Go Back   CityProfile.com Forum - Local City and State Discussion Forums > General Discussion > Automotive

Reply
Old 01-31-2011, 06:39 AM  
Senior Member

Greenville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,141 | Kudos: +188
Why American cars GENERALLY don't last as long as Japanese cars...

I want to know what others think the reason is. I have an opinion as to why. (I'm sure some of you will argue that American cars last just as long. That is fine, but historically they don't. I think they have made some recent improvements.)

Unions are the reason (large part anyway). I may get flamed but.... Oh well.

(This is not intended to offent any of you Union workers out there..)
__________________

Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 06:49 AM  
Member

Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 50 | Kudos: +11
And what, may I ask, do you base this assumption on?
I see quite a few American cars around that are made in the 70's. However, I do not see a single Japanese car from that time. In the 70's Japanese cars were seen to get rusty faster than they could drive. Actually, here up in the north, they did not get rusty at all, they melted away in the winter!
__________________

Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 07:37 AM  
Senior Member

Greenville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,141 | Kudos: +188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
And what, may I ask, do you base this assumption on?
My "assumption" is based on the fact that a company that is unionized has a far higher manufacturing cost due to the pay/benifits awarded to these unions (union employees).
This results in less available funds for research and development (to engineer more reliable vehicles), and the use of less expensive materials (less durable components).

And yes, I too see many of these American cars from the 70's (how many do you think have the original engine/transmission?).
PLEASE do not mistakenly think that I "hate" american cars. That is definitely not the case. I love classic muscle cars and a like my Jeep very much. I have had several vehicles Japanese and American. Most of my favorites were American (usually more fun). My '85 Cutlass 442, my '68 Camaro, '66 Lemans just to name a few. But I have NEVER owned an American car that reached over the 150,000 mile mark (I am aware that many do go past that). I have owned several Japanese cars that went FAR beyond that and I am talking about never rebuilding the engine or transmission.

If I was in the market for another "fun" vehicle to tinker with and modify, it would hands down definitely be an older American car.
I must say however, that if I am looking for a daily driver that I don't ever want to work on...I would rather have a Toyota/Honda with 175,000 miles than any of the big three with 75,000. Sorry...
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:01 AM  
Senior Member

Kent, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,237 | Kudos: +67
I've had several vehicles reach or exceed 150,000 miles:
1. 1986 Chevy Cavalier (abandoned at ~245,000 - needed extensive maintenance)
2. 1985 Chevy Suburban (wrecked at ~225,000, was still running strong)
3. 1986 Chevy Suburban (nearly 400,000 before we scrapped it in lieu of rebuilding engine)
4. 1989 Chevy S10 (Abandoned at ~230,000, resurrected as a project vehicle. The motor was salvaged for a dune buggy)
5. 2003 Potiac Grand Am (Blew timing chain at ~175,000, awaiting extensive repairs from piston/valve strike)
6. 1996 Ford Escort Wagon (traded in at 185,000)
7. 1997 Jeep Wrangler (Purchased with 138,000; currently has 180,000, running strong, no major gripes)

Come to think of it, I've NEVER had an American vehicle that needed major repairs before reaching the 150,000 mile mark.

Maybe it's the wonderful, Ohio winters that do it. The salt from the roads must act as a preservative, right?

I would say that if you can't get a vehicle past the 150,000 mile mark, YOU are doing something wrong.
__________________
We work together every damn day. --Jon Stewart
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:23 AM  
Member

Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 50 | Kudos: +11
Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
I must say however, that if I am looking for a daily driver that I don't ever want to work on...I would rather have a Toyota/Honda with 175,000 miles than any of the big three with 75,000. Sorry...
And what good does this Honda for you, if the body falls off left and right? Friends of mine had a Civic a 2000 Civic. Toward the end of it's lifetime they had to weld the passenger door shut because the platform was so rusty that the vehicle started to bend down if both doors were opened! It needed the door as a brace!

I have a 1993 Ford Taurus station wagon (it is my dog hauler). This thing has an engine that will never wear out (it's currently close to 200 k), and the entire vehicle is still sound and safe. And the best of it, no kid in his right mind would ever steal a Taurus station wagon, but they always steal Civics!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:28 AM  
Senior Member

Greenville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,141 | Kudos: +188
Quote:
Originally Posted by rivalarrival View Post
I've had several vehicles reach or exceed 150,000 miles............
Come to think of it, I've NEVER had an American vehicle that needed major repairs before reaching the 150,000 mile mark.

Maybe it's the wonderful, Ohio winters that do it. The salt from the roads must act as a preservative, right?

I would say that if you can't get a vehicle past the 150,000 mile mark, YOU are doing something wrong.
That is a great thing that you have had such success with your vehicles. In the vehicles I have had there are some that I did not know the maint. history and probably an equal number that I did (both American and foreign).

Also, you will notice "GENERALLY" being in caps. That means that I am very well aware that the case is not always the same. And yes, maintenance on any given vehicle can have great influence on the life of the vehicle. I am just going on personal experience.

I just remember the day I walked out on my porch and looked in my yard and there was:
(1) 1990 Camaro (305) with around 105,000mi (rebuilt transmission before)
(1) 1988 Astro van (V6) sith around 110,000mi (rebuilt engine before)
(1) Infinity G20 with around 175,000mi.
(1) Toyota pickup 4wd (4cyl) with around 210,000 mi.

I will let you guess which ones had weeds growing all around them and which ones ran like new. At that point I was convinced.

As far as my maint. practices, I didn't "maintain" one more than the other. If anything, more attention was given to the Camaro and Astro.

So, is it your stance that American vehicles (generally speaking of course )do and always have lasted as long or longer than their Japanese counterparts?

Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:33 AM  
Junior Member

Los Angeles, CA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 3 | Kudos: +10
Images: 1
I have a 99 Saturn with 170,000miles that I drive very hard every day. And it’s been dragged all over the western states behind an RV. Drag miles don't show on the car but the wear is still there. Only work done was replace a water pump that I ruined by taking the car to Colorado and not using anti freeze.

I also have a 74 international Scout. So many miles I can't tell you how many times the odometer has reset. I did have to replace the transmission seals in her a while back.

I've never owned a foreign car and I hope to keep it that way.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 09:46 AM  
Senior Member

Greenville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,141 | Kudos: +188
All you guys talking about rust, I must say that I haven't had that problem with any vehicles really.. But then again I am in SC so I imagine you see more of those issues up north. So perhaps you are right on the rust issues I don't know. I have seen some pretty rusted out cars... Pretty much of any make. Those northern winters are apparently very rough on a vehicle.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 10:17 AM  
Member

Wisconsin
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 50 | Kudos: +11
Quote:
Originally Posted by YelloJeep View Post
All you guys talking about rust, I must say that I haven't had that problem with any vehicles really.. ,,,,,,,,,Those northern winters are apparently very rough on a vehicle.
Yes, they are. And that is my question, what good does an engine, if I do not have a car body around it to use it!

One never should make blanket judgements for all of the USA. This country is so big, and has so many different climate zones that it is not possible to make any general statements. Most cars that winter well around here are US or German made vehicles (because both countries know what winter is all about!)
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 10:32 AM  
Senior Member

Greenville, SC
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,141 | Kudos: +188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudsoner View Post
Yes, they are. And that is my question, what good does an engine, if I do not have a car body around it to use it!

One never should make blanket judgements for all of the USA..
Again. I was making a general observation. And I agree about if the body is shot the engine/tranny don't matter.. My best suggestion about that is to wash the salt off the vehicle as much as possible... (I know it would be cold....)

You still haven't really answered my question. "is it your stance that American vehicles (generally speaking of course )do and always have lasted as long or longer than their Japanese counterparts?"

Oh, and this is just for the sake of discussion... Not trying to tick anyone off here...

Also, does anyone have an opinion as to why the resale value of Hondas and Toyotas are GENERALLY much higher than their American counterpart? Just wondering.....

I will also make exception for fleet vehicles. Many trucks and vans used in "fleet" type scenarios seem to rack up some high miles.
__________________

Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   CityProfile.com Forum - Local City and State Discussion Forums > General Discussion > Automotive
Bookmark this Page!

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Suggested Threads




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.