Reliability of Current Vehicles.

Messages
2,473
Location
Toronto, Canada
Nick1994 mentioned in his post that his 2004 Beetle, with 160k miles, has only had routine wear items replaced so far. That impressed me and got me thinking about my Sierra, which I am quite satisfied with. My truck is two years newer and only has 128k km/80k miles but I have had to replace a number of parts already. 1) The ignition module failed at 60k mi/4 years and the truck was out of warranty. I had the truck towed home a couple of kms and changed the module myself. I now carry a spare module in the glove compartment. This has been the only major problem, the rest did not incapacitate the truck. 2) Two thermostats failed open, the OE GM and the Delco replacement. Last time I installed a Stant Superstat and that seems to have taken care of the problem. 3) Front passenger side wheel bearings. I caught it well in time before it became a major issue. It is a unitised hub and came with the ABS sensor and was a bit expensive to buy. 3} Driver side door speaker 4) One spring/hinge assembly for the hood. 5) Rear driver side hub oil seal. It happened immediately after I replaced the factory diffy fluid with Mobil SHC75W90. But it still should not have leaked. 6) Ignition lock cylinder wore out twice. And, no, I don't have extra keys on the key ring. 7) Serpentine belt became noisy at 80k km/50k mi. I replaced it with a Delco belt. I still have the original brakes. The issues I have had, is that about normal over a 8 year span?
 
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
The biggest failure with my 84 Civic wagon in 30 years has been the dimmer switch for the dash lights. Any other expense since I purchased the care new has been just routine maintenance. The biggest maintenance expense has been an engine rebuild at 420K miles because of visible oil smoke. That caused it to fail California smog. Until then it always passed smog with no problems. I'm keeping this car with no plans to ever sell it. I paid cash for it and have never had a car payment. A few weeks ago I posted a UOA on the rebuild and everything looked good.
 
Messages
8,307
Location
Grand Rapids, MI
My mom bought her 2003 Malibu new, and had many more issues than that within the first 8 years. Two intake manifold gaskets, new brakes in less than 20,000 miles and again at around 40,000 miles, oil pan gasket leak, door panel trim (inside) falling off, poor paint on the bottom of the driver's side door that I needed to touch up, misaligned headlights, catalytic converter, power mirrors stopped working, door lock button broke, paint wore off CD player buttons after just a few years, steering wheel adjuster got jammed all the way up when adjusting the height of the steering column, I could go on. After about 10 years, some of the coil packs were going out and the passlock system was glitching out and causing the car not to start, so she ended up selling it for her current Honda. She leased a 2011 Malibu in 2011 (and gave the older Malibu to my sister) and didn't have nearly as many problems with it. One of the struts on the trunk was not connected from the factory, one of the parking lights burnt out, and there were a few uneven gaps in some of the body panels, but that was it for the 3 years she had it. She ended up taking back her 2003 Malibu after that, but trading it in soon after. I had a 1998 Altima back in late 2004 (through early 2007) and I only had a couple of small issues with it. The valve cover gasket was leaking so I had that replaced, and I also had the alternator go bad because of a bad battery. It had 118,000 miles on it when I bought it and 128,000 when I sold it around 2 years later. Aside from my Altima, all of my cars have been over 10 years old when I bought them.
 
Messages
6,495
Location
Connecticut
I think reliability is somewhat scattered, which is disappointing considering the advances in technology. Cost cutting is a major factor in this. We have sophisticated systems that monitor engine performance, great advancements in safety, but basic things like machining are done in a sloppy manner. I've seen newer cars that consume more oil than "old" cars of 15 years ago did. I think the ability is there to produce cars that last a long time and are far more advanced, but they are instead made to a price point.
 
Messages
945
Location
Michigan
My 2007 Toyota has needed zero repairs aside from oil changes & tire rotations. Ooops, I have replaced 1 set of wipers blades (front & back). I am now at 91,500 miles. Our 2010 Escape Limited FWD has been in the dealer at least 5x. Transmission output seal leaks (2x), leaking rear shocks at 20,000 miles (Have never towed anything nor are we fat, nor do we live anywhere near bumpy roads), I just replaced the front sway bar end links myself at 58,000 miles. I have to flush the 6F35 transmission fluid every 10,000 miles, or it turns a nasty gritty black and the transmission starts slipping and banging into gear, upon engagement. "Normal" says Ford. Also, right now, the reverse sensing system stopped working and it always displays an annoying message on the INFO center that I have to reset every time I start the car. Annoying. For some reason, the car burns out the upper brake light bulbs continuously, which started after about 8 months of ownership. In my case, our most current vehicle has given us the most amount of problems. I question its reliability into the future, given the 6F35 transmission problems that occurred early on. We plan on trading it on an FJ Cruiser, before they stop selling them!
 
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Messages
2,932
Location
utah
Try buying a used BMW. I'm about 400 miles into owning a '00 540iT and it has produced the following failures: New Failures: Air springs, $400 Window Regulator $62.50 Preexisting conditions: Hatch springs, all 4 $150 all filters and oil $125 Empty Gas tank $65 Some sort of suspension clunk (not fixed yet, probably a few hundred in parts) No 2nd key ($165 when i get that done) It was cheap, and its a fun car, but i expect something to break every time i drive it.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Messages
13,259
Location
Virginia Beach
Didn't Nick1994 just post about a flywheel failure? That flywheel was replaced and now the replacement has cracked...I wouldn't use his car as an example of reliable...
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: George7941
1) The ignition module failed at 60k mi/4 years and the truck was out of warranty. I had the truck towed home a couple of kms and changed the module myself. I now carry a spare module in the glove compartment. This has been the only major problem, the rest did not incapacitate the truck. 2) Two thermostats failed open, the OE GM and the Delco replacement. Last time I installed a Stant Superstat and that seems to have taken care of the problem. 3) Front passenger side wheel bearings. I caught it well in time before it became a major issue. It is a unitised hub and came with the ABS sensor and was a bit expensive to buy. 3} Driver side door speaker 4) One spring/hinge assembly for the hood. 5) Rear driver side hub oil seal. It happened immediately after I replaced the factory diffy fluid with Mobil SHC75W90. But it still should not have leaked. 6) Ignition lock cylinder wore out twice. And, no, I don't have extra keys on the key ring. 7) Serpentine belt became noisy at 80k km/50k mi. I replaced it with a Delco belt. I still have the original brakes. The issues I have had, is that about normal over a 8 year span?
I'm not at all disappointed about having to replace what I consider "wear" parts more often than others, but disabling malfunctions are concerning. I wouldn't be happy with the failing ignition modules. The thermostats probably aren't a big deal. The wheel bearing is probably understandable for the number of miles (nothing lasts forever). The belt and hood spring can probably be chalked up to "wear" as well. Sometimes random parts seem to wear out sooner than they should. I have to replace an exhaust donut gasket on our CR-V about every year...it starts to squeak and leak. It's a known issue, but still shouldn't have happened. Subsequent designs replaced this certain gasket system with a flex pipe, eliminating the problem. This is one of those things that I'd honestly rather not have to do, but if spending an hour once a year to replace a donut gasket is as bad as I have it, I'm pretty dadgum thankful. A lot of people have much worse service from their cars. I know...I was one of those people once (with a previous minivan we had).
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
We buy a few trucks here for fleet use, so our experience is skewed a bit. But we have high mileage vehicles that have never seen a dealer. 06 Savana 3500 extended van with 175k miles, no service history at all. Simple maintenance only. 05 Silverado, 150k miles, replaced the "his and hers" AC control module, that is it. Other than that, normal maintenance. I do not think the OP's statement is typical anymore, the vast majority of owners are fine with their vehicles...
 
Messages
1,852
Location
Laramie, WY
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
The biggest failure with my 84 Civic wagon in 30 years has been the dimmer switch for the dash lights. Any other expense since I purchased the care new has been just routine maintenance. The biggest maintenance expense has been an engine rebuild at 420K miles because of visible oil smoke. That caused it to fail California smog. Until then it always passed smog with no problems. I'm keeping this car with no plans to ever sell it. I paid cash for it and have never had a car payment. A few weeks ago I posted a UOA on the rebuild and everything looked good.
I love honda and toyota engines...
 
Messages
4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
No, I think I'd be annoyed with that many repairs on a 2006. Our 2004 Highlander has a new o2 sensor (110 bucks), new PSF return line (sis bucks) and I had to put a window back on it's track. In 117,000 miles. The first two were annoyances (random CEL's that would go away, and some drips on the driveway) and the third may have been my fault, I might have closed the window on something I was hauling at the time. I don't preach Toyotas are really that amazing reliability wise, I really think any mainstream car should be this reliable. Some of your things, like an ignition cylinder or coil packs aren't something you could have broken, and really are basic high volume parts that shouldn't be an issue.
 

George7941

Thread starter
Messages
2,473
Location
Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: Astro14
Didn't Nick1994 just post about a flywheel failure? That flywheel was replaced and now the replacement has cracked...I wouldn't use his car as an example of reliable...
Yes, he had the flywheel failure but I was impressed with the fact that until then he had not had any failure and I was comparing my vehicle to his. BTW the 4.3l V6 engine has been flawless (other than the ignition module) so far and I still do not have to top up engine oil between changes at 8 mo/5500mi intervals. I consider the engine to be just broken in now and am not expecting any mechanical failures from it ever. When I was looking around for a new truck the one phrase that I came across about the 4.3l engine was "as reliable as a stone axe".
 
Messages
14,841
Location
Central NY
2011 Focus: - *Shifter cable came out of adjustment, car wouldn't go into 2nd gear too well - fixed under warranty - "Shaking" when engaging clutch. Fixed that by driving like a 16 year old for a bit. - *Motor mount going bad - hoping to get that fixed in a few weeks under powertrane warranty - Plastic front endlinks getting noisy at 45K. * The first 20K miles of this car are pretty much pure city. A lot of starting and stopping. Which means the engine rocked back and fourth a lot and it was shifted a lot. I'm satisfied. If not, I would have got rid of it for a Versa or Mirage by now.
 

NJC

Messages
3,021
Location
Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
The biggest maintenance expense has been an engine rebuild at 420K miles because of visible oil smoke.
I love honda and toyota engines...
Include me on the list too. smile
 
Messages
9,799
Location
Ontario, Canada
Tracker was pretty good until the 8 year mark. Now we have had to work on the suspension a bit, a couple seals in the drivetrain, rusted out oil pan, the starter, thermoclutch on the fan, rear shocks, rear door latch. Not unexpected problems, but we had many years of no payments on it and no repair bills either, so its a pain to put money into it. OTOH, I like just using it as simple tool now, no worry about scratches or anything related to resale, just use it and fix it as needed, probably until rust claims it finally.
 
Messages
9,126
Location
Illinois
I have a 2000 Sierra - 2wd Extended Cab with the 5.3, which was bought 4 years old and with 38,000 miles at auction as a bank repo. From what I found in the glove box, and from a CarFax, it had 2 owners at that point, with no maintenance history. All I knew was what I saw. It had a u-joint go bad at 70,000 miles, and the door hinges on the driver's door got sloppy. For it being a repo, and no history of its first four years... I've been pleased.
 

George7941

Thread starter
Messages
2,473
Location
Toronto, Canada
My truck was Mexican built but I don't think that contributed to the failures. Whether it is US or Canadian or Mexican built they all get the same ignition module, same front hubs, same ignition lock cylinders etc.
 
Messages
19,686
Location
Sunny Florida
Originally Posted By: NJC
Originally Posted By: 01_celica_gt
Originally Posted By: OneEyeJack
The biggest maintenance expense has been an engine rebuild at 420K miles because of visible oil smoke.
I love honda and toyota engines...
Include me on the list too. smile
I like most of them, too. But some very vocal owners do not agree. Honda's V6 with VCM comes to mind, as does the notorious Corolla motors that coke up and use oil like crazy. Far from perfect...
 

Win

Messages
4,705
Location
Arkansas
I think the reliability of modern cars is excellent. My history: '09 Torrent: Battery, rear driver side door lock solenoid; two lift struts '09 Solstice: nothing '08 G8: Battery, software update. '04 Jaguar: Rattly seat belt tensioner; lazy fuel tank sender. The air pump for the electronic suspension is starting to get flaky; occasionally it fails to charge the system within the time limit allowed by the control module and throws a DTC - doesn't affect operational status. '99 S-10: Alternator; a/c compressor; needs a schrader (sp?) valve core on the high side right now. Throw out bearing is rattling. '94 Jaguar: left bank head gasket (hard job on that car); one crankshaft damper (hard job on that car); a tranny line (hard job on that car), thermostats, one door handle, and lift struts. Probably some other small stuff. The only one that ever stranded me was popping that tranny line on the Xj12 at triple digits, in the middle of the night, in middle of nowhere Oklahoma.
 
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