10 worst cars for you shop owner

You had a newspaper article on the most reliable cars which were for you the worse because they didn’t need repair… Can find it on your site…


I read the article, but I’m not at all certain that shop owner’s dislike unreliable cars. I have a great independent shop and when I bought a new minivan last spring, the shop owner recommended a Toyota or Honda for the reliability. There is a good profit to be made servicing a reliable car, while making repairs to an unreliable vehicle to keep it on the road may be time consuming and not so profitable for the shop.

Here it is:

That story belongs right up there with the Yahoo story about Things Your Mechanic Doesn’t Want You To Know. Utter bunk, as per the norm.

Thanks a lot, that was the article I was looking for.

No it’s not, Tom and Ray wrote the newspaper article a while back. Check out the link in the previous posting.

I hate to blaspheme, but I think the article is total BS. This site is full of Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Ford problems. Total propaganda. Tell it to Subaru owners with bad head gaskets or Honda owners that were unfortunate enough to get one of the years with lousy transmissions. I’m not knocking the newer Fords, but they just haven’t been on the road long enough to determine long-term reliability. And let’s not even mention the recent Toyota recalls.

Tom and Ray say in the article that “This list reflects our experience, of course.” As in, they’re giving their own opinions based on combined 50+ years experience as mechanics and shop owners. So, in your opinion, their opinions are BS because…? Because they’re being paid by Toyota, Honda and Ford to write “propaganda?” C’mon.

But, hey, let’s see your “10 Best (or worst)” list…evidently it won’t include any Hondas, Subarus, Toyotas, or Fords, so I’ll be interested to see which more reliable vehicles have been overlooked…

I reiterate; it’s pure, unadulterated, utter bunk.

A car on my list would be one that suffered from poor design,poor technical support,poor parts availability. These three factors translate into a poor ability to make money off them.

Yes, but they stopped selling Renaults, Fiats, and Peugeots in the US a few decades ago!

Those three brands suffered from all three of the factors that you mentioned.

Hey, now, don’t be forgetting Alfa Romeos!

I disagree with a lot that they say on the show. They are entitled to their opinions, as I suppose I’m entitled to mine. I’m not knocking overall reliability of Hondas, etc. I’m just opposing the prejudice that they are golden reliable cars that don’t have problems like the rest. I remember taking my car (a Ford at the time) to a shop and having a master mechanic state what he’d like to do to the Ford engineers that put certain bolts where they did. A friend has a Honda that developed a flaky TPS. To his chagrin, he discovered that it was apparently riveted on. True, they don’t fail much, but why?!

I think a 10-worst list should include cars that are an utter horror to diagnose and work on anyway, not cars that maybe aren’t generating as much revenue as someone thinks they should.

I’m going to bet that as the nation’s fleet of Priuses (Priii?) age, that they will be right at the top of the “worst” list due to the ridiculous complexity of the systems on board. I also nominate BMW for their not including an oil dipstick in some of their models, and although I’m a Mopar fan, having to purchase a transmission dipstick to check your tranny fluid is ridiculous. (though perhaps not as bad as those “sealed” transmissions like my gf has on her Honda)

The worst car for the shop owner is not a particular year, make or model. It’s the one owned by the skinflint that compares internet prices for parts and minimal labor hours required to do the job against what the shop charges b!tch!ng the entire time how they’re being ripped off.

I am completely tired of the Honda/Toyota worship of the brothers. They amuse me but make me want to turn off the radio every time they get onto this kind of thing. Its time they just dumped their stock, stopped taking the kickbacks, and got off that train.

I reiterate; it’s pure, unadulterated, utter bunk.

I concur.

Just this weekend, the Brothers Magliozzi got a call about a car that leaks fuel in cold temperatures. Without knowing, Ray said, “It’s a Subaru, isn’t it?” Yet two Subarus made their list in this article? There appears to be some cognitive dissonance. Perhaps their judgment has been colored by the Subarus they got to drive for free for weeks at a time.

Here’s why I think its bunk…

Some of the cars on that list have had horrid reliability problems.

Civic, Accord, and Odyssey, for example - all had horrendous rates of automatic transmission failure in the early 00s. The first CR-Vs had widespread problems burning valves.

Are they all the worst vehicles on the market? No… But I wouldn’t touch a late 90s-early 00s Odyssey or Accord (particularly if V6)…

I never regreted seeing a certain type of vehicle pull into the drive because it was well made, I did simply hate it when most any model came in with certain problems and this “hate” was intensified when payment was under warranty.

Any car with a water leak but some of the worst were convertibles and for me the worst convertible was the Cavalier (followed bt the Camaro). Reducing noise generated from air blowing over the car was another problem that was something to avoid on just about any model.

BMW has great technical assistance but you must be employed with a Dealer to have access to it and even then there are rules to follow to make it useful. A BMW Service Information document needs its own document titled “How to read this Document”, just not real user friendly. Then we have my favorite, any day you know a CIS car is comming in with a drivability problem is a good day to call in sick.

In short, it is not the actual car type in most cases but the exact system you are called on to fix,except, I have only found one job on a BMW Z3 that was “clever” in the way repairs on it were intended to be done, all else is bunk. There is no car I can think of where AC evaporator replacement is easier and there is no car that seat belt replacement is harder on than that same Z3.

I wonder how much a specific car’s reliability is affected by the typical owner profile, and how much that skews mechanics’ opinions about those models. For example, are Camry owners more likely to have their scheduled maintenance performed than Subaru owners? Are minivan owners significantly less likely to ignore warning signs than sports car owners (I think they are).

I ask because so many people use lists like these to make purchase decisions, and probably never take their own habits into account.

Maybe another good thing to add is the type of customer. A customer that brings in (or drops off) a car that’s riding on empty, looks like it was just taken off-road through a mud bog, and has only the vaguest description of the problem has to be fun. In addition to the type of person that tries to fix something for themselves, botches it and makes things worse, then brings it to you.

I remember taking my car to a shop where the owner forgot to deactivate the alarm, and took the key with him—this was after the car was already indoors. I don’t know why the battery couldn’t be disconnected, but I heard that alarm go off echoing through the shop around 20 times before I couldn’t stand it and took a walk… and I was just in the lobby.