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Old 10-05-2015, 07:15 AM   #61
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Getting nervous with my 5 yrs old Ford F150 truck..... Anybody with a Ford truck with a good experience?
Most of the vehicles cited, including Fords, have been decades ago. Hopefully all newer production cars are more reliable these days?
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Old 10-05-2015, 07:27 AM   #62
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Plymouth Horizon from the mid eighties. Don't remember the exact model year. It was not reliable.


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Old 10-05-2015, 07:33 AM   #63
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Can't believe no one has mentioned one yet.....my 1985 VW Westfalia.Wonderful when it worked. Younger sons first vehicle for a while. Still in the family, gave it to older son after I put a Subaru engine in it. What went wrong? There is not enough time & electrons to list. On the way back from Burning Man in 2007 DW actually comtemplated leaving me with it on the side of the road near Bishop CA and taking a (real) bus home.
An 'adventure in moving'.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:00 AM   #64
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Most of the vehicles cited, including Fords, have been decades ago. Hopefully all newer production cars are more reliable these days?
I think that's generally true "however", I could easily fix most problems on older cars (particularly those from the 50's, 60's and even into the 70's) The newer cars "with all the electronic components" can be harder for the ShadeTree mechanic like me to work on when the need does arise. Mechanical components on new vehicles are still serviceable for the most part. For the electronics , I've found a OBD reader/scanner (which can be bought for less than $100) is very helpful when trying to figure out out what's going on when your start see things like the engine warning light come on. Often the warning codes just need to be cleared and nothing is really wrong.

Back in the day (50's and 60's) I couldn't drive a car/truck for100k miles without having major problems with the engine/transmission etc. These day's (since the late 90's) driving a vehicle 100K+ miles has been easy for me to do without problems with little more service than regular oil and filter changes and maybe a brake job. YMMV
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:03 AM   #65
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No argument there. I used to work on my cars long ago (carb rebuild, starter repl, brake pads, plugs, timing, etc.), not any more. I put air in the tires, fill the WW fluid reservoir, replace tires & batteries, that's about it now...

Kinda normal for technology. Admittedly stretching to make a point but I can still work on desktop/laptop PC's, OTOH mobile devices - not a chance.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:14 AM   #66
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I wouldn't worry about the F-150. When we were building our house in 2005 I bought a used 1998 F-150 to haul things around. It was not pampered or even ever washed. Kept it for around 18 months and never did a thing to it except add gas and change the oil. When we were done, I washed it and sold it for more than I paid for it.
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Old 10-05-2015, 08:20 AM   #67
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I think that's generally true "however", I could easily fix most problems on older cars (particularly those from the 50's, 60's and even into the 70's) The newer cars "with all the electronic components" can be harder for the ShadeTree mechanic like me to work on when the need does arise. Mechanical components on new vehicles are still serviceable for the most part. For the electronics , I've found a OBD reader/scanner (which can be bought for less than $100) is very helpful when trying to figure out out what's going on when your start see things like the engine warning light come on. Often the warning codes just need to be cleared and nothing is really wrong. ...
First, you don't need a $100 scanner anymore. You can get an OBDII module that has BlueTooth and plugs into the port ( < $15). Then load a FREE program on your phone, or tablet (I assume laptop as well, have not checked). It does far more than my $60 scanner.

The one I bought (may be better prices out there now):
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...rch_detailpage


Second, as far as repairing cars with modern electronics, it's not always a problem for the 'shade tree mechanic'. They are modules, you replace them, and they aren't always expensive.

And the overall reliability improvements mean fewer of these issues to begin with. I'm sure the money I spent (inflation adjusted) for points, plugs, belts, carb kits, and 'tune ups', etc on my 60's era cars would more than pay for any repairs on my modern cars. Not even counting the repairs on those 60's cars.

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Old 10-05-2015, 08:24 AM   #68
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Second, as far as repairing cars with modern electronics, it's not always a problem for the 'shade tree mechanic'. They are modules, you replace them, and they aren't always expensive.

-ERD50
Really, I didn't know that! Now, if I could just figure out how to open the hood.
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Old 10-05-2015, 09:44 AM   #69
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Modern electronics made vehicles more reliable, and I like the fact that in most cases, the early warning lights, will give a signal, and at times, the truck(Ford) in this case, will go to a "limp mode", that allows me to drive it to the dealer before it actually breaks down.

Ford parts are actually cheaper. The cost of a TPS sensor is $109. What hurts me is the $99 electronic diagnostics, which I presume connecting my truck to a computer to determine codes, and the $100/ hour repair bill. It rounds up to $400. There is no way for me to know that a little $109 sensor is causing the problem, thus I feel we are captive to this. Funny, my Hondas, Toyotas, Nissan, and Subarus had many more miles than this truck and never had any electronic problems. Coincidence?
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:29 AM   #70
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... There is no way for me to know that a little $109 sensor is causing the problem, thus I feel we are captive to this. ...
If you get the $15 OBDII device I listed and a FREE diagnostic program for phone/tablet, you can read the codes. Then search the internet for that code and your make/model/year.

Often (not always), there is a common cause (or maybe a couple common causes), and it is often something you can DIY. If not, at least you are armed with the knowledge when you take it in (and I'd recc an independent mechanic with a good reputation, rather than a dealer).

Youtube is sometimes almost scary helpful for this. They have absolutely nailed a few things I searched for, with complete video on the repair, links to parts sources, etc. It's like having your own personal assistant (except for the repair itself!).

-ERD50
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:31 AM   #71
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Really, I didn't know that! Now, if I could just figure out how to open the hood.
If you do figure out how to open the hood, more and more likely this is what you'll find (as you know). Good luck!

Ya think automakers are trying to tell us something?
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:47 AM   #72
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If you do figure out how to open the hood, more and more likely this is what you'll find (as you know). Good luck!

Ya think automakers are trying to tell us something?
Yes, things sure have changed. Some of my older cars I can still climb in (sometimes need a ladder these days) and sit in the engine bay and work on things. Yes this can be dangerous and it's best to do with the engine off and cold.
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Old 10-05-2015, 10:50 AM   #73
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Well, I found one thing I could do on my Lexus: I easily changed the cabin and engine air filters! Other than adding air to a tire, that's about the limit of my car DIY maintenance.
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Old 10-05-2015, 11:19 AM   #74
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If you do figure out how to open the hood, more and more likely this is what you'll find (as you know). Good luck!

Ya think automakers are trying to tell us something?
Is that a nucular reactor?
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:20 PM   #75
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Is that a nucular reactor?
Being unfamiliar with that word, I had to look it up. Here is the definition I found
Adjective

nucular ‎(comparative more nucular, superlative most nucular)
(botany) Nut-shaped; of or relating to a nucule — a section of a compound (usually hard) fruit

Clear as mud.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:36 PM   #76
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Being unfamiliar with that word, I had to look it up. Here is the definition I found
Adjective

nucular ‎(comparative more nucular, superlative most nucular)
(botany) Nut-shaped; of or relating to a nucule — a section of a compound (usually hard) fruit

Clear as mud.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucular
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:41 PM   #77
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Can't believe no one has mentioned one yet.....my 1985 VW Westfalia.Wonderful when it worked. Younger sons first vehicle for a while. Still in the family, gave it to older son after I put a Subaru engine in it. What went wrong? There is not enough time & electrons to list. On the way back from Burning Man in 2007 DW actually contemplated leaving me with it on the side of the road near Bishop CA and taking a (real) bus home.
An 'adventure in moving'.
Scandalous! Don't you know you are not allowed to complain about them!
They are supposed to break down, lol! That's the, um, charm.
Seriously, I do love a Westfalia, though I've never owned one.

Had a buddy take one of those from Asheville down to Mexico, also with the Subaru engine. And when the engine went bad, well, there he was, with incredibly plentiful VW parts, and a Subaru engine. In those circs, I would have pulled that Subaru back out, put in a VW from local sources, and kept on going. Instead, he had all sorts of expensive parts shipped in while he languished in a very small one-horse town. He still doesn't like to talk about that trip.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:44 PM   #78
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Thanks, now it makes sense. I must have accidentally clicked on the wrong definition.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:28 PM   #79
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2006 BMW 325i that DW refuses to part with. For some inexplicable reason, changing the oil costs $120. Our independent guy charges us $100. Same premium for batteries, antifreeze, etc. We've had tons of stuff go bad, that should not go bad at less than 60K, like oil leaks, coolant leaks, window and door lock actuators, and ignition coils. Unexplainable computer and electrical problems... software updates that created new unexplainable problems. It chews through an expensive set of tires every 20-25K miles. Exterior rubber parts crumble if you touch them. Replaced headlights at least 5-6 times. Everything seems to cost 2-3X what it would on a "regular" car. The dealer wanted $200 to update NAV maps. We declined. I will celebrate the day someone else drives away in that POS.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:52 PM   #80
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........
Seriously, I do love a Westfalia, though I've never owned one.
............
I have a friend with Westy that gives him nothing but grief. I asked why he didn't get rid of it and he asked "Do you realize how much these are worth?" Indeed they are surprisingly valuable given their age and, ahem, reliability.
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