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

fl0t

fl0t

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Best: VW Golf MK3 2.0L 8v - Gotta say I really like vdubs, I have two and none of them have ever left me stranded. They are very reliable and I always find parts for them, they are everywhere.

Worst: 2003 Peugeot 206 - crappy crap crap... no parts but UK. This car left me stranded 3 times in the last 6 months, and I gave it pretty good maintenance. Plus, I don't like the driver seating geometry, I feel weird at the wheel. But this last one is a very personal opinion.

Fl0t
 
H

HarryN

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Best 2 - in terms of going the long haul, few repairs, 1993 BMW 525i, purchased new - wonderful car. Second best - Believe it or not a 2000 Dodge caravan (but the paint has been questionable)

Worst 2 - 1989 BWM 325ix - purchased well used, but it just was tough to keep it running. But the really mediocre one (and very high repair cost) has been a 2005 Lexus RX350 my wife has. Suspension never holds together and repairs are super spendy - much worse than any bmw I have owned.

I should probably add - that 325ix was also the most amazing car I have ever owned as well. Handled like a dream, went through snow like dry pavement, and turned on a dime.
 
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mvyrmnd

mvyrmnd

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Worst car: Saab 9-5 - Timing chain, throttle body, oil sludging, clutch, turbo... many many things

Best car: Saab 9-5. When everything was working it was wonderful. I'd buy another if I was ever wanting my wife to divorce me :)
 
nfetterly

nfetterly

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Worst car, 1985 dodge Daytona turbo-z with 5 speed. Would run like a scalded dog when the turbo was running, and got great gas mileage when it wasn't.

Best car - wasn't a car, was a sailboat. Laser, bought season old from a laser school (Pointe Claire where lasers were originally made). I bought it for $950 (1980) cleaned up and resealed a bit of wood, used it two seasons and sold it for $1200.

I have since given up on North American Brands and in the last year bought a 2009 Nissan Murano (used) and a 2012 Hyundai Genesis (new).
 
Steve K

Steve K

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I haven't had a really bad car, but a few have had design weaknesses.

1984(?) Datsun pickup truck: Pretty good, but classic rust along the side of the bed exterior. Carburator would gum up periodically too.

1989 Acura Integra: This is a Honda product. Drove for 7 years and 110k miles. Brakes required new pads, IIRC, but otherwise didn't need anything other than minor routine maintenance.

1996 Acura Integra (with "bug-eye" headlights): Drove 110k miles, but it took me 16 years to do so. :) It wasn't garaged, so there was a fair bit of degradation of some items by the end. It had the classic Honda rust by the rear wheel wells. The brake calipers needed to be replaced because they were seizing up. Considering the environmental abuse, I'd say it was a pretty good car, fun to drive, and with good milage.

The current car is a 2013 Mazda 3 hatchback. Seems good so far, but the increased electronics content does scare me a bit. No problems after 14 months and 7k miles. Better milage than the '96 Integra, but not as peppy to drive.
 
E

Eugene

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My most bothersome would have to be the one i own now, a 89 s-10.

funny, my best was an 88 s10. Mine was a 2.5L 4 cylinder with 4 speed manual and 4x4. I could get almost 30 mpg and drive through snow deeper than the mirrors. I got it from a repo auction and took off the body lift, removed the seat and hosed out the mud and put the seat back in. It was wrecked a couple times, stolen once and we put it back together. I drove through several states with thousands of $ in e911 equipment in the back doing installs. I parked it beside the house a few years ago because I needed an extended cab for child seats and a couple drugged out kids drove into it and the side of my garage. It was hauled away to a junk yard for $50. It had about 175k miles.
 
HotWire

HotWire

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I've owned two cars I would consider the "worst." The first was a Honda Prelude. Every part of that car was either fixed by me or replaced by the Honda dealer I bought it from. Once the carb floats sank! Brakes failed many times.... I got to know several tow truck drivers because of that car. The other was a 1992 Mercury Cougar V8. It was a superb driving car, but except for the transmission almost every part was replaced by me or the Ford dealer. Engine stuck at full throttle --- and was still stuck there when I got it towed to the dealer. Heater, sensors, steering parts, radio, power steering, fuel injection, radiator, water pump, MAF sensor.... you name it, it broke. The dealer had it once for ten days and finally gave it back saying it could not be fixed. They loaned me a rental car for all 10 days. They tried.
 
A

Airborne!

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Worst: My current 2004 Chevy Suburban with 124 thousand miles. Hmmm…let’s start small. Take any piece of lever or switch and assume it has broken or worn off and had to be replaced. The CD player on the Radio went out long ago and its such a common issue that I see no reason to replace it. And since it uses a GM proprietary connector I don't want to pay the $100 for the adapter for the aftermarket radio. The ceiling entertainment center fell while sitting in the driveway. The heat from the sun loosened the cheap plastic and the screws feel through. A back lift gate hatch hinge broke and a window hatch latch broke. Of course they are welds and a fortune to replace. The leather just fell apart in most places on the seats. Now the head liner is starting to separate. Now the big stuff. First the engine and then the transmission had to be replaced. Sad part is I actually like driving the vehicle. I have a love hate thing for that big SUV…right now lots of hate though. Like most GM vehicles these days they seem to go for the “initial quality” awards.

Best: Well my wife’s 2000 Honda CRV has almost 300 thousand miles and looks and drives like almost new. The thing is an amazing build. Maybe that’s what annoys me about my burb. Her radio buttons look like new. Mine look like the vehicle is 25 years old.

Best that I semi owned: An unknown year, somewhere in the 90’s?, and unknown model Japanese right side drive Toyota SUV. It was one of my vehicles during one of my trips abroad. My Team and I punished that vehicle in some very harsh terrain and it never ever failed us once. I mean not a single time in any way at all. It was one of the most amazing vehicles. Tough beyond tough.
 
gadget_lover

gadget_lover

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My worst:

1959 Rambler American. It was 13 years old when my mom talked me into buying it as my first car. I was $300, most of my savings. I had nothing but bad luck which was probably compounded by my exuberant youthful driving and improper maintenance. In less than two years the radiator leaked, the door latch broke, the brake master cylinder and then the brake cylinders went. The clutch slipped like a comedian on a banana peel. The gas gauge guessed at the presence of gas in the tank, and was most often wrong. The battery was replaced twice because the voltage regulator fried them. The tires were so out of balance that I could not drive it home from the seller at anything above 45 mph. It finally died with a cracked block. Junk yard gave me $60 for it.

My best:
2002 Toyota Prius. It's almost 12 years old and 135K miles. It looks close to new. It's never left me stranded. It still gets around 50 MPG on the freeway at 65. The biggest defect was cloudy, yellowed headlight lenses after only 9 years. Maintenance has been minimal... tires, oil and filters as needed. The big battery is still the original one. Brakes have never needed anything, not even new pads.

There was an ECM that the dealer talked me into replacing because of a code that was thrown when the car was used in near zero degree weather. I researched it later and found that was probably not needed. A bad relay (also replaced) was the likely culprit. I don't utilize that dealer any more.

Dan
 
Unicorn

Unicorn

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Worst was adodge Daytona. 5 speed, 2.5 liter non turbo model. Went through multiple engine mounts, had to have the transaxle replaced, the stupid wing fell off., transmission was alwayd rough. I donated it to a charity in VA.

Best is probably te 2002 VW Jetta I have now. 5 speed, 2 liter non turbo. About 175,000 miles on it, with only one major repair. The water pump went out at about 90,000 miles. The clutch lasted 150-160,000 before needing replaced. Now I'm having a few minor issues, the diode that controls the heater fan needs to be replaced, but that's cheap and easy, my door locks aren't working quite right, not always locking, and a piece of plastic in the trunk lock broke causing it to not lock. I actually fixed the trunk latch with some duct tape and it's been working for the past year. Oh, at some point the passenger side heated seat quit working. I don't know how long since I don't use it myself. Likely from a soda spilling on it and causing damage.
It's about time for a replacement, but I'm a cheapskate... I'm thinking a TDI Passat and/or a Toyota Tacoma 4 door.
 
Tmack

Tmack

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Best: 1994 acura legend 6 speed 2 door type 2 3.2L 180,000miles and nothing but preventative maintenance. Oil, brakes, clutch, and tune ups.
Love that car to death( and til death) a 1994 with automatic latch doors, heated side mirrors and all the bells and whistles.
Worst: 2001 mercury cougar........ Enough said.
 
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KarstGhost

KarstGhost

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Worst: 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Bought used with 126 k miles. It refuses to start at random times. Sometimes it will start but heat/AC and gauges will refuse to work. I've taken it to multiple mechanics and no one can figure out what is wrong. Apparently the battery and all wires are fine. I bought a new computer control module for it as well without any luck. Really bums me out because I bought it to take way out on remote forest roads.

Best: So boring to drive but my 2010 Sentra hasn't had any problems yet.

Great idea for a thread!
 
Monocrom

Monocrom

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Thankfully no major issues with either vehicle I've owned over the years. (I tend to keep cars a very long time after buying one.)

My Ford Escort did malfunction once to the point I couldn't switch the car off or remove my keys. Turned out to be a faulty ignition that worked well for a few years. Didn't leave me stranded. Though I didn't enjoy punching out early from work to go to the nearby dealership I bought her from. A/C crapped out a few months before she was totaled. I had put quite a bit of money into her to get a few other things taken care of... Then about a week later she was totaled by a moron in a red mini-van, while I was driving her. Thankfully I wasn't too badly hurt at all.

My Mazda6 V6 sports sedan has only given me one headache, the driver's side door couldn't close. The mechanism fell inside the door. Had to drive home holding the door shut with my right hand across my body and my left on top of the steering wheel. Got it fixed. Years ago, got a recall notice about the doors. Saleslady who sold the car to me reassured me it was taken care of before the sale. :ironic:

I'd give her a piece of my mind, but she was fired soon afterwards. Got the recall notice again, brought the car in; and Mazda fixed it for me with no problems.

Overall my cars have been very reliable.
 
Launch Mini

Launch Mini

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WORST = 2002 Mini Cooper Launch Edition.

It was one of the first 500 Special Editions delivered to Canada. ( see the connection to my CPF User name?)
Before I bash it, it was THE MOST FUN CAR to drive that I have owned to date.

Being it was one of the first, it was, with all honesty, in the shop for 27 WARRANTY CLAIMS within the 3 years that I owned it.
Day 3 of ownership, driving along at 60kph, I see this black thing fly past my passenger window. The front fender blew off.
Other issues:
Electrical crapped out during a rain storm.At first no wipers. Then when I parked the car, took the key out, they started and wouldn't shut off.
After they fixed that, it went again. This time lights, and interior stuff crapped out.
Transmission blew a gasket, Tranny Oil everywhere. There was another tranny issue later.
Some cooling fan needed replacing.
Electric window mechanisms replace.
Shift knob started falling apart. Seriously.
The rear hatch would not latch.
Started burning oil. LOTS OF OIL.
I have all the issued written down at home, but I can't recall them all now. I got rid of it in 2005.
 
Monocrom

Monocrom

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WORST = 2002 Mini Cooper Launch Edition.

It was one of the first 500 Special Editions delivered to Canada. ( see the connection to my CPF User name?)
Before I bash it, it was THE MOST FUN CAR to drive that I have owned to date.

Being it was one of the first, it was, with all honesty, in the shop for 27 WARRANTY CLAIMS within the 3 years that I owned it.
Day 3 of ownership, driving along at 60kph, I see this black thing fly past my passenger window. The front fender blew off.
Other issues:
Electrical crapped out during a rain storm.At first no wipers. Then when I parked the car, took the key out, they started and wouldn't shut off.
After they fixed that, it went again. This time lights, and interior stuff crapped out.
Transmission blew a gasket, Tranny Oil everywhere. There was another tranny issue later.
Some cooling fan needed replacing.
Electric window mechanisms replace.
Shift knob started falling apart. Seriously.
The rear hatch would not latch.
Started burning oil. LOTS OF OIL.
I have all the issued written down at home, but I can't recall them all now. I got rid of it in 2005.

No Lemon Law protection in Canada?
 
Launch Mini

Launch Mini

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Unfortunately NO.
Thee was in issue with the windows. On BMW & Mini, when you open your doors, the windows go down a tiny bit, so when you close the doors, they return to up, and seal a bit better. Mine stopped doing that. Just stayed down a cm.
Power steering issues. Didn't fail, but the pump, if I recall was replaced.
Passenger tail light issues. Probably electrical related, but separate from above.
The heated outside rearview mirrors both needed replacing, again separately from each other. The heating coils didn't work.
I believe rear window was replaced for similar issue. Some of the heating lines didn't work.

I always said, that car was built first thing monday morning, or last car on a friday night.
 
Tmack

Tmack

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Or on an employee first day.

Sounds like the majority was electrical problems, and on a "bmw" that's a nightmare.

I always wanted a type s, with a performance pulley and ecu, but the cost of repair kind of deterred me.

Was anything recalled?
 
zespectre

zespectre

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The worst car I ever owned was a used 1979 Ford Pinto that I got in 1986. It had actually had a gentle life previously (I knew the previous owner) but from the day I got it that freaking car was CURSED!

I only kept that car for three years and in that time it was;

  • hit three different times while sitting still in a mall parking lot. Two times the "hitter" paid for repairs.
  • each of the wheel cylinders for the drum brakes seized up at different times, locking up that wheel.
  • the transmission developed a high pitched whine right at about highway speeds that was like fingernails on a chalkboard
  • on cold mornings it would randomly backfire once on start (I went through several mufflers)
  • the radio would turn on and off all by itself at random times
  • The heater worked great, all the time, even in the summer when you tried to turn the damned thing off
  • The interior light bulb blew about once a month, almost always as you were getting in to go home at night
  • Windshield was smashed by a bolt from, I'm not kidding, an overhead aircraft leaving a nearby airport.
  • It absolutely ATE points and condensers (yeah I'm old), I used to replace those about every three months
  • And the final death blow...Sandwiched between two other cars when the guy behind me failed to stop on an icy road.

I will say this though, no other electrical issues and it ALWAYS started and got me to work and back home again...always.
 
Cataract

Cataract

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Worst, but great vehicle was my very first car: a 1984 Renault 18. It was 8 years old when I bought it, owned by an old lady who lived on top of a hill that sold it for the cost of the repairs for the last year (never ever buy a car sold for the cost of the latest repairs for God's ache!) I had to replace pretty much everything mechanical outside the engine and tranny. It was a wonderful winter car, though and came with studded tires: I could literally stop, then climb onto a 12" pile of icy snow in first gear and it drove on icy roads like it was dry. once it got through it's 11th birthday, the engine gaskets were finished and the coolant overflow would bubble up like crazy after a short drive. I did put to shame a Z24 driver that was redlining like a moron, though.

BEST: 1992 Honda Civic LX. Would start not matter the weather and never had any problem with it other than battery death and normal wear (tie rod let go on me after turning a street corner, alternator and drive shaft had to be replaced). Bought it as a 7 year old vehicle and only had to get rid of it in it's 14th year because I got and inspection warrant on it for little stupid details: cracked windshield (lower corner and barely noticeable), muffler had fallen off a couple of days before that and a small rust hole over the drivers side backlight. It likely would have been good till it's 17th year with very little investment, although I could tell the engine did not have the amazing power it used to have.
 
Wattnot

Wattnot

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Toyota Sienna AWD LE 2005. Garbage. Lousy fuel economy, lousy AC by design. Toyota treated me like garbage.
 

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