Edmunds dealer partner, Bayway Leasing, is now offering transparent lease deals via these forums. Click here to see the latest vehicles!

My worst car ever!

ubbermotorubbermotor Member Posts: 307
There is a lot of talk on these posts about terrible cars. But was it the worst car you've personally ever owned/driven? More of a topic for CCB's than the guys that have owned 4 Honda's in their whole life.

My own;

The worst car I've ever owned was a 1981 Ford Escort GLX. In fairness the car never left me stranded, however, the engine and transmission are about the only parts that didn't completely working at one point or another. Power everything changed to non-fuctional (doors, seats, windows, rear-defrost, cruise, etc...). In addition to an electrical system that just turned of sections of the car on its own (yes I checked the fuses), mechanical parts rotted off the thing at a rate that would amaze even someone that has owned an orignial Scout.

Worst Driven;

My mothers 1978 Toyota Celica GT. This car left me stranded everytime (I'm not exagerating) I drove it. Belts, pumps, fouled plugs, whatever, the car seemed to know when I was exactly 3 miles from the nearest phone.


  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    reminds me of a car I shared with my college roommate way back when - a '79 Corolla 2-door, 3-speed automatic. We NEVER fixed anything that broke on that car, but just kept driving it. Never did any maintenance, we were seriously cheap.

    As a result that thing was not the most reliable car ever! From tires that blew because they were bald to no-starts because of dead batteries or flooding, it was a pain in the neck. A pain in the neck we brought on ourselves of course. At the end it was running with no thermostat because the radiator was basically shot, and wouldn't shift out of first gear for the first ten minutes of every drive (yet we continued to drive it without fixing it - we were cheap I tell you, cheap!). We had screwed up all the vacuum controls trying to fix them because it wouldn't idle most of the time, and just when it would have gone down anyway by flunking the smog test harder than any car in history, the engine finally died at 249K.

    I still miss that car. After it stopped idling properly, we would drive it around with one foot on the gas to keep it from stalling, and one on the brake when we needed to stop. Needless to say, that didn't do anything good for stopping distances, or brake longevity. We drove it around metal-on-metal for a while before the screeching began to bother us too much and we used one of those $49.95 coupons at Firestone to get new brake pads. Oh, those were the days...


    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    but for absolute worst, I'd say it's a tie. Between my '82 Cutlass Supreme and my '88 LeBaron turbo coupe. The '82 Cutlass is the only car I've ever owned that blew both its tranny and its engine, and it was pretty much shot around 72K miles when the engine tried to commit suicide. The LeBaron lasted longer, until around 90,000 miles before the real problems began, and was finally put out of its misery around 115-120K miles, but a lot more money got sunk into that thing than the Cutlass.

    I bought the Cutlass for $800 back in the summer of 1993, with 61,000 miles on it. Almost immediately the tranny started acting up. The shop said they could get it more or less working for around $150-200, but that they couldn't guarantee the problem wouldn't come back. Or they could rebuild it for around $675. Well, silly me, I thought I'd have that car forever, so I blew the money on the rebuild. After that it wasn't too bad. I think I had to put a new battery in it. And new front brakes, a tuneup, and valve cover gaskets. And new tires. Then around 72K miles, one morning when I started it up it sounded like crap and the oil pressure light never went off, so I shut it off immediately. One of my buddies helped me change the oil pump gears, which at least got the oil pressure up, but the engine was literally shredding itself apart on the inside. I finally sold it around 73-74,000 miles, for $400.

    The LeBaron, I bought from my uncle around the 75000 mile mark, in 1995, for $2000. He had put some money into it, with electronics and other stuff, before he sold it to us. Around 90,000 miles, I put a new timing belt in, and also had the front axle shafts or something else expensive like that replaced. Then I got divorced and gave it to the ex. Between 90K and the 115-120K when it finally called it quits, it got a new radiator. Also had the a/c compressor die, power antenna break, turbo fry, O2 sensor burn up, and head warp/head gasket blow. The ex found somebody to put a used head and new gasket on for around $750, but it didn't run right. So I talked her into letting me take it to my mechanic. He hooked up all the hoses and wires on top of the engine so it almost ran right, but he also did a compression check. Two cylinders were almost non-existent, and the other two were really low. And that's when we found out the turbo was blown.

    Well, the ex-wife ended up selling it back to me for something like $100, because she wanted a ticket to go see Faith No More at the 9:30 club or something like that. It actually made the trip under its own power to my grandma's house. There, I pulled the radio out of it with the hopes of putting it in my '79 Newport, but never got around to it. I tried to see if the alloys would fit my Dart, but they were off just a little, a metric bolt pattern that equated to something like 3.937", compared to the Dart's 4.0", so they were close, but not quite there.

    I got around $700 for that one, when I sold it for parts.

    Now, in defense of both of the cars, well, the Cutlass WAS 11 years old when I bought it, and I only paid $800 for it. Even though it only had 61,000 miles on it, God only knows how well it had been maintained. It was in great shape though, interior almost looked new. The paint was faded on the hood, roof, and trunk though.

    As for the LeBaron, it had gotten stolen a few times. Only car I've ever had titled in my name that's been stolen. My ex-wife used to hang with the wrong crowd, and I guess that car just got a lot of visibility. And while I'd like to think that the joyriders would have treated the car with the same care that I did, somehow I doubt it!
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    definitely the Citation. It was built in 1979 and I got it from my Grandma in 1993. It had an easy life as a Grandma car, but by then the outside trim was falling off, the hard foam (or whatever) interior panels were dissolving, it didn't idle right, it would sometimes cut off completely when you lifted the throttle, the AC didn't work, the tires dry-rotted and peeled off their tread at speed, the fuel pump broke, the switch for the electric radiator fan failed, one of the front brake hoses collapsed and chewed up a rotor and two sets of pads, the transmission was gradually wheezing itself to death and finally puked its guts all over the exhaust manifold one day. It barely made it to 80,000 miles and off to the junkyard it went.

    It was everything I expected from a domestic car built in the last three decades of the 20th century.
  • logic1logic1 Member Posts: 2,433
    I sold my 1969 Chevy Biscayne to a local mechanic. Biggest auto mistake I ever made.

    About a year later, I decided I needed a car to impress the co-eds. So I bought a Renault Sedan (forgot the model).

    What a joke. The car had a manual throttle. No matter where you set it, if the day was cold or wet enough (and at Champaign there were plenty of both) it would not start. The car also had a water cooled carburetor, making it very prone to overheating.

    It was undepowered. The pleather interior smelled weird. It shifted poorly. While it got good mileage, the gas guage was so off I never knew how much fuel it had.

    One day, it simply died. I sold it for scrap.

    How Renault went on to buy Nissan must be one of the world's great mysteries.
  • mark156mark156 Member Posts: 1,915
    I purchased a new 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Brougham Diesel, four door, Sandstone exterior with burgundy clothe interior and matching Sandstone vinyl top. I had just received my Real Estate license and wanted a nice car to tote potential clients around.

    The car was pretty good the first year but soon the problems started. The car would not start leaving me stranded and eventually started burning a good bit of oil. Most diesels had a grayish smoke coming out the exhaust mine started to turn grayish blue.... not a good thing. The trunk lid tension holders would not hold the lid up and had to be replaced out of warranty. The climate system burned up and had to be replaced. The front end would not stay aligned so the tires didn't last long. When driving on the interstate, the front windows couldn't be lowered because the pressure would not let them go back up in the track, they would stick outside the track and I was afraid they would shatter.

    At about 37,000 miles (out of warranty) the fuel injection went out when I was out of town. I had to limp about a hundred miles to the next town to find a GM dealership to fix the problem. I swore I would never buy another GM product and to this day, I never have! :sick:

    When the car turned 48,000 miles I decided to trade for a 1984 Peugeot 505 STI, black with mink leather. My older sister decided she wanted my car because it did look like brand new, it was just a piece of crap.

    I sold it to her for what the dealer was going to give me on trade. She had it for several months and then the motor blew up on her while driving on the interstate. I have a feeling she didn't have the oil level checked as it loved a quart every 1,000 miles. I told her everything wrong with the car but she wanted it.

    GM ended up paying for half of the engine rebuild, then she traded it for a year old 1983 Cadillac Sedan Deville which was a wonderful car.

    I'm not surprised that GM is in the mess they are in, the fat cats at the top are very slow to learn. :confuse:

    Mark :surprise:
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    At first I thought this would be easy. 1978 datsun B210 automatic. We got it from my sister in law when she bought her Escort, another car that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But the B210 ran Ok it just never ran good. But as I thought about it I think VW made the three worst cars I ever owned. yes I fell for they are getting better three times. I had a 66 Bug that was easy to fix but needed fixing all the time. I had a 71 or 72 Ghia that could be fun to drive but always needed fixing. And we had a 78 Beetle. Good fuel mileage and always needed fixing. Only the later Beetles weren't as easy to fix as the older ones. I don't think VW will ever burn me again. But I am a slow learner. ;)
  • gussguss Member Posts: 1,167
    Mark156, you need to get a copy of this month's Car & Driver.They bought a Old's 88 diesel(yes they found one still running) and raced it cross country against 2 other diesels.

    They had about as much luck with theirs as you did with yours. :sick:
  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    ....1984 Z28. That car spent more time at the dealership than with me. I hated that car with a passion!
  • danf5danf5 Member Posts: 38
    1967 Sunbeam Alpine.

    In the two years we owned it, Chrysler paid the dealer more for warranty work than we'd paid for the car. But when it went it was a nice little car.

    The thought of it puts me in mind of a long discussion on the merits of used Lotus Elans in the letters section of MotorSport. The essence of the comments was that when Elans went they went very well, but that the typical owner would spend more time under his car than in it.
  • mark156mark156 Member Posts: 1,915
    Thanks guss, I get that magazine monthly, so I'll check it out!

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • bhill2bhill2 Member Posts: 2,471
    was a Volvo 122S. But it wasn't the car's fault. It had been lovingly maintained by its former owner, who was utterly incompetent. As an example, he had wanted to change the brake shoes in the rear and had mistakenly bought front shoes. He got them in by installing them upside down.

    Eventually the local Volvo dealer offered me the amount of trade in that would normally be reserved for a normal Volvo (the new models were due and he was clearing his inventory out). I jumped at it, and left the old beast in the (presumably) competent hands of the dealer's mechanics. I had been looking forward to seeing it after their work was done, so I asked about it a few times when I was in the area and didn't see it on the used car lot. At the point where the service manager opined that 'With any luck it is at the bottom of Lake Washington', I stopped asking.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv. (RIP 2001 Jaguar XK8 cnv and 1985 MB 380SE [the best of the lot])

  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,786
    Hahahhahhaa... now that's honesty for you! :P
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    would be my '82 Mazda GLC Sport. Looked good on paper, but drove like crap.

    If my family's cars were to be included, it would be a toss-up between my father's (who's never been known to invest much money in his cars) 1976 Buick Skylark V6, and his bare-bone Pontiac Acadia ('79, '80? I forget). The thing didn't come with a glovebox door as standard equipment! :sick:
  • rockyleerockylee Member Posts: 14,014
    I like the Truck alot, but I should of had it checked out by a good mechanic before I baught it.
    (Lesson learn I guess) Even the Radio quits working during cold weather. :confuse: Trust me it sux. No Mike and Mike or Savage :surprise:

  • potemkinpotemkin Member Posts: 195
    1973 MG Midget.

    Bought it in 1980. Lived down to its reputation for problems.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    I have the same experience as boaz47.

    My first car, a 1974 Datsun B210 auto....we went everywhere with it. It can only reach 75 mph on a steep downhill. It sometimes would die...and need 1 or 2 hours before we could start her up. Once 5 of us got stuck in front of Tustin Marine Base for 1 hour, but got to see the then new Hornet up close. Later on we used clothes hanger wire to fix a fusible link short circuit...and even rebuilt the broken solenoid in the alternator by ourselves. Fond memories from the breakdowns..... :sick:

    next up was the 1984 Mercury Lynx ( ford excort clone that cost more) . The 1.9 liter engine could not make it up the hills of SF...though a Civic 1980 with smaller engine could do it with no problem. ON top of that...the Ford engineer decided to put the light switch control at one's left knee level. More than a few people spent more than 10 minutes looking for the switch on a dark night. What kind of ergonomic engineer was paid to think up that fiasco ?????? I think a 12 year old can tell them it is the wrong place to put an important switch......

    NOT a nice car...
  • habitat1habitat1 Member Posts: 4,282
    Now this is getting a little "twilight-zone" like. :D

    My first brand new car was a bright yellow 1978 Datsun B210GX Hatchback 4-speed manual. I opted for the 4-speed instead of the 5-speed manual, since the 4-speed ran on regular "leaded" gas instead of that newfangled "unleaded" stuff.

    The car ran reasonably well, and mine had a top speed of about 92. I ran out of a downhill stretch of highway before I broke triple digits. I managed to get 99,200 miles out of that car before it got towed away to the junk heap. I'm sure it would have made 120k, but the last 3 years it was playing back-up to my 1984 Toyota Supra.

    But one good memory remains - not only with me but my friends from the late 70's and early 80's. I had a fraternity brother of mine hook up a Nakamichi cassette deck (AC/DC), Fosgate Pre-amp and apmlifier, and pre-owned Rogers studio speakers in the back hatch. After summer softball games, we'd drive the car to the shores of Lake Erie, pop the hatch and have a mobile sound stage for some very memorable beach parties / bonfires. I can honestly say that nearly 30 years later, nothing by Levinson, Bose, JBL or anyone else comes close to that $4,200 Datsun B210GX, with it's $1,500 (1979 dollars) home quality system.

    The car / stereo even had a cameo appearance on a local TV station that did a 30 minute special on "The summer of '79". The car is a good 200 feet in the distance, but you would swear that you're standing next to Manfred Mann on stage doing "Spirits in the Night".

    Now I think I know why I want to trade my Seal Grey 911 S Cabriolet for a Speed Yellow one! ;)
  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    Just a poorly made, tinny little piece of garbage in all respects.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    LOL,......Hello habitat :

    yes....a little twilight zone for sure.... :)

    YOu got a new one B210...in yellow ? You lucky dog...mine was a army green used one...perfect for military duty. Mine was a auto also....

    And you got to 92 mph ? YOu lucky dog ! Mine went 75 mph on a steep downhill....only .

    And you got a Nakamichi ! Mine was only a Sanyo..$99 dollar special, that took me 3 hours to install...and once the car got broken into and the burglar could not get the stereo out...it was such a tight fit.....

    Another time ( again, this out of twilight zone) , it got broken into again.....the burglar saw the poor shape of the car *(and ugly army green) probably felt pity that there is a sorry guy worse off than him...and instead of stealling anything, he left me a gift as condolences....

    :confuse: :blush:

    And you have a 911 now ? You lucky dog !! But I agree with your temptation for a yellow one....

    I was waxing the green Datsun one evening, when a lady walked past..and said " that is the ugliest colored car I ever saw....I was deflated as a blown tire... :cry:

    Like you said....fond memories....we took that B210 all the way to Tijuana with a group of college friends...and once even crammed 9 ....NINE ! people into the car and drove them around the campus....

  • isellhondasisellhondas Member Posts: 20,342
    You must be from my neck of the woods. We used to drive to Tijuana and have our car interiors redone for a fraction of what the local shops were charging.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    San Francisco would drive to TJ in the old days for interior work. Except for the aforementioned B210. Even at a discount it wasn't worth getting anything fixed to make it look better. Mine was the ugly Purple/brown looking color they thought looked like burgundy. I sold it to a woman with the promise that her son would never get a speeding ticket with the car.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    this is an AWFUL lot of rapping on the little B210, of which I have fond memories from a friend of mine.

    You know, it was supposed to be a gas-sipping, cheap, reliable little commuter car, and I think it filled that role very well compared to most of the cars in its class in those days. Remember, it was one of the first cars designed after the federal speed limit was lowered to 55 - I think it even had a little circle around the '55' on the speedo, right? It wasn't designed to be speedy, or luxurious, and it certainly lived in an age when all cars rusted a lot more than they do now, and Japanese cars more than most in the snow belt.

    I remember the west coast's biggest Nissan dealership, Studio City Nissan in the L.A. area, was just being born around that time and they used to sell bucketfuls of that B210, it was their most popular model for a while. It was how they got their start! Those were the days when no Datsun came with A/C from the factory, and they would add it at the dealership, adding close to $1000 to the price of the car (a heck of a lot in those days) for A/C systems that were NOTORIOUSLY bad and would quit after a few short years.

    Wow, nostalgic memories of my L.A. days - there's a first! :-P

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • mark156mark156 Member Posts: 1,915
    My first new car that I bought at age 20 was a 1979 Datsun 210 hatchback (first year the letter "B" was dropped). It was white with blue plaid clothe and I had air conditioning. I didn't buy a factory radio and had a better one installed from a stereo shop. I bought the four speed manual because the five speed used unleaded fuel (as mentioned in a previous post). My 210 was a good little car. I remember the first time that I filled it up at an Exxon station, regular was .65 a gallon and I filled it with 10 gallons; a whole $6.50 filled it up! Boy, were those the days!

    To swerve back on topic, I sold the '79 Datsun 210 to my Dad and bought my dreaded 1981 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Brougham Diesel! YUK!!! What a total piece of crap. :sick:

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,786
    I was waxing the green Datsun one evening, when a lady walked past..and said " that is the ugliest colored car I ever saw....I was deflated as a blown tire...

    Ahahahahhaa..... you want to hear deflated? Hahah. That reminds me of the night back in summer of 1998 I drove a friend of mine, Dave, to the movie theater in my '69 Ford Econoline. This thing used to be a school bus back in the '70s, so it is school bus yellow, with some primered spots when I was doing minor body work back in the mid '90s. Now, those old vans are not natural beauties to start, but this one certainly is an "aquired taste." Anyway, we were meeting this gal with whom Dave was quite taken. She was late arriving, so after parking right in front of the entrance we headed in and waited for her. She parked about three spaces down from us (though she did not know I owned it). After the movie, we all walked out and loitered in front of my van. After a few minutes of talking and us noticing her glancing around uneasily the whole time, she quickly walked about 30 feet away and ushered us to come over. She apologized, and said, "That van is SOOOOO ugly! I feel like I'm going to get mugged standing near it!" Hahha.... ouch. I burst out laughing and said, "Oh, well, that's my van so you are safe, but you'd agree that it needs a paint job?" She said, "Paint job? Uh, well, why bother?" Hahaha.... I was just glad it was he who was taken and not me! It made that pill much easier to swallow. :blush:
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • slick8slick8 Member Posts: 1
    I've been trying to reseach the best and worst SUV's because I am thinking about buying one can anyone help me?
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    It depends on what you want to do with it. A Hyundai Tucson rides nicely on the highway and can tackle light off-road duty, but if you want to haul a horse trailer you'll need a Suburban or Excursion.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,786
    How large of a horse trailer are you talking?! A Tahoe/Expedition/Armada/etc will tote a good size trailer around! Certainly a 2-horse with ease. :surprise:

    Yep... SUV is a big category... have you narrowed it down to any subset, size group, etc?
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • ubbermotorubbermotor Member Posts: 307
    Are you looking at an SUV as an off-roader (Wrangler, Xterra, etc...), Wagon (Pacifica) statis symbol (Escalade, Hummer), a boat and crew hauler (suburban), or just a tall family sedan (Nissan Murano)? There are a lot of options for alot of uses.
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Well not withstanding my friend Nippons forgiving nature my Purple/brown B-210 was a ugly duck. And we still had it when we first moved to the mountains. Not that selling it was an easy task. I had it in the paper for months and not one person called. Finally I dropped the price to $300.00 bucks and sold it to a woman for her kids first car. You couldn't pass a trash truck going up hill with that car. And I am not alone I see because it is still remembered my many so it must have left an impression. It is like when I was a kid and we could buy a used Metropolitan for $50 or $100 and drive it till it quit then just leave it for the city to impound and haul away only to buy another because they weren't worth fixing. Today we would call that littering but I ran with a pretty insensitive crowd.

    The Van story reminds me of why I just don't like the Scion xB. I am sure it does everything it was designed to do but it has a lock on ugly. It is not one bit less ugly that the van you described. But I am sure that van filled its designed task in life as well.

    But wait, one of my beast friends did have a car that was as bad as the B-210. In fact it was worse, he got a LeCar. We should invade France over that one car seeing it as a weapon of mass destruction that destroyed any reputation the french automakers had in the US to begin with.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,786
    Well, I agree that the xB is a boxy little bugger... but as ugly as my van?!?


    Are you sure? ;)

    Honestly, I have not ever owned a car I would consider unreliable enough to be "my worst car ever." But, we did have a Dodge? Colt (a little red 4-seater coupe) that must have been a 70-something car for a while in the mid-80s. My father had received it in trade for a 1/2 of a steer. We only had it for a year or two, so I'd guess it must have had some sort of a problem that warranted him dumping it. It never stranded me, though!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Well, maybe you win the award..LOL
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,786
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • marc781marc781 Member Posts: 25
    1977 Rabbit. It had 104,000 on it and i paid $2000 in 1987. On the night i brought it home the starter stuck and ran with the engine and burned up the starter. The delaer fixed it that time.

    Then the starter kept dying whenever it was warm or hot. And could not be fixed. I tried all sorts of things to fix it and carried two spare starters. VW had placed the starter under the exhaust manifold and got too hot. So i spent a lot of time changing starters in parking lots etc.
    Also the fuel pump relay kept failing and stalling the car. I carried spare of those too, to no avail. Then it would stall, stalled and stranded me on the 118 Ronald Reagan freeway in 1990.

    After two years of this my dad took pity on me and lent me $3000 and i bought a 1983 sentra. What a contrast, a beautiful running car, no problems at all ever. VW, never again! : P
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    Typical VW story.
  • highenderhighender Member Posts: 1,358
    I had a 1977 Scirroco....and had to have the top end rebuilt...and after that, the fuel injection started going haywire.....

    I loved the car...it looked nice, lowered and no wording or fascia on it....

    I do hope they would improve their quality....
  • wonderwallwonderwall Member Posts: 126
    was a 1997 VW Jetta. I bought it with 34,000 miles on it in 2000. Sold a very reliable, but somewhat dull 1997 Mazda Protege to buy it. HUGE MISTAKE.

    The Jetta was reliable until about 60,000 miles and despite very careful maintenance, by 70,000 miles it needed a new AT ($4000), major suspension work, AC repair ($1300), a new exhaust system. The cruise control worked only when it felt like it. Used about half of the oil between changes, all the moulding fell off and refused to be glued back on.

    I will say the interior was stuck together well. Never had the slightest squeak or rattle inside the car. The paint was also the best paint job on a car, but...

    The VW mechanic told me that many who raise Cain about Mexican assembly are severely mislead, that the German parts are the ones that fail.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,136
    It's strange...I read UK magazines, and almost all of them see VW as high quality and reliable. Yes, reliable VWs. Do we get the rejects or something?
  • mark156mark156 Member Posts: 1,915
    My Brother bought a new 1978 VW Rabbit (German model, 4 door, 4 speed, air), Miami Blue with dark blue vinyl. That car ran really well with no problems. Then in 1980, when my brother and sister-in-law started having kids, they sold the Rabbit to my other brother and bought a new 1980 Buick wagon.

    That little Rabbit stayed in the family until 1992 when my brother sold it for a new Ford Ranger pick-up. Car ran great as I remember and just needed regular maintenance. He did have to replace the muffler every few years. I think the car ended up having 180,000 miles when he sold it.

    I guess some VW's are good, some are not. :surprise:

    Mark :)
    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • toomanyfumestoomanyfumes Member Posts: 1,019
    I had a '75 Rabbit in high school.(Early '80's.) I can't even remember all the problems I had. axle bearings, constant carburetor problems, grinding starter, shifter bushings etc. Finally, the front control arm rusted away from the unibody frame, sending to the junkyard at less than 10 years old. It was a fun car to drive,though, and I smoked a lot of classmates that drove jacked up 305 Camaro's, Mustang II's, and the like.
    2012 Mustang Premium, 2013 Lincoln MKX Elite, 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    Yeah, I was going to mention that too...I was just reading an article today that referred to their "impeccable reputation" over there or something like that. How come the ones in America are so generally awful?

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • turboshadowturboshadow Member Posts: 338
    ...the difference is where they come from. Our VWs come from Mexico. The European market gets made in Gemany VWs, with a few exceptions.

  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    but it could be a number of things. How and where we drive as well as the roads we drive on. But it seems as if it is how we as a society look at dependability and even personal responsibility. To the average American if something goes wrong with a product it is the companies fault or our mechanics fault, any ones fault but our own. Dependability to the average American is having a toaster. We expect it to work every time and we don't expect to ever have to work on that toaster. That isn't true for all of us and enthusiasts may be a different breed but we find it to be an affront that we are required to have a car serviced every three thousand miles so we consider it a virtue if it will go 15,000 or even longer. european cars do not tend to be trouble free and VW is the rule rather than the exception. Europeans seem to be willing to accept this. The Japanese used to be willing to accept this but they discovered that to be successful in the US market they had to change.

    This is just purely opinion and my next example is the same. But look at Toyota. It is fast becoming the most powerful automotive company in the world and they deliver toasters better than anyone. It is hard to name an exciting Toyota and when they do try and make an exciting car it doesn't sell. The Supra and Celica are gone and what we are left with is some of the best toasters you can drive. Chock full of dependability and almost devoid of passion. I believe that VW simply doesn't deliver enough off setting passion to make up for the lack of maintenance dependability. That and they have a service network designed by old [non-permissible content removed] burocrats.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,676
    reading a review of a European motorhome that was shipped over here and sold by Winnebago. I think it was called a LeSharo or something like that, and used BMW mechanicals. The reviewer also mentioned the difference in driving styles of here versus there, and how in the US we'd think nothing of driving 500-600 miles in a day, where in Europe that would probably take you through several countries and could easily make a vacation in and of itself.

    So I guess in general, the same could apply to cars? Plus, isn't a car, any car, considered more of a luxury item in Europe? Maybe there are many people in Europe that are happy to just have a car, no matter how often it breaks down.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    They always saw the Focus as a good, dependable car as well. It's not like unreliability doesn't exist there - they do complain about Mercedes' problems and about Citroens falling apart. Then they go buy them in droves while Honda and Toyota languish.

    Here I've heard of friends with German-built GTIs and Passats with problems (though not as much as the cheaper, Mexican or Brazilian built cars). From what The Car Connection's mechanic said several months back, VW's electrical systems are designed much unlike anyone else's, and a lot of the parts that fail are in fact German.

    I've never understood the reputation difference.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Member Posts: 126
    you must consider the fact that VWs are probably reliable in comparison with French, British, Italian and whatever else I am leaving out in the British/European market. I mean some of VW's European competitors are Renault, Peugeot, Vauxhall, FIAT, etc.. Go to various car websites with more recent European VW consumer reviews and you'll see that many complain about the same issues with Golfs and so forth that U.S. consumers complain about with their Mexican and Brazilian VWs. I think when you have ignition systems failing almost on cue in all 1.8 liter turbo engines, the problem is less build oriented than engineering oriented.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 57,136
    In my new "Top Gear Test Drive Directory" that a friend just brought back from England, the Polo gets "engines though...are still second to none for reliability and strength". The new Golf gets loud raves in every category, the Jetta gets "Running gear will be as strong and reliable as any other VW so there's no worries there", and about used Passats they say "higher mileage models aren't necessarily a concern due to the car's robustness". Now mind you this isn't CAR so they aren's so scathing, but Jeremy Clarkson does work for Top Gear, so they can be harsh too.

    I can't imagine it being relative to other even worse Euros...they get all the super-reliable Japanese appliances we get, and then some. Imagine all the badged engineered dreck we see here replaced with actual individual cars.
  • corvettecorvette Member Posts: 10,259
    I concur, many of the issues I had with my VW were due to design issues and not assembly issues.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Member Posts: 126
    there is a car website where individuals from around the world submit reviews of vehicles and I don't think I can mention it here, because of Edmunds policy, but the issues mentioned with American & Canadian market VWs seem to also plague British and European VW drivers as well. Lots of mentions of a severe slide in VW reliability especially with MK IV Golfs and Bora/Jettas. German and US built Rabbits, Quantums, Dashers were reliability nightmares. Look at forums on German built Passats and 1999-2000 Golfs (which came from Wolfsburg) or forums on the recent Jetta wagons (also from Wolfsburg) and they don't look like they have any fewer issues than those made at Puebla or Sao Paolo. I think the perception is that blonde, blue eyed Germans do a better job than Latin Americans and I just don't think that's true and is based on near racist or outright racist assumptions.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    "I think the perception is that blonde, blue eyed Germans do a better job than Latin Americans and I just don't think that's true and is based on near racist or outright racist assumptions."

    I wouldn't go quite that far... there's an assumption that 1st world countries in general have better standards of production, and Germany in particular has a good reputation for engineering. Well deserved in the past, imo. They could build fighters and tanks in the forests and do a top notch job, while Japanese bolts had to be hammered into their nuts out of crudeness.
  • rbentonrbenton Member Posts: 30
    1992 Dodge Monaco LE. The best and worst AMC and Renault put together in car, that often ready for the scrap heap by 60k. Parts and Maintance on that car cost me what a clapped out 1985 BMW 735i would cost me to run somewhat. If it wasn't the Premier - Monaco Chrysler would been stuck building the Acclaim till Y2K. That Monaco had like a seeming endless list of issues. Like Lucas quality electrical devices and biodegradable body hardware and Vega type drive line relieablity. To this day I am leery of any Modern Mopar product or anything tied to Renault.
This discussion has been closed.