T Nation

American cars

American cars suck. Big time. Huge time. Unbelievably big time.

Why, if it isnt the 3rd car to break down bad in 4 years:

  1. Slipped transmission. Sold for $500 (bought for $7500 2 years prior)
  2. Major coolant system problem, cost: $500; Followed 6 weeks later by blown head gasket, engine had to be rebuilt. Cost: $2000; Followed 7 months later by slipped transmission, cost: $800.
  3. Unknown problem as of yet, praying it isnt anything major. Still making payments on my car. With my luck, this one’s shot too. All I know is it cant drive until it’s fixed.

I’m not made of money. I’ve never held a job that paid more than $11/hour. I have 2 credit cards to pay, 1 college loan to pay, 3 grand to pay to a local college (loan never went through, so Im barred from registering until its paid), payments on my car, and a very expensive dream of being a pilot. It aint cheap.

In all I have over 15 grand to pay off AND I havent even gotten my education to become a pilot yet.

To top it off, Ive had 3 shot cars.

My biweekly paycheck went in the washer machine and is …dead. Its bill pay time, and I have 20 bucks to carry me through the next 2 weeks, maybe an extra 25 on a credit card.

Which one of you has been putting voodoo curses on me. come on … be honest.

Hey diesel, next time go to Edmunds.com to research used cars (or new, for that matter) before you buy one.

The site is loaded with info, and although that’s obviously not a guarantee that your shitty luck won’t continue, at least you’ll improve your odds…

Man I feel your pain bro. I to was in a world of hurt not to long ago.
My only advice to you is this.

Rob a liquir store and by a Jap car… better quality.

i’ll admit it. the japanese made me do it. they went as far as to create factories here and hire unionized locals to build their cars and trucks. very, very evil of them to do the opposite of their american competitors.

I agree. I only buy Japanese. Am cars cost too much for what you get, interiors look cheesy. Fit and finish are sub-par. Just picked up a new Accord EX V6. For 23.4K I got: all leather, spoiler, 6 CD changer w/ 6 speaker Alpine system, dual zone climate control (sounds dorky, but it works) power moonroof, traction control, 4 wheel disc brakes, Alum mags all around, custom mud guards, trunk liner, both front seats are power adj and heated, and most fun: the thing weighs 3300 lbs and has a 240hp V6. It shits and gits, handles like a dream. First tune up at 105,000, free maintenance inc oil changes for first 50K, 2.9% financing – Nothing Detroitoes even comes close for the money. It may be the best sports sedan under 30K, much less 25K.

Not knowing all the circumstances Im having a hard time believeing that your engine needing a rebuild after a blown head gasket! What type of car do you have, do you keep going to the same shop over and over? Maybe they dont know what there doing. maybe you have a Lemon I have several american cars some one w/188,000miles and another with twice that and never had a major problem, people would be suprised how long a car would last if they kept up the routine maintance.

Don’t they have public transit where you live? I make over $30/hr and yet I still take public transit because I feel I can’t afford the expenses associated with a car!

How interesting you should mention this.

I just picked up my '99 Crown Vic from the dealership. They rebuilt the entire transmission under warranty to solve a slipping problem. The final tally came to $1900.

The pity of it is, the car only has 68,000 miles.


An quick addendum:

Should you think this problem is isolated to Ford…

  • Our '02 Chevy Malibu’s has been knocked out of commission 3 times in 15,000 miles, the most interesting of which was a faulty thermostat with 800 on the odometer.

  • Our '01 Chevy Impala cannot be held pedal to floor between first and second gear. If I do, the transmission makes a rather disconcerting grinding noise.

My '91 GMC Suburban with 95,000 miles has had the alternator replaced four times. We’ve also had to jack the idle up 1000 RPM (which does wonderful things for gas mileage in heavy traffic) lest it stall at stoplights.

Now, I like all of these vehicles. They’re competent for what we need them to do, and the 'burban’s survived my childhood and a tornado that caused three trees to fall on it.

But having never owned a foreign vehicle, I have to wonder if ownership is this …interesting for everyone else.


Don’t your clients pay you?

Buy a portugese car then…

Seriously, you can get a lemon, and you could be abusing the autos, or you could be just picking out cars in bad condition when buying them used.

Boo fucking hoo. When you reach the $180,000 mark for debt, then we’ll talk. Sorry about your car problems though.

I have two Fords, both are trucks. One has 300,000 miles on it. The engine was rebuilt after 150,000. The tranny wore out at 225,000 so I got another one at a junkyard. The other has 93,000 on it and drives like it’s new.

Of course both are diesels which are not only 30% more efficient for the same displacement but they last a lot longer. Neither is an automatic tranny because I’ve had one too many of those rebuilt in my life, a new clutch is a lot cheaper.

When I ever do buy a car again it will be a fine German one, maybe a used Mercedes SL.

Damn, Scrubs $180,000 in the hole? WoW. I hope you win the lottery or something. I the hell did u let it get that bad? The bulk of it is probably Med School but shouldn’t u have paid some of that off already?

It wouldn’t be a chevy cavalier, would it Diesel? Sounds like the same problems I’ve had with mine.

Subaru. end of story.

My parents had one that the fenders were held on with duct tape and the color was ‘rust with some silver paint’ My mom drove that 40 miles each way to school on crappy roads for three years. After she graduated she sold it and the new owner drove it until the body fell off. The engine now powers a wood splitter. You can’t kill them.

In any case, sorry to hear about your car woes. Do you know much about cars? It seems you have bad luck picking them out, I’d suggest you have someone who eats sleeps and breaths cars go with you to look for the next one.

I’ve owned Honda/Acura for most of my car purchases, but I have also had a Subura WRX and now an Isuzu Rodeo. I won’t buy an American car. Sorry. I’ve had great experiences with Japenese cars and prefer them not only for reliability, price and performance but overall looks, fit and finish.

I have a 1989 Honda CRX Si that looks awesome and runs perfectly. I’m thinking of selling it, so if you’re interested in a reliable, good looking and affordable car, come on down! I’ll make you a nice deal! I’m looking to buy a Mazdaspeed Protege. I’d love another Type R, but there is no word on if they will bring the RSX Type R to our shores. And I don’t have $30K or more to spend on a sweet Evo, Sti, Rx8, 350z or some of the other nice cars in that bracket.

I would becarefull with the Merc.to they have alot of warr. work on them avrg. visit to dealer is 3 to 4 days.

Why I don’t work on Merc. or BMW if you go lux. Go Lexus sweet car little to know Problems.

But some German quality; Mercedes, BMW, Volkswagen or Opel.

All american cars aren’t lemons.

I’ve got a Ford Windstar that I’ve put 60,000 miles on over nearly 3 years with ZERO problems. Can’t complain about that.

That being said, I’ve owned 2 Mazdas that have been awesome cars. The last one I bought new, had for 16 years and put 256,000 miles on with only a new clutch and a new set of brakes. Same engine and got great gas mileage before an electrical problem put her out of commision…

The thing was a freak of nature.