My last American vehicle was a Jeep Comanche. For the first 2 years it was a
real nice truck. It seemed it had a self destruct mode when the hobbs meter
read exactly 2 years and one second. And it wasn't a quick painless death
either. A new piece of the truck would fail on a pretty consistent basis.
Over the next year, out of warranty of course, it probably cost me an
average of $300 a month in random repairs. Some of the failures I can
remember: The rear view mirror just fell off the windshield at a stop light,
the gear shift knob broke off in my hand, both window cranks broke. It was a
4 speed and did not have a cable for the clutch. Instead it was a hydraulic
unit that would blow seals about every other month. That meant speed
shifting while under way and doing powerstarts at red lights. The starter
failed, that meant parking on hills so I can do a rolling start. Money was
tight then so after a month of parking at the top of a hill it became a
difficult habit to shake. One time the carburetor coughed some fire and some
rubber ignited, I was in my driveway blowing on the flames to no avail.
Luckily there was a Builders Emporium across the street, I sprinted into the
store grabbing a fire extinguisher and tossing my wallet at the cashier.
Shortly after that the clutch imploded on in itself and after that repair it
just didn't seem right. I had to go to a Toyota dealer to pick up a part for
my wife's Toyota, and a salesman said "Hey buddy wanna trade that truck in?"
I didn't even have to think about it. I've been stuck on Toyota's ever
since. My current truck is a '98 Tacoma and at 190,000+ it's just getting
broken in. Nope, I won't buy the junk passed off as vehicles that Detroit is
responsible for in this lifetime.
I know people who've had nothing but troubles with Toyota's and will
never buy another.
I've been driving American cars for thirty years and have had only a
couple problems which weren't related to normal wear and tear in all
that time. The problems were with electrical harness routing on a 95
Ranger, were fixed under warranty, and they never returned.
I work with a guy who swears Honda's far outlast American cars despite
his high mileage vehicles being in the shop every other month for wheel
bearings, cv joints, tie rod ends, ball joints, struts, slipping
transmissions, leaky seals, etc. Sure doesn't sound like they outlast
American cars to me.
The problem with Honda, Toyota, Acura, etc. is that the cylinder head
has so little material in it that if you experience even a momentary
overheating problem such as would be caused with say a fan switch
failure you're looking at a very expensive cylinder head rebuild.
Other manufactures have more material in the head and their heads can
often handle a brief over heating situation... not so with Honda,
Toyota or Acura. This FACT makes automotive repair shops tons of
Do Honda, Toyota and Acura have advantages... certainly they do. They
have a much better fit and finish and I believe they hold their
suppliers to tighter tolerances.
I've had two Honda's. Both had cylinder head problems. I'd never buy
another Honda again.
A classic Saab 900 Turbo is a much better designed and engineered car.
The classic Saab 900 uses double wishbone for it's front suspension.
The only major weakness of the Saab 900 Turbo is a gearbox that can't
handle over 300 hp without being babied. The engine can easily be made
to output 450 hp. It's a far better car in every possible way compared
to a Honda... better ride, better handling, more room, better engine,
San Diego, CA
Only problem with the Saab 900 is that they quit manufacturing it in
Take a look at the Honda S-2000... This little "honey" is a 4 banger
that can be souped up beyond belief....
And yeah, the Cr is a rear wheel drive.... I don't get much of a thrill
seeing a car smoldering it's front tires during a "Burn Out"...
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