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Thread: Worst car you ever owned?

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Worst car you ever owned?

    I can only remember one genuinely shitty car - the '89 Lincoln Mark VII I acquired from my parents in the last 1990s.

    This car was constantly in the shop before it was mine. The transmission had to be replaced about five years after it left the dealership; it had constant problems with the air-spring suspension. By the time I got it, these had already been replaced once. I had to replace two of them again, on my nickel. By this time, the car was only worth about $4,000 - after spending close to $2k to get the air bags replaced.

    I sold that mo' fo' very soon afterward!

  2. #2
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    I can remember a shitty car or two. It was my 1993 Subaru Impreza with a 4 speed autobox and a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder. Because of its billing as an economy car and its supposed ability to navigate foul weather, it was a major disappointment. The car was capable of about 19 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway, which was pretty crappy for a car of its size. I also remember the car got stuck in a snowstorm and required a gang of us to push the damned thing home. While I didn't catch this on the road test, it was the most underpowered car I ever drove except for possibly my mom's toyota Tercel, which was another shitbox.

    After a year of owning the car, I simply couldn't stand it anymore. I lost $4000 on the piece of crap.
    Last edited by swamprat; 05-18-2010 at 09:29 AM.

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    I have two horror stories

    #1
    1999 Mercedes ML-320 SUV

    I leased it for 39 months, and during that time it required 20 trips to the dealer to get things repaired. Yes, on average, it was in the shop every 8.5 weeks. Since it was a lease, there was no easy way out.

    #2
    2003 MINI Cooper S
    I owned it for 12 months, but only got to drive it for 11 months. The other 28 days it was sitting in the shop, as they tried to get the airbag warning light to stay off. They were only partially successful - it stayed off long enough for me to sell it, but came on again for the new owner.

    Chip H.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mase's Avatar
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    1966 Plymouth Valiant, one crap car.

    1962 Triumph Spitfire. Wasn't a bad driver, nice fun car, way too much shop time.

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    My parents had a 1967 Jaguar 420. It looked great in the garage, where it spent most of its time.

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    Back in the day I was the shit box king. What with owning a Yugo,a Pinto and a Chevy Chevette. My very first car a Dodge Omni kind of clunk out around the 80,000 mile mark. Yugo was the shit but you know plenty of bad cars back in those days. The eighties may have been one of the worst decades for cheap little cars.

  7. #7
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I've had two cars, well one car and one truck, that were unmitigated JUNK. The first was a 1973 Audi 100. I think it was a GL or something like that. I bought it because it was FWD and had a 4 banger for the economy. I got 14 mpg period. City or highway it didn't make any difference. It also required premium fuel too. I tried cheaper gas and it knocked terrible. I was so glad when I unloaded that pile of junk.

    The second one was the only vehicle I ever ordered new. It was a 1988 Chevy S-10. I'd had an '86 S-10 and except for it taking off from time to time, it was a good reliable truck. Except for the speeding up (Toyotoa isn't the only one to have had that happen) I never had a lick of trouble out of it. A large car, wet streets, bald tires and the driver not paying attention had me shoved half a block when he plowing into me. To replace it, I ordered a new truck.

    I think it was started being built on Friday and finished on Monday morning. 14 trips to the dealer in the first year. The power steering pump exploded, the back brakes had the adjusters on the wrong side and the brakes deadjusted each time I backed up, the windshield would spit water underneath and over the dash, the bed almost fell off because the bolts weren't tightened and so on. The kicker was when I finally tracked down the rattle after 6 months. Because my head whacked the rear window in my '86, I got an extended cab with jump seats. The rattle was coming from under the cover over the jack. I thought it was loose but when I pulled the cover, I found a piece of paper sticking out. When I got it out, there were two washers on the string and it said "Congratulations, you found one".

    This was also the truck where I found out about the "silent" recalls the car companies have. I kept losing coolant at about 40K on the truck and the oil was getting filthy. Rather than pull it apart myself, I had an extended warranty and took it in. I figured it was worth the $50 deductable. When I picked it up, they said it was no charge. Had I fixed it, it would have been my cost. Take it in and they will fix it. It's like Furd did with the 4.6 engines with the plastic intake that would fail without warning. If the dealer fixed it, it was free. If you fixed it, tough.
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  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Back in the day I was the shit box king. What with owning a Yugo,a Pinto and a Chevy Chevette. My very first car a Dodge Omni kind of clunk out around the 80,000 mile mark. Yugo was the shit but you know plenty of bad cars back in those days. The eighties may have been one of the worst decades for cheap little cars.
    I am jealous!

    I would have loved to have had a chance to drive a Yugo!

  9. #9
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I've had two cars, well one car and one truck, that were unmitigated JUNK. The first was a 1973 Audi 100. I think it was a GL or something like that. I bought it because it was FWD and had a 4 banger for the economy. I got 14 mpg period. City or highway it didn't make any difference. It also required premium fuel too. I tried cheaper gas and it knocked terrible. I was so glad when I unloaded that pile of junk.

    The second one was the only vehicle I ever ordered new. It was a 1988 Chevy S-10. I'd had an '86 S-10 and except for it taking off from time to time, it was a good reliable truck. Except for the speeding up (Toyotoa isn't the only one to have had that happen) I never had a lick of trouble out of it. A large car, wet streets, bald tires and the driver not paying attention had me shoved half a block when he plowing into me. To replace it, I ordered a new truck.

    I think it was started being built on Friday and finished on Monday morning. 14 trips to the dealer in the first year. The power steering pump exploded, the back brakes had the adjusters on the wrong side and the brakes deadjusted each time I backed up, the windshield would spit water underneath and over the dash, the bed almost fell off because the bolts weren't tightened and so on. The kicker was when I finally tracked down the rattle after 6 months. Because my head whacked the rear window in my '86, I got an extended cab with jump seats. The rattle was coming from under the cover over the jack. I thought it was loose but when I pulled the cover, I found a piece of paper sticking out. When I got it out, there were two washers on the string and it said "Congratulations, you found one".

    This was also the truck where I found out about the "silent" recalls the car companies have. I kept losing coolant at about 40K on the truck and the oil was getting filthy. Rather than pull it apart myself, I had an extended warranty and took it in. I figured it was worth the $50 deductable. When I picked it up, they said it was no charge. Had I fixed it, it would have been my cost. Take it in and they will fix it. It's like Furd did with the 4.6 engines with the plastic intake that would fail without warning. If the dealer fixed it, it was free. If you fixed it, tough.

    I am not by nature a litigious guy, but, god-damn, had I found that note in a new vehicle I'd bought, I would have hired the oilest, most vicious bastard of a personal injury shyster lawyer and sued the shit out of GM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I am not by nature a litigious guy, but, god-damn, had I found that note in a new vehicle I'd bought, I would have hired the oilest, most vicious bastard of a personal injury shyster lawyer and sued the shit out of GM.

    I was at the dealer that afternoon. I can really bellow when I want to even if normally I talk rather softly. All the peple in the show room heard about my opinion on that tag along with the quality of the truck in all. I suspect I ruined a couple of almost sales.
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  11. #11
    Definitely my 1984 Audi 5000 Turbo. Ran great for the first year and then it was one problem after another--lots of electrical issues, turbo, etc.

    I spent a lot on it (at the time): $24,000. Big mistake. I could've got the baby Mercedes (don't remember the model number) for the same or even less.

  12. #12
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    I just got a 1984 Mark VII Lincoln in a trade the other day. 46K on the clock. It has the usual suspension problems. I'll fix that this weekend. Out come the bags and in go the coil springs. There'll be lots of other changes from stock since I'll use it as a back up driver.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Biggest piece of crap to drive was my first car, a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500 with a delete-option 200cid inline six, Cruise-O-Matic, and A/C. The un-assisted steering took 8 1/2 turns lock-to lock, corners required planning ahead. Also the all-drum brakes would fade if you were actually silly enough to try to use them. Fortunately it wouldn't go fast enough to need brakes very much.

    Biggest piece of crap for reliability was my beloved Fiat X 1/9. It was a blast to drive, like a mini-Ferrari, if a Ferrari took 13 seconds for a 0-60. The carburetor jets required constant cleaning, they had an uncanny ability to collect gunk. I don't think I ever got more than 10,000 miles out of a brake master cylinder. And both the brake and clutch master cylinders were located under the dashboard, above the pedals and the steering column, so replacing them meant removing the column and spending hours on your back with your head stuffed up the footwell with hydraulic fluid dripping in your face.

    Then there was the rust. By the time I took my X 1/9 off the road, the spot welds on the rear bulkhead separating the engine compartment from the trunk had failed, and that's where the top motor mount was anchored, so the engine would just rock back and forth under torque as it shook the structure of the car apart. Also the floorboard on the driver's side had rusted out, and only the glue on the back of the carpet was holding it in place, you would have gone right through if you put your weight on it. The battery box was in the front luggage compartment on the firewall in a fairly critical structural element, and any leaks or corrosion would start the rot there, to the point where the battery was threatening to drop into the passenger side footwell at any time.

    But when it was working, it was a blast to drive.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I just got a 1984 Mark VII Lincoln in a trade the other day. 46K on the clock. It has the usual suspension problems. I'll fix that this weekend. Out come the bags and in go the coil springs. There'll be lots of other changes from stock since I'll use it as a back up driver.
    I had one of those; an '87 LSC. Beautiful car - but problem plagued. The air springs failed, the tranny croaked and the power seats never worked right.

    But damn, it looked great!

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam View Post
    Back in the day I was the shit box king. What with owning a Yugo,a Pinto and a Chevy Chevette. My very first car a Dodge Omni kind of clunk out around the 80,000 mile mark. Yugo was the shit but you know plenty of bad cars back in those days. The eighties may have been one of the worst decades for cheap little cars.
    The Omni! Gotta love it...

    Remember its sister car, the Plymouth Champ (Chump)?

  16. #16
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    I had one of those; an '87 LSC. Beautiful car - but problem plagued. The air springs failed, the tranny croaked and the power seats never worked right.

    But damn, it looked great!

    Coils will be here tomorrow, the junk yard down the road has several T-Birds and Cougars of the same vintage so the seat tracks will be converted to manual. I really just need a drivetrain and body shell. I can redo everything else. The biggest problem so far was the day I got the car I went to put fuel in it. It took me 30 minutes. First I was on the wron g side of the pump, then I couldn't find the door release. My biggest problem right now is getting the wheels off. I didn't get the locking lug nut tool and whoever had the wheels put on last must have hired a gorilla. The one I've gotten off so far required a 6 foot cheater pipe.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    The Omni! Gotta love it...

    Remember its sister car, the Plymouth Champ (Chump)?

    The Champ was the sister car, sort of, to the Dodge Colt. The Plymouth version of the Omni was the Horizon. Now, the Cricket was a rather....odd....car.
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  18. #18
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    Coils will be here tomorrow, the junk yard down the road has several T-Birds and Cougars of the same vintage so the seat tracks will be converted to manual. I really just need a drivetrain and body shell. I can redo everything else. The biggest problem so far was the day I got the car I went to put fuel in it. It took me 30 minutes. First I was on the wron g side of the pump, then I couldn't find the door release. My biggest problem right now is getting the wheels off. I didn't get the locking lug nut tool and whoever had the wheels put on last must have hired a gorilla. The one I've gotten off so far required a 6 foot cheater pipe.
    Air guns....

    Bet you have at least one warped rotor, too...

  19. #19
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    The Champ was the sister car, sort of, to the Dodge Colt. The Plymouth version of the Omni was the Horizon. Now, the Cricket was a rather....odd....car.
    I was a kid when those were new; in Boy Scouts, we had a sort-of "special" (mildly retarded, we assumed) "adult leader" who met the requirements for having an over-18 person on camping trips, etc. He had a Champ and we (being obnoxious 14-year-olds) snatched his keys and took the Chump on beer runs!

    Good times...

  20. #20
    Senior Member misterdecibel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    The Omni! Gotta love it...

    Remember its sister car, the Plymouth Champ (Chump)?
    The Dodge Omni's sister car was the Plymouth Horizon. The Champ was a Mitsubishi captive import.

    The Omni/Horizon were loosely based on the French Chrysler Horizon, one of the last gasps of the Rootes/Simca empire.

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