I own an american car. a '99 Grand Marquis LS.
Bought it used last year (82 thousand KM on it)
Now at 102 thousand KM, cost me a Coil On Plug and the corresponding
sparkplug. I also had to have 2 bolts replaced on the passenger side
flange (cat to y-pipe)
Now, I'll have to do the same to the driver's side (another 30$)
Prestone needs to be flushed, I'll be putting a bigger battery (has a
850AMP, I'll put in a bigger one and a beefier alternator for the sound
system), and some winter tires, (didn't like my all-wheater
Bridgestone's behavior last winter :)
that's about it...
2 Honda Civics destroyed themselves rear-ending me, I'll need to replace
the rear plastic bumper cover (badly scratched and broke where it screws
on the frame)
So much for Styrofoam Japanese bumpers :)
Oh, and I'll have to replace the car's lighter socket, it
short-circuited hitself to death last year...
That is an example of a rock solid American car, I have worked on quite
a few but it was always a starter at 100K miles or something that is a
wear item. My friend has a 02(I think) grand marquis and it's a nice
Negatives? There is no legroom in the back and the thing doesn't handle
for shit. It isn't supposed to though.
The last Mercury I owned ('96 Mystique), Ford had put wiring in the
entire enigne compartment with the wrong insulation material (All
Contours and Mystiques). The insulation literally turned to powder
after a few years - you can imagine the problems that caused. They had
a special program to replace the engine compartment wiring harnesses up
to 100k miles. Unfortunately, the program was not created and
publicized until many of those cars were past that.
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
address with the letter 'x')
'93 3/4 ton Chevy pickup, 6.5L turbodiesel, 232,000 miles. One starter, and
a cruise control servo went out. 1979, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 1970 Datsun,
that I maintained very well, mind you, spun a crank bearing and left me out
in the desert a long way from home. Datsun Land Cruiser, broke the front
differentrial U-joing, lost control of steering and damn near got me killed
a year later still in Jeddah. 1985 Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickiup, 6.2 diesel
that I put a Banks turbo on and drove hard. Had 228,000 on it after I gave
it to my oldest son and would still be running today, I imagine, if he
hadn't totaled it. Crushed the shit out of it in the rollover, but he
didn't have a scratch on him. The abolute worst cars I've ever owned were
Japanese. And the longest lived with the least amount of trouble were
American. Did have a very reliable German motorcycle, though.
My brother in law kept "helping" his sister by buying "good" imports
for her. She spent a fortune keeping them running. I told her to
sell that Toyota trash and got her a AMC Concord at the State Auction
for $800. (yeah this was a few years ago!!) We put a couple hundred in
that Concord to bring it up to snuff and then she drove it for the
next two years and didn't put another penny in it. Then sold it for
OK, even *I* remember when Japanese cars were called "crapanese" or
"Jap-crap" - but unlike domestic automakers, they straightened up their act
and gave the people what they wanted. Yes, Japanese vehicles sometimes have
*big* problems - the difference is what they *do* about it. I can forgive a
company making mistakes, but I'm wary of them when they clearly don't care
about my concerns regarding my vehicle. Toyota has recalled my 2000 Echo
twice - each time before I noticed a problem myself (One for the brakes, the
other for the floor boards). Further, they nagged me until I took the car
back in. *THAT* is customer service.
Actual customer service (Toyota/Honda/Etc.) verses lip service to
"customer service" (Detroit) is why Detroit is not even in the mind of a
lot of car buyers. Then there is the Weasel Interpretation of the
Chrysler powertrain warranty. What good is a warranty when the
manufacturer doesn't back it? Goodbye Detroit.
Sometimes I wonder if it's as much a dealer problem as an automaker
problem. We've had American cars by the hundreds in our fleet since
forever. After about the mid-seventies we really have never had any
problems with them. I've had numerous American cars over the years
that I put well over 100K on and all any of them needed was the normal
routine maintenance. That's not to suggest no one ever had a problem,
there will always be some cars that something breaks on but it's
really quite rare.
In my personal car experience, I've had some experiences at dealers
that would make me not want to buy again if I had to depend on that
But the recalls came from Toyota directly, not the dealerships. How did
your vehicles perform at over 200 k, as Toyotas typically go? Our old
Celica had 280-something k on it when we *drove* it to the junkyard because
it was rusted out. Also, domestic large vehicles are apparently much better
than the "economy" ones. That's where I've heard the most complaints; that
domestic economy cars are no bargain. So I have high hopes for the Fusion
and a few other domestics that are out now.
I've heard that complaint from several folks regarding Toyotas, too. We had
a really bad experience at the Autofair in New Hampshire. They treated us
like shit, but since they were not the first dealer we've ever dealt with,
we knew it was *them* and not the vehicle.
We have many vehicles that go over 200K. One of my areas has gone
thru 3 ford vans all of which went over 250K on the original engines
and transmissions. Of the three, one of them had the transmission go
out at 260K, the other two were still running great when sent to the
Hey again, Natalie! Nice to see you again. I was trying not to get into
this conversation (:-P) but I just had to point out that a friends Saturn
went to almost 400,000 Km's, and was still running when she got rid of
it...You know how much I like GM, but even *I* don't like Saturn's!
Her's was a 2001, if memory serves. As for the newer ones, I have never
driven one, but I did read an article in a local paper that one of them won
some sort of award. I never liked them because they were made of plastic,
and I never thought them to be attractive.
We don't buy too many really small ones. But I think you have a
point, the larger, RWD usually are more robust. But we've driven many
mid-sized, like Chevy Celebrities back in the mid 80's (they were
almost indestructible), and more recently Lumina's and Taurus's. Many
go well into the 150K region though before getting sold.
I used to work with a doc who only bought Taurus(es?). He's a country doc
out in the boonies (still makes house calls) and he drove those things to
hell and back. He was once shot at by an elderly patient who forgot he was
coming to see her. He left the bullet holes there, and somehow managed to
trade it. LOL
That's true IMO.
The domestic bottom end cars have much lower quality than up a level.
The Fusion has a good record so far, the Focus has been troublesome.
The bottom end "imports" from Honda and Toyota have good reliability.
All VWs have been troublesome since they went to Mexico in the early 90s.
I've heard that German manufactured VW are very reliable.
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