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What Was Your Most Reliable Car


ted tcb

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Ok, so we've all owned crappy cars and have progressed to Caddy's, some of which are pretty reliable.

What was your most reliable car?

How long did you own it, and how many miles did you drive it?

For me, it would have to be a 1985 Honda Accord EX. Bought it for 15k new, drove it for 120,000klm, and sold it 2 years later for 12k.

A close second in terms of cost to own was a 1987 Grand Marquis, purchased in 1997 for just $800 Cdn, drove it trouble free for 18 months, and sold it for $400. It was my winter beater, so I only drove it for maybe 10,000 klm.

1989 FWD Fleetwood, Silver

1995 STS Crimson Pearl on Black leather

1997 STS Diamond White

1999 STS Crimson Pearl

2001 STS Silver

2003 STS, Crimson Pearl

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Well, maybe I'm just lucky or have really low standards, but every car I have owned has operated very well - considering that they were all run hard as possible.

Here's the list from about 1969 or so:

62 Chevy II 2dr hardtop (my first car)

64 Doge Dart 2dr hardtop (her first car)

66 Pontiac Tempest 2dr sedan (our first car)

67 Chevy Caprice (from my brother at 132,000-miles

68 Olds Cutlass 4dr sedan (her dad melted the engine when a hose leaked and he didn't want to stop) Milled the heads and replaced the gaskets, but we wanted something bigger.

69 Vista Cruiser (the engine would not restart - if shutdown real hot [vapor lock?], but we sold it for what we bought it - to get the newer Malibu)

74 Malibu wagon (she kinda wrecked it a bit, but drove it mangled until the van)

79 Ford conversion van (family mobile)

85 Horizon (bought new for her)

95 Neon (bought new for her)

00 Neon (bought new for her)

Company cars first - then maybe ours later on:

86 Ford Taurus 4cyl 5-speed (started at -40F !)

89 Buick Park Avenue

91 Caprice Classic (serious all black cop-car look-alike)

92 Olds 98 (one of our favorites)

92 Mercury (one of the highest top ends)

95 Ford Explorer (topped out around 90-95)

94 Caddy (the Big Red Dog) ;)

99 GMC pickup

None had bad engines, trannys or any breakdown issues that I can recall. We would usually have 2-cars at any one time just in case - but never really needed to park one. All but the Horizon and Neons - were bought used with lots of miles.

Again, just lucky I guess? :)

Add power to leave problems behind. Most braking is just - poor planning.
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66 Chevelle Malibu. Bought it for $300, sold it for $500 (they go on ebay now for about $15,000 in restored condition) and the engine has over 300,000 miles and it's still going strong. Nothing went wrong with that car, and I mean nothing. I'd sell my soul to get another one. To hell with computerized cars, I hate 'em.

If you really want to make people safe drivers again then simply remove all the safety features from cars. No more seat belts, ABS brakes, traction control, air bags or stability control. No more anything. You'll see how quickly people will slow down and once again learn to drive like "normal" humans.

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I've owned over 120 vehicles since 1967, the single best car in terms of reliability is my '96 Seville. The only non maintanance item ever done was the fuel rail recall. It now has 96k on it and is perfectly clean and dry underneath and has never had a qt of oil added between changes. Last time I drove it to NC, I got 29 mpg. B)

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Great counter-post there Ted...

I would have to try to choose between 2 of mine as the most reliable... interestingly though; 1 was the "old technology" and 1 was "new".

1) 1977 Chev el Camino Classic... bought new in '78 about a week after my Mom picked up her '78 anniversary 'vette. It was silver from the factory but the dealer painted the charcoal on the bottom to match up to the "snazzy paint" of the vette because it wouldn't sell (thus new '77 in '78). It was a column auto with a smogger 305 V8. I drove it for 4 years and put about 90,000 miles on it without any expense but tires, accidents (3) and regular maintenance. The guy I sold it to shoved a 454 LS6 into it and she was reborn as a street racer. Due to constant body work from accidents, there was very little rust on it.

2) 1987 Old Cutlass Ciera GT 2-door... This car was bought new as well and had the 3.8L SFI V6 with 4 speed auto in the console. Arguably the best engine family GM has ever made (before the Northstar), this car ran for 380,000 km and 12 years with me before the tilt lock went on the steering column and the steering rack wore out (again) making it really challenging to turn. Unlike many of this era, I never had to do the tranny! I took this car from Toronto to St. Petes, Florida in 17 hours driving time with 190,000km on her and missed all the County Mounties in their V8 Mustangs! I gave it to a neighbour who stripped it for the seats and digital dash (which still worked perfectly) for his custom hot-rod. He gave the drivetrain to another neighbour to put in his failing Park Avenue. An amazing car that was very reliable right through her life. As a final note, this car actually had a true "idiot light"... instead of automatically turning on the lights at dusk, a light would illuminate on the dash saying "Turn on Lights"... yo, duh...

Mike P

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Poop: I had a talking car that was my perfect straight man.

I would ask my 84 300zxTurbo, "When is a door not a door"

Everytime, a female voice would answer, "The door is a jar"

(of course, I had to crack the door open with impeccable timing)

1989 FWD Fleetwood, Silver

1995 STS Crimson Pearl on Black leather

1997 STS Diamond White

1999 STS Crimson Pearl

2001 STS Silver

2003 STS, Crimson Pearl

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The most reliable car I owned was a 1978 Ford Pinto. I bought it with 50,000 miles in 1982 for $2500. It had a 2.3L 4 cyl. and a 4-speed tranny. I managed to tear the rear end out, but parts were cheap and $100 later I had a used rear end brakes and all. The interior was orange vinyl with black carpet. The rear seat laid down in the back and it had the "all glass" hatch that I could lay under and star gaze with my dates. ;):D I courted alot of girls in the back of that car. Oh the memories. :P I traded it in 1988 with 132,000 miles for $500.

My wife's 92 Deville was bought in 1994 with 25,000 miles it is her most reliable car. She owned it for 10 years before she lost her confidence in it with 75000 miles. That prompted me to buy the 94 Concours that she now drives and she leaves me the 92 Deville. :( The Concours now has 125,000 but she still prefers it over her 92. Got to be the Northstar. :P

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This is easy. Most reliable was (is) my '83 Z28... Factory ordered new in April of '83 it has almost 300,000KM on it. Engine, tranny and rear end all still holding up great... Drove the snot out of the poor car going to University... Chasing chicks.. etc...

IIRC in almost 300K KM it needed one heater core, one radiator and one water pump… All simple work… Again from memory I think my total investment in parts for this car was like $400. (Not counting tires! :D ) The car lives on under a cover in my front yard… When I get the time I’m going so swap in a Fastburn 350!

The car never let me down and always got me home... even after each of the three "rear-ender" accidents it suffered...

PS even the interior still looks new!

caddy.jpg

Easin' down the highway in a new Cadillac,

I had a fine fox in front, I had three more in the back

ZZTOP, I'm Bad I'm Nationwide

Greg

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OK,

Yesterday I dredged up some rotten memories of my Vega. :(

Today it is about how good my 1996 GMC 1/2 ton FWD Suburban is. I bought it used with 20,000 miles in 1997. Today it has over 330,000 miles & still counting. Other than batteries, brakes, tires, fuel filters, 1 fuel pump, 3 serpentine belts, power steering hoses, belt tensioner and 1 alternator I have had to replace the intake gaskets and re-shim the rear differential. It gets between 15 and 17 MPG. (Not bad for a full size four wheel drive Sub!) It will still go 3000 miles on less than a quart of oil. (It's been on Pennzoil 10W30 since I have had it.)

Right now it is starting to show signs of a rear main seep. (An occasional spot of oil on the garage floor.) And the driver's seat needs a panel replaced. I almost forgot, I had to replace the driver's door hinge pins & bushings. I have used it to haul a 31 foot camper and my John Deere 730 tractor. I have used the four wheel drive to get around in snow when nobody else was going anywhere. I would not hesitate to drive it to Seattle if I needed to go there.

This Suburban has gone the distance and has more to give yet. :)

What else can I say.

Britt

Britt
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I bought a Honda CRX new in 1989 and drove it for 12 years. I replaced one battery under warranty just after buying the car and the timing belt at 90,000 miles. Other than gas and oil, that is all I spent. Paid $10,100 and sold it for $3,500. Not a bad deal. Went from the CRX to the used 97 STS. Big change!

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I guess from a maintenance standpoint... Being the most reliable starter/runner over the duation of ownership with the least money being put out would be my '92 GMC Sonoma S-15 pickup.

That truck just ran and ran, and the only thing beyond regular maint. I had to do was a heater core replacement. It did have a nasty water leak in the firewall when I first bought it, but an easy fix once I nailed it down.

I paid $9,500 for it, and for a 3 yr. old loaded ext. cab 4wd (50k mi.) I thought was a fair deal. I sold it 3 yrs. later for $6,800 and had 132K on it at the time. Looked almost as nice as the day I bought it... But I am very meticulus with my vehicles for sure!! :P

'09 Cadillac CTS-4 3.6 direct injection, 128 K mi.
'15 Chevy Tahoe LTZ, 5.3i V8, 125 K mi
'70 Firebird Formula 400, Bored+.04, RAIII heads, M21 4spd., in-process restoration!

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My 1990 Dodge Ram half ton. A real stripper for options, and aerodynamic as a brick, but never left me stranded in the hard 166,600 miles I put on it. My brother ran across it a few years ago, it's a little rusty now, but has well over 200k on it. And the owner says he will never sell it. If I had the room, I think I would go make an offer just to have it around again. :lol: Jim

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I've owned over 30 cars (domestic and import) and the hands down reliability winner was my 1990 Camaro IROC-Z 5.7L. Bought it 6 months old with 15,000 km (9K Miles). Raced it for 11 years on the streets of Vancouver (thank god for radar detectors), WOT everyday, almost died in it a couple of times on the way to University with the following maintenance:

22-25 oil changes, 3 alternators (cheap, known defect, and easy do it yourself), 1 drivebelt, 1 tune up (plugs and filters), 3 or 4 sets of ZR tires (my fault) and 115,000 km (71.5K Miles) of thrills.

All I have to say is screw consumer reports - they know nothing!

P.S. My 1998 STS has been pretty good so far too.

Tom R.

1998 Cadillac STS with 102K Miles

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Well, Except for the 79 Olds Cutlass with a diesel, they have all been pretty good.

68 Chevy Bel Aire

70 Pontiac Trans Am (bought in 1978 & still own it ... purrs like a kitten).

79 Olds Cutlass (A dud)

82 Ford Fairmont (police package ... a real road hugger)

89 Mercury Sable (230K when we got rid of her)

92 Ford Bronco (155K and going strong)

92 Ford Taurus SHO (don't under estimate these cars especially ... at highway speeds)

96 Dodge Caravan (wrecked 6 months after we got it)

98 Pontiac Bonnevolle SSEI (nice car, just as snooty as my STS)

01 Cadillac STS

02 Ford Windstar

Jim

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I have to say that the most dependable cars I have been around have been the 64 through 68 Cadillacs, my parents owned a 64 and 65 and I owned a 66 and 68. When something did go wrong it was easy to fix. They always started, were good in the rain, and didn't use oil.

The things I recall replacing on them were upper control arm bushings, accelerator pumps, plugs, mufflers, water pumps but it was part of the routine maintenance. My parents were entertainers and depended on their car to get to their jobs all over PA, NJ, MD and DEL and way upstate PA! THey would drive 350 miles to get to a job, do a show and drive back 350 miles in all weather and get in at 6 AM... Usually before they would go on a trip, the pit boy, (me), would go over the car tweaking it (tune up, check fluids, grease fittings, flush radiator, adjust brakes, pack bearings, etc). I can remember clearly that they had to take a 900 mile round trip and I replaced the water pump, oil and filter, did a full tune up, front brakes, flush radiator, freed up the heat riser and rebuilt the carb. The next morning my dad came home and woke me to tell me, "the car ran incredible". (the 64 coupe). Its amazing the things you always remember. I guess I have always been a fanatic... :blink: or is that compulsive :blink:

Yes but those cars were quite amazing... My Deville reminds me of them (my dad would love it).

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I guess I've said it before here on this forum that I've had over 70 cars and trucks in the last 35 or so years. Everything from Alfa Romeo's to Volvos and VW's with some Fords,Chevy's and a Mopar inbetween. All of them have be good cars. Don't know if I'm lucky, or it's the care I gave them, but almost all were not purchased new.

The highest mileage (so far) without ANY trouble were a '72 BMW 2002 (260,000 miles) and a '80 Mazda 626 (280,000 miles). I gave that one to the mailman, and I think he's still driving it.... ;)

'93 STS.. opened, dropped, wide...fast.

user posted image

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