1986 Chevrolet Sprint Plus 1.0L Carbureted from North America
The highest mpg of any vehicle I have ever owned/driven; lots of fun to drive
Head gasket went at 19,000; dealer warranty.
Rebuilt starter at 105,000.
Rebuilt alternator at 110,000.
Replaced thermostatic switch for cooling fan at 106,000.
Replaced two front tires at 115,000; I didn't get the front end aligned after I slid into a curb, scrubbed two perfectly good tires bald. (I'm cheap, I still have one of the original tires on the back that came new with the car; it now has 179,000 miles on it.) :)
At 125,000 miles, it started using a lot of oil, pulled it apart in my garage, new pistons, rings, head reworked with new valves, tried to rebuild carb, couldn't get the darn thing apart very far, put in the parts that I could. New main and rod bearings, water pump, and timing belt.
Took car to dealer, I had not installed the timing belt properly, ran fine, back to lots of power and 50+ mpg with the automatic.
179,000 miles, engine blowing by again; my own fault. I didn't hone the cylinders before installing new pistons/rings.
I faithfully replace the transmission filter every 50,000 miles.
The air conditioning still blows colder than the A/C in my wifes' 1993 Honda Accord ever has.
On third set of spark plug wires, usually change the plugs every 25/30,000 miles.
This is the 4 door model, all of them around my geographic area have rubber around the rear fixed quarter windows that shrinks and curls outward.
On third steering wheel, they keep cracking due to an injection molding flaw. I won't replace any more, will just use use repair kit from aftermarket supplier.
Replaced radiator at about 150,000 miles. It was only about $90.00; they wanted almost $200.00 for a new heater core, so I won't replace it until it starts leaking.
Have redone the brakes 4 or 5 times, replaced the front rotors once, and the rear drums once. The rear brakes are the most difficult I have ever done, and I have done LOTS of brakes; the wedge is similar to that on several large trucks, just hard (at least for me) to work with.
Have replaced the gas lines between the rigid fuel lines and the carburetor every 30,000 miles, have replaced ALL vacuum hoses once.
I hated this car when we first leased it; now my sons tease me about my "classic" chevy sprint. I wouldn't give the darn thing up for anything. This past weekend I bought another Sprint 2 door/5 speed at a tow auction for $80.00. Lots of rust, but I drove it home after buying a new battery for it. Lots of rust, but my wife wants me to get a title for it so she can have the 5 speed; we're gonna have to work that one out. I was thinking it would make a great hobby racer once I go through the engine (it is blowing by some, only has 104,000 if the odometer is correct). This time the engine is coming out, and I will remember to hone the cylinders before re-assembly. Twelve inch tires are dgetting difficult to come by, hope Bridgestone doesn't quit making them, they wear like iron if you keep them inflated and keep the alignments correct.
I have driven this car as fast as the speedometer shows for 30 miles at a stretch with the air conditioner on, then the mileage will fall clear down into the mid 30's! Normal driving on the highway with the A/C on at 70mph will still get an easy 50/51 mph; unless there is real bad head or cross wind, then it drops to low 40's.
I would buy 3 more of these brand new today if they would re-introduce them with the original 3 cylinder and without all the electronics, including no fuel injection. I would consider a turbo, keep watching the salvage yards and tow auctions to see if I can pick one up from a wreck.
The single most frustrating thing for my wife is the seat belt retractors that have never worked worth a darn. Chevy dealer would not replace them, said they worked fine for that year of car.
Have read all of the reviews. I think this is one of the most spirited and reliable cars I have ever driven/owned with a lot of spunk for a 40 hp engine.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th June, 2002