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Old 03-10-2013, 01:05 PM  
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Kalispell, Montana
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I think vehicle longevity has more to do with how you take care of your vehicle than where it comes from.
I have had multiple domestic vehicles go well past 200k miles before I got rid of them and they were still running well at that point.
Our Yukon XL has 130K on it and so far all it has needed was a water pump and it gets used hard for towing in the summer months.
I have an old Chevy pickup with 140K on it and no problems yet.
My mom has a Chevy Monte Carlo at almost 200K and all it has needed was an alternator.
My sister has a Chevy Tahoe with around 170K on it, has needed nothing more than routine maint.
My Subaru on the other hand by 100K miles it needed head gaskets, water pump, and timing belt.
I had an 87 Honda Civic that needed a motor by 110K miles.

Tell me again how Jap rigs last longer?

I stand by my previous statement. It's all in how you care for your vehicles.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:08 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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I would agree that a well maintained vehicle is more likely to outlast a poorly maintained vehicle. However, it has been my personal experience that japanese vehicles GENERALLY last longer (that is with comparable maintenance). I will also add that the quality of Japanese cars and the American cars have probably changed in the last 15 years.
I suspect that lately (5 years or so) the Toyotas and such are possibly not quite as long lasting as they may have been in the 90s. Also, the American cars had no choice but to improve since the '90s.
I think that the American companies probably spent more of their resources on employee pensions and other benefits than the Japanese complanies. The Japanese companies probably spent more on the engineering and materials used in the vehicles. Those are just my opinions (based off of observation, and personal experience.).. Oh, and if you look at the resale values of vehicles that are 10+ years old it is usually a fair indicator of dependability. The higher resale of a normal car (excluding sports cars and luxury cars) or truck generally means it is percieved to have a good bit of life left in it when compared to a comparable vehicle of another brand with a much lower resale value.
For instance... Toyota Tacomas that are 10+ years old demand a much higher resale than a Ranger or a Chevrolet. Or a Camry compared to the Ford or Chevy Equivilant. Resale values can tell you alot....
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:09 AM  
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Sammamish, WA
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We all have stories that support one side or the other, and they are just individual experience, not enough to make a judgement. The worst vehicle I ever had was a 1996 Toyota 4Runner. I have also had bad luck with a 2002 Jeep Liberty, with a transmission rebuild needed at 90,000. Both of the classics I have had recently were survivors, with original engine and transmission. a 1963 Ranchero and a 1972 El Camino. My beater commute car is a 1997 Escort with 165,000 miles and I only had to replace the original clutch at 150k.

Forbes did a real study in 2009 and found the top 4 in this order:
1. Toyota
2. Honda
3. Subaru
4. Ford

ABC News did a study in 2013 and came up with:
1. Subaru
2. Ford
3. Saab and Volvo
4. Lexus

Would vehicles be more affordable without labor unions? Possibly, but then the savings might just go into higher profits.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:20 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisjoe View Post
We all have stories that support one side or the other, and they are just individual experience, not enough to make a judgement. The worst vehicle I ever had was a 1996 Toyota 4Runner. I have also had bad luck with a 2002 Jeep Liberty, with a transmission rebuild needed at 90,000. Both of the classics I have had recently were survivors, with original engine and transmission. a 1963 Ranchero and a 1972 El Camino. My beater commute car is a 1997 Escort with 165,000 miles and I only had to replace the original clutch at 150k.

Forbes did a real study in 2009 and found the top 4 in this order:
1. Toyota
2. Honda
3. Subaru
4. Ford

ABC News did a study in 2013 and came up with:
1. Subaru
2. Ford
3. Saab and Volvo
4. Lexus

Would vehicles be more affordable without labor unions? Possibly, but then the savings might just go into higher profits.
You know, I looked to see about some studies and the only ones I could find were looking at cars less than about 5 years old... Now, in my opinion that is not a good source for reliability data (when I talk about reliability, I'm talking about the long haul...)...

Now, I have a '96 Tacoma 4cyl (4wd) 5 speed and it has 315k on it. Engine and transmission have never been opened up. I replaced the clutch at 200k and an axle seal at around 250k or so. I think the shocks have been replaced twice. Other than that, it has mostly been oil changes and brake pads.

I'm not a huge fan of automatic transmissions in anything... I feel like they are a little less robust than a manual.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:58 AM  
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Missouri
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Ler's see. I have a 1989 Buick with 230,000 miles, a 1980 Ford 1 ton with 450,000 miles, a 1985 Ford van with 120,000 and a 2006 Dodge minivan with 80,000. I have had the 2 Fords for more than 10 years, the Buick for 6 and the Dodge for 2, and have had the most problems with the dodge. I was Toyota mechanic in the early 70's, we had a warehouse full of engines and trannys because we couldn't rebuild them fast enough to keep up.

The Toyota now days is a good vehicle. An elderly neighbor of mine sold his Kia after 2 years with 20,000 miles because it spent most of it's time in the shop. Mazda is almost a thing of the past because they were junk.
Volkswagens were popular because of their looks, but were cheaply made.
Hyundia and Honda both had quality problems for years.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:08 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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Originally Posted by samfloor View Post
Ler's see. I have a 1989 Buick with 230,000 miles, a 1980 Ford 1 ton with 450,000 miles, a 1985 Ford van with 120,000 and a 2006 Dodge minivan with 80,000. I have had the 2 Fords for more than 10 years, the Buick for 6 and the Dodge for 2, and have had the most problems with the dodge. I was Toyota mechanic in the early 70's, we had a warehouse full of engines and trannys because we couldn't rebuild them fast enough to keep up.

The Toyota now days is a good vehicle. An elderly neighbor of mine sold his Kia after 2 years with 20,000 miles because it spent most of it's time in the shop. Mazda is almost a thing of the past because they were junk.
Volkswagens were popular because of their looks, but were cheaply made.
Hyundia and Honda both had quality problems for years.
Mazda got bad when ford started using mazda badging... That is pretty impressive miles for original non-rebuilt engines and transmissions for the Buick and the Ford (unless it is a diesel.... Diesels usually last forever. I'm not counting those).... And yeah, what's up with Dodge and their auto transmissions anyway???

And as far as Honda having longtime quality issues? I haven't heard that.... Not disagreeing, just saying that it is news to me. And Toyota in the '70s? Yeah, maybe. I don't know. Never had one that old so I will take your word for it. I just think that through the '90s and up until maybe 10 or so years ago they were almost the best compared to domestics.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:31 AM  
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Missouri
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The Ford 1 ton is a 300 six gas engine and was a U Haul before I bought it. I put the last 200,000 miles on it. The only reason I am not driving it now it that I scaled back and don't need that big truck much anymore. The 1985 van is big enough. My inlaws bought it new and the only thing done to it has been brakes. All the 80's model Ford trucks/vans had brake problems.
The Buick is a V6 and still gets over 30 MPG. I have put brakes and 2 starters on it.
The Dodge is the only one that I won't work on, and it has had a lot of odds and ends replaced. Nothing major, just enough to be annoying, and I believe most of the Dodge parts are foreign made.
My daughter had a Hyundai and couldn't keep it on the road.
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:39 AM  
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Greenville, SC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samfloor View Post
The Ford 1 ton is a 300 six gas engine and was a U Haul before I bought it. I put the last 200,000 miles on it. The only reason I am not driving it now it that I scaled back and don't need that big truck much anymore. The 1985 van is big enough. My inlaws bought it new and the only thing done to it has been brakes. All the 80's model Ford trucks/vans had brake problems.
The Buick is a V6 and still gets over 30 MPG. I have put brakes and 2 starters on it.
The Dodge is the only one that I won't work on, and it has had a lot of odds and ends replaced. Nothing major, just enough to be annoying, and I believe most of the Dodge parts are foreign made.
My daughter had a Hyundai and couldn't keep it on the road.
I will say the Ford inline six seemed to be bulletproof. Also the Dodge/Jeep inline sixes. Too bad they ended those... (I'm pretty sure anyway..).. I still will be hesitant to buy an american made car with over 100k miles while I feel a Toyota or Honda is only getting broken in at that point.... That mostly goes for cars from late 80's to early 200's... Newer cars (to me, 15 yrs old or less) are a little different standards I think..
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:44 AM  
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Wisconsin
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Let's see, I had a 1979 Toyota, that thing (I have a hard time to call it a car) was so bad that it killed my desire for Toyotas for the rest of my life! Everything that could go bad with a car, did, including the seat back breaking (the metal guts in it broke, and i am not overweight). After that i had an Aud and had that for some 150 k miles or so, no problems with it besides the normal stuff. After that I had a Mitsubishi, this car was so bad, I traded it in for a Pontiac after only two years! And Subaru, one of the best cars, really? Nobody says anything about the head gasket saga with their 2.5 l engine. I was at the receiving side. 96 k miles and both head gaskets were toast. Simple repair that set me back about $3000! I sold this car after it was repaired!

I have a 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee, modified for offroading. This vehicle gets beaten like a mule. It has the inline 6 with about 200 k on its back, and it is running as strong as ever. My son uses it in the winter as his daily driver. I also have a 2008 VW Passat with the V6 and this one is running like a fine tuned clock! I had my fill of Japanese cars, never want one again! I will stick with reliable American Iron or their German cousins!
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