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Karl Brogger
07-08-2009, 8:38 PM
Has recent doings with the automakers effected your choice in who will produce your next new vehicle?

Ken Fitzgerald
07-08-2009, 8:39 PM
Keep the politics out of this thread, please!

Karl Brogger
07-08-2009, 8:44 PM
Wow, you are fast. I didn't even get the poll done yet!

edit: as an addendum to this thread, just answer the poll, or post a bump response if you want to keep it going. I'm curious about the poll results, and the rules of this forum being what they are I don't wish it to spoil my chance at getting information.

2nd edit: Domestic being GM, Chrysler, Ford. Even though Chrysler has been owned by Daimler, and will at some point be owned by Fiat.

Brian Kent
07-08-2009, 8:45 PM
Possibly, because of the intense scrutiny that has put out so much detailed info about specific offerings. On a recent business trip I was looking for a rental Malibu because of their good press (I normally drive 4-door Hondas from Marysville, Ohio). I ended up with a Dodge Charger and was surprisingly satisfied by the fit, finish and feel. Is was a 6 cyl. rental, so not fancy, but I would be fine to own one.

Brian Kent
07-08-2009, 8:47 PM
Karl, check the wording on the poll question. I think there is a word left out.

Karl Brogger
07-08-2009, 8:54 PM
Karl, check the wording on the poll question. I think there is a word left out.

Nevermind, got it. I don't know WHO can change that.

dan sherman
07-08-2009, 8:56 PM
My last two cars have both been Nissan's, because when considering initial cost and gas millage domestics just couldn't compete IMO.

Paul Greathouse
07-08-2009, 10:04 PM
My response dosen't really fit into the poll, so here goes. I drove Fords (trucks and cars) until the mid 90's. The first GM I purchased was a 95' GMC 3/4 ton truck. It has by far been the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned.

Plenty of power with the 350 and it got better gas mileage than any Ford I've driven. GM trucks have been getting even better gas mileage (17-20mpg) since they started putting the 5.3 liter engine in them. Why did it take Ford so long to come out with a truck they can claim gets 20mpg? Regardless of all the hype about bailout money my next new truck purchase will be GM.

We traded my wifes 03' Yukon on a 08' Nissan Altima last year when gas got up to $4.00/gal. It has the V6 and it is a great balance between power and mpg. It gets a little better than 20mpg with combination driving and has done as good as 30mpg on the interstate on long trips.

The new Chevy Camaro's really look hot, but I haven't seen a price yet. They are claiming good mgp but I don't think thats why most people will buy them.

So right now my favorites are Nissan cars and GM trucks. If I were looking for a diesel truck I would look seriously at the Dodge but would probably still go with the GM.

glenn bradley
07-08-2009, 10:05 PM
It makes me sad that my experience has led me to not even consider an American made automobile. This is no longer even a conscious choice; the idea of buying another Ford/Chevy/Dodge doesn't even enter my mind unless someone asks as in this poll. We should be able to build better cars and sell them for the same price or cheaper than the importers can. It is a sad state of affairs that we do not. I have not been excited about an American car since my '71 Malibu.

Paul Ryan
07-08-2009, 11:22 PM
No stinkin way I will ever own another import. I bought a 03 camry in FEB last 08. The car was used but with fairly low miles 75k, I put 40K on and the motor began knocking. #4 rod bearing out of the blue. I was told that never happens. Bull, since I have been in my line of work I have seen plenty of import motors and trans that are Kaput as the germans would say. But OH it never happens. That is the biggest crock. I have driven domestics my whole life up until that point. I have seen many GM's and Chrylers turn 4-5 hundred thousand on original motors and a few on the orginal trans. Dont believe everything you read. Never again on the imports. Dont even get me started about the european cars.

For some reason Toyotas are rated the best fuel economy. If you look at their numbers on trucks, vans, full size cars, and mid size cars, they are the same or below GM's cars, and equal to Ford or GM. It is all perception that is all. A full size GM car, like and impala will consistanly get 32-34 mpg on the highway with a nice V6 motor. Toyota wont come close with their avalon, and honda doesn't even have a car that compares.

Brian Brown
07-08-2009, 11:23 PM
Plus 1 for what Glenn said, except that I never had a '71 Malibu.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-08-2009, 11:41 PM
No stinkin way I will ever own another import. I bought a 03 camry in FEB last 08. The car was used but with fairly low miles 75k, I put 40K on and the motor began knocking. #4 rod bearing out of the blue. I was told that never happens. Bull, since I have been in my line of work I have seen plenty of import motors and trans that are Kaput as the germans would say. But OH it never happens. That is the biggest crock. I have driven domestics my whole life up until that point. I have seen many GM's and Chrylers turn 4-5 hundred thousand on original motors and a few on the orginal trans. Dont believe everything you read. Never again on the imports. Dont even get me started about the european cars.

For some reason Toyotas are rated the best fuel economy. If you look at their numbers on trucks, vans, full size cars, and mid size cars, they are the same or below GM's cars, and equal to Ford or GM. It is all perception that is all. A full size GM car, like and impala will consistanly get 32-34 mpg on the highway with a nice V6 motor. Toyota wont come close with their avalon, and honda doesn't even have a car that compares.

Well Paul,

I'll take the other side of that argument.

Until 1982 if it didn't say Chevy on it I wouldn't own it. I had a '56 Cheverolet, a '64 SS Impala covertible and a new '72 Chevelle...

Then I ordered from the factory an '83 Chevy full-sized Blazer. 4 1/2 years later..41,000 miles..when the 5th transmission...count'em 5 th transmission started going out I got rid of it. We had it 4 1/2 years...it spent 4 1/2 months in the garage for either brake failures or transmission failures. While the folks at the local dealership where we bought it were friendly enough, the manner in which they approached fixing the brake problems coupled with the face-to-face meetings I had with the Regional Chevy Rep and his calloused attitude. I wouldn't own a Chevy if you gave it to me.

I replaced it with a USED '86 4-Runner. We only drove it for 16 years here in the mountains of Idaho. It still was running the original transmission when we traded it in on a new Honda Accord. We only drove the 4-Runner 167,000 miles replacing a water pump, a timing chain and a couple alternators. I dragged a pickup and a horse trailer down out of the deep snow while elk hunting. That little 2.2 liter 4 banger and all 4 wheels chained up had spunk in the deep snow.

Our 4-Runner got 25mpg in 2WD on the interstate.

I am currently driving a '90 F-350 4-WD and my wife is driving a 2003 Honda Accord V-6.

GM? When they prove to me that they can build a reliable car I may consider it. It wont' be because of their self agrandizing advertisements though. It'll be because other friends and family have had good experiences with them. I'm waiting.

Greg Peterson
07-08-2009, 11:47 PM
I manage a fleet of Toyota Tacoma's (twenty three trucks). The oldest one is a 96 and has 540,000+ miles on it. Doesn't burn oil and still purrs like a kitten. Oh yeah, and the miles it has accumulated are mostly city miles.

I don't even start thinking about replacing a Tacoma until it hits 400,000. I've lost an A/T or two after about 360,000 miles but that's about it.

My first Camry had 250,000 when I got rid of it. Tired of it more than anything. I bought a 97 Camry a few years back that only had 36k on it at the time. I'll probably get tired of it long before it gets tired.

Next car will be a Toyota.

Michael Roland
07-09-2009, 12:31 AM
My last domestic vehicle was a 2006 Ford F150 Super Crew. It was in the shop about 18 times in the first 12 months. It was never fixed the first time. The dealer always had to order a part and schedule a follow-up visit. There were a long list of parts replaced in that 12 months that should not have failed on a new truck driven 8000 miles the first year. I paid the penalty to end the 24 month lease early and went and got an import.

Two years and 16,000 miles later I have had the tires rotated and changed the oil twice on the import. No other trips for service, the mpg is about 22% better, and the insurance cost went down.

Oh and my import was from a US based plant.

If a US manufacturer wants to get me to buy another vehicle it's going to take more than employee pricing and a rebate to get me back in the show room.

Karl Brogger
07-09-2009, 1:01 AM
I'm limited in my choices to only the three domestic auto makers, due to the fact that they are the only ones who offer a 1 ton, or 3/4 ton with diesel engines.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-09-2009, 1:09 AM
Karl,

Find some honest relibility reports, fuel mileage reports and make a decision.

One thing to check out. What manufacturer will void the warrantee IF you drill any holes in the frame to mount a 5th wheel or goose neck hitch? Why would they be worried about that?

You can put a hitch on that brand BUT in the recent past...I'm not sure about today......you had to use factory drilled holes in the frame or the warrantee on the truck would be voided.

Ask that question of the dealers if you do any serious trailer hauling or any heavy hauling.

Aaron Berk
07-09-2009, 1:25 AM
Never have, and never plan on buying a "new" car. I think it's a bad money choice, who want's something that drops value so drastically just by taking it off the lot?

I own currently 3 Fords, and 2 in the past. also in the past are to International Scouts, and a VW Type 3 Fastback.

Don't care to much for the look of gm trucks.

On the 3rd of this July I just bought a 97 F250 power stroke and I LOVE IT!!!

Mike Henderson
07-09-2009, 1:44 AM
I want to see the Chevy Volt (plug in hybrid), if and when it ever gets to the showroom. If they can make the Volt cost effective and reliable, GM could have a real winner on its hands.

Mike

Steve Rozmiarek
07-09-2009, 1:54 AM
If I were looking for a diesel truck I would look seriously at the Dodge but would probably still go with the GM.

Wouldn't bother looking at the Mopar. There is a Cummins 1 ton dually Dodge around here, and two GMC 3/4 tons with Duramax and Alison. The Dodge really is pathetic compared to the GM's drivetrain. GM gets far better milage, and has a pile more power. I'm sold. Mine gets 20 mpg with no trailer on the highway, and will go from 55 to 90 in quicker than it takes to pass someone. It will also hit the 96mph limit in about a 1/4 mile! Oh, and the Alison make trailer towing a piece of cake. Love the engine braking.

The only thing that the Dodge has over the GMC's is... hmmm...... well.... I give up. Oh, it's a nice color.

Chris Kennedy
07-09-2009, 7:21 AM
I am not in the market for a new car any time soon, but honestly, it will most likely be an import. I am relatively tall (6'4") while my wife is petite (5'2"). Trying to find a car that both of us could comfortably drive was incredibly difficult, and I stress that -- car. The Ford dealer didn't even bother, and tried to sell us a SUV, despite our saying we wanted a sedan. Same thing at the Chevy dealer, and at both they told us that we had no choice -- no Japanese car would be big enough to take care of my height.

Nissan Altima, Mazda 6 and the larger Toyota Avalon all fit, along with a VW Passat and my dad's BMW 3-series all work perfectly. So, we now have a Nissan. And honestly, the maintenance on our Japanese cars has been minimal.

So, we may be forced simply by the design of the car.

Cheers,

Chris

Casey Gooding
07-09-2009, 7:37 AM
I would love to buy a domestic automobile. That said, until domestics can match the quality, mileage, aesthetics, dependability and warranties of imports (especially Japanese cars) at a reasonable price, I'm afraid I won't do it. That said, my wife and I do own a Pontiac Vibe, though it's really a Toyota Matrix. Pop the hood, and everything says Toyota inside.
Browse through Consumer Reports, especially the used car guide, and it will tell you in no uncertain terms why Domestics are not on my list. Though I know that Ford has come a long way in the past few years, I believe it still has a long way to go. Chrysler need some real help. They have IMO some of the best looking cars out there, but not a single one is on the CR recommended list. Virtually all GM's and Chryslers are on the Used Cars To Avoid List. That speaks pretty strongly.

I do sincerely hope that the current situation makes the domestic makers get off their complacent rear ends and improve their lineups.

Chuck Saunders
07-09-2009, 8:07 AM
Currently, I have a 92 S-10 pickup 2.8L V6 with 370K. I have had to replace the alternator, clutch, battery and the water pump. Got 25mpg when I got it and it gets 27 now, uses no oil. I am really amazed at how well this truck has performed. I have a 95 F-350 Crewcab Powerstroke with 375K. If you ignore the glow plugs, it has been pretty reliable but nothing like the S-10. It does pull the trailers better though and I am happy. I understand that a lot of the glow plug stuff was fixed in later years. My next car I would like to be a VW diesel, but I would love an electric if it would do 150 miles between charges. The way truck prices have gone up, I don't think I will be buying new any more.

Lance Norris
07-09-2009, 8:37 AM
Has recent doings with the automakers effected your choice in who will produce your next new vehicle?

No... just bought brand new Jeep Patriot. Love it.

Belinda Williamson
07-09-2009, 8:46 AM
First car - '78 Trans Am (still miss her), followed by '84 Maxima, '90 Maxima.
'96 Corvette - fought for a year to have it declared a Lemon. Dealer took it back and gave me a '97 Corvette. That one was totaled for me three months later by an uninsured motorist. He's probably still paying for that car. Got another '97 Corvette and had the transmission replaced at 16,000 miles. Three weeks later it left me stranded on the roadside. Had it towed to the dealership, repaired, and traded it for a '97 Maxima. I'd be driving it today (literally) except it has a broken strut I haven't gotten around to having repaired. "Sunday car" is an Acura. Would consider a Camaro if they're still producing them a couple of years from now. Other than that, no domestic for me.

Phil Thien
07-09-2009, 8:49 AM
I recently (two weeks ago) was confronted with having to purchase a new vehicle. I was driving a Caravan, that has served me well. However, the closest Dodge dealer is thirty minutes away, for one.

So I ended up purchasing a Honda Odyssey. Got a very good price, and the dealer is seven minutes away (important because I took the 6-year 100k warranty).

It is substantially U.S. made from U.S. parts.

My decision was influenced by Chrysler's decision to shutter a plant here in Wisconsin and move that production to Mexico. I had to decide whether I wanted to own an American brand that was produced elsewhere, or an elsewhere brand that was produced here. In the end I decided I valued the American bloke putting the car together most.

Dan Mages
07-09-2009, 12:07 PM
My PT cruiser is 8 years old and has 110k miles on it and still drives like day 1. If Chrysler starts making cars of this quality again, I will probably buy from them again. Otherwise, I buy the best car I can afford that meets my needs.

Dan

Curt Harms
07-09-2009, 1:03 PM
Karl,

Find some honest relibility reports, fuel mileage reports and make a decision.

One thing to check out. What manufacturer will void the warrantee IF you drill any holes in the frame to mount a 5th wheel or goose neck hitch? Why would they be worried about that?

You can put a hitch on that brand BUT in the recent past...I'm not sure about today......you had to use factory drilled holes in the frame or the warrantee on the truck would be voided.

Ask that question of the dealers if you do any serious trailer hauling or any heavy hauling.

Years ago my brother wanted to install a 5th wheel towing setup without screwing with the bed. The trailer used a large ball, not a flat plate semi type attachment. There was 1" between the bed and the frame. We inserted a steel plate 1" thick about 12" wide under the bed. 8 good sized (3/4"+) bolts with bars on the bottom of the frame to form U clamps. The only thing above the bed was bolt heads & ball. No holes in the frame. It seemed to work well and I'm pretty sure we could have picked the truck up by that mounting and shook it without a problem or failure. There are of course considerations about towing capacity.

Eric Schniewind
07-09-2009, 2:05 PM
I've never owned a new car and have only bought 3 cars over 30 years of driving age (1976 Datsun King Cab, 1981 Mazda RX-7, and 1991 Mitsubishi Galant (with roof rack = truck)).

Maybe someday I'll have that new car experience but I don't take care of cars that well except for my wife's 2000 Toyota Echo. It's a rather ugly car but at 100,000 miles it has had very little maintenance required and gets great gas mileage. Roomy enough for our little family and with a roof rack, I've hauled plenty of lumber and furniture.

The answer to your question is that the recent doings would make me want to avoid GM. I think Ford has presented itself with a good image by not begging for money and my sister-in-laws Ford Focus was impressive to drive. If I were truck shopping (and I wish I could), I'd take a hard look at Ford first.

Paul Ryan
07-09-2009, 2:33 PM
Wouldn't bother looking at the Mopar. There is a Cummins 1 ton dually Dodge around here, and two GMC 3/4 tons with Duramax and Alison. The Dodge really is pathetic compared to the GM's drivetrain. GM gets far better milage, and has a pile more power. I'm sold. Mine gets 20 mpg with no trailer on the highway, and will go from 55 to 90 in quicker than it takes to pass someone. It will also hit the 96mph limit in about a 1/4 mile! Oh, and the Alison make trailer towing a piece of cake. Love the engine braking.

The only thing that the Dodge has over the GMC's is... hmmm...... well.... I give up. Oh, it's a nice color.

Steve,

I have worked on and been around both the trucks you talk about since they have been around. What you just wrote is completly false. The dodge will out pull, out race, and get better mileage loaded or unloaded than the duramax. Plus the cummins motor will last 3 times longer. If the dodge is pathetic compared to the duramax I will be willing to wager that the lift pump is not working. The truck will still run and do everything you would expect but with much lower power when the LIFT pump (not to be confused with the injection pump)quits. Most people don't realize it until they go to replace the fuel filter than it is very hard to restart. How many heads have been replaced on those duramaxes, how many injectors have they burndt up, Wait till they get over 100K then the pistons start breaking. I would take a duramax over a 6.0 ford, but I still wouldn't like it. The dodge/cummins is superior in every way.

I forgot to add the camry I owned. Was a 1 owner bought new from the dealer I bought it from. The previous owners were an older couple in their 60's. As I stated before I bought it with 75k on it. With in 10k miles I have replace one of the evap purge solenoids ($85), and the evap canister ($380). Shortly before the rod bearing started knocking the cat converter started throwing the check engine light due to an efficency failure. That would have cost me another $1200, then the motor started knocking. Before I got around to replacing the motor I dumped the car and went back to something reliable like and american car.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-09-2009, 2:41 PM
Paul,

Talk to Dodge about drilling holes in their frames to install a 5th wheel hitch and whether it voids their warrantee.

I suggest while the Cummins engine might be strong, the frame on the Dodge is designed with little extra relief and therefore they did, a few years ago, warn my neighbor about drillijng holes in the frame. He ended up finding the only hitch that would use the existing holes in his brand new nearly $40K. That hitch was a gooseneck and thus he had to drill, mount and weld a kit to the trailer to tow it with his new truck.

I know of a contractor that has several Cummins diesel Dodges. His comment....strong engines...weak frame.

I suggest that Toyota outselling GM suggests that your experience with your Camry may have been a little different than others experience.

Lee Schierer
07-09-2009, 2:43 PM
I didn't vote because none of the reponses matched my thought which is it will depend on price and dependabillity when I look for my next car. However, Mazda will get the first look. I've owned 7 so far, each had over 120K miles when it was either given to one of the kids getting out of college or totaled by an accident (only one was my fault). With the exception of the newest one 2006 Mazda Tribute (actually a Ford Escape with Mazda Decals) none have been in the shop for repairs or left us stranded. The Tribute has a slow leak in the A/C that hasn't been found yet We faithfully change the oil and do the recommended service. My current Mazda 6 (2005) with 62K miles just made a trip from Erie PA to State College PA (175 miles each way) at 70-72 mph and got 32-33 mpg. It does even better on teh back roads at 55. It can easily go 425-450 miles on a tankfull. It handles like my '95 Miata (60K) and very comfortably seats four full size adults (five if you're friendly in the back seat). It still has one more year of warranty.

Steve Rozmiarek
07-09-2009, 3:08 PM
Steve,

I have worked on and been around both the trucks you talk about since they have been around. What you just wrote is completly false. The dodge will out pull, out race, and get better mileage loaded or unloaded than the duramax. Plus the cummins motor will last 3 times longer. If the dodge is pathetic compared to the duramax I will be willing to wager that the lift pump is not working. The truck will still run and do everything you would expect but with much lower power when the LIFT pump (not to be confused with the injection pump)quits. Most people don't realize it until they go to replace the fuel filter than it is very hard to restart. How many heads have been replaced on those duramaxes, how many injectors have they burndt up, Wait till they get over 100K then the pistons start breaking. I would take a duramax over a 6.0 ford, but I still wouldn't like it. The dodge/cummins is superior in every way.

I forgot to add the camry I owned. Was a 1 owner bought new from the dealer I bought it from. The previous owners were an older couple in their 60's. As I stated before I bought it with 75k on it. With in 10k miles I have replace one of the evap purge solenoids ($85), and the evap canister ($380). Shortly before the rod bearing started knocking the cat converter started throwing the check engine light due to an efficency failure. That would have cost me another $1200, then the motor started knocking. Before I got around to replacing the motor I dumped the car and went back to something reliable like and american car.


Paul, the crew on this farm use these vehicles every day. One Duramax is a 2007, one a 2008, and the Dodge is a 2007. Glad you have good luck with the Dodges, but I'm not making this up. GM has a winner of an engine/trans combo here. The Dodge and the 2007 Duramax are high end models, the 2008 Duramax is the "work truck" package.

We have a sprayer that uses the Cummins engine out of a 2000 era Dodge pickup. I have replaced the transfer pump on it, as you mentioned.

As for reliability, other then regular maintanance, my Duramax has been to the shop once, because my wife was driving it and the fuel filter clogged. The other Duramax, never, and the Dodge needs to be in for the third time last I knew. All fuel system issues with it. All have 40,000 to 50,000 miles.

I know a guy who bought a new Ford 6.0. Hated it so bad that he traded it off with 250 miles on it! He did buy a Duramax, but Ford has a real dud with their new diesel, IMHO.

Darius Ferlas
07-09-2009, 3:13 PM
I don't feel any brand loyalty and that's only fair since I have never experienced any brand's loyalty towards me. Or towards anybody else, for that matter.

I do my best to remain loyal to myself and to my wallet. At the present time that means buying foreign vehicles.

whit richardson
07-09-2009, 3:15 PM
Tastes great! Less filling! Taste great! Less ... well you know how it goes. Funny that Detroit lost is butt after the first gas crisis in the 70's. That when the Japanese really started taking the market away from the Big 3. Years later our states (mine's a winner) are fighting to Honda, Nissan and Toyota plants but they have had "quality" issues they didn't before. Still over all most American "believe" that imports last longer and have better value. Most imports keep their resale value (deserved or not) vs. domestic. I am beginning to believe that some of the domestics are actually pretty good cars, but not all. Every guy I know that's been or is a auto mechanic has said the Americans won't design or implement the fixes they know will make the failing parts better. Yet often the import makers do just that so they can stop fixing the same problem. I'm hoping the reinvented domestic makers will ditch their old management style and attitude to engineering. I see signs of that in Ford and it's good for us and our country again. We should expect quality and a lot better milage from all these car makers. I had a 1982 Toyota that went over 400k but I also had a 1966 Buick Electra that did about the same and SMOKED numerous wannabes with that 445 Wildcat w/ 4BBL and a Positrac rear end. Plus it could hold two - three bales of hay in the trunk closed or six dead mafia guys. :D

Cary Falk
07-09-2009, 3:48 PM
I bought a Chevy S10 PU new back in 1995. In the 8 years and 90,000 miles I owned it I put 5 sets of tires and 4 brake jobs. The truck would not hold alignment and would unevenly wear the tires. I aligned the tires about every time I rotated the tires(3000 miles). I talked to the dealership and they told me to stop driving on the median. I have never hade brakes wear so fast in my life. Every year for the last 3 years I owned it, it had a major breakdown that would cost me over a grand to fix. We had a 4Runner for 4 years and it never went in the shop once. I traded the Chevy in for a Toyota Tundra and haven't looked back. I will never own anything but Toyota or Honda for ther rest of my life.

John Lohmann
07-09-2009, 4:00 PM
If you only buy used cars, could you ever have a classic? 55 Chevy, 64+ Mustang? Being the only owner has some privileges.

Greg Peterson
07-09-2009, 4:01 PM
I don't feel any brand loyalty and that's only fair since I have never experienced any brand's loyalty towards me. Or towards anybody else, for that matter.

I do my best to remain loyal to myself and to my wallet. At the present time that means buying foreign vehicles.


While the Japanese manufacturers were trying to make better, higher quality vehicles, the domestic manufacturers were only interested in planned obsolence.

I have no sympathy for any company that purposely produces an inferior product and relies on a way loyalty from their customers. But I guess that isn't the way the corporate world works.

Gene Howe
07-09-2009, 4:42 PM
I drive a V10 Ford 250 Super Duty long bed. Don't really care much about mileage. Would've bought a rice burner if I did. Gotta have the truck for hauling stuff, though.
Son just bought a new Tundra with the V8. His mileage isn't anything to brag about, either. HOWEVER, I REALLY LIKE THAT TRUCK! If Toyota ever builds a 3/4 ton for the US market, I'll be in line to buy one.

Paul Ryan
07-09-2009, 6:28 PM
Paul,

Talk to Dodge about drilling holes in their frames to install a 5th wheel hitch and whether it voids their warrantee.

I suggest while the Cummins engine might be strong, the frame on the Dodge is designed with little extra relief and therefore they did, a few years ago, warn my neighbor about drillijng holes in the frame. He ended up finding the only hitch that would use the existing holes in his brand new nearly $40K. That hitch was a gooseneck and thus he had to drill, mount and weld a kit to the trailer to tow it with his new truck.

I know of a contractor that has several Cummins diesel Dodges. His comment....strong engines...weak frame.

I suggest that Toyota outselling GM suggests that your experience with your Camry may have been a little different than others experience.

Ken,

I worked in a chrysler dealership for 17 years. I have never heard of a warranty being flagged due to a 5th wheel hitch being installed. I can personally say I have installed no less than 20 5th wheel hitches and at least that many Ag hitches. The dealer or whoever flagged that warranty must of had an axe to grind, or the hitch was installed very very poorly. Never in all of my years at the chrysler training classes has the issue of drilling holes in frames to mount hitches ever came up. I really can't comment about the frames being week. I have seen those pickups do amazing things, like going over scales at a gross weight of 45k lbs, and pulling trailers with 1/2 of a modular house on it. I can tell you this when I worked at a Ford dealer this was back in 00 the frames on the ford 150's were the laughing stock because you could squeeze the frame near the rear tire with your hand and bend the it. But in all of my years I have never seen any frame failures on any vehicles unless it was in some sort of an accident a head of time.

As far as sales go, just because the camry sells more than other vehicles doesn't mean it is better. Personally I wouldn't buy a GM car due some issues that I think should have been taken care of years ago. I will name one. Any of you that have owned a GM vehicle with a 3.1, 3.4, 3.5, or 3.9 engine, and have put head gaskets in them should be ticked. The 2.8 was acutally the first of this model engine. When the 3.1 came out head gaskets became an issue. They leak oil, this same problem continues today on the lastest and greatest design the 3.9. What is causing this is the fact that GM continues to use graphite head gaskets in those motors. GM has switched to metal head gaskets in their trucks and some other motors, but not in V6 models. Ford, Chrysler, Toyota and other companies learned back in the middle 90's that to greatly reduce the amount of gasket failures was to switch to a metal ply head gasket, or a rubber empregnated metal gasket on other components. Dont get me wrong GM has problems and some vehicles are basket cases. But it is my opinion that the imports aren't any better, and I have experience to back that up. For some reason the majority of our population believes that the imports are just heads and tails better cars than the domestics.

Import owners are trained from day one that they need to do their required maintenace. And most owners do it religously. You try to tell a domestic owner that and you and up with a fight on your hands. Things are changing but slowly. That isn't the only problems but it has alot to do with it.

glenn bradley
07-09-2009, 6:38 PM
Well . .. we knew this one could get ugly ;-) Kudos to all for openly expressing your opinions and sharing your experiences without getting out of hand.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-09-2009, 6:58 PM
Paul,

My neighbor is a retired school teacher. He'll be here in about 5 minutes to help me install the new bathtub in our masterbath I have gutted right now. He had a new 5th wheel he bought prior to buying his Dodge 1-ton Cummins. After he bought the truck he asked the dealership if he could install the Reese 20K hitch he had used in his Ford F-250 to tow his trailer. He was told by the dealership that if he drilled any holes in the frame of this 1-ton Dodge, it would void the warrantee. He found a lone manufacturer who makes a gooseneck hitch that clamps to the Dodge frame and uses existing holes. He bought it and a kit for his trailer from the same company. He installed the hitch on the truck and the kit on the trailer and coverted the trailer to a non-adjustable gooseneck hitch.

Believe me, this guy is mister thorough and as honest as the day is long. If I had to have someone else purchase anything of any importance for me, he's the man I'd select. If he says it's so.....that's what he was told by the dealership.

I'm just repeating what a close dear honest friend of mine told me.

Brian Elfert
07-09-2009, 8:01 PM
My current vehicle is a cross between an import and a domestic. I have a Pontiac Vibe which is a GM car, but basically designed by Toyota with lots of Toyota parts. It is a Toyota Matrix with Pontiac sheet metal and name badges. It has a Toyota engine and transmission.

The Vibe is produced by NUMMI which is a joint venture between GM and Toyota. NUMMI operates a plant in Fremont, CA with UAW workers. It is the only Toyota affiliated plant, at least in the USA, that is union. NUMMI used to produce Geo branded vehicles for GM, most notably the Geo Prizm which was an exact copy of the Toyota Corolla.

Interestingly enough, the Toyota Matrix is made in Canada and not at the NUMMI plant in California.

Jim Finn
07-09-2009, 8:20 PM
[QUOTE=Paul Greathouse;1171363]My response dosen't really fit into the poll, so here goes. I drove Fords (trucks and cars) until the mid 90's. The first GM I purchased was a 95' GMC 3/4 ton truck. It has by far been the most dependable vehicle I have ever owned.
Exactly opposite of my experiance. GM products are what I rove for 30 years until I was issued a Ford to drive for work. MUCH better milage, cheaper repairs ,hich were almost non existant ,nd more relible than the GM trucks I had owned in the past. I now have been driving Fords for 20 years.

Paul Ryan
07-09-2009, 8:23 PM
Paul,

My neighbor is a retired school teacher. He'll be here in about 5 minutes to help me install the new bathtub in our masterbath I have gutted right now. He had a new 5th wheel he bought prior to buying his Dodge 1-ton Cummins. After he bought the truck he asked the dealership if he could install the Reese 20K hitch he had used in his Ford F-250 to tow his trailer. He was told by the dealership that if he drilled any holes in the frame of this 1-ton Dodge, it would void the warrantee. He found a lone manufacturer who makes a gooseneck hitch that clamps to the Dodge frame and uses existing holes. He bought it and a kit for his trailer from the same company. He installed the hitch on the truck and the kit on the trailer and coverted the trailer to a non-adjustable gooseneck hitch.

Believe me, this guy is mister thorough and as honest as the day is long. If I had to have someone else purchase anything of any importance for me, he's the man I'd select. If he says it's so.....that's what he was told by the dealership.

I'm just repeating what a close dear honest friend of mine told me.

Ken,

I believe you. But I can assure you that, that dealer was blowing smoke. Your friend should have called chrylser and asked them, or tried another dealer. That is completly false, drilling holes for the mount is allowable. Many trucks are ordered in a chassis cab design an are all drilled up to add boxes, cranes, hitches, and other equipment and those warranties are not voided. I don't know the exact cirumstances but that is just completly not true. It is too bad that he was treated that way. There are alot of modifications that are allowed to the frame and box area. The biggest thing we were taught to focus on were the places that changed the fuel fill neck. There were lots of places that added boxes but didn't cover the fill neck. Sometimes it was completely exposed and not even capped. That is a recipe for disaster.

David Cramer
07-09-2009, 10:18 PM
Whit said "I am beginning to believe that some of the domestics are actually pretty good cars, but not all." They are pretty good.

I must say that I respectfully disagree about GM. We own a 2003 Chevy Silverado and it hasn't given me a lick of trouble, none. I am the one who mainly drives it.

We also own a Chevy Venture (Van) that is almost 10 years old. We've taken it to Florida 3 times and Hershey Penn. once. We drive it up north and down north. It "barely" has any rust on it and pures like a kitten. I've never changed the plugs once, but will be doing so soon. Nothing major has happened and I'm no mechanic.

ALL make and models of cars, both foreign and domestic have lemons or poorly made vehicles. Overall, I've never had one problem with a GM vehicle and neither has my wife or ANY family members. We had a 5 year warranty on the Venture and never brought it in once.

My father has bought GM and Ford pick-ups that have done him well for over a decade each. My father has hauled a 5th wheel for 10 years with a GM truck. He is "extremely" mechanically inclined and knows vehicles inside and out. When I was a little kid, he was "that Dad" in the neighborhood who other dads came to for car questions.............My dad is very happy with his GM vehicle.

I have a friend who had a Honda Accord a few years back and had more than one "major" issue with it, yet many have driven them as long as my wife and I have driven our Venture and have had no issues.

I'm not trying to create conflict, but my opinion is just that, mine, and it's based off my personal experiences and no one elses.

David

p.s. I'm not trying to make this ugly, but others have said their next vehicle purchase will be foreign and I just wanted to say that ours will be American, 100%. With a 5 year warranty, I'm good.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-09-2009, 11:12 PM
Uh David! Go to a dealer...a Chevy dealer...raise the hood. You ain't gonna be able to buy a "100 % American" ....a goodly number of parts are made in Mexico....Indonesia....yep! even China.


Folks, whether we like it or not. "American companies" are global and "foreign companies" are global. My wife's Honda Accord made right here in the USA. My neighbor's Toyota "made right here in the USA." While American companies increase the % of foreign manufactured parts they put in the cars they build here.....the "foreign manufacturers" increase the % of American manufactured parts they put in the cars they build here.

Years ago....the Chevy my younger brother drove while going to college.....made by Toyota.


It is nearly impossible to buy "100% American" anything.

Regardless of where a car is manufactured:

1. It is a stupid buyer who spends hard earned "American" dollars ( or foreign currency if that's the case) on a poorly manufactured vehicle. I don't care where that vehicle is manufactured.

2. It is poor business on the part of business and labor to manufacture a poor product whether it's a poor design..bad parts or poor job of assembly. Eventually it will come back to bite you.

For me...and others a car is the 2nd most expensive thing you will buy in your lifetime. For me these tend to be what I refer to as "Long Buying Cycle" items. In other words, because they are so expensive, I will drive them for a considerable length of time.....10 or more years if possible....just to get my money's worth.

It behooves me to buy the best quality I can afford...regardless of where it's manufactured.

And....everyone has a right to have their own opinion and state that opinion.

Alan Trout
07-09-2009, 11:29 PM
In reality most manufactures make excellent cars compared to 30 years ago. I remember as a kid having to change bias-ply tires every 20k and a tuneup ever 10 to 15k. If any car made 100k without an overhaul it was amazing.

I have owned Fords, Chevy's, Chrysler products, Jaguars, VW's, BMW's, Nissan, Isuzu, and Audi, and I can honestly say they have all been good cars.

I owned an automotive machine shop for 8 years that I sold in 1993. I worked in the machine shop business from the time I was 15 till I was 30 years old.

I specialized in aluminum cylinder head repair but worked on a little of everything. I had many dealer accounts and by far the worst engines domestic or foreign were Mitsubishi products. But all of them had at least one lemon powertrain. This included what many consider to be tops in quality of Honda and Toyota.

Myself I drive a 02 four door Dodge Dakota full time 4x4 truck that has right at 200k miles. I have put one set of brakes with new rotors a left front wheel bearing one set of spark plugs and one set of tires getting ready for the next set. It uses no oil and runs like a champ. It is by far the best truck that I have ever owned. I have ruined all of the speakers by playing The Cult "Electric" CD a bit to loud but that is my fault:D. It even gets reasonable gas mileage for a V8 full time 4x4, 16 city and 18 hwy.

Probably the most amazing vehicle I have ever owned is my diesel VW Jetta. It has amazing power it will run 90mph all day long and at 75mph on the highway I get right at 50mpg and about 43mpg city. In 100k miles the only thing I have done to it is change oil regularly, one set of tires and the serpentine belt. I need to change the timing belt because it is time.

Really nothing fit in the pole for me. I don't know if I will ever buy another new car. As someone said it is a poor financial decision in that nothing looses money as fast as a new car. But if I were to buy a new car/truck it boils down to what fits my needs at the time I am looking. I never thought that I would buy a Chrysler product but at the time it was the best option for me and I looked at all of the foreign and domestic options.

It is sad that our domestic automtive industry is in the shape that it is in but in reality this all started in the 60's and 70's with poor managment decisions combined with crazy legacy cost of labor; their competitive edge was going to sooner or later faulter, which it has.

I guess my best answer would be, I would buy the best vehicle for my needs at the time no mater the brand. In reality quality across the board is very close.

Good Luck

Alan

David Cramer
07-10-2009, 12:16 AM
Sorry Ken, and I say this without any tone of being a smart aleck (I truly respect you)........I never said 100% American made anywhere in my post. Foreign cars aren't 100% foreign either, but I just assumed everyone already knew that.

I choose to buy a vehicle that is built here, in the United States of America. I choose not to buy one that has originated from a foreign country, which is my right. I read, with thought and respect, all the posts on this thread before giving my own opinion. I would not bash anyone for buying a foreign vehicle in this thread or in person. Please check my SMC history and you will see that I am telling the truth.

If it helps, I live in Michigan. I know where what I purchase is built and by whom.

This is off-topic, I know, but I was at a funeral service in Troy, Michigan on the Monday before last. The man was 84 and was in Iwo Jima in World War II (March of 1945). I am not that old, but I was brought to tears by the three marines that gave this man a military send off to the heavens above. To call it a moving moment would not give it due justice. He worked at Ford's for over 40 years, and he worked hard.

Again, I know what's under the hood of what I buy and would not purchase it without that knowledge. My last 2 vehicles were from GM and my next one will be too, although it might be awhile.

I paid $16,030 for my Silverado (work truck with an extended cab) and use it for my profession 5 days a week. If it lasts 10 years or more, "what more can I ask from it" and why would I buy something else? The math tells me that it comes out to $133.58 per month for 10 years and I still own the vehicle after that. Nothing lasts forever, but that's pretty good, don't ya think?

David

Ken Fitzgerald
07-10-2009, 12:54 AM
Whit said "I am beginning to believe that some of the domestics are actually pretty good cars, but not all." They are pretty good.

I must say that I respectfully disagree about GM. We own a 2003 Chevy Silverado and it hasn't given me a lick of trouble, none. I am the one who mainly drives it.

We also own a Chevy Venture (Van) that is almost 10 years old. We've taken it to Florida 3 times and Hershey Penn. once. We drive it up north and down north. It "barely" has any rust on it and pures like a kitten. I've never changed the plugs once, but will be doing so soon. Nothing major has happened and I'm no mechanic.

ALL make and models of cars, both foreign and domestic have lemons or poorly made vehicles. Overall, I've never had one problem with a GM vehicle and neither has my wife or ANY family members. We had a 5 year warranty on the Venture and never brought it in once.

My father has bought GM and Ford pick-ups that have done him well for over a decade each. My father has hauled a 5th wheel for 10 years with a GM truck. He is "extremely" mechanically inclined and knows vehicles inside and out. When I was a little kid, he was "that Dad" in the neighborhood who other dads came to for car questions.............My dad is very happy with his GM vehicle.

I have a friend who had a Honda Accord a few years back and had more than one "major" issue with it, yet many have driven them as long as my wife and I have driven our Venture and have had no issues.

I'm not trying to create conflict, but my opinion is just that, mine, and it's based off my personal experiences and no one elses.

David

p.s. I'm not trying to make this ugly, but others have said their next vehicle purchase will be foreign and I just wanted to say that ours will be American, 100%. With a 5 year warranty, I'm good.


??????????????

Ken Fitzgerald
07-10-2009, 1:03 AM
David,I'm not trying to be a jerk either.

I am currently driving a '90 Ford F-350 4WD, 460, 5-speed, 4:10 rear end. I bought it used with 123,000 miles on it. Though I bought it from a dealer I know for a fact it's previous owner was a cattle rancher. Though I've had it for 13 years and I washed it and it's underside many, many times, when ever I drive it in the rain, it smells like wet cow patties. 11 mpg..uphill, downhill, into the wind...down wind.....empty...loaded....pulling my 9,000 lb 5th wheel....1,000 lbs. of hay on it...it doesn't matter..11mpg.I buy the best value and quality I can afford. I will often pay more to get better quality.

Wes Bischel
07-10-2009, 1:16 AM
We had been planning for a while to buy a new (new or used) car this fall. But honestly, we can't find anything that seems to be worth the money and hassle. Our "good" car is 8 years old, the commuter car is 13 and the lumber hauler is 40. The gas mileage on comparable new cars is the same or worse. The features available on new cars aren't that much better than what we've got - at least not $20K better.:rolleyes:
I'm a real motorhead, and I still can't get really excited about any manufacturers offering. Add to that, when buying a new car, you then take a huge hit on the insurance premiums - almost like adding a few extra car payments each year.
A few weeks ago I spent $120 fixing the "good" car. Ticked me off until I realized that was the first repair it needed in years. And if we had a new car we'd be shelling out three times that every month.
I think I'll just keep driving what I got.
Wes

Paul Ryan
07-10-2009, 1:41 AM
Wes,

You're a smart man. 8 years old isn't that old. We have an 02 mini van, 96 pickup, and 07 sedan. The sedan gets the majority of the miles. I put on about 1000 a week. Sometimes more sometimes a little less. I change the oil every 5k and that seems to run about every 5 weeks. I have told many many people this. If you have something good run it. Dont buy something new just to have something new. If you have a good vehicle and you end up with a major repair say something that runs $1500. Think about it what kind of vehicle could you buy for $1500. It would be a piece of you know what.

The only reason I own an 07 right now is mostly because of the beloved camry I had. I ran over to a town 25 miles away to do some work. On the way over the motor decided to be quite that morning. After leaving the facility I was at, the check engine light (converter) went off too. So I decided to drive through a dealers lot. Low and behold I found something that would be a comparable car 07 sebring for the right price. The dealer took my camry test drove it and we haggled over a price for it. He ended up giving me more than I expected even if it didn't have the issues it did. So I drove away with a different car with a lifetime warranty on the engine, trans, and drivetrain. I felt kind of bad dumping that thing off on him, but he had his chance to check it over. All that went through his mind for the 3 blocks he test drove the camry must have been, its a toyota they never break. When I bought that toyota I expected to drive it until it had 300-400k on it. Well it didn't work out. The sebring I am driving now has been wonderful so far. 37 MPG on the interstate at 75. There are somethings I liked about the toyota better, but over all I feel the chrysler is a better car. It handles better, rides better, the seat has a lot more support. The motor makes a bit more engine noise when acclerating, that is what I had noticed first, was how quite the camry was (with a good motor)and how noisy the sebring seem to be. But after about a week of driving I don't even notice it anymore. I don't know how long I will have it. Probably until it gets smashed or something. I dont have the time to be replacing engines and trannys that is what the warranty is for. It actuall covers a lot more than just the engine. Covers water pump, serp belt, wheel bearings, sensors, PCM, TCM, engine and trans leaks and more. If I end up with AC issues, PS issues, or things like that most of it can be taken care of in an afternoon. But if you have a car that you trust and has been good to you most of the time it makes more sense to fix it than replace it.

Rod Sheridan
07-10-2009, 1:24 PM
I've owned three "Big Three" vehicles, and two Japanese vehicles.

The Japanese vehicles were more reliable, and parts were equal to, or less expensive to purchase than the "Big Three".

One of the vehicles was a Chrysler minivan with the Mitsubishi 4 cylinder engine. I purchased it with a blown engine after the original owner forgot to put oil in it.

I had heard many horror stories about the head gaskets on this engine, however after reading the service manual, I wasn't worried about it.

Why? The manual recommended a head bolt re-torque every time the valves were adjusted. (Yes it had the old style mechanical adjusters just like my BMW bike).

Well, I performed routine maintenance as per the manufacturers schedule and put another 267,000Km on the van with no engine or transmission problems.

Regards, Rod.

P.S. The poll selections are inadequate, any response such as "I'd never buy a......" are only applicable to people who can predict the future. How could I possibly know whether a particular group of manufacturers would build a product in the future that I might want to purchase?

Scott Shepherd
07-10-2009, 2:08 PM
So which one's are the "imports" everyone keeps referring to? Import means it comes from another country, right?

Honda and Toyota are made here and have been for decades. Ford and Chevy have powertrains, etc. made in Canada and Mexico. So doesn't that make Ford and Chevy just as much an import as a Honda or Toyota?

They used to come in on ships (I know, I washed them when they came in my first job), now they come from Ohio. I didn't realize we imported from Ohio :D

Brent Leonard
07-10-2009, 4:59 PM
Nothing better than a Ford IMO. I own 2 Ford trucks.

We have purchased 2 new GM products in the last 5 years, an '04 Cadillac CTS and an '08 GMC Acadia. We purchased our second GM product (the Acadia) due to the deal we got from GM for trading in the CTS and buying another GM vehicle (the Acadia). The CTS had a couple computer issues after we initially bought it, but GM fixed them with no other problems. The Acadia had both tranny seals go out at 25k miles. GM fixed it under warranty, but I was not impressed that a major drivetrain component needed to be repaired at 25k miles.

Rice burners make me want to vomit. That would be any car built by an asian company. I don't care if they are partialy assembled in Kentucky (or wherever else in the US), they still make me sick.

David Cramer
07-10-2009, 5:02 PM
Ken I'm not being a jerk either and am only politely:) expressing my opinion, but..................I don't know what the ???????????????????? would mean.

You are far from dumb so I believe you knew exactly what I meant by what you highlighted in my post.

If I had made your post and you had made mine, there would have been way more people supporting your post, and that is fine with me. We're on SMC and you're Ken Fitzgerald and I'm lowly David Cramer. Your tank is always going to be bigger than mine, and that's fine too, you've earned it with your time and input. In the grand scheme of things, it means nothing more than 2 people expressing their own views in a civil manner.

I believe, but don't know for sure, that most people who read my post knew "exactly" what I was saying which is why they didn't respond with ???????????????, but you did.

I was recently without work Ken, but I'm college educated and married with 2 kids and as easy going as they come. I know all about global this and global that.
---------------------------------------------------------------------The bottom line is this: If I buy a GM or I buy a Honda, which one is domestic and which one is foreign, and yes, it's really that simple. It's not all about where the parts are from (everywhere!) or where are they built, but where does the money go friend? Who owns the company and gets the lion's share of the money?
---------------------------------------------------------------------

Your opinion is no more important than mine and "mine is no more important than yours". We have different beliefs based off of our personal experiences and the knowledge that we've acquired at this point in our lives. Even if we sat at a table face to face and never agreed on everything, I still enjoy reading your posts. With that said, I could hardly agree with all of your ideology and beliefs just as you would never agree with mine. That's what makes the world go around:).

For me, I will not be a part of tearing down something that took decades to build. As I said, our vehicle is still going strong and I expect our Silverado to do the same. Our GM and Ford (past) vehicles are fine and we've had no complaints.

Respectfully,

David

p.s. I've got my bullet proof vest on so let'em rip.

Chris Kennedy
07-10-2009, 5:52 PM
---------------------------------------------------------------------The bottom line is this: If I buy a GM or I buy a Honda, which one is domestic and which one is foreign, and yes, it's really that simple. It's not all about where the parts are from (everywhere!) or where are they built, but where does the money go friend? Who owns the company and gets the lion's share of the money?
---------------------------------------------------------------------


The lion's share of the money generated by a car is not the sale, it's the service. That is where the dealerships make the overwhelming majority of their money. So, it really doesn't matter where the car was made from that standpoint, unless you are diving across a border to get your car serviced.

Cheers,

Chris

Ken Fitzgerald
07-10-2009, 5:54 PM
David,

First...your opinion is just as important as mine. The fact that I am a Moderator at SMC has absolutely no effect on the importance or validity of my opnion. I can just as wrong as the next guy but I should be able to also state my opinion. It's just another opinion.

Having an opinion doesn't mean it's right or wrong...Just means one is opinionated.

Toyota didn't become #1 overnight just like GM didn't get to where it is overnight. GMs problems were brought on by decades of the company overlooking the quality of their product in favor of quantity......giving in to extremely unusual worker benefits as compared to other companies and treating unhappy customers with a calloused attitude.

I really don't have an ideology. I'm neither a conservative nor a liberal. I think too many people get tunnel visioned. They get so wrapped up in the wam fuzzy feelings of an ideology that they don't see the distortions placed on the ideology by the "X" factor Man. I try to be more of a realist. Theory and practice in reality often aren't recognizable as being related.

Reading your post I don't know if you are still out of work or not. In any case if you are still unemployed, I hope you find work soon!

Scott Donley
07-10-2009, 6:02 PM
Ford and Chevy did not seem interested in selling me what I wanted, I tried :mad: But Nissan did. I wanted 4X4, auto trans, short bed, and v-6. Ford and Chevy dealer kept trying to sell me a V-8, long bed, manual trans cause that is all they had on their lot and did not want to make the effort to find me one. Their loss.

Jim Becker
07-10-2009, 9:44 PM
"Imports" is a problem term for me, as the leading non-US based automakers are manufacturing a very healthy portion of their vehicles in North America and the US-based automakers source globally, too.

Toyota won me over a number of years ago--both of our vehicles are hybrids. (The hybrids did come on ships) I currently drive a Highlander Hybrid Limited. My previous vehicle was a Toyota Tundra and the only reason I sold it was the need for "kid space". Chrysler 300M prior to that and I loved it. Mazda Millenia S prior to that. Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited prior to that. The last GM product I owned was in the early 1990s and that was a Chevy Astro Van. I've never owned a Ford. I did own a VW Rabbit...and one made in Pennsylvania, no less...the first 5-speed, four door that left the now-gone Westmorland plant back in 1979.

Ford is impressing me with what they are doing these days--they seem to have gotten the message that quality and innovation really are important. GM has a way to go to catch my eye. I'm hoping that Chrysler's new owners help the company move forward in a positive manner.

Phil Thien
07-10-2009, 10:20 PM
"Imports" is a problem term for me

I'm sure there have to have been some good studies done on the economic impact of auto manufacturing here in the U.S. by foreign manufacturers (like Honda).

It would be interesting to find out if Honda building factories here in the U.S. favors us more than Japan. That is, more and more parts are made here, the cars are assembled here, all paying a good wage (let's not debate that), the factories are taxed, the profits are taxed, the wages are taxed.

Yes, profits can be funneled back to Japan. But the question is, how much profit from a $20k car is left to funnel back?

Anyone have any good links?

Ken Fitzgerald
07-10-2009, 10:32 PM
Phil,

I really think it's so complex that nobody knows or could decipher it. For example, what if I own Toyota or Honda stock? So if some of the profit goes back to the parent company, I as a US citizen would benefit through stock ownership.

It is really unbelieveably complex. Some folks would like to simplify it but IMHO it is nearly impossible to do so.

Ken Fitzgerald
07-10-2009, 10:34 PM
My main points through this whole thread has been:

1. Research the vehicle's reliability, MPG numbers and anything else that is important to you.

2. Spend your money wisely.

Car manufacturers have to earn my business. I refuse to give my business to a US manufacturer or import manufacturer just because of the country of origin of the company. For my American dollar, they got get it the old fashion way....earn it.

Paul Ryan
07-10-2009, 11:18 PM
My main points through this whole thread has been:

1. Research the vehicle's reliability, MPG numbers and anything else that is important to you.

2. Spend your money wisely.

Car manufacturers have to earn my business. I refuse to give my business to a US manufacturer or import manufacturer just because of the country of origin of the company. For my American dollar, they got get it the old fashion way....earn it.

I couldn't agree with Ken any more. To buy a Honda, Toyota, Chrysler, Gm, or Ford just because someone else told you too is foolish. You really need to check the car out for yourself.

I bought my camry because I wanted to know what all the hubbub was about. To be honest it was a nice car, but had quality issues. I was impressed with the quiteness of it. It did not seem like a cheap japanese car to me. The type that when you close the door it sounded like the door skin was going to fall off. But in the end that car was no better than what else was offered. I don't care who makes the car rod bearings just dont mushroom in relativly low miles any more. But stuff happens. Was I upset about it sure, but I got over it. I really cant ever see myself buy another import car in the near future. The biggest reason is the fact I don't buy new, it doesn make sense with the ammount of driving I do. An apples to apples the used imports are WAY over priced. A camry that compared to my sebring at the time I bought it would have run me $6000 more. There is no way in heck that that car is worth that, no way. An as it turned out when I bought the camry, I spent alot more for that car at the time, and it burnt me bad. I could have bought a malibu, stratus sebring, or focus and put a whole bunch of $$ into one of those cars before I got to the price that the camry was when I bought it. I really feel that I did not spend my $$ wisly when I bought that camry. It was a good car when I bought it, 1 owner yada yada. But I leaned my lesson.

David Cramer
07-10-2009, 11:33 PM
Um, sorry Paul, but I had to ask. You said you couldn't agree with Ken any more and that to buy a car because someone told them to is foolish? I certainly never did and I stated as such, nor did I see the post. Was the post yanked or edited by the poster of this statement? I can't get on here as often as others can, so I assume I missed something.

Also, this is off-topic, but can someone contact Perry Holbrook, please. If you try to open up his homepage, you get a Malware Virus and yes I am being serious. It just happened to me and my Webroot popped up and said to block the action immediately. If it doesn't happen to anyone else, it would be our computer, but that doesn't make sense to me.

Thanks, David

whit richardson
07-11-2009, 9:01 AM
BUT if I had the $$$$'s I'd get the new Camaro SS or the Charger SRT (425 foot lbs of rear wheel torque)... ooooh bring on the memories and the tickets! :D


(If I had even more $$$$ I'd buy a frame up restoration of the originals.)

Larry Wadman
07-14-2009, 4:26 PM
Was always a GM fan but not anymore. Still have a 3500 Express but just bought two new Honda's.

Dino Makropoulos
07-14-2009, 6:29 PM
My next car is a new Fiat spider ...Made in USA By GM.:cool:
The partnership of Fiat and GM is very promising.

If GM and Fiat don't bring back the Spider, I will.;)

Karl Brogger
07-14-2009, 6:56 PM
I thought Fiat was going to be slowly buying Chrysler from the taxpayers? Not GM.

Dino Makropoulos
07-14-2009, 8:05 PM
I thought Fiat was going to be slowly buying Chrysler from the taxpayers? Not GM.

Then my next car is a Fiat/Chrysler.;)

Dick Strauss
07-14-2009, 8:53 PM
Paul,
I can understand you disappointment with the Camry you prurchased. I would have been bummed too! However, I wouldn't want to right off a brand because I bought something used that didn't hold up well not knowing its real history. A simple thing that has been neglected like oil changes can trash an engine in a hurry whether it be a GM, Chrysler, Honda, or Toyota. That is why I buy new when possible...I don't want to gamble whether or not I got someone else's problem.

I would agree that many of the used import cars are overpriced. Right now if you know how to negotiate a good deal on a new car, you can buy a new Honda for almost the same price of a 2 yo factory certified (AKA used) car. However, this works to your advantage if you buy an import new and need to trade it in (you get more on trade-in). Domestic cars end up losing their value faster which is to your benefit if you like to buy used but to your detriment if you buy new. This is a big factor in the cost of car ownership calculations.

All,
I had an '89 Honda Civic that still averaged 40 mpg after 14 years and 360K miles of service when I traded it in for an Accord. I only had to do normal maintenance (oil, brakes, tires along with one timing belt/water pump/belt changeover) in all of those miles IIRC. Oh, I did tear the CV shaft boot and had to have the CV shafts replaced but it was my own fault. Civics are not off road vehicles though mine often treaded into those areas!

My sister has an Accord that has just under 200k miles on it that her daughter in now using. It has had no issues other than regular maintenance. She just bought another Accord.

We have a Honda/Toyota family because we've had good luck with their smaller cars. If I needed a truck, Ford and GM would be at the top of the list because they have a very good reputation in that arena.

To be fair, many of the new Fords and GMs get better mileage than their import brothers according to the new ratings.

Pat Germain
07-14-2009, 9:44 PM
Never have, and never plan on buying a "new" car. I think it's a bad money choice, who want's something that drops value so drastically just by taking it off the lot?

I don't think that's always the case; especially these days.

My son and daughter were recently in the market for a nice, used car. Independently, they decided they wanted a Toyota Corolla. This was due to reliability and MPG. And they just like the car.

My son went looking for some late-model, used Corollas. The prices were ridiculous. Everybody wanted over $13,000 for anything decent. Apparently, everyone goes to Edmunds.com and looks for the absolute highest going price for their car. And that's what they ask. Even if they come down some in price, it's way too much for a used car.

My son emailed a couple of Toyota dealerships in the Seattle area. One guy replied very enthusiastically. He even drove to my son's apartment and picked him up. That dealer found the exact car my son wanted at another dealer north of the city. They had it delivered for free. They priced it closed to cost. They financed it at 0.0% for five years. Shoot, with 0.0% interest, unless you're paying cash, why buy a used car?

My daughter is now looking for a 2007 Corolla and she's finding the same thing in Colorado; around $13,000 or more. But you can pick up the same year GM, Ford or Chrysler for only a few thousand. So yeah, US cars depreciate drastically once you drive them off the lot. Not so much with a Toyota.

Joel Goodman
07-14-2009, 9:52 PM
I for one would pay a premium for a 90 percent American vehicle that was well engineered -- and build as designed -- not cheapened up by the MBAs that run things-- but I don't think anyone will make one for me!
I bought a new Ford Explorer (6 cy manual tranny) for myself and a new Honda Civic (also stick) for my son in 1999. In the first year the Honda had no issues while the Ford had the following work done:
Door hinge failed -- dealer removed door and replaced hinge (some air leaks in as job was imperfect. no charge
Clutch replaced with previous years model due to an engineering problem (never acknowledged by Ford but after much screaming head mechanic at the dealer said "you're not the first person to have a problem with this clutch" no charge
Tires failed (Firestone fiasco) at first Ford was no help -- eventually paid for new tires minus $150 (don't ask!!!)
At 45K rear end went out -- my dime to fix and it's starting a little humming again.
At some point the center console armrest failed due to poor design -- rebuilt it better myself.
By the way the Honda still has no issues --except for the dents my son put in it and an intermittent slight squeal from the clutch which I'm sure suffered from teenage driveritis.
I still like the Explorer -- I'm just not sure I would buy another vehicle from Ford.

Dan Karachio
07-14-2009, 10:47 PM
For my wife and family my choice has been and will probably continue to be Subaru. People can present data otherwise if they have it, but for the money I don't think you can get a safer crash worthy car than a Subaru. "Poor man's Volvo" you might say, though of course, way more reliable than a Volvo.

However, for me and a second car/truck I really want to look at what the domestics have to offer. I think Ford and GM make some great products, but Chrysler - no way, I can't do it and never will. Too many memories of the 70s garbage they put out. My cousin worked for Chrysler in the late 70s as he put himself through medical school. Many tales of good old union workers passing dope down the line and purposely damaging the vehicles they were building. I'm sure those days are long gone.

Healthcare costs are the auto companies biggest problem and now it is starting to be the countries biggest problem as well. I'd like us all to fix this mess and it will help US companies when we do.

Bart Leetch
07-15-2009, 12:18 AM
The way I read all this is that if its man made it can have problems just like man himself. Thats been my experience with every vehicle I've ever owned.

Pat Germain
07-15-2009, 8:58 AM
For my wife and family my choice has been and will probably continue to be Subaru. People can present data otherwise if they have it, but for the money I don't think you can get a safer crash worthy car than a Subaru. "Poor man's Volvo" you might say, though of course, way more reliable than a Volvo.

My next car will most likely be a Subaru. Subaru is the unofficial Colorado State Car. :) Lots of people drive them here and they're all quite happy with their Subarus.

I tried to support domestic auto makers. They hosed me. I bought my wife a new Plymouth in 1991. The transmission went out at under 40K miles. Chrysler fixed it under warranty. I should have dumped the car right then. A few thousand miles later, the tranny went again. And by that time, the warranty had expired. The car was five years old when I traded it in for almost nothing. Because it was a crap car worth almost nothing.

I traded it for a Jeep Cherokee. It's been an OK vehicle. The straight six under the hood will run forever. But I had to remove the front brake calipers and rotors and throw them away after only a few thousand miles. They were absolute junk. Chrysler denied there was any problem when the calipers were clearly frozen. And the fuel gauge stopped working right after the warranty expired.

GM turned me off with the Chevrolet pickup my dad used to own. It was a 1975 model. It had a 350 with a Q-Jet. Yet, it was the most anemic vehicle I ever drove. We lived in a rural area and drove all highway miles. But the clutch went out every six months. The rear differential completely locked up while my dad was going down the highway. He could have been killed! Not long after, a front brake caliper seized up and locked the front wheel when he came to stop. Then the catalytic converter became clogged (he always ran unleaded). By this time the truck was about five years old.

I've heard good things about the diesel powered GM trucks. But it's been almost all bad news for everything else. I used to rent cars every week when I travelled for work. I hated getting a GM car. Every one of them was a turd on treads. It was like I was driving a car built by communists!

Consumer Reports has recently found reliability for Ford and GM has significantly improved. Ford is pretty much in line with Japanese cars now. But they still have a long way to go before they convince me to by a Taurus. I've also heard very good things about the new Caddys. I still wouldn't buy one.

Cliff Rohrabacher
07-15-2009, 4:07 PM
I'd buy an American Truck. Prolly a Ford. Not a car made by any of the big three.

For my money not one of the car makers in the US have any interest in making cars that are worth a damn. Marketing seems to have the engineers at all three big car makers in a vice like death grip. I remember back in 1976 there was a study by GM to consider whether to offer an all SST exhaust system. They found it'd cost an extra $15.00 (if I recall correctly) at factory, so they nixed it. When the people making a thing will kill to save a nickel nothing good will come of anything they do.

So I have stuck to BMW and Benz since 1978.

I remember the Pinto Gas tanks very well. Even then, it was well reported that the Ford would rather pay the law suits and settle ' cause it was cheaper than the re-engineer the lousy stapled gas tanks
Talk about loathsome and disgusting.

On the flip side a manufacturer like BMW or Benz is very sensitive about bad press and will go the extra mile to make sure that no one has a justifiable complaint about their cars.

Dave Lehnert
07-15-2009, 4:36 PM
I own a 1997 V6, Ford F150. Have lost coolant since day one. To make a long story short I had to replace the engine at 75,000 miles. Out of warrany of course. $4,000 out of pocket.
A know problem if you look on the Internet but Ford dealer never heard of it.

Guys at work drive little Toyota trucks from the 80's with thousands of miles on them with no major problems. The body is rusted off but runs great.

I won't say I will never buy another Ford. I love my F15. But It will make me go on a Toyota lot to have a look. Something I would have never done before.

Mike Wellner
07-15-2009, 4:39 PM
Wheres the "Ford For Life" option?

Cliff Rohrabacher
07-15-2009, 4:47 PM
Ford dealer never heard of it.

After owning Benz cars for years my mechanic talked me into a BMW.

So I got I one. I bought it used (I hate losing 10 - 15-Gees for the privilege of driving a car of a lot) and some time after my first year owning it, BMW got a hold of me. They send me voucher to have a dealer replace a part in the coolant system so it wouldn't accidentally leak fluid.

There's something about those effete German car makers

Mike Wellner
07-15-2009, 4:52 PM
I own a 1997 V6, Ford F150. Have lost coolant since day one. To make a long story short I had to replace the engine at 75,000 miles. Out of warrany of course. $4,000 out of pocket.
A know problem if you look on the Internet but Ford dealer never heard of it.

Guys at work drive little Toyota trucks from the 80's with thousands of miles on them with no major problems. The body is rusted off but runs great.

I won't say I will never buy another Ford. I love my F15. But It will make me go on a Toyota lot to have a look. Something I would have never done before.

The 4.2L was not as reliable as the 300 six. Ford should have kept making that engine. I have a 302 with E4OD with over 183K

Karl Brogger
07-15-2009, 5:20 PM
The 4.2L was not as reliable as the 300 six. Ford should have kept making that engine. I have a 302 with E4OD with over 183K


What destroyed the 300-I6 was fuel injection. I had an 85' with a carb and a 4spd (basically 3spd), and a 91' with fuel injection and a Mazda 5spd. Guess which one got better mileage? Both were basically the same, 1/2 ton 4 wheel drive.

Paul Ryan
07-15-2009, 9:52 PM
After owning Benz cars for years my mechanic talked me into a BMW.

So I got I one. I bought it used (I hate losing 10 - 15-Gees for the privilege of driving a car of a lot) and some time after my first year owning it, BMW got a hold of me. They send me voucher to have a dealer replace a part in the coolant system so it wouldn't accidentally leak fluid.

There's something about those effete German car makers

Cliff that was a recall notice. It is very very common, expecially if you own a Ford. Usually recalls get less and less common as the age of the design gets older. I always say never buy a vehicle during it first design year, always have lots of recalls. By the way you foregin lovers, toyotas, hondas, mazdas, nissans, scooby doo's, and mitsu's have them too.

Art Mulder
07-15-2009, 10:00 PM
I didn't vote because none of the reponses matched my thought which is it will depend on price and dependabillity

Yeah, this. It's kind of an oddly worded poll, IMHO. Nothing really suits me.


It is nearly impossible to buy "100% American" anything.

My last vehicle was built in Indiana. The one two cars back was built in Cambridge, Ontario. Both were Toyota. :cool:


In reality most manufactures make excellent cars compared to 30 years ago.
....
I guess my best answer would be, I would buy the best vehicle for my needs at the time no mater the brand. In reality quality across the board is very close.

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Back in '89 I scrimped and saved and also borrowed from my folks, and bought a bare bones Toyota Corolla. It was one of the top rated cars at the time, good reliability and good mileage. The fact that it was Toyota wasn't really the issue, I just went by ratings and reviews. I kept it for 11 years and replaced nothing but mufflers and some brake work. I was sad to see it go, but a growing family forced me into a minivan.

My most recent vehicle was also a Toyota -- a Sienna Minivan. The main reason we bought this was that Toyota is one of the few manufacturers out there that produces an 8 passenger mini van. Pontiac stopped. The GMC Safari is discontinued. Mazda, Kia, Chrysler, Ford ... No. Honda does now, but didn't when we were buying.

I do admit that we also went back to the Toyota in part because we had been so satisfied with the Corolla for 11 years. You also get used to the way things are. Recently I drove a Chrysler minivan rental, and the wiper controls drove me nuts. On a Toyota I just stick out a finger and push the wiper control stick. On the Chrysler I actually need to remove my hand from the steering wheel to turn on the wipers. I find that unsafe, as well as unfamiliar.


Frankly, I hope GM and Chrysler and Ford come through these struggles and turn into better car making companies. I think competition and choice is good.

Tim Morton
07-15-2009, 10:27 PM
I have never owned a Checy, but i have owned a Saab( GM), and my wife has had 3 fords disintegrate on her at 75k...it oly took 3 to get her to swear off of them:rolleyes:

So i voted " i will never buy another domestic vehicle. I'm 48...so at 3-4 cars every 10 years thats maybe 5 more cars left in my lifetime. Next one will be the mini i hope to buy this weekend..so that leaves 4 more....

I wish it were not so...but The Japanese and Europeans kick our a$$ when it comes to engineering better cars....

Dan Karachio
07-17-2009, 7:29 AM
It doesn't take a genius (or maybe it does) to see that one key to Toyota's success is they make a wide range of vehicles. They don't bet the farm on just SUV's or just pickups or small cars or Hybrids, they build them ALL. In Detroit the short term $$$ were all that people seemed to see, so they built nothing but trucks and SUVs and or copied the same damn thing across all the brands (Chevy, Pontiac, Buick...). Sure, they make other models here and there, but they are inferior in design and not what people want in those vehicles. When will they learn? I guess they are learning now.

As for quality, I really do think the US companies can match almost anyone now, but they and the unions did themselves in years ago with all that crap. People have memories and getting burned on a major purchase hurts for a long long time. Also, quality is great, but the vehicle has to be designed for what people really want and are looking for. Duh.