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Old 10-04-2015, 09:42 AM   #21
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1995 Toyota SR5 4x4 pickup
* Failed Ignition switch
* Failed Radiator & fan (even though I had it flushed per owners manual)
* Failed Fuel pump
* Blown headgasket after only 62,000 miles (and it was not covered by a factory recall on same/similar engine design for other Toyota cars), the whole engine had to be replaced
* Check engine light on numerous occasions (O2 sensor at bottom of engine went bad. I even had the light come on the first mile I drove it after picking it up from Service for the very same thing - had to drive back and get a rental for another day)
* Bad valve on cylinder #3
* Right front axle assembly
* Clutch replacement


And as a supposed v6, it was a gutless wonder. Buh-bye Toyota, hello Chevy!
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:44 AM   #22
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Fun thread, Midpack!

Hands down the Renault Alliance that the dealer practically gave to DH in the mid-eighties with any upgrades he wanted at no charge. Apparently the car is blamed for the death of American Motors and also of Renault's USA ventures, as it was a joint creation of these companies. A google search for the car pops up some funny articles, with quotes like this one from Car and Driver:

Quote:
Here and now, in vivid HTML, Car and Driver formally apologizes for naming the Renault Alliance to the 1983 10Best Cars list. For the past 26 years, it’s been gnawing at our collective gut like a shame-induced ulcer. The car was trash. We should have known that back then, and it’s taken us too long to confess our grievous mistake. Let this frank admission be the start of our penance.
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:44 AM   #23
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Interesting thread. I guess our cars have been pretty good, no real stories to tell. Other than some old clunkers that I bought, either because I was cheap, or I figured it would be a 'fun' car to put some work into. But those were definitely in the 'you got what you paid for' category, multiple repairs were pretty much expected.

But I do recall in the 60's models, having to pull carburetors apart multiple times for some junk getting in there and interfering or clogging the jets/ports or something (never did figure out how it got past the filter), sticky floats, sticky chokes, finicky idle adjustments (remember those?).

Oh, and some nasty intermittent starter solenoids (or the engaging of the gears?). Remember pushing a car in gear a foot or so, just to get to a good spot on the ring gear? BUt again, these were mostly old clunkers, not a specific horrific make/model.

Considering the complexity of modern cars, they are a marvel of reliability (until they're not!).

-ERD50
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:48 AM   #24
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This is an easy question. I bought a Fiat 128 in the early 70s based primarily on an absolutely glowing positive review in Consumer Reports magazine.

Worst mistake I ever made. That dog spent almost as much time in the shop as on the road.

Just one small example: The clutch cable broke so frequently that I developed the practice of carrying a couple of spares, and I could change it in under 15 minutes on the side of the road. That alone astounded some of my passengers!

LOL... reminds me of my Mazda GLC.... it had a piston that had broken off a piece around the oil seal.... I would get blow by pressure and oil would be pushed up the (not the right name for it, but) crankcase ventilation system into the carb.... so, I had to rig up an oil can to catch that oil... but, oil would get into that cylinder and eventually clog the spark plug...

So, every few hundred miles I would have to empty the can and change out the spark plug... carried a few spares and became good at changing them out even with a hot engine...
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Old 10-04-2015, 09:59 AM   #25
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I think that this question is not clear based on what some have posted...

One of the things that I look at when it comes to reliability is the ability to get me from point A to point B... IOW, when I go to get into it, it will start and get me where I want to go...

I had a 87 Firebird Formula 350 that broke down a lot.... but the only time it left me stranded was when the alternator went out and I could not get home before the battery died....

But, the list of problems was long...

Intake manifold gasket blew out twice... the big problem with this is that it puts water into your oil...

The automatic transmission mount broke 3 times...

Both front light motors stopped working... it was only a cheap nylon screw, but you had to buy the whole assembly to get it fixed...

Had a problem with one of the original wheels and had to buy a new set (I was not the first owner).... not talking tires here, but wheels...

The radiator went out and had to be replaced....

The AC motor froze up once and had to be replaced...

Cannot remember the other things that used to go wrong, but there were some.... and it also needed lots of maintenance....

But it never failed to start or get me where I wanted to go except for that alternator....
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What was the most UNRELIABLE car you've ever owned?
Old 10-04-2015, 10:06 AM   #26
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What was the most UNRELIABLE car you've ever owned?

Of the five new vehicles I've purchased, none were lemons.

A 79 Mustang ran great, and no mechanical issues during my ownership.

A 89 Chevy Corsica, never any issues, but only owned it for two years.

A 92 Chevy "Work truck", owned for eight years and120k miles, ate three battery/starter combos, but no other issues. Well, the tailpipe weld broke just before I traded for...

A 00 Silverado, owned for eleven years and 120k miles or so. Aside from a broken latch on the console, was never in the shop, though near the end it leaked a bit of antifreeze, which I traced to a freeze plug about to go bad.

A 11 Prius, no issues through 40k miles.

I've had several PsOS used cars, but what can one expect from cars purchased for a few hundred drachma...

A 62 Caddy, with a gallon each of oil, power steering fluid, and brake fluid in the trunk.

An early 70s Datsun pickup which, within the first week, blew a head gasket, requiring the head to be machined. At that point I also found that some of the valve springs were missing, and that standard thread bolts had been torqued into some of the metric head bolt holes. IOW, the jerk who sold it to me intentionally hid all the issues. When I finally got it running again, the water pump locked up, the belt twisted the fan off the shaft, poking holes in the radiator, and, once again, overheating enough to require another head machining. Sold it to a guy with a garage and lots of tools and know-how, who drove it locally for several years after...
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:08 AM   #27
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I had 2 tied for first:
'72 Toyota Corolla. POS needed oil a LOT, from the get-go. I honestly don't remember all of the other problems, other than that I was at the shop seemingly every week.

2003 (maybe it was '04?) Lincoln LS. Supposedly a luxury car, but we had numerous issues with the car. Any one was not a big deal, but in the aggregate we were at the shop a lot. Final straw was when the transmission was clearly on the way out, and needed replacement (about 2000 miles AFTER warranty expired). We got rid of it before the transmission problem was obvious.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:09 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I think that this question is not clear based on what some have posted...

One of the things that I look at when it comes to reliability is the ability to get me from point A to point B... IOW, when I go to get into it, it will start and get me where I want to go...

I had a 87 Firebird Formula 350 that broke down a lot.... but the only time it left me stranded was when the alternator went out and I could not get home before the battery died....

But, the list of problems was long...

Intake manifold gasket blew out twice... the big problem with this is that it puts water into your oil...

The automatic transmission mount broke 3 times...

Both front light motors stopped working... it was only a cheap nylon screw, but you had to buy the whole assembly to get it fixed...

Had a problem with one of the original wheels and had to buy a new set (I was not the first owner).... not talking tires here, but wheels...

The radiator went out and had to be replaced....

The AC motor froze up once and had to be replaced...

Cannot remember the other things that used to go wrong, but there were some.... and it also needed lots of maintenance....

But it never failed to start or get me where I wanted to go except for that alternator....
I view reliability as the time a system is 'available' vs downtime. And taking a vehicle to a shop reduces its availability for use.

Cost of ownership also factors into reliability and if the repair costs are exceedingly high, then that would, to me, mean the vehicle is not as reliable. But that's me.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:14 AM   #29
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1979 VW Rabbit, bought new. Doggone think would start and run, sometimes 500 miles sometime 50 ft. No warning no reason just did it. Recall the last straw a 8 hour trip Columbia MO. to KC covering 125 miles.
Thanks, I was trying to decide, but getting rid of my Rabbit was one of the happiest days in my life. It had body leaks and they kept the wiring and fuse box in a constant state of corrosion, such that driving it at night or in the rain was taking a pretty good bet that the lights and or wipers would actually be working that day. VW replaced the fuse box on a recall, but neglected to fix the body leak, so the new fuse box quickly rotted out.

My stepdaughter has a newer Golf, which she always keeps in the garage. I asked her why the garage and she said that the body leaks.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:19 AM   #30
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None of the many vehicles I bought in the last 40 years had been "utterly" unreliable. I would say through my experience, that my AMERICAN brand vehicles required more parts replacement than the Japanese vehicles I owned. All vehicles were bought brand new.
Jeep Grand Cherokee- start leaking oil from shock absorbers and joints at 5 years.
Ford F150- required rear shock absorber changed under warrantee, and TPS sensor changed at only 22K miles.
My Hondas, Toyotas, Subarus all passed 7 years without any part replacement, except for routine maintenance and tire changes
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:22 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Thanks, I was trying to decide, but getting rid of my Rabbit was one of the happiest days in my life. It had body leaks and they kept the wiring and fuse box in a constant state of corrosion, such that driving it at night or in the rain was taking a pretty good bet that the lights and or wipers would actually be working that day. VW replaced the fuse box on a recall, but neglected to fix the body leak, so the new fuse box quickly rotted out.

My stepdaughter has a newer Golf, which she always keeps in the garage. I asked her why the garage and she said that the body leaks.
Had a VW shop for a few years and yup, there was a common Rabbit problem of the windshield channel rusting through under the rubber and leaking directly onto the fuse box.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:55 AM   #32
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94 dodge Dakota. 4wd. Engine and body were pretty good, but always felt like U-joints, drive axle, wheel bearings, etc. we're wearing out. On second thought, the electronics weren't reliable either.

I did drive it all over Canada, Alaska, and back to Iowa again. Maybe 50,000 miles in three years.

I sold it for super cheap to a friend when I finished grad school (didn't graduate, but I was finished). I touched back with him a couple years later and he mentioned something about the AC only worked if he let the rig warm up for thirty minutes first without using the seatbelt. Sounded about right.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:19 AM   #33
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Audi A4, once you hit 50k miles you can just turn over your wallet to the repair guy.. its SOO bad that if it is over 50k, most people won't buy your car from you or offer you $500 or less for it.. no one wants them or will take them because every repair is $2500. Changing the light is $180 which break often because they are special "sensitive" lights that you have to take a corner panel off to get to. I'd never ever buy one again.
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:22 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Hands down the Renault Alliance that the dealer practically gave to DH in the mid-eighties with any upgrades he wanted at no charge. Apparently the car is blamed for the death of American Motors and also of Renault's USA ventures, as it was a joint creation of these companies. A google search for the car pops up some funny articles, with quotes like this one from Car and Driver:
Side story if I may. I test drove a Renault LeCar years ago. It ran horrible, rough with no acceleration at all, the sales guy riding along didn't know what to say. When we got back, he lifted the hood, and found one (of four) of the spark plug wires was missing. He begged me to give it another chance and I followed him to service/parts to get the wire. With me standing there, they told us they didn't have any. They needed one for a customer car and took one off the demo without telling anyone evidently. I didn't buy a LeCar...
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #35
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Related story. In 1988 I went to a BMW-Saab-Maserati dealer in Columbus OH to buy DW a used BMW 325es. They gave me a tour including their large service department, which had 24 bays. I counted 1 BMW and 22 Saabs - good thing I didn't want a Saab anyway. I had a buddy who bought a used Saab 900 Turbo, absolute money pit for him.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #36
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Side story if I may. I test drove a Renault LeCar years ago. It ran horrible, rough with no acceleration at all, the sales guy riding along didn't know what to say. When we got back, he lifted the hood, and found one (of four) of the spark plug wires was missing. He begged me to give it another chance and I followed him to service/parts to get the wire. With me standing there, they told us they didn't have any. They needed one for a customer car and took one off the demo without telling anyone evidently. I didn't buy a LeCar...
My sister bought a Renault LeCar, new, in the early 80's. She owned it 13 months - 6 of those months it was at the dealership service department. She'd previously driven my most reliable car (which I bought off of her) - a late 70's toyota pickup manual transmission.

My least reliable car was surprisingly an 88 Honda Civic DX hatchback. I bought it new. It ate clutches, brake pads, and batteries. I had to replace the clutch at 30k, 60k, and 90k miles. Brake pads inexplicably seemed to wear out and start making that noise when you turn at relatively low miles. And I went through several batteries in short order.

I know you're thinking it's the driver (me) for the clutches - but the Toyota Pickup (previous car) had the factory clutch when I sold it at 130k miles. (Also the factory battery). The toyota Rav4 (manual xmission) still had the factory clutch when I sold it at 70k miles. So I maintain that my shifting style was NOT the problem.
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:11 PM   #37
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I view reliability as the time a system is 'available' vs downtime. And taking a vehicle to a shop reduces its availability for use.

Cost of ownership also factors into reliability and if the repair costs are exceedingly high, then that would, to me, mean the vehicle is not as reliable. But that's me.
I agree that downtime and cost is a big factor in reliability.... but I had two cars at the time so taking one to the shop every once in awhile was not that big a deal....
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Old 10-04-2015, 12:59 PM   #38
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My parents had a crappy Vega that would qualify, as would their Rabbit. Dad also bitched about their Jeep Cherokee, but I think it was my brother's driving that caused most of the problems.

My worst was a diesel Mercedes that never really ran right and eventually caught fire in the yard when it wouldn't turn off one day.

My American cars have all been good ones, in their own ways.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:04 PM   #39
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My American cars have all been good ones, in their own ways.
Reminds me of what I used to hear back in high school. "He's a good kid, you know, in his own way".
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:22 PM   #40
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We did have a Ford Escape that Ford bought back from us after maybe 8 months. It was declared a lemon, due to dirt flooding into the cabin. Poor design that was aggravated by us living on a gravel road. While frustrating I will say once we got past the initial dealership BS(had to have another dealership say it was an issue) Ford did very well. They admitted it was a defect and paid back 100% of our costs.
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