Do you have good "CARma"?

dishdude

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Phoenix
Full disclosure - I'm 44 and have been driving for 28 years. I've owned a mix of brand new cars to very used beaters (typically nothing in between) and as a car guy have appreciated every one of them. I feel like I have good car luck, I've never broken down or had any major failures. I've never lost a transmission or had a major powertrain failure, even the new ones I've purchased have never gone back for any major warranty work. The worst I've had was a broken timing belt on an interference engine but it had a boatload of miles. Anyone else with good luck? My list of cars below...

11 Chryslers
8 GMs
3 VWs
1 Mercedes
1 Ford
1 Toyota
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
649
Location
Detroit
I been driving 12 years, I have owned 5 cars. Never had a catastrophic failure. I will attribute this to my aversion to driving in general. I don’t put many miles on my cars. I also maintain them. The newest of those cars was 2001 btw.
 

Nick1994

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I too have been driving for 12 years. No catastrophic failures yet, but plenty of really needy maintenance issues and repairs.

The VW got 2 dual mass flywheels within 2 months (probably needed a 3rd) and the camshaft was worn and the transmission was going out. The '96 has been needy for years, too much to list, seems like it's mostly ironed out now. Broken timing belt on the Camry (over on the miles). The Genesis was fun with the extended warranty.
 
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Aug 14, 2021
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NH
I’m around your age and have never broken down, well, except for that one time I was playing in (big) puddles as a teen and my 88 Excel got its wires all wet. Another time I wanted to see how long I could go once the “miles to empty” gauge on my old Elantra hit “- - -“. I think it was about 50.

I’ve had a clutch go out in my 89 Excel and a couple transmissions. One manual in the 88 Excel and an automatic in a 86 Celica, but they gave me plenty of warning signs and didn’t leave me stranded anywhere. Other than that I’ve been pretty lucky.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
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38,616
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ME
I belive in "carma" as far as not letting your car "see" that it's getting replaced.

I got some form I had to take to a notary so I could get my share of an inheritance-- while driving there, some shift fork went kablooey in my 1st car, a Mazda 323. Junked it (probably could have fixed it, knowing now what I know now.)

Had big plans for the money, my sister's summer beater, a Cadillac Cimarron. Still got the car, I had to now!
 
Joined
Jul 22, 2018
Messages
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MO
I’m around your age and have never broken down, well, except for that one time I was playing in (big) puddles as a teen and my 88 Excel got its wires all wet. Another time I wanted to see how long I could go once the “miles to empty” gauge on my old Elantra hit “- - -“. I think it was about 50.

I’ve had a clutch go out in my 89 Excel and a couple transmissions. One manual in the 88 Excel and an automatic in a 86 Celica, but they gave me plenty of warning signs and didn’t leave me stranded anywhere. Other than that I’ve been pretty lucky.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
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Let’s see, about same age, same span of driving. First 3 vehicles were beaters, followed by 3 new or nearly so, followed by a beater. About 650kmiles across those. 3 tows. First was a set of wheel bearings (young and was out of state when they went), then a turbo and later a fuel pump. Most repair issues gave advanced warning and really were not too bad.

I do have a fourth tow from a recent repair snafu but since that was self inflicted I won’t count that.

I think I did ok, middle of the road.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
13,107
Location
Cincinnati, OH, USA
I've been towed in a few times, these days it's generally in a company van for weird stuff (fuel pump failure with a full tank of gas, shifter stuck in Park and wouldn't shift) on Transit company vans, but in the old, poorer days I did blow up a '72 Pinto from lack of oil (my own fault). These days I keep my stuff in better shape, I'm getting too old to be fixing stuff on the side of the road.
 
Joined
Jun 30, 2011
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Mahzurrah!
I've been driving over 40 years, in that time I've lost 2 engines, coincidentally both Chevys.

I've always been proactive with repairs and maintenance so we've had surprisingly few actual break down stranded type situations over all those years, all but the last 10 of which were mostly older cars.
 

hrv

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Sep 14, 2021
Messages
1,288
Been driving since 1970....1 Ford...2 Plymouth...3 Dodge... 3 Chrysler...3 Honda...all good cars except for the Ford...all kinds of problems...it was a Ford Contour...
 
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Messages
586
Location
Montague, NJ
50 yrs of ''legal driving'' here. I've had almost everything happen except going up in flames on the side of the road, knock on wood.
Only 2 imports in that time, '64 VW and a '82 Civic. GM or Ford only in the last 20 yrs in my fleet. Family keeps me entertained on other brands.
 
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
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10,848
Location
Champlain/Hudson Valley
I'm so fearful of a sentient jynx I don't even want to mention CARma.
I believe they vie for superiority. One rules by fear and the other by peace and love.

Saying that, my easiness with machinery and pure thoughts feed the karma. My total respect (fear) of the vindictive jynx leaves me below its (his/her?) radar.

I too won't talk about selling or otherwise ridding myself of a vehicle within earshot of said vehicle.
 
Joined
Aug 11, 2011
Messages
5,582
Location
N.C.
I got my license in 1968…I know o_O ! I’ve had my share of troublesome vehicles in the last 54 years! Having said that I bought my last new vehicle in 1995, a new Nissan D21 hard body 4x4 2.4 5 speed and drove it for 19 trouble free years. Sold it in 2014 and bought my current 2005 Chevy Avalanche used with 162,000 miles and currently at 229,000 miles. I had to replace the rear main crank seal last year along with the oil pickup tube o ring and that’s about it in almost 9 years. I’ve had only 2 DD’s in almost 27 years. My wife gets a certified used car either Toyota or Lexus about every 7 years on average. I suppose I’ve had “good karma“ for the last 30 or so years.(y)
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2020
Messages
169
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I was towed once in 55 years of driving. Alternator went out about 4 years ago. I turned around to drive home and was 3 miles short when the car stalled out. A passerby towed me the rest of the way. That car is now 22.5 years old. No major engine or transmission failures in any of the vehicles, 1 Plymouth, 1 Dodge, 1 Nissan and 4 Toyota. I own two cars at a time, an older one for me and a newer one for the wife.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2018
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5,669
Location
Great Lakes
1 Kia
1 Chrysler
3 Dodge’s
1 Ram
1 Toyota

Of those, the Durango left me stranded once (fuel pump failure) and the Toyota mechanically totaled itself after it overheated (thermostat stuck closed). The Durango did seem to break something that always a $1,000 fix though for the 4 years I owned it… fuel pump the 1st year I owned it, ac compressor the next, composite oil pan year after that (how the bolt gets seized I’ll never know), and it had a big rock chip in the windshield right in my line of sight when I traded it in.

The anti rollover valve in the fuel tank of the Ram failed, so it got an entirely new tank under warranty. The rest have been just normal routine maintenance.
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
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Apr 8, 2006
Messages
10,879
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Birmingham, AL
I have been driving since 2004. In that time I've had 3 Rangers and 4 Explorers, most purchased older and with some miles.

5 of those have had automatics. Despite the reputation, I've had nothing but great service from A4LDs, a 4R55E, 5R44E, and 5R55E. Super reliable transmissions in my experience.

Never had a cylinder head off, never had an engine or transmission removed from a vehicle.

Only one bad apple in the bunch, a 1994 Ranger 4x4 that already had a hard life before I bought it. That truck left me stranded multiple times. It was a manual, but needed a transmission when I sold it among other things. I don't regret buying it, I did drive it all over and even on long trips, and it was great in mud, but it was time for it to become someone else's project.

Never been stranded by an Explorer, though the 234k mile 1997 got close when the fuel pump went out. Thankfully it gave up in my driveway. My $250 junkyard save 94 Explorer was a great truck that more than paid for itself in a bad wreck. While my 94 2 door Eddie Bauer that replaced it is a bucket list unicorn or whatever, that 94 XLT was a really great truck. I watched its Copart auction after the wreck, and it sold for more than I paid for it despite having a trashed frame and radiator pushed back. It was run and drive though...tough ass truck.

Currently I still have my 97 Explorer, second 94 Explorer, and 02 Ranger that I have owned almost 14 years. The Ranger is semi retired, but still starts right up when I drive it every couple of months, it's around 256k miles.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Messages
26,002
Location
Apple Valley, California
When I was 18 my dad bought me a brand new 1986 dodge d50 4x4 pickup as a graduate present. The truck was horrid.

A condensed list.

Frame broke. Cab mounts broke. 4 transmissions under warranty 1 after the 12k warranty. Engine needed a valve job @35k. Crankshaft [email protected]

I put a used engine in it. It blew up on my dad a few weeks later. Since then I have sworn off all Mitsubishi cars and trucks.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
1,382
Location
Texas,USA
I’ve had pretty good luck over 20+ yrs of driving. Can’t complain I guess. Haven’t lost an engine but lost a few transmissions.

5 Honda
3 GM
4 Dodge
6 Ford
1 Nissan
1 Toyota
1 Hyundai
1 Kia

* Included spouse and company vehicles cause they were parked in my driveway and I drove them.
 
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