My car just died. It just f’ing died after I have spent a few thousand on it to fix it several times. This car also replaced a previous one that was an even bigger money pit. I would not be surprised if I have spent more than $12,000 on these two cars. I am now very sad angry and frustrated. I could not afford it then, and I cannot afford all of this trouble now, but I have no choice, I need a car.
Anyway, it looks like this car is truly dead and I will probably have to get a new one. I want a car that will not give me any trouble. So what should I buy? I hope to be able to buy a new one, even though that will put me in debt, which I have proudly avoided all of my life. Both of the last two cars (an 89 astro van and a 91 Buick regal) where used, so I am wary of getting a used car again. What should I do? What should I buy?
[FACT] Despite the bad experience skaterboarder87’s friend had, Toyotas and Hondas are the two most reliable makes. This has been well documented. [/FACT]
[OPINION] I’ve been a “Buy American” kind of guy all my life, but I wouldn’t buy another American car. Nor would I hesitate to buy a used Honda. I still harbor bad feelings about used Toyotas, based on my older sister’s string of used Toyotas, but that was a long time ago and they were crappers to begin with. [/OPINION]
I drove and '84 CRX for two years, and it was still running great when I sold it at 170,000 miles. Replaced that with a '95 Civic that’s had next to zero problems since new (it’s at 115K now). It still runs like new, and I expect it to go at least another 50 to 75K.
The Japanese engines do seem to be more reliable, but the accessories are at least twice what American shtuff goes for. I had a Nissan Maxima that kept shittin’ alternators, at $300 a pop, versus less than $100 for the Mercury Sable in the driveway now. And don’t even get me started on the cost of replacing fuel injection system components.
I have had three used Hondas and one new Honda over the years…Honda is a good bet.
My current Honda is a 1993 Accord EX. I have had it since Nov of 1996 and haven’t had a lot of repairs needed until this year I require a new radiator as the current one has a crack in the top. It still runs fine I just have to fork out the $300+ for the new radiator and install.
Mine has a basic four-banger engine but outside of regular maintanence, tires, windshield wipers etc…I haven’t had many repairs needed.
Techchick check out Ebay! I have a 92 Accord EX and I’ve been getting parts there super cheap. I see radiators all the time in the 60-70 dollar range for our cars.
Re: OP, My gf just bought a new Passat today after we looked for two weeks for a new car. I still trhink she should have gotten an Accord but she wanted something snazzier:)
My 92’ has 144K miles, it still looks great, the H22a engine in it is arguably the BEST engine Honda has ever produced. I have put less than 500 bucks a year TOTAL into it for the last 5 years and that INCLUDES oil changes and brakes!!
Sure the AC doesn’t work ( find me a Honda that does;)) and the electrical system sometimes decides I don’t need a horn for a couple minutes, the car runs every day regardless of weather, I could fix those problems if I wanted to spend a few bucks but you know what? I don’t care.
When I get some more money, I will fix it up and I am certain I will be still driving this car for another 150000 miles.
My first Honda was a 1987 CRX that finally died about three years ago with 250,000 miles on it. Since I am a poor single parent, an anonymous donor gave me a 1995 Ford Escort. I poured money into it and when the head gasket blew the second time in three months at 100,000 miles I borrowed money from my boss and bought a 1994 Civic DX that now has 137,000 miles on it and still drives like a brand new car. The previous owner never had it in for anything but maintenance, and so far I haven’t either. It uses virtually no oil and water and starts immediately every time, even when it was 17° not too long ago. I loved my CRX so much I swore then I would never get anything but a Honda, but felt like I couldn’t turn down a free car, Ford or not. I realize now I should have turned down the Ford becuase it ended up costing me way more than my Civic did. I can’t imagine myself ever again owning anything again but a Honda. The only thing is, year for year and mile for mile they are more expensive than other cars, but that’s only becuase they are so good. Since I first bought my CRX I have heard many, many testimonials from other Honda owners, and with proper maintenance, you can expect these cars to exceed 200,000 miles.
Honda (1983 civic) #1 was killed by another motorist in a car accident at 300 000 kms (186000miles). It was still running fine
Honda #2(1991 civic) was killed by me in a weather related car accident at 225000kms(140000miles). It was still running fine. It had a rough life though, it had a few dents pounded out of it. Nothing under the hood though.
Honda #3 (1996 civic) was killed by my brother in a car accident at 250000kms(155000miles). It was also running fine.
Honda #4 (1984 civic)was a used car we got when we needed an extra car for a year or so. From what we understand, it was always reliable according to the owner. It has over 400 000kms(250000miles). It was reliable for the year we had it as well. (except for the fact that it had no air conditioning and I would be dripping with sweat when I got to work. That doesn’t have anything to do with reliability though)
Honda #5 (2000 civic) only has 160000kms(93000miles) on it. No trouble as of this moment.
Honda #6 (2001 CRV) only has 90000kms(56000miles) on it. Again, no trouble as of this moment.
So in closing, we haven’t had to make any major repairs in any of our hondas (except for dents). I think that it is also important to note that nobody died in any of our accidents (thank goodness). Also, none of them were our fault - although some could have been avoided. The only criticism I have of hondas is that they can’t help you avoid accidents.
I bought my 98 Accord new, and the only problem I’ve had was a hole in the radiator about 8 months ago. I’m not sure what caused it, but it looks like something really sharp must have punctured it. I got it fixed for $75 and haven’t had to worry about anything else since.
Wouldn’t the most reliable car be the one with most spare parts available for it? I would be asking questions like what range of parts are readily available for this particular vehicle. You may say that if it has many parts available its because it breaks all the time, not always the case. If a car is more popular than others there will be a greater range of parts available. In the end reliability is a function of build quality and build quality is a function of price.
Generally, but not necessarily. The two most reliable car brands are Honda and Toyota. And that’s that. Generally speaking, if you do the necessary maintenance at the right times (regular oil changes, tune-ups, etc.) those cars will last you a good 200,000 miles.
Frankly, I would go to a dealer or a national used auto chain and just get a used car. You could probably get a Camry with 30-40,000 miles on it for about the same amount as a new Civic with goodies and it will last you just about as long. So you get more car for you money.
Another vote for Honda. I had a 98 Civic for two years and the alternator was replaced shortly after I bought it (still under warranty) with no hassles. That was the only thing it was ever in the shop for. Last week I got an 03 Civic at 1.9% financing (That deal ended 2/28 unless they extended it). I paid about $1000 extra for a 5yr/100K mile warranty (standard is 3yr/36K).
I had a '92 Honda Civic that was fantastic…the only problem I had aside from normal wear and tear (brake pads, etc) was the distributor went at 120,000 miles.
Now I have an '01 Nissan Sentra, which has been great so far @ 21,000 miles. The driver’s side power window just died, but it happened immediately after I shipped it overseas, and I think the pane detached from the motor due to someone whacking it during shipping. (I’ll bring it in for repair when I get around to it) I almost bought Honda again, but the Nissan was just a lot more car for the same money.
My ex works for a rental car company that deals mainly in supplying cars for warranty repairs. She said that she sees 10 Chryslers, GMs, and Fords for every 1 Toyota, Honda, VW, etc…with really weird crap too…like a brand new caravan that dropped the tranny at 2,000 miles. Of course, every make will have the occasional lemon…it just happens. It just seems that Honda and Toyota have them less than American cars.
I love my Mitsubishi! A 2000 Galant, 56k miles, not one thing has gone wrong.
In contrast, my previous car was a 1994 Grand Am. Within 20k miles, it had been in for warranty work several times. It went thru brake pads at an astonishing rate - every 8-10k miles.
My hubby has 1986 Ford Ranger - the paint is crap, the interior is sun damaged, but it runs great. Of course, he only commutes about a mile to the office. Sometimes we take it out for a long distance spin - 20 or so miles.