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The "I hate American made cars" thread


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#1 of 78 OFFLINE   Steve_Tk

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Posted May 25 2003 - 05:20 PM

Well, My compressor just went out yesterday. At 50,000 miles. Actually, I had it in the shop a week ago because the AC didn't work. They said they fixed it for a price of 300 dollars. Then I go back and the compressor is dead to the tune of 1000 dollars.

This year alone I've had a leak in the car, which took the dealership 4 tries to fix. It rains, I clean up 2 inches of water in the car, tell them where it leaks in, they say they fix. It rains, repeat for 4 times. I can't tell you what a pain in the ass it is to have to rent a car 4 times in a month.

Then a month ago the headlight switch breaks. Hmm. Not any wiring problem, not a headlight problem. The little knob I turn to turn on the headlights broke. How does this happen? 300 dollars. This is an absolute insult, this kinda of problem shouldn't even happen 150,000 miles into the car. 300 bucks for a piece of cheap plastic garbage?! (don't get me started on how much this company uses cheap plastic for interiors). And it wasn't that I turned it on so hard that the plastic snapped off. Something in the inside of the knob wasn't working.

This was all this year. I'm sick of GM vehicles. They produce absolute garbage with their cheap assembly for mass production. I'll never buy their crap again. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Lexus, and others can have business. I've seen my parents own 4 Toyotas and they all had less problems combined then my GM vehicle.

I'm also getting rid of my GM card. That 2 grand that I save on a car gets put right back into it 3 years later.

This rant is over. I feel better.

#2 of 78 OFFLINE   Jim_F

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Posted May 25 2003 - 06:05 PM

Of course, the definition of "American cars" is sketchy at best, but the Big 3 cost me a lot of repair dollars when I could least afford them, so I'm continuing to go with Japanese name plates for the forseeable future.

Signed,
-A Detroit native
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#3 of 78 OFFLINE   Henry Carmona

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Posted May 25 2003 - 06:16 PM

Wish i knew what kinda car is giving you these problems at, heaven forbid, 150,000 miles Posted Image

BTW-My 99 Silverado has been such a pleasure, i love it Posted Image
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#4 of 78 OFFLINE   Keith Mickunas

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Posted May 25 2003 - 07:42 PM

I can attest to the AC problems, I've had those a few times. The problem is that if you run your AC at all after the freon has leaked out, there's a good chance that you messed it up worse. There's a lubricant in the freon that is important to the compressor, and if the compressor runs without the lubricant you will wear it out prematurely. The thing is, they often won't tell you on the first, or second, and sometimes third repair that your compressor will probably be going out soon. So when it goes, you have to replace a few parts along with it and get pay for the freon again.

By the way, did they tell you to run the AC or defroster on a regular basis throughout the year? That's something that needs to be done, especially with GMs. Not that that excuses the problem, but they do claim if you don't run it regularly the seals could dry out, thus it'll leak out during the months you aren't using it. So if you got to keep this car a while, run the AC or defroster for a 15 minutes or so each week, that may help.

#5 of 78 OFFLINE   David Preston

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Posted May 25 2003 - 08:06 PM

I have a 98 Z28 and haven't spent any on repairs. I actually expected to by now. I now have 75,000 and no problems yet. I still have factory clutch thats pretty good for a Camaro. I'm not saying american cars are superior I would drive either. I really like the new Nissan 350Z and the Suburu WRX. Every car will have problems some just get more lucky than others. Sorry to hear your problems with your car though.

#6 of 78 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted May 25 2003 - 10:59 PM

At Work: 1998 GMC conversion van. Must repair AC yearly.

Personal Car: 1996 Mitsubishi Mirage. Still runs on original tires and has yet to need a repair.

Although I must admit there is also a 1997 Ford conversion van at work with over 170,000 miles on the odometer and has yet to have any major problems besides needing a brake-job every 13,000 miles.
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#7 of 78 OFFLINE   Henry Carmona

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Posted May 26 2003 - 02:18 AM

Forgot to mention that my wifes Toyota Corolla had been really great at 130,000 till recently.

about 5 months ago i had to get one of the front right bearing replaced (not cheap)

And just last week, the starter went out Posted Image
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#8 of 78 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted May 26 2003 - 02:32 AM

I LOVE American cars, but then I used to own an automotive repair facility and they were my lifeblood. Me? I drive Japanese vehicles.

I wish it weren't that way.

#9 of 78 OFFLINE   Jagan Seshadri

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Posted May 26 2003 - 02:40 AM

My folks drove American cars, and those cars (Nova, Cougar XR-7, Crown Victoria, Ford Tempo) needed repair often.

Fuel Pump.
Transmission.
Transmission again.
Problems with the oil pressure.

Since they went with Toyota, no problems.
Now I'm a Toyota man too!

-JNS

#10 of 78 OFFLINE   Eric_L

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Posted May 26 2003 - 02:44 AM

I believe that some of the trouble is that there are far mor American made cars on the road than foreign. Also, workmanship sufferes on US made cars becuase the quality of workman have declined, mostly because the union won't fire the bad ones.

Finally, it is important to remember that US cars come in varying price/quality ranges. Ford and Dodge trucks are top end quality. Both manufacturers also make low-end economy vehicles. These are the ones that likely account for 75% of mech troubles.

For example, the camaro and corvette are both sports cars, however, guess which one will be in the garage most? The camaro is lower cost for a reason, mostly inferior parts - at least compared to the 'vette.

I do think it is very sad whn a manufacturer sells a car that is substandard. 50k miles is way too soon, however at that time poor maintenance will also become apparent. Though i don't think it is the issue with a light swithc.

Lets alos not forget foreign cars have their lemons too. Early Jaguires, the 2000 beetle, Yugo, etc.

#11 of 78 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:11 AM

Keep in mind alot of Japanese cars are made in the USA. With that being the case alot of the qc issues we find are a result of either design issues or slack workers for those cars and the car manufacturers. A Honda Accord is far more American of a car than say an Oldsmobile Alero.

#12 of 78 OFFLINE   Brandon_T

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:25 AM

Quote:
Both manufacturers also make low-end economy vehicles. These are the ones that likely account for 75% of mech troubles.



I don't buy that for a second. MY wife drives a Olds. Aurora. I have never driven a bigger piece of $33k crap.
AC compressor goes out, internal wiring fries on the window switch, seals around the sunroof and rear window go out, oh and it cost more for a damn oil change since it takes 8 qts of oil. All of this happens coincidentally after the 48k mi warranty expires.

I purchased a 92 BMW 3 series. It was 6 or so years old when I bought it with about 78k miles on it. I sold it at 150k miles with no problems what so ever. I am currently looking for another 3 series.

Brandon

#13 of 78 OFFLINE   Walt N

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:33 AM

Finally, it is important to remember that US cars come in varying price/quality ranges. Ford and Dodge trucks are top end quality. Both manufacturers also make low-end economy vehicles. These are the ones that likely account for 75% of mech troubles.


For example, the camaro and corvette are both sports cars, however, guess which one will be in the garage most? The camaro is lower cost for a reason, mostly inferior parts - at least compared to the 'vette.


Neither of these statements are true from a statistical standpoint as evidenced by the many "repair frequency" studies, or by my (or others) experiences in the auto repair industry.

Here's some sobering stats: http://www.autooninf...dsChevrolet.htm

Yikes.

#14 of 78 OFFLINE   brentl

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:44 AM

"By the way, did they tell you to run the AC or defroster on a regular basis throughout the year?"

My new Civic runs the compressor when I turn on the defroster!

Owned domestics the last three cars, and I finally feel like I can drive to California without a problem. Before I couldn't drive to the store.

Brent

#15 of 78 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:46 AM

ouch. bad news for GM.
I've owned primarily japanese cars. 92 civic, had a 98 altima for 5 years, now a used subaru. I have been fortunate enough to never have a major failure. In fact, the nissan was in the shop exactly once in five years. One cold (-30F) morning the radiator hose popped off, wasn't secured correctly from the factory, cost me 0$
The honda had a strange problem where it would shut off for no reason. It cost me $30 to have a mechanic repair a poor connection in the ignition harness.
before these guys I had 2 jeep wranglers, both needed transmissions and an engine rebuild before 70k Posted Image
I wish I could buy into the "hey we're improving!" marketing by US companies, but the reliability ratings show a little improvement, but not enough to gamble my hard earned $$ on. So it's off to my cheap japanese tin can of a car I go Posted Image (which, BTW is the only japanese car I've owned built IN japan, and probably the lowest quality japanese car I've owned)

#16 of 78 OFFLINE   Mike Lenthol

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:49 AM

Even though they are assembled in USA, japs have a completely different philosophy, especially Honda, when it comes to designing cars.

Comparing reliability like we are is also flawed. I'd most certainly guarantee that a Camaro and a 350Z will be treated differently, as the demographics are far from being similar. That's #1. #2 is that Camaro (and other domestics) are inherently more powerful, taller, longer, heavier, bigger vehicles. #3 Domestics are considerably lower priced.

(Now, after being under the hood of a few cars through their life spans, I can honestly say that Honda/Toyota and their derivatives are light years ahead of everybody when it comes to smart layout design. Pretty much anything on their cars can be replaced without much effort. It would be safe to assume that same superior design effort went into the internals.)

#17 of 78 OFFLINE   Philip_G

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Posted May 26 2003 - 03:49 AM

Quote:
My new Civic runs the compressor when I turn on the defroster!

that's good, it dehumidifies. Posted Image
in my experience (way in the past) hondas have suffered from poor defrost systems, that's the only fault I could ever find.

#18 of 78 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted May 26 2003 - 04:22 AM

(A bit) off-topic, but I just had to mention it. My high school physics teacher once said, "It's made in America...by the Japanese!" Posted Image

#19 of 78 OFFLINE   Grant B

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Posted May 26 2003 - 04:36 AM

I grew near the Jeep plant in Toledo in the 60/70s.
I remember when the Japanese cars got popular in the 70s it got pretty ugly. Jeep workers would drive their new import to work. They would get off their shift only to find their car firebombed. Too bad that pasion didn't show up in their workmanship.I bought a Jeep in the 90s and it was the worst vehicle I have ever bought. The day the stick snapped off in the Middle of the Oakland Bay Bridge was the end of Jeep for me.
We now have a SAAB that still runs great after 7 years.....but SAAB is now part of GM. The big companies are so spread out, who can say what is an American Car.
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#20 of 78 OFFLINE   Christ Reynolds

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Posted May 26 2003 - 05:20 AM

Quote:
I believe that some of the trouble is that there are far mor American made cars on the road than foreign
far more? i doubt it. maybe there are more, but its definitely not far more. everywhere i turn there is a new jetta or civic. there are plenty of new ford trucks driving around too, but its not far more either way.
Quote:
it is important to remember that US cars come in varying price/quality ranges
and japanese cars dont? you can get a new civic for next to nothing, and expect it to last you forever. try driving a cavalier for more than 100k miles.
Quote:
Lets alos not forget foreign cars have their lemons too. Early Jaguires, the 2000 beetle, Yugo, etc
yugo? stretching, are we? Posted Image
Quote:
Keep in mind alot of Japanese cars are made in the USA
this doesnt matter at all. the gm garbage was designed by gm, not by anyone else. plus the country of origin doesnt really matter, if gm were putting out the same quality of product, but were based in japan, they would still make garbage. we have a new jetta...designed in germany by volkswagen, but built in mexico. and its CERTAINLY not a mexican car. place of assembly has almost nothing to do with its reliability, and nothing to do with its design. i'd just like to add that vw's mexican plant actually is considered among their best. anyway, down with gm! Posted Image

CJ
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