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Reliability

nobbie48

Well-known member
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If someone asked me to describe the most reliable two wheel motorized vehicle my description would be have it looking like a CCM bicycle with a B&S pull start motor. Other than reliable it would be a piece of junk. Nightmare brakes, no lights, lethal handling, pathetic performance and efficiency etc. However you could diagnose and fix it at the side of the road with a monkey wrench. Often.

A car would be the equivalent of a buckboard.

That said today's vehicles are far more reliable than those of yore but when they do strange things you can't just sniff the carb, pull a plug and diagnose the problem. OBD doesn't tell all tales.

The older cars IMO tended to fail after a warning. Hard to start came before wouldn't start. Misfire came before sudden death.

So if you had to pick the most reliable new car what would be your choice?
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
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Probably Toyota Prius, but the differences in reliability between brands nowadays is small enough that you can buy whatever you like and it will probably be better than the best of 10 years ago.

FCA historically has not done well in JD Power etc. I have two of them. Have they been perfect? No. The Fiat (90,000 km on it) has an intermittent wonky outside temperature sensor, and the left power window mechanism was replaced under warranty. The Promaster (60,000 km) occasionally thinks a turn signal bulb is out even though they are all ok. That's it.
 

regder

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I wouldn't hesitate to buy any current model vehicle from the Korean/Japanese manufacturers. The domestics not so much, but that may just be personal bias.

They're all pretty damn reliable, even the relatively unreliable ones
 

Roadghost

Well-known member
According to Consumer Reports Magazine you're very unlikely to have any problems in the first five years with any new car. After that the difference between manufacturers comes out. There's plenty on the internet to show which manufacturers to avoid. JD Power just released their annual most reliable brands list. Modern cars, aside from some European brands and Chrysler generally have no problems if you can get past the first year breaking it in. Also, it's true newer cars are more complex and difficult to work on, but I've learned to look in the right places. My Hyundai has over 400,000km and runs like new. Rust is the biggest enemy.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
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Volkswagen has been another traditional Consumer Reports and JD Power bottom dweller. I have taken two of them past 400,000 km. Did something go wrong occasionally? Sure. An old car is allowed to have something wrong with it on occasion.
 

Roadghost

Well-known member
Volkswagen has been another traditional Consumer Reports and JD Power bottom dweller. I have taken two of them past 400,000 km. Did something go wrong occasionally? Sure. An old car is allowed to have something wrong with it on occasion.
I know people with Chryslers who tell me the same thing. But on average, you're going to have more trouble. I would never buy a Volkswagen.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I would have to say my 1981 Yamaha XV920Rs. Been running for 35+ years, both have 50k+ and all they ask for is tires and brakes.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
If I had to pick a dependable car I'd say Dodge/Jeeps. I have 3 in the driveway, my 07 RAM 1500 has never seen a repair other than brakes (not even a bulb), my 07 Commander has 300K and has only required brakes and a muffler, my 2006 Patriot has 200K, the first wrench it saw was brake pads at 150K.

I have also been lucky with Chev Cruzes -- on my second one now I renew them every 3 years at 60K and have never had a repair.
 

jc100

Well-known member
I won’t buy an American car ever again. Bought a Honda last year and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t blow my socks off with any one thing but it does everything reliably and totally adequately. Meanwhile my Ford is making me play “guess where the burning oil smell” is coming from again at the same time as “hey, guess which rusted part is going to fall off next”, one of my all time faves.
 

Evoex

Insert clever title here
Site Supporter
Have an '13 Kia Optima with 108k on the clocks. Had a crushed gromet or something which turned the 6spd manual into a sludge box, $75 part and 1 hour fix. Just did the brakes and had a sticky caliper on the right side which i fixed myself.

Couldn't be happier really.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I won’t buy an American car ever again. Bought a Honda last year and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t blow my socks off with any one thing but it does everything reliably and totally adequately. Meanwhile my Ford is making me play “guess where the burning oil smell” is coming from again at the same time as “hey, guess which rusted part is going to fall off next”, one of my all time faves.
I trhought the same way about GM after having a $70K suburban and $80K CTS-V burn to the ground in less than 150K. After 2010 GM corporate rebuild I found Chev to be exceptional. I'm out with Honda -- nobody's jacking me for $1000 brake jobs or dealer only repairs.
 

sburns

Well-known member
Toyota or Honda.
Last car was an Accord and I am driving a Toyota Camry currently. You might have to pay a little more up front but you recover this with the extra time not being, or going in for service. The Camry all I have spent on this car is oil and gas. Runs great no hiccups. They make life simple and you can spend time on real priorities, like motorcycling.

I have had GM and VW, never again. Maybe they might have improved. VW are or were over engineered junk. Ford or Chrysler no experience. Ford must have done something right though as they didn't need bail out money. Chrysler, I dunno every mini van on the street seems to run with a rubber ban screech. Anyhow at some point you might have to go to a dealer and those experiences will matter as well.
 
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nobbie48

Well-known member
Site Supporter
According to Consumer Reports Magazine you're very unlikely to have any problems in the first five years with any new car. After that the difference between manufacturers comes out. There's plenty on the internet to show which manufacturers to avoid. JD Power just released their annual most reliable brands list. Modern cars, aside from some European brands and Chrysler generally have no problems if you can get past the first year breaking it in. Also, it's true newer cars are more complex and difficult to work on, but I've learned to look in the right places. My Hyundai has over 400,000km and runs like new. Rust is the biggest enemy.
Oddly enough our Hyundai prompted me to raise the question. I was in a p****d mood. 2014 Elantra with keyless ignition and it has on three occasions in the last couple of days did a no start when the button was pushed. Try a few times and then it works. Both fobs same result. The old cars would let you run them limping into the ground after miles of warning behavior. Now they've got glass jaws.

The curse of the intermittent fault.
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
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With any car, it helps to know what the weak points are.

1996 VW Passat was a a great big black mark in Consumer Reports. Problem area 1: early VR6 engines; not my problem, mine was TDI. Problem area 2: the VW 4 speed automatic transmission; not my problem, mine was manual. Problem area 3: Sunroofs; not my problem, mine didn't have one. Sold that car with 462,000 km on it. The chap who ended up buying it brought his mechanic, and during the test drive the mechanic said "consider it sold, because if he doesn't buy it, I will".

My current car (fiat 500) is known for door handles breaking. The issue is that a pivot pin inside the front of the handle corrodes, seizes, then breaks. Solution: Hold the handle in the open position and squirt that pin with some Fluid Film or something of that sort every few months. Pivot pin doesn't corrode and stays lubricated.
 

jc100

Well-known member
Oddly enough our Hyundai prompted me to raise the question. I was in a p****d mood. 2014 Elantra with keyless ignition and it has on three occasions in the last couple of days did a no start when the button was pushed. Try a few times and then it works. Both fobs same result. The old cars would let you run them limping into the ground after miles of warning behavior. Now they've got glass jaws.

The curse of the intermittent fault.
batteries in key fob need changing?
 

Joe Bass

*probably eating right now*
Site Supporter
I won’t buy an American car ever again. Bought a Honda last year and it won’t be the last. It doesn’t blow my socks off with any one thing but it does everything reliably and totally adequately. Meanwhile my Ford is making me play “guess where the burning oil smell” is coming from again at the same time as “hey, guess which rusted part is going to fall off next”, one of my all time faves.
SunnyS did you change your user name?? Lol
I've 2 Dodge Caravans. Both purchased 3 years old. Drove both to 300k and sold. Tranny issues. Rust. Other problems. Yet I would live to have another one. They are just so damn practical.
My 2005 Honda Pilot has seen less repairs in it's life so far than either of my Dodges. As my kids are getting older, I probably won't NEED a minivan again (I'm partial to the Caravans), so when the time comes will probably buy another Honda....most likely a Pilot, if I can get a good deal.
....now I sound like SunnyS

Sent from my purple G4 using Tapatalk
 

Joe Bass

*probably eating right now*
Site Supporter
Hey @BrianP just to reiterate a post I made about a year or so ago, let me know when that 500 is ready to sell.

Sent from my purple G4 using Tapatalk
 

Baggsy

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Not the Chevy for me at the moment. Our Venture had brake light circuit boards that were exposed to the elements, and there was never a recall.
Apparently, I drove around for a year or more with no brake lights, as they were blowing immediately after I installed new ones.

Other than that I look at individual vehicles rather than the manufacturer.
 

JavaFan

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Subaru

sure they have issues
but probably the least troublesome AWD to operate

American AWD stuff, forget about it
done at 100k, if it gets that far

German stuff is better
but huge $$ if something goes outside of warranty
 

Brian P

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
The second generation GM U vans were notorious for taillight problems. Back when those were still on the road, it wasn't uncommon to see one with the backup lights come on with the brake lights at half brightness, etc ... Rust was killer on those, too. (Rocker panels!) Those were definitely "old GM" vehicles. Much has changed.

Bear in mind that if you go back that far, plenty of otherwise well regarded Japanese brand vehicles have had their share of rust issues, as well. When is the last time you have seen any of the first three generations of Honda Civic on the road? Or any Toyota before the late 1990s? I had a 1984 Toyota pickup for a long time. It was a good vehicle mechanically, but the box was biodegradable, and it's been nearly 20 years since mine biodegraded!
 

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