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#4675171 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: badger]
Foxbat Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/24/07
Posts: 13957
Loc: Spring Hill, FL
Originally Posted By: badger


Yup,

I wouldn't buy an off lease BMW simply because the driver of a leased BMW is going to change the oil when the car tells him to and not when common sense dictates. The Service Indicator will allow oil change intervals of up to 15k miles (BMW's have a 4 year 50k mile "free maintenance" package with the purchase). Funny how those oil change intervals doubled when the free maintenance was introduced. BMW knows the cars will probably go 100k miles with that kind of maintenance, but I know they won't go much further than that........


Exactly. They are really screwing people with that crap. Took my wife's in last week because the engine light came on and asked if they'd go ahead do the first oil change since it had been 10K and almost a year.

They smugly said no, not until 1 year or 15K miles. So now I have to waste my time again in a few weeks to drive 25 miles back to the dealership.

A$$holes. There is nothing magic about BMW filters and Castrol oil. They just figure the problems will be well after the warranty ends.
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#4675272 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Bristoe]
lhonda Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 4601
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: Bristoe


Hillbillies are more eclectic than you would imagine.

And actually,..the Bimmers and Acuras are my wife's toys. (Realtor badges,..yanno?)

I drive a 2004 Nissan pick-up and a Burgman. (weird ass Mick badges)


That you didn't correct me on the other details of my mental image is noted, and is good for a grin. There still is hope!

wink

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#4675324 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: lhonda]
tex_n_cal Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 12/31/02
Posts: 17080
Loc: Back in Texas, for good!
A bud had a 95 540i that had gotten the full Dinan 5 treatment. The thing was a damn rocket, but the maintenance broke his heart, and he finally dumped it.

Except for 40,000 miles or so in a Miata, the last two decades have been spent in Ford trucks of one type or another. The 04 F150 is paid for, and I'm not planning on buying anything new for a long time.

I grew up working on cars in Dad's garage, and love a responsive car, but I'd also like to retire, eventually...
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#4675344 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: tex_n_cal]
kend Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 10/28/08
Posts: 7779
Loc: Oregon
I have Chevy's the wife has a Diesel Beetle. The bug gets 45mpg on the road, but has had a lot of little nuisance problems. My 2000 S-10 has had none.
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#4675489 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Okanagan]
levrluvr Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/23/09
Posts: 6001
Originally Posted By: Okanagan
Have skimmed this thread partly because I considered buying a used Jetta recently. Nice car in many ways, but it had a quirky glitch of some kind in the fan and AC, plus one of the power windows would not work, all of this on our test drive! If I turned off the engine, it fixed the fan/AC problem, sort of like rebooting a computer.

I asked two friends who own Jettas about them. Both of them said the engine drive train were excellent but they both had chronic "small" problems like power windows not working, door locks, interior lights, etc.


If looking at a Jetta, get a wagon, and get the diesel. The Germans are very possessive about their wagons, and to the best of my knowledge they still assemble the wagons only in Wolfsburg. The rest of the line is US or Mexico. My Jetta TDI wagon was absolutely incredible. I would buy another one in a heartbeat.

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#4675503 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: mountainclmbr]
lhonda Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/10/05
Posts: 4601
Loc: Boston, MA
Originally Posted By: mountainclmbr
I have a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner with just over 200K miles on it. I have replaced brake rotors once (they are ready again), a battery and a starter.


I put 140K on the same make and model with zero issues over just over three years. Any guesses on what I traded it in for? 2005 Runner. Put over 70K on the clock on that one so far. 210K and every one of them trouble free miles? Legendary reliability is right. In another 70K I'll go back with the '05 and do it again.

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#4675597 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: lhonda]
CCCC Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 4991
Loc: New Mexico High Country
Having seen the problem all too often with German cars over the years (a lot of "Hangar Queens") and having helped friends fix them themselves has revealed frequent very high cost of parts, I arrived at a hunch. The Germans always have placed a high priority (and invested egos) on sophisticated design work - innovations, slick ideas, seamless designs, tight tolerances, etc. But, those minds do not seem to meld with the attitudes of guys who run production and quality control, Given the socialist bent of their society/economy, the worker bees may not invest the same pride and care when they are making/assembling vehicles and parts. Just a hunch.
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#4675603 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: 257wby]
Partsman Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 6636
Loc: PoCo, B.C. Canada
Originally Posted By: 257wby
Can't say that's been the case for us. Have had an Audi of some sort in the garage for 30 years. First one was a Fox...now have a TT.


Must have been a lot wrong if it was in at the garage for 30 years, must have been slow getting parts. grin
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#4675673 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Partsman]
WranglerJohn Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 09/30/08
Posts: 1807
Why are German cars so trouble prone? Because they aren't Japanese.

Even my lowly GMC Sierra is less trouble prone than a Mercedes. But then the Duramax diesel engine is assembled in Moraine, Ohio with domestic and Japanese parts, with every engine hot run on a test stand for 8 minutes before being installed in a truck. That's something no one else does, not even for the costly diesel option, not Ford or Ram. The Duramax engine is an Isuzu/GM design with both GM and Isuzu being co-owners. Why my old Honda CIVIC is still running after 31 years, rather well I might add, with no breakdowns.

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#4675740 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: bender]
tzone Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/23/04
Posts: 30646
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: bender
I never relied on Consumer reports. Just to prove them wrong, I put 175,000 trouble free miles on a 1984 Chevy Citation X-11, 378,000 miles on a 1990 Pontiac 6000STE, and currently, 72,000 miles on a 2005 Pontiac GTO. Consumables -brakes, clutches, etc, are serviced and replaced as needed, but no catastrophic failures. Ya just gotta take care of whatever you have. They are all pretty good nowadays.


I'd be replacing the rear brakes a lot if I had a GTO. smile
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#4675754 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: mountainclmbr]
ColsPaul Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 07/31/10
Posts: 9516
Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Originally Posted By: mountainclmbr
I have a 1997 Toyota 4-Runner with just over 200K miles on it. I have replaced brake rotors once (they are ready again), a battery and a starter.


My 92 4Runner is still going strong, though the Ohio salt is taking it's toll.
I may need to look for a "new " one.
Maybe splurge and get a ...1998-99?

My BIL is a BMW nut. Always has been. He has about 12-15 at any one time.
Maybe 3-4 that run.
I've never seen any car that requires SO many special tools to do a routine repair.

The electronics are nightmares.
He told me last night, he is buying yet another electronic diagnostic laptop for aboy $800
His step daughter's 325 won't start!
Fun cars to drive. I raced them on and off over the years.

Great tourque but I would NEVER recomend them one unless you are prepared to spend big $$$ for service, often.
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#4675779 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Foxbat]
Redneck Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 40049
Loc: WI. - for now..
Originally Posted By: Foxbat
VW has been last or close, on JD Power for years.

Mercedes was near the bottom of that list for a few years as well.

All those reports IMHO are to be treated dubiously..

We have 130K on my wife's Jetta TDI and other than standard maintenance, it purrs right along and I can't feel any degration in handling. I figure it can go another 125K easy..
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#4675860 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: badger]
ltppowell Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 10/12/04
Posts: 34239
Loc: SE Texas
Originally Posted By: badger
Originally Posted By: Foxbat
American BMW 3 series are now made in South Africa.

Nothing screams quality like Africa....


BMW has been building cars in South Africa since the 70's.

One of my customers has a 2003 X5 4.4l that has over 410k miles on it. Engine is original, never had a valve job. Replaced the trans at 260k miles, and replaced the oil pump at 400k. Its been pretty bulletproof for him so far. Japanese car tend to nickel & dime you less, German cars just feel so much better on the road. For those that drive them, and are prepared for the extra maintenance, its worth it. (Great job security for me too smile ).


This man would know. smile
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#4675876 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: ltppowell]
the_shootist Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 05/21/03
Posts: 19004
Loc: NW Ontario, Canada
As a friend of mine said just recently, "I finally got me a Buick -- my last chance at being cool." laugh I've had a couple now, and like them.
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#4675965 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: 257wby]
burner Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 3705
Loc: MD
Part of the problem is how they calculate the reliability. Basically, any trip back to the dealer can count as a mark against your brand's reliability.

That means the guy who claimed there was a spot in the headliner of his brand new Dodge Nitro, after he got an oil change, is a reliability issue.

The lady who would come back to the dealership every month, claiming she heard a squeak that we could never reproduce, was several reliability claims.

The other lady who claimed that her A/C got "warm" on long trips -- also a non-reproducible problem, despite numerous test drives and letting the vehicle idle for hours in the parking lot taking temp readings every 15 minutes, was also multiple reliability claims.

Also, people who have spent $70k+ on a car, expect everything to work right and be perfect, and when they don't understand something, they come screaming back. Most of this is the sales rep's fault for not explaining it -- like the lady who had to come back to figure out how to turn her dome light off when she accidentally turned it on. He had never gone over the vehicle with her.

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#4676349 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Barkoff]
JGRaider Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 08/23/05
Posts: 14627
Loc: W. Texas
Originally Posted By: Barkoff
I think Lexus is a Japanese car that can rival the big three German makers, but seems to be a little more reliable...however I'm not sure if you can get 300K out of a Lexus.


Why not? My dad has 330K on an F150. I think Lexus is the best built vehicle on the road.
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#4676370 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: JGRaider]
bea175 Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 02/15/02
Posts: 27876
Loc: Kpt.,TN , Montgomery, Co, VA
I just purchased a New 2011 Buick Lacrosse and it now has 300 miles and still going strong now that is hard to beat.
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#4676371 - 12/08/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Foxbat]
Jeffrey Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 2630
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: Foxbat
Originally Posted By: badger


Yup,

I wouldn't buy an off lease BMW simply because the driver of a leased BMW is going to change the oil when the car tells him to and not when common sense dictates. The Service Indicator will allow oil change intervals of up to 15k miles (BMW's have a 4 year 50k mile "free maintenance" package with the purchase). Funny how those oil change intervals doubled when the free maintenance was introduced. BMW knows the cars will probably go 100k miles with that kind of maintenance, but I know they won't go much further than that........


Exactly. They are really screwing people with that crap. Took my wife's in last week because the engine light came on and asked if they'd go ahead do the first oil change since it had been 10K and almost a year.

They smugly said no, not until 1 year or 15K miles. So now I have to waste my time again in a few weeks to drive 25 miles back to the dealership.

A$$holes. There is nothing magic about BMW filters and Castrol oil. They just figure the problems will be well after the warranty ends.


so don't buy a beemer
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#4678431 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Jeffrey]
djpaintless Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 03/27/04
Posts: 6653
Loc: Oklahoma, USA
I'm wondering if the Toyota owners who had unintended accelaration issues still think that Japanese cars are always more reliable than German ones?......................dj
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#4678442 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: djpaintless]
Scott_Thornley Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 04/03/01
Posts: 4380
Loc: Sierra Nevada foothills
Originally Posted By: djpaintless
I'm wondering if the Toyota owners who had unintended accelaration issues still think that Japanese cars are always more reliable than German ones?......................dj


I'm betting there's a very close correlation between the types of individuals that experienced unintended acceleration in the Toyota/Lexus cars, and those that experienced unintended acceleration in German (Audi) cars years ago.
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#4678467 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Jeffrey]
Foxbat Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 05/24/07
Posts: 13957
Loc: Spring Hill, FL
Originally Posted By: Jeffrey


so don't buy a beemer


You mean Bimmer?

Thanks for the advice, but the wife gets what she wants.
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#4678476 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: Foxbat]
2muchgun Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Registered: 02/25/05
Posts: 13931
Loc: Michigun
I've drank with the vice president of Volkswagen, who happens to also own Rolls Royce. He can have any car he wants on earth.

He drives a Cadillac. V8, NorthStar system...........
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#4678489 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: VAnimrod]
djs Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 17976
Loc: Virginia
Originally Posted By: VAnimrod
Try changing your own oil on a new VW. I fuggin' dare you....


I've got a VW Passat and I've changed the oil myself 3 times since I bought it. It is a real bear to remove the spalash guard and get to the oil filter; the drain plug is only accessable after the splash guard is removed.

I pay the dealer to change the oil now and will remember this when I buy a new car (hint - I'll check how difficult it is to change the oil BEFORE I sign!).

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#4678496 - 12/09/10 Re: Why are German Cars So Unreliable? [Re: badger]
Old_Toot Offline
Campfire Tracker

Registered: 11/29/03
Posts: 7411
Loc: W. Fel. Nirvana
Originally Posted By: badger
Originally Posted By: Old_Toot
badger, were you going to soon, which BMW would you buy? Looking at an X5 for the wife, one that has been returned from lease. Any thoughts on beemers that were previously leased? Thanks.


Yup,

I wouldn't buy an off lease BMW simply because the driver of a leased BMW is going to change the oil when the car tells him to and not when common sense dictates. The Service Indicator will allow oil change intervals of up to 15k miles (BMW's have a 4 year 50k mile "free maintenance" package with the purchase). Funny how those oil change intervals doubled when the free maintenance was introduced. BMW knows the cars will probably go 100k miles with that kind of maintenance, but I know they won't go much further than that........


Thanks, badger.
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