OK, where do I start? Acquired the vehicle in 1998 with 37K miles on it. Later on I found out that it had been a rental.
Vehicle ran fine for the six months and then the nightmare started: first, it overheated in the middle of December in Florida!! Turned out to be a defective water pump. Vehicle didn't have 45K miles yet. Cost me about $300.
In 1999, I moved to California. All the way through, the vehicle kept running very hot. Of course, it was the middle of September, so it was still pretty warm, especially in the desert. After getting to California, the overheating problem continued and had a friend mechanic look at it. Once again, the water pump was out. Vehicle had around 55K miles. Again, I shelled out another $300.
Same year, just a couple of months later, the tie rod problem (which apparently is very common) appeared. The part is not very expensive, but because of where it is located, it cost me 6 hours of labor to get this fixed. Another $500.
Throughout this time, the overheating problem continues, even during the cool weather.
Then in 2000, yet another $200 in repair because of an O-ring leak (another common problem).
Late last year, the timing belt had to be replaced and once again, due to the design, almost 9 hours of labor because the engine physically had to be removed to get to the timing chain. Repair cost close to $1000.
Now in 2002, yet another water pump and finally, the car was on its last legs: just last week on our trip to Las Vegas, the engine finally gave up. A rod blew in the engine at 100K miles. Approximate repair cost: $4400. As you can imagine, the car has been sent to a salvage yard. The one thing that hurts even more is that I had just spent $200 on "maintenance fees" (smog check, AC check up, etc.) the week before.