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Old 07-17-2008, 10:58 AM   #41
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For all you that are bagging on GM, do you actually own a GM car? I'll readily admit that in the 70's and 80's, American car makers got complacent. However, from any mechanic I've ever spoken with recently, they all tell me that there are no unreliably built cars any more. I've owned GM's and I've owner almost every other brand as well, and have been very happy with my GM's. Personally, I think a Buick is the car to own (although I don't at the moment). You can buy them a year old, for half price and get half that money back in two years. It'll cost ya' three grand a year or less total for a good quality, loaded up car, that's under warranty for the most part.
I recently traded in my bigger SUV for a Chevy Equinox. It's fully loaded and looks almost identical to the Lexus crossover. I can assure you I'll spend much less than that Lexus owner over the life of the vehicle.
I turned in my last GM car in 2006. I had owned FIVE NEW ones in a 20 year period. Here's the carnage:

1989 Grand Am - Tranny went at 41,000 miles. Head gasket problems, rattles everywhere.......

1993 Bonneville SSEi - Supercharger went at 20,000 miles. Heads-up display went at 34,000 miles. Other than that, it was a nice car.

1996 Pontiac Grand Prix - tranny went at 27,000 miles, 3 MONTHS after warranty. If I wouldn't have been in the business, Pontiac would have made me pay for everything, as it was I was out $700.

2000 Chevy Malibu - I can't even list all the problems I had with that.....

2003 Buick Rendevous - Probably the best GM car I owned, although the gas pedal detached while I was driving on the interstate, and the brake fluid reservoir failed while I was 500 miles from home, which pissed me off. Try getting a car fixed on a Saturday night in a strange town..........

The reason I owned a lot of GM cars was I worked at GM dealers, and DW and I used to build up our GM card rebates so we would have money to put down............

When the Rendevous was up on lease, I bought an off-lease 2003 Honda Accord with 34,000 miles. I just hit 80,000, and the only thing that I had to replace (other than tires and wiper blades) was the rear brakes (at 72,000 miles), not bad at all.

My buddy sold me his one-year old Honda Odyssey with 18,000 miles for a wholesale price. I have not had ONE problem with the Hondas, so I am now all Honda all the time. I still have $2800 on a GM card rebate to use, but GM has a LOT to prove to me before that happens. If the THREE YEAR reliability on the Malibus turns out well, maybe then.........

I am SURE there are MILLIONS of former GM car owners that have done as I have, which is sad for GM.............
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:28 AM   #42
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Has everyone forgot what garbage cars Toyota, Honda, and Datsun were in the 70's? The Honda Civics were no for rusting so badly that eventually the hood would just cave in. The Datsun B-210's were pure junk. Toyota had garbage with the Cressida and Corolla, and the pickups were toys. The difference was that few of us owned them, so we didn't have to deal with the problem.
I've owned Cadillacs for years, and not only have I had little problems with them, but whenever I go to the service dept., they've been great. I will readily admit that most GM dealerships haven't given the customer service in the service dept. that Lexus or Infiniti has. However, when I owned my Infiniti, they wore me out with surveys and other garbage. There can be too much harrassment by the dealership.
Anyway, I currently own a Mercedes 380SL Convertible that I rarely drive. It's my toy that I put maybe 4000 miles a year on. The service has killed me! I've spent $3k a year over the last three years just to keep it running. Where's the value in that?!!
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:32 AM   #43
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I've never, ever, ever heard of someone buying a Mercedes for value. You should check out Consumer Reports, they seem a bit biased in their car guide, but fairly consistant with my experiences... you might find them useful as well.

Having been born in '77, I can't say I remember the quality of import cars in the '70's... but I'll keep that in mind if I get the urge to trade my '06 Accord in on a '73 Datsun.
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:33 AM   #44
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my first car was a '92 firebird i bought used, good thing i got a warranty on it. had to replace the water pump and alternator in the 5 months i owned it and then i wrecked it.

family has owned GM cars. Pontiac Grand Prix the AC died after a few years. replaced by a Buick Regal and now mom is telling me it's costing a lot in repairs and it has maybe 40,000 miles. i drove it a few years ago and it felt like it was about to fall apart.

knew someone with a pontiac sunbird whose brake disks literally broke in half

i hear that with mercedes when you do an oil change you have to pay for some test where they analyze the oil
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:04 PM   #45
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Has everyone forgot what garbage cars Toyota, Honda, and Datsun were in the 70's? The Honda Civics were no for rusting so badly that eventually the hood would just cave in. The Datsun B-210's were pure junk. Toyota had garbage with the Cressida and Corolla, and the pickups were toys. The difference was that few of us owned them, so we didn't have to deal with the problem.
I've owned Cadillacs for years, and not only have I had little problems with them, but whenever I go to the service dept., they've been great. I will readily admit that most GM dealerships haven't given the customer service in the service dept. that Lexus or Infiniti has. However, when I owned my Infiniti, they wore me out with surveys and other garbage. There can be too much harrassment by the dealership.
Anyway, I currently own a Mercedes 380SL Convertible that I rarely drive. It's my toy that I put maybe 4000 miles a year on. The service has killed me! I've spent $3k a year over the last three years just to keep it running. Where's the value in that?!!
Been down that road too. I owned a 78 Corolla I bought from a buddy who needed money. The rear bumper was held on by a bungee cord. However, it got 41 on the highway (stick shift).

I got an 85 Nissan 200SX turbo in 1986. NEVER put a dollar into it, and the college girls sure liked it.......

DW owned a 1987 Nissan Maxima once. OK car, except it ate front rotors........

Since about the late 80's, Toyota and Honda have been smacking GM Ford and Chrysler around............
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:05 PM   #46
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I've never, ever, ever heard of someone buying a Mercedes for value. You should check out Consumer Reports, they seem a bit biased in their car guide, but fairly consistant with my experiences... you might find them useful as well.

Having been born in '77, I can't say I remember the quality of import cars in the '70's... but I'll keep that in mind if I get the urge to trade my '06 Accord in on a '73 Datsun.
A 240Z would be a sweet ride, if you could find one.........
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:22 PM   #47
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I know someone who has a 240Z sitting in their underground parking. He moved from the East Coast, lost the title and can't seem to get a new one. He'd sell the car for $2k, but you can't get license plates for the thing! The car has 32k miles on it. Not sure of the year.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:01 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Art G View Post
For all you that are bagging on GM, do you actually own a GM car? I'll readily admit that in the 70's and 80's, American car makers got complacent. However, from any mechanic I've ever spoken with recently, they all tell me that there are no unreliably built cars any more. I've owned GM's and I've owner almost every other brand as well, and have been very happy with my GM's. Personally, I think a Buick is the car to own (although I don't at the moment). You can buy them a year old, for half price and get half that money back in two years. It'll cost ya' three grand a year or less total for a good quality, loaded up car, that's under warranty for the most part.
I recently traded in my bigger SUV for a Chevy Equinox. It's fully loaded and looks almost identical to the Lexus crossover. I can assure you I'll spend much less than that Lexus owner over the life of the vehicle.
I have not owned a GM vehicle since 1978. But I travel on business frequently and end up with an American rental car almost every time, and very few of them have made a good impression. And I work with about 80 people, many who have bought American made cars all along, and the horror stories are too frequent for me to be comfortable. The horror stories with Honda and Toyota must be rare, because I have never personally heard one.

Chevy Equinox comparable to the Lexus. That's awfully generous.

But most important, I doubt there are any Americans who arbitrarily prefer to buy Japanese cars, I know I don't. I would be more than glad, even prefer, to buy American as soon as they build a small car even remotely comparable to a Honda or a Toyota. And I can't believe they can't, they just haven't been interested in my business for the past 30 years...
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:21 PM   #49
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I have owned a Lexus 470GX V8 for 3.5 years and my maintenance cost has been 5 Oil changes (about $100). Coming up on the next one and the 6 quarts of Castol and Fram Oil filter are awaiting installation (6th Oil change) cost about $20 more. I too wish the American Car Makers could build something well that I would buy but the last one I owned was in 1975 and it is a piece of junk IMHO within about 2 years (lots of problems). I doubt they have improved THAT much.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:25 AM   #50
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My buddy sold me his one-year old Honda Odyssey with 18,000 miles for a wholesale price. I have not had ONE problem with the Hondas, so I am now all Honda all the time. I still have $2800 on a GM card rebate to use, but GM has a LOT to prove to me before that happens. If the THREE YEAR reliability on the Malibus turns out well, maybe then.........

I am SURE there are MILLIONS of former GM car owners that have done as I have, which is sad for GM.............[/quote]


I own a 97 Honda Civic, I replaced a set of tires 2 batteries and oil filters/air filters that's it. I'm going for 200,000 on this car. Honda had me at hello.

My wife has a 2004 Odyssey and we just replaced the tires and the oil.
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:30 AM   #51
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i priced out a Vibe and a Matrix a few years ago. The Matrix was cheaper even if i used my GM card points to help with the Vibe. same options
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Old 07-18-2008, 08:31 AM   #52
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For all you that are bagging on GM, do you actually own a GM car?
I'm not going to get on the argument against US badged cars vs. non-US (Euro or Far East) vehicles, but in answer to the question:

Currently have 4 vehicles (DW-2, me-2)

Hers:
- 2001 Chevy Impala (purchased new)
- 2002 Olds Auroa (1 owner used)

Mine:
- 2002 Ford Mustang GT vert (purchased new)
- 2005 Cadillac SRX (1 owner used)

With all four cars, I've never had a single "non-normal" maintenance problem.

Oh BTW, the last car we got rid of was an '89 Olds Ciera, drove for 18 years (well over 100k miles) and never had a problem other than normal maintenance.

Not to say that a "US" badge is superior, but just to say that some of us still buy "domestically". Yes, I still remember the early "Jap trash" of the early '70's, but then all vehicles (regardless of where they were made - I had a '71 Vega ) had problems.

Why do I still buy "American made"? Just my age (since I'm an early boomer).

Just my comments on the discussion at hand.

- Ron
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:22 AM   #53
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Sorry, but you all are victims of the hype machine. Believe me, I spent many years in the auto industry and heard time and again from the car snobs who buy a BMW or Volvo because of what they read in a car magazine, even though after driving the Cadillac, they could feel the superior ride. I challenge anyone to convince me that a 300 series BMW is a better car than a Caddy CTS. Not even close in ride!
I'd bet that I've owned more cars over the last 20 years than any of you, and while the Japanese cars have had solid engines, I can't tell you how many times the cheap plastic parts inside the car have broken off.
Sorry, but this is a really big pet peeve of mine.
Basing your decision on rental cars?? You mean the cars that are base models driven by people who do nothing to care for the cars, use inferior gasoline because it's cheaper, and drive them like they would never drive their own vehicles?
I've dealt with customer service problems, gone to too many ride and drives, and compared side by side. For overall value, give me the American built car.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:10 AM   #54
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Believe me, I spent many years in the auto industry and heard time and again from the car snobs who buy a BMW or Volvo because of what they read in a car magazine, even though after driving the Cadillac, they could feel the superior ride. I challenge anyone to convince me that a 300 series BMW is a better car than a Caddy CTS. Not even close in ride!
"Superior ride" is somewhat subjective. I've never driven (let alone) owned either make, but would imagine that most BMW suspensions are probably stiffer than most Cadillacs? In any case, there is far more to any vehicle than the quality of the "ride".

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I'd bet that I've owned more cars over the last 20 years than any of you
I'm sure you're right. I've only owned two cars in that period (both Toyotas) ... I haven't needed more.

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I've dealt with customer service problems, gone to too many ride and drives, and compared side by side. For overall value, give me the American built car.
You are entitled to your opinion, and should definitely base that opinion on your personal experience.

My own experience has been that Japanese cars offer excellent quality and value, so I'm not tempted to try anything different ... particularly when American cars are union-made (I never choose a union-made product, when I have a choice).
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #55
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Sorry, but you all are victims of the hype machine. Believe me, I spent many years in the auto industry and heard time and again from the car snobs who buy a BMW or Volvo because of what they read in a car magazine, even though after driving the Cadillac, they could feel the superior ride. I challenge anyone to convince me that a 300 series BMW is a better car than a Caddy CTS. Not even close in ride!.
It is according to what you mean by 'ride'.... if you are talking about driving on the edge of the limit of your tires... the BMW wins hands down... the CTS is a 'luxury' car... and the ride is 'softer'...

I can tell you that my Acura TL can out handle a CTS (but the V8 version is faster than mine).... and my ride is very nice... could I beat a BMW on curves? I don't know... but I doubt I could all else being the same...

NOW, I don't know why someone would want to buy a BMW because of the PRICE and their repair record.... wasn't even on my radar.. (BTW, the CTS was, just got beat out by the TL... maybe the newer one would win today, but I bought in 2004)...
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #56
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Apparently, at Consumer Reports there's some kind of conspiracy going on against these American cars! Open the reliability ratings to the pages with the American cars and the page is filled with back ink indicating below average reliability. Go to the pages of the Asian car makers and the pages are largely red ink, indicating above average reliability. It is there in "black and red", visible to anyone who wants to look, and based on the actual experiences of the people who own these cars. Sure, each brand has a few especially good models and a few stinkers, but the overall trend is very clear. The American cars, in general, have poor reliability and quality compared to the Japanese, and even now the Korean, brands.

GM is reaping what they have sewn, and it is a sad day.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:31 AM   #57
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....the Japanese cars have had solid engines, I can't tell you how many times the cheap plastic parts inside the car have broken off....
This is why I did not buy Japanese cars until recently.... just the sun visor was enough to keep me away.... they were very cheap thin plastic that would warp in the Texas heat... I bought a 95 Monte Carlo (and still have it) back then.... but the TL had it all IMO...

The newer cars are not the same... in fact, I would never have looked at a Hyundai... but they have gotten a lot of good press on their new and improved cars... and I went with a friend to test drive and was impressed... very nice cars... we will see if they hold up over the long term...

BTW, I did buy my BILs Explorer even though I swore off Fords.... my sister needed the money and I needed a family vehicle.... we will see if they can change my mind about Fords.... but probably not...
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:43 AM   #58
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There is a cachet component imho. The car we drive all the time now is a very unsexy second-hand 11 year old Ford Escort in perfect condition with fabulous mileage--our kids would not be caught dead driving it. A friend drives an old Saab--guess who thinks his car is cool? I told him from the inside I can pretend my car is a Minicooper....
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:57 AM   #59
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I know someone who has a 240Z sitting in their underground parking. He moved from the East Coast, lost the title and can't seem to get a new one. He'd sell the car for $2k, but you can't get license plates for the thing! The car has 32k miles on it. Not sure of the year.
If the owner wants to, he can get another title. Their state's version of the Secretary of State/Motor Vehicle Registration can do a title search and then contact the original owner to see if he wants the car. The owner would be able to get the title, but he would probably have to be there in person. If someone buys it, they would have to sit on it for a while for the title search to complete before they issued a new title.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:42 PM   #60
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Apparently, at Consumer Reports there's some kind of conspiracy going on against these American cars! Open the reliability ratings to the pages with the American cars and the page is filled with back ink indicating below average reliability. Go to the pages of the Asian car makers and the pages are largely red ink, indicating above average reliability. It is there in "black and red", visible to anyone who wants to look, and based on the actual experiences of the people who own these cars. Sure, each brand has a few especially good models and a few stinkers, but the overall trend is very clear. The American cars, in general, have poor reliability and quality compared to the Japanese, and even now the Korean, brands.

GM is reaping what they have sewn, and it is a sad day.

Find a different product in Consumer Reports that you feel you know quite a bit about and see if you agree with their assessment. What I've found is like AAA, Consumer Report is now an advertising tool. I've rarely agreed with their opinions, but so many use them to make their decision.
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