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Have Cars Reach the Max in Reliability, is this the best it can be?



  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I just glanced through that article, and honestly, I think one of the main reasons cars last longer these days is improvements in things like gasoline, oil, antifreeze, other fluids, etc. Plus, I think people just tend to take better care of their cars these days.

    Another factor is that people tend to drive more, so issues that are more age-related than mileage-related tend to happen at a higher mileage. And issues that arise from NOT being driven, like moisture, dry rot, fluids settling and getting contaminants in them, etc, don't come up as often.

    They've also learned a few tricks with regards to building cars that are less prone to rusting. It's not just improved rustproofing techniques, but cars built with fewer nooks and crannies for water and debris to gather, trap moisture, and cause rust. For example, trunk floors no longer have those little drop-offs on either side, where junk and moisture can collect down in the quarter panel. These days, the quarter panel usually ends at trunk level, and anything below it is just plastic from the wraparound rear fascia. And all that chrome they used to put on cars was attached with clips, bolts, holes drilled through the sheetmetal, etc. It would trap moisture, dirt, etc, but also the chrome would actually cause a chemical reaction with the sheetmetal, causing it to rust. Vinyl tops were also notorious for trapping moisture underneath, or at the trim around the edges of the vinyl.

    Garages are also much more commonplace today than in years gone by, although their effect on making cars last longer is dubious at best, as many garages end up filled with junk, while the cars sit out in the driveway.
  • IMO, the peak reliability of cars was in the 70's, 80's and early 90's, by cars such as the Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Honda CR-X, Acura Integra, Acura Legend, Acura Vigor, Toyota Celica, Toyota Corolla, Toyota MR2, Toyota Camry, Nissan 300ZX, Nissan 240SX, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Stanza, Nissan Altima to name a few. Especially the 70's and 80's Hondas, the only thing that seemed to kill those cars was the rust, not the actual mechanical components. Now-a-days, there just seems to be more things that can go wrong, as we try to add more and more (in my opinion, usually nonsensical) features, that aren't really necessary.
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