Sister needs a daily driver. Whattya think?

General Non Automotive Discussions

  1. drpreposterous

    drpreposterous Well-Known Member

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    Hey, everyone.

    I told Sis I ask the wise heads here to recommend a good daily for her.
    Minivan on last gasps. Kids are teens, so minivan not strictly speaking necessary, but room for 4. Budget $5 to $12k. Considering anything from a quad cab to a sedan as long as it meets these...
    Paremeters:
    1. Stone axe reliable. Really reliable.
    2. Room for four
    3. Cheaper to repair
    4. Safe (no tiny cars). MPG is not vital.
    whattya think?
     
  2. Aspen500

    Aspen500 Well-Known Member

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    I can give you a couple "stay away from" ones. Any GM with a 3.6L and I'd not recommend one with the Ecotech engine either. Actually, in our shop the most problematic vehicles are GM's. Electrical and wiring problems, way more than other brands. Wheel bearings also fail regularly on them. We do at least 50 wheel hubs on GM's for every one of any other brand. They have way more check engine, ABS, TPMS, etc............problems. Come to think of it, just avoid a GM product. I hate to say it on a Mopar site but for the average family type person, Ford builds some darn reliable cars. Of those, the Fusion seems to be a car that never breaks and you could get a darn nice one in that price range. Asian cars are OK for the most part but repair costs are higher and sometimes parts availability can be a problem. Also, they like to rot quicker than others. On the reliable and cheaper to repair front, forget about any European make, including VW. If you can find one in the price range and she wants a larger car, the current Taurus is an excellent car. Well anyways, hope I at least gave you a good start on things!

    BTW, I'm an auto tech at an independent shop that works on anything and everything.
     
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  3. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Fusion or Taurus just no freeking highbred!!!!
    Bud W is that better?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  4. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, minivans are by far the cheapest vehicle to get auto insurance on.
    Unrelated (sorta), they are also the vehicle least likely to get stolen (what criminal would want to get caught stealing a minivan?).

    Front wheel drive gives better traction on snow and ice (a big plus up North – which I’ll assume she is). Nothing wrong with 4*4 or all-wheel drive – but fuel mileage will not be as good, vehicle purchase price will be more, repair costs will be more, as well as frequency of breakdowns.
    For most people, and for reliability, stick with either a front wheel or rear wheel drive vehicle.

    Most women I know, prefer sitting up higher in the vehicle (ie: a minivan or pickup) – but I don’t have an answer as to why.

    No actual data or numbers on this this – but it “appears” to me that teenagers who borrow parents cars – the Minivan doesn’t suffer from accident damage, as much as other vehicles, do.
    After all, what self-respecting teenager will want to go driving around . . . in a minivan?


    This comment is my opinion, only: Domestic owned company’s (ie: Chrysler, GM or Ford) – repairs might be slightly more frequent than import owned companies are – but repair costs are generally a lot less, than import (even domestic built imports) vehicle repairs are.
    Also part availability is generally not an issue on domestic owned company cars.

    I do like Kia and Hyundai’s new car powertrain warranty – which 10 year/100k mile (first owner only). That said, both companies are based in South Korea. What would happen to your vehicle warranty (or parts availability) if North Korea attacked South Korea?
    Now I am not trying to get into politics or world events or anything – All I’m trying to do is make you think of “what if”.
    If something like that was to happen, your Kia could become the next Yugo . . . (ie: no warranty, no parts, not much of anything - at the snap of a finger).


    As to brand name to recommend, I will only say that I have worked on Chrysler vehicles sense I was about 10-11 years old and I know them like the back of my hand. Stick with something you know.
    Are they the best vehicle out there? I think so, but that is my opinion.


    Getting off subject, when Chrysler came out with the PT Cruiser (about 2000), my wife had to have one. This was when no one had any, so the dealers who did have them wanted $5-10 grand above sticker price (which I refused to pay for).
    I didn’t have an objection to getting her a new car – well, um, yes I did, but that’s not the point here. At that same time, my parents got a new minivan and was wanting to sell their old one. She drove it and liked it, a lot (so we got it).
    That was the first of three Town and Country minivan’s we have had, sense then.

    On a different note: my wife has um, grown some sense the PT Cruisers first came out, and I’m fairly sure that she wouldn’t be able to fit into a Cruiser now, anyway :rolleyes:.
    BudW
     
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  5. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, stay away from battery cars or hybrids.
    Both can be an economic disaster as the cars age. A person who wants a battery operated car – needs to have another vehicle as a backup. Some hybrid car 'breakdowns' – can cost more than to just go and purchase another vehicle . . .
    BudW
     
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  6. jasperjacko

    jasperjacko Well-Known Member

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    Its hard to go wrong with a Honda. (oh, did I just type that on a Mopar site?) It's true, I have 3. Two accords and a civic. The oldest is a 01 v-6 accord, 230k been an excellent car, but if you buy one from up north, check the front subframe. They are known to rot out real bad.
     
  7. drpreposterous

    drpreposterous Well-Known Member

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    Solid suggestions and options! Many thanks!
     
  8. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    A lot of imports require regularly scheduled maintenance, like timing belt replacements,which can be quite pricey, eating up any mpg advantage they mighta had. And most are interference engines,so if you miss the appointed time, you run the risk of destroying the engine.

    I have had very good success with the GM 3900 Series III engine. Mine was in an 06 Buick LaCross, bought as a 1-year old with 36000 miles on it. Almost zero problems in 10 plus years. Just a MAP sensor that started to require cleaning in about 2014, due to condensation. But this is so easy, the sensor is right up top. No trans problems either, and no oil-leaks.........But the seats got to be too low for us older folks. Ok, for my wife.
     
  9. MoparDan

    MoparDan Well-Known Member

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    My first car was a '97 Honda Accord and it was nothing but trouble (replaced it with my first M-body) I talked to other people who had Accords and they either seem to run really well or they always break down. I should add mine was a one owner car that always been serviced at the Honda dealer and had the paper work to prove it. Also had an '88 Acura Legend 2 door which ran a lot better-even though the engine ticked like a diesel... With the 5 speed and sunroof open it was fun to drive, but was rusted so badly I had to get rid of it (bad floors and the right side frame rail didn't exist any more) I agree about avoiding hybrids I knew someone who bought a Prius to sell and one of the batteries was dead: $1,500...and he was getting an insider deal...!
     
  10. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I have been avoiding mentioning this but just can’t get by not saying anything.

    Please – if anyone has replies – please start another thread and not clutter this one up.

    No offence meant to our friends in Canada (or Mexico, or wherever), but I have always been one to support the workers of my own country – especially as I get older. Also, I have no objection to anyone with a different opinion - for I'm only stating my opinion and not trying to change yours.

    All of my cars were made in the USA – except for the minivans (which were all Canadian) and my current pickup (Mexico) - with a majority of my vehicles were built in Saint Louis, MO.
    The minivans are ones we bought from my parents as they got new vehicles.
    My pickup was bought on eBay – after looking for a specific pickup for 6-months and not finding a thing (crew cab, long bed, 2*4, 3/4 ton, 12-valve diesel with a manual transmission). The Dodge pickups made in Mexico are just not built as well as the USA pickups are – and I'm still kicking myself for not searching longer . . .

    Now getting back to another item, there is a large number of import vehicles that are built in North America. Some car manufacturers found out that sometimes building a car here can cost less than to ship a car overseas (I guess . . .).

    If you look at a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on any vehicle built 1980 (to present), the very first digit tells you where car was made at:
    1, 4 and 5 – USA
    2 – Canada
    3 – Mexico
    6 – Australia
    7 – New Zealand
    8 and 9 – South America
    A and C – Africa
    J, K, L, M, N and P – Asia
    S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z – Europe

    Now with that all said – there has been recent discussion about a company in China wanting to purchase Chrysler from Fiat (or Fiat as a whole) . . .
    If that happens, I might have to alter my thinking, a smidge (again).
    BudW
     
  11. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Just who keeps all the old junk running, American workers....our F,M and J body's are 25 to 40 years old and have little in common with new Chrysler co. production.
    The later products have been Mercedes or Fiat, so the brand loyalty is not there for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  12. Jonnyuma

    Jonnyuma Well-Known Member

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    How 'bout a crew-cab Tacoma?
     
  13. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    I own a 2010 Ford Escape as my daily. Sans for my 5A (when it was stock) it's the most dependable ride I've ever owned. It's an I4 2wd with 100k on the clock. The a/c dried took a dump and it's on its third blower resister - that's it! Mileage ain't bad either. Four doors and plenty of room in the hatch.

    The worst? 2007 Dodge Caliber. Three sets of lower control arms, rear hatch latch and plastics, front struts, a fuel pump and an alternator all before 80k. Seriously, stay away from anything that shares a chassis with with that turd.
     
  14. AJ/FormS

    AJ/FormS Well-Known Member

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    The Caliber was on my shopping list once but it didn't even make it to the test-ride; the plastics were outgassing so bad, I couldn't even sit in it. I liked the car appearance and function wise. Thx for the heads up
     
  15. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    Is the Caliber the same platform as the Jeep Patriot? Because I haven't heard anything good about them pore dependability and expensive repairs.
     
  16. Duke5A

    Duke5A Well-Known Member

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    I believe so. I know the issue was persistent from 06 to at least 11. Something with the LCA design would prematurely wear out the bushings. The dealer only sold the arm and bushings as an assembly. I knew I was sunk when I first heard the clunking at 40k and Googled it... the first search suggestion wasafter typing 2007 Caliber was 'front end clunk.'

    I went to open the hatch and the entire latch assembly pulled right off of the hatch.

    The alternator died on Easter. Long story short it took me six hours to replace. The alternator itself was fine. The clutch on it took a dump. First time I've ever seen an alternator with a clutch.

    The fuel pump died one week before trading the car in. It's like it knew.
     
  17. Yellowdart69

    Yellowdart69 Well-Known Member

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    I've had great luck with Dodge Caravans. currently, I have three. A 99, 02, and 14. The 02, has 502,000km on it. They are reliable, inexpensive to buy, and inexpensive to repair. Certain years are better than others, though.
     
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  18. 4speedjim

    4speedjim Well-Known Member

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    IMO 1) Minivan
    2} Minivan
    3) Minivan
    You cant beat the value or dependability. We always bought year old 100K off lease minivan's, changed fluids, filters, adjust trans bands and used them as our chase vehicles. We put over 250K on them. 350k+ when we sold them. Full of 7 men, chasing auction cars with nothing but fluid changes and plugs every 100K. 20-25 mph. Unbreakable. Plenty of room for friends, sports gear, groceries, college moves etc. I load a ton/pallet of pellet fuel in my van 4 or 5 times a winter. I brought a complete 440/727 carb to pan + Hemi 4 speed 150 miles home. They're so convenient, easy to drive, load, unload and park. Comfy and cheap to buy and own. An excellent value. There simply is no better vehicle or value for a family.
    Other vehicles...
    I would consider a ford over gm if Mopar isn't in your vocabulary. Currently ford is far superior to gm. So is every other manufacturer IMO. Gm still thinks cheaper parts, not better cars, make corporate profits.
    My daughter in law just bought her 2nd Hyundai elantra. Same as Kia. Small car. She has been happy with it. It took several wheel bearings, struts and bushings, an axle and suspension parts in 130k. She has 1 kid, drives 70 miles a day. Thinks it was a good enough car to buy a 2nd.
    Pickups/ She doesn't have the budget to buy 4 door pickup with under 200k Mi. Just keep on walkin' past the trucks....
    Bud and Aspen500 are the ones to listen to. Like Bud I'm Mopar or Nocar. I try to keep that in my pocket when a discussion like this pops up.
    My wife wont drive anything but a minivan. I'm not that fussy. I do love everything about the minivans. From the value, durability, comfort and ease of ownership. I think your sister would be smart to buy another minivan
     
  19. BudW

    BudW Moderator Staff Member

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    I try not to pick on other car lines (too much) – for to me it is better not to say anything at all, than to say something bad about someone, or something.

    Hyundai and Kia are independent companies that do have ties with Chrysler. I think some time back, that Chrysler owned like 20% of each company – or something like that (I’m not sure of the relationship(s) so don’t quote me on that).

    But, for being independent companies, they sure share a LOT of parts – with each other and with Chrysler. The 3.6L V6 Chrysler engine is used by both car lines and in some cases, the same for some transaxles (with a few minor changes to both).
    Both also shared a lot of parts with Mitsubishi – for a while, but not so much in last 10-15 years.

    All in all – I do not see a lot of problems with either car type. Their cars seam to be well built and are solid.
    With that said, if I was going to own one – I would recommend getting it brand new. Both car makes, their basic warranty is 5/60 and powertrain warranty is for 10/100k miles – for the first owner.
    For second owner, the powertrain warranty drops down to 5/60 – which is usually passed before the first owner trades the car off.
    That kinda leaves the second (or later) owners in the dust, so to speak.
    For compairison sake, most manufactures have a 3/36 basic warranty and 5/60 (or 5/100) powertrain warranty.

    Also, I have another concern with both car makes. I don’t really have anything bad to say about the companies, but I am concerned that both carlines are based in South Korea. My (possibly is about nothing) fear is if North Korea decides to expand its empire (or worse), that could leave a lot of car owners without ANY car warranty – or even worse, no spare parts.

    Think of another car manufacture called Yugo. When that plant closed up shop, the dealerships could only provide warrantee repairs while parts were in stock. After that, many car owners were left with inoperable cars because there were no spare parts available.

    Again, hopefully I have fears that will never come true - but if it does, I wouldn’t want to own a Kia or a Hyundai.
    BudW
     
  20. Oldiron440

    Oldiron440 Well-Known Member

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    So it's Chrysler that has a Kia/Hyundai 3.6 then why would you purchases a USA built car with a Korean drive train. It seems you would be in the same boat as the Kia and Hyundai.