Bad Purchasing Decisions: Share Your Stories

Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,142
Here's the place to talk about vehicle purchasing horror stories, or just plain bad decisions that you or others have made.

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  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    Thanks for creating the topic, Kirstie! Now, I know that we Edmunds users are far too savvy to have made any bad auto purchasing decisions ;) , but maybe a friend, or a family member has done something that makes you think, "Ooh, this is NOT going to end well..." I know I have a few...

  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    My sister-in-law and her husband finally decided it was time to upgrade one of their cars. They have a '92 Nissan Sentra with 140k miles and half a front bumper - and that's their GOOD car. The one they plan on replacing is a Ford Tempo - 'nuff said. A few weeks ago they called me on the phone to ask if I thought a particular car was a good deal - it was a low mile Hyundai Elantra. Knowing their budget (small) and likelihood of keeping the car until it's worthless anyway (extreme) I told them it looked like the asking price was OK, but to MAKE SURE and get a Carfax and have it inspected by a good mechanic. My SIL's ultra cheap husband had a buddy from work "who knows cars" look at it and decided the CarFax was a waste of money because the seller seemed like a good guy.

    The first time I saw the car it was obvious it had been repainted, and not particularly well. The screws for the front license plate were painted in place, and there was overspray and orangepeel everywhere. I decided to just keep my mouth shut, since it wouldn't do any good at this point. Some of the comments they've made have had me biting my tongue, though - "every time I look at the car I swear there's a new chip on the front" (um...) "I've never had a car in such good condition before" (well...) "It's making some noise from the front end so we're going to take it into the dealer. It's still under warranty, after all" (uh oh...)

    This is NOT going to end well... :surprise:

  • osubeavosubeav Member Posts: 56
    And it will be your fault when it falls apart, since you recommended it, right? :P
  • gallileogallileo Member Posts: 51
    Back in the early summer of 1995, before the days of common carfax and edmunds, I bought an '88 mazda 626. In retrospect it must have been a salvage title car from a flood, but I knew nothing of that sort of thing then. The seller clearly wanted out, and in retrospect all the warning signs were there. But I liked the car and the price was right (or so I thought). This car had no end of problems.

    This car accumulated water in the inside of the wheel wells, and so would have a rank smell. But I bought it during a long dry spell so I didn't get to experience that joy during the inspection. It had other water-related issues.

    One morning it poured rain while I was inside working. The afternoon was very hot. I came out at about 5:00, got into the car, cursed the foul odor, slammed it into reverse, and a gallon of scalding hot water poured down upon me. It had been simmmering in the sunroof's cutout all day. My profanity continued for hours.

    There were dozens of other little things wrong with it. But the biggest problem was that it's drive train was incredibly reliable and it drove and handled like a champ. I didn't have much money, but could have scraped some together if I had had to. But I didn't _have_ to. It would get me from point A to point B every stupid time.
  • nonjth13nonjth13 Member Posts: 91
    Both purchased new. 68 VW, 75 Saab 99 EMS I still shudder when i think about these two turkeys.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    Wow... we don't even need details.. we can just use our imaginations... ;)

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,826
    Well, this one is pretty short, but its a good lesson for anyone. NEVER buy a car without doing your research.

    We were out shopping for a replacement for my wife's leased Mitsubishi Galant, but we weren't positive of what we were going to buy. After trying out a few things, my wife decided she liked a used Subaru Forester. Well, since I never looked at their prices before, I had no clue that the asking price was so ridiculous. So when I managed to get $1K knocked off, I thought that was ok. It wasn't until later that I found out it was overpriced by about $4K.

    I'm not proud of that story, of course, but its a cross I must bear. ;)

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,826
    Now, I don't have the heart to tell my Dad he got ripped off because, after all, he's the man who taught me how to wheel and deal (and, no, he would not have approved of how I handled the aforementioned Subaru purchase). I guess he'd getting a bit old and a bit tired of trying too hard.

    Anyway, they recently decided to trade in my mom's Trooper after a rebuilt engine and 2 rebuilt transmissions in less than 50k miles. So they decided on another Isuzu (insert first big question mark). First off, as most of us probably know, there are big rebates, not to mention starting from invoice price. Well, somehow, they convinced my father that the rebates come off of MSRP. Then they convinced him that he should take this demo model with 5K miles because they will give him a better deal (which translates to $2K off - which still doesn't even bring the car down to invoice) AND they will repaint all the scratched body panels!!! YIKES!!!! So, essentially, he paid MORE for a repainted, used Ascender than he could have paid for a brand new one. My lesson learned is to not let them shop by themselves anymore. :(

    '11 GMC Sierra 1500; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c; '20 S90 T6; '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel; '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP; '11 Mini Cooper S

  • pernaperna Member Posts: 521
    1996 Volkswagen Jetta Trek. It wasn't so much a car, as it was a collection of metal, rubber, and an electrical system made of chicken wire. I would have dearly loved to blow that car up.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    We had neighbors... diehard VW buyers... VW actually bought back a Trek model from them... and replaced it with another...

    They still buy VWs, though.. The wife works near my house, and now she has a Beetle convertible...

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  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    My sister and brother-in-law just LEASED a new 4Runner. She's pretty excited because the payment is only $10/month more than the Daewoo Nubira they traded in (there's quite a story there, too). I don't think she's considered her 30 mile one way commute, or the fact that they average well over 40k miles a year between their two cars, or even the fact that their nearest grocery store is a 15 mile round trip.

    She's either going to have to park the thing for the last 18 months of the lease or eat an absolutely huge mileage charge.

  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    At least with the Trek model you got alternate transportation while the Jetta was in the shop! :P

  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    Ha.. actually the bike was optional .. or, at least, you could get a credit for not taking it... Naturally, they didn't get one...

    Funny, though.. :P

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Bought it a year old. Just a total piece of solid junk!
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...this didn't happen to me, but a coworker's sister-in-law just paid $9,000 at a Chrysler dealer for a used 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier coupe!!! I looked at Edmund's TMV for this car and it gave a quote of $2,700 Retail. What kind of sociopathic salesman would sell an 8 year-old Cavalier to an older woman for nearly four times its retail value? The woman is blissfully unaware of the royal screwing she just received.
  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    When I was young(er) and stupid(er) I tore apart my Datsun 260Z for a "restoration". The engine was tired and there were a few rust spots I wanted to take care of, so I decided to rebuild the engine and do some body work on it. Never mind that I had never opened up an engine bigger than a lawnmower, and that I didn't have any clue how to do body work. Anyway, while I was without wheels I went to a "public auto auction", thinking I'd pick up an old fleet car or something. Of course, being young and stupid I ended up buying a bright red '84 Firebird V6 that was there on consignment for $1300. Here's a little tip for the uninitiated: If the car didn't have something heinously wrong with it, it wouldn't be consigned at an auction. Duh.

    To this day I'm convinced the car hated me. There was ALWAYS something going wrong with it.
    The first day I took it to a car wash, which stripped the color magic wax that was hiding a horribly oxidized paint job. The next morning there was a huge puddle of transmission fluid under the car, and I found out that the tranny housing was cracked. The car sat for a while until I found a junkyard trans and put it in. The next time I started it up it ran horribly - I could barely keep it running. That's when my mom noticed an eerie glow from under the car - the entire exhaust, from manifold to tailpipe, was glowing bright red! Turns out the timing chain had skipped a couple of notches, causing burning fuel to shoot down the tailpipe. Another time there was a Mazda GLC parked across the street saying bad things about the Firebird's momma, or something. The car somehow came out of park - something it had never done, and never did again - rolled down the driveway, negotiated a small curve, straightened out, and smashed in the entire side of the Mazda. The 'Bird didn't have a scratch on it! That was the most expensive $1300 car I ever bought.

  • smittynycsmittynyc Member Posts: 289

    '80 was the first MY that was assembled in North America, right? My folks had a '80 Rabbit, red with matching red interior (including the dash!) that simply could not have had more go wrong with it.

    The fit and finish was disastrous. Every single knob fell off. The window cranks broke. The sunroof leaked to the extent that I often wondered if it'd make for easier clean-up just to leave it open during the rain. The upholstery came apart at the seams. All of the interior lighting failed. And anything that was fixed broke again just as quickly.

    There were a whole host of mechanical problems as well, although the specifics escape me. Just a total dog of a car . . . and sadly, we kept it for three agonizing years.
  • manamalmanamal Member Posts: 426
    It was Dec. 1992....My '84 Honda Civic needed about 2500K worth of repairs. So I decided to get a new car. As I was still in Graduate School (long time, long story), My parents offered to help me out. I was looking at a new escort. My father talked me into looking at some "program cars". Well, the Lincon Merc. dealer had a used Tracer LTS which was basically an escort sedan with the Escort GT engine and tranny, and all of the goodies.

    knew to ask if the car was ever in an accident. I was assurred it was not The car was priced at $9300. I agreed to pay it....but needed my father to cosign the loan. The sales guy must have felt sorry for me, because he then dropped the price $500 to $8700.

    So I get the car home, and notice that the passenger door did not close quite right. I ask a fiend to look at it, and he saying that he thinks it had been hit and repaired. So, I take it to a body shop, and they show me the repair.

    I go back to the dealer -- and find out that they went bankrupt. Closed. So I am SOL.

    I called ford customer care, and they were actually somewhat helpful. I got the "bad" body work fixed by the ford dealer in down for free.

    And, I had the car for 120,000 and it *never* gave me a problem.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Yeah, I think you are correct. That Rabbit was just a tinny piece of junk inside and out. I think that was the beginning of a long line of junk from Volkswagen.

    Too bad since the beetles of my youth were well assembled and caused me no trouble.
  • ksapksap Member Posts: 1
    Need advice: A female friend, for whom English is her second language, purchased a car at a Rhode Island dealership on Wednesday. She made a mistake. The dealers kept her waiting for so long and pressed her into making decisions she wasn't sure about. Instead of just walking out like she should have, because she really needed a car and she got so flustered and impatient, she signed the lease and put a down payment on a car and drove it home. The next day she realized the car was just too big for her and returned to the dealer to ask if she could swap it for something else. The dealer made her wait three hours and then said he couldn't help her. She doesn't want to end the deal, just swap the car for something else. I went with her yesterday to advocate for her, but I was given the same treatment--completely evasive and cold.

    She knows she made a mistake. Now the question is, is she stuck with this car or does she have any recourse? Any help would be appreciated.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    The car is hers..

    The only reasonable course of action.. is to learn to live with it..

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  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 820
    I finally talked to my sister about their new SUV. It's a Pathfinder, not a 4Runner, and a pretty nice rig. They're aware of the mileage limit but plan on just buying it at lease end. When I pointed out that they were going to have to pay the buyout amount (almost $19k) at lease end even if the market price is much less than that, my BIL said "oh, that doesn't bother me." Well, OK. As long as that doesn't bother you...

    I'm just amazed that they would so blithely plan on making payments for the next 8+ years on this thing. Their buyout (on a 3 year old, likely 60k+ mile vehicle) is more than I paid for our MPV brand new.

  • paul138paul138 Member Posts: 31
    Yes the car is hers..But you could write a letter to the actual owner
    of the dealerhsip explaining the situtation, and in this letter maybe
    drop a sutle hint that you are the person in your family people come
    to for advice and you have brothers sisters,cousins,etc as well as many friends
    that you could refer to this dealership if they step up and help your friend.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    Were any small cars not tinny pieces of junk in 1980?

    At least Rabbits were fun to drive in comparison to their competitors.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    All tinny? yes...

    All junk? nope..

    Corollas, Civics and Accords were all reliable, fuel-efficient cars, even in '80... Of course, they would eventually rust away, but they didn't have all of the problems and glitches of a VW..

    But, 1980 was a dark time overall for the car industry and enthusiast...

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    The newly imposed restrictive emission requirements caused a LOT of troubles too.

    And, kyfdx is correct. VW had major problems back then compared to other makes. To a degree, this is still true today.
  • lemmerlemmer Member Posts: 2,689
    I know you guys are right, but I still liked VWs back then. Part of the problem (or excuse) is that VWs were a little more complex than other similar cars. VW was offering fuel injection and 5-speed manuals, where Hondas mainly had carbs and 4-speeds. Honda also had that wonderful shift it yourself 2 speed automatic - just what a 60 horsepower car needs. VWs also had rear independent suspension when most of their competitors had a beam axle, so on and so forth.

    VWs also got great gas mileage and would outhandle pretty much anything other than a sports car.

    And yes, I had VW of the era, and it was one of the least reliable cars I have ever owned.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    ...that VWs were cool then... and, I think they are cool now.. I just can't bring myself to own one...

    Heck.. even Consumer Reports thought that the Rabbit was the greatest thing since sliced bread... until the repair surveys started coming in...

    It is too bad.... they make neat cars...

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Nice cars to look and to drive but the nagging problems are enough to cause me to steer people away from them.

    Heck, I grew up with old bugs and buses and I still have a soft spot for them.
  • bolivarbolivar Member Posts: 2,316
    I drove and compared new a 1981 Rabbit and Chevette.

    The Rabbit was somewhat 'peppier', handled better, and my 'World Advisor' Consumer Reports thought they were the sub-compact to end all sub-compacts.

    The Rabbit was about $1,800 more than the Chevette. Trying to 'deal', the salesman acted like he was selling a Mercedes.

    I just couldn't see giving that much more for the Rabitt.

    I bought the Chevette. It was a commute-to-work car. Just a few miles a day. It got a clutch at about 40,000 miles (in-town driving took its tole). The relay for the rear window deicer went bad. It leaked a little oil. The seats were great. I still think this seat was about as good as any car I've owned. I didn't work at all on the highway. The tire and wind noise was so bad you couldn't hear the radio. And, I think for a little 4-banger 4-speed, its highway milage of 23mpg was horrible.We had another car, a 1979 Malibu, then a 1984 Toronado for the road. But when the reports of valve oil seal leaking, oil burning and electrical horror Rabbits started to come in, it made that little white Chevette shine even more.

    Kept it for about 6 or seven years. Traded it in on a used Corvette.
  • smittynycsmittynyc Member Posts: 289
    If it weren't for the reliability problems, I'd be a chronic VW buyer. I love their exterior and interior designs, and the cars are usually exceptionally fun to drive and functional.

    If only they could follow through and make problem-free cars. What is preventing them from doing that, anyway? Is it the designs themselves, is it the labor, the engineering . . . ?

    Sandwiched around that 1980 VW, my folks had a 1976 Rabbit (a true stripper model, bright orange with black interior) and a used 1984 (?) Rabbit Diesel. Both of those cars were outstanding -- the 1976 was t-boned in an ice storm by a guy driving a huge domestic who slid through a stop sign. The car was totalled (badly), but my dad walked away from the accident.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Member Posts: 1,650
    My father-in-law had a 1977 Rabbit, which was also an orange stripper. I think '77 was the first year for fuel injection. It was a great little car... made in Germany.

  • danf1danf1 Member Posts: 897
    was buying an automatic. Nothing wrong with the car other than the fact that I coulnd't shift my own gears. That car lasted me six months until I traded for the same car with a six speed. I'm much happier now.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    Come on, Paul Harvey.. tell us the rest of the story..

    You are leaving out all of the details...

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  • danf1danf1 Member Posts: 897
    Oh, you want the long version.....

    My wife was pregnant with our third child. Because of the new addition to the family, I needed to trade in my Audi TT. It is really difficult to get five people in a four seater. I still miss that car, but I digress.

    I looked around at many cars. After about 2 weeks of shopping, I decided that it was best to buy from my dealership, so I landed on the Cadillac CTS. At the time there were no six speeds available, and the sales manager told me that he couldn't get one. With that in mind I bought the automatic.

    After about 3 days, I decided that I hated letting the car shift for me. Unfortunately I was in a 48 month lease and we all know how hard it is to get out of a lease early. So I stuck with it for a few months. Last month I couldn't take it anymore. The straw that broke the camels back was when I was driving rather spiritedly having some fun when I saw my father-in-law. He has a 2003 Z06. We were driving at more than legal speeds on a nice windy road and I realized that it was absolutely no fun.

    The next day I came into work, found a nice black six speed CTS, and traded in. The beauty of the whole situation is that I actually lowered my monthly payment on the same term lease. You've gotta love GM incentives.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 233,209
    Just so everyone understands... Dan traded in an '05 automatic for an '05 6-speed... Thereby cementing his CCBA status...

    I just didn't want the story to come off as ordinary... ;)

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    People buy a stick and end up hating it when they get stuck in Seattle traffic day after day.
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    Just found this topic. Here's my tale of woe....

    Summer of 1985, final semester of college. I had, unfortunately, totalled my 1979 Pontiac Sunbird coupe (3 months before graduation!) and had a check for $2000 in hand. Needed wheels, fast.

    Was thinking of buying something new and using the insurance check as my down payment. Lookeed at a Ford Escort diesel (I can hear the collective NO! from the crowd already). My parents talked me out of it, explaining patiently that I had no job after college and shouldn't be putting myself into a position of making payments with no income.

    OK, so off to the classified ads I go. Lessee, something cheap and reliable ... the plan was to either trade it in or sell it outright when I graduated. I found a '77 Olds Omega (Chevy Nova clone) for, I think, $1200. Looked at it, drove it briefly and bought it .. hey, I was 21, what did I know? It was repainted a bright blue, had a white vinyl roof, wire wheels and a 350 V8.

    First sign of trouble was when I went to get it smogged. Failed the first test, cost me $100-150 to get it "tuned' (yeah, right) to pass. I suspect the mechanic leaned out the throttle or carb quite a bit. So, I got the coveted sticker.

    Next, I notice this odd sound coming from the engine compartment, like a cylinder missing. Had it checked out, and discovered that one of the cylinders isn't firing at all! I've now got a 7 cylinder car, which I used to limp around town ... home to school to work ... for the next several months. It never completely broke down, but I did have to put two new tires on it ... guess what? It's a bad idea to mix bias-ply and radial tires on the same car. Every time I switched lanes I thought the back end was going to break loose on me, Smokey and the Bandit style. Eerie.

    I ended up selling it the day I graduated college for, I think, $250. Enough to cover the cost of the car I rented to move back to CA from AZ.

  • gasnsteeringgasnsteering Member Posts: 14
    My 2004 Dodge SRT 4. Not a bad car really, except the service people at dodge just woke up from a nap in the cave and havent exactly gotten down the "customer service thing". Out of service for 13 days for spark plugs, wires and some electrical connectors AT 4800 MILES. This is after the two previous attempts to fix the same problem, both times improperly diagnosed. Yeah, I will buy American again.........NOT.
  • wibblewibble Member Posts: 569
    The tales of woe that this topic recalls.

    1. 1983 VW Polo. Bought it a year old with 3,000 miles on the clock. I soon found out why it was so low. In the first 2 months the gearbox disintegrated, 2 clutches packed up, the electrical system decided that shuffling electrons around was too much effort and finally the engine block cracked. Owned it for 18 months during which it was off the road for 14 months. Just to add insult to injury, the advertising catchphrase of VW in England at the time was "If only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen".

    2. 1983 Yugo 311. This was the revenge of the place that sold me the VW - a loaner car for people they didn't like. I took it on a 250 mile drive to see my girlfriend and her parents at Christmas. By the time I got there only 1 light was working, 3 hubcaps had fallen off and the final straw was when I pulled on the parking brake and it came off in my hand. My better half took one look at the thing and decided she was taking the train back home!

    3. 1988 Renault 18. Total brake failure at 70 mph (it was a motorway). Luckily I was able to pull over and coast to a stop. Unfortunately, it gave me grey hair at 30.

    4. 1987 Skoda. The amazing exploding Skoda. I thought I'd smelt petrol. Turned out to be a leaking filter that dumped flammable liquid all over a hot engine. Pretty impressive looking in the rear view mirror and seeing a miniture towering inferno. Got off the road and out of the rolling bonfire just as the flames reached the gas tank. Another 5 years off my life (I have a feeling I'm living on borrowed time).

    5. 1992 Lada Samara - Yeah, I know but when you're poor. This pup managed to break 3 cam belts in the space of 4 months. The only good news was I sold it for far more than I paid for it to a Russian sailor who was re-patriating it back to his homeland.

    Sadly, since I actually started making a decent living and buying sensible cars, life has become a little more dull.
  • sbell4sbell4 Member Posts: 446
    you win!!!! I dont think anyone will want to follow your post with their story.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,269
    repressed memories are repressed for a reason.

    There have been a few new ones that seemed like a good idea at the time. The Nissan PU (a '91) was handy, except my wife got pregnant just after I bought it. Since you can't put a child seat on a jump seat (the ones that folded down from the side) it had to go.

    THe Scion tC I just traded for an Accord was a similar deal. Really didn't fit a family of 4, and my teenage son decided to have a growth spurt just after I got it, and both kids hated that they couldn't get out without someone letting them loose.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 50,269
    I had my assortment of bombers back in the old days. SOme better than others, but usually I broke even, or even made a profit.

    Not, however, with my 1975 Opel Manta. Bought it from a manager at the BK I worked at in HS and college (I was in college at the time). I think it had been sitting (for good reason) but it was way cooler than my current AMC Hornet. SHould have known it was a problem when it stalled out on my test drive, but the kid who was "working" on it got it running again (my lose).

    Not a good idea to get the 1 year of a newish technology on an orphan car. '75 was the only year for fuel injection, and it still wasn't that commen (about 1983). Had to tow that dog at least 6 times after the plugs fouled out and the battery died. COst lots of $$ trying to fix FI parts before a Buick dealer finally figured out which sensor was the problem.

    Also was rusted out under the battery (drivers side, rear of the engine bay). When it rained, if it was pointed uphill, I ended up with a foot of water in the rear seat footwell. Once in the winter at school I found it frozen solid, even the pail I kept in (for bailing) was frozen in place!

    I hated that car. Really was a PITR that year, and was an expensive one too. Was real excited when I managed to unload it, but it was at least running OK by then.

    Oh, and a car with ~10 gals for a gas tank that gets about 20 mpg on the highway can be a drag. Especially when you are driving around in the rural part of westchester NY early on new years day, and no stations are open.

    Of all my 25+ cars, this is the only one that I truly hated.

    OK, I feel better now.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD, 2023 Maverick hybrid Lariat luxury package.

  • gussguss Member Posts: 1,167
    I always thought the Opel's were neat cars. German engineering with a touch of American flair.

    The only car I can say I hated every time I got in it was my first brand new car, a '85 Nissan Sentra.

    This was the stripper model that they advertise as the loss leader.I soon found out why no one buys a car with no A/C, no power anything, no cassette player, no FM radio, no hubcaps, and did I mention no A/C with vinyl seats.

    I was working my first office job, back in the day when everyone wore three piece suits, and I would look like a ran a marathon before work.I can still feel that vinyl sticking.

    It lasted about a year, and I sold it the middle of winter. The guy at the time said he did not like a/c anyway.

    I have since learned I need some creature comforts.
  • suydamsuydam Member Posts: 4,676
    >>no A/C, no power anything, no cassette player, no FM radio, no hubcaps, and did I mention no A/C with vinyl seats.

    That would be our 1979 Ford Fiesta, to which you could add "no power". We bought it because we couldn't afford a Rabbit (I feel better seeing posts on that car here!). Did I mention that in addition to no A/C, it had a black interior?
    An older car with a few amenities would have been a much better choice!
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    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • au94au94 Member Posts: 171
    was when I got my first new car, a 95 Toyota Tacoma. I had just got my first "real" job so I had no $$ for a down payment, just the trade in of my 89 Chevy Beretta. The paint was orange peeling and the interior was just ok, the biggest problem was it was a formal rental and was a 2.0 4cyl, automatic, no power locks or windows etc. Did not even have a cassette player when I got it, just AM/FM. Anyway the dealer talked me into leasing the truck and using the Chevy for a $3k down payment. As I recall, I was still paying about 250/mo for the truck. Should have been smart and saved for a few more months, but at that age I was not too smart and just HAD to have the new truck. Oh well, lesson learned life goes on. Still a big fan of leases, just not big down payments with a lease.
  • bigdveedubgirlbigdveedubgirl Member Posts: 402
    When I was tired of walking a mile every day to the bus stop to go to work, I went to one of the mega auto malls that so cal is so famous for and looked for a car.

    I was making 7.50 an hour and I needed a payment of 100-150 a month. I had no credit other than a JC Penny and Macys card and 500 cash down. It was 1996,I was 21 all I knew how to do was buy shoes, spot fake designer bags, and tell you what bar had the best happy hour in town, I did not know anything about buying cars, but I wanted to be independent and suprise my dad by showing him I could buy a car on my own.

    My salesperson, found me a 1988 Toyota Corrolla SR5 blue on blue with manual transmission, 76,000 miles on it I could barely drive an automatic, but my friend AKA financial advisior, assured she would teach me, so she drove it said it drove good and told the salesperson we could make a deal. I put 1000 down and paid 115 a month. We were there so late I had a migrane, and I just signed I didnt care....

    My dad was so pissed because he had money set aside to get me a new car, and he was going to suprise ME! He looked at the car and said whoever owned the car might have changed the oil 2 or 3 times, and all the hoses were orignal. He told me I was stuck with it and not to call him if I was stuck on the side of the road broke down because it was my fault.

    Sure enough the car had a cracked head, massive oil leaks to where I put 4 qts a week in it (I bought q.state by the case) It blew so much blue smoke that the clean air coalition saw my car on the freeway, mailed me a letter saying they reported me to the DMV and I that I was causing pollution on the highway.

    *Sigh* It was the most fun time in my life. I even had an embroidered dash cover with my name on it.
    I traded it in 3 years later when I started Working for VW for my Jetta. I still owed 4000 dollars on it and got 800 on a trade in...........
  • prosaprosa Member Posts: 280
    It's going to be hard to relate this story without sounding pretty weird, but it happened. My first-ever new car was a 1983 Chevrolet Cavalier, which cost me all of $7,000. It was a basic model but served my needs okay.
    Flash forward about 18 months. I was commuting about 30 miles each way to my job and had managed to put almost 40K miles on the Cavalier. It was running fine, however, and I planned on keeping it at least a couple more years until it was paid off. Driving home from work in heavy traffic on a rain-slicked road one evening, I looked away from the road at something for just a second or two ... and the next thing I know I was standing on the brakes as I slid helplessly toward a Plymouth Horizon stopped just ahead of me. Boom! I plowed into the back of the Horizon at what was probably a final speed of maybe 15 mph.
    The poor Horizon - less than three weeks old, according to the very dismayed driver - was demolished. All of the doors were jammed shut and the (fortunately uninjured) driver had to climb out the window. Its rear bumper was jammed forward and crushed up against the rear wheels. Not only was the Horizon's rear end completely caved in, but its its grille, front bumper and headlights were smashed when the force of the collision shoved it forward into an Accord (which had no significant damage). Three weeks old, and the Horizon was heading off to the junkyard.
    My Cavalier? There was a small dent in the front bumper, emphasis on "small." It seemingly violated every law of physics, that it could destroy another car and suffer so little damage itself. I was absolutely overcome with guilt seeing what the Cavalier - okay, and my bad driving - did to the poor little Horizon, and just couldn't live with it any more. Soon after, I traded in the Cavalier on a Nissan Stanza even though I was at least $2,000 upside down on the loan. I also overpaid for the Stanza, and over the next few years it proved to be a complete lemon. Between that, and the higher insurance premiums I faced as a young driver with a chargeable accident, my couple seconds of inattention probably cost me several thousand dollars over the next few years. I could have limited those losses had I held onto the Cavalier, but I was so overcome with guilt everytime I looked at that car, and thought of the way it so cruelly savaged the poor little Horizon, that keeping it would have been hazardous to my mental health.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,124
    there are some great life lessons here. he doesn't believe me when i tell him that this stuff does happen.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • mstonermstoner Member Posts: 3
    How did people get rid of these cars that were such bad vehicles? Did you trade them, sell them to private parties or what?
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