Last post on Aug 25, 2008 at 7:41 AM
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#73 of 122 Re: a coworker [tankbeans]
Aug 04, 2008 (10:05 am)
Less than 10% of the cost of my daughter's "oh, the oil light must be malfunctioning. I can't be out of oil" adventure.
She's lucky she didn't kill herself. After that she was lucky that I didn't...
#74 of 122 Re: a coworker [fezo]
Aug 04, 2008 (10:11 am)
My '68 Dart used to have its own way of letting me know it was low on oil. When it got down to about two quarts, if you went around a corner too fast or stopped suddenly, the oil pressure light would come on for a second or two. I guess what was happening was that oil was sloshing around in the pan, and the pickup tube was just sucking air.
#75 of 122 Re: a coworker [fezo]
Aug 04, 2008 (10:17 am)
...She's luck she didn't kill herself. After that she was lucky that I didn't...
I'm sure the I told you so speech was very much exciting. I must admit that in past cars I've had I've ignored the CEL because they've all been over 10 years old with 170k+ on them and I've always figured, well the dummy lights are stuck and I'll just be careful. In fact that was just the case in a 91 LeSabre I bought. The previous owner's had said the light had been on for years and they had taken it to the shop 4 times to see what the problem was and nobody had ever been able to find anything.
I know I had an ABS light that wouldn't go away after a while, but I didn't do anything about it because, even though the car was still worth about $5500 at the time, to fix the ABS would have run about half of the cars total worth. I wasn't about to do that.
#76 of 122 Re: a coworker [Mr_Shiftright]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Aug 04, 2008 (11:05 am)
CELs don't "strand" us because we don't want them to.
I think it's pretty courteous of newer cars to go into limp mode and lock you in second gear so you can get to the shop when the transmission goes. I'd guess I'd think it was less courteous if it actually had happened to me, but I've missed that pleasure so far.
Back in the day, didn't "stock" car racers dismantle the running gear, check every part for spec, and replace or hone those parts that weren't on spec? I used to think that the occasional wonder car that went 100,000 miles without hiccuping was one that just happened to wind up with 99% of its parts right on spec. Now most cars seem to run fine to that distance with little maintenance being required.
#77 of 122 Re: a coworker [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 04, 2008 (11:11 am)
Well, it wasn't my car, it was a coworker's, but when I mentioned to him that he ought to check the oil regularly, he said he had and found it on the dipstick. So who knows....I wouldn't have thought it was that hard to read a dipstick...
But see, even if this car was under 50K miles (which it wasn't), I wouldn't have called it a lemon based on this incident, because the low oil was due to owner negligence.
Indeed, the vast majority of things that seem to go wrong with the cars of people I know are either because of neglected maintenance or neglected routine checks like oil and tires.
#78 of 122 Re: a coworker [nippononly]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 04, 2008 (12:54 pm)
Isn't it sort of a "given" among engineers that the more complex something is, the more likely the chance of a breakdown?
e.g. lawnmower vs. Saturn V rocket
Of course I guess a corollary of that (is that the right word) is that a defect in a very simple object is likely to be more disastrous than a defect in a machine that has 250,000 parts in it.
e.g. flat tire on bicycle going 25 mph vs. flat tire on 18-wheeler going 25 mph.
#80 of 122 Re: Is There Really Such a Thing as a "Lemon"? [dvsutton]
Aug 07, 2008 (7:01 am)
Actually, for Honda and Toyota badged vehicles, its more than people want to admit. Why do people have a problem admitting to bad Japanese quality?
From my experience, it seems to be quite the opposite. Owners of domestic vehicles (primarily 1970s and 1980s) rarely complained about "minor" problems which inflated their "good" numbers giving them a better quality rating than they should have had. If/when they bought a Japanese (or European) car, they suddenly realized that some of those problems they overlooked don't have to be there at all.
My family has owned a number of Japanese, American, and European vehicles in the past 40 years. The Japanese cars probably had the best reliability of any with an early (1974) Subaru running for eight years before being sold to a friend and a 1991 Suzuki that's been in the family since new without a major problem. Also there's the 1995 Acura, 2002 Toyota Sienna, 2007 Toyota Camry, 1982 Toyota Corolla...nary a problem among them. On the flip side, there was the Olds Calais that lost its engine before 70,000 miles, the Chevrolet Celebrity that barely made it to the dealer to be traded in, and I won't go into the Ford Granada, Ford Pinto, rattly Dodge Neon, etc.
My point is if you can provide a story of a family of "bad" Toyotas, I can give you more families of "excellent" experiences. The good stories are the norm, the bad ones are the anomalies. They're not infalible, but they are better than average.
#81 of 122 Re: Is There Really Such a Thing as a "Lemon"? [dvsutton]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 07, 2008 (7:21 am)
Well the problem is that you only have anecdotal evidence, which is true as far as it goes, but in fact it doesn't go any further than your personal experiences.
When statistical evidence, rather than anecdotal, is applied, brands like Toyota and Honda really are much better than domestic cars overall.
Further proof if you will is their outstanding success in the marketplace. One would have to assume that American car buyers are stupid if they buy inferior products, and especially stupid if they pay higher prices for those inferior products. And REALLY stupid in that they KEEP buying these inferior products.
There's just no case to suggest that Toyota isn't one of the best made cars in the world.
This is not to say that domestic products haven't gotten BETTER--they most certainly have.
But you know what they say: "When you are first out of the gate by a long shot, it's very hard for anyone to catch you".
#82 of 122 Re: Is There Really Such a Thing as a "Lemon"? [dvsutton]
Aug 07, 2008 (3:31 pm)
I don't understand. I guess I am the one in every crowd. The one that can honestly admit Japanese quality is a sham.
I will gladly write you a check for the amount I spent to keep my 2003 Accord running for 65,000 miles if you will write me a check for the amount of money I spent keeping a 1995 Dodge Neon running for 65K miles!!!!
Trust me, I'll come out a much richer man for it, as the Accord's costs were in-line with typical Honda tradition and stayed in the single digits for 65,000 miles. That digit would be 0 (zero). Now the Neon... whoa baby! Not quite 5 digits, but you'd be surprised how much a cheap car can end up costing more than an expensive one would have in the long run. Heck, I'd of probably come out ahead financially buying a Benz!