Last post on Oct 19, 2007 at 4:28 AM
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#59 of 65 Re: Disposing of these cars [graphicguy]
May 08, 2006 (9:42 am)
Personally, we raid the glove compartment as soon as the salesman goes in for the keys ... For some reason most of the cars I have bought in Cincinnati were originally sold in Toledo.
The Topaz that I was burned on was purchased the day it was traded in. Since the transmission problem was intermittant (gave the vehicle to my transmission guy in Cleveland who drove it problem free for a month), neither the dealer or myself disovered it until it was too late.
Nov 21, 2006 (11:22 am)
A reporter with a national newspaper is hoping to talk with consumers who have ever gotten or given a car for Christmas. The reporter is especially interested in funny/unusual or good or bad experiences and what works or what doesnít. Please reply to ctalatiedmunds.com no later than Tuesday, December 5, 2006 with your daytime contact info.
#61 of 65 My one bad mistake
Nov 25, 2006 (7:13 pm)
My parents gave me their 1995 Buick Century in October 2003. This is after they bought it new, put 224,000 miles on it and had just replaced the entire A/C system from condenser to evaporator and compresor and every hose in between.
I drove it for a courier service and racked up 46,000 miles in about a year. The car was great. Was getting 25+ in mixed driving. Then the lockup converter solenoid got stuck and it started stalling when you came to a stop and wouldn't go again. So I unlugged the electrical connector to the solenoid and drove it without lockup. Gas mileage went down but I wasn't getting stuck everywhere anymore. No problem.
Then I got this brilliant idea that if I had a big van, I could carry more packages, take bigger deliveries, and make more money. So I looked around for a minivan that would get maybe 20mpg in mixed driving and settled for a 1991 Aerostar extended length minivan. It looked good, drove good on a 3-mile test drive, and the dealer was willing to trade even for my Century which now had 270,000 miles on it. My Century was sold for $1200 to a guy who took cars to Mexico for a living and he got 25,000 pesos for it. (About $2300)
The Aerostar's transmission failed in less than 200 miles of driving. $1500 to rebuild and install a fluid cooler. Then it was plugs and wires and cap and rotor because the van wouldn't go over 45-50mph. Then the heater core burst one night while I was sleeping in it because I was broke from the transmission repair and couldn't afford my apartment anymore. Then the radiator began leaking profusely. Then the driveshaft FELL OFF at 35mph. Then the front brakes ground THROUGH the rotors and I was lucky to be able to reuse the calipers and hubs. Then the water pump started leaking. Then it was rear shocks breaking off their mounts. And finally, the exhaust system disintegrated.
The whole time I owned this van I had to start it with a screwdriver at the solenoid under the hood because the ignition switch was fried.
I will say the engine was very good. But the rest of the van was falling apart.
I sold it to a guy for $750, and the transmission shop who I was still paying payments to repossessed the van from the guy I sold it to. I refunded his $750 and the transmission shop sold the van for a profit. A few months ago I get a call from the guy who bought the van and he was having more overheating problems.
I told him to stuff it, was sick of the thing and never wanted to see it again.
Next thing I know I'm at a charity car auction and guess what rolled through the lane and brought $950 while I laughed to myself in the far corner?
#62 of 65 Oh, this is fun..
Nov 28, 2006 (7:05 pm)
Maybe get this rolling again with some cars that didn't roll all the time.....
I was a member of the 80 VW Rabbit club. Yep. Made in Pennsylvania. Was a ball to drive when it ran. That "when it ran" was the problem. Typically VW it was full of electrical glitches. Two happened simultaneously - the idiot light for the engine temp stopped working (though not when you turned the key just short of starting - so you wouldn't know it wasn't working) and the radiator fan stopped. You can guess the rest. Fried motor. They tried to nail me for abuse and a $600 engine rebuild (in 1980 dollars - this was the first time I bought new) until I produced all the receipts. Only car I ever dumped before it was paid for.
Replaced it with an 80 Accord sedan which proved that you could make a good tinny car.
Then, of course, there was the 95 Windstall. An OK vehicle for 80K and not another inch! Popped engine seals like popcorn. Transmission rebuild. Ugh. Found out that Ford customer service made VW look like the Sisters of Charity.
Replaced that with an Accord as well....
I consider it a personal badge of honor that Windstall is in the Edmunds' spell checker.
Oct 09, 2007 (9:25 am)
Mine was a 98. But I understand the issues carried on for a couple of years after it was first introduced.
We just had a child and we wanted a vehicle that was reliable and could do a lot of different things. Occasionally haul a small boat, transport a family, carry groceries.
What a mistake. Here are some of the problems...
-Harmonic Balancer (60K miles)
That in turn damages the upper oil pan. (Major $)
-Breaks every 10K/Rotors every 20K ($)
-Transmission (90K) (Major $)
-Window switches (50K)
-Rear suspension (80K) (Major $)
-Fuel line and filter replacement (Required by
Mercedes, but not covered in a recall)
-Rear hatch always rubs paint off rear bumper. (Annoying!)
-Lot of interior noise/generally poor build quality
-Fuel Gauge (Never accurate)
-Engine sensor (triggered by gas cap 90% of the time)
-Electronic traction control failure. (Major $)
What a relief to unburden myself, and my family from this vehicle. It did handle well, but after a while it wasn't something I looked forward to drive because there was always an issue.
I fixed everything and sold it. Maybe it will serve the next owner better then it served me. Afterall they say a Mercedes is just hitting it's stride at 100K!
I'll watch as I drive by in my Honda Pilot.
#64 of 65 Fiat X 19, or X-19, or X 1/9
Oct 09, 2007 (8:12 pm)
I donít even remember the year of the thing, mid-70ís something. I guess Iíve tried to block out owning it.
I had it for about 2 weeks and stopped to get gas. When I tried to start it the timing belt broke and bent all the valves. That put it in the shop for almost a month. They must have sent the parts from Italy by whale-back.
I got a flat tire about once a week. It had tubes in the tires and, for some reason; they wanted to let the air have some freedom.
I took it on about a 200 mile trip (yes, obviously a bad idea). I decided to take the top off (it stowed in the front trunk). Between the sunburn and the windburn I couldnít sleep for two days. The best part was, when I was those 200 miles from home, the transmission started to make noises like the bearings were shot. That landed it in the shop for another three or four weeks.
When it was cold out it didnít want to start. I had to hold the choke with all my might and right before it sounded like the battery was about to give up it would start.
Out of the six months I owned it I was able to drive it about half the time.
I traded it in on a used í74 Monte Carlo which is another horror story. The dealer thought it was a Triumph TR7 instead of a Fiat, thank God.
#65 of 65 1996 Saturn SL2
Oct 19, 2007 (4:28 am)
After driving my mothers 96 SC1, my 21 year old mind decided to trade my Mitsu Mirage for an ordered 96 SL2 4dr 5-speed w/roof! The experience of feeling so adult, having them clap for me as I drove out, no co-signer - it was great; did I mention the moon roof?
One mile later, as I entered the interstate - SES light, stall - couldn't re-start. I called the roadside number and let them know I was stranded (I can't believe I had a cell in 96, but alas.) I told the woman that my car stopped and I could not re-start, she asked me for all of my information, then we got to "How many miles are on the car". My response, "6", she paused - "ugh, 6000 sir?", "no, 6 - so that means hurry!"
The SES light, followed by a stall and being stranded continued on for 8 months. During this time, my car spend a solid month in Spring Hill, TN being reviewed and having a nickel plated converter installed. I was given a car back that didn't run - and was told to have it removed from their lot of I would be charged storage .
A month later, the morning of lemon law court, I was contacted by head of Consumer Affairs. I didn't care about principle at aht point, I wanted my downpayment and life back. I took the payoff/return and $2K down and went right to the Subaru dealer. I told them that I, nor would anyone in my family, ever buy a Saturn again. 11 years later, still not one purchase of any GM product in my entire immediate and extended family.
The car smelled like rotten eggs too. Today, on my way to work I was behind a Vue, not that I saw it until the last minute, but I smelled it in front of me. I guess some things never change.