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Great Car in your life, Pain in the butt problems!

Over your car ownership history, have you had a good car (in your opinion) that was the source of reoccurring problem area that required a “special” fix or practice? I owned a brand new 1976 Datsun 280Z, with the fuel injection. The fuel supply to the injectors was a oval system of metal fuel lines and 3 to 4 inch rubber hoses. After a year, the rubber hoses would develop pinhole leaks and fuel would begin spurting about the engine compartment under a good deal of pressure. I learned to carry replacement hoses, sharp blades, and screw drivers to replace these as they let go. After a while I replaced all the rubber with the metal wrapped hose which was a real pain to work with. The six hoses leading to the injectors also had to be replaced, which required cutting off the metal “collar” on the injector. This trick was taught to me by a friendly mechanic who said he had to do this on a similar Volkswagon setup. Loved the 280Z but hated that fuel injection system!

If I ever had problems like that, I would not call it a great car. In my opinion, great cars don’t have those problems.

Depends on your view of a vehicle as A-B transport nothing else or an engaging experience.

My 1988 VW Jetta GLI 16v constantly leaked water through each door. If the plastic liner unseated itself(glue) the car door was designed essentially to leak inside the car instead of the typical out. I learned to fix them. I absolutely loved that car, it was a real drivers car (basically VW GTI with a trunk).

98 Chevy Blazer. Had to replace the ball joints every 50-60k. The first time was a bitch because everything was rivitted, welded, or pressed in. Chevey tried to make it all one part with the control arms.

Depends on your view of a vehicle as A-B transport nothing else or an engaging experience.

I think that oversimplifies it.

I want an engaging experience, but I don’t want it to be under the hood or under the car on the side of the road. I want the engaging experience to happen as I drive the car or perform maintenance. I am a car enthusiast and I do most of my own repairs, but I have very little tolerance for fixing things that should not break in the first place or fixing the same problem more than once.

Of the last three cars I owned, one was a 1984 Mercury Marquis with repeated electrical and carberatur problems, one was a 1985 Buick Skyhawk with only one recurring problem that was eventually solved, and one was a 1998 Honda Civic that I still own (actually, I sold it last year and just bought it back), which has never had a problem that wasn’t fixed the first time around. They don’t make the Skyhawk/Cavalier anymore. So what do you think the brand of my next car will be? It probably won’t be another Civic, but you can be sure it will be another Honda.

Just because I think of a car as more than A-B transport doesn’t mean I want to fix things repeatedly.

An older SAAB 900 that I really loved and was a great driver. It had an erratic problem with the fuel injection (CIS injection) that would cause a no-start condition, rough running when cold, or erratic idle.

Every test (done a 100 times) showed things were all fine. After a few years I finally determined, and found to be the case, that the car was suffering from a wire harness problem.
The harness was made to be bio-degradeable (part of the Save The Rats Campaign), but unfortunately was bio-degrading while I was driving it. Slitting much of the harness open with a razor blade found a multitude of problems with the wire insulation.

I’m with Whitey…If it had a lot of problems it WASN’T a great car.

I’ve had cars that had problems which I liked…My Vega’s were one. But they were NOT great cars. My 69 Firebird was a GREAT car.

I truely liked my '72 Vega, but that car had serious problems. The worst was when the rear axle slid out of the housing while I was still moving.

It was truely too bad. The car overall was a fun design.

I will also go with anything CIS,some great cars but problematic injection technique,any idea why Mercedes stuck with CIS? I think they were the last to give up on it.
Problems with the metering head (that control rod sticking)
Injector spray pattern
That flap in the air box comming free
Cold start regulator needing adjustment
Expensive fuel pumps
But attached to some great cars.