Why are American cars still so unreliable.

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We have all heard this before. FORD == Fix or repair daily or Found on road dead.
I recently posed a question about a coolant leak in my 98 Grand Marquis. Granted this is not a new car, but when I add up all of the
cash that I have put into this car, I am a ut disusted with it all,.
$700 for ball joints and tie rods $200 for Pitnam Arm $90 each fo CAP COILS; 8 coils = $720 $300 for Shocks. $300 for wheel bearings. and who knows how much for the coolant leak. If it i the plastic intake manifold then that repair has got to be 3 figures. These repairs were all made in the past year. This car is costing me a fortune.
My brother is a mechanic and he owns his own business. He doesn't like the idea of buying imports over American, however, he admitts that he hardly ever has to do these types of repairs on Toyotas.
I have about had it wih American cars. They better get their act together. I still don't understand why they haven't learned how to make reliale cars.
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On my Ford Contour with 131,000 mi on it, I have had to replace the brakes a few times (and the rotors once), both front wheel bearings, one front axle, and some bulbs. The total, besides normal maintained, was about 0.5 cents per mile. I can live with that.
A lot less than gas, even when gas was less than a buck per gallon.
Jeff
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wrote:

Reliable little cars - and the 4 cyl is not even too expensive to service when things go wrong. The 6 is a bit of a different story - but I love it. (hate working on it, but that's the price I pay - my wife likes it, so as long as nothing major goes wrong I'll keep fixing it) More goes wrong on my Pontiac Trans Sport, and it is no easier, and no cheaper to fix. The best cars I've owned, as far as repair requirements were my '80 Corolla and '81 tercel. Nothing broke on them - and they were both high milers. Second best would be the '88 Chrysler New Yorker - it had a good appetite for cyl heads - was on the third set when I sold it with 240,000KM on it, but overall was VERY reliable. Never let me down.
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mstrspy wrote:

snip accounting / / / /
You don't say if you bought it new. If not, well....
My 97 T-bird (145 K) has been a dream for me because I'm retired. Other than the legendary manifold problem (dealer replaced original with one that lasted 7 yrs) its been trouble free. Brake pads, tranny flush, bulbs etc. Sneaking up on 10 years. No bitch at all.
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~We have all heard this before. FORD == Fix or repair daily or Found ~on road dead. ~ ~I recently posed a question about a coolant leak in my 98 Grand ~Marquis. Granted this is not a new car, but when I add up all of the ~cash that I have put into this car, I am a ut disusted with it all,. ~ ~$700 for ball joints and tie rods ~$200 for Pitnam Arm ~$90 each fo CAP COILS; 8 coils = $720 ~$300 for Shocks. ~$300 for wheel bearings. ~and who knows how much for the coolant leak. If it i the plastic ~intake manifold then that repair has got to be 3 figures. ~These repairs were all made in the past year. This car is costing me ~a fortune. ~ ~My brother is a mechanic and he owns his own business. He doesn't like ~the idea of buying imports over American, however, he admitts that he ~hardly ever has to do these types of repairs on Toyotas. ~ ~I have about had it wih American cars. They better get their act ~together. I still don't understand why they haven't learned how to ~make reliale cars. ~ ~
Planned obsolescence? Actually it's only Asian cars that are reliable, Eurotrash breaks down almost as much as American crap.
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I AM a mechanic... I originally bought Ford because my Dad wanted me to buy Dodge or GM.... In 1988, the TFI module on my 85 failed..... In 92, the alternator failed on the same truck...... Gawd, my life is miserable...
FWIW, I see a list of "sacrificial parts"... those we expect to have a finite life. I have changed these because they are maintenance items..... I would hazard a guess that your brother sees more Fords and such than Toyota.
After years of reliable service.... knowing my wife is safe on lonely highway trips, I can honestly say that I am not <a ut disusted with it all>
Inciteful remarks will gain you more derision than admiration......Are you related to "nomen"?

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Jim Warman wrote:

Funny how people fool themselves in to thinking "It's not that bad"...
Just like when we take my crown vic on a trip somewhere "oh its not "THAT BAD" on fuel" (compared to a civic).
Or when we take the truck instead of the cars... Oh its not "That bad" compared to the cars... the truck is only 3 times harder than the civic, and the crown vic twice. hahaha.
Just funny how we fool ourselves.
I will drive a ford until i'm 6' under... but I know the quality of domestic hasn't touched (in all respects) that of honda, toyota, and nissan.
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mstrspy wrote:

Are you talking about ignition coils? If so, how the hell do all eight go bad? How many miles on that car?
I will admit that full size ford's (CV's are my experiance)seem to have junk front ends. All the parts you mentioned plus bushings. Oh, and of coarse the famous plastic intake. The aluminum ones on the 95's didn't crack and leak.
You know, now that I think about it, your right, Fords are junk. :)
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ShoeSalesman wrote:

I've never known ANY ford front end ot be any good. for awhile there, i had an old nissan, nought it with 220k kms on it sold it with 340k. i put a strut, clutch (at 225) two sets of brake pads, and fixed a fuel line leak, and before i sold it, it needed a balljoint... still had the ORIGINAL ball joints in it all around until 340k kms! (most fords are ready for the shitpile by then if not before -- my cornw vic will be in the shitpile around 200k i figure).
What i'm getting at is, every year my truck needs some front end work, and the crown vic is slightly less since it doesnt get driven as much... but still rediculous.
The parts in domestic vehicles just aren't engineered to handle the same stress as toyota for example.
Fords / Chev parts are engineered to take 30% more of max stress, where toyora/honda is more like 80%.
Like i said, i will still own a ford forever hahhaa.
Unless Toyota can make a real truck, instead of minitrucks.
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Actually my brother didnt do the work bcause he lives too far away from me. He would have charged less. he also tod me to expect to replace the plastic intake manifold soon.

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mstrspy wrote:

I don't know why people haven't learned to not buy them (like me!)
God knows they can't make a truck, or a fullsize car... guess i have one of each hahaha -- thats why i don't own foreign.
Wife has a civic... i get tired of it... no repairs, nothing in the last 90,000kms... guess i did put brake pads on the front and change the oil every 5k. that stuff gets boring... hafta own a couple fords to give me something to do.
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Bullshit, I'm a veteran Camry wrench on my sister's car, you know the sludge motor Toyota's. They are no better than the domestics, just more expensive to repair.
150k on '88 Bull 'till the notorius bad tranny went. Alternator 166k on '94 Bull, sold it. Just a water pump & radiator. 105k on '00 Sable, just a COP coil so far.
Oh wait, I forgot, in foreign car lingo any part is just maintainece so I've had no probs with the Fords I drive, just maintainace.
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Repairman wrote:

105k, 150k, 166k - That's the kind of mileage known as the 'break-in period" on most Japanese cars. The root problem with American cars can be summed up in 3 letters: UAW. You need to understand that when unions were first formed about a hundred years ago, it was with the promise that they would ensure the highest quality, best trained workers on the planet - in return for a decent living wage. And (for a while) they made good on that promise, with evening classes at the union halls, required periods of on-the-job experience for each 'level' of worker classification (Trainee, Journeyman, etc.) actual EXAMS the workers had to pass to move up to their next classification, and other restrictions. All of that gradually fell apart, and by the early 70's pure adversarial greed (and the hell with worker quality) became the UAW's only mantra. The result is obvious, and inevitable....GM, with declining quality cars since that period, will only be the FIRST American car maker to either rid itself of the UAW or cash it in (fold) trying. Its Delphi division has reached that point already. Ford is in only slightly better shape, and its quality issues are still rampant - that despite the "Quality is Job 1" image they spent millions on, in an effort to offset the the growing concern that their problems were starting show up (big-time) on the street. And Daimler-Chrysler's answer is to market "eye candy" and let their dealers work out the problems. Anyway....the root question posed above is "Why are American cars still so unreliable? and the root answer is that they're (now more than ever) stuck with crappy, overpaid workers that no other country would put up with.
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Why is it that Jap Scrap owners think their Jap scrap is more reliable? I have news for you, it's not. I wrenched on them for a number of years, and they are no better, period. They put out the argument, look that toy dealership doesn't have as many vehicles in their bays. While the Gm or Ford dealerships have three times as many in theirs. Simple math you Jap scrap MORONS. Gm and Fords sell four times as many vehicles as your scrap shit.

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I currently have and use daily a 92 Taurus. I can say unequivocally that this is a highly dependable car that has had only the following repairs: Water pump Struts front and rear plus rear mounts. Tie rods Convert to R134. That's it. The car has 100,000 miles and the struts were just done a month ago. However this car does rattle a bucket of bolts.
I have owned a lot of cars in my time and I can say from my personal experience that this ford is the exception when it comes to repairs. My Japanese cars have been much better than my American iron in the repair department and the build quality is far superior in terms of fit finish. I don't even want to talk about a quietness comparison because it would be so one-sided.
Japanese cars do seem a hell of a lot better from my experience.

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I can also give you my experiences with Jap Scrap too! 87 Honda accord had cam replaced at 30-40,000 k's due to worn out lobes, what the fuck is up with that. Kept it for a couple of years more. As it rusted away, rattling apart, bad interior noise, front end falling apart, wasn't more happier when the day came to get rid of that piece of shit. On the other hand, replaced it with a 97 v-6 contour, and quite frankly haven't had a lick of problems with it.

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very long, have you??? Also, over the last 20 years, the japs have come a long way, and FORCED the american manufacturers to start doing the same. Never saw a Ford Torino with the mirrors and door handles falling out at less than 3 years due to rust?? Again - you haven't been a mechanic (or even alive) very long, have you???
The Contour IS a nice car - Got one for my wife and we both love it - as long as I don't need to service it. But, although it was BUILT in Kansas City, it hardly qualifies as an American car. It is a Mondeo - through and through. The engine was designed by, of all companies, PORSCHE, and the heads are a COSWORTH design. Just as miserable as ANY medium to high end Euro car to work on too.
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clare at snyder.on.ca wrote:

The timing belt can be a PITA to change, especially since you have to use specialty tools and the fact that they have adjustable and non-adjustable camshaft timing can make it a bear to get the right parts for it. I worked on one of these where there was a mixture of both on the engine. I remember buying both a pre- and a post-adjustable kit and we used parts from each to get the car back on the road.
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Did I miss something??? A 2.5 liter V6 with a timing BELT??????????? The 4, yes - and the Zetec is NOT the Porsche designed engine, and is NOT a terribly nice engine in any way. The belt CAN be changed without special tools if you know what the tool is designed for, and you do it another way. The belt on the Zetec is fragile - and sometimes you get lucky and the "non interference" engine actually does NOT bend the valves when it lets go.
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I've seen many rusted out domestics, never replaced a cam on one that was only 14000 miles old. Probably been wrenching longer than you've been alive sonny. <clare at snyder.on.ca> wrote in message wrote:

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