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Can American Cars make it to 75K without problems?

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Can American Cars make it to 75K without problems?

Old 02-18-08, 10:20 AM
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Can American Cars make it to 75K without problems?

I'm looking for a new 4 door passenger car. For the last 10 years we have always had Toyotas and Hondas which are great in terms of reliability. Aside from oil/tires/brake pads, I have never had to take them in the shop for repair. I would like to consider American cars, however am worried about reliability. Has anyone owned an American car thats at least 7 years old with at least 75K miles and NO PROBLEMS??? I really want to support the American economy, but if its gonna be in the repair shop all the time, then forget it.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:29 AM
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My last three vehicles have all been American and have made it to 75k without anything other than standard maintenance.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
I really want to support the American economy...
What better way to support the economy than buying a car that needs repairs?

Hey, tow truck drivers and auto repairmen have to eat too, ya know
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Old 02-18-08, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by John Galt
My last three vehicles have all been American and have made it to 75k without anything other than standard maintenance.
So whats the year and models?
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Old 02-18-08, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
I'm looking for a new 4 door passenger car. For the last 10 years we have always had Toyotas and Hondas which are great in terms of reliability. Aside from oil/tires/brake pads, I have never had to take them in the shop for repair. I would like to consider American cars, however am worried about reliability. Has anyone owned an American car thats at least 7 years old with at least 75K miles and NO PROBLEMS??? I really want to support the American economy, but if its gonna be in the repair shop all the time, then forget it.
A lot of so-called foreign cars are made here in the states and some American models are made overseas, so it's hard to make a distinction. Edmunds.com will usually list the factory where a particular model of a car is made. I would buy something reliable that suits your needs and not worry about it.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Quatermass
A lot of so-called foreign cars are made here in the states and some American models are made overseas, so it's hard to make a distinction. Edmunds.com will usually list the factory where a particular model of a car is made. I would buy something reliable that suits your needs and not worry about it.
I know that many Toyotas and Hondas are 'built' in the USA, but want to know if American cars Ford/GM/Chrysler are reliable that are made in Detroit.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:42 AM
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Mankal - it's a crap shoot

You have played the odds by buying Japanese cars and won SO FAR, but there are plenty of people that have owned Toyotas and Hondas that have had problems.

It's just for every 10,000 buyers a lower percentage of Toyotas and Hondas need major repairs than say their Ford, Chevy and Chrysler counter parts.

You gamble every time, the odds are what the odds are. Of course you will find people in every category, what is harder to find is the total number of all buyers for said vehicle and which category they fall into on repairs/problems (or which repairs and problems were self induced)

I look at resale value as more of an indicator of how good a car is. If in 3 years you lose 60% of the value, that tells you something about the car Of course you have to rule out cars with the 'wow' factor, people will buy those no matter how unreliabel they are.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:48 AM
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why are you setting your goal so low at 75k miles? ANY car should last that long.

If you are only looking to get 75k miles out of a car you should start leasing since you dont end up getting the value for your dollar.

a 20k car loan (23k car) will run you over 400/month for 5 years = 3k + 24k = 27k + 1 free year

A lease on a 23k car will cost around 250/month. 2 leases over 6 years = 18k + 2 down payments around 1500 each = 21k.

lease and you get 2 new cars and no warranty problems.

buying only works if you plan on keeping it past 100k or until it dies.


but I am not trying to turn this into a lease v. buy thread. I think they both work for different situations.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSpacey
why are you setting your goal so low at 75k miles? ANY car should last that long.
I was being generous, I'm the type of guy that buys a new car and expects it to live at least 10 years and over 100K. I don't lease, I don't buy used, and I don't sell used cars. My point is simply I want a new car that I dont have to worry about (aside from scheduled maintainance).
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Old 02-18-08, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
I really want to support the American economy,

If you really want to support the american economy then you should buy a Honda. Most Honda's are made in America whereas the GM's and Ford's are made outside of the US. I would much rather support the American workforce then line the pockets of the GM/Ford execs..
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Old 02-18-08, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
I know that many Toyotas and Hondas are 'built' in the USA, but want to know if American cars Ford/GM/Chrysler are reliable that are made in Detroit.
There aren't many that are made in Detroit anymore... Anyone have a list?
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Old 02-18-08, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Quatermass
A lot of so-called foreign cars are made here in the states and some American models are made overseas, so it's hard to make a distinction. Edmunds.com will usually list the factory where a particular model of a car is made. I would buy something reliable that suits your needs and not worry about it.
Even then you have to be careful. A car assembled in the US is probably full of parts manufactured in Canada, Mexico, and Taiwan.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:30 AM
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I had a 92 camaro that had over 100k and never had any real issues, I think a water pump near 100k.

I had a '99 grand am, and at 37k a front hub went out. Then at 38k the other hub went. OEM rotors went out of true ievery 5k. Water pump went at 70k. The head gasket blew at about 80k and the repair was more than the car value. It did however "last" 7 years.

Needless to say, I am an owner of a Toyota product now. I guess we will see how that goes.
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Old 02-18-08, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
So whats the year and models?
03 Silverado (sold it at 82,000)
04 Wrangler (sold it with 90,000)
03 Tahoe (still own, at 76,000 and counting)
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Old 02-18-08, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by John Galt
03 Silverado (sold it at 82,000)
04 Wrangler (sold it with 90,000)
03 Tahoe (still own, at 76,000 and counting)
Nice...I'm looking for a passenger car, no SUV or trucks
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Old 02-18-08, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Mankal
Nice...I'm looking for a passenger car, no SUV or trucks

Be a pioneer and go test out that new Chevy Malibu for us and report back


http://www.northamericancaroftheyear.org/2008.html
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Old 02-18-08, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
I had a '99 grand am, and at 37k a front hub went out. Then at 38k the other hub went. OEM rotors went out of true ievery 5k. Water pump went at 70k. The head gasket blew at about 80k and the repair was more than the car value. It did however "last" 7 years.

Needless to say, I am an owner of a Toyota product now. I guess we will see how that goes.
Bet that was a 4-cylinder Grand Am? The quad-4 engine was notorious for head gaskets at around 70k-100k. Had a '94 myself that was a lemon.

I bought my '00 Grand Prix GTP at 33k. It now has 124k. Only non-maintenence repair I've done was a mass airflow sensor for $350.

A lot of minor issues have cropped up at 100k+ though. The LCD on the radio burned out, fixed under warranty, and it burned out again. The heater fan stopped blowing for a while but I hit a big bump and it's been working ever since. I suspect I have an electrical wiring short or something.

I had a problem with the ABS in one wheel kicking on at very low (sub 3 mph) speeds ever since I bought the car. The warranty service guys could never pin down the cause for. I got tired of taking it in and them not being able to replicate the problem and so I still just put up with it.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
Bet that was a 4-cylinder Grand Am? The quad-4 engine was notorious for head gaskets at around 70k-100k. Had a '94 myself that was a lemon.

I bought my '00 Grand Prix GTP at 33k. It now has 124k. Only non-maintenence repair I've done was a mass airflow sensor for $350.

A lot of minor issues have cropped up at 100k+ though. The LCD on the radio burned out, fixed under warranty, and it burned out again. The heater fan stopped blowing for a while but I hit a big bump and it's been working ever since. I suspect I have an electrical wiring short or something.

I had a problem with the ABS in one wheel kicking on at very low (sub 3 mph) speeds ever since I bought the car. The warranty service guys could never pin down the cause for. I got tired of taking it in and them not being able to replicate the problem and so I still just put up with it.

No, it was the V6, the 3400 I believe.
I had an Olds Achieva with the Quad-4 with the head gasket issue, but at least that was covered under warranty.

I forgot, the GTA also had a (warranty) issue where occasionally the volume knob would increase the volume regardless of the direction turned.

One time, I got in after work and put the car in reverse and the dirvers window rolled all the way down. I put the car in park, rolled the window up and put the car back into reverse and it happened again. I then rolled the window back up and shut the car off. After restarting it never happened again. I know it sounds like a lame Microsoft joke, but ir really happened, that one time!

Oh yeah, and the resistor array for the fan blew out, so the only speeds were off and high. It was a rather well known problem, so I was able to fix myself rather inexpensively (compared to dealer) as there was no recall or service bulletin. The new part had the board potted to prevent the problem from reoccurring.

Last edited by jonw9; 02-18-08 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 02-18-08, 12:57 PM
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I've just been sticking with what I know are good engines. Every company makes a good product. I know the 3800 V6 is a bulletproof engine that has survived the test of time. I know folks with 200k+ miles on them.

That said GM kills every product I like (like the Oldmobile Intrigue some years ago, the Beretta in '96, etc).

I plan on keeping my car for as long as it goes. I'm sick of paying car payments...the car will be paid off shortly.
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Old 02-18-08, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey
I plan on keeping my car for as long as it goes. I'm sick of paying car payments...the car will be paid off shortly.
The kiss of death. I look forward to your new car buying thread!
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Old 02-18-08, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
The kiss of death. I look forward to your new car buying thread!
probably
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Old 02-18-08, 02:12 PM
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Bought a 97 grand am GT new, nothing but a money pit. Fun to drive. Ideally you would buy a grand am for a lease if you ever wanted one, buying one is not a good idea with all the repairs that they need.

An american SUV or pickup truck would probably give you the best chances of seeing 75K without any major issues.
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Old 02-18-08, 02:16 PM
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I have 2001 Ford Focus, it's doing fine (okay, it's under 50K miles). Only problem I faced was water pump defective and got it replaced about 30K ago.
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Old 02-18-08, 02:31 PM
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You know, I'm really convinced that many foreign cars aren't really more reliable, but they take abuse better.

I have had many ford explorers that have gone well past 150K miles, we have a focus that is doing great at 30K miles. I have friends with other american cars that are way over 75K miles. I agree that the trucks do better than the cars though.

Anyway, my point is that all of these cars have regular oil changes, occasionally see a car wash to get rid of salt, aren't abused etc.

I know many folks who swear by their foreign and mostly Japanese cars (especially toyotas). They tell me how they ran an american car low on oil one time and it damaged the engine. Then they say how the radius arm bushings gave out, etc. The go on to tell me how their japanese car hasn't had any of those problems in many years of use. I ask if they change the oil on them, etc?...nope.

Maybe it's because many of the foreign cars are lighter, have smaller engines, less heat, etc etc? I just think that for a group of 10 people who swear by their honda or toyota, you'll find that half of them can't remember the last time they maintained anything on the car.


So let me ask this of the OP, do you maintain your vehicles? If not, I don't think that an american car might be for you.


And now that I'm done ranting, my picks for you to consider:

1. Ford Fusion
2. Mazda 3 (made in mexico though right?)
3. Ford Focus
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Old 02-18-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeeden
many foreign cars aren't really more reliable, but they take abuse better.
If you really think about that statement, taking abuse better DOES = being more reliable

Anecdotal stories are just that.

My anecdotal story along these lines is a friend of mine that has a 1999 Toyota 4-runner, let's just call him anti-car maintenance. In 125,000 miles, he has changed his oil 3 times on my advice he did use Mobil I in the times that he bothered to do it, so that without a doubt helped, but still 125,000 miles and 3 oil changes, there isn't a Ford built that would hold up to that abuse

Point is, handles abuse better **IS** more reliable, so imagine if you actually take care of it how long it will run?

being part of a few Toyota forums, I can tell you that there are more just an accidental few Toyotas that have crossed the 300k mile mark without any major engine or transmission rebuilds. I would love to see the real life numbers on vehicles that have hit 300k-400k on original engine and transmission.


What worries me more are basic design flaws. Toyota had a major one in the 1997-2001 camry, it caused oil sludge if you followed book maintenance. If you went above book maintenance (for ex, used synthetic oil) you were far less likely to see the problem.

I think that if one researched these basic design flaws, you would see more of them per model in American car companies than you would in Japanese car companies. Like I stated above, its a gamble, which bet has the higher odds in your favor?

As cars get more complicated, fewer and fewer people are able to fix them (see the thread in the tech forum about reliability). I know enough people now that have had car problems that could not be resolved that I am almost scared to buy another new car without an extended warranty to 100K miles.

These people with problems that are unresolved span many makes, yes even Toyota, and their solution is to trade the car in right after it is 'fixed' (which we all know is temporary) and just get something else.
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