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» The Letterville BullBoard » Letterhead/Pinstriper Talk » OT - your best automobile lemon story.

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Author Topic: OT - your best automobile lemon story.
Todd Gill

Member # 2569

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Ok, I've about had it up to my eyeballs with GM. First my Chevy Silverado Z71 Ext cab which I bought new in '02 had a gob of squeeks, rattles, and wind noise coming in and around the area where the front and back doors meet. I had it in several times to no avail. I finally sued GM under the lemon law and got an "annoyance" cash settlement. What a poor design...no structural pillar between the front and rear doors. I should have recognized this.

Then, my 98 Chevy Venture blows an intake gasket and the head warps....all for the tune of $2,000. After talking to several mechanics AND friends that own these pieces of "work", I find that Ventures have had a massive problem with intake gaskets failing due to a poor gasket design....which GM has redesigned after several years of thousands of people having to replace them before, at, or after 75K miles...usually out of warranty. And GM won't help with one slim dime for their defects. No recall, because it isn't considered a safety issue.

Before this, my Regal blows a timing chain gasket and leaks oil like a sieve all over my driveway...another GM repair bill.

Back in 85, I bought my first new vehicle...an S10 Blazer....had it in the shop 38 times the first year I owned it...everything fell apart on it. Sold it after the first year, bought a Honda which all I had to do was change the oil the whole time I owned it...then a Mazda Van...which that had several problems.

So then I went back to American...hence the Regal, Venture, and Silverado.

I swear, I'm going to go back to Honda or try a Toyota next time.

What's your automobile experiences?

Todd Gill
Outside The Lines
Potterville, MI

Posts: 7792 | From: Potterville, MI | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

Member # 1912

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84- Brand new Ford Escort. Went thru 3 of those ignition modules.
Switched to Chevy.
My '96 Silverado Pickup has had 4 transmissions.
I am gonna buy a horse.

That is like a Mr. Potato Head with all the pieces in the wrong place.
-Russ McMullin

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rene st-pierre
Member # 4116

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my nightmare car still be a pontiac gto
manny trouble whit this look great bad mecanic all the time millage made whit this car is back a towing.............an my best car (jill dont lafth) its a FORD mustang match one 73
no one can be better for me now i ride a little car saturn less power more econimie for my pocket
i think my next can be a montana van gmc
nice can see what kind of lemond people can have in pass its a good question

rene st pierre
quebec city

red & white 81 forever 666

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Steve Burke
Member # 2674

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My Dad and brother bought 4 Ford Taurus/ Mercury Sables from model years 88-91. EVERY single one of them blew a tranny at around 80 000 km. Cost them over $9000 CDN ($1400 US haha). Ford told them to blow it out their colon, too bad so sad, so long suckers...

Now I buy Toyota.

Steve Burke
Cascades Inc
NS Canada

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you

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Todd Gill

Member # 2569

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Caution on the Montana....same platform/engine/etc as it's GM counterpart Chevy Venture. [Eek!]

Todd Gill
Outside The Lines
Potterville, MI

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Peter Schuttinga
Member # 2821

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1987 Ford F150 Supercab Lariat longbox XLT. All the options you could want, real clean inside and out. Bought it slightly used, 4 years old, had it checked out, just needed a battery. Bought it for $10,200 , converted it to propane ($2200), new battery and a canopy, front shocks. First year it worked like a charm. Took it on a long distance camping trip to Winnipeg and back. On the way in Saskatchewan the speedometer needle started to bounce, so we couldn't use cruise control, oh well. Made it to the relative's place in Gladstone Manitoba, population 200, and blew the waterpump in the driveway. No big deal, even though a small town found a waterpump and replaced it myself, oh well.
Also replaced one of the headlights, oh well.
On the return trip at a gas stop in the middle of Saskatchewan i could not get the starter to engage. Gas bar jock took a look, explained my ring gear was missing some teeth, cursed the Ford, pulled on the belts to turn the motor over enough to get it started. How far are you going he asked? We replied Victoria. He shook my hand and said good luck. Ohhhhh.....welllll.
Next couple of pit stops I had to yank on the belts so we could get the motor started. Oh well.
15 miles from a campsite in Alberta the gauge for the electrical drops off. What now? Made it to the campsite ( along a river in a ravine), knowing that the battery has not been charging, and i may not be able to get it started. Hmmmmm. Did I mention that the speedometer gave up some time ago?
Next day went to a dealer ship in a little hick town, got a new alternator ($300). They also informed me about the ring gear, again asked me where we were headed. They shook my hand and said good luck. Ohhh....well.....
We did make it home, no idea how fast we were going at any time, just guessed. Had to yank the belts everytime we shut off the engine...
Got the truck fixed, new ring gear, new starter. ($900) Ohhh Welll..
New speedometer cable did not solve the problem, they figured the shaft it runs on was worn? ($700 to fix) Drove without a speedometer for the next few years.
Near new battery blew up two months after the camping trip. What the *&#? Apperently the alternator the Alberta dealership installed was to large and overcharging. New battery and new alternator/regulator ($350). Ohhh welll
Truck kept stalling out at random intervals. Three times to the mechanic before they figures it out and replaced some electical parts ($550). Ohhh .... wellll....
Pads fell off the front disk brakes, even though a few months before a mechanic figured we had a few years left on them. Simultaniously on both sides, scored the rotors up real bad and warped them due to the heat. (250.00) Ohhhhhhh.......weellll.
New tires on the front were wearing out rapidly on the inside, needed new ball joints. How much??
No money left. ohhh...wellll...
Power window on passenger side quits. Ohhh.. Well...
A/C just up and died. Ohhh...welll
One day start the truck, put it into gear, wont go anywhere at all. Finally the truck starts moving after 5 minutes of warming up. Tranny is shot. Estimate of repairs are over 2k. Ohhhhhhh.....Fu&%!!!!!!!!.
Have had the truck for less than three years, spent over $22k in total on it, got $3500 in trade in value towards a lease vehicle. Oh well.
Finding out that the dealer who took the trade-in (they never test drove it and it did look real good still)couln'd flog it to another lot, and it sold at an auction for less than a grand ...


It's nice when everyone loses

ps I now drive a 97 Dodge Caravan, bought it after the lease, it has almost as many miles as the truck did, with no surprises what so ever. I'm loving it.

"Are we having fun yet?"
Peter Schuttinga
DZines Sign Studio
1617 Millstream rd
Victoria BC

Posts: 521 | From: Victoria BC | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

Member # 63

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Mine was the Ford Escape with the v6 engine. According to Ford and the dealer, there was no problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stalling while the vehicle is moving is not a good thing. There were many complaints and an investigation was started.
Ford bought the vehicle back when we contacted an attorney that specializes in Lemon Lawsuits.
We owned the vehicle for about 8 months and the dealer had posession of it almost as long as we did.
To keep themselves out of litigation, the auto manufacturers are buying back the vehicles before the cases go to court. In Pennsylvania if the vehicle is returned because it's a lemon, it can not be resold. If the case is settled before it's declared a lemon, the manufacturer can resell it as used to the next victim.

Havin' fun,


a.k.a. Brian Born
Harrisburg, Pa
Work Smart, Play Hard

Posts: 3775 | From: Harrisburg, Pa. U.S.A. | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sheila Ferrell

Member # 3741

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lol . . . a used, metallic-puke-green, Dodge Dart that my Dad got me about 20 years ago. It had something going wrong with it constantly ...and from my own used-car sellin' daddy too!!

When it quit runnin' I just left it on the side of the road and rode my bicycle for a coupl'a weeks.
My dad eventually went and got the car and found me a little Datsun truck.

When life gives me lemons . . . .I leave 'em on the side of the road [Big Grin]

Sweet Home Alabama

oneshot on chat

"Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a dog"

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Member # 1948

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2 words for you...toyota tundra...
get one you won't be sorry.

Karyn Bush
Simply Not Ordinary, LLC
Bartlett, NH

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Mike Pipes
Member # 1573

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I don't have any lemon stories, my last two vehicles (an '88 mazda B2200 truck and a '97 mazda B2300) have been flawless. I did have to replace the valve seals on the '88 at about 80,000 miles, that was a common repair but easy enough for anyone to tackle themselves on their driveway. I've only had to replace the thermostat on the '97 but that's no big deal, can't expect a $5 part to last the life of a vehicle. It's time to fix the exhaust system too now, that tends to happen after hammering a few speedbumps with a lowered truck. [Smile]

Since I spend a lot of time customizing my vehicles which often involves crawling around the engine, tranny and suspension, everything gets inspected, cleaned and lubed on a regular basis so it's all in check.

"If I share all my wisdom I won't have any left for myself."

Mike Pipes
Lake Havasu, AZ

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Mike O'Neill

Member # 470

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P.O.S. '93 Aerostar
Got stuck with it as a company vehicle when working with Xerox. Kept it when I left Xerox in '95 'cause they gave it to me for 7kcdn.

Had to install after market sway bar within a week of getting it, couldn't handle the 'boat'. First engine lasted 6 weeks, first transmission 4 months. I don't have much to say about a vehicle in which ¼" play in new tie rod ends is considered in spec.

Mike O'Neill

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.
- Arthur C. Clarke


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Sheila Ferrell

Member # 3741

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BY the way Todd, [FYI] I'm a Chevy girl!! [Applause]

....having owned a '79 Chevy van that ran FOREVER and a Chevy S-10, ext-cab pick-up that was rolled upside down onto a ditch at 60+ MPH which we just rolled back over, drove it home, put it in the shop for a lil' body work and we drove it another 2 years.

I've also had a blue 2-door and a green 4 door Chevy S-10 Blazer, and a black 2-door which was a 4-wheel drive and "saved" my life in a bad wreck about 5 years ago.
Then I got another blue 2-door Blazer to replace that one.

Then I got a '78 Chevy "Scottsdale" pick-up, old and rusty, that ran like a dream, to use while my daughter drove the S-10 Blazer to college!!


After my daughter got married, I sold the ol' '78 (which my friend is STILL drivin') and got a '93 silvarado ext-cab pick-up with 167,000 miles on it.
It's for sale with 297,000 miles on it if ya want it, lol. [Big Grin]
It got a bad oil leak which I was sure was the rear seal . . .turns out, it was just the oil line, $40 fixed it and I'm sure it will go ANOTHER 100,000.

Since I just put it up for sale, I bought another Silverado ext-cab,a perty red '94 with 82,000 miles so we'll be together for a while.

When it gets 300,000 miles on it, I intend to get another Chevy!! [Applause]

Sweet Home Alabama

oneshot on chat

"Look like a girl, act like a lady, think like a man, work like a dog"

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Dave Grundy

Member # 103

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I can't really say I have ever owned a "lemon" but I have owned and driven and fixed a whole lot of "POC" (Pieces of ****).

Then I got talking to a friend/customer who owns a small trucking company. All of a sudden he had started buying new trucks instead of the usual POC that he had in the past.

His explanation was "I may as well be paying monthly payments on new trucks instead of paying monthly for repairs on those old POC!!"

I took his thinking to heart. Now we drive new vehicles, trade them in when the warrantee is up and get new ones. Same amount of money spent each month, the vehicles look nice and I don't have to spend weekends fixing POC!!!!!! [Wink] [Wink]

Just another way of looking at things.

(edited to say..Shirl gets the new cars...I can't afford brand new vans [Roll Eyes] So I buy 1 year old vans with very low mileage...they still have a couple of years warantee on em. Still beats fixing POC every weekend!!!!!!!! [Wink] [Wink] )

[ March 31, 2004, 09:46 PM: Message edited by: Dave Grundy ]

Dave Grundy
retired in Chelem,Yucatan,Mexico/Hensall,Ontario,Canada
1-519-262-3651 Canada
011-52-1-999-102-2923 Mexico cell
1-226-785-8957 Canada/Mexico home


Posts: 8889 | From: Chelem, Yucatan, Mexico/Hensall, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
David Harding

Member # 108

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Once you turn the keys over to an employee, it quickly becomes a POJ (Piece of Junk). Once, a week after we had bought a brand new Chevy pickup for the shop, an employee installed clearance signs at a parking garage under construction. After installing the signs, he decided to take a drive through the garage. The ladder rack knocked off the very first sign he attempted to pass under, which left a huge dent in the hood. The sign had to be replaced also.

However, my real lemon car was the 1963 Falcon I bought from my dad for $5 in 1969. He swears he got the better end of that deal and I'm sure he's right. I think every part of that car got replaced twice and it was still a POJ. On the bright side, I learned plenty about automobiles and it kept a teenager off the streets.

David Harding
A Sign of Excellence
Carrollton, TX

Posts: 5099 | From: Carrollton, TX, USA | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
old paint
Member # 549

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ive had 2 in all my years of car buyin. 1st was 1963. i found a 1954 ford 4 dr with a 239 c.i. shoulda know better. 239's had soft cranks. after 30,40,000 they lost all oil pressure. i got maybe a year outa that car. 2nd was a 72 pontiac lemans. nice lookin car. bought it in maine, and at that time maine had no titles.any cars that coulndnt be sold in mass/n.h./ vermont they would wind up i maine. i got the pontiac from a dealer. i had it a month or so and the right front tire wore out. took it to an alignment shop they were shocked, the car was hit so hard it was twisted and they couldnt fix it. i drove it 6 months, stopped makin payments after the 3 payment. drove it to the dealers lot handed him the keys, and told him if i heard one peep from the bank about making the payments i would see him in court for selling a car that shouldnt have been on the road. never heard nothin.
best vehicles ive had...my 85 dodge van(just had an electrical fire)ive had since 1995. i bought it for $2500 and i think i got my money out of it.
iam driving an 84 volvo 242 now. we have had this car since 98 and bought it at auction for $600. it got 202,000 and just keeps on runnin!!! iam a volvo mechanic, weve had volvos since 1984. wife just bought a 95 850 GLT nice car!!!!

joe pribish-A SIGN MINT
2811 longleaf Dr.
pensacola, fl 32526

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Mike Duncan
Member # 316

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Had a 1993 aerostar I bought with 112,00 miles on it-had about 160,000 on it when my kid totaled it. I had put about $ 1,500 into it and the used car warranty paid another $1,200 on it-lets see $2,700 for 48,000 miles plus the cost of the van [Confused] I now have a 1997 Aerostar extended with the 4.0 liter engine and 5 speed transmission that I bought with 73,000 miles on it. Cost of repairs for 30,000 miles-$0 other than oil changes. I do need to change the plugs and put in a new serpentine belt and oxygen sensor soon though. I think the 1997 that was the last year they made them was the best. I bought it because it was rear wheel drive and can haul a 4,800 lb. trailer. It has plenty of get up and go for a mini-van too. [Big Grin]

Mike Duncan(from the left coast)
Astoria, Oregon

Posts: 367 | From: Astoria, Oregon 97103 | Registered: Nov 1998  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rick Beisiegel

Member # 3723

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I have had 3 fORD Aerostars. Each one better than the last. Two passenger models, and one cargo style. Awesome work trucks. Each one I sold for more than I paid for it after putting 50K plus on them. Say what you will, I had good success with them.

One of my clients has one with over 300,000 on it. He bought a new Explorer, and dosen't drive it because he loves that old van. I am stepping out on a limb here, but, I have had good luck with every ford I have ever owned. My previous shop truck was a Ford Econoline, I sold with 196K on it, and got more for it than I paid for it with 140K You cannot argue with those odds.

As a side note, my current shop truck is a Dodge Ram, and needs a transmission, and has lots less miles on it than any Ford I ever owned. [Cool]

Rick Beisiegel
Vital Signs & Graphics
Since 1982
(231) 452-6225 / (231) 652-3300

""Good judgment comes from experience; and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" - Will Rogers

Posts: 3489 | From: Beautiful Newaygo, Michigan | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Monte Jumper

Member # 1106

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In 1976 I traded a 1972 Rambler station wagon...with all the frills...stick shift w/ overdrive on the counsel...a/c...bucket seats...plush carpet...and more....the day I traded it, as I was driving my new Ford Station wagon out of the dealership the salesman started the Rambler to move it and the wiring caught fire...they were running around trying to get the hood up when I drove off so I have no idea how it turned out...nor did I care!

Cold? yeah but they made the deal!

In retrospect I would like to now publicly appologize to that dealer...where ever he is!

I SWEAR I had no idea that i was giving them a "lemon".

[ April 01, 2004, 09:30 AM: Message edited by: Monte Jumper ]

"Werks fer me...it'll werk fer you"

Monte Jumper

Posts: 3185 | From: Norman,Okla.U.S.A. | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Murray MacDonald
Member # 3558

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Monte.. funny you should mention Rambler. I had one of the upscale wagons that was THE worst POC I've ever had, of over 100 vehicles. I'm sold on Chevys...lease 'em and trade 'em evry three years...currently driving a Venture van, and yes, a 4x8 fits inside...plus the Thunder Punkin'...1950 Chev 1 ton, just keeps on keepin' on!


Murray MacDonald
OldTime Signs
529 Third Ave S
Kenora, ON.
P9N 1Y3

Posts: 781 | From: Kenora, ON | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ray Rheaume

Member # 3794

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By far, the following...

I'd bought a 1982 Dodge Charger brand new off the lot and a year later the top half of the engine let go, needing a full set of rocker arms, lifters and a new camshaft. The cost was over $300 in parts. A friend and I rebuilt the enigine. Figured that should take care of it.

Another year goes by and the exact same thing happens again. This time I decided to got to the dealer and see if it had been recalled. They said it had not.
Again, my friend and I rebuild the engine and I cough up another $300 in parts.

Three days later, on Washington's birthday, traditionally one of the busiest car sale days of the year, I decided it was time to get rid of this lemon, and with a baby on the way, headed to a nearby dealership to look for a family car. They took it out for a spin, evaluated the car, and made a pretty low trade in offer.
I then drove to the dealer I'd originally bought the car from, spoke to a salesman for a few minutes and began to walk around the lot looking at new cars.
The PA system came on a few minutes later and asked "Would the owner of a blue Camaro please move their car from the side street? We have a car on fire".
Realising I had parked there, too, I sprinted around the building to find my car billowing yellow smoke from under the hood.
It was destroyed in minutes.

My insurance company's fire inspector, the mechanics at the dealership and I never found out what caused the fire. It remains a mystery to this day.

4 months later, the rocker arms for that engine were recalled for wearing out too quickly and causing the engine to break lifters.


Ray Rheaume
Rapidfire Design
543 Brushwood Road
North Haverhill, NH 03774

I like my paint shaken, not stirred.

Posts: 5648 | From: North Haverhill, New Hampshire | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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