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Thread: "American" cars

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    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default "American" cars

    There was some discussion in another thread about how cars and how the ones made by Americans don't seem to hold up as well as those made by foreigners. I'm wondering if there are any cars that you feel are exceptions to this rule, any cars made by an American nameplate that last beyond the length of the warranty.

    We have a leased 2001 Malibu, and while I enjoy driving the car and it seems to have enough room to fit the five of us, I worry that it could soon become a money pit. I was having the oil changed Saturday and they told me that the "lower intake gasket" was starting to leak and replacing it would cost around $700 dollars. We've had a few other problems here 'n there - some while it was under warranty, some after it passed, and I think of my mother-in-law who has a '99 Malibu and our problems seem to be right in line with the ones she's had. The lease is up this year - one of our options is just to go to one vehicle (since my wife travels most of the time) but since our other vehicle is a van (also leased) with less of a mileage allowance (and we have a trip planned to New York and New England this summer), it would be nice to have a car for day-to-day driving (what little I do).

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    12.14.17 @ 05:57 AM
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    I can't speak for Ford or Dodge, but Gm has put large amounts of efforts into improving the quality of their cars. However, this only relates to cars that have undergone major redesigns in the last couple of years. If you buy a new minivan from GM today, it is the same POS that they were a few years ago. However, the new (2006) Impalas are getting good quality ratings, as are the Cobalts, G6s, Equinox/Torrents, 2007 Tahoes, Buick LaCrosse and Lucernes and all Cadillacs. The Malibus have been updated recently, so they should have good reliability as well.

    I have a 2003 Silverado, and I have never had any major problems with it. It did have a couple of minor issues which were resolved under the warranty, and a couple of recalls, but thoses were for minor issues. My GTO has only been back to the dealer once since I bought it 13 months ago, and that was for an oil change.
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    If I was to buy a new car, it would be an Acura. I'm searching for the right 66-67 Chevelle right now for a restoration. Most of you know I sold my 70 Chevelle last year, and I miss the muscle.

    I too drive a Silverado 5.3L because I need to tow. It has the minor issues, but thus far at 45k not a single tune-up or engine related problem.

    When researching what car to buy study the residual. That tells you more about the quality of the car than any brochure, or article. You want a car that has the highest residual possible after 48k. BMW 3 & 5 series had a 53% residual for awhile. Not sure what they are this year, but 53% is excellent. Most american cars have about a 23% residual. Residual is what the car is worth (depreciation) after a certain length of time and mileage.

    It might also be helpful just to notice what the rental companies are renting. If you are buying the same car today, when you trade it in, you are competing against fleets of rental cars that dump back wholesale into dealer lots and glut the supply of your car - thus effecting your car's value. Malibu is a great example. There are multitudes of Malibu rental cars for sale for cheap. I'd rather have a V6 Impala, but would leave the Impala on the side of the road for an Acura TL.

    I got to take an Acura around a race track in the rain and try to get it out of control. It handled like an Indy car and had superb balance. I don't know the number offhand, but I'm betting the Acura residual is above 45%.

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    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    With all of the joint projects, mergers, and technology sharing it's getting hard to figure out what car is coming from where. I think the line is so blurred that there isn't much point in trying to identify "foreign" vs. "American". I don't know what it is now, but I know at one point you had people buying a less reliable Ford (for example) to "buy American", yet the Ford was made in Mexico, while the much more reliable Honda (for example) was made in Ohio. Personally, I'd rather support the American assemblers of Honda than the incompetent management and engineers of Ford and assmeblers in Mexico.

    I don't get why the American brands can't get their shit together. Look at Hyundai - worst POS in the world 10 years ago - and the strides they've made in quality, not to mention the warranty they have backing it up. It's not American assemblers, they're doing fine with Toyota and Honda...

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    Good question... We took a leap this fall and my wife finally got her 2005 AWD Mercury Mountaineer that she's wanted for a couple of years now... I can only hope we'll be able to get 100k out of it, but I doubt it... I expect our problems will occur at about 40k miles, just out of warranty... Her 1995 Honda Civic had 214,000 miles on it and was starting to lose coolant into the exhaust... I'm still driving it back and forth to work, but I know eventually I'll have to dive in and install a new head gasket soon... But, at 30MPG, it's more economical to drive than my 1999 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 w/plow that has 140,000 hard miles... Plus the Taco is currently parked in the driveway waiting for me to replace its original alternator that just died last Friday... One axle seal and one alternator is all that this truck has ever needed for repairs (minus normal brake related components)...

    Quote Originally Posted by billy007
    There was some discussion in another thread about how cars and how the ones made by Americans don't seem to hold up as well as those made by foreigners. I'm wondering if there are any cars that you feel are exceptions to this rule, any cars made by an American nameplate that last beyond the length of the warranty.

    We have a leased 2001 Malibu, and while I enjoy driving the car and it seems to have enough room to fit the five of us, I worry that it could soon become a money pit. I was having the oil changed Saturday and they told me that the "lower intake gasket" was starting to leak and replacing it would cost around $700 dollars. We've had a few other problems here 'n there - some while it was under warranty, some after it passed, and I think of my mother-in-law who has a '99 Malibu and our problems seem to be right in line with the ones she's had. The lease is up this year - one of our options is just to go to one vehicle (since my wife travels most of the time) but since our other vehicle is a van (also leased) with less of a mileage allowance (and we have a trip planned to New York and New England this summer), it would be nice to have a car for day-to-day driving (what little I do).
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    Hang 'Em High perticelli's Avatar
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    well, one thing we cant forget or dismiss is the rest of the automotive economy. If we build perfect,longlasting cars, then the rest of the auto economy suffers and it is much larger than the new car industry.
    Profit on new vehicles from dealers isnt as high as used cars..and further, repairs and maintanence are HUGE.
    The foreign cars get shipped here and they only have to build a great car to beat out an american maintenance machine..its a different equation. Now that they are(foreign caRSA) solidly in the lead of value perception, they are in a better position to profit.
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    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    12.14.17 @ 01:36 AM
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    I have had both US and those made by foreigners. My company purchases new trucks every few years as well. Both are good products in there own right. The American trucks are a bit more rugged, they seem to take a beating a bit better than the Toyota's or Nissan's. The American trucks I have owned and still own seam to start to nickle and dime me at around 70,000 miles with slight mechanical issues, they are still solid trucks structurally though. The Nissan and Toyota trucks I have owned and still own run like champs, very few mechanical problems, they can sit for months on end and then start right up and drive across the country. The Japanese trucks dont appear to have the structural integrity that the American trucks do, they don't have the pulling power and seem to dent easy.

    Right now I am driving a Cherokee limited (no Hemi), its a great SUV and I love it. The only concern is it has 50,000 miles and I am starting to get a bit nervous. I am waiting for something to go wrong and cost me $1,500 to have the dealer fix it.

    We have a guy that works on all of our company trucks, one complaint about the Japanese trucks he has is they are difficult to work on. The parts are hard to get to to replace.

    The interiors of the American trucks are far better than those of the Japanese trucks. Although Ford seats break down way to dam fast, good luck trying to find a replacement seat!! The New Nissan Titan and the Toyota Tundra both have nice interiors and appear to the best built trucks on the market. If I was in the market for a new pickup for myself and not a company truck I would chose a Titan or Tundra, the new Tacoma would be worth checking out as well. I would stay away from the new small Chevy, I have heard nothing but bad things about them. I have a Ford Ranger that I keep for myself and its a good truck but at 60,000 it started to break down. At 150,000 miles the engine blew, I replaced the engine and it runs good but I still have the occasional mechanical problem. The company owns a 1988 Toyota 4 Runner that we purchased at a auction on a whim, it has 236,000 miles and runs like a champ. If we have a nuclear war and I have to chose one truck to drive the 1988 4 Runner would be the one, its the most reliable truck I have ever owned, it goes anywhere in any condition.
    If I could get a new truck every year I would buy American but this is not the case.
    Right not I would have to give the edge to the Japanese trucks.
    ((Just My Two Cents))
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    I would only buy a GM made car.
    Right Now you're reading my post!


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    My Nissan truck is coming up on 120,000 miles and is still running great.

    I think the things that nobody factors in when they talk about cars is themselves and their driving habits and prefferences. Some people are just cruel to their vehicles, driving their 4-cylinder like a sports car, over-loading their vehicles beyond their weight or just bad driving can take it's toll. The there are folks who simply MUST have all of the options, the problem is that with more stuff in your vehicle the more stuff there is that can go wrong too. I think that they're asking too much from their electrical systems at times.
    Finally, some people are just idiots and can break a spounge.

    My truck, though Japanese, was made in Tennessee. My mother had a Mitsubishi that was always in the shop, but I think that was because of how my mom drives. Before that, she had a Ford Mustang, she was screwed over by the dealership because she wanted a 6-cylinder ad they sold her a 4. Since she is clueless she didn't figure it out until later and it was too late. The brakes failed within the first month and it was in the shop every three months. I will never drive a Ford if they let scum sell their vehicles. The flip side is that my brother's all time favorite car was a Ford Tarus station wagon, it was great for his family and good in the crazy Texas commute in Dallas.

    Wait until China gets into the game.....
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    What year was that Mustang, because Ford hasn't sold 4 and 6 cylinder versions at the same time since 1986?

    Best two cars I've ever owned

    My first car...1988 Mazda MX-6. I drove that car into the ground, got me through most of high school, college, long road trips, everything.

    My last Mustang, 2001 GT. Yes, a Mustang. Never had a problem with it in the 4 years I had it, not one. Never even need brakes in 4 years.
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    I just saw an 02 or 03 Honda Pilot with over 100K on it on ebay for 14,600

    Mentioned it to a few folks at work and they just laughed at the thought of buying a car with that many miles.....but I love High Mileage cars......up to a certain point.

    I've had an '81 and '91 Honda Civic and a '91 Honda Accord and my minor problems with all of them....but they never let me sit and I was never told I needed a lower intake gasket or any other major engine issues.

    Sure the 91 Accord with 175K has a leaky trunk and had a weird hesitation every couple of months that had me looking in the rear view mirror looking for a place to ditch the car, but it kept chugging away. Two mechanics told me to drive it until it dies....then they'll know exactly what it needs. The mirrors started acting funky at times, but what the fuck, it was still smooth as a baby's ass on the highway.

    But with a little more cash flow, I sold the car a year and a half ago and bought the ugliest car in the world, the Scion xB.

    So it's nice to have a vehicle that doesn't have "issues" but I think all makes have things go wrong. I just beleive that Honda is a much better designed and built vehicle with bulletproof engines and transmissions. Just ask Saturn why they used Honda's V-6 in it's SUV.

    A lot of folks like to make this a Patriotic discussion, but when you're talking cars and their longevity, only a fool would try to say any domestic car can hang with Honda or Toyota

    You wanna talk power and great ride, America is the clear winner and I wouldn't hesitate to buy American when it comes to trucks.

    But for people movers, Honda can't be beat.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    What year was that Mustang, because Ford hasn't sold 4 and 6 cylinder versions at the same time since 1986?

    Best two cars I've ever owned

    My first car...1988 Mazda MX-6. I drove that car into the ground, got me through most of high school, college, long road trips, everything.

    My last Mustang, 2001 GT. Yes, a Mustang. Never had a problem with it in the 4 years I had it, not one. Never even need brakes in 4 years.
    Yup, 1986.
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007
    We have a leased 2001 Malibu, and while I enjoy driving the car and it seems to have enough room to fit the five of us, I worry that it could soon become a money pit. I was having the oil changed Saturday and they told me that the "lower intake gasket" was starting to leak and replacing it would cost around $700 dollars.
    Just wait until you need a new Johnson rod...
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    I drive a 98 Ford Paid For and I love that damn car!!!
    Can't stop...addicted to the shindig...

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    Just ordered one of these today. Coming in March.



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