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Car mistakes?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Nero, Sep 17, 2021.

  1. Stuart Frazer

    Stuart Frazer pfm Member

    Good looking car the SL500 and very practical. Someone who had an older S Class described it as 'having sensors to control sensors'.

    I would much rather have something that was semi-practical, like a 911, Cayman or Boxster. I've always liked the Boxter. Some of these Supercars are very big compared to say a Porsche footprint and you can't legally use anywhere near the full performance. Some of it is about show. Give me something with a smaller engine and good enjoyment factor so I can use at least use most of the revs on the public roads.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    Suffolk Tony likes this.
  2. gintonic

    gintonic 50 shades of grey pussy cats

  3. calorgas

    calorgas Ratty bumpkin

    I had the Opel equivalent as my first car, the magnificent Kadett City S. Mustard coloured with a sporty stripe down its sides iirc. I liked it and convinced myself that it was marginally speedier than a mate's Chevette (but still pretty slow obvs) :D
    gintonic likes this.
  4. Somafunk

    Somafunk pfm Member

    I was lucky and walked/stretchered away with both collarbones fractured, compression fractures in cervical vertebrae and internal bruising, prob due to the 4 point harness and Corbeau seat, hate to think what would’ve happened if my Alfa was fitted with the standard seatbelt/seats though, The daft bint on the other hand didn’t walk away.
  5. Paul L

    Paul L coffee lounge for me

    Ouch, I’m speechless except to say glad you’re still here to tell the tale.
  6. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Booyakashah, check out my avatar...

    If you watch JayEmm's channel on YouTube, he recounts a story about a friend and his father each buying McLarens and, as you say, reliability is wanting; they had problems from day one. Also, the attitude of the dealerships when it came to rectifying problems on them was pretty poor considering they deal with a premium product.

    Bottom line? Want a fairly reliable 'supercar'? Buy a 911 GT2 / GT3 / Turbo.
    brumjam likes this.
  7. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^ even if they don't fall apart Mclaren 'normal' servicing is very expensive.
    Of course Ferrari will say a 911 is not a supercar. I don't think Porsche care too much about that.
    Women can look rather good in a supercar...
  8. herb

    herb music live

    From new? My first one was second hand and had the overheating problem, the rest were each new and swapped at 25,000 miles when the king pins needed renewal. The last one lasted 60,000 miles though and carried me and my possessions in two 400 miles each way trips with a squeaking prop shaft. Once settled in Scotland I went the 1300cc Nissan Micra route.

    A succession of 4 wheelers ended with a brand new '09 Honda Civic Type R. Now that was unreliable despite its reputation:( I haven't been in a car since.
  9. cctaylor

    cctaylor pfm Member

    My only real mistake was my two LR Discoverys.

    The first on was an early TDI 200, someone in their wisdom decided this car didn't need anti-roll bars. Handling was vague to say the least, changing line in a corner was not a nice experience so one approached corners carefully.

    I swapped it for the TDi 300 which was a much better car, it had anti-roll bars, but I eventually came to the conclusion that I preferred the sharper handling and economy of a normal saloon and ended up with a Seat Toledo which was comfortable and trouble free apart from the leaking door cards which filled the rear foot wells with water. I solved this with Sticks Sh1t, good luck if anyone ever needed to remove the window mechanism

    Three Skoda Octavias have followed, the PDi 140 was probably not my favourite, didn't really need the power, but managed to write it off on a road slippery after a heavy hail shower. Nearly got away with it but just caught the tree with the front wing resulting in damage to front wheel and drive shaft and I don't know what else?

    The next Octavia developed a tendency to lose power at inconvenient times. The last straw was losing power on ramp of a multistorey. Luckily the car behind was able to reverse out of the way of my failed hill start. My local independent VAG specialist couldn't find the cause so it was traded in to Arnold Clark, at the age and mileage I'm sure it went straight to auction.

    We have moved into town from the country and I've bought a Tern HSD cargo bike for shopping etc so mileage has dropped dramatically especially with Covid. I think the current car will do me a while. At least this generation still has real knobs for the heater and Aircon.
  10. MVV

    MVV pfm Member

    A Citroen BX. Early in becoming self employed I had an attack of ‘sensibleness’ and decided a modest economical diesel was the sensible choice. Lots of problems and two standout bits. Took the MD to a meeting for a big bit of new work. On ‘leaving’, directly outside the client’s windows, the car decided that make smoke was the right move. So we spent about 10 minutes shrouded in black smoke before the AA were called. He was not a happy bunny.
    The final curtain was when a mechanic, suffering from severe depression, told me that the cylinder head had “gone porous”. To this day I wonder what it could possibly have been made of.
  11. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards



    the concept of a new vehicle is beyond me.
  12. Funk

    Funk pfm Member

    This thing:


    Looked immaculate but holy shit was it a Friday afternoon car... I bought through a dealer, paying a little more for the privilege and thinking it would give me some recourse in the event of any issues. On the drive home things immediately weren't right...

    Headlight beams were wildly mis-aligned despite a clean MOT pass a week before I bought it (I test drove it in the day so couldn't check headlights). The fact this wasn't sorted as a matter or course during the prep for sale was concerning, it also meant I immediately suspected the MOT wasn't legit either. Only one key on collection despite being advertised and sold with two; dealer promised to send the second key on 'when they found it'. The EML came on 30 mins into the journey home too. Not an auspicious start.

    I sorted the headlights and took it to the guy I use for servicing etc and got him to give it a thorough going over. Biggest issue was a serious leak on the rear main seal which is a 'gearbox out' job and a full day's labour at least. After badgering the dealer they eventually agreed to sort it through a local garage of their choosing. Five weeks later and still no key I pressed the issue and they coughed for a new key from BMW.

    Other things I subsequently found wrong within 5,000 miles and paid to rectify:

    1) Driver's seat heating not working on the backrest - only the base worked. Fortunately labour-only to sort as the connector lead that linked the backrest had been severed - reconnected and the backrest heating worked again.

    2) Headlamp wash not working (like lamp alignment, this is an MOT fail point; more confirmation it was a dodgy MOT and would HAVE to be fixed for a proper MOT). This was expensive; new headlight washer pump, replaced all the pipework and both telescopic arms.

    3) The E46 is known for a fairly unreliable coolant system. Mine was evidently no different - coolant loss meant a new expansion tank, thermostat, housing and top pipes. Also replaced the auto-box thermostat whilst I was at it.

    4) The car started hesitating and stalling. Not good. Replaced the fuel filter, camshaft position sensors and O2 sensors.

    5) Water pump pissed itself so had a new one fitted, along with the drive belt.

    All in I spent over £1,500 on repairs within 14 months. Having paid £5,200 for it, I sold it for £3,750 once I could say hand-on-heart it had been running OK for 8 weeks. I was also open with the buyer all the work I'd had done. Total hit in just over a year was about £3k.

    I don't think I was unreasonable in expectations but having paid at the top end for it and after being assured by the dealer it was 'one of the best they'd seen' etc etc I felt justified in holding them to sorting the rear main seal under their warranty and supplying the number of keys they said they would. The rest I sorted out of pocket so I don't think I was 'one of those' customers.

    I'd always loved the E46 coupé shape - I couldn't justify an M3 so the 330Ci was my compromise. However to say I was happy to see the back of that one is an understatement. It's still MOT'd and has a further 10k miles on it since I sold it so hopefully it's behaved itself better for the guy who bought it than it did for me...
  13. mark121211

    mark121211 pfm Member

    It ran a C20LET 2.0L 16V DOHC engine from a Cavalier / Calibre Turbo, Astra GTE 16V brakes and rear beam axle + Koni suspension. In its day quite a car.
  14. mark121211

    mark121211 pfm Member

    Already had one done more as a precautionary measure. The garage I used insisted I sign a waiver as the eninge runs a 3rd party map.
  15. Jezzer

    Jezzer eats shoots and leaves

    Not really a mistake because, while I loved that car, it had more than its fair share of problems. An Alfa 156 2.0 Twin Spark with the ‘Selespeed’ tiptronic gearbox…. Big ends went within 6 months (of buying from new), gearbox needed a compete replacement, the catch which secures the bonnet failed as I was driving at 60 mph along a B road, plastic side skirt peeled itself off… but strangely I still loved that car and kept it for 6 years. It was a beautiful and temperamental thing!
  16. FrancisClement

    FrancisClement pfm Member

    Did someone mention an Allegro?? I bought one for my wife as local transport. We would go to the garage and get a pint of petrol and a gallon of oil!! Later the local recycling centre used to let me have their waste oil to keep the Allegro going. The Hyrolastic suspension tubing was brass and held onto the body with steel clamps, corrosion caused countless leaks until I added plastic insulation.

    At the time I worked with a guy who designed BL cooling systems and understood why all BL cars overheated. He was one of many examples of the BL culture.

  17. KrisW

    KrisW pfm Member

    Ah the Selespeed boxes... they were great as long as nothing went wrong. Then, any attempt to repair one would result in ever-increasing problems until a new had to be ordered from Italy. When I was buying my first 147 I was warned away from it.

    Did you get the nasty shock when the cam-belt change bill arrived? The TwinSpark engines usually needed the inlet cam variator and water-pump replaced with the cambelt. The variator was the little thingy that pushed the cam between its “low RPM” and “performance” profiles, and it would wear down and stick on “performance”: You knew it was gone when the car started to idle like a diesel..

    I had two 147s, which were basically the 156 with the bugs fixed. Selespeed aside, these were very reliable cars, it has to be said - certainly better than the Merc A-class I had immediately beforehand (three gearboxes, and still couldn’t engage third cleanly; then the suspension drop-links and steering column failed after just 20,000 miles).

    The only problem you get from Alfas these days is people not believing you when you tell them your car has been reliable. One particularly nauseous co-worker once told me I was stupid to have bought one instead of what he had (An Audi TT, I think) because Alfas are so unreliable, and then, less than ten minutes later he was mentioning to someone else that his car had to have a new ignition system at its last service, as if this was a normal thing that cars needed. I couldn’t resist explaining, and he got a little annoyed after that.

    I don’t really have a mistake: even that Merc was my first every new car, which gets it bonus sentimental points, and when it was running it was a nice enough car, so on that basis, I can’t call it a complete mistake.
  18. Jezzer

    Jezzer eats shoots and leaves

    Yup! It was huge. I can’t remember the exact cost but it was well over £1,000. I was living in Glasgow at the time and my car was vandalised with a bunch of others while at Arnold Clark. So I had a manual 147 1.6 for a couple of months. It was great!

    Sounds like you had a lemon of an A-class. My mum ran one (first gen) problem free for seven years… Until the auto box gave up on her… She now has a Suzuki Ignis (which is great!)
  19. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Oooo yes! I imagine that was a bit of a beast, a wolf in sheets clothing.
  20. Aethelist

    Aethelist pfm Member

    Ooh. Trigger point. Astra GTE 16v In Pearlescent Aubergine. Had one of those. Drove to the South of France in it and had young French guys in their jalopies pulling up alongside along the way giving us the thumbs up.

    Great car. Beautiful paint. Happy Daze.

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