My Mechanic's Best Friend
How should I begin?
When we first got the car, the locks never worked right, the driver's side would never unlock with the key, and the passenger side would only work after a struggle. This led to us never locking the car, and keeping any sort of valuables in the trunk - as you cannot pop the trunk without the keys in the ignition.
After we first got the car, the dome light burnt out, power locks stopped working, and the power windows had to be fixed on several occasions. We found that clear plastic works well as a temporary window.
But these problems were only plutonic, eventually we had to replace several mechanical parts.
First the alternator, on my way to school one morning all the electricals just died, and we had to push the beast into a parking lot.
Then we had to replace a water pump.
Next the ball joints and brakes needed replacing.
Rust was always a problem, and by the end of it's life the bottoms of the doors were completely eaten through.
Finally, the transmission began to slip at about 250,000 KMs. A week later it stranded us in the north end of the city, every gear destroyed except reverse, so we did our best to reverse it home.
Stupidly we replaced the transmission with one from the wreckers, and then drove the car around town for another week. That's when we hit a 1995 Eagle Vision who was running a stop-sign, only minor front end damage to the car itself. But that night we gave a jump to one of our friends. As we were starting the car, it gave quite a whine then a whimper. The cam-shaft had cracked, and a few days later we heard the insurance company had written it off from the accident anyway.
The car was decent enough when it was working, the engine's power is nothing to scoff at, and handling is what you'd expect from a big 80s car. The main problem lies in faulty electrics and poor mechanicals that don't go the extra mile the way sturdy imports do.
One of the plusses was good winter handling for an old car, it didn't have ABS or traction control, but the shear weight, and front-wheel drive allowed it to handle effectively enough.
We, as a family, are now fed up with American cars and are going to stick to imports from now on. That way our mechanic won't have to see us so often.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 9th April, 2002