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JLeslie's avatar

Has your new automobile given you any problems?

Asked by JLeslie (48218 points ) March 11th, 2012

I am interested to know what jellies say about the reliability of their new cars.

For this question I am only curious about the first zero-three years of the cars life, when it should be trouble free. Let’s only go back to cars purchased in 2000 or more recently.

What cars have given you zero problems?

What car have you owned that had a problem(s), and what was the problem?

Everything counts from a decoration piece falling off to the car not starting.

Another question I have is generally speaking, if the dealer takes care of a problem right away under warranty, do you not even consider it a problem? Would you say your car gives you no problems in that circumstance?

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9 Answers

jerv's avatar

I have only ever owned one semi-new car; a ‘98 Saturn SW1 purchased in ‘00.

Between an electrical problem in the anti-theft system disabling the starter permanently, and not one but two blown transmissions, and the dealer not taking care of those since the original warranty no longer applied because we bought it used, I am a bit skeptical of new cars. And while the dealer did take care of the anti-theft/ignition issue, it was enough of a hassle that I definitely considered it a problem, especially since I had to leave work to rescue the wife.

That said, no car is without problems of some sort. In fact, brand new cars are a little more prone to them; call it “breaking in”, call it “teething pains”, but either way, cars generally need a little time and a few thousand miles to sort themselves out. Oddly, the one that has caused me the fewest problems is my current one; an ‘85 Corolla.

While cars have changed a bit in the last few years (notably, the quality of American cars has generally improved), there are some things that still hold true.

Bellatrix's avatar

I have a Mazda 3 now and it has been perfect. It is now three years old – on its way to four.
It has been (I am touching wood madly now) totally reliable. Great car. I am very happy with it.

Prior to this we had a Nissen X-trail. I really loved it and it was totally reliable until it wasn’t (at about four years of age). It suddenly stopped on the freeway and I had to coast off onto the side of the road. Freaked me out. I got it towed to the Nissen dealership and they changed some sensors. A week later… same thing happened again. Back it went. New sensors. Did it again. Took it to another Nissen dealership. They said “well it could be the timing chain but we aren’t sure. A new timing chain will cost you $2000.00”. So, we took it to a guy who repaired all the Nissen X-trails for rental companies. He tried lots of things (it cost us hundreds of dollars over the months all of this took). He couldn’t resolve the problem. We were very reluctant to spend $2000 on something that might work. They really didn’t sound too convinced themselves.

So, we had it repaired again and traded it in and got a Mazda.

I should add, we couldn’t get a telephone number for Nissen. You can only contact them by email but they just send you to a dealership. So we had to keep dealing with the Nissen dealerships which are individually owned.

Mamradpivo's avatar

I bought a 2004 Honda Civic in 2005 and had absolutely no problems ever. I loved that car.

I’m currently driving a 2012 Toyota Auris that I bought last October, and have to report again that there are zero concerns. All in all, I’ve been very satisfied with my two new auto purchases.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

I bought a new 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. I love the car, but after only 30,000 miles, the battery went dead and the tires are getting too worn to be safe. It just seemed way too early for that kind of repair/replacement.

We’re also very disappointed with the mpg we’re getting.

Ron_C's avatar

I had a 2000 VW Jetta TDI that had sever electrical problems. I had a 2003 Mercury Cougar that blew a main bearing at 7500 miles, then blew a head gasket at 8000. it was returned under the Lemon Law.

My wife has a 1998 (I know you said after 2000) that has been virtually trouble-free and she won’t trade it in. It is a big car with a 6 cylinder engine and gets 30 MPG, I guess I can’t blame here.

I used the Lemon Law money to buy a fully loaded Ford Focus Wagon; I have had some brake problems because it sits for weeks at a time while I’m on business trips, other than that, no problems. I am reluctant to get rid if it because of my previous new car experience.

I would really like a new VW Jetta TDI but don’t think that their wiring and computer problems have been resolved. I would buy on if the dealer guaranteed all electrical wit the 6 year standard mechanical warranty. I got over 50 miles per gallon with that car and it was quiet and comfortable.

ETpro's avatar

It’s been ages since I bought a brand new car. But the Chevrolet needed a few trips to the dealer for minor things. The big problem was it got stolen, and wrecked. I was looking to sell it anyway at that point, as I needed to go overseas for an extended trip. So the theft ended up being a convenient disaster.

I leased a Jeep Grand Cherokee wagon, and was reasonably happy with it while I kept it. But it was certainly not trouble free. Nothing major, though.

The only car that never gave me problems was a 1974 Vega. This one is the exact color mine was. I say no problems because I bought the car knowing it needed an engine rebuild. The piston rings had gouged out the aluminum block, so I intended to rebuild the engine, inserting steel sleeves on the cylinder bores after boring them out. Therefore, I am not counting that work as a “problem”. After steel sleeving it and getting the engine all speced out, it never gave me another moment’s mechanical problems. That’s because a lady lawyer ran a red light and totaled it on its christening cruise through Los Angeles traffic. The poor thing never had time to rust out from below, as Vega’s were so famous for doing.

Ron_C's avatar

@ETpro wow we are alike. I bought a Pontiac Astra. It was the same as the Vega but had a cast iron engine. I had no problems at all except the dealer had to spead the brake and clutch pedals further apart because I couldn’‘t shift without hitting the brake because the pedals were so close together.

We put 100K miles and towed a light camping trailer with it. No problems at all.

john65pennington's avatar

2000 Toyota Solara. No problems. Only a timing belt and 6 sets of new tires and oil changes every 7,000 miles as stated in its manual.

300,000 miles and still rolling.

SavoirFaire's avatar

The only car I’ve ever purchased new is my 2011 Honda Fit. I’ve had no problems in the year I’ve owned it. My previous car was a salvaged 2001 Honda Civic. Despite being a salvaged vehicle, virtually all of its needs were scheduled repairs (that is, repairs it would have been expected to require had it not needed rebuilding). The only real problem it had was that the driver’s side door was never quite the same. This led to occasional problems with the driver’s side window and the power lock controls on that side, though these problems didn’t arise until 2010.

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