This is going to sound bad, but it's actually not. Read on...
Salesman broke the air conditioner switch on the lot before I bought the car. Had it fixed within a day.
From the first week, the brakes have always made loud grinding noise when wet. Dealer stated that it's normal. No problems other than noise.
From the first week, a loud popping noise can be heard when going over bumps or into and out of unlevel parking lots at low speeds. No problems, just another annoying noise. No problem could be found by dealer on multiple returns for the noise.
The window gaskets and the glass don't meet up correctly causing loud wind noise while driving. No problems, just another noise.
Headlight lenses are cheap plastic that have dulled and cracked over the past six years. No problems, just looks ugly.
Lady pulled out in front of me and I rammed her doing about 35 (granted I hit the brakes and slid into her). Smashed the side of her car in, but mine was okay (minor bumper scrapes). The only problem was that the air bags didn't deploy. Dealer informed me that there was a recall on the airbags (apparently killing people when they would open). Had mine replaced with less powerful units (that I hoped would work in the event of another accident. They didn't). A guy rammed me coming out of a parking lot knocking me onto the other side of the road and into a street sign head on. Again the airbags didn't deploy. One plus was that the cost of repairs for my car were so low it kept the insurance companies from totaling it and it was repairable both times.
After the last wreck I noticed the oil pan and transmission had small leaks. Kept an eye on the leaks and after saving some money, took the car to the dealer to have the gaskets replaced (car had 106,000 miles on it). Dealer checked out car and stated that the head gasket was blown (not the oil pan or transmission pan gaskets). It went from a couple hundred to almost a thousand dollars for the repair (I did have the timing belt replaced along with this).
After paying almost a thousand dollars for the repairs, now at about 111,000 miles the engine is making a knocking noise (most likely a rod or lifter about to go through the head). The cost of repairing or replacing the engine is forcing me to drive it till it explodes and junk it. Oh well.
This car had plenty of power (still might, but I'm terrified that the engine is going to blow) with plenty of room for my needs. It was very affordable and despite all the noises and annoyances, it has been a very reliable car. I've driven the car hard (speeding at 80 miles an hour to and from work, a hundred miles a day). My wife, son, and I take thousand mile round trips from North Carolina to Pennsylvania every other month. Finally, The car has over 110,000 miles on it, it's survived two pretty bad collisions and was repairable each time (although, cars are never the same after a collision). Not once has this car broken down and left me stranded. I love this little car and hate that It's going to die.
17th Jun 2002, 11:52
* paint on Car is simply pealing off the car at 98,000 miles. It looks awful.