What's been the most troublesome vehicle you've ever owned and the most reliable one?

Frijid

Frijid

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My most bothersome would have to be the one i own now, a 89 s-10. Although, i can't quite fault SOME of the problems it has on itself. I blame some of the problems on the previous owner. for example a MAJOR sludge problem with the oil. Reason this exists is because the guy i bought the truck from, only changed oil he said every 10,000 miles or more, and at that, he used dollar store oil. After i got it, i went ahead and changed the oil, only to break 3 sockets trying to remove the drain bolt on the oil pan. Reason for this was, i found out the guy who owned said that the pan leaked around the bolt, so he "took care of it" by tightening down on the bolt with an air impact wrench. Funny thing was, the only reason it was leaking was because the rubber gasket was gone off the drain bolt. I finally got the bolt off with a pipe wrench, which in turn i had to buy a new bolt (and gasket).


It doesn't burn oil, it EATS oil. In just a 100 mile trip, it takes half a quart. Again, i just take it because of poor maintenance, and miles on the vehicle. (i'll be honest, the engine it has in it, 4.3 or 262 ci, whichever you prefer to go by, isn't known to get a lot of miles). The transmission is shot. It's an automatic, and when sitting on level ground with your foot on the brake and in park, when you move the shifter to D, the transmission makes a loud metallic SNAP, then POW. and when it POW's, the whole truck jerks forward like a snake striking.

Went to start it up about a month ago after leaving the grocery store. It fired up, idled good, then after about 10 seconds, it just died. cranked, and cranked, and cranked and never would start. tested for fire. It was a real weak yellow. let it set overnight, came back the next day and it struggled, but finally started. So i changed the fuel filter, and to no avail, it still is the same thing. every now and then it will just leave you stranded. My first guess was, ignition module, coil, or something in the distributor ( i changed the spark plugs 3 months ago)

Discovered The other day, it now has a major vacuum leak. Got gas, started it up to leave. The fast idle kicked in, yet never did kick out. I noticed what sounded like a snake under the hood hissing, or someone slashing a tire. The idle speed of the engine was fluctuating up and down, almost screaming at times, to make up for the vacuum loss. So i though, ok, i'll just open the hood and stick my head in, and listen for the air leak. simple enough right? well, i open the hood, only to get sprayed in the face by antifreeze, which now is leaking somewhere, and was hitting the fan blade and sprayed me in the face, in my eyes, and even got some in my mouth. Not to mention it was all over the inside of the hood. So i shut it off to find the leak. Can't find it anywhere. after it cooled down, i opened the radiator, and it was still full. The recovery bottle was still full also. Drove it the next day, no leaking antifreeze, and no hissing vacuum. On the way home from town today, it starts leaking antifreeze again. Still can't find the vacuum problem cause it isn't hissing now. I got an estimate on how much to fix EVERYTHING on it, the estimate was around 3500 dollars + labor. Biggest pain for a vehicle i've ever had.

And to think, 6 months ago, i bought an 85 mazda RX-7 off a family member. 147,244 miles on it when i got it. When i sold it, it had 182,119 miles. Only thing that had ever been replaced on it was the battery, tires a few times, spark plugs a few times, oil changes, the water pump once, had the carb rebuilt once, and the alternator changed once. Everything else was still original, including radiator, spark plug wires, transmission etc, even small things like the fuel filter were still original.

After i found out that there wasn't a mechanic anywhere in town who could work on the engine (there wasn't anything wrong with the engine, i just searched around just in case i needed one) and no one in town or anywhere around outside of town knew how to work on rotary engines, plus not needing 2 vehicles. Only thing that i, personally had to buy for it was just some motor oil to add to the engine every now and then (rotary engines are designed to burn oil, it even said so in the owners manual that it's normal for them to burn oil) plus the cost of oil and filter to change every 3,000. well, i sell the car in fear of the price and bothersome of finding a mechanic if i ever need one. so i sell it, make a 500 dollar profit. Well, i called the guy i sold it to exactly 5 hours ago, only to find out now, it's got 210,xxx miles on it, and still going strong. he said he even drove it outta state last week. no problems what so ever.

I sold the best one, and kept the bothersome one!

So anyways, was has been you're best and worst vehicles?
 
N

NY09C6

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What's been the most troublesome vehicle you've ever owned and the most relia...

Best = 1996 Ford Thunderbird
Worst = 2006 Toyota Tacoma
 
J

jabe1

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With the RX7, when the engine dies, you just replace it.

My most reliable is now my 22 year old daughter's car, a '97 Toyota Camry. It just turned over 205k, and six months ago got it's second new piece of exhaust. Currently it popped a new code, but I think it's just a sticking EGR valve. Other than that, amazing.

My least reliable is hard to say, due to my like for small European sports cars. It's a toss up between a '75 Fiat spyder, and my worst ever American car, a Ford Escort circa 1983 which I hated enough to let it get towed away by the city.... The Fiat was unreliable, but a wonderful car to drive, once you re-set the timing and got the carb dialed in (weekly maintenance). I remember having to source a fuel pump for it once when I was out of town and it failed to start at the end of a workday. If I it wasn't my primary transport at the time a sledge hammer would have been a more rewarding fix.

The Escort was just an all around underpowered, bad handling, no heat POS. And it only had 40k on it when I let it go. The damn thing needed work at least as often as the fiat! and had half the miles on it.
 
Lampbeam

Lampbeam

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Ford Pinto station wagon death trap. Didn't have any side windows so you couldn't check your blind spots. There were two round windows on either side in the back that were useless.

Everything else has been great.
 
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C

calamari

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up until 3 years ago I had a '78 pontiac phoenix. It was a great car. A friend and I did a swap to a small block 350 and did it go (at my budget anyways ;).

Anyways, to the point of the thread, it was the most tempermental starter I have ever seen. It needed a perfect touch on the throttle to start or it would flood, which as I found was easier said than done.

I ended up selling it when I had my first daughter and bought a new pontiac. Just not the same though. oh well
 
M

moldyoldy

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Best car: 3x Honda Civics in family '98, '99, 00. all at/above 200K. The usual maintenance of tires, exhaust system, batteries. The cars are totally reliable. Drove the '98 MN to NYC non-stop for her residency - it ran well. the 2 manual xmsn Civics reach above 40mpg in summer months. Highway driving has achieved 50mpg on the flat/level. most of the time highway driving is above 45mpg. I have no reason to be interested in any hybrid vehicle!

worst car: 2x Plymouth Acclaims. piston rings, transmission, tach, etc. etc. An '89 Plymouth Voyager was not far behind in problems. Eventually after a drive bearing in the transmission on one vehicle and a pinion bearing in the transmission on another vehicle failed, both transmissions were slightly above 100K, I gave up on Chrysler products and switched to Hondas. no regrets!
 
R

Rafael Jimenez

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best is a tie between a 85 and a 97 Toyota Landcruiser and a 02 Tundra 4x4. I still have the 97 with 200k and it's like new. They are solid and well made and 100% dependable in any situation or any type of terrain hot desert, snow, etc etc. I must also include a 74 vw bug and a 74 chevy 1/2 pick up, I used them 10-12 years without any trouble at all.

worst. Jeep Grand wagoneer. Had a tendency to overheat but was very confortable and nice looking.
 
Tracker II

Tracker II

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Best: 2004 Toyota Highlander - 210,000 miles and still running like new.

Worst: 1995 Chrysler Cirrus - It never ran right from the moment we bought it. One time I started the car and driver's rear view mirror just fell completely off. Transmission blew at 51,000 miles on a 50,000 mile warranty. I hate Chrysler and I hate my Chrysler dealership.
 
ven

ven

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Most troublesome would be a vauxhall cavalier gsi4x4 going back to 1995.It was a 91 plate,paid 6k for it and spent that again on repairs over 3yrs.From transfer boxes to wish bones,steering racks,head gasket to name just some of the bits.I modded it still,lowered,17 venom alloys,group N chip and stainless zaust to name a few.......i will never own a vauxhall motor again.

Reliable wise probably the truck i have now,Mitsubishi shogun 3.0 v6 1991 ,bought it for 3k($5k) 7 years ago as i had a 200sx,think its a nissan silvia in USA(s14a) but kids on way i needed a bus.Done 56k at time,full history,every MOT etc etc now turned 114k so almost 60kmiles driven.Yep had some repairs over the time,but been a great motor and again modded it.Spent more than what i paid on 35" rims,suspension lift/shocks/stainless zaust/winch/crate/light bars/plasma gauges/cb/rock slider/diff,tank guards........could go on for ever tbh as its endless.Use it for daily work /school run and off road chariot.
Dirty


Clean
 
Flying Turtle

Flying Turtle

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The worst was probably a 1969 Rover 3500S I got when I was 19. Nobody could work on it and it had problems. Loved it's features, but the small (215 cu.in. V8) and inboard rear discs were a mystery to mechanics. Still, it was probably my best car and worst car. Second place for worst was probably a 1985 Jetta GLI. Lots of little niggling troubles, though the engine and transmission were fine.

Best was a 2000 Mazda MPV minivan. Not a bit of trouble for about 105,000 miles. It even had the original battery when I traded it. Second place was the 2006 Civic I gave my son at 75,000 miles. Never a problem.

Geoff
 
mcnair55

mcnair55

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With the RX7, when the engine dies, you just replace it.

My most reliable is now my 22 year old daughter's car, a '97 Toyota Camry. It just turned over 205k, and six months ago got it's second new piece of exhaust. Currently it popped a new code, but I think it's just a sticking EGR valve. Other than that, amazing.

My least reliable is hard to say, due to my like for small European sports cars. It's a toss up between a '75 Fiat spyder, and my worst ever American car, a Ford Escort circa 1983 which I hated enough to let it get towed away by the city.... The Fiat was unreliable, but a wonderful car to drive, once you re-set the timing and got the carb dialed in (weekly maintenance). I remember having to source a fuel pump for it once when I was out of town and it failed to start at the end of a workday. If I it wasn't my primary transport at the time a sledge hammer would have been a more rewarding fix.

The Escort was just an all around underpowered, bad handling, no heat POS. And it only had 40k on it when I let it go. The damn thing needed work at least as often as the fiat! and had half the miles on it.

In the UK you could have the rotary engine fixed no need to replace it,the Cheshire part of England has at least half a dozen rotary specialists.
 
F

Fast LT1

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Worst car - 1982 ford bronco, paid $150 for it, still have it.

Best most reliable car- 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS - still have this as well
 
C

cland72

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Best: 2005 GMC Yukon
I bought new, now has 112k miles.
-Only issue has been the sun roof mechanism breaking, and I haven't bothered to find someone to fix it. Mechanically it's very sound, quiet, smooth riding, and reliable.

Worst: 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Wife bought new, now has 120k miles.
-Radiator sprung a leak a month ago
-Front passenger window is off track and won't roll down
-Twice now I've had to fix broken wires in the boot between the driver door and body
-Alternator went out sometime before she hit 90k miles
-The throttle position sensor threw a trouble code two weeks ago and had to be replaced
 
N

NonSenCe

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worst: Ford Escort 1.3lx 1983 (made in brazil.) was fine for first 2 years as my grandads car when he bought it used in 1990 or so.. next 4 were horrible when it was my sisters and then my car. it had: clutch problems with pressureplate and linkages and synchros in gears. it had lot of electrical gremlins in the lights (it didnt have e-locks nor windows so i cant imagine how bad it would o been with more electrical works than mimimal.) and those electrics made it catch fire. twice. 1st time part of wiring in engine compartment went off while parked. and second time after it it burnt again while driving when something under dash caught fire. and it was still fixed after this because insurance company paid enough again. it had serious problems running smoothly in highways.. it worked fine in city for month and then 20 minutes on highwayspeeds and it ran without one or two cylinders. no real problem was ever found on it. we changed the carb, the ignition just everything possible.. several parts for more than once and still no go. sometimes it worked fine for months and then none, sometimes it ran with 3 cylinders for 100miles until it arrived on our car mechanics garage, and when he opened the door and the car freaked out realising where it was and started running smoothly. problems just came and went. eventually it was sold to someone across the country and told him it really does not work in highways.. he came to pick it up anyways and drove off.. and year later saw him somewhere by accident and he informed that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. had run perfectly for 30k by just adding fuel and oil +filters. that car just did not like us. (neither did 5 years newer escort we had later on, but it wasnt as bad)

best.. this is tough. got few options as the best.. maybe toyota carina II 1988 1.6liter automatic. bought it used when driven 250 000km (157 000miles) . i drove it 4 years without doing anything but basic parts like oil and brakepads etc. then parked it for year before i gave it to my dad and he drove it 3 years before needing any repairs. i think theres 240-250k miles on odo now. and now past year its been having some issues. windscreen is cracked, fuel tank leaks when full, worn out engines burns oil, carb is worn out and rusted tank keeps clogging the filters and then the carbs passages as no one remembers to change the filters in time, brake pads and discs need overhaul, rusted thru floor and other places need some attention etc.. all those dings and scrapes are starting to make it just too worn out to be kept anymore. but it went thru mandatory yearly inspection last week.. so maybe it will do until for few months still or until it breaks down. i do keep an eye on classifieds if i ever see another like it sold, but in better overall looking condition.. i will buy it for sure.

second option is 1983 opel ascona 1.6l automatic. bought used by my dad 1988 or so (was supposedly driven only 120 000miles but who knows how many times the 99 999 meter had one around by then.) but my dad drove it for 8 years or so. normal wear items needed to keep it running but it never left anyone stranded no matter what happened. (be it a small collision with a deer, or telephone poles (2) or trafic pole) the deer collision somewhere in 200k mile mark in our driving (on top of originals) caused overheating while driving home because mangled radiator leaked, so cylinder head needed to be planed, and then later the second major fix was the automatic gearbox that lost forward gears in 1996 when he had driven 300k miles on it. i got the car from him then and swapped an used junkyard tranny into it and drove it an year or so for 20-30k before small offroad excursion broke transmission oil coolant line and the tranny overheated when driving it home. and it lost the foward gears again. it was parked for few years with intention finding new tranny, but as those were hard to find, sold it to a scrap metal collector, who eventually actually used the engine in his own car.. man it was a good car.

few years from now i might add my current car into this list if it holds up. had it few years now and so far so good. 1992 w124 mercedes 300 diesel touring automatic, with 338 000 miles on the odometer. (likely a bit more actually.. possibly even like 100-200k more but who knows.. i know the odo had been changed or fixed at somepoint when i took it out and checked it.)
 
JohnR66

JohnR66

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Worst. '92 Saturn SL2. Shifter lever came loose, bad engine mounts replaced, power window stripped gear, hydraulic clutch failed. All under 80K
Best. '04 Ford Ranger 2.3L 5sp. no problems yet.
Bought both vehicles new.
 
mattheww50

mattheww50

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Worst by a comfortable margin, a 1980 Cheverolet Diesel Station Wagon. A true monument to unreliability. Fortunately it was leased, so at the end of the lease, I just handed it back. Out of the 3 years I had it it had spent about 3 months in the shop. I had the GM extended warranty, so GM ate most of the repair costs, I had to eat the car rental costs.

Hard to say what the most reliable was. I have owned several Japanese built vehicles that were delivered with no problems (Toyotas and Mazdas), and stayed that way as long as I owned them. Just routine Maintenance.
 
Kestrel

Kestrel

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Worst, not sure between the two:
  • '78 Porsche 924: The engine was completely indestructable - trust me I tried - but lots of small problems outside of that)
  • '84 VW Vanagon: The first year of the water-cooled VW campers. I think that nearly every part/component was only just barely marginal for what was necessary for operation - engine, cooling, electrical, etc - so it seemed like everything failed at one time or another.
Best: '94 Toyota Corolla wagon: Current vehicle, purchased used @ 105,000 mi.
319,000 miles and still going strong. Zero, and I mean zero complaints whatsoever.
 
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monkeyboy

monkeyboy

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This is kind of a rant as I've never had much luck with buying or owning cars. (I've never bought a new car before).

Best: Honda civic 2002, purchased at 5 years old, 50K miles. One problem; leaking air conditioning but fixed under dealer's warranty (eventually after about 5 visits and an unsuccessful re-gassing). I bought it from one of the crappy dealers round here who conveniently 'lost' the service history. I took it too a local mechanic friend for servicing and he was pretty sure that the car had never been serviced before. Was pretty reliable nevertheless. No major problems or breakdowns.

Worst: BMW 540i 1997, purchased at 8 years old, 80K miles. Possibly the stupidest thing I've ever bought but I do admit that it was fun to drive on the rare occasions when everything was working properly. There were a ton of small things wrong when I bought it, each of which cost a ludicrous amount of money to put right. I'm sure I was getting ripped off by the garage. I owned it for 2 years and many more small things went wrong. It had one breakdown when the radiator suddenly decided to let go of it's contents. Needless to say, I got ripped off when I sold it too.

Joint worst: VW polo 1988, very unreliable, countless breakdowns, almost impossible to start in cold weather. It was all excusable though, as it was a very old and very cheap car. Sold it to a friend who's uncle drove it into a tree.


In conclusion; cars suck, and car dealers are not to be trusted. Maybe I'll hold out for a flying carpet, although knowing my luck, that will break down too.
 
PhotonWrangler

PhotonWrangler

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Worst: 1971 Plymouth Duster. Vapor lock, blown ballast resistors and it liked to eat starter motors.
Best: 1985 Chevy Celebrity Eurosport. Wonderfully tight steering & suspension and a V6 that had a lot of pep.
 
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