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#327 of 336 Re: While I have mentioned [xwesx]
Nov 28, 2007 (10:27 am)
Believe it or not, the car I always wanted as a teen was a '92 Geo Tracker.
One of my friends had a 1998 Tracker convertible, that he bought new. Traded it back in May of 2006 with about 134,000 miles on it, for a new Xterra. As I recall, the two most persistent problems he had were the transmission, and some problem with the EGR valve that would randomly trigger the check engine light.
It had a 60,000 mile powertrain warranty on it, and like clockwork, that tranny failed around 20K, 40K, and thankfully, just before the 60K mile warranty was up. I'm convinced to this day the the dealer just did the bare minimum to get him through the warranty period, to where it wasn't their problem anymore. Still, I saw the paperwork, and it would be worded as "Transmission Overhaul", which while maybe not as intensive as a rebuild/replacement, I'm sure is more than just a drain & fill!
It failed again, around 86,000 miles. I had him take it to a local tranny place I had used before, and they got it running again for about 60 bucks. But warned him that it was on its last legs, and the next time it failed, that would probably be it. Next time came up at 93,000. The dealer beat around the bush and quoted $1-3K. The transmission place didn't even want to try messing with it again.
I called around and found a wrecking yard that had a wrecked 1996 Sidekick with 55K miles on it and a good transmission, and a place just down the hill from them that would put it in. I think it was around $650 for the tranny, $400 to put it in. And then, almost immediately, the check engine light came on. Turns out the torque converter wasn't locking up, and that triggered it. It was covered for free under the tranny's warranty...but get this. We took it back to the place that sold us the tranny. They sent it up to the local transmission shop to get it fixed. The transmission shop that, a few weeks before, didn't want to mess with the thing!
Anyway, after that, he never had a bit of transmission trouble and it was still running fine with 134K on it. It still had plenty of life left in it, although the convertible top was getting ratty and it had some hail damage on the hood. And the check engine light kept coming on, indicating the EGR valve. The mechanic checked it out though, and said it was fine. Turned off the light, and eventually it came back on. Finally my friend just bought a code reader and started turning it off himself whenever it came on!
#328 of 336 There's an excellent article...
Nov 28, 2007 (8:00 pm)
...about designing a car in the 1970s in the latest issue (February 2008) of Collectible Automobile. Designers interviewed in the article said designing a car during the Seventies was "sheer hell."
#329 of 336 Re: There's an excellent article... [lemko]
Nov 30, 2007 (7:35 pm)
I don't doubt it; how do they think the buyers felt?!
#330 of 336 My worst car to date
May 27, 2008 (10:07 am)
a 1.1L QQ with Manual 5Spd
My father bought it in China in april 2004 for 60000 RMB (about 7500 USD at that time)
While it seems to have been doing Ok for the first year, issues piled up when I drove this car in the few last months of 2005. The car needed to go to the shop as much as once a week.
When new, this car looked pretty promising with features found in European cars.
The Engine was very coarse though and any run above 70 mph was welcomed by a tiring engine whine. The road handling was simply frightening, the Engine lacked torque but was pretty thirsty (30 MPG). Briefly speaking, zero pleasure to drive.
My back was hurting after more than one hour drive. I later found a way to increase the lumbar support by sliding a piece of carton from a folded crate between my back and the seat which helped a lot.
The design of the QQ was shamelessly lifted from the CHevrolet/Daewoo Matiz, with only a few details changed to comply with the very relax chinese copyright laws (forbid only 100% similar products, so changing a door handle will do the job)
. Chery is know for lifting their design from many manufacturers very aggressively.
I can't list all the problems, but I remember being stranded on the motorway with wife and kids, having to call the highway rescue to have the car lifted away for a hefty amount.
Alternator, battery, power steering, Fan, cooling system, starter, starter wheel, front Lights, Mirrors, Fuel trap, ignition and many other items failed, sometimes many times.
I managed to hate this car, with its belt screetching when cold, its high MPG after a few months of slow drivers (this car was in many hands before I took it in 2005 and was recording 21 MPG at worst)
This car was involved in a collision with the roof on the passenger side bumping into a trailer. The car should have been written off as its structure integrity was compromised, but I don't know why, a workshop did a bad job repairing it and back to the road.
We tried to sell this car but nobody wanted it. We gave it and it was returned back to us. Everyone complained about the various problems showing up here and there.
Eventually I drove it for 500 miles for its last stretch to throw it away properly. The Engine would stall randomly on the highway, with the Check Engine light on, restarting after many tries. a real wreck and a nightmare.
Switching to the Fit was for me like going from darkness to light.
#331 of 336 Re: My worst car to date [vchiu]
Jun 03, 2008 (11:58 pm)
And they want to sell these things in the States? Sounds worse than the Yugos...must be the Bricklin curse
#333 of 336 Re: Some of the Worse Cars that I've Owned....... [gtgtcobra]
Jul 31, 2008 (2:00 pm)
"The worse cars that I've owned have been:
1978 Ford Fairmont "
Interestingly enough, that was one of my BEST cars. I drove one from 1979 - 1989, about 130K. It provided excellent service, minimum problems, and got around 23 MPG.
I had the 302 V8, did you have a smaller engine?
#334 of 336 Re: Some of the Worse Cars that I've Owned....... [stevedebi]
Aug 04, 2008 (4:33 pm)
The '78 Fairmont tended to be a very inconsistent car. They were really popular that first year out, and Ford was struggling to keep up with demand. As a result, they might have been slamming them together faster than is recommended. They were also plagued with a lot of recalls that year, although they were better than, say, a 1976 Aspen/Volare or a 1980 Citation.
The vast majority of them had 200 straight-sixes. That was actually a pretty durable engine. Cheap to maintain, simple to build, dating back to the 1960 Ford Falcon's 144 unit. The 2.3 OHC 4-cyl also used in the Pinto was actually the base engine. The 302, while optional, I don't think was all that popular as Ford tended to push the Fairmont as an economical car.
I think inconsistency was a big problem back in the 70's, though. I swear they could build one car that would go a quarter-million miles without any trouble, yet the next one off the assembly line would be cursed from day one!
I imagine with the 302, the lightweight Fairmont was a pretty quick car.
#335 of 336 Ford Escort 1300L
Nov 21, 2008 (4:11 pm)
My worst car, without a doubt, was a 1973 Escort 1300L 2-door - which I got in 1976, and sold (gratefully) in 1978, after it had tried several times to kill me...
It was only fitted with drum brakes - no discs on the front - they were still an option on that model here until 1975. My first indication the car was really bad was when I braked slightly, slowing at the point where the M1 motorway then ended in north London, and one of the front brakes completely seized on, so I found myself facing oncoming traffic in the fast lane, having spun 180 degrees without any warning - I was only expecting to slow from 75 to about 65 mph, so a locked wheel was a bit of a surprise...
It also had a habit of breaking engine mounts every 500 miles, the exhaust pipe constantly moved as a result, banging against the outrigger to the side of the engine bay, and a couple of the tyres would go bald after about 2000 miles.
Turned out one of the previous owners had taken a fairly large hit amidships in the thing and basically the entire bodyshell was out of alignment, so it really wasn't roadworthy.
It was beyond my means to fix it- and I sold it to a dealer - for very little, because it had also acquired a couple of dents and a cracked back window (that was vandalism, not the cars fault).
If anyone out there ever owned or encountered MTX 404L after me I am truly sorry - it really should have been scrapped.
My next car was my first Mini 1000 - and that was probably a wreck, but at least it was only tatty - it did at least go around corners (like a roller skate) and I felt safe driving it (even if my passengers didn't )