What was the worst POS car you have ever owned?

My wife and I dropped our truck off the other day for a tuneup and oil change and were commenting on what a good truck it has been for us and how all of our cars we have had lately have been good vehicles. We own three vehicles and they are all in good shape and I foresee long lifes ahead for them all. All of them we paid cash for, all are at least 6-15 years old, all are in good condition, etc.

But it did make me think of the worse cars we have owned. Mine was a Ford Pinto I had to buy right out of school. I had just graduated from Architecture school and had moved to DC and needed a car. I had zero money but had to find some car to get me to and from my first job out of school. I was able to find this POS Pinto for $500 that this guy had ‘refurbed’…what a piece of junk. He had spray painted the dash but had overspray on the side windows! It lasted 6 months before the brakes finally completely gave out!

My wife was telling me about a Chevy Chevette that she owned that had holes in the floor board and so she put down Birch bark to block the water from coming in!

So what was the worse car you ever owned (or do you still have it!).

I had an old (don’t remember the exact year) Honda Accord that I paid $600 for. It was turd brown and I’d have to use the choke to get it started on cold days. The clutch started slipping on it, but I couldn’t afford to get it fixed. One day I managed to drive it to work but couldn’t get it going again so I left it on the very busy downtown sidestreet where it collected parking tickets for about a month before it finally got towed. When I finally had reason to renew my sticker I had to pay all those parking tickets first, which added up to considerably more than a new clutch.

My first car, of course. Dad bought it from the neighbours for $100, who were just trying to unload it on anyone they could.

It was a year older than I was and leaked oil. The engine never did sound right…not sure what was wrong with it, really. The heater went out my first winter of ownership (have you ever tried to clean thick frost off the inside of a windscreen when late to school?) and the shocks never actually existed. It was mostly made of rust.

Nevertheless, it was a pretty sturdy car and made it on its last legs for over a year. It finally died when I changed the oil (I think it was the shock that did it.)

A 1985 Chrysler LeBaron, which I was given in 1991. It wasn’t half bad, especially for a free car, but when the window cranks and the air conditioning both gave out, it was my own little portable chunk of Hell. I look back and can’t believe I drove that around in a Florida summer without passing out.

In Calgary between 1989 and 1991 I had a little shit brown Pinto. I don’t remember what year it was but I drove around with a 4l container of brake fluid and had to top up between gas fill ups. Those were the days - no roadworthiness tests :slight_smile: Oddly it didn’t burn oil and I never had to top that up between changes.

99 Cavalier, my newest car so far, out of over 10, I Think it was my second car… Anyway, I had just sold my invincible Plymouth Lebaron which let you floor it every single time without a problem. Turned out the Cavalier wouldn’t let you do it once. I blame myself though because I was so used to a V6 and I didn’t treat the Cavi like the 4 cylinder it was, then again, it shouldn’t have said Z-24 on it. Look how fast they are disappearing, all you seen was Cavaliers a few years ago. I haven’t had a 4 cylinder since…

You forgot to mention the name of it

My worst car was a 57’ Ford that a mechanic helped me select. I ended up rebuilding every major component including the seats. It was good experience. After completion, it was stolen.

I also owned a 1976 Vega that would be on many people’s list. However, for me it was a fine vehicle. I drove it for 14 years until it was buckling in the middle when I touched the brakes. It always ran flawlessly, even to the junkyard down the street. A few days later I saw it leaving on flat bed with other vehicles that had been crushed down to about 18".

The worst car I ever owned, and the first car I ever owned, is also probably the best car I’ve ever owned. How is that possible, you ask? Well, it was a candy-apple red 1986 Chevy Sprint ER, a tiny, and I mean tiny 5-speed, manual transmission, 3-cylinder hatchback. It had no passing power, the heat escaped through the floor so it was always cold in the Winter even with the heater running full blast, it had manual everything (steering, brakes, windows, locks, etc…), it had an AM only radio, and a crank sunroof that leaked in the rain. It was truly a piece of crap…and I loved it.

It got 52 mpg. You read that right; 52 miles per gallon, in the mid '80s, before hybrids even existed. It was so small I could park it almost anywhere. It also had a ridiculously tight turning radius.

When I got married I gave the Sprint to my wife as a present after teaching her how to manage the manual transmission. Sometime in the early '90s she traded it in for a Geo Storm.

If I had the space for it and could find one in mint condition, I would buy a Sprint again. That car got me through the end of grad school, and I {sniff} miss it so much, piece of crap that it was. :frowning:

A 1983 (?) Plymouth Horizon, aka Dodge Omni.

One of the last cars with a carburetor - you’d think by then they’d have carbs sorted out, but not this one. We were regular customers of the local pick-a-part yard, and without fail, the carb had been plucked from every single one of this model.

I was thrilled when one day, there was a car with a carb. I took it, rebuilt it, and then the car ran a bit better, but to spite me, the radiator cooling fan stopped working and the alternator failed.

We ultimately took the wretch to the junkyard and were thrilled to get $50 for it.

I had a '77 Firebird in grad school (in the '90s). My boyfriend gave it to me instead of repaying me $500 for an airline ticket. I could look down and see the road going by between my feet when driving - there were holes in the floorboards. I made a sharp left turn into my driveway once and heard something falling - when I looked out into the street, I saw that the right rear seatbelt buckle had fallen out of the car (rusted through its attachment to the car). It had a particular throttle setting where the engine would die - I had to accelerate past it, or slow down below it (I got good at slamming it into neutral, restarting it, and putting it back into drive before it could slow down too much - a little scary on onramps, though).

Missed the edit window.

I forgot to add that the Chevy Sprint had no A/C, so it was sweltering in the Summer. Ever have it so hot in your car that the plastic parts in the dash and door panels soften, warp, and begin to emit a rubbery/oilish odor?

Ahhh, sweet memories. :wink:

Me: my first, a 1965 Buick Wildcat four-door, purchased for a then-princely $350, that I’ve mentioned in other threads. Its worst faults were leaking like a sieve around the windshield whenever it rained, and smelling of mildew because of that issue, but I ran it for two years without any major repairs and sold it on just before it really started falling apart.

My family, almost too many to name. Let’s see, I could point to the '57 Chrysler that expired in less than a year, the '67 Pontiac that blew its engine 3 months after purchase, the Vega, the Chevette, the god-awful LeBaron, or the Fiat 850 Spyder that seemed to have been made of material rejected for tin cans, but to be fair, they were mostly purchased used in a salty winter environment and my dad was utterly hopeless at judging the mechanical condition of vehicles.

No, the absolute all-time worst was the Renault Dauphine bought new in '67 (“hey, it’s just like a VW Beetle but lots cheaper!”). That thing ate four clutches in three years, spent two more years rusting literally to pieces in a closed, unheated garage and was hauled off for junk with a grand total of 22,000 miserable miles on it. Comfortable seats, though, I will say that.

I used to drive a lot of POS cars. I’d usually have two of them at a time in case one of them broke down.

The first runner up (not the worst) was an old Nissan truck that a co-worker called the Bondo Bandit. It had a few bondo spots that I had patched over and had never bothered to sand and paint (you can’t have a hole through the body in PA, but ugly bondo is perfectly acceptable for inspection). It had well over 250,000 miles on it, but as ugly as it was, it ran like a champ. My co-worker refused to park next to it, though. He said he was afraid a piece of it was going to come off and damage his car.

The worst though was an old Monte Carlo that my family called the Uncle Buck car (if you’ve seen the movie you know what they were talking about). Unlike the car in the movie, this one wasn’t brown. However, it’s a little difficult to say exactly what color it was, since it wasn’t a uniform color from one end to the other. It was sort of a blue-ish green, more blue in some places, more green in others, and faded all the way to gray in a lot of places. I was thinking of having a contest to guess what the original color was, but I didn’t know the answer and wouldn’t have been able to proclaim a winner. Out of all of the POS cars I had, the Uncle Buck car was the only car that Mrs. Geek refused to even get into, and she never had a problem riding around in the Bondo Bandit, so that says a lot right there.

I didn’t personally own it–my parents did, but it was an 82 Chevy and it went out on us in Cimmaron Canyon, NM. My father tried to restart it while I looked about, realized we’d just come around a blind curve, and that whatever else came around the bend wouldn’t see us till it hit us. I bailed while yelling in alarm and then the rest of my family (except for my father) also bailed. We had to drag the car off the road.

We got it started again and made it to Red River. There we wanted to take a scenic journey so we asked the owners of the lodge we were at where to go. They sent us to a very rocky road where the car bounced and the air conditioning wire was torn off. Since we were in New Mexico in the middle of summer my mother insisted of air conditioning and we asked the lodge owners where the nearest garage was. Turned out the same people who owned the lodge also owned the only garage in town.

(Yeah, I know that last part wasn’t the car’s fault. Thought I’d include it anyway.)

I had a 1959 Renault Dauphine that I bought brand new my senior year in high school. Like old age, the only thing good about that car was that it didn’t last long.

I also had a brand new 1978 Honda Accord. Both that model Honda and the Renault consistently appear on “10 worst cars ever” lists.

My 66 VW squareback. The engine blew a month after I bought it. (It was only a few years old). It never wanted to start when it was raining, needed to be tuned up every three weeks, and once, the engine caught on fire. My 61 Corvair was a better car even if it was unsafe at any speed. I would never have another VW.

When I was young enough to have my parents buy me a car, they passed up the BMW 2002 (sun roof, CD player, nice, nice car) because it was a stick.
Instead, they bought me a piece-of-crap, antediluvian Toyota Camry. It was a stick, too. It was bad, but serviceable until one day the clutch went out and the engine cracked. Stupid car slipped into a coma and could barely donate what few body parts were intact.

That car was crappy, but more crappy relative to the alternative. It was still better than the 1980-something Nissan I drove for a few weeks. It didn’t have rear shocks, had long lost its gas gauge, most of the upholstery, yet still talked to you (“The key is in the ignition. The key is in the ignition.”).

  1. 1959 VW Bug - It had been passed around from high school kid to high school kid for about 15 years when I got it. Consequently, I was the frequent target of the local constabulary, who had not kept up on who the current owner was. (I was a good kid - some of the previous owners, not so much). It was day-glo green with splotches of orange primer over the bondo work. It had a 6V battery. You could start it with a nail file. It didn’t have proper front and rear bumpers, instead there were 2x6 boards bolted on. We said it ran on magic. Eventurally, I gave it to my grandfather - he made it into a dune buggy.

  2. 1964 Dodge Dart - When I was leaving for college I needed a new (to me) car. My sister was sleeping with her boss and he got caught by his wife, so they were splitting up. He had this old Dodge he wanted to get rid of - but it was in his wifes name so I had to go get her to sign the title over (AWK-ward!) Anyway, I got it for free. The cooling system was bonked, so driving it home I had to stop every 5 miles and water it. I didn’t drive it much at college, my roommate took it once and got into a fender bender. He gave the other person my name (thanks, dude). When winter came it got buried in 5 feet of snow. I left it there. Come spring, I got home one day and there was this guy there who had dug it out and was trying to hot wire it. It started right up and he offered me $50 for it. SOLD!

I had one of those POS Nissans too. All the warning lights on the dash were out, but it still talked to you.
The voice was a woman’s. We called her “the idiot bitch”. As in: “the idiot bitch told me today that the oil was low”.:wink: