $2500 or more, and GM lost money on every one of those cars even BEFORE the big rebate........

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And as much as I like Toyota, they got sucked into the big theme with the big truck and SUV's, and got burned like the domestic makers - but at least they had solid small cars too.
Toyota got consumed with beating GM in worldwide volume, and it bit them in the butt. Maybe they are smarter now. Honda has taken a step back in styling and quality in the last couple years but they are still one of the most reliable brands there are.......
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:34 PM   #26
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If basing an automobile purchase on anticipated future repair costs it might be wise to consider a base level of one of the biggest selling models. The more bells and whistles on the vehicle the better the chance of higher future repair bills. A model with hundreds of thousands on the road will mean a lot of mechanics will have experience working on your model. After-market parts manufacturers will be able to mass produce common repair parts such as brake rotors, calipers, struts, etc. for your model for many years to come. The more they can make the less expensive the parts will be. Case in point, compare after-market prices for VW parts compared to Honda parts here in USA.
+1 Consumer Reports might be good for choosing a particular used car and what year has had problems, but it can not predict the future. I try to stay with brands that had a good overall history and away from leading edge technology and high cost options (HID, etc). After 19.5 years of service I replaced DW 1992 Honda Accord with a new Honda Accord. Other than the usual oil changes; tires; mufflers; brake pads, the only expense has been a timing belt; rebuilt distributor for about $90; and a rebuilt axle for $45 (CV joint boot cracked after 19 years of use). The 1992 still runs and looks very good but DW thought she deserved a new car after about 20 years. Okay, she is the spendthrift in the family.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:42 PM   #27
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Wait for the long-term reliability on the Chevy Cruze, it might just get there. Interesting that GM and Ford are now making the cars they SHOULD have made 15 years ago, when Honda and Toyota were pounding them and taking their lunch money, it just goes to show how arrogant their management was, thinking "Buy American" was Latin for: "Our citizens are so stupid they will buy inferior quality forever:..........
We rented a Cruze in Utah awhile back and loved it. We also own a 2007 Chevy HHR which was (discontinued) a sister on the same platform as the Cruze. This thing has been rock solid - 68k miles on it so far. The little GM 2.4 liter engine has been a very reliable powertrain.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:23 PM   #28
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That's ironic, because I'm just now tussling with the Honda dealer about fixing a known defect that affected the alignment on my 2007 Civic. It's been ticking me off and I was seriously thinking of trading it in. But today, they offered to fix it for $165 instead of $620. I still need to get new tires, because the alignment has screwed up the set I have now that have 13,000 miles on them.

Generally, you are right, though. My 1994 Accord served me for 13 years, and the daughter of a friend has continued to drive it since 2007.
My 1991 Civic never had an alignment when I owned it from 100,400 to 304k. My tires wore evenly and the guy that works on my car who has been a Honda mechanic for nearly 30 years said my front end suspension components were very tight and was surprised just how good based upon the miles on it. Hondas are very well built and require very little maintenance, certainly nothing more than any car would require and I think less. Doesn't mean you can ignore them just that they don't nickle and dime you to death. I'm sure Toyotas are just as reliable, you can't go wrong with either car but the exception was a Toyota Yaris - they were cheap junk.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:50 AM   #29
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Veremchuka - after research, we found that my problem was described in a Honda service bulletin as a known issue with 2006-2007 Civics only. And the service dept didn't diagnose the problem until after I wrecked a second set of tires. I guess you just never know. I'm getting it fixed today and new tires tomorrow. Hopefully it will be fixed and I can happily drive it for another 10 years...
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #30
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I just read this little piece from Kiplinger's that might be interesting:
10 Cars That Won't Die
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:55 AM   #31
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I just read this little piece from Kiplinger's that might be interesting:
10 Cars That Won't Die
I had one of them, an '89 Olds Cutless Ciera.

Drove it for over 18 years with well over 100K (don't drive that much). Never had anything but normal maintenance performed.

It may be GM (like two of our current cars, along with a Ford) but we've had nothing but good experiences with US branded autos (and we didn't send the profits overseas, back to the monther/father country) ...
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #32
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I had one of them, an '89 Olds Cutless Ciera.

Drove it for over 18 years with well over 100K (don't drive that much). Never had anything but normal maintenance performed.

It may be GM (like two of our current cars, along with a Ford) but we've had nothing but good experiences with US branded autos (and we didn't send the profits overseas, back to the monther/father country) ...
Glad someone had a good domestic car experience.

My last two domestic cars?

1)2004 Chrysler Town and Country Touring: Ended up suing Chrysler under the Magnuson Ross Act because it went through THREE rack and pinions in the 1st 45,000 miles. After they put the 3rd one in, I was told "you're on your own", even though I had an extended warranty through Chrysler

2)1996 Pontiac Grand Prix: The transmission went at 27,000 miles, and was 3 months out of warranty, and Pontiac told me they couldn't do anything. I complained directly to the factory, and they ended up paying 2/3 of the repair.

I am done for the foreseeable future. I'm not even going to discuss my other NEW domestic car nightmares.......
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #33
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Rescueme, we've had that same car twice and I put about a hundred thousand miles on the first one, with maybe $500 total in repairs during the time we owned it, and got another one from DH's mom Christmas before last when she finally traded up to something else. The Cutlass Ciera is a workhorse of a car, that's for sure.
I've got a later model Buick LeSabre that we've also been real pleased with, as far as running reliably and cheaply.

FD--I would never buy new, LOL!
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Old 03-06-2012, 01:41 PM   #34
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Rescueme, we've had that same car twice and I put about a hundred thousand miles on the first one, with maybe $500 total in repairs during the time we owned it, and got another one from DH's mom Christmas before last when she finally traded up to something else. The Cutlass Ciera is a workhorse of a car, that's for sure.
I've got a later model Buick LeSabre that we've also been real pleased with, as far as running reliably and cheaply.

FD--I would never buy new, LOL!
Typically I don't either, but the Chrysler had $9000 worth of rebates as they were blowing them out, so cheaper than a 2 year old one, and I got the Grand Prix under a GM employee deal when my uncle worked there, so got gobs off that too..........
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #35
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I've got a later model Buick LeSabre that we've also been real pleased with, as far as running reliably and cheaply.
I had a '92 Olds 88 (LeSabre family) that I purchased new and ran for many years, without a problem. The 3.8 engine was one of the best made in the GM line, IMHO.

I only traded it (for a 2000 Olds Bravada - new) since I was wor*ing a lot out of the country and I wanted DW to have a car that had AWD. Unfortunately the 88 had a lot of miles left and had a great ride, but the need for a different vehicle type was the only time I've ever not run a car into the ground, and traded it early.
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Old 03-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #36
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My buddy has a 2001 Park Avenue Ultra, a 3800 motor with a supercharge. It has the power of a V-8 but he gets almost 30 on the highway, nice ride!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:23 AM   #37
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Best way to keep maintenance costs down is to learn to do the work oneself. Labors about $100 an hour. Preventative repairs minimalist breakdowns.
Choose your car wisely, for inexpensive and readily stocked parts. I love Land Rovers, but check the cost of a tail light assembly, then the wait because it has to be ordered.

Make friends with a mechanic. Mine shows me how to do the work, let's me use his shop discount on parts, and let's me use his tools. If its something he has to do, I get a good rate on his labor as well.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:10 AM   #38
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For us it's been buy a Honda or a Toyota for most of the last 30 years. That said, I would love to buy a great, reliable American small car. They're getting more competitive all the time - hopefully before I die...
American cars are certainly closing the quality gap compared to the garbage Detroit was cranking out about 30 years ago. Old perceptions die hard, though, if at all -- so the hole they dug for themselves decades ago is a tough one to get out of, no matter how good their products may be today.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:16 PM   #39
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American cars are certainly closing the quality gap compared to the garbage Detroit was cranking out about 30 years ago. Old perceptions die hard, though, if at all -- so the hole they dug for themselves decades ago is a tough one to get out of, no matter how good their products may be today.
Right. The JD Powers surveys and other indicators of initial quality have very little to do with how long a car is going to remain reliable. Much of that depends on the subcomponents used to assemble the car (many of which are made by other companies). Compressors, pumps, sensors, actuators, power steering racks, motors, suspension components, etc. The Japanese companies have established good ways to choose and buy high-quality components--they care about this a lot. When parts fail, they have entire processes used to provide feedback to the manufacturers to allow them to improve quality, and they follow up to assure the components really get improved. In many respects, Detroit has cared less, buying where they could get the best price provided the part met the initial spec. If US companies wanted to have my business in 2012, they needed to start this full-court press to improve quality 20 years ago so I could know they have their act together. They didn't.
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Old 03-07-2012, 01:23 PM   #40
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I just read this little piece from Kiplinger's that might be interesting:
10 Cars That Won't Die
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
I just read this little piece from Kiplinger's that might be interesting:
10 Cars That Won't Die

Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
I just read this little piece from Kiplinger's that might be interesting:
10 Cars That Won't Die
They forgot the VW Beetle - they never quit, never die and can always be resurrected.
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