First car nightmare!

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GaryG92
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First car nightmare!

Postby GaryG92 » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:01 pm

I'm pretty bored tonight, so I feel like writing about my first car!

WARNING: Very long story about my unfortunate events. Read if you wanna feel better about yourself or if you've had a terrible, terrible car before.


Let me start out with a little background information. I'm around 20 years old, looking for my own first car so I can go back and forth to college everyday. I started out using my parents Ford Taurus, like a '98 or so. So I started looking around a little, but kinda stuck with the idea of going to this used car dealer close by, and my family went to church with one of the owners.

I try out a few different cars, and most of them are too cramped (I'm 6'4) and then I find one in my price range which I fit in for the most part.

A fully loaded 2001 Mazda Millenia. I thought it was pretty great. Cruise control, power locks, keyless entry, power windows, faux wood trim interior, leather seats, sun roof. 2.5L, 6 cylinder engine. Zoom Zoom! $4,900 after all the payments, tax, title, license etc.

Drive it for a few weeks and I notice it's leaking some fluid (back then, I knew very little about cars). So my dad talks to the dealership owner, and they're gonna pay to get it checked out and fixed. It was a transmission leak on the tranny pan I think. So the dealer takes it to a sketchy shop, and they "fix" it. Few weeks later it's leaking again, and I don't want to deal with the dealer (it took a few weeks to finally get it into the shop). I take it to the mechanic my dad normally used, and they found some screws in the tranny pan weren't tightened enough, or something like that. A little over $100 there, no big deal, I've got a pretty cool part time job while going through college, really no other expenses for me to worry about.

Time goes on, it seems to be good, and then my battery light comes on. Get the battery checked out, it's good, and then my dad notices the serpentine belt is gone. Take it to the shop, find out the power steering bearing seized up as well. Get that replaced and a new serpentine belt, $300. That hurt a little bit, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

And then something happened I think everyone fears. The transmission went out. Talked to the dealer to see what he had to say, he recommended a transmission shop, and so we dropped the car off and were quoted $1,200 for a rebuild. Go to the dealer to see if he's got a loaner I can use, and he lets me drive an older truck, which I didn't really mind. At least I had something to use. Dealer asked what I was quoted, so I told him, and he couldn't believe it. He thought it'd be lower, so he offered to pay for $400 of it. So a few weeks later I get a call (finally) saying the car is ready. Go pick it up, pay the remaining $800, and off I go.

Break in the newly rebuilt transmission, but it still doesn't shift very well, but I live with it cause I didn't want my car to be in the shop for very long, and plus I thought it might be normal for a rebuilt transmission. Life goes on, some time passes, and I hear a clicking whenever I make a sharp right turn, quick google search reveals it's a CV joint. I look to see if it's a huge problem, and how long I could wait without getting it fixed. Find a local mechanic in the town I go to college in, recommended by my friend and his family. Drop it off one morning before my first class, and it's done by the end of my day, only $150, not too bad especially compared to my trans rebuild.

Little bit later (few months at least) my car starts over heating, check the coolant, add a little more, does well for a little bit, and then overheats more often without loss of coolant. Get to the point where I can't drive 4 miles without it heating to the point of danger. Take it to a new mechanic close by my house, and he said he'd check it out and let me know what he thinks it needs done. Few days later he tells me he thinks it's the radiator. So he replaces that. Didn't solve the problem. He changes the water pump and thermostat, and while he's at it, the timing chain (for no additional labor charge) and everything is well.

More time goes on, and the CV joint goes out again, but worse this time, can't even really drive it at all. It feels like I'm going over the markings on the edge of highways all the time. Call up the mechanic who did it, he said he can't find if it's got a warranty or not. Take it to a new shop, they quote/estimate $150. Fair enough. Wait like a week and a half for them to finish it, I guess finding the part was a PITA. Went in to pick it up, and they charged me $300. Apparently they took the CV joint out to see what was wrong, couldn't find a part soon enough, so they put it back in to get it off the lift, and then took it out again to replace it. BS if you ask me, but whatever, I just needed my car back to get to school/work.

Coolant starts leaking, take it to the shop who did the radiator, water pump etc, and they fix it for free under warranty. whew!

And lastly, a couple of months ago, transmission went out again. Got it into the shop who fixed it the first time, and they said they'd take care of it even though I couldn't find my receipt because he remembers the car, but then I ended up finding my receipt, and I had gotten it in the shop like 4 days before the 1 year warranty expired. Get the car like.. A month later, and he said its fixed up and good to go. Start it up, and the fan is stuck on full blast, not hot and not cold, and my thermometer for outside temp and my clock weren't working. Drive it for a day, and the tranny starts leaking like a madman. Take it back, and he says he'll get a new unit for it.

Since I first dropped it off for the initial warranty work on the transmission, its been probably over 2 months, maybe 3. He said he got a new unit in, but it didn't work, so he ordered a third. Apparently still waiting on that to come in.

And since I have to work and had my first summer class, I needed some transportation, and this is where my vibe came into play! Owned it for a little over a month ($4100 out the door, no payments) and I'm in love with it.
Proud Vibe owner as of 6/13/2015
05 Base, 131k miles
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joatmon
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby joatmon » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:58 pm

I bet the Vibe is a dream car compared to your first one. I'm the same height, and I like the interior of the Vibe, it feels a lot bigger than it looks from the outside.

The worst thing that happened to me in my first car was a broken motor mount, which doesn't sound too bad, but it was a while before I figured out the problem based on the symptoms. When under enough torque, the engine would lift off the broken mount, which pulled the throttle cable, and also dislocated the shift lever so you couldn't drop into neutral. Was an old Dodge, 318 V8 RWD, and sometimes when taking off, like when a traffic light turned green, if you stepped on the gas too hard the engine would jump to full throttle and stay at full throttle until you got up enough speed to reduce the torque and let the engine fall back into place and take the tension of the throttle cable. Some scary times in the middle of stopped traffic at full throttle in gear, praying the brakes would hold. But it was my first car, got me through college, Still, I miss that car, but more for memories of what we did in/with it rather than the car itself.

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lannvouivre
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby lannvouivre » Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:51 pm

GaryG92 wrote: Went in to pick it up, and they charged me $300. Apparently they took the CV joint out to see what was wrong, couldn't find a part soon enough, so they put it back in to get it off the lift, and then took it out again to replace it.

That IS BS.
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trb
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby trb » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:23 pm

Wow, that is a lot of problems Gary! Sorry you had to go through all of that hassle!

My first car was not as bad, but it did have a lot of problems. 1981 Olds Cutlass LS bought "new" with 3,900 miles as a driver's ed car. My grandmother financed it for me and I paid her $184 a month until I graduated high school and then she gave me the title. I did all kids of mods to it, like adding the painted steel Cutlass wheels, RWL BFG Radial T/As, bucket seats and console from a Cutlass Supreme, tinted windows, headlight covers, driving lights, stereo and equalizer/booster and rear antenna.

Now it had a few issues during the 5 years I owned it. Being a young kid, I messed up the transmission trying to manually shift it for more speed. :roll: (it had 105 hp!) Luckily for me, the dealer covered it under warranty. Then the brakes wore down to the rivets, and I ended up needing the pads and rotors replaced. I swear, there was no wear indicator on it. Then the catalytic converter clogged up. It would not even go 40 mph with the pedal on the floor! Also covered under the emissions warranty. The intake manifold gasket also failed, letting water unto the cylinders to be evaporated, so that was replaced on my dime.

Then came the repairs I had to make, such as the AC fan breaking and power steering gear box that was leaking. I ended up getting a used box, but somehow stripped the inlet hose threads, so I used a lot of JB Weld to seal the hose. Not pretty, but it worked. :lol: Then the transmission started to slip, I swear I didn't cause it! My wife and I had just gotten married, and before we went on our honeymoon trip to South Padre Island, my mother paid to have the transmission rebuilt.

Then a few months later, I could not get the car started one day. It just cranked and cranked. I looked and made sure the car had spark and fuel, and it had both. I had no idea what was wrong, so we had it towed to the corner gas station that still had a mechanic shop. It was the timing chain that broke at 105,000 miles. So several hundred dollars later, it was running again. But by that time I decided to get a new vehicle and bought one of the first Mazda B2000 CabPlus extended cab trucks in town. Ended up selling the Cutlass to my sister who drove it for a couple of years and then she sold it to another relative.

It was a nice car, but it had WAY more problems than any of my subsequent vehicles. All in 5 yrs and 105,000 miles!
Thomas
the "Mustang Guy"
1987 5.0 LX Mustang
2016 Mustang GT - current daily
2004 Satellite Vibe &
2009 Red Vibe GT -twin's cars
2003 Neptune Vibe GT - prior daily
2010 Red Vibe GT - RIP 6/16/14
2006 Platinum Vibe - son's car

GaryG92
Posts: 87
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Location: Texas

Re: First car nightmare!

Postby GaryG92 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:00 am

trb wrote:Wow, that is a lot of problems Gary! Sorry you had to go through all of that hassle!

My first car was not as bad, but it did have a lot of problems. 1981 Olds Cutlass LS bought "new" with 3,900 miles as a driver's ed car. My grandmother financed it for me and I paid her $184 a month until I graduated high school and then she gave me the title. I did all kids of mods to it, like adding the painted steel Cutlass wheels, RWL BFG Radial T/As, bucket seats and console from a Cutlass Supreme, tinted windows, headlight covers, driving lights, stereo and equalizer/booster and rear antenna.

Now it had a few issues during the 5 years I owned it. Being a young kid, I messed up the transmission trying to manually shift it for more speed. :roll: (it had 105 hp!) Luckily for me, the dealer covered it under warranty. Then the brakes wore down to the rivets, and I ended up needing the pads and rotors replaced. I swear, there was no wear indicator on it. Then the catalytic converter clogged up. It would not even go 40 mph with the pedal on the floor! Also covered under the emissions warranty. The intake manifold gasket also failed, letting water unto the cylinders to be evaporated, so that was replaced on my dime.

Then came the repairs I had to make, such as the AC fan breaking and power steering gear box that was leaking. I ended up getting a used box, but somehow stripped the inlet hose threads, so I used a lot of JB Weld to seal the hose. Not pretty, but it worked. :lol: Then the transmission started to slip, I swear I didn't cause it! My wife and I had just gotten married, and before we went on our honeymoon trip to South Padre Island, my mother paid to have the transmission rebuilt.

Then a few months later, I could not get the car started one day. It just cranked and cranked. I looked and made sure the car had spark and fuel, and it had both. I had no idea what was wrong, so we had it towed to the corner gas station that still had a mechanic shop. It was the timing chain that broke at 105,000 miles. So several hundred dollars later, it was running again. But by that time I decided to get a new vehicle and bought one of the first Mazda B2000 CabPlus extended cab trucks in town. Ended up selling the Cutlass to my sister who drove it for a couple of years and then she sold it to another relative.

It was a nice car, but it had WAY more problems than any of my subsequent vehicles. All in 5 yrs and 105,000 miles!


Gotta love those transmission problems, huh? How was your Mazda? I probably should have known better. When I was around 12 or 13, my parents had a Mazda MPV minivan. They decided the MPV stood for Mostly Parked Vehicle, due to all the problems it had. I don't remember them all, but I do remember breaking down in Wyoming during the summer one year.

lannvouivre wrote:
GaryG92 wrote: Went in to pick it up, and they charged me $300. Apparently they took the CV joint out to see what was wrong, couldn't find a part soon enough, so they put it back in to get it off the lift, and then took it out again to replace it.

That IS BS.


Yeah, I don't really know what the extra charge was for. Maybe because the part was difficult to find? It took them probably a week to even find the part. I remember the total was $150 for the part (Outrageous) and $150 for labor.

joatmon wrote:I bet the Vibe is a dream car compared to your first one. I'm the same height, and I like the interior of the Vibe, it feels a lot bigger than it looks from the outside.

The worst thing that happened to me in my first car was a broken motor mount, which doesn't sound too bad, but it was a while before I figured out the problem based on the symptoms. When under enough torque, the engine would lift off the broken mount, which pulled the throttle cable, and also dislocated the shift lever so you couldn't drop into neutral. Was an old Dodge, 318 V8 RWD, and sometimes when taking off, like when a traffic light turned green, if you stepped on the gas too hard the engine would jump to full throttle and stay at full throttle until you got up enough speed to reduce the torque and let the engine fall back into place and take the tension of the throttle cable. Some scary times in the middle of stopped traffic at full throttle in gear, praying the brakes would hold. But it was my first car, got me through college, Still, I miss that car, but more for memories of what we did in/with it rather than the car itself.


My Vibe is a breath of fresh air! It's reliable and easy to work on (from what I've done so far)

Your broken engine mount sounds awful. I had no idea something like that could happen. I bet you made sure to be careful when you weren't first at the light haha. I'm sure you paid close attention to the condition of your brakes in case they might fail.
Proud Vibe owner as of 6/13/2015
05 Base, 131k miles
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trb
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby trb » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:09 pm

GaryG92 wrote:Gotta love those transmission problems, huh? How was your Mazda? I probably should have known better. When I was around 12 or 13, my parents had a Mazda MPV minivan. They decided the MPV stood for Mostly Parked Vehicle, due to all the problems it had. I don't remember them all, but I do remember breaking down in Wyoming during the summer one year.


It had the 2 liter motor and a 5 speed manual and was a great little truck. We sold it to my BIL in 88 since we bought a house and needed to get rid of a car payment. He actually drove it until 2004 or so and put almost 200K on it. Now he rebuilt the top half of the motor a couple of times, warped head issues, and it needed the cam timing redone a few times, but he kept it running a good long time IMO. It was my second new vehicle and I didn't really want to sell it, but I wanted to keep my 87 Mustang 5.0 more!
Thomas
the "Mustang Guy"
1987 5.0 LX Mustang
2016 Mustang GT - current daily
2004 Satellite Vibe &
2009 Red Vibe GT -twin's cars
2003 Neptune Vibe GT - prior daily
2010 Red Vibe GT - RIP 6/16/14
2006 Platinum Vibe - son's car

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ctgottapee
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby ctgottapee » Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:37 pm

My first car - a 4 door black Chrysler Lebaron - at age 16 broke down on the way home from the used car dealer.

Mechanic said someone tried to overhaul the engine and put in several things backwards (nice)

The dealer told me to get lost..... that is until I returned later with grandpa who just so happened to trade in a buy a new vehicle every year.
I'll never forget the look on the GM's face when grandpa said, "meet my grandson here"

Got my money back and they gave me another cheap clunker that actually ran. A red Pontiac Sunbird.

GaryG92
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby GaryG92 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:14 pm

ctgottapee wrote:My first car - a 4 door black Chrysler Lebaron - at age 16 broke down on the way home from the used car dealer.

Mechanic said someone tried to overhaul the engine and put in several things backwards (nice)

The dealer told me to get lost..... that is until I returned later with grandpa who just so happened to trade in a buy a new vehicle every year.
I'll never forget the look on the GM's face when grandpa said, "meet my grandson here"

Got my money back and they gave me another cheap clunker that actually ran. A red Pontiac Sunbird.


Grandpa to the rescue!

trb wrote:
GaryG92 wrote:Gotta love those transmission problems, huh? How was your Mazda? I probably should have known better. When I was around 12 or 13, my parents had a Mazda MPV minivan. They decided the MPV stood for Mostly Parked Vehicle, due to all the problems it had. I don't remember them all, but I do remember breaking down in Wyoming during the summer one year.


It had the 2 liter motor and a 5 speed manual and was a great little truck. We sold it to my BIL in 88 since we bought a house and needed to get rid of a car payment. He actually drove it until 2004 or so and put almost 200K on it. Now he rebuilt the top half of the motor a couple of times, warped head issues, and it needed the cam timing redone a few times, but he kept it running a good long time IMO. It was my second new vehicle and I didn't really want to sell it, but I wanted to keep my 87 Mustang 5.0 more!


In my opinion, you made the right choice keeping the mustang! I've wanted a mustang for awhile, but never really pursued the idea. If anything, I'd like to get a 60s model mustang.

Do you have any pictures of it anywhere? I'd like to see it.
Proud Vibe owner as of 6/13/2015
05 Base, 131k miles
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trb
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby trb » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:37 pm

Here are some handy pics on my photobucket.

It is not exactly stock, but it has a lot of later model (94-04) upgrades to the interior and brakes/suspension. It needs a paint job and rebuilt motor.

Image
Image


Back when I had the 2010 GT, post blown motor:

Image


This is how it sits now:

Image

Slightly damaged crank, and a few other parts: :(

Image
Image


My ultimate plan is to try and build a 65 fastback restomod some day. My father bought a new 65 fastback when I was born since he needed a "family car" (one with a back seat, he meant!) and I want to have one for myself. Probably won't get it until I'm retired though! :D
Thomas
the "Mustang Guy"
1987 5.0 LX Mustang
2016 Mustang GT - current daily
2004 Satellite Vibe &
2009 Red Vibe GT -twin's cars
2003 Neptune Vibe GT - prior daily
2010 Red Vibe GT - RIP 6/16/14
2006 Platinum Vibe - son's car

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lannvouivre
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby lannvouivre » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:36 pm

GaryG92 wrote:Yeah, I don't really know what the extra charge was for. Maybe because the part was difficult to find? It took them probably a week to even find the part. I remember the total was $150 for the part (Outrageous) and $150 for labor.
We always leave the bad part after confirming it's bad, check for the part, call the customer, and just leave it alone until the part is in. I don't think they needed to pull the CV off to check it..
"If you don't love me at my diddliest, you don't deserve me at my doodliest." - User ktluvscricket of reddit

GaryG92
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby GaryG92 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:00 pm

lannvouivre wrote:
GaryG92 wrote:Yeah, I don't really know what the extra charge was for. Maybe because the part was difficult to find? It took them probably a week to even find the part. I remember the total was $150 for the part (Outrageous) and $150 for labor.
We always leave the bad part after confirming it's bad, check for the part, call the customer, and just leave it alone until the part is in. I don't think they needed to pull the CV off to check it..


I'm not really sure what all they did and charged me for. I was just desperate for my car back, after it had been in and out of shops the whole 1 1/2 years I've owned. This August will be 2 years of ownership, I put 30k+ miles on it even with it being in the shop so much. Over $2000 in repairs, which I guess compared to some other cars isn't too bad, but for me it's quite a decent amount of money

trb wrote:Here are some handy pics on my photobucket.

It is not exactly stock, but it has a lot of later model (94-04) upgrades to the interior and brakes/suspension. It needs a paint job and rebuilt motor.

Image
Image


Back when I had the 2010 GT, post blown motor:

Image


This is how it sits now:

Image

Slightly damaged crank, and a few other parts: :(

Image
Image


My ultimate plan is to try and build a 65 fastback restomod some day. My father bought a new 65 fastback when I was born since he needed a "family car" (one with a back seat, he meant!) and I want to have one for myself. Probably won't get it until I'm retired though! :D


She's pretty! Just curious, how did the motor get damaged so bad?

Also, the interior looks amazing. I love it!
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05 Base, 131k miles
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trb
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby trb » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:51 pm

GaryG92 wrote:
She's pretty! Just curious, how did the motor get damaged so bad?

Also, the interior looks amazing. I love it!


Thanks. Black interior from a 90 Mustang and leather seats from a 2002 GT. I enjoyed it as a daily driver for 24 years. As for the blown crank, I was in the process of getting it ready for an inspection. Since it had one more year to actually pass the tailpipe emissions test, I ran some Seafoam through the intake to try and clean it up a bit. Usually I would change the oil the next day, but this time I didn't. I was driving it a couple of days later, (leaving the Hyundai dealer after looking at a new Sonata 2.0T - I think it might have been mad at me!) and when I was accelerating on the freeway feeder road, it just blew, BANG and the motor died. I trailed a stream of oil down the road and onto the side road I pulled off onto. Left a nice puddle of oil that I carried cat litter back to clean it up with. Apparently, and I'm just guessing, something worked loose in the motor from the Seafoam and lodged in the oil pump pickup, causing oil starvation to the crank and it decide to break in half right at the first two cylinders. Threw the timing chain, belt, and broke the timing chain cover, along with a connecting rod through the oil pan. But then again, I got 306,8xx miles out of it over those 24 years, so it served me well.

I do have a replacement short block that I need to rebuild slightly - new bearings as the seller said it was a bit low on oil pressure. Once of these days I'll have time to get it all torn down and built back up again. But then I've been saying that for about 3 years now.
Thomas
the "Mustang Guy"
1987 5.0 LX Mustang
2016 Mustang GT - current daily
2004 Satellite Vibe &
2009 Red Vibe GT -twin's cars
2003 Neptune Vibe GT - prior daily
2010 Red Vibe GT - RIP 6/16/14
2006 Platinum Vibe - son's car

GaryG92
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Location: Texas

Re: First car nightmare!

Postby GaryG92 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:00 pm

Hopefully you get it fixed up! It's a good looking car and I'm sure you've had a ton of memories in it!
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vibenvy
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby vibenvy » Sat Jul 25, 2015 1:07 pm

I enjoyed reading your story Gary! It certainly sucks to hear about all the issues you went through with your first car, but the Vibe should treat you much better for a long time to come ;).

ctgottapee wrote:Got my money back and they gave me another cheap clunker that actually ran. A red Pontiac Sunbird.

My first car was a 1994 Bright Aqua Metallic Sunbird LE Sedan! My parents bought it brand new in January of 1994. When I got my license in the summer of 2000, they passed it down to me. We had to have the transmission rebuilt on it in late 2003, but other than that, no major issues. We ended up selling it to a local junkyard in January of 2013 because it was in need of some repairs, but was so badly rusted, it had kind of become unsafe to even drive. It had 268,010 miles on it and it still ran great, but as I said, the rust was terrible. The rocker panels were pretty much non-existent. We got $275.00 for it from the junkyard.

On a bit of a side note, we also had a 1989 Gray Metallic Sunbird LE Sedan. Again, my parents had bought it brand new in the fall of 1988. My dad got in an accident in it in 1997. It was totaled. My parents got $1200.00 from the insurance company. My dad said it had around 315,000 miles on it when it was totaled. Great little cars for sure!
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Caretaker
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby Caretaker » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:08 am

1969 Plymouth Valient with the famous slant 6 engine. It was my grandmother's car. The car had the effective breaking power of Fred Flinstone's feet. You had to pump the pedal regularly to get any stopping power. I had the car at college one night and made a mid road u-turn. The car died losing all lights as an oncoming car got closer. Fortunately they saw me with their headlights and avoided a collision. That car was a suicide waiting to happen. I miss NOTHING about it.
Live it up: There will be plenty of time to be old when you die.
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tpollauf
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby tpollauf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 6:41 am

Interesting stories from you fellow Vibers out there. For me, it was a 1973 Plymouth Duster (Gold duster actually). 225 slant six and automatic tranny (one of the LAST auto's I would own!). Bought it off one of my parents friends for $1500 in 1976. Couldn't drive it though because I didn't have my drivers license yet :o That really sucked that I had to stare at my own car for a few months until I legally could drive it! Anyways it was fairly reliable BUT a rust bucket. I remember the summer of '78 I came out to my car and noticed it was leaning pretty bad to one side. One of the torsion bars snapped. Replaced it and then a month or two later the other side had a similar problem. This time the torsion bar was good BUT the frame rotted out. Yeah barely a five year old car and the undercarriage looked like a car that had seen 20 years of salty winter driving. Mechanically though I had zero problems.
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ctgottapee
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Re: First car nightmare!

Postby ctgottapee » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:28 pm

vibenvy wrote:I enjoyed reading your story Gary! It certainly sucks to hear about all the issues you went through with your first car, but the Vibe should treat you much better for a long time to come ;).

ctgottapee wrote:Got my money back and they gave me another cheap clunker that actually ran. A red Pontiac Sunbird.

My first car was a 1994 Bright Aqua Metallic Sunbird LE Sedan! My parents bought it brand new in January of 1994. When I got my license in the summer of 2000, they passed it down to me. We had to have the transmission rebuilt on it in late 2003, but other than that, no major issues. We ended up selling it to a local junkyard in January of 2013 because it was in need of some repairs, but was so badly rusted, it had kind of become unsafe to even drive. It had 268,010 miles on it and it still ran great, but as I said, the rust was terrible. The rocker panels were pretty much non-existent. We got $275.00 for it from the junkyard.

On a bit of a side note, we also had a 1989 Gray Metallic Sunbird LE Sedan. Again, my parents had bought it brand new in the fall of 1988. My dad got in an accident in it in 1997. It was totaled. My parents got $1200.00 from the insurance company. My dad said it had around 315,000 miles on it when it was totaled. Great little cars for sure!


I believe it was an 87 sunbird. perfect affordable car for a 16 year old, and lots of good times.
It eventually started having random electrical problems - or was possessed
And then started falling out of gear many years later and i got rammed a few times at stop lights up there in the big city
Gave it to a guy moving cross country to LA, and surprisingly he made it.

firetech
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:26 pm

Re: First car nightmare!

Postby firetech » Mon Sep 21, 2015 5:03 pm

My first car was a classic! It was a 1976 Dodge Aspen wagon slant 6, with the faux wood vinyl stickers and all! Bought it from my scout leader in around 1984 or so. Put a plate on the drivers door to screw the door mirror to (it had fallen down inside the door through the big rust hole where the mirror was originally mounted). Plugged up all the rust holes and painted them with grey primer (on copper coloured paint) I had the little rattle cans of body colour paint but never bothered to spray them on until I was actually selling the car... sold it to a house painter.
Was actually a good first car for a kid, it was too slow to get into trouble and the engine was bullet proof, drive till the oil light flashed and add about 4 liters of oil. Light goes out and oil change is done!! The only time it laid rubber we had it on some sandy pavement and I had 4 or 5 guys lifting the back end while I did a brake stand, unfortunately there was a cop watching the whole show. All he did was drive over to us laughing under his breath and told me to get all the idiots back in the car and get outta here!
It ended up being a popular car in the group because A/ it was my car and I didn't have to ask permission to use it. B/ we could cram a lot of people in it. C/ I put a kickass stereo in it! D/ It was so sedate looking parents would always let their daughters ride in it.
Had its issues though, hit a bump and the shock killed the ignition module on the spot, A week later I learned about ballast resistors on dodges. In the winter all the doors except the back hatch would freeze shut. First id crawl through to the front, then I kept a propane torch inside the back so I could warm the door seals to get in. Once in the latch would freeze so I couldn't close the drivers door! Either had to heat it with the torch or drive holding the door shut till the interior warmed up.
I had just decided I would get into the automotive trade, that car helped me decide I'd rather do the mechanical side than the body and paint side.
Sold this car to buy a 1973 AMC Javelin AMX 401 auto. That car was rusty and ugly as sin but was the fastest thing I ever drove. From there I bought another 1973 Javelin AMX 401 auto in much nicer condition. Still have that one to this day. Mind you is in pieces undergoing a very slow restoration.
Had far too many other cars and trucks over the years. I generally have one good car which I keep for weekend and road trips with my wife(Currently a 2006 Dodge Magnum R/T AWD) and a commuter which I tend to change out every couple of years. That's why I bought the Vibe GT .... I think this one may stick around awhile though.


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