4th Feb 2009, 20:38

Well, unless you're identifying yourself subliminally, you'll have to forgive my ignorance. I'm not perfectly sure if you're one poster or another.

As far as frequency of repair records go... truedelta.com has numbers. Consumer Reports has symbols based on averages. Pick your poison. Do you want me to plagiarize from them, or are you willing to navigate on over there (truedelta.com) yourself?

As far as calling me "the import crowd"... I currently own three vehicles; An 08 Nissan built here; An 07 Jeep built in America by an American company; A full size 95 Chevy van built in America by an American company. I prefer to buy American when the "shoe fits". I would likely have purchased a Malibu if the deal had been any good. Because I have a family, my next car will possibly be a Chevy Malibu or Ford Fusion hybrid. The Fusion looks like a very interesting car that has a great track record in normal guise. The new Taurus looks great too. I'm perfectly fine with rewarding excellence like that.

"Now tell me why I need to waste my hard-earned American money sending it to a company based in Japan."

You don't. Thanks for the list. Not exactly what I asked for, but... much better than what I had. Again... too few imports to be conclusive, but fully understandable that you don't buy more if you're telling us the truth. Again, thanks for the info.

4th Feb 2009, 20:57

Well, ME for one. We've had Toyota and Honda vehicles. That's why we now own only domestics. Repair issues on newer Japanese cars makes them unwise for long-term use.

5th Feb 2009, 16:46

I don't mean to nitpick, but I would not utilize the term "car enthusiast" and Camry in the same sentence. Perhaps small practical basic family transportation would suffice.

6th Feb 2009, 10:21

I'm not sure if owning over 30 cars is exactly proof of how "good" something is. To me, it would seem that if you're buying cars for their longevity, then the fewer you can own due to their durability, the better. I've been driving now for 22 years. In that time, I've owned 2 vehicles. TWO. The first was a used Toyota Celica ($3,500) and the second a 96' Tacoma $11,500) which I still have. Basically, $14,000 spread over 22 years. Had I bought a new car every single year, I would not have any retirement, savings, likely be in debt, and not have cash in hand to buy a house for my Wife and I.

6th Feb 2009, 15:38

I also believe in keeping a vehicle for a long time and saving money. I've been driving my 1973 Dodge since 1987.

In 1996 I bought a 1985 Dodge truck with 165,000 miles on it and drove that until 2007, when it had 260,000 miles on it. It still ran fine, but it had gotten too rusty. That's two vehicles in 20 years, and one I'm still driving.

In 2007 I bought a 2002 Ford for $3,500 with 80,000 miles and it now has 102,000. We'll see if it goes as long as my old Dodges. With the money I saved by driving older vehicles, I paid off my house 20 years early, funded my Roth IRA, maxed out my 401k contribution, and still save extra in mutual funds.

Doesn't have to be Japanese vehicles, but used vehicles are a better value. My personal preference used to be Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth but I finally decided to give Ford a chance and have been pleased thus far. I'll be willing to give Dodge a chance again if I need a car in a few years, though.

6th Feb 2009, 16:22

I suppose if all a car is to a person is just point A to point B transportation, then keeping the one same vehicle for decades is quite sensible. For me it would be unbearable boredom. I love cars, enjoy driving different cars (and trucks) and enjoy modifying them. We usually have 3-5 cars at any given time. Some we use as basic transportation and keep for long periods (over 300,000 miles in one case, over 200,000 in a number of cases).

I like being able to switch from my quiet and smooth Fusion or souped-up Grand Am to my rough-riding but very fun Mustang whenever the urge hits. If I need to haul something, the GMC suffices nicely, as well as being a great vehicle for long trips. The furry dog gets hauled in the Grand Am because it is our oldest vehicle. After 8 years it is flawless. It is a "keeper". In all probability the Fusion will be kept for a long time as well. Some cars we keep 12-18 years, some we tire of and trade after literally a few months. My wife once traded one after THREE WEEKS!! I tend to want new sporty cars more often, though a couple of Mustangs did get kept for over 100,000 miles (and with ZERO problems).

Owning a large number of vehicles is the ONLY way to really acquire honest, hands-on experience with cars. If 30+ domestics have all been trouble-free, and our 3 imports (and all of them WERE imports. Two were made in Japan and one in Germany) were all less than perfect (uhhh... that is REALLY putting it nicely) then that says more to me than all the ad hype, biased magazine "surveys" and import owner ranting in the world. Someone who has only owned TWO cars has virtually NO experience AT ALL in determining how good any cars are. If you were having brain surgery, would you choose a surgeon who had only performed two surgeries (and botched one) or a surgeon who had performed 30+ successful surgeries. I KNOW which one I'd choose!!

6th Feb 2009, 16:22

I put my money the opposite direction making real estate pay for my new cars. Rather than saving $14,000 to buy a new car... I took less than that to buy another rental property which my last one alone paid for 2 new vehicles in full. I drive new domestics. We all know where 401K's have gone and even CDs pay little safe... but very little.

6th Feb 2009, 22:57

Has anyone else noticed the problem with Camry exhaust pipes? On about 1 out of 5 they rotate out of position so they hang down within about 4 inches of the ground. You don't have to get down and look under the car to see this. You can spot it when you are driving behind them. It is especially easy if you are in the lane to the left and behind them.

I especially notice this because I live close to a school and there are several speed humps in the road nearby. At least once a week I hear the loud scraping sound of an exhaust pipe dragging across the top of a speed hump, and when I look over, it is always a Camry.

The other thing I notice is that a lot of Camry owners have adapted and they slow way down, almost to a stop when they drive over speed humps. If you have ever been driving down a road with speed humps, and the car in front of you unexpectedly slowed down to almost zero miles an hour, and you had to slam on your brakes to keep from rear ending them, chances are it was a Camry. I also see this with Camrys turning off a busy roads onto side streets that have dips along the side for water drainage.

Today I saw a beautiful red brand new Camry with temporary tags indicating the car had been bought just yesterday. (I have to say the red is quite pretty.) And the exhaust pipe was hanging down.

One of my co-workers has a Camry with the rotated down exhaust pipe. We get along pretty well so I told him his pipe was out of position. I was thinking it would be like my old Dodge Dart. There was a small hanger that held the pipe in position, and if it broke, you just replaced it and got the pipe back in position. And I grew up on a farm, so a hanging down exhaust pipe is something you always have to fix right away, or eventually you go down a dirt road that rips the muffler off your car. I know my co-worker lives at the end of a dirt road out in the mountains.

So he took his car to a muffler shop, and they told him there is no hanger. The pipe is just supposed to have a tight fit into the muffler to prevent the rotation, and yes they get this complaint all the time, but there really is no fix. They can replace the pipe, but they won't guarantee that it won't just rotate out of position again.