Skip to comments.Where Detroit Lost Me (Vanity)
Posted on 09/17/2010 8:12:44 PM PDT by One Name
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The Russians and the Chinese aren't this foolish, IMHO.
Extra points for rhyming. :-)
1973 for me.
I have found that dealers are often ignorant of older models. One Dodge dealership could not do a front end alignment on a Dodge Dart. A Chrysler dealership, despite my warning, confused my car, a rwd V-8 Chrysler 5th Avenue, With the FWD-4/6 cyl Chrysler New Yorker (which had a trim line called Fifth Avenue).
Amen. I drive "Check Engine " lights into the ground.
I appreciate your well thought out post; I stopped buying “detroit” products because they were basically junk. My last one was a 2001 corvette. I sold it to a friend of mine, it had 8000 miles on it in 2005. It was a complete disaster for him. And 8000 miles is correct, not 80,000.
1970 for me, probably.
I guess if you want a car that pukes fumes, gets crappy gas mileage, boils over in the summer and needs an oil change every 3k miles, you should stick to your beliefs.
Most of the time it's the sensor? You mean like O2 sensors that tell the engine how rich or lean to make the mixture based on the current air temperature and pressure? Other than that, most OBD computers are really good at nailing down the problem.
Plastics? You mean your dash that doesn't crack in the Arizona heat any longer or the interior doesn't impale your face in a crash?
I don't have any problem working on older cars if that's your thing, but I drive a 265hp 4cyl that gets 25mph and corners on rails, all of it due to the items you enumerated above.
I gave up on GM when a $2.00 bad switch on a automatic shifting mechinism could not be replaced. whole thing had to be replaced @ $400.00. Pontiac RIP.
Extra points for you, too.
I agree. I would be happy with a sturdy functional vehicle that I could work on with basic hand tools. Planned obsolescence, safety standards, EPA compliance, and needless crap make me not want to buy a new car again, ever.
I can agree with a lot of this. We have a lot of nostalga for Detroit muscle and trucks, but the fact of the matter is, I just see a big difference in quality when it comes to your average cars. I understand a LOT of this is due to government regulations, having to put so many safety or environmental gadgets and doo-dads into the cars to meet whatever standard that they forget the driver. There, however, is just a simple quality difference as well.
Just sit in a BMW 1 series or a similarly priced Chevy Impala. Yes, the BMW is smaller, but the overall fit and finish is miles ahead, as is the power- all for the same price.
It is that low to mid priced range vehicle we are losing. Even some of the econo boxes in Europe and Japan have a tightly made car whereas some US cars in the same price seem glued together.
When it comes to performance vehicles, the comparison is tighter but you still notice the difference in fit and finish. A Chevy Covette is a beautiful vehicle but sit in it and then a Porsche 911 Carerra and you won’t sit in a Vette again unless you just have an emotional attachment. (Albeit, I do have an emotional attachment to the latter myself)
I love my wife's Cayenne, it has what is known as a PCM (a fancy all-in-one display, that, instead of giving you a check engine light, can give diagnostic info showing specifically what the issue is and solution (such as if it is an air flow sensor suggests replacing a filter).. I haven't had a chance to really test it out, but if it is good as the manual says, could save a ton on plugging it in and reading it like I have spent on my H3.
I don’t believe the constant changes that prevent interchangeability of parts was an accident; they don’t want you going to the junkyard. They need you to replace your car every 3-5 years, or they’re out of business (which is exactly what happened; people bought Japanese and European cars that lasted 10+ years, and that was the end of Detroit). I just got rid of an American minivan that wasn’t ten years old but behaved like a 30 year old POS; when I looked online, I saw many (formers) owners had junked theirs with significantly less mileage than I had for the same problem (transmission was shot). The only good American “cars” are those that cost about $10K brand new; you could pay $18K for the same performance with a different “American” car.
“I drive “Check Engine” lights into the ground.”
Exactly; that would be first and foremost in a list of “you might be driving an American car” jokes...
The Europeans who do not elect Muslims to run their countries? The Europeans who have not allowed mu*lims to take over their intelligence agencies, govt and put sleepers in their military to massacre their own troops?
The Europeans who do not watch TV where all the 6 networks have Islamic investors/sharholders (Fox is 7% owned by the Saudi kings nephew), joint ventures and multibillion business deals. The idiots who lap it all up to watch ball games while the networks conpire for sharia in the USA. In between the “stupid white man” commercials?
Sadly idiots who watch TV in America gave away liberty for a clicker.
You haul hay, fertilizer and cattle with that 4 cylinder?
I have nothing against fuel injection, TBI or direct. I have nothing against sensors.
I keep about 10 vehicles, 2 tractors, several pieces of farm equipment balers, mowers, etc. going and work a full-time day job.
You gotta eat, right?
I don’t know. The fit and finish on a 2010 Ford Fusion or Mercury Milan is pretty damn good. I have seen new BMW 3-series that do not match up or the FordMoCo blows away those Baby Obama/UAW Cadddylax.
BINGO, planned obsolescence. It is planned into everything from the paint to the carpeting. It looks good for the short term but it is dirt cheap on the front in (manufacturing side) but like most cheap things, it isn't made to last. When you think about it, and keep your eyes open, on the roads you'll either see mostly cars that are 10 years old or less or 20 years or more. There is a magic window where the cheapos are too expensive to repair and the decent cars people want to keep for a long time. How many 1990s model Ford Taurus do you see on the road now even though they were the best selling cars for a while?
You are correct. There is something about the Fords in the past couple of years that you have a point about. I remember a few years ago mentioning that Fords in the US were nothing like Europe (the Mondeo in particular), but they seem to have brought those standards over here. I haven’t had a chance to get one as a rental, but a couple of the new mid sized Fords (Fusion I guess) look pretty tight on the outside. There is a Mercury Milan in our office parking lot I walk by and the interior reminds me of an Audi. Maybe there is hope.
(it would be the one non-government motor company).
You and I both still speak English, I notice.
Speaking of Cadddylax, is there a more over-priced car on the road? You can easily get over $70K for an optioned out CTS.
That’s getting into AMG Merc territory.
Jeremy Clarkson would be a walking FCC fine here. :->
I wonder about the carbon footprint thing. If we kept our old vehicles and made the updates; EFI, etc., how much lower would the total footprint be if we weren’t constantly grinding and remanufacturing?
I think we are of the same mind. I too am glad they don’t make cars the way they used to. Back in the 60’s we’d drive to KS from CA and take an extra set of belts and hoses, a starter, generator, water pump, fule pump, etc... cuz before the trip was over, at least one of those things would fail.
I buy new and get rid of my vehicles before they start having problems, which generally means I dump them before 175K.
I had a 4cyl 25 mph...Toyota Starlet.
I agree with most of what you write. My specific complaint is with a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado P/U. No more than six months passed after I bought it (in 2007) that the entire console panel had to be replaced. All those bells and whistles, I am sure, contributed to that. Extra built-in crap that can—and does—go bad.
When I was sixteen my Brother's Best Friend, in a moment of pity I'm sure, let me drive his Red 69 Roadrunner 4 speed 383. He just threw me the keys and told me to go pickup a pack of cigarettes for him. It took me about a half hour to drive the four blocks and back.
Went to a drive through Dairy, (remember those?), and even though I was too young to buy tobacco, the guy couldn't keep his eyes off the car and tossed me a pack of Winston's.
Those were the days. I've owned a 55 Chevy, a 69 Chevelle, a Corvette Convertible, a Porsche 911, you name it. That Roadrunner still has a place in my heart. Someday before I die, I'll have to get me one of those suckers.
I remember every detail. The white interior, the beep-beep horn, the flat black painted hood and the Hurst T Handle shifter.
My Brother still has a 32 Ford 5 Window Deuce Coupe. He built it when he was 16 and he is 63 now. If I outlive him, it's mine. (If his Wife lets me take it home) LOL
Sorry for the long story. Those good old days still make me smile. The middle 70’s doomed the cars I loved.
We run diesels at work up to 800,000 or so.
Why can’t you take a trip with a 30 year old vehicle and a set of tools with an extra fuel pump, distributor, water pump, alternator, starter, etc. and get there just the same?
I’m still in KS and we still do that, and we still get there.
What American car do you have with a 265 hp 4 cylinder?
Or are you talking about eh pits of reliability VW?
My latest check engine light was a gas cap that my wife failed to tighten.
The late 60’s and the early pre-emissions 70’s was the Heyday for american muscle cars. Power disc brakes added alot to their viability.
21 cent gas.
Cars can run a long time, and keep getting rebuilt. If they did gas motors like diesels, you could resleeve them.
Nothing has to die and be crushed and ground up, unless that’s the plan ( which it is)
You can computerize anything- just make it robust and decipherable and repairable.
I wish I had an 83 starlet... RWD. 42\54 mpg, carry a crap load of stuff
Husband started work at Ford in 79. His first job was dealing with EPA paperwork. When the government gets involved things get worse and costs more.
I came of age to drive, 1975
Extra points for rhyming. :-)
1973 for me.
1955 time for me to drive
Why? There is absolutely no correlation (much less causation) between CO2 in the atmosphere and "Climate Change" for as far back as we can get reliable readings. It is not a serious issue for competent scientists without a left wing agenda.
Don't you read the threads on the "Man Caused Global Warming" hoax on the threads here?
A technician replaces parts to fix the car.
A mechanic fixes the problem the re-installs the part to fix the car. Dealerships employ technicians.
I agree with your point on Porsche vs. Corvette, but damn, I’d really love a ZR1 or a CTS-V.
My friend has had 2 911 Turbos, a Lamborghini Gallardo, and now a Nissan GTR in the last 4 years. The Porsches have been the best overall, considering fit, finish, performance, and every day livability. The Lambo was a real head turner, but man its ride was really stiff for every-day driving and the interior wasn’t as nice as I was expecting for a $230,000 car (Spyder). He got rid of it because he was sick of getting it towed 350 miles one-way every 5,000 miles for an oil change, besides the other problems he had with it.
The GTR, for 1/2 the price of his Porsches, and 1/3 the price of his Lambo, is a steal. It’s the most livable as a daily driver and its portly figure is compensated well by the engine and electronics. The interior is better than the ZR1 by a mile and almost on par with the Porsches. His only problem with it is that it says “Nissan” (and that it isn’t a manual tranny).
All reasons the old Volvos are dear to my heart.
Pull the bulb and be done with it!!!
WoW! I’m drooling!
I just cover the check engine light with electric tape.
That’s a great point; I’m their worst customer because I’ve never bought a new car, and drive old ones into the ground. On the one hand, it may look good that a 17 year old car is still on the road; on the other, it is so obviously decrepit nobody would mistake it for an endorsement of any particular make: it looks like it was stolen from a junkyard right before entering the compactor...Also, it has part form several different brands on it.
“The middle 70s doomed the cars I loved.”
You got that right; I’m almost 40, and the minivan my family bought in ‘03 was the first car either of us ever had that had more than 4 cylinders...A minivan was our muscle car.
I hear you; first car was a ‘76 (in ‘93); last year I got a ‘97. Until you have to fix something, they’re great (pretty expensive); even then, they run well with many things broken!
Does that mean Muslims will not buy them?
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