1991 Dodge Shadow America 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America
Quirky but reliable till the end
Transmission fluid leak (I neglected to check this, leading to a speedier death in the end).
Constant electrical issues.
Gas tank leak (possibly damaged from rough roads).
Ignition housing (self induced).
Faulty gas gauge (read 3/4 full when filled).
Faulty tachometer (it would either stay at 0 or dance wildly, sometimes working).
Valve cover gaskets leaked (although nothing serious; didn't have to top up the oil often at all).
$1000+ damage on the rear end (rolled down a hill into a mailbox).
Lots of rattles and squeaks (mostly from bad shocks).
Odometer didn't count.
Driver's window off track.
This car was parked in early 2013 when my best friend got a 1989 Camaro. It sat and sat, and she offered to sell it to me for 100 bucks if it ran, sometime in late 2014. Didn't have the money to insure it yet. In April 2015 I got the money together and we went and tried starting it; fired right up! Once I started to drive it though the battery did need to be replaced; which is to be expected when a car sits that long!
Excited about my first car, I neglected to check the fluids, and was hearing a noise that I couldn't quite diagnose. It turned out that was my transmission destroying itself. I discovered this when the check engine light came on after starting it; I had to drive it about 10 km with the light on and the noise worse than it ever was. At this point I checked all the fluids and discovered merely a drop of transmission fluid on the dipstick. From this point on the car suffered from transmission issues; it's quite a testament though that it didn't die in the entire 3 months I was running with virtually no fluid! It ended up lasting 7 more months before never shifting out of first gear again.
One strange thing about this car is there always seemed to be something wrong with the electrical system; fix one thing and something else would go out. It started with the wipers being stuck in on mode no matter where the switch was; then it was signals and 2/3 brake lights (one in center window worked), dash lights, and brake lights when the running lights were on.
I had to replace the ignition switch because I lost the key and pulled out the lock cylinder and just started it with a screwdriver (later found the key). The ignition switch ended up seizing up and it wouldn't budge anymore, so I had to install a whole new ignition!
This car had been so much abuse in its life and kept ticking and ticking; I loved that thing. RIP my lovely little s**tmobile... 1991-2015. I wish you'd been treated better; you'd still be alive today.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 5th February, 2016
5th Feb 2016, 21:36
Should have got yourself a Diplomat; it would have been better in every sense from the word go. Take my advice, get yourself a Dip or a Fifth, or even a Fury and forget about front wheel drive.
7th Feb 2016, 20:54
Nah I'm just an A to B commuter with a budget of maybe $1000 for a vehicle; these things are perfect for me... I'm now driving a well maintained Plymouth Acclaim (which has the same engine/transmission as my last car) and it's absolutely perfect for me... If that Shadow lasted for almost a year with all the abuse it went through, I'm pretty confident in this one.