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Does one experience with a car brand kill it for you

Since the components claimed to have failed probably should not have failed maybe there are underlying reasons for the failures.
Loose suspension something? Maybe rough roads shaking something loose?

Faulty master cylinders? Misdiagnosis and/or a little BS or contaminated brake fluid if a fluid change was performed?

The Civic in question appears to have been a good car IMHO. Getting 225k miles out of it and then getting almost 25% of the original investment back sounds like a winner to me.

The Civic was a simply A-B car that required little fixing along the way with minimal fuel consumption. However it had cruddy braking(IMHO), choppy ride, noisy, uncomfortable seats, mediocre sound system, and gutless engine at low RPM. I was led to believe it was the best thing when I bought it by everyone and was sorely disappointed. To this day I cannot ever see myself in a Honda.

I regret not trading it in within the first year of ownership for something else.

And yet, you still kept it for 9 years!! Amazing!

If you recall my bottom-of-the-barrel '74 Volvo that I mentioned in the first post in this thread, I actually kept that car for 7 years! I didn’t want to keep the car for that long, but being a very young teacher at the time, my salary just didn’t allow me to get rid of it any sooner.

Nobody in my family has ever taken out a car loan, and I was not about to be the first to waste money by paying interest on a loan. So, I saved every penny that I could, and by '81, I was able to put enough money together so that I could dump that Volvo and buy another new car for cash.

So the choppy ride, uncomfortable seats, and mediocre sound system was not noticeable during a test ride?

While the Civic was not meant to be a plush Rolls Royce type of car my feeling is that the car was simply wearing on the OP’s psyche from age and mileage.
In a nutshell, boring.

It would be interesting to hear the OP’s comments about the Subaru in about 9 years and 225k miles from now.
(And the Civic is a better automobile than a Subaru; as you may discover in the future.)

Just to add another point here.
Honda - 9 years @ 225k miles = approx. 30k miles a year.
Subaru- 5 years @ 55k miles = approx. 11k miles a year.

My guess is that any vehicle that sees a roughly 66% decrease in miles driven per year will see fewer problems.

Wow, this post touches some issues with me.

First, I’ve been under the belief that Honda only built 5 lemons, and my family bought all 5. My wife bought a 93 Civic that couldn’t hold a front end alignment for more that 5k miles. It was very uncomfortable, the seats killed my back and at 4 years, the transmission began slipping badly. The good side is that it got totaled at 4 years and the insurance paid over $9k for a car that cost $11,200 new.

She replaced it with a 97 Accord. Thanks to the EPA mandated 150k mile warrantee, we kept it despite its problems, and the fact that its seats are a lot more comfortable than the Civic’s were.

I have an 02 Saturn and it has been one of the most reliable cars I’ve ever had, not very comfortable, seats again but not as bad as the Civic’s. In fact, with the aid of a lumbar support, I just took a 5k mile cross country trip in it, it has 180k miles, the tires on it have 95k miles. I guess I got the only good car Saturn has ever made. I have not been a fan of GM since the 60’s, too hard to work on.

Even though I got soured on GM in the 60’s, I still tried the Saturn and it worked out, just took over thirty years to get me to try them again.

BTW, I’ve had good luck with Toyotas, Nissans and for some odd reason, Fords.

Back in 1995, I was 28yo, managing a restaurant and driving a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme International Series. It was a great little car. During this time, I had been dating this woman for about 5 months and she decided to break up with me. I asked her why. She said she found someone else. I asked about him and she admitted he didn’t have a job and still lived with his parents at the age of 25. His father owned a car dealership and supported him. I kept asking, “What do you see in this guy?”. I still remember her last words to me, “Bill, he drives a Lexus.” I’ve hated that brand ever since.

I’ll revise my earlier flawed math. For some reason I was thinking 275k instead of 225.

So instead of 30k a year at 66% make it 25k a year around 58ish percent.

Fords. I hate them. My parents, despite having numerous issues with them were always repeat customers. They had a 1988 Taurus that has to be one of the worst vehicles ever assembled. They had the four cylinder model, which actually got worse mileage than the six because it had to work so hard (90 h.p.) I can’t even begin to describe how bad it was.

I’ve only owned one honda, a 94 Prelude Si. I sold it with 242k on it. The only problem aside from normal wear and tear was a radiator. Hands down, the best car I’ve owned by a mile. The rear quarter panels were starting to show rust as well as the sunroof when I sold it. I still cannot believe I sold it for $3,400.

That said, I currently drive a Ford Focus. I had an '02 which I traded in as soon as I could because at only 40k it had numerous electrical issues and ignition issues. That was replaced with a 03 Grand Caravan which the ex got, I don’t think she’s ever had any issues with it.

My current Focus is an '01 which was given to me by my parents. I’ve owned for just over a year, 109 - 140k. In the time I’ve replaced the a/c compressor, catalytic converter, wheel bearing, power window motor, and various sensors and vacuum lines.

If I had my druthers, I’d buy another honda. However, in my financial situation, I can’t pass up a domestic brand which MAY be less reliable for one that’s going to cost me thousands more in initial cost. My '02 Focus was about 4k cheaper than a comparable foreign brand so I thought it was worth the chance.

After perusing the posts, it would appear that the answer to the OP’s question depends entirely on the individual’s preferences.

I’m a reliability freak, so for me that’s the #1 criterion.

Some buy the same brand over and over again no matter how it performs. Perhaps they want something that feels familiar.

Some are about image. I know someone who leases only Volvos because she wants to appear to be a responsible executive. A “safe” person.

Some are committed to GMs, perhaps because it brings back the '60s. Or it makes them feel patriotic.

Some just want a cheap up-front price.

One even admittedly hates Lexus because it reminds him of the girl that got taken away by a Lexus driver.

I’d hope the marketing departments of the automotive manufacturers would have extensive in-depth studies of what motivates buyers. I have to wonder if the CEOs listen to the data.

I’ve always thought that different people have different luck with different brands. Maybe it’s personality, driving habits, I just don’t know.

I’d have to really be persuaded to ever own another Pontiac after my experiences with an 81’ Firebird. Admittedly I was probably hard on the car, being young n’ dumb, but stupid things just broke all the time—turn signal stalk, rear suspension, transmission problems. The car’s electrical system was possessed by demons, I think. Every week or so I’d have to replace a tail light bulb, the tach and gauges would “boogie” to the music on the radio, the rear defogger switch made a loud pop and quit working suddenly. The trunk not just leaked, but seemed to actively accumulate water constantly. The last Pontiac I rode in on a long trip had seats that made my back cry. The two Chevies I’ve had have been decent cars, and I’ve liked them. And Fords… every Ford I’ve ever owned has let me down at a bad time, and working on them, I have to wonder if the Ford engineers are sadists. I think what sums up this statement is the following: (and I know times have changed since then) To retrieve computer codes from the older Mopar I had, you simply click the igniton on and off three times… To get the stored codes from a similar-year Ford, you need to jumper wires under the hood, and attach an analog voltmeter, then count the needle sweeps.

For me, I’ve always had good luck with Chrysler products. Perhaps I’m just used to their quirks, but my '94 is coming up on a quarter-million miles with very little grief (and I’m the 4th owner), and I’ve had similar experiences with every other Mopar I’ve owned. My GF’s had many more problems with her Honda than I would have expected from the brand, but overall it’s a decent SUV, and the last Honda I drove, I was impressed with how peppy it was for a 4-banger and how well it handled.

I’ve not no problem with Toyota products, but whenever I see someone driving a Lexus sedan, I always think: “Gee, you sure paid a lot for your Camry” Same with a Lincoln Navigator “Wow, that’s an expensive Explorer you got there”

“Gee, you sure paid a lot for your Camry”

I have similar thoughts when I see someone driving an ES model Lexus. When I see someone driving a Lexus GX, I think about how that person is just driving a fancy 4Runner, and the sight of a Lexus LX makes me wonder why someone paid $10,000. extra for a Toyota Land Cruiser.

However, if someone in the US purchases the flagship LS, the sporty GS, or the compact IS, there is no equivalent Toyota model available in this country. In Japan, these are all just Toyotas, but if someone in the US (and possibly some other countries) wants an LS, GS, or IS, he/she has no choice but to buy the Lexus model.

I agree with OK that there is no such thing as a perfect car. Some are just better than others. With respect to dealer bulletins and recalls, I went through the government lists a while back (early 2000s) and in that particular year, the Lexus had 4 dealer bulletins and the Ford Taurus 152!!

The early Ford Focus models set a record for recalls, I believe, but the record for shoddily designed and built cars that were rushed into production were the 1957 Chrysler products. Particularly the Dodge and Plymouth models were real trash compared to the Chevvy and even the Ford, which suffered form a very weak and flexing frame, the hardtop models in particular.

I bought a used 1978 Datsun whose odometer said 39,000 miles in 1982 from the dealer. I looked it over carefully, or so I thought, but when the sun came out after a long cloudy spell, repaint on the rear was visible. This soured me on that dealer.

Also, we finally decided that was 139,000 miles, though that would be a lot in only 4 years, so it was only a hunch.

Then, over the time I owned that car I spent as much on repairs as gasoline. It was not the usual wear items or maintenance items. Things like a switch down inside the a/c assembly. Over and over and over. Was I glad to see that piece of junk gone.

I cannot imagine ever driving another Nissan (the current name). Though they are popular here in Mexico, so who knows?

I am a Toyota fanatic, We bought a 1988 Nova (Toyolet) and we only junked it at 248,000 miles because we could no longer get new parts, and the rebuilt parts were trash. Overhaul at 200,000 miles and the rebuilt water pump came apart 48,000 miles later. Rebuilt carburetor cost $300 and went bad every 15 months or so. Carb shops refused to rebuild them. We finally said enough.

My 2002 Sienna has around 149,000 miles. I do high-rel maintenance, replacing parts slightly before they would be expected to start failing, rather than waiting until they break. This is because I am in the mountains of Mexico and service is hours away, with parts for that old a car probably need to be shipped in. I need to go back and update my posting on my high-rel plan.

The thing that sours me on Toyota isn’t the vehicle itself, but how they handle options for the vehicles. If I want cruise control, heated leather seats, and automatic transmission, I don’t want to have to pay $5k for those plus moonroof, HID headlights, Navigation, and a rear park assist/rearview camera because that’s the only option “package” that the options I want come in.

I think I owned the Civic into the well worn out stage. It was a rattle and creak box in the end.

I will post back on the Subaru when it hits nine or ten years.

It sounds like the Lexus actually did you a huge favor. Would you really want to be married to a woman who would dump you for a loser with a nicer car/house/etc?

NEVER. This line of thinking is the corperate equivelant of racial bigotry, profiling, and social class snobery.
Just cuz you may have a bad apple or two, don’t throw out the whole busshel or you’ll starve yourself.