Lots of problems back then. Owned a Vega. Luckily my brother worked at the
dealership. Just thought the rust through really typified their arrogance at
selling crap that they thought people would just have to buy. Seemed to
start in the late sixties but was just unbelievable in the late seventies
and eighties. Soft cams good for 30K. The 350 diesel.
Ironically my step-father had an early 80's Olds(gasoline engine) he put
350K+ on, much of it pulling a 22ft trailer. Without any driveline problems.
Finally gave up on it when the body could no longer be held together.
In other words you believe the crappy cars from the US and Europe were good
enough to still be around but the crappy cars form Japan were not?
You are smart enough to know that is only an opinion. My opinion is far
different. I have owned many import brands from VW to Lexus they were no
better or worse than any of the domestic I have owned. They cost me more,
but that is the only difference I discovered. I now buy domestics. The
fact is every manufacture today is building good stuff, even the Koreans.
Apparently more Americans agree with my opinion than yours, since today they
buy more vehicles from GM and Ford than any import. ;)
You can stop typing your boilerplate reply (or are you copying from a
text document on your hard drive?) any time, "mike." Anyone with a
lick of sense knows you're wrong. All you're proving is that you are
incapable of evaluating quality.
That may be your opinion but what I do know for a fact, based on sales, more
Americans prefer the quality of the current GM and Ford vehicles than the
quality of any import brand,. Whether you agree or not is immaterial, you
can spend your money wherever you wish. I know I do. Surely you do not
expect to find only those that agree with your personal opinion in a GM NG.
If that is what you want, try one of the Jap brand NGs, WBMA Try a Toyota
NG, those guys would have others believe they never breakdown and if they do
Toyota will fix them forever. LOL
What makes you think I like Toyotas? I don't particularly, except
maybe if someone offered me a twin-turbo Supra I'd be tempted. I am
here because I *have* a GM car, although most of the content of this NG
seems to be this constant back and forth that you perpetuate rather
than real technical information.
Perhaps I should pose some questions:
1) What can I do to my Impala so the front end doesn't sound like it's
going to fall apart? It's only got 35K miles but it sounds like my old
VW did at about 150K miles when the front strut bearings commonly went.
Is there a common failure point, or is the whole front end trash?
2) How can I reprogram my transmission so it does not constantly shift
and lock/unlock the torque converter?
3) What can I do to temper the loud, blatty exhaust note? It's louder
than my Porsche, not nearly as aesthetically pleasing, and frankly,
4) Is there any way that I can get enough power out of the car so it
isn't constantly downshifting on freeway upgrades?
5) Is there any way that I can retrofit a rear seat that folds down?
6) Is there any way that I can get enough range of adjustment on the
tone of the stereo so it doesn't sound like some "boom-boom" system
that a techno-loving riceboy installed?
7) I think my car has the wrong column shifter installed. It appears
to be a GMC truck part and sticks out way past the steering wheel.
Does anyone have the correct GM part number for a column shifter for an
8) I'm missing my gauges. The car seems to have been built without any
of the gauges except for a speedometer, temp gauge, and fuel gauge. If
you see them, please let me know.
9) I assume the sound like a coffee can full of bolts being shaken when
I engage the A/C is normal?
10) Is there any way to retrofit a proper parking brake? The "kick to
release" pedal is useless (as you can't use it as a true emergency
brake) and also traps the sole of my shoe under the kick panel, being
so close to it. Also, it doesn't work anymore.
11) Is there any way to move the pedals and steering wheel farther
towards the rear of the car? I'm only 6' tall but have a hard time
folding my legs up enough to exit the car gracefully with the seat in a
comfortable driving position.
12) is there any way to retrofit a proper door check strap? The doors
are death traps and more than once I've ended up cursing the car
because the door will swing closed on me while trying to contort myself
out of the car (usually while holding a coffee mug.)
13) Any recommendations for tires that aren't ludicrously tractionless?
14) Exactly how many times do I need to push "unlock" on the remote
before the doors actually unlock? Normal procedure seems to be hit
button twice, attempt to pull door open, catch fingernail on door
handle as hand slips out from underneath, curse, repeat several times,
15) Is there any way to raise the car for more ground clearance? I
physically cannot get the car into my driveway without severely
scraping the underside. Which is odd, since my Porsche can be driven
straight up into it.
I'm sure I will have more questions, but that's it for now, I think.
I didn't buy it, it's a company car.
Most people don't *buy* GM cars. They drive them because that's what
their employer buys, or that's what's available at the rental counter.
And then they have experiences like mine, and they continue to not buy
GM cars as a result of same.
Mike Hunter wrote:
Most of the issues I listed are shitty DESIGN not shitty maintenance.
The car is a POS. Face facts.
I could probably have the nonfunctional parking brake repaired, but I
shouldn't have to. I could probably have the tires replaced with ones
that actually function well, but I shouldn't have to. (and that would
have to be at my own expense, since they still have tread left.) How
would you suggest the lack of power, thrashiness, busy transmission,
and poor ergonomics be addressed? (there's SO many ergonomic problems
that this car has that German cars had figured out at least by the
early '80s that I doubt I could list them all if I tried.) What about
the ludicrously low ground clearance?
The sad thing is that the exterior body design is not unattractive, to
the point that I thought when I first got it that I might take extra
special care of it because I thought it might be acceptable as a
personal vehicle and I'd buy it out personally when the lease was up.
It's not my type of car, but generally you can get a good deal by
buying out your own company car. But after having spent a little more
than a year with it, I can't wait until it hits 70K so I can trade it
in on something else. There's really nothing to recommend it other
than I don't have to pay for it.
Driving this car has done nothing but strongly reinforce my belief that
it's always better to buy a cheap, beat up German car rather than a new
American one. I fondly remember my old 535i that I used to have; at
200K miles and apparently abused by its previous owner, it was still
FAR more pleasant to drive than the Impala. (and I feel that that's a
fair comparison, as it's almost the exact same size and is targeted at
the same market, albeit in a higher price bracket.) There's a REASON
that people spend the extra money both up front and in maintenance to
drive the cars that you so constantly deride - they really are better.
Now I don't expect for GM to build me a BMW. There's a reason that
they cost so much. But when I was in college, my roommate had a 70's
Impala that he'd inherited from his grandfather. Even though that car
was built in the darkest years of the smog era, it was FAR more
acceptable as transportation than the '05. I think I'd rather have one
of those if it came to it, assuming that I could find one that hadn't
rusted away to nothing still.
Mike Hunter wrote:
The days when engineers and tech exchanged information in the NGs, are long
gone. Today it is just guys looking for a free fix, or to bitch. You will
get no help from me, take it to competent tech, WBMA. When I teach a school
I get paid. ;)
I agree, when a coworker mentioned buying a Japanese car, I asked him how
many 20 year old Japanese cars he had ever seen. He couldn't name one.
He is looking to replace an 80's caddy that only gets about 10 mpg, he just
doesn't realize that he won't get a car that will last like the caddy.
Down here in Texas I commonly see vintage mustangs, 70's pickups and
Suburbans, etc, my grand am is a 93 and runs better than a modern Ford
Taurus that I had to use when my car was in the shop after someone hit it
Up north where a car rusts away in 10 years, it may not matter, but down
here an American car will last as long as you take care of it.
Cadillacs used to be good cars. And, the people who bought them
did not drive them hard, and performed the required service and repairs. I
a lady who has a DeVille, always garaged, that is a 70 model, I believe,
only has about 30,000 miles on it. She is willing it to her yardman.
It is true that here in Texas most cars dont rust out so badly (exceptions
GM rear window designed corrosion cells) unless you live along the beach.
I dont really think your observations carry a lot of evidence in the quality
Lots of factors go into this.
Where I live cars rust a lot. There is salt, snow, wet, hot, cold,
whatever it takes to let cars rust. Not many cars last 10 years in good
condition around here.
Toyotas have proven to be best in these conditions and they have had
the top selling every year for many years. They have over 25% of the
market. A long time ago american cars used to have the top selling but
that was very very very long time ago. They hardly show up on the top
selling charts anymore. You can guess why that is and I can give a
clue. It has to do with overall costs and quality or lack thereof. I
guess the situation is similar in other parts of the world.
Better do a bit more research, your information in not correct. Toyota is
up but Toyota had barely 15% of the market in the US in 2006, not 25%.
Domestics sold nearly 10 million of the 16.5 million vehicles sold in the US
US Commerce sales figures for 2006
GM 4.5 million
Ford 3 million
Toyota 2.5 million
Chrysler 2.4 million
Honda 2 million
Nissan 1 millions
The remainder sold less than 1 million
The top seller was the Ford F150 at a rate nearly twice that of the Camry,
which was number three in sales. Number two was the Chevy Silverado.
GM, Ford and Chrysler are all losing money and have been cutting North
American production as their U.S. sales decline.
Ford said yesterday that it's quitting the minivan segment and will end
production of its Freestar. Sales of the model fell 35 percent last
year. Instead, Ford will promote its so-called crossover vehicles, such
as the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX.
GM persuaded 34,000 workers to take buyouts in 2006 and sold a majority
of its finance unit after reporting about $13.7 billion in losses over
the past eight quarters. Ford, which lost almost $7 billion in last
year's first nine months, is buying out 38,000 union employees.
U.S. automakers may not be able to end sales declines for several years
while they develop more fuel-efficient vehicles, said George Magliano,
director of auto research at Global Insight Inc. in New York. High
gasoline prices are ``entrenched in the consumer mind and they are
going to be looking for alternatives,'' such as small SUVs, he said.
Maker Volume %Chng Share
GM* 4,028,992 -8.5 24.3
Ford* 2,719,959 -7.6 16.4
Toyota 2,542,524 +12.9 15.4
Chrysler* 2,142,505 -6.7 12.9
Honda 1,509,358 +3.5 9.1
Nissan 1,019,249 -5.0 6.2
Toyota saw 12.9% sales growth, with Toyota's Prius sales jumping to
260% their numbers from a year ago. Honda, which usually wears the
energy efficiency leader's hat, saw a nearly 3.5% increase in sales.
In sharp contrast, the sales of new cars sold by General Motors and
other American automakers in March posted decreases from a year
The story goes on to make the conclusion that many have been hesitant
It shows that energy-efficient Japanese cars have become increasingly
popular with U.S. consumers due to the sharp rise in oil prices.
Mike Hunter wrote:
I've had no problems with the rust resistance of my Chrysler cars since
the 80s. I drive in all weather conditions and driving to ski hills
certainly gives the body a work out. We've kept out last four Chrysler
cars 10, 14; now 6 and 12 yrs -still counting.
Chrysler was earlier than most foreign cars with galvanized body metal
and has used lifetime stainless steel exhausts since '87.
A couple of corrections on that thread. Where do people come up with this
stuff? The top selling vehicles in the US are sold by GM and Ford. Their
vehicles are the sales leaders in nearly every class. Toyota likes to say
they are the number one car BRAND in America.. The fact is the only
individual model Toyota that leads its class is the Camry, in sales of
midsize sedans. However GM sells more midsized sedans, as well as more cars
and trucks than Toyota but they have different brand names on the grill.
Ford also sells more than the Toyota brand but they have different names on
the grill as well.
Toyota had never had 25% of the US market 'for many years' or any year for
that matter. 2006 was the first year Toyota got to 15%. Both GM and Ford
sold millions more vehicles in the US than did Toyota or any other import.
The number one selling vehicle in the US in 2006 was the Ford F150 and it
has been number one for thirty years. The Silverado outsold the Camry as
well in 2006. Do a bit more research on who sells what in the US, WBMA
Ford was the first manufacturer to make its cars and trucks with the so
called 'stainless steel exhaust systems.' Those exhaust system would last a
'lifetime,' even several lifetimes IF they were indeed made of, and welded
with, 'Stainless' steel but they are not made of, or welded with, SS. They
are made with .002 of an inch of stainless alloy bonded to mild steel and
welded with nickel compound mild steel (#7018). A product developed by the
late Bethlehem Steel Company in 1983. It is more akin to galvanized steel
and more than twice as expensive per ton. Stainless steel, in comparison,
is sold by the pound
Pretty much any car is going to last over 10 years up north now without the
rust problems of old. I've consistently kept GM's in upstate NY for over 10
years and did not suffer rust through problems. Notwithstanding the issues
of the late 70's and early 80's, most cars are holding up against rust quite
Some of the older Fords - perhaps Thunderbirds and Mustangs- were partially
dipped in a zinc rich primer before being painted, I am told. If true, this
reason why those cars are still on the road today.
Dont know if other companies did,or do, follow this procedure.
Fiat had a different approach. That sheet metal was essentilly
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.