Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: They shall come to Boggy to learn
The Fée Verte Absinthe Forum - The Oldest, Largest, Most Authoritative Absinthe Forum. > The Monkey Hole > The Newgate Calendar
dakini_painter
Americans already starting to learn…

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/business…bal/15fiat.html

btw, I want a pink one as my personal car, and a fleet of green ones as delivery vehicles.
sixela
If you want to avoid negative reactions from foaming-at-the-mouth US ultranationalists, the same car (made in the same Tychy plant) is also available with a different skin as the newer Ford Ka.

Less cool, though.
Donnie Darko
In addition to being less cool, most Fords are also pieces of crap. I had a 2000 Focus Zx3 with only 39,500 miles that I just traded in for a Toyota Yaris that gets 16mpg better than the Focus even though it's only a couple of inches shorter. Oh, and the Yaris also probably won't eat tires like the Ford did, probably won't have the thermostat fail at 35K miles and probably won't have the front right suspension spring snap and cause a $900 repair at only 39,000 miles.

Why is Chrysler asking Fiat how to build cars? Fiat only started getting on the path to doing the right thing 5 years ago. Toyota has been doing it since, um, forever. Just seems to be more evidence of Detroit being stupid. I wish them success, but that would involve making a reasonably priced car that gets 30+MPG that lasts 100K miles before anything major goes wrong. I don't see that on the horizon. GM's idea of "reform" is introducing smaller SUVs and a Cadillac station wagon. Chrysler's idea of reform is consulting a company who until very recently made some of the worst cars on the face of the earth. Ford's idea of reform is the Fusion, which is one apparently good car in a sea of crap (it's only "good" according to all those magazines that also proclaimed the Focus the best car ever when it came out, so I'll withhold judgment until the real MPG is revealed and they've been on the road for a few years without problems).
sixela
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 15 2009, 08:37 PM) *

In addition to being less cool, most Fords are also pieces of crap.


Some Ford models built in the US are, and even then not all are.

My Ford S-Max is built in Genk (in Belgium) and works just fine, just like the Ford Mondeo I used to drive some time ago. I had a lot more headaches with two Audi A6s I drove, even though Audi has an excellent reputation.

PTFA: the new Ford Ka is buit in the same factory by the same people on the same assembly line as the Nuova Cinquecento - and using pretty much the same parts except for the skins and interior design elements.
Wild Bill Turkey
Got to say, my 2000 Ford Ranger truck has never needed anything but oil and filter changes in 9+ years of driving from one end of California to the other on a regular basis. I thought it was a bad sign when the power door-lock on the passenger side stopped working in the second month, but it turns out that was the last problem I ever had.
Kirk
My Ford truck with 100k on the odometer has never had a problem .
I just bought a Chevy Impala to replace my old Buick. The Buick had 200K on it, died in the (Chevy) lot while I was window shopping for another.
OCvertDe
Well, that was fortuitous!

My 1991 Ford Mustang GT was hammered every day of it's life, and when I sold it to a friend with 275,000 miles on the original, never rebuilt engine it still ran like a raped ape (high 11's-low12's in the quarter and still got over 20mpg) and didn't know what a tow truck looked like.
speedle
Doesn't really help anyone, but I've got a Lexus that has 280K on it, runs like new. Just sayin' …
Donnie Darko
Ford definitely makes excellent trucks. Rangers and F150s are fine. My friend beat the crap out of his Ranger, off-roading and all and it's always been fine. Not sure why they can't translate that to a functional American economy car though. And one only has to visit www.carcomplaints.com to see that several models of Ford Explorer are some of the most unreliable cars ever made.

And the Focus is an enormous piece of shit. A friend of mine's car made it to 90k miles, but it needed a new transmission at 70k, and has needed the alternator replaced twice, and it blows tires all the time (I think that's listed as a feature on the sport model). Meanwhile strangely the European Ford Ka seems pretty reliable, with all the problems just involving minor repairs.

And there is also the issue of fuel economy. The EPA rates the 1996 Ford Taurus at 23 MPG, meanwhile it rates the 2002 Ford Taurus at 19mpg. Maybe Ford makes awesome cars, but not in my experience. My wife had a Ford Aspire (we called it the Ford Expire) that cracked a piston ring at 70k miles, in addition to needing the transmission rebuilt twice and the alternator replaced twice! I had a Mercury Tracer (same thing as a Ford) that cracked a piston ring at 90k miles, all with very consistent servicing. My grandpa's Lincoln MKVII's transmission went out at 80k miles, and then he got a MKVIII and that one's transmission went out at 65K miles. Yeah, the engine on the MKVII made it 280k miles, but literally everything else on the car broke more than once.

I think people who end up having a rock solid American car just got lucky, with the exception of light trucks and maybe the Ford Crown Vic (used as a cop car and taxis).
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(speedle @ Jul 15 2009, 09:02 PM) *

Doesn't really help anyone, but I've got a Lexus that has 280K on it, runs like new. Just sayin' …

Made by Toyota. No surprise there. What's even funnier is that Toyota Corollas up until very recently were built in California by GM. GM can make a Toyota quite well, but meanwhile my neighbor's Malibu with 40K miles on it won't start.
OCvertDe
My experience from years at the garage was that without Ford we'd have been out of business. If we fixed 40 cars in a month, 30 of them were most likely Fords. That said, almost every one that grenaded was owned by someone who's idea of maintenance was "milk it till it blows". Everyone who paid attention to proper maintenance was fine, with very few exceptions. The same can be said about nearly every nameplate on the planet, Honda and Toyota included.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 15 2009, 06:16 PM) *

the Focus is an enormous piece of shit.

Actually, I think it's classified as a compact piece of shit.
Donnie Darko
Ha. Yeah, the car is compact, it's the bills it generates that are enormous.

I'm really hard core about maintaining my vehicles. I gave that Mercury I had very regular service and the engine still cracked a ring. And the Focus blowing the thermostat housing and overheating at 30K miles is just absurd, as that overheating likely weakened lots of other parts under the hood which will seriously shorten the life of that vehicle. There's no amount of maintenance that could have prevented that, it's just a defective design. Just glad I traded that dog in while I could get something for it. There's a reason why American cars have such awful resale value.

The Japanese cars are not immune though. Honda Civics are notorious for having transmission problems, especially 2000-2003 year models. My Uncle manages an AAMCO shop and he said without Honda he'd be out of business, and weirdly they have a rep with consumers for being super reliable.

Incidentally I had a 2009 Prius as a loaner a couple of weeks ago. I hated that car. I thought I would love it but it was like driving a sponge. It will probably last a million miles, but who wants a car that drives like sludge to last forever? That's like the fact that old men have better sexual endurance. Who wants to fuck an old man for a long time?
scuto
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 15 2009, 09:25 PM) *
Chevy can make a Toyota [Corolla] quite well, but meanwhile my neighbor's Malibu with 40K miles on it won't start.

Did not know that I was driving a Chevy! I rather like my little bastard car. Apparently I have a timing chain, which makes things less smooth, but it won't break. Then again, the "experts" say if it should break it won't destroy the engine, while a Honda will die if its timing belt goes. I guess that means mine is magic! w00t2.gif

QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Jul 15 2009, 09:38 PM) *

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 15 2009, 06:16 PM) *

the Focus is an enormous piece of shit.

Actually, I think it's classified as a compact piece of shit.

Ha!

My sister's Focus is crap. Maybe there are better years needing less maintenance, but wow.

QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 15 2009, 09:43 PM) *
Incidentally I had a 2009 Prius as a loaner a couple of weeks ago. I hated that car. I thought I would love it but it was like driving a sponge. It will probably last a million miles, but who wants a car that drives like sludge to last forever? That's like the fact that old men have better sexual endurance. Who wants to fuck an old man for a long time?

There is a reason they call automatics "slushboxes."

The main reason I could care less about hybrids is because they don't come in stick; I want the car to shift when I damn well make it shift. I'll drive standard until my knees go. Driving a slushbox makes me realize why so many people ('Mericans?!) talk on the mobile while driving: they're bored out of their minds. Well, I could be projecting just a weensy bit.
speedle
Your corolla was actually built at the NUMMI plant in Fremont I think. A joint venture between Toyota and GM, it produced, among other things, the Geo Prizm and the Pontiac Vibe (nee' Toyota Matrix). All good cars, and mostly due to the fact that for the most part the plant was a Toyota plant, much more so than, say, the typical Chevy plant in Michigan or Ohio. As for that old Malibu, well, yes, that's the difference all right.
scuto
Ah--I did notice some Chevys with a similar body shape as mine. After the Prizm split, I guess.
Wild Bill Turkey
QUOTE(scuto @ Jul 15 2009, 10:19 PM) *

I did notice some Chevys with a similar body shape as mine.

Sounds like you need to go on a diet.



Built like a car? You got a hubcap diamond star halo?
Kirk
Did I mention my Chevy Impala is loaded and cost less than 17K?
Donnie Darko
That's a great price. I certainly wouldn't criticize anybody else for their vehicle choices (unless they're family), as everybody's needs/preferences are different, especially depending on their location. My Yaris wouldn't be too desirable upstate where they get 6 feet of snow at a time or in the mountains of West Virginia where an underpowered car can't go up a steep hill. I just know that there are some vehicles which can't handle the wear-and-tear of daily city driving, and my experience with Detroit/Mexican made American cars in that regard has been nothing but negative.
Provenance
Body style is important in choosing a vehicle.
Kirk
To tell you the truth, the Chevy is a piece of junk, but it was cheap and has a good warranty. Maybe I can trade it in before it expires. If my Buick hadn't decided to die on the Chevy lot at 6:30 on a Friday evening, I might have bought something else. For what the Impala is, I feel I got a bargain, so far. It's light in the suspension though, I can bottom out the shocks in a heart beat. My Buick Regal had heavy duty suspension. The salesman told me only the 8 cylinder Impala offers the heavy duty suspension package. I wanted the 6, so I have crappy suspension.
OCvertDe
I prefer my Kawasaki ZX10R. Silly fast, reliable as the sunrise and over 40mpg. Not so good in the snow/rain, but other than that… fuck cars.
Patlow
Tough guy…
scuto
QUOTE(Wild Bill Turkey @ Jul 16 2009, 03:37 AM) *
Sounds like you need to go on a diet.

Ha!

Well, I could use some speed.















fart.gif
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Kirk @ Jul 16 2009, 05:46 PM) *

To tell you the truth, the Chevy is a piece of junk, but it was cheap and has a good warranty.


I've found with warranties that it's worth it to research how good the company is at actually honoring the warranty. Some companies are actually pretty good with honoring their warranties. I've heard Chevy, Toyota and BMW are good, and I've heard Hyundai, Honda and Jeep are terrible. Hyundai constantly boasts about their 10year/100k mile powertrain warranty, but I've read several of stories where a transmission went out before 100k miles, and because the person had their transmission fluid changed by a non-Hyundai dealer as part of a normal service schedule, then that voided the warranty.

As it so happens the suspension spring on my Focus was covered under an extended warranty, but we were not made aware of that by Ford. The part was discovered to be defective by Ford and instead of doing a recall, they just extended the warranty on that one part to 100k miles but only notified dealer service centers, not customers. Our spring snapped, jammed into the tire and cracked the strut, and we had to have it towed and fixed right away because we needed the vehicle the next day for a trip. As the mechanic was fixing it, I thought it was odd that a part like that should break with only 39k miles on it, so I researched it and found out about the extended coverage. I called the Ford dealer and explained the situation, and asked for reimbursement, and the sneaky bastards said they'd only reimburse for the repair if I could provide a computer invoice with the VIN # of the car. As it so happens the majority of independent mechanics can't make CPU invoices with a VIN # simply because their billing isn't computerized. I had my mechanic write the VIN# on his formal invoice, but Ford wouldn't accept it. I emailed Ford's regional manager and got no response, so I called them and explained the situation and they told me too bad, I was shit out of luck because I didn't get it fixed by a Ford dealer. I explained I would have done so if I didn't need the car ASAP and if I was notified by anybody that the part was covered. They still refused to do anything.

I decided to find out what else was defective with that hunk of crap, and as it turns out there were 12 more things that they recalled but didn't notify owners about, some of them seriously dangerous. One of them was defective pinch bolts for the steering column that could cause you to lose your ability to steer, another was a defective rear wheel assembly that could cause the back wheel to come off the car. Another was a defective fuel delivery module which could cause the engine to surge while you were at a light and cause an accident. So I decided to stick it to Ford and brought the car to the dealer and made them do EVERY recall, including piddly things like the interior reading light housing, which I'm sure all combined cost them more than the car was worth, then traded it in towards the Toyota. The only reason why I got a tolerable trade-in on the car was because I had all the recall work done, because dealers know the Focus is garbage and usually only offer $500 for it.
Kirk
Sounds like the kind of crap I went through with my Buick. You are lucky they did the work, they kept taking mine, keeping it for several days, saying it was done but had not even touched it. Eventually I gave up because I actually had to drive the car. They know they can wear down the average driver.
Donnie Darko
I think the problem with US car makers is that the cars are designed more for leasers and people who trade-in every 5 years for a new car than they are designed for long-term owners. I guess that fits with the rest of the piggy pig pig consumption habits in this country, so we should hardly be surprised. Euro and Japanese cars meanwhile are designed for people who drive like lunatics and who demand better fuel economy because of exorbitant fuel prices and need to park in small spots. As far as I can tell there isn't much difference between the European Ford Ka and the Toyota Yaris, except that one of them will never be sold here. Even if Detroit did introduce more reliable better fuel economy compact cars, that still probably wouldn't help them since anybody who wants that kind of car will just instinctively buy Japanese anyway. The Pontiac Vibe is a good example. It's a great car and I've heard nothing but good things about it, and there are no maintenance complaints. But people go buy the Toyota Matrix anyway even though it's the same car as the Vibe with an identical engine, and even more people buy the Honda Fit, even though its fuel economy is slightly lower and it's slightly more expensive.

Meanwhile Pontiac is being eliminated entirely because GM are idiots, and Toyota has the most valuable stock of any car company.
Tibro
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 17 2009, 05:06 PM) *

I think the problem with US car makers is that the cars are designed more for hosers

Which is why they most drive dog-sleds, then?
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Jul 17 2009, 04:06 PM) *
As far as I can tell there isn't much difference between the European Ford Ka and the Toyota Yaris,


A Yaris is just a little bit bigger than a Ford Ka, its more like the Ford Fiesta in size. A nice little car the Yaris, if size isn't an issue.
Jaded Prole
Never been an issue for me.
hobgoblin
QUOTE(Jaded Prole @ Jul 19 2009, 12:12 AM) *

Never been an issue for me.
Maybe not for yourself, but I believe Mrs Prol gets a bit down about it.
Steyr850
A breath of fresh air, finally.
OCvertDe
And it isn't ugly as sin either! That is a positive step, because we can't all afford Tesla Roadsters.
Donnie Darko
That's a nice short-term goal. Longer term wise though, the combustion engine is in its death-throes. Thankfully the government loan to Tesla plus Daimler's investment in them should clear the way for all-electric vehicles to be more common place and more affordable within the next decade. That's of course provided Tesla doesn't fuck up, but I think their gung-ho attitude is a real asset.
Kirk
"Tesla" is a good catch phrase;
Tesla made power flow through the air,
a real plus, when your outlet is here
and your device, there.
Invest in the air, if you have money to invest,
I know what I'm saying here,
your Roomba will fair much better,
when the power is in the air.
speedle
A very under appreciated genius, that Mr. Tesla. Not that that has anything to do with the cars though, but we might have had fewer wars had he not been squashed by TPTB.
Kirk
My Chevy Impala is doing pretty good, for what it is. At 65 miles per hour, if you roll the window down more than a couple inches the body shell starts to shudder like a paper cup in high wind, you can literally see and feel everything pulse with a harmonic vibration as the wind pressure flexes the body. I tried rolling down more than one window or all at the same time to find a sweet spot and it was scary, I thought the windshield was going to pop out. I have a cure for that though, I don't do it.
Donnie Darko
Well, driving with the windows open costs you a few MPG, so I guess that's Chevy's way of forcing you to save gas. It's the new Green General Motors.

FWIW my tiny Toyota Yaris sounds like a tin can when you close the door, makes this funny hollow clunk sound where you think to yourself "wow, my car is a bucket attached to a roller skate", but weirdly when I drive it at 80mph I can't feel any difference from when I drive it at 55mph. Rock solid with no vibrations and the engine doesn't sound like it's straining. Maybe it just feels so solid because there is isn't very much car to resist the wind. It's definitely lacking in the acceleration department though.

It's not as bad as the Prius, which you have to get out and push if you're ever trying to merge onto the interstate, but if you want real acceleration, anything less than flooring it won't get the job done.
Tibro
Got me a Daewoo where if the back windows are open at speed there's a pulsing vibration that will drive you mad. It may be some kind of subliminal training to get the kids into the deadening drone of non-music. Or it may just be what appealed to Chevy to make them buy Daewoo.
Shabba53
My last Nissan had the same issue. They told me it was the fabric and padding on the ceiling of the car that hadn't been properly attached to the body. Didn't seem plausible to me, but they took it in and did something, and it went away.
Tibro
Your mechanic sold you an over-priced set of ear-plugs, too?

Read something the other day about car manufacturers looking to break even on sales in Europe and make their profit on parts and service. The punch line being that the smallest repair on a first-owner car may soon be sufficient economic reason to sell it or trade it in.
dakini_painter
That sounds like economic opportunity to me.

When everyone else is selling throw away cars, perhaps it's time to make repairable cars?
Tibro
But not cars that are being made specifically so that they will need to be repaired.
Patlow
Vintage Jaguars that you leave on the street, get back to the 80's and feel the beat…
Donnie Darko
Get out of my dreams and into my car, and then realize that we're in a Jaguar and that it broke down again and so then we get out of my dream, get out of my car and get into a bus.
Wild Bill Turkey
I'm riding in my dream car
Got my arm around my dream girl
But we never seem to get too far
cause I'm living in a dream world.
Tibro
I told that girl I can start right away
When she said listen babe I got something to say
I got no car and it's breaking my heart
But I've found a driver and that's a start
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2018 Invision Power Services, Inc.