Eight years is "old"? Our Ford was traded after 17 years and 325,000 miles. The A/C had never been serviced and still worked flawlessly. Our Dodge was sold after 12 years and 240,000 miles with the A/C untouched and working perfectly. Our Buick was driven for thirty-two years and 277,000 miles. The A/C on it was flawless the entire time. A domestic vehicle that had a problem of any kind before 100,000 miles would be very disappointing to us.
Again, taken out of context... I meant old as in not covered under warranty anymore. Geez, the lengths people go to for an argument! You'd have to prove to me that a 32 year old AC (or 17 years for that matter) unit still worked at 277,000 miles with no servicing, as I don't remotely believe that. I have never seen any car that the AC lasted that long on. The freon would have evaporated by then with normal use, and needed to be recharged. AC units typically last for maybe 10 years before they need servicing. Most domestic car owners that claim their car needs nothing at even 100K miles are just living without the AC that needs servicing, and that is why they supposedly don't need any repairs. The Camry here obviously has a bad seal, which isn't too major of an issue, as it holds a charge for a year, and the compressor obviously still works fine.
When we sold our 1990 Dodge Omni at 243,678 miles after 12 years of use, the air-conditioner blew very cool, and the car had never had ANY service, including freon, to the A/C. I suspect you are used to imports, and they do, indeed, require far more frequent servicing. My home A/C unit is 23 years old, and has never had freon added. Of course it, too, is American made.
Hi, I posted the original comment. The air conditioning is not the real concern here. It's annoying, yes, but bearable. The real concern from my perspective is the decline in quality and the neglect of faithful owners by the manufacturer of this brand, as evidenced by the failed emissions system, primarily the charcoal canister and the valves attached. This issue is not limited to Solaras. It affects numerous buyers of Toyota automobiles. See this website (11 pages of Toyota owners affected): http://www.topix.com/forum/autos/toyota-corolla/TIG5J55VK6TB37VI7
Also, regarding the engine gelling issue, see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7WI2s-CVw
That the air conditioning failed as well was just further disappointment.
We've owned a lot of cars over the years. None of the new or used domestics we've owned has ever required any repairs before 100,000 miles. our only disappointments were the imports we owned, none of which made 100,000 miles without very expensive repairs (two required ENGINES).
This is just yet another pissing contest of a domestic car driver that has something to prove. Every car has its faults. Yeah, older Ford trucks are good as long as it's the 4.9, and either a manual trans or c4 3sp.
Now let's put this in perspective, yeah maybe your V6 in the Solara will sludge up and explode when you start getting lazy with the oil changes. But just wait until your 4.6 V8 in your F150 starts spitting out spark plugs and strips the head.
Oh, and good luck with that Ford transmission too when your overdrive just decides to disappear. GOD forbid 1 person out of the millions of Camry, Solara, ES300, and Avalon (they're all the same) owners has to recharge their A/C once a year, but oh wait, that that means they're all going to have A/C problems right?
The A/C on my 89 Celica still was ice cold, as was my 97 ES300, but it also worked great on my 88 Cherokee and my 94 F150.
All cars suck, it's a machine that was built by other machines and people. There are more and more electronics put into these cars as the years go by, and I feel like these cars are more fragile than what was built 20 years ago. Some will last hundreds of thousand of miles, while others won't. It's just how lucky you are.
The argument on Toyota quality is a moot point. Toyota has now dropped to 21st place out of 33 car brands in build quality. In the past year alone, Toyota was served THREE Grand Jury subpoenas for safety violations. Camry now sits on the dealer's lot longer than any other car (as reported in a recent USA Today article). Ford and GM now rank higher than Toyota in build quality (Ford actually outranks Honda). The fastest production sedan on Earth is built by GM (the Cadillac CTS-V). The Car of the Year is Ford. Corvette sales leaped by 300% in Europe after their awesome showing on European race circuits.
It is no longer a matter of being biased toward domestics. It is now a matter of stating FACTS. Domestics have put to rest the long-held myth (and it WAS a well-paid-for MYTH) that Japanese cars were somehow magically superior to domestics. I doubt they EVER were.
It may be a moot point if your argument was a sound one. So the well paid myth of the Japanese companies being superior... I can only assume that you are talking about the same ratings companies that now hold the domestic companies at such a high level? Hmmm, funny how when they change their tune as to which cars rank higher, you quote them over and over as your main source for quality judging on every car. So where were you for the past 25 years when the imports dominated the charts? Oh yeah, then it was just a myth!
What I see is that you like to find sources that tell you what you want to hear, and then claim them as facts. I can scour the Internet and find 100's of articles bashing domestic cars and the companies that build them too, and go on about it. What is the point? Truth is, it really makes no sense in the real world to listen to ratings companies.
Toyota made mistakes, there is no denying it. GM has made many more over the years, as have Ford and Chrysler. Most every one of the problems car companies are faced with, are completely overblown and exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. The media will have people believing that EVERY last Toyota has some issue when it is probably one in 10K or less. I still have never run into anyone who owns a Toyota that has taken it in for any of the recalls and has actually needed anything done to the car. And believe me, I know tons of people with Toyotas! Overblown and Exaggerated!!
In my personal experience, which is all I will trust at this point, GM is junk! I have had dangerous stalling issues while driving in traffic. I have had many many premature failures of parts that you would say you'd rely on for safety like tie rods for example. Also I've had so much money go out the window on GM cars, it is ludicrous.
Fords have been better for me overall, but I still had to flatbed my latest 2009 to the dealer at 8K miles. I have only had to take one of my imports into a service department, and that was a Nissan, which I will never own again based on the poor experience I had with the dealership and Nissan as a company. Every other import I have owned, which includes Toyota, Honda, Saab and Subaru has been literally perfect the entire time I owned them over the past 26 years.
Seriously, would you go with some lame ratings company if you had my experience? I will take any import over any domestic anytime forever... I like to save my money for better things than repairs on my cars. To drive imports lets me do just that!! That is the facts for me!
So go ahead and let J.D. Powers help you waste your money. No thanks!! I'll keep buying what has been proven to work well for me time and time again!
We base our car purchases on our personal experience. Our extended family has, over the past 30 years owned literally dozens of domestic cars and trucks, and about 7-8 imports. My own family's three imports proved horribly unreliable and very expensive to keep running. None of our domestics has ever required a single repair before 100,000 miles. We currently own a 4-year-old Ford, 5-year-old Ford and 8-year-old GM. None of them has ever required a single repair. Even though I respect J.D. Powers as a very reliable and reputable source for automotive knowledge, I have more than enough experience to convince me never to buy another Japanese import.
So was J.D. Powers so reliable when they were putting the imports on top of every survey. How about all the other sources that put them on top for the past 25+ years? Oh right, that was just a myth or hype. Funny how conveniently we believe what we want to believe, when we want to believe it.
Good for you on your domestic experience. I have had the exact opposite luck you have, and that is fact. So who's right and who's wrong? I'd say it is more luck of the draw than anything else, and cars are cars, really nothing more, nothing less. They are built to the lowest quality standards with the cheapest possible materials, in order to get them out the door and last long enough for the companies to make a profit.
As consumers, it really makes no sense to go back and forth about it. You have your experience and I have mine. Why not spend your time writing threads on your experience with your particular car, instead of going on about how bad the cars you have no experience with are?