what are easiest and chepest cars to work on
Even the carb’d ones?
You can’t go wrong with an older F-150 2WD, with the 4.9L I6. Oodles of room under the hood.
Easiest cars to work on are brand new ones, as they have factory warranties to help you should anything go wrong in the first few years. So you’ll save some money there(even more if the car you buy has one of those maintenance plans come with the vehicle).
The owner’s manual on my 2001 Prism, indicated regular oil changes at 5k intervals, had a long service life timing chain, tune up intervals of 100K and long life 100K anti freeze. Other than checking the air filters, hoses and brakes, I had nothing to do for years but change the oil myself. These babys (had 3 of these Corolla clones) ran with minimal fuss for so many years/miles, our kids couldn’t kill them. I’ve never seen of heard of cars that consistently last as long with as little service. Corollas and their clones are the hall mark inexpensive eco car to run and own.
Was it easy to get to some of the parts ? No…but I never had to.
Well, the OP did not give us an idea of what age/model years of cars we should recommend, but I will give my opinion anyway. For ease of access to everything under the hood, as well as cheap parts, nothing compares with mid-size or full-size 6-cylinder RWD American cars of the '60s and '70s!
Whether it is a Ford, a Chevy, or a Plymouth, a longitudinal straight six under the hood of a mid-size or full-size car means that you actually have enough room to sit in the engine compartment while you work on the car! Nothing else matches these cars for accessibility. Additionally, parts availability is still good, and the parts tend to be cheap.
My choice would be a full-size Plymouth, circa 1967, with the Slant Six and TorqueFlite automatic trans. The engine, transmission, and differential are essentially bullet-proof, even if they are gutless in a large car. However, the OP did not mention anything about the power-to-weight ratio. Nor, did he mention anything about vehicle safety equipment.
He asked about cars, not motorcycles!
Maybe your date is just wrong-- I’ve never worked on a pre-1980 Honda, but I’ve worked on plenty of 80’s ones and I would probably put them near the bottom of my “easy to work on” list.
I agree, the pre EFI Civics had a plumber’s nightmare of vacuum hoses on the carburettor. To change the clutch, you needed to either pull the engine or partially disassemble the transmission, the timing belt went around one of the engine mounts and you had to undo that engine mount to remove/replace it.
It’s hard to beat an old inline 6 cylinder rear wheel drive car if you want easy to work on.
P-71 model Crown Vics. You don’t have to work on them. You just drive them.
83 to 87 Camry four cylinder.
Old (pre-1987) Chevy full size trucks, six or eight cylinders. Either way, parts are cheap and easy to find and there is enough room under the hood for you and a couple of friends to climb in there and tinker to your heart’s content. For better cold weather starting and driveability, the 1987 to 1994 full size truck line came with a simple two barrel Rochester throttle body injection system and slightly different ignition system. These trucks were only slightly more challenging to work on due to the electronics, but are still among the easiest vehicles to work on. Parts for the EFI system on those trucks are also modestly priced, befitting the cheap end of the question as well. For a car, I agree with the others on old midsize or full size cars, either six cylinder or V8. Sixes are generally cheaper and easier to work on, but I have to include V8s also.
But the first EFI ones were a dream to work on. The 4th gen Civic/2nd gen CRX is the easiest car I’ve ever worked on. Two guys can pull the motor just by wrapping a rope around it and lifting. Almost everything’s easily accessible, and there are a jillion Civics on the road so parts are plentiful and pretty inexpensive.
Paying $30,000 to save maybe $5,000 is why so many Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs.