My FWD 2003 Pontiac Vibe is still 'on the road' (sort of). (The current person using it was changing the tensioner, and one bolt sheared off inside the block. So, I suggested he use a collar sleeve on a drill bit to tap a bolt remover hole without damaging threads. He'll be working on that this weekend)
In any case, here are the issues I have had.
1) about 2 years after windshield replacement, it started to leak water at the A pillar/headliner joint.
2) on its third starter motor.
3) several serpentine belts
4) at least two, maybe three complete coolant changes, plus drain an fills, plus -
5) Radiator replacement (Cracked at the top plastic)
6) Radio went black and stopped playing CDs (he replaced that)
7) Replacement shocks
8) Front end replacements (sway bar linkage, ball joints (fell apart), and a few other things)
9) Two motor mounts replaced.
10) Heater core failure (cut and bypassed. No heat inside, but it runs fine. Why GM/Toyota didn't make a metal plate with core that bolts on in the engine compartment I'll never know. That'd make the 'tear the entire cabin apart for 9 hours' a thirty minute job without compromising anything)
11) Replaced catalytic converter and oxygen sensors (www.discountconverter.com
- great price for a _good_ catalytic converter system. They even cut me a deal on price, as I live about 15 streets away from their Houston office. Paid for it, no shipping charge as they just loaded it on their usual Dallas to Houston truck, since I wasn't in a hurry. )
12) Four sets of spark plugs over 300,000 miles.
Plus normal wear and tear, dents and scrapes, replacing tires every year or so, full set of wheel replacements, and so forth. (Oh, yeah. Plus at least three door handles that exploded in my hands)
I'll do a small amount of contradiction to an earlier post. On these cars, mileage kills more than age, at least for major mechanical. Even the gaskets were only torn up in one location when I stopped driving it two years ago. No idea of the current mileage, because the odometer stopped.
I think I replaced more parts on my wife's 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, and it didn't even make it to 200,000 miles.
Hope this helps anyone looking.
BW (Currently driving 2007 Pontiac Vibe)