17th Mar 2012, 10:06

12:51 that is exactly why Consumer Reports "reviews" mean absolutely nothing to me. How can you recommend a car before it even hits the market?? I recently noticed that they have the 2011 Buick Lucerne as a used model to avoid. I bought a brand new one last year, and have had zero mechanical defects. There were some build quality issues, but I doubt that comes into account in their surveys.

17th Mar 2012, 13:00

My favorite picks on your list would be the 74 Beetle 60 hp, followed by the 68 Malibu, any engine but a 307, and the 70 Beetle 40 hp in that order. Bought new at that time.

My most reliable vehicle ever was a 1990 Bonneville, followed by Acura Legends, also from the 90s. It's not uncommon to have imports and domestics at the same time in our household.

I have a cousin that says Mopar or no car. He collects Challengers, Cudas, all other assorted big blocks, as his parents raised him on Mopars. My side of the family is fickle. We like technology and great service, and are picky, not necessarily going to repeat buy.

17th Mar 2012, 14:55

It is easy to become angry and bitter when you experience problems with ANY car. Sadly, most "problems" reported on this site are most likely results of dishonest shops or dealerships taking advantage of people who don't know how to check their own cars out before getting taken. As a mechanic I cringe any time one of my friends tells me about "problems" they have with their cars. Any time someone is told they need a brake job at 30,000, it's a good bet they are being scammed. Modern cars easily go 100,000+ miles on the original brake pads.

One friend recently took his car (a Toyota as a matter of fact) to a tire chain that also does repairs and servicing to get his oil changed. He was given a "free inspection" and when he picked the car up he was told it needed a laundry list of repairs totalling $3200. One of those "repairs" was especially telling. He was quoted $500 to change his cabin air filter. This is a job that takes about 30 seconds and a part (the filter) that costs under $20. However that was not the most interesting part: His car DOES NOT HAVE a cabin air filter!! Luckily he got me to check the car out and I didn't find a single problem with it. At 60,000 miles his front brake pads were showing some wear, but were still good for thousands of miles.

This sort of thing is especially rampant with domestic dealership service departments, and I think it is responsible for 90% of the complaints people have with domestics. A wealthy friend asked me to check her Lincoln because the low beams were not working. I did and found a blown fuse. I didn't have the fuse, so she said she'd just run by the Ford dealership. They ended up telling her they had to replace ALL of her lights, including the driving lamps and charged her $500. I know the driving lights and high beams were working perfectly. I seriously doubt they did anything but pop in the fuse and charge her $500 for it.

People would do well to educate themselves about their cars. It would save a LOT of money, and reduce all these complaints of non-existent "problems" we see on these reviews and comments.

20th Mar 2012, 15:54

As far as brakes; if there are sticking calipers or the rotors are not turned, you can easily be replacing pads. The rotors can be scored. There are also different pad qualities.

Also, it's where you live. I live in relatively flat terrain, but my brakes go quick from traveling in the Pocono Mountains.

Some people ride their brakes or follow too closely. My manual trans car, same make, uses less brakes. I ate up rear brakes twice as fast as fronts on my Acuras. Must be the design.

To randomly say a 30000 mile life is wrong is being too general.

Bulbs are another matter. I could have Xenons and you could have a common, plain 1157 bulb or the like on yours. I am not a mechanic, but I am aware you need a lot more information before making an assumption.

23rd Mar 2012, 14:56

Turning rotors is a popular money-maker for shops, but is virtually never needed. Unless the pads are worn down to the metal backing (which usually takes well over 100,000 miles), the rotors do not need turning. I have never turned the rotors on any of the many cars we have owned. It is wasted money.

24th Mar 2012, 09:11

I'm a mechanic, and won't even touch a brake job without turning the rotors. It is very necessary, and in most cases it is included in the price you pay.

24th Mar 2012, 10:02

Sure, you can put on new pads, lightly scored, or even heavily scored rotors, but they wear the pads out quick. The metal tabs give an audible noise when its due. The problem is with great factory sound systems, often you will not hear. My biggest problem is your general comments to all. Turning your rotors can save you if they are scored. As perfect as you say you are, there are used cars you may have bought that had this issue.

25th Mar 2012, 12:52

I'm also a mechanic, and would never dream of replacing brake pads without turning the rotors (that is if they can be turned, sometimes they just need replacement). A lot of times I've found that the rotors become slightly warped over normal use; the owners don't realize the slight pedal pulsation, because it only increases gradually, but I usually pick it out right away.

We had one customer request that we not turn his rotors. He returned 10,000 miles later to have his rotors turned, and another new set of pads installed.

26th Mar 2012, 13:40

I am surprised the other mechanic who has never had his turned, has never had an issue with over-torque issues with pneumatic tools. I have my wheels done by hand with a click wrench preset at the designated torque criss-cross bolt pattern. Air impacts held on the joint too long or run way up past 100 psi can overshoot torque, and can warp your rotors. There's no torque control with air impacts, and the torque sets can deviate as much as 20 percent. So it can warp rotors easily.

Also, if my brake fluid is dark or over 3 years old, I change the brake fluid. If you are adding fluid, there's likely a leak and it's good to check them.

Some people buy cheap pads; it's a false economy. I have bought low mileage cars with the brake pedal on the floor; typically Corvettes. It costs around a grand to correct.

Using the car and bleeding brakes pays dividends vs neglect. Pay a little more now, or a lot later!

27th Mar 2012, 14:33

I have also heard you should have your rotors turned whenever you change pads. But... I've always changed my own pads, and all I've ever done is replace the pads with new ones. I just drive sort of carefully, and make long stops for a day or so in order for the new pads to seat on the rotors.

The other thing is to make sure the caliper pins are cleaned and re-greased with grease specially made for them. That way the pads will ride evenly on the surface and not get stuck, which wears them out faster. I buy medium quality pads and usually get between 50,00-60,000 miles out of a set. I also tend to change them, well before they get to the metal tab that warns you when they are down.