Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I'll never buy an American car again.

Today I had a skip in my step because of the wonderful news that Toyota overtook Ford in monthly vehicle sales in the US. It's about time quality overtook shoddiness and gas-guzzlerness.

The Japanese are amazing. Their country was fucking flattened after World War II---like Biafra, Iraq and southern Lebanon rolled into one and multiplied by 25---and they rebuilt that bitch in a matter of two decades. Have you ever met a Japanese guy? They're the most meticulous mother fuckers on earth, and shrewd businessmen and engineers to boot. For every two-bit douchebag who gets their law degree in the US each year, there are 15 Japanese engineers who'd rather fall on a samari sword than fuck up your Corolla or Camary.

Talk to someone from Detroit. They think it's normal to replace a car every five years, while the Toyota drivers on the good ole East Coast have been driving the same car since 1982 with scant repairs. Dear Detroit: THAT'S THE WAY IT SHOULD BE.

I speak from experience. My teenage years were spent competing with friends over whose Amercian hot rod was best. I had a '66 GTO, another pal had a '73 Chevy Nova, another friend had a '70 convertible Buick, and so on. We spent years fixing them up until we sold them after getting sick of the maintenance! And then we did what every responsible adult does: we bought cars that were built well---Japanese style.

At the risk of offending my Detroit-raised in-laws, I'm gonna say what has been proved today: GM, Ford and Chrysler are all pieces of doo doo, and I wouldn't spend five bucks on one even if their vehicles were mounted with giant machine guns that fired bourbon whiskey and oiled-up sexy ladies.

And I don't want to hear from you dickheads that Toyota doesn't employ Americans, cuz I've toured their plant in San Antonio (that's in Texas) and it's full of whities with beer guts that rival any in Detroit. That plant is altering that region's economy drastically, and everyone's happy about it. And they've got plants all over the US that you've never even heard of.

So let's all breathe deep and face fact: American cars suck. Thank christ for free market capitalism because it'll be the savior of us all. Ford and the boys certainly won't.
Is any car truly american?
tell me again you wouldn't buy a car that shot bourbon and sexy ladies?

What if it was German?
Ok, if it was German, I'd buy it.
At the rate we are burning all available gasoline we may be fast approaching a time when you won't need to worry about what make, model or origin of an auto to purchase as we could all be riding bikes. Either that or we may have to fuel automobiles with contaminated water!
Lonnie, I'd tell you to switch to bike power, but that doesn't appear to be working for you too well either. This was really freaking funny, man, this and your previous post.
Jeff: I bike to work daily. Only drive on weekends. But you better believe it's a Toyota.
I have never purchased an American car either. I inherited my parents' 1982 Ford Fairmont in 1990 and that's the last American car I ever called my own. Detroit hasn't learned some very simple lessons from the last 30 years: design (both in and out) counts, parts should feel solid and look like they fit in the places they're supposed to fit (and stay there), and the damn thing should last longer than the car loan.
VW Bug with the 1.9 liter engine gets 49 MPG. I'm trading in my jeep for it this month.
You knew I was going to comment, and comparing your current Toyota to our cars of old is total spin! That is almost as bad as naming your embryoes!
The reason we had so many problems with our "muscle cars" was we tried to make them go fast. Put a new Cam shaft in your Toyota and you will see what I mean,
Anyways the truth of the matter is almost all cars are made good and bad, wether they are US, Japan, German, Swiss, Korean etc.. Proper Maintenance is the real key to success w/ any car. I have had around 14 cars over the years and most of them were just fine , In fact my two fords were the best I ever had, My Ranger got decent gas mileage, I drove it to 190K miles and didn't even put a clutch in it, Then I sold it for 2500$! I will agree thay Toyota's are generally good, I love my Prius it's great! But I had a camry in the past that was one of the worst built cars I have ever seen, with the exception of Volvo. Read Down... So do not judge a book by it's cover.. Here is how I rate some of the cars I have had and some I have worked on:

Cars I had/have

Ford Ranger/Sporttrac: Both great cars versatile, reliable, almost no maintenance. They have never let me down.

Toyota Prius: Great car, Not as good on gas as advertised but acceptable.

Kia sportage: Horrible car, But anyone who buys one knows this going in, hence the 10 year warranty, The 4 wheel drive has broken every year I have had it, and it gets worse gas mileage than my Sporttrac.

Chevy Cavalier: No complaints there, Although I picked it up used, New GM cars seem way to expensive, I never figured that one out, therefore I have never bought a new one, Plus they killed the electric car.

Volvo 740 station wagon:
The absolute worse car I have ever had the displeasure in owning. There was nothing on that car that was not cracked faded or broken, Talk about a money pit.

Old used ones: 67 GMC 3/4 ton pickup(I only Paid 50 dollars for it), 71 Pontiac Tempest(Wish I still had it), Chevy Pick up(It was ok), 86 Buick Riviera(I got that one for free, No complaints) of course the ultimate chevy nova, The guinea pig for every wood be mechanic in the neighborhood.

Now for some ones I have worked on:

Volswagon Jetta:
Why would anyone want this car, I have worked on three seperate ones all with the same problem, They turn off for no reason and they ride like crap!

Any Chrysler, This is the car that truely gives american cars a bad name, Thanks Mr Iacocca(spelling), Every dodge will loose it's transmission at 750000 miles garunteed.

Any Honda: I hate these cars, I have fixed so many for people I have known over the years, Imagine looking for a used part only to find there can be more than three completely different models manufactured in a given year. Plus everything tends to rattle itself loose.

Any Isuzu: I think these cars are created to self destruct.

The moral of the story is that all cars have problems, But the biggest problem if all is usually the owner, Oh and never buy a volvo, chrysler(except the challenger, That's cool), volkswagon, or isuzu!
Holy crap, LX, you've just made the longest comment ever on my blog.

But in the end, you agree with me:


(And it DOES matter whose brains went into the engineering, and the Japanese rarely fail.)
If you compare any car built in 1966, American or otherwise, to a modern car of course it is going to look like shit. I hope you don't still plan on traveling to northern Michigan any time in the next two weeks after that little display.

Cocked in Chicago,

Detroit-raised in-law
Oh damn! Cold busted!

Ever seen a Toyota with a 16-foot-long canoe on the roof go 65 MPH? You will on Friday, Rob!
Finally, there's someone out there who knows something about automotive quality. American cars are CRAP and will remain that way until the old school manufacturing mentality changes or all the American car makers go bankrupt. Frankly, the American cars look great but few hold up mechanically for the long haul. Waranties don't mean diddly when the care is at the repair shop more often than on the road. Chrysler/Dodge should go bury their heads in the sand for allowing the Japanese designed minivans to become superior when they were the innovators. Shortcuts and cheap parts have landed the American automakers right where they deserve to the crapper! Hooray to Toyota and Honda!!! Keep satifying customers by building great products. The additional cost is worth it in the end. Not one American made vehicle retains more that 30% of value after 5 years. Ok maybe the Corvette & Viper are exceptions but that's it!
Ok.....I guess you guys are gonna hate me for this one, but I like american cars I Have been a proud owner of a 1973 Chevy Nova, 2001 Dodge Ram, 2004 Dodge Ram Hemi, and I currently own a 2006 Jeep Commander and 2005 Jeep Wrangler, Theese cars have been wonderful, ya they suck a little gas......but nothing accelerates and sounds like an American V8! And yes I know the Jeep is an inline six, but nothing in the world like a real Jeep.....oh and I just drove my 73 Nova about 40 miles and loved every minute of it, I don't think any toyota on the road gets looks like my Nova.......and just now doing the math I guess all my cars have averaged about 15 mpg and you know what im happy with that. Besides im 6 ft 4, someone find me a toyota I fit in.....and the Tundra doesn't count, that gets american car like gas mileage
Look at the current Ford Mustang. Fantastic car to look at. Guzzles fuel like it is water and can't drive in anything other than a straight line. So close, yet so far.
It never ceases to amaze me how the US car manufacturers are able to build such massive engines with such little power and performance, and such high fuel consumption figures. I think they must have some of the smartest minds in the country working for them, because you really have to be trying hard to make that combination. I mean large engines typically have large power. Not in the US. Large engines tend to be fuel efficient. Not in the US.
A colleague of mine recently bought his wife an Audi TT. This has a 1.8 litre engine in it which is turbocharged. He could not believe the power and handling of it compared to his US-built FordChevyGMC. Then the gas-mileage. How could it have so much power and consume so little fuel?

When I tackle people about this particular question, the inevitable answer is "American cars, engines and transmissions are designed for comfort, not performance."
How can you have a sense of comfort when you drive a car that has a 6-litre V8 engine it, that has such a remote feel to the accelerator that you have to concentrate to tell if the engine is actually on and doing anything?
If I stomp on the accelerator of my Subaru Impreza 2.5RS, it takes off like its arse is on fire. If I do the same thing in my friend's 2004 Chevy Impala, a vehicle with twice as many cylinders and three times the capacity, it growls and has a lovely throaty sound, but accelerates like the Queen Mary (whilst no doubt guzzling 6 times as much fuel).

The suspension on these vehicles is boaty and remote. The steering is so overpowered that you actually have to steer many American cars in a straight line. Let go of the wheel and the car will start to meander all over the road, eventually ending up on its roof no doubt as the power steering efficiently tries to make a 90 degree turn at 70mph.

Things looked up with the Cadillac Catera a few years back. The marketing blitz was "The Caddy That Zigs". I drove one. It had the handling of a 1970's European car, yet it was cutting-edge by American standards.
How is it possible with so many imported German, Swedish and Japanese cars, that the US manufacturers can still get away with these sorts of boaty, lousy, wallowy fuel-thirsty vehicles? It's not like the public are uneducated. The aforementioned imports have seen to that.
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I finally came to the decision to never buy another American car again. I've owned a Pontiac 6000 which died at 98k, a Ford Taurus which died at 105k and my current chevy prizm was purchased with only 40k maintained properly but still died at 68k. I am from Detroit, my dad works for for and my family thinks you should only buy American. But to continue giving my money to a set of vehicles that break down like this is absurd. American car enthusists need to pull their heads out of their asses and realized their is a reason foreign cars crush American in sales. It isn't because people have some vendeta against america or that they don't care, its that foreign cars have something to offer. I love it how people who have had a good american car use that to justify everyone purchasing one. Just because you had a good experience dosen't change the fact that most people generally don't. As a Detroit resident and a guy raised on Ford, I will say that American cars suck and I will never buy one again. 3 strikes... you're out, now its someone elses turn to get my hard earned money.
my 2006 jeep commander is a POS as well -- paint is falling off. Of course, Jeep says that the 3 year warranty on paint (?) has expired.

Never buy another Jeep. I'll never buy from an American car makers who took bail-out money. Get your stuff together and make a good car.

Toyota or Honda, you just found yourself a customer!
my 2006 jeep commander is a POS as well -- paint is falling off. Of course, Jeep says that the 3 year warranty on paint (?) has expired.

Never buy another Jeep. I'll never buy from an American car makers who took bail-out money. Get your stuff together and make a good car.

Toyota or Honda, you just found yourself a customer!
my 2006 jeep commander is a POS as well -- paint is falling off. Of course, Jeep says that the 3 year warranty on paint (?) has expired.

Never buy another Jeep. I'll never buy from an American car makers who took bail-out money. Get your stuff together and make a good car.

Toyota or Honda, you just found yourself a customer!
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