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Thread: The worst POS car you've ever owned

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The worst POS car you've ever owned

    Both my best and worst car was a 1998 Volkswagen Passat I bought in 2001. It was loaded; every option, including leather and a fairly powerful v6 engine. It was one of those cars that handled high speed so effortlessly, it surprised you when looking at the speedometer; "Oh shit I'm doing 95!" The interior materials were uniformly high quality. Excellent fit and finish throughout.

    What was wrong with it? Everything else. Every month or two, the car would suffer some issue that required no less than $800 to $1000 of work. Not struts or something that could be fixed anywhere, but specialized things that could only be repaired at the dealer or a high-end mechanic that specialized in European cars. The engine was on the verge of seizing up at 90,000 miles due to oil sludge resulting from a faulty oil pump, and I traded it in on a Subaru Forester. I told the dealer abut the engine, and they didn't care; they just sent it off to auction,

    What was the worst car you've ever owned?
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  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Well, I've never had a truely bad car, but my first car - a red 1987 Dodge Colt 2dr hatch - was about as close as I've come.

    It was a decent first car, but the muffler/tailpipe was constantly rusting out, the engine was an very weak and small ~1.4L 4cyl, and it eventually committed suicide by throwing a rod out the bottom of the engine while doing 70 mph on an interstate.

    But the car was pretty light overall, so with the FWD it could pull through some pretty rough spots (mud, snow, etc) even with the teeny engine. Though, interstate cruising/passing was rough.
    Last edited by mendelman; 30 Mar 2011 at 11:06 AM.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Right now I own my real "first" car, or at least this is the first time I'm paying for everything, it's a 2006 VW GTI. I think everything you mention Dan is pretty similar to what I'm going through. The car is SCARY fast, and it is so f@#$(*n fun to drive, but the bills! It's at about 100k now, so i'm really starting to get nervous about having to replace the timing belt. $$$$$$

    This winter I was riding down the expressway, leaving my internship and heading to my server job, and the passenger window just decides to drop into the car door! I had to drive 15 miles with a makeshift garbage bag window in sub-zero temps. I was ready to put the car over a cliff right then and there.
    Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Mine was a 1984 Buick Skylark that I bought to have as a back-up when my other car was not available. It was not worth it. The car was about 10 years old at the time. Fabric was hanging down from the ceiling. The radio did not work. Within six months the engine was dying. When it died while my other car needed a tow, I paid for the tow by giving the driver the title to the Buick.
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    A 1962 Pontiac Safari Station Wagon..............a beast..........paid $135 for it back in 1969..............2nd day of ownership the heater coil leaked, sending smoke into the passenger compartment...........had to repair it in 5 degree weather..........but after the heater coil incident it ran OK...........

    I've had about 30 cars since then.........a 1968 Dodge Charger (Dukes of Hazzard was a '69), and have had a Chevy since 2004 (Chevy Cavalier, CHevy Truck, and Chevy Equinox) and all have been good...........

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Both my best and worst car was a 1998 Volkswagen Passat I bought in 2001. It was loaded; every option, including leather and a fairly powerful v6 engine. It was one of those cars that handled high speed so effortlessly, it surprised you when looking at the speedometer; "Oh shit I'm doing 95!" The interior materials were uniformly high quality. Excellent fit and finish throughout.

    What was wrong with it? Everything else. Every month or two, the car would suffer some issue that required no less than $800 to $1000 of work. Not struts or something that could be fixed anywhere, but specialized things that could only be repaired at the dealer or a high-end mechanic that specialized in European cars. The engine was on the verge of seizing up at 90,000 miles due to oil sludge resulting from a faulty oil pump, and I traded it in on a Subaru Forester. I told the dealer abut the engine, and they didn't care; they just sent it off to auction,

    What was the worst car you've ever owned?
    Similarly, I had a 2001 Audi Allroad Quattro wagon that was top-o-the-line (biought used, of course). It had fine leather interior, heated everything, power everything, V-6 turbo engine, height adjustable suspension, etc.

    The thing ws a lemon, though. That cool adjustable suspension kept not working right and costs THOUSANDS to even partially fix. The power mirrors stoped working. The driver's side door wouldn't roll back up all the way if you rolled it down. There was an engine light that kept going on and they could never figure out why. The latch for the hatch door broke one day and cost another $400 to fix. I spent over $4,000 on fixing that stupid thing in just the 8 months I owned it.

    Then I traded it in for an '05 Subaru Outback and never looked back. I'll never buy another Audi or VW product again.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Worst car: 2004 Mazda RX-8. Don't get me wrong--the car was awesome--but it was officially labelled a lemon and I got a settlement from Mazda. Since then Mazda has done a warranty extension program for the engine core on models built between 2004 and 2008. It blew four engines by the time it reached 60,000 miles. But damn was it fun to drive--it revved like a motorcycle and had no problem reaching well past 70 in 1st gear since it had a 9,000 rpm redline.

    I was so soured on my experience that I will probably never own a Mazda again.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    1975 Ford Mustang II. I got it in 1981 so it was well used. Every month or two it seemed like something was going wrong and had to be fixed. Somewhere around 1985 we couldn't afford to fix it and it sat for two months. Got it running again and then the timing belt went out. Had a friend's father (who was a retired mechanic) help me put a new one on and it ran again for 2 months.

    I sold it to a coworker fully disclosing everything for $400. We went out later that night for dinner and saw it dead on the side of the road. I heard it was wrecked about 3 or 4 months later. A fitting end!
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  9. #9
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Worst car: 2004 Mazda RX-8. Don't get me wrong--the car was awesome--but it was officially labelled a lemon and I got a settlement from Mazda. Since then Mazda has done a warranty extension program for the engine core on models built between 2004 and 2008. It blew four engines by the time it reached 60,000 miles. But damn was it fun to drive--it revved like a motorcycle and had no problem reaching well past 70 in 1st gear since it had a 9,000 rpm redline.

    I was so soured on my experience that I will probably never own a Mazda again.
    Well, if they couldn't get the rotary engine design to work in the past, maybe they should have just given up on it.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  10. #10
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Well, if they couldn't get the rotary engine design to work in the past, maybe they should have just given up on it.
    That was actually the whole reason I bought it... My brother had an RX-7 that he put nearly 200k miles on with relatively few problems. Rotary engines in the RX-8 are apparently prone to pre-detonation due to the design of the engine and issues with seals between the chambers. A shame really, because rotary engines have very few moving parts (theoretically more reliable) and are the easiest to convert to hydrogen.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Probably the worst issue I had was with the wiring on a 1992 Taurus. Had to get that fixed a couple of times but then it ran like a champ for another 100k miles.

    I am a big believer in getting the routine maintenance done before things become big issues. I also rarely drive the car hard; with smooth accelerations and minimal braking.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  12. #12
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    1991 Taurus. Bought it new. Should have been more concerned that it only had a one-year warrantee. Two transmission replacements the first year. Never took it back to the dealer after warantee (and after they installed the first transmission replacement backwards). A motor mount would shear off every 6 months. I would get strange looks from service techs when I asked them to check the front center motor mount--until they found it loose and nearly missing.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    I've never owned a truly POS car but the closest I got was a 1999 Chevy Lumina. It was a bucket but I paid $500 for it and although ugly it got me back and forth on a 120 mile round trip commute (4x week) in SC for 1.5 years and the same in NJ for another year plus two round trips between NJ & SC. I had to replace a CV joint, AC compressor, the rear windows didn't work, the thermostat, and it would eat fuses. All told I think I put about $750 of work into the car. Insurance was cheap and it was reasonably decent on fuel driving on the highway. It finally crapped out when it overheated on the way home from work on a hot summer day and wouldn't resurrect itself. Thankfully it wasn't when I was on the highway. Figuring out the cost it cost me about $.02/mile to drive.

    Now I have a 2007 Chevy Impala that I like very much. It hasn't given me any problems, is comfortable to drive, and good on gas on the highway even though it's a 6 cylinder.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    That was actually the whole reason I bought it... My brother had an RX-7 that he put nearly 200k miles on with relatively few problems. Rotary engines in the RX-8 are apparently prone to pre-detonation due to the design of the engine and issues with seals between the chambers. A shame really, because rotary engines have very few moving parts (theoretically more reliable) and are the easiest to convert to hydrogen.
    Yeah, the RX-7's were pretty darn reliable as long as you kept the apex seals in good condition and replaced them every 25-30k miles or so. The turbo-engined ones had a habit of exploding if you didn't do that regularly, but mostly it was people who upgraded the turbo's and drove them really hard that had that problem.

    Supposedly they are going to be coming out with an RX-8 replacement in the next year or so and should have the reliability issue fixed.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  15. #15
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    1975 Ford Mustang II. I got it in 1981 so it was well used. Every month or two it seemed like something was going wrong and had to be fixed. !
    Yeah, the "II's" from Ford don't bode well. My biggest POS was my 1987 Bronco II. Holy cow, nothing ever worked right. I poured money into that thing for like four years and finally just had them haul it off. I bought it used in 92 with 50,000 miles on it.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  16. #16
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    I had a Lincoln Mercury Capri - my first new car. Guess it was a 1977 or 1978. Loved that car - looked nice, peppy and held all my friends. But it nickel and dimed me (windshield wipers, locks, little problems with the engine, etc.) and finally just ceased to work. Within two weeks of owning it my best friend burned a hole in the front seat with a cigarette. I only had the car for about four years.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    I've never had one I would call bad or a constant problem...my parents, on the other hand, had a '75 or '76 Ford Granada that was a complete POS - that car is responsible for my dad driving only Hondas or Toyotas for the last 30 years.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Wow, lots of lemons among us. Like Dan my best and worst car were the same. It was a bright yellow 2006 Ford Ranger Sport! I loved that truck. It was the first (and only) new car I have ever had, and it was the only time I have leased a car. Ironically, I always thought of leasing as wasteful, but decided with such an expensive car to lease it for 3 years and then buy it outright at the end if I still liked it. Best. Decision. I. Have. Ever. Made.

    The truck was a model vehicle for the first 2 years of the lease. Everything was perfect. It rode well. It was pretty. The yellow cheered me up on grey Ohio winter mornings. Then, it hit about 18,500 miles (conveniently 500 miles over the Ohio lemon law limit) and it started breaking down every few days. First it was spark plugs. Then the fuel pump. Then blah blah blah. It was February. In Ohio. It was freezing. I was a TA and had to be to class on time. I had students and faculty waiting for me. Exams to proctor. My own classes to attend. That stupid truck would leave me stranded on the side of the road the day after picking it back up from the shop at 7am, before Ford's tow truck company was open. Standing in the cold for an hour or two waiting for them to come and get me - every few days. Not awesome.

    Brondes Ford on Secor - worst customer service ever. At first, they were apologetic. They would give me a rental to drive until my truck was fixed. Once my truck started coming back in only 6 or so hours after leaving their shop, they started turning into @^&(*#(@, saying they couldn't afford to keep giving me rentals. Yeah - nice try, but I'm under warranty and it is written in my contract that you will supply me with a rental - now hand it over. It went from bad to ugly. Nothing like a car with less than 20,000 miles on it dead on the side of the road and a mechanic who cannot figure out what to do with it.

    Finally, when the lease was over, I drove it there and left it in the parking lot with a sign on the windshield that said GOOD RIDDANCE.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Finally, when the lease was over, I drove it there and left it in the parking lot with a sign on the windshield that said GOOD RIDDANCE.
    This is awesome.

    Like others, I've never had a totally POS care. However, over the past year, I've sunk more money into my 2 vehicles than I care to think about.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  20. #20
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    I've never owned a truly POS car but the closest I got was a 1999 Chevy Lumina. It was a bucket but I paid $500 for it and although ugly it got me back and forth on a 120 mile round trip commute (4x week) in SC for 1.5 years and the same in NJ for another year plus two round trips between NJ & SC. I had to replace a CV joint, AC compressor, the rear windows didn't work, the thermostat, and it would eat fuses. All told I think I put about $750 of work into the car. Insurance was cheap and it was reasonably decent on fuel driving on the highway. It finally crapped out when it overheated on the way home from work on a hot summer day and wouldn't resurrect itself. Thankfully it wasn't when I was on the highway. Figuring out the cost it cost me about $.02/mile to drive.
    With the exception of the fuses and thermostat it sounds like it was a fairly good car and you got your money out of that one!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  21. #21
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Similar for me.....

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Both my best and worst car was a 1998 Volkswagen Passat I bought in 2001. It was loaded; every option, including leather and a fairly powerful v6 engine. It was one of those cars that handled high speed so effortlessly, it surprised you when looking at the speedometer; "Oh shit I'm doing 95!" The interior materials were uniformly high quality. Excellent fit and finish throughout.

    What was wrong with it? Everything else. Every month or two, the car would suffer some issue that required no less than $800 to $1000 of work. Not struts or something that could be fixed anywhere, but specialized things that could only be repaired at the dealer or a high-end mechanic that specialized in European cars. The engine was on the verge of seizing up at 90,000 miles due to oil sludge resulting from a faulty oil pump, and I traded it in on a Subaru Forester. I told the dealer abut the engine, and they didn't care; they just sent it off to auction,

    What was the worst car you've ever owned?
    Very similar for me.....but with a 1999 VW Euro Van. I put about $12,000 (not counting gas or oil changes) into that thing over about a 9 year period. The undersized tires wore out like clockwork every 25,000 miles or so. Only one tire made to fit the vehicle weight and wheel size requirements. Transmission went at 1,000 miles beyond the warranty. Second transmission went because of poor installation. I had an insurance claim that cost about $10,000 a year after I got it. More money was put into this vehicle than paid for it new.

    Never again. The first repair that costs more than $500 for my current jeep = NEW CAR FOR ME BABY!!
    Skilled Adoxographer

  22. #22
    Cyburbian TOFB's avatar
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    Another vote for my wife's 75 Mustang II, lots of bells and whistles, none worked.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Both my best and worst car was a 1998 Volkswagen Passat I bought in 2001. It was loaded; every option, including leather and a fairly powerful v6 engine. It was one of those cars that handled high speed so effortlessly, it surprised you when looking at the speedometer; "Oh shit I'm doing 95!" The interior materials were uniformly high quality. Excellent fit and finish throughout.

    What was wrong with it? Everything else. Every month or two, the car would suffer some issue that required no less than $800 to $1000 of work. Not struts or something that could be fixed anywhere, but specialized things that could only be repaired at the dealer or a high-end mechanic that specialized in European cars. The engine was on the verge of seizing up at 90,000 miles due to oil sludge resulting from a faulty oil pump, and I traded it in on a Subaru Forester. I told the dealer abut the engine, and they didn't care; they just sent it off to auction,

    What was the worst car you've ever owned?
    I had a similar experience with a car that was both the best and worst I've ever owned. Only my $800-$1800 repair wasn't because it was specialized European engineering - it was just a domestic that seemed to have been purposefully engineered to be expensive to repair.

    It was my 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS. I loved that car. And hated it. It excited me. And filled me with dread. I put almost 100,000 miles on it over the course of 4 short years, including a trip out to California. I cried (literally - not joking) when I emptied the cabin when I traded it in for a (so-far [*crosses fingers*]) much more reliable 2009 Hyundai Accent.

    P.S. - It amazes me how far Hyundai has reimaged and rebuilt its reputation over a period of just 10-15 years. I enjoy the Accent. It's not as exciting as the Monte Carlo, but darned it if it don't just do what you want it to without any lip and without stealing your hard-earned cash.

  24. #24
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TOFB View post
    Another vote for my wife's 75 Mustang II, lots of bells and whistles, none worked.
    My HS boyfriend had one of these...silver with a maroon interior. It was a POS and the gas gauge had a mind of its own which led to some interesting hikes.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  25. #25
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    I wonder......

    Has anyone on Cyburbia ever owned a MERKUR XR4TI? That has to automatically qualify as a winning post for this thread

    Didn't that car inspire Adam Sandler's Piece of $hit Car song???

    I need to make that a ring tone on my phone for every time RJ drunk dials me....
    Skilled Adoxographer

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