I've replaced the tailpipe/muffler 5 times I believe.
The original tires had no treads leading out to the sides, and I hydroplaned every puddle doing 75-80mph in order to keep up on Boston highways. New tires with correct treads were cheap.
Most if not all of the other problems I've had were from vandalism, bad mechanics, or my lack of regular maintenance.
The wheel bearings went out immediately upon receiving my car back from getting new tires.
The car dealer I bought it new from gave me a free pass to a car wash. I used it 'day one' and pulled the wheels out of alignment, because the tracks at the car wash were too wide.
My windows iced up on the inside beginning year 16, probably due to the spiderweb in the windshield from vandals.
Parking brake died in my 17th year.
Brake line developed a leak my 17th year, leaving me brakeless in traffic hour. Thank goodness my light was green. The dash brake warning light was blown off as a wiring problem, even though I've never had any other wiring problems with it.
It started leaking oil year 17 also.
I lost my shocks many years ago and never replaced them, and I still drive it every day.
It's at the mechanics now because the gear shifter is real sloppy suddenly at year 18.
Even though I had it undercoated new it looks like a puff pastry underneath, never garaged, rarely wash.
If this car was mandatory for all drivers, we'd all be better off economically and ecologically. Plus it's so 'zippy' you can't help but love to drive it. And when you love your car, you might be nicer on the road. It's smart, simple and roomy, even for tall people.
Before the gas prices soared, I put $5/month in it and went everywhere I needed to go.
In winter, I have the car people can rely on when their fancier cars are stuck.
I paid $7004 loan and all in 1988. It's an 'L' I believe. 5 speed manual. It's in the shop getting the gear shifter fixed in 2006. I can get up to 75mph easily if necessary, but I'm afraid I'll hit a bump and drop out the bottom. It's quite rusty I'm severely depressed to say.
Little things are beginning to fall apart due to neglect, vandalism and bad mechanics. I couldn't imagine I could find such great car again, so I just bought a 1993 Ford Festiva automatic for $850. I have a feeling the manual transmission is a big part of what I love about this car.