""Failing tie rods is no joke'
True. That's why we got rid of our Honda."
Yeah, okay. Did your Honda become unsafe to drive at 30K miles? They wouldn't let me leave the dealer with my Trailblazer until it was fixed. You could feel the steering wheel move all over with every bump in the road. I've never had that happen on a Honda or ANY import for that matter.
Shops and dealerships are not all dishonest, but learning some basics or finding a car-savvy friend can save you a lot of money.
A friend of ours recently asked his son to take their 4-year-old Pontiac with 52,000 miles to a local front end shop to get the alignment checked before buying new tires. The son called from the shop terrified. They had told him the entire front end was "shot" and that it needed $800 worth of work immediately, as it was a "deathtrap". They told him he could get killed if he tried to drive it home. The father told him to hold up on anything until he called me. When I heard the story, I immediately said "Baloney, at 52,000 miles it shouldn't even need an alignment." I referred them to a shop that I knew was honest, and the son drove the car there. They checked the car over, and the verdict was "It's perfect. It doesn't even need an alignment." They didn't even charge for checking it. If the father had allowed the first shop to do the work, he could then have been on this site complaining about how his Pontiac "fell apart" at 52,000 miles.
Normally I would agree with you, but our Trailblazer front end failed completely at 30K miles to the point where the steering wheel was shaking violently over every bump in the road. They told me the tie rods had totally failed and could have been devastating had I continued to drive the truck. The way it felt led me to believe them. Since my uncle's Envoy had the same exact thing happen at around the same mileage interval, I then knew I wasn't being taken in that case. Different shops, totally separate experience with the same problems.
I traded mine when the rear end started making all kinds of noise over bumps. They just had a lousy manufacturing process on these trucks and they were very poorly put together. Sad, as I liked the way it drove and loved the size of it. The recall list and common problems found on forums for these trucks, like stalling while you are driving, which is a huge issue with the TB, were enough to make me never go back for another.
The same can be said for most things though can't it? I know many people that pay hundreds when their computer breaks to get it up and running, and usually it is a simple fix. When you don't know about a product, you'll pay whatever to get it up and running.
I do much of my own house repairs and upgrades as well, which is the biggest rip-off business out there. Try calling a plumber or an electrician every time you need to swap out a light fixture or faucet, and it'll make car repairs seem like nothing.
To be able to figure out and fix every last thing you own is not realistic for most people. I feel I save so much on computers, electronics and other household work that if I get taken on the car once in awhile, so what. I'm not getting taken any more than anyone else I know, and I don't want to waste hours on it so it isn't such a big deal. I also do my own maintenance so I am not wasting extra cash there. When I buy good brands like Subaru, I usually have zero repairs while I own them, so it isn't much of an issue. Trust me, I'll never go down the GM road again and I'll never have to worry about so much money out the window again. GM (Chevy/ Olds) really is the only brand I have had any major issues with under 100K miles, and I have owned close to all of them at this point. All 5 Fords I have owned were really good (even the winter beater '84 Tempo I had). I have had great luck with every import I have owned as well, which includes Honda, Subaru, Toyota and Saab.
Blah, blah, handling, blah, blah, blah. I think it's ridiculous that the top priority on everyone's list is handling. Sorry, but I would rather slow down when I make a turn, and enjoy a softer ride that doesn't rattle my teeth. I live in New York, and these are roads you DON'T want to "feel".
Enjoy your Japanese garbage. I'll enjoy cruising to and from work in something that's actually comfortable.
I own a great handling sports car and a very comfortable sedan. Guess which one gets driven the most? "Fun" cars are great occasionally, but for every day driving I want comfort.
And regardless of whether it is small and sporty, or big and luxurious, it's going to be a domestic. My experience with Japanese cars has been horrible. None of my domestics has ever had a problem before 100,000 miles, and none of my imports ever made it to 100,000 miles.
You can say that again! I can't believe that we now have American luxury cars that are track tested. For Heaven's sake, how often do you drive on a road as smooth as a track at 80-100 mph with constant corners?? We all know all too well that roads in the real world have pot holes, dips, bumps, and breaks that Detroit seemed to know how to handle 100x better 30 and 40 years ago, compared to the modern cars! SO sad and just completely dumb in my opinion.
The fact that the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town car is an antiquated design is what makes it such a great car in my book.
The last cars built on the traditional body on frame, rear wheel drive, full size, V8 powered platform makes it a throwback to the golden days of Detroit iron.
They did not change the design for many years because it is a bulletproof design; these cars are made for people who don't care about gas mileage because the dependability, durability and low maintenance cost of these cars will more than make up for it.
Taxi drivers are not stupid, why is this their favorite car? Because it can drive 12 hours a day in stop and go traffic with no problems, and make it to half a million miles with very little basic maintenance.
I have had a few of these cars, and they are an absolute pleasure to drive as well. The Lincoln Town Car is one of the most luxurious sedans for the money, and the P71 police issue Crown Vic can compare to a European sports sedan for handling and performance at 1/10 of the price.