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Old 10-04-2015, 01:33 PM   #41
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Hands down 1979 Buick Regal. It developed a cracked engine block the first week. Dealer put a new engine in it. Then it continued to have engine and transmission problems the rest of its life. I kept my running shoes in the car at all times. I needed to run home on quite a few occasions when the car quit. Traded it for a Chevy S10 pickup in 1982.


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Old 10-04-2015, 01:37 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by frayne View Post
1972 Chevy Vega. Actually was on the interstate and downshifted and the stick shift came out of the boot. Total POS and have stayed away from most GM products since since.

I had the evil twin sister...The Chevy Monza...It matched yours in quality. I didn't give up on GM though. I have had 2 used Trailblazers for 15 years now, and don't spend anything on them, including maintenance that I should, but don't. They were/are road warriors for me...


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Old 10-04-2015, 01:48 PM   #43
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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...
I remember those. Buddy had a later generation 'bird and still had the problem. It can be fixed by removing the assembly, pry open the gear cover. Then you can replace the nylon gear or flip it over as it only wears in one spot and use the good side ( till it wears out ). The dealer wanted several hundred $$$ to replace it.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:52 PM   #44
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Not something I owned, but I had two friends who owned Corvairs back in the late 60s.

One of them had the bracket holding the alternator break suddenly on the interstate, so he removed his shoelace and jury-rigged a new attachment for it. He was so pleased with himself that he kept it up for another couple of years until he sold it, replacing it as needed. Roughly 2,000 to 3,000 miles to a shoelace.

The other one had an absolute classic occurrence. He was driving across the 59th Street Bridge in NYC (remember the Simon & Garfunkel song?) when he felt a thump and the car started coasting to a stop. He looked in the rear view mirror to see his transmission back there on the roadway.

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Old 10-04-2015, 02:02 PM   #45
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1976 Datsun 260Z. It wouldn't start when the temperature was below 50 degrees, and it vapor-locked over 90 degrees. I carried a squirt-bottle of gas to "prime" the carburetors on frigid days, a common occurrence when I was stationed in Colorado in the early ‘80s. One morning, as I tried to open the hood to “prime” the motor, and the hood-latch cable broke. Since the hood opened forward from the windshield, there was no way to access the hood-latch manually. I eventually started the 260Z and drove to the Datsun dealer in Colorado Springs. They said they would have to drop the engine, or cut a hole in the hood to access the hood latch. I’d spent an airman’s fortune trying to fix the carburetors in that Z-car, and I’d had enough. I traded it in that day. The Z-car was wonderful when it ran right. But it stranded me so many times when it wouldn't start, or when it vapor-locked, that it gets my “Worst Car Ever” vote.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:25 PM   #46
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Two real bombs out of many fairly good cars and trucks:

70's Jensen Healy (I was cool!) Connecticut Yankee with a British sports car with a Chrysler V8. All I can say is Lucas. The car and I walked home many times.

1980 Chevrolet Impala Wagon (first diesel). I bought this pile of crap new, too! Sad part was, dealer said they couldn't fix the injection pump when it stopped pumping diesel fuel into the injectors. Car was not reliable enough to take anywhere. Dealer took it in trade for a 1984 Olds Delta 88.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:25 PM   #47
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There are two that I can think of. When I got my first job out of college, I got a job with Ford Aerospace. As employees we qualified for special deals. I bought a 1984 Ford truck. That thing was in the shop all the time. A total lemon. The other car that is a close second was a Ford Tauras. Put in alot of money on that lemon. Transmission, front-end stuff and the list goes on. Needless to say I have not owned a Ford since then.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:27 PM   #48
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Can't say as I have ever had an unreliable car, all my vehicles got me where I needed to go and have only been stranded a few times, but can't blame the maker of car for that. Such as once stranded due to a broken fan belt.....that I had just replaced two weeks earlier!

But poor quality car? 1980 Chevrolet Citation probably wins. Leaking manual transmission let to transmission rebuild two years later, recalled for grabby brakes, ate clutches every 35-40K miles, interior parts didn't fit well. Bought it new.

More forgiving of older used cars I purchased. Had a 1986 Dodge D50 where plastic, rubber, and electrical parts were rotting and failing, but mostly after it was 15 years old.

My 2001 Ford Windstar had several repairs on parts that should have lasted longer (heater controls and starter) but so did my 1989 Grand Prix (last new car I ever bought) that cooked alternators every 40K miles. And so did 2005 Freestar where I'm on the third power window motor, but otherwise been very reliable and a great car!
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:27 PM   #49
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1973 AMC Hornet

it's the only vehicle I've ever had on which the drive shaft fell off. Not the only problem it had, of course. I had the usual failed hoses, head gaskets, the odd radiator leak, oil leak, fuel leak...
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:31 PM   #50
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Wow, Ford (old ones anyway) continue to take a beating! Guess there is/was something to the acronyms...

FORD: Of all car names, Ford has the most:
  • Fix Or Repair Daily;
  • Fast Only Rolling Downhill;
  • Fails On Race Day;
  • Found On Road Dead:
  • Funding Our Retirement Daily (from a mechanic`s point of view); and perhaps best of all:
  • Driver Returning On Foot (Ford spelled backwards!)
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:48 PM   #51
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Chevy Citation. Left me stranded several times, once in the middle of an intersection.
DW had one of those at the time we got married and it had the same issue, in addition to randomly deciding it would not shift into reverse (manual transmission). She always made a point to park in a position where she would not need reverse.

On the engine quitting issue, several shops couldn't find anything wrong with it so we ended up selling it to a BIL who bought it despite being warned.

Oh, and it had a sun roof that leaked. No one could figure out that one either. When we bought the Honda Accord last year, I had thought about getting a six-cylinder but those only came with a sunroof, an automatic deal-killer for us. Been there, done that, got the wet t-shirt.
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Old 10-04-2015, 04:07 PM   #52
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2004 Chevy Silverado pickup was a major disappointment. Ran okay with few problems the first couple years, then it was one thing after another.......both front wheel bearings went out (at 30K miles!), power steering pump failed (while driving the truck....that was not fun!), brake calipers rusted out way too frequently (cheap Mexican steel, I was told by the mechanic), intermediate shaft had to be replaced, tailgate latch cable rusted out, and more. Then the real fun began, at about 60K miles - dashboard electronics started randomly going out, so you never knew if you were going to have any dashboard electronics (gas guage, etc) when you started the truck. Took it back to the dealer and he said he couldn't really find the cause of that problem (gee, thanks!). So, when the electronics came back on, I traded the damn thing in with only about 65K miles on it. Bought a Toyota Tundra after that, and so far it has been a much better truck for me. I will not be buying anymore GM trucks.
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What was the most UNRELIABLE car you've ever owned?
Old 10-04-2015, 04:21 PM   #53
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What was the most UNRELIABLE car you've ever owned?

Pontiac 6000. 1985. First and last GM car I ever bought.


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Old 10-04-2015, 05:01 PM   #54
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What great war stories!

Mine was a 1973 Chevy Vega wagon. It looked neat as heck (like a miniature Camaro), but the head gasket would blow every 12 months or so. It had a factory rebuilt engine with the steel cylinder sleeves, but the aluminum block would warp ever so slightly and the coolant would eventually find it way past the gasket. At least the head was easy to remove. If I checked the oil periodically I could tell when it was ready to blow as the oil would turn a milky grey when it was contaminated by the coolant.

It finally developed a rod knock, so I gave it to my brother. The engine locked up one day on the highway and he gave the title to the gas station owner to where it was towed.
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Old 10-04-2015, 05:57 PM   #55
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Mine as a used 1970 Renault R10. Water cooled engine....in the rear. It was my first car. The color was burnt orange, it had a push button automatic transmission that used the engine oil as coolant and it cost $300 in 1976. That was the first clue something was amiss. There was always something breaking. Just try to find on the shelf parts for a French car in east Tennessee in the 70's! It was a "well....we can order one" type of thing.

The only plus was it was the only one in town. If I was broken down at the side of the road, they knew it was me.
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Old 10-04-2015, 06:50 PM   #56
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Since people are beating up on Fords, I will throw in mine....

1985 Mercury Cougar..... had it for 10 years and 120K miles...

After 3 months the fuel pump stopped working, under warranty....

I know I had 3 or 4 other warranty things done, but can not remember what they were....

This care ATE batteries... the first one lasted 18 months... no other one lasted more than 12... in the 10 years I had the car had between 20 and 30 batteries.... almost all under warranty (I was surprised that when they replaced a battery they started the warranty over again.... until I was up to about 15 and they said they would not replace this one)....

The car also started to stall... there were times that I had to keep my foot on the gas when stopped to prevent it from just shutting off... it went into the shop 10 to 20 times for this... paid lots of money to fix 'this and that'.... but it always came back... Ford eventually admitted it was a problem but never told their dealers.... IIRC, I could have gotten a $500 off voucher for another Ford product....


I remember the day the shuttle blew up that my car was in the shop... went to pick it up and they said they did service on it.... replaced 8 spark plugs... WHAT>>> I have a 6 cylinder!!! OPPS....


The alternator was replaced.... the tranny went out at about 100K miles... OHHH, almost forgot that the power steering pump sprang a leak and I just did not fix it... just kept putting in more fluid... so the fluid went onto the suspension parts and over time ruined the front suspension on the right side... did not fix that either.... sold it to a friend who knew all the problems as they had a T-Bird, but theirs was worse than mine!!!

So between the batteries and stalling, I would say I had to do something with this car every 2 or 3 months.... during some stretches every month...

Said I would never buy another Ford, but when BIL died I did buy his Ford Explorer from sis.... cost me big time with bearings etc.... I will not go into all its problems, but it cost me over $10K to fix things that was not maintenance....

Sooooo, now I will not buy a Ford ever again... nor will I accept one as a gift unless I can sell it right away....
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:00 PM   #57
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Getting nervous with my 5 yrs old Ford F150 truck..... Anybody with a Ford truck with a good experience?
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:29 PM   #58
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Getting nervous with my 5 yrs old Ford F150 truck..... Anybody with a Ford truck with a good experience?

When I was looking to see any reference on my Cougar stalling.... I saw a few lawsuits against Ford for eco-boost stalling on the 150...

It seems Ford has been having stalling problems for many years... not just my car...
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:38 PM   #59
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Getting nervous with my 5 yrs old Ford F150 truck..... Anybody with a Ford truck with a good experience?
You should make it until its at least 6 years old. Mine is 6 years old with only a couple of minor problems
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Old 10-04-2015, 11:47 PM   #60
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Have owned mostly Hondas so never had occasion to complain about anything. Only went outside the brand and one of those was a Toyota Sienna which was a complete lemon. Fought with the dealer over several failures that should have been warrantied but dealer said no only to cough up the money a year and two after I was rid of the damn thing and the items were subject to recalls. Back to Hondas after that adventure and not disappointed!
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