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Thread: Worst car you ever owned?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    The Land of The Edentulites

    Worst car you ever owned?

    Much as I loved it, I have to say it was my '78 Camaro (one of my first cars and the one I wrapped around a telephone pole on a rainy night back in '87).

    Its faults, as follows:

    * Poorly fitted T-tops that leaked like Rush Limbaugh's Depends. The leaks, in turn, rotted out the driver's side floorpan and gave the car's interior a perpetually humid and musty stank that I never got rid of. I eventually used RTV to permanently seal the T-tops to the roof. They no longer leaked, but they did rattle and the roof flexed so badly that hairline cracks were visible along the sail panel joint. This problem is common to '77-81 F-cars with T-roofs.

    * Embarrassingly poor panel fitment (my '76 TA is similarly afflicted). The variation in gap along any given seam was visible to the naked eye. That's how they slapped 'em together back then.

    * Belt shriek. Tried shimming; tried total disassembly/re-assembly. They still shrieked when you revved the engine.

    * It ate alternators. I used up (no joke) six or seven over the course of about five years. Never figured out why. But thank god for free lifetime replacement!

    * Original engine was smoking and loose by the time I got the car - with 60,000 miles showing on the odometer. Sad. But it gave me the excuse I needed to chuck the feeble 350 it came with and stick in a stroker 383!

    So, how 'bout you? Any memorable ones?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Raleigh NC, USA
    1999 Mercedes ML-320:

    In the 39 month lease, it went to the service department 20 times.
    That's an average of 8.5 weeks between something breaking.

    Just about the only things that didn't get worked on were the engine and the differential.

    I found out later that the crankshaft harmonic balancer on the 3.2 liter V6 had a tendency to fly off, cracking one of the valve covers in the process, which would then dump all your oil out onto the road. So I figure I got lucky on that one.

    Chip H.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Houston, TX
    I don't have any car that stands out as the worst car I have ever owned, but I have a list of some bad ones.

    1988 Saab 9000T. I bought it with 135,000 miles for 3000 in 1999. It ran well for the first 3 months of ownership. I ended up having to put about $2500 into it to keep it on the road for the next year. It took two new clutches, brakes on all 4 wheels, new tires, new struts and other repairs I do not recall. The last straw was when the AC went out and the transmission lost 5th gear. I traded it for my Saturn L100 in December of 2000.

    1993 Subaru Impreza. I bought this car for $13,000 in May of that year. An underwhelming performer, it routinely lost 10 mph climbing the rolling hills of Kentucky. On the highway, it could get only 25 mpg tops and in the city it got 19. I lost $4000.00 selling it in 1994. Getting rid of it brought a sigh of relief. I paid off the loan and walked.

    1974 AMC Gremlin - It was a hand me down from my Dad, who swore by the car's looks. It blew head gaskets, flooded the 1bbl carb, and ate starters for breakfeast. It rattled more than John McCain's dentures and it was sold by 1981.

    These cars were equally bad in my book. I have had pretty good luck otherwise.

  4. #4
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
    I guess my worst car was my Daimler Sovereign (circa 1976) 4.2 ltr. I loved that car, it gave me everything I wanted, at the time, except reliability. In a couple of years I replaced the radiator, the engine, the gearbox and finally, the straw that broke the camel's back a diff bearing cracked up and the bits went through the pinion teeth. Rather than replace the diff I traded the car with my car dealer bro' for a totally reliable Opel Rekord that served me faithfully for several years until traded up. He, a few weeks later got a complete transmission rear end from a front end collision and was able to sell the car for more than I paid for it.

    Die dulci fruimini!
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    A 1995 Isuzu Trooper.

    It's a combination between the dealer and the vehicle.

    The dealer (Walser Buick/Isuzu) had insufficient staff, so that any repair (no matter how minor) took about 5 working days. With no loaner. This is how I got to be good friends with Enterprise Car rental.

    The Trooper has an external pipe between the cylinder heads (for coolant flow). The pipe is about 1" from the fire wall - mine leaked twice in the seven years I owned it - cost about $450 each time to fix the leak (it just so happend that it leaked 1 year after Walser fixed it the first time, so their repair was not warranteed). The leak shorted out the starter - another $750 + tow. Finally the fuel pump went out - cost about $400 for a tow ( had to be towed out of a parking ramp - the kind with a downward spiral - using two trucks ) - and another $1000 for them to diagnose, and replace it.

    Also every time Walser serviced the car, they failed to fix it right the first time. Although it was a sturdy vehicle, it was a nightmare after the first 4 years of ownership.

    Yet it didn't cost as much as my daughter Gretl's ballet career. This is where I paid more for her to be a performing Etoile than what she was paid.
    Last edited by dBrong; 07-31-2009 at 12:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kwozzie1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Sunshine Coast, QLD, Australia

    Question 1988 VN Holden Commodore wagon

    1988 VN Holden Commodore wagon (3.3 V6)
    Bought second hand and put to work as a cab. (70,000kms)

    Brakes were bloody shocking. even with different pads fitted.
    Timing chain used to thrash ...sounded like a chaff cutter. Replacement would have cost $700 with no gaurantee that it would stay quiet.
    Thirsty on petrol so fitted an approved LPG system having spoken with GMH.
    After having the mixer explode three times in the engine bay scaring the crap out of me. GMH Now saying they didn't really approve of LPG
    I got rid of the damn thing. No wonder they are called Commode Door
    Traded it on a diesel Citroen.
    On the Sunshine Coast, in the Sunshine State Queensland (QLD), Australia

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